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Neoprene vs lavacore

Discussion in 'Exposure Suits' started by Dave Kay, Dec 9, 2019.

  1. Dave Kay

    Dave Kay Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Indiana
    122
    6
    18
    I have not worn wet suits through 40 years of diving. I stick to warm water down to 78 degrees. But thinking of going to colder water this year. Ive been researching suits but man is it confusing. I have a lavacore pull over vest and love that it is not positively buoyant and very light in my bag. Can you tell me how it compares to standard rubber type suits....... warmth, ease of donning it, life span, need for more weight etc. Thanks
     
  2. Trailboss123

    Trailboss123 Divemaster ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Tacoma, WA & Channel Islands, CA- USA
    2,060
    2,160
    113
    Lava Core as you already noted, is neutrally buoyant. In my experience, it is roughly equivalent in warmth to a 2-3mm wetsuit. I have a full top and full pant lavacore and am comfortable to 78-79 degrees-- but that is a very personal thing. Any colder than that and I am getting into my 5mm neoprene wetsuit. Any water in the 60's or below, I am in my drysuit. Life span for the lava Core is every bit as long lasting as a wetsuit, if you take care of it. I like that it can be washed in the washing machine and dried in the dryer. I like that it is 2 piece for going to the bathroom and makes it easier to don and doff. Although, I do find that the top is a bit challenging to get off, since there is no zipper. Putting it on is a breeze though.
     
    Dave Kay likes this.
  3. flyboy08

    flyboy08 ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: NYC
    3,064
    1,926
    113
    Dont rule out Sharkskin products too..under 78, I wear bottom and short sleeves top in their line...also neutral buoyant.
     
    Trailboss123 likes this.
  4. Trailboss123

    Trailboss123 Divemaster ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Tacoma, WA & Channel Islands, CA- USA
    2,060
    2,160
    113
    As long as we are on the topic- Pinnacle also makes an outstanding product- It is called the Inferno V-Skin and is merino wool lined and neutrally buoyant. Mine finally gave up the ghost after 650+ dives and I switched over to the lavacore in order to have the 2 piece option.
    Inferno V-skin Fullsuit
     
  5. peeweediver

    peeweediver Barracuda

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Chicago area
    445
    302
    63
    Bare has released a new "buoyancy neutral" top and bottom called "Exowear". Same principals as Lavacore and Sharkskin. Pretty comfortable and a bit faster drying than my Lavacore. Similar prices.
     
    Trailboss123 likes this.
  6. kelemvor

    kelemvor Big Fleshy Monster ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Largo, FL USA
    5,913
    3,107
    113
    I've got both lavacore and sharkskin stuff. Other than the logo, they're pretty much identical.

    IMO lavacore is great if it's all you need. I'd compare it to a 2mm neoprene. It takes a LOT longer than regular neoprene to dry, and that can be a factor if you're traveling. Lavacore makes a nice drysuit undergarment, too.. although I wouldn't use it for anything under 60 degrees.
     
    Johnoly and jgttrey like this.
  7. 1isNone

    1isNone Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: 12' above the fun stuff
    25
    19
    3
    We were out last Friday in 60F saltwater and I had on a very light merino wool t-shirt, the hooded Lavacore vest and a normal 3mm wetsuit. It was a bit chilly the first few minutes but once I got moving I was not cold or frozen. One of the other divers wearing just a 3mm suit was chilled after 1 dive and another wearing the same borrowed my collared hood to keep warmer on the second dive. We all decided any colder and we stay in the boat!
     
  8. Dave Kay

    Dave Kay Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Indiana
    122
    6
    18

    Thanks
     
  9. Dave Kay

    Dave Kay Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Indiana
    122
    6
    18

    the inferno looks like something to wear under a wet suit. I see mentions of wearing vests and stuff under wetsuits. I thought that the wet suit was supposed to fit snug so how can one put other gear under it??
     
  10. Dave Kay

    Dave Kay Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Indiana
    122
    6
    18

    Doesn't a wool T shirt get waterlogged and heavy??
     

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