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Shoulder Season wetsuit recommendations?

Discussion in 'Tech Tips and Gear' started by JP702, Feb 25, 2017.

  1. JP702

    JP702

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    What's your favorite cold water wetsuit?

    Seems like with work my canyoneering season is restricted to the shoulder seasons of spring and fall which bring much colder temps. Wondering if anyone has had any good experience with 7mm or 7/5mm wetsuits? A dry suit is a bit out of price range, at least for some of the better quality ones.

    I've tried a full 7mm neosport xspan and after one canyon the stitching started coming loose. I then tried a scubapro 7mm and the fit with the neck and arms seemed too loose to properly keep water from coming in and out. I love my hyper flex 4/3 but seems a little light for some of the colder conditions likely to be encountered in the shoulders seasons. Maybe a 5/4 hyperflex would do the trick? I know durability wise the hyperflex is up to the task, but what about other brands that have more thickness? EX: I'm looking at a AKONA full 7mm which seems promising. Anyone have thoughts on these or other wetsuits?
    Ram and Tom Collins like this.
  2. Ram

    Ram

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    With almost no exceptions, 7mm suits are overkill. I have seen fit athletes cramp up and overheat from the effort to move through canyons in such constricting suits. 4/3mm covers 95% or more of canyon needs in wet suits. The hyperflex allows one to move well in them. Buying them from Canyoneering USA supports a canyon specific gear carrier who is particularly generous and supportive of canyoneering access, safety, education and conservation. Win-win all over the place

    http://www.store.canyoneeringusa.co...emid=108&view=ecwid&ecwid_category_id=2490773
    http://www.store.canyoneeringusa.co...clone-4-3-Wetsuit/p/10914093/category=2490773
    http://www.store.canyoneeringusa.com/hyperflex-wetsuit-sizing-chart.html
  3. Tom Collins

    Tom Collins

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    +1 to the 4/3, when its colder make sure you move faster through the canyon, take less breaks, maybe save the really wet canyons for the warmer shoulder months (Apr/Sept). I have a 5/3 hooded vest that I take into class C canyons and put the hood up when I'm in the waterfall to keep water from running down my neck which helps a lot, but outside of the falls or full swims where the neck is vulnerable it doesn't provide much extra warmth.

    If you really want something extra then the 5/4 might be the way to go, but as someone who's used a 7mm it's not really worth it. My 7mm was even pretty stretchy so it didn't restrict movement as much as some others, but once I switched to a 4/3 I never looked back.
    Ram likes this.
  4. Wes1

    Wes1

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    More neoprene is helpful to a certain point, a 5/3 seems to be that point for me. After that the warmth is all in the accessories. A thermos with warm liquid, a neoprene hat, thick neo socks, base layers, and a synthetic puffy and I will be fine in even the coldest of canyons.
    Chris Grove, Tom Collins and Ram like this.
  5. LonePeak

    LonePeak

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    The one tidbit I can add here is that Pine Creek in early Dec required a full 7mm. I tried the 4/3, gasped, climbed out, and put on another 3/3 layer, and I'm about as warm blooded as they come. My beefy partner was cold in his full 7. Of course Pine Creek is a summer wetsuit canyon. On the other hand, I've waded chest deep on an icy day in the N Wash with only polyester layers and warmed right up within five min. Water temp, air temp, exposure time, exertion, flow, mobility, weather, injury potential, and distance from camp should all be considered. 7mm is awkward and I'd agree probably not often necessary.
  6. Wes1

    Wes1

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    [​IMG][​IMG]

    With proper accessories a 4/3 was perfectly adequate for this day.
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  7. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    And what were those proper accessories???

    Inquiring minds want to know!!!
  8. Wes1

    Wes1

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  9. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    I purchased the hyperflex 5/4 wetsuit which felt slightly warmer than the 4/3 for an unnoticeable change in weight and resistance to movement... so it helped a little but not a lot.

    Tom
  10. Wes1

    Wes1

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    I wear a Camaro Blacktec 5/3. Really warm, while still allowing easy movement.
    dakotabelliston likes this.
  11. TJ Cottam

    TJ Cottam Adventure Plus

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    I used a hooded 6/5/4 from hyperflex for many winter canyons. Being a front zip with sealed seams it keeps most of the water out. Kind of tricky to climb into, but very warm. More recently I've been using front zip hyperflex 4/3 and adding a Sharkskin vest under as well as a hooded vest over the suit depending on how much insulation I needed. The Sharkskin has the added benefit of blocking the windchill that you get through a wetsuit.
  12. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Do you have those (numerous) items in stock and for sale at your store?

    Tom
  13. TJ Cottam

    TJ Cottam Adventure Plus

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    Most of them are in stock, hooded 6/5/4 is a special order item, sharkskin and hooded vests are in stock all the time, and Hyperlfex is releasing a new front zip in about a month that is more affordable than the one I'm currently using.
    ratagonia likes this.
  14. spinesnaper

    spinesnaper

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    This seems so variable. I have been cold in my 5 mm suit and my partner toasty and comfortable in his 3 mm wetsuit. Helps to have a sense of whether you run cold or are cold tolerant.
  15. hobo_climber

    hobo_climber

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    And also the quality of your neo... I've been cold in cheapie 7mm suits and warm as in a MUCH higher quality (and $$$) 4/3 suits.

    Splash for the highest quality suit you can get!
    Wes1 likes this.
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