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Tech Tip: Question Lavacore wetsuits in Utah Canyons?

Discussion in 'Tech Tips and Gear' started by Andy Eastman, Jun 8, 2013.

  1. Andy Eastman

    Andy Eastman

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    A friend of mind in Missouri is trying to find a wetsuit for our trip out to Zion for a week in the canyons.

    He was having trouble finding one in his size and eventually purchased a Lavacore wetsuit? It seems to be a lighter "wetsuit" with a fleece lining. His suit is 3mm.

    The canyons where it would likely be needed are Pine Creek, Keyhole, Echo and Das Boot.

    Will his wetsuit be sufficient? I know everyones cold tolerance is different so I am just trying to get a general idea.

    Thanks,

    Andy
  2. TJ Cottam

    TJ Cottam Adventure Plus

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    Lavacore isn't a traditional wetsuit in that it isn't actually made of neoprene. It's a combination of fleece, a wind and water resistant membrane, and a protective outer layer. It works well for adding warmth to a wetsuit, but i wouldn't think of it as a substitue for a wetsuit. Lavacore also soaks up a ton of water and becomes very heavy, not ideal for packing out especially for something longer like das boot. Bottom line, nowhere near as warm as a good 4/3 wetsuit, and super heavy once wet.
  3. Andy Eastman

    Andy Eastman

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    Thanks for the input TJ.

    I was able to convince my friend to return the Lavacore "wetsuit" and order a real 4/3 wet suit online. He was doing his best to support the local stores here in KC, but the dive shops in the area do not typically cater to canyoneers or cold water divers.

    Crisis averted.
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