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lavacore suit front or back zip?

Discussion in 'Lavacore' started by val&tim, Dec 29, 2014.

  1. val&tim

    val&tim Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Ariège, France
    27
    6
    3
    I'm considering buying a lavacore suit to wear under a wetsuit. Should I buy a front or back zipped model?
    I imagine that a back zip makes the suit easier to take off, but will it interfere with the zip on the wetsuit?
    Any tips or thoughts on this would be much appreciated.
     
  2. AlexL

    AlexL DIR Practitioner

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: nowhere, usa
    243
    92
    28
    my wife and i both have two layers of lavacores (full suit no hood, vest with hood) that we routinely use under our 5mm wetsuits. back zip on the suit, pull over on the vest, back zip on the wetsuit. zero issues with zipper interference.

    I had asked about front zip suits when we purchased our sets, but had multiple people tell its much harder to doff/don if your shoulders are fine vs a back zip. if you have any shoulder issues, its pretty much impossible.
     
  3. KWS

    KWS ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: SE TEXAS
    4,387
    1,029
    113
    Val&Tim

    why are you wanting to wear both a lavacore and a wet suit? It does not make sence to to do that. the purpose of the lavacore is to have warmth without buoyancy issues. As far as the zipper goes it depends on how limber you are. rear is easy to get off cause you are pulling it off from the front. Front zip you tend to need a buddy to help get it off the shoulders and your arms out. The only benifit is perhaps to have the equivilant of a suit 2-3 mm thicker without the lift. I have had no interferance with haveing t zippers in the back. (skin and wet suit). I see you are in france so i think i understand wheat you are trying to do. If the issue is do you put on 7mm and have 7mm of buoyncy issues or put on a 5mm and a lavacore and use less weight. I have never done this. the skin of the lavacore is a barrier so i dondt know what good a wet suit is. perhaps you could use a 3mm over a lavacore and get the same benifit as using a 5 or 7 over the lavacore?
     
  4. val&tim

    val&tim Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Ariège, France
    27
    6
    3
    Thank you both for your input - clearly back zips are the way to go!

    KWS - the reason we are considering buying lavacore suits is because we haven't got our own wetsuits and rented ones are never quite warm enough for us. So an added layer that doesn't take up too much space in the backpack seems like the solution. But we're open to other suggestions if anyone has a better idea.
     
  5. miked

    miked Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Park Ridge NJ
    1,468
    279
    83
    A bit different approach.
    When I need a bit more warmth (warm water wimp that I am), I'll add a front zip vest. It adds another layer of neoprene to the torso, and the front zip helps "cover" the back zip area of the wet suit, which lessens water infiltration there. It does add approx 2 lbs (for a 3mm vest) of buoyancy.

    Also: a beanie for the head. Not as warm as a hood, but it doesn't have the neck "issues" that some people get.
     
  6. muzikbiz22

    muzikbiz22 Manta Ray

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Southern California
    1,120
    375
    83
    Back zip, trust me. And there are TONS of divers layering a 7mm and Lavacore.
     
  7. Aquavelvet

    Aquavelvet Divemaster Candidate

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Seattle WA, USA
    313
    94
    28
    A Lavacore suit makes a great layer by itself or underneath a neoprene suit. I use a front zip because it's easy to get on and off, and it's nice to have a smooth back underneath the outer wet suit zipper. I've been comfortably warm in a 3mm full + Lavacore when others were chilled in 5mm full suits.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
    Sieg@VU likes this.
  8. val&tim

    val&tim Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Ariège, France
    27
    6
    3
    And after all your really useful recommendations, our local supplier only stocks front-zipped suits! So that's what we bought.
    And we're off to Thailand next month to try them out :) Yes, I know the water will be 28 degrees, but I still get cold in just a 3mm shorty.
    Many thanks again to all of you for your help and advice.
     
  9. NikonDutch

    NikonDutch Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Dallas, GA
    11
    1
    3
    there are pro's and con's to front vs back zip. I chose front (egress problems were not known to me at the time) I went to the front to maintain a flat line under by bcd in the back. I have dove with it under my 5mil in 52 degree water and was warm as toast. I will wear it when the water temp is high enough to allow it. as far as the difficulty getting out of the suit is true unless you are more agile than a rubber band, but then again we never dive alone do we? What are dive partners for anyway? :wink:
     
    Sieg@VU likes this.
  10. val&tim

    val&tim Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Ariège, France
    27
    6
    3
    Just back from Thailand - loved the lavacore ! Snug and warm under a 3 mm shorty, no problem taking it off, despite the front zip.
    Our only gripe was that the zip on my buddy's suit broke after a few dives :-(
    However, with a rear zip wetsuit over it, it was still usable for the rest of the holiday.
    Once again, many thanks to all of you for your help and advice.
     

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