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Thread: Canyoneering Wetsuit Advice?

  1. #1

    Canyoneering Wetsuit Advice?

    So have a couple of canyoneering trips planned in So Utah this fall and a couple of them involve swimming and definitely recommend a wetsuit. As I am generally afraid of cold water I dont have much experience with wetsuits and I was hoping to get a little advice from the horde.

    Can I just buy the cheapest one I can find as I wont necessarily be spending a lot of time actually in the water? What thickness should I be looking at? For those of you with canyoneering experience, are there any particular features that are activity specific?

    Thanks



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  3. #2
    my favorite setup is a 4/3 mm wetsuit for when the water isn't super cold and i have a 5/3 hooded vest top to go over it for those colder trips. I figure if I need more than that I should probably be doing dry canyons until the weather warms up a little.

  4. #3
    Content Provider Emeritus ratagonia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Proklamasi View Post
    So have a couple of canyoneering trips planned in So Utah this fall and a couple of them involve swimming and definitely recommend a wetsuit. As I am generally afraid of cold water I dont have much experience with wetsuits and I was hoping to get a little advice from the horde.

    Can I just buy the cheapest one I can find as I wont necessarily be spending a lot of time actually in the water? What thickness should I be looking at? For those of you with canyoneering experience, are there any particular features that are activity specific?

    Thanks


    It somewhat depends on what canyons you plan on, but...

    Most people are liking a 4/3 full full.

    Translation: Wetsuits tend to use two thicknesses of neoprene, putting a slightly thinner fabric where the most flex is required, such as the shoulders/arms and back of the knees, etc. A 4/3 wetsuit has main body panels of 4mm and other panels of 3mm. The most common wetsuit is a 3/2, and these are also often more-cheaply made. As in many things in life, buying the cheapest is often no bargain.

    full full means full legs and full arms. I have found that while there is a slight weight savings in getting a shortee (short legs, short arms), it also is MUCH colder.

    You could get a wetsuit made for canyoneering with a front zipper and proper reinforcements (Camaro brand on Sierra Trading Post) but they tend to be quite expensive. Most wetsuits in the USA are made for surfers and have the zipper in the back.

    Shopping

    you could buy it on my website: http://www.store.canyoneeringusa.com...73&id=10914093

    or elsewhere on the web, however, I think you have already identified yourself as a frugal person. You might check yard sales in your area, and classifieds, depending on where you live.

    Tom

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  6. #4
    I find that the knees/elbows on my wetsuits tend to wear out first, so I look for wetsuits that have reinforced(w/ additional neoprene patches) knees and elbows. I also like to Aquaseal or ShoeGoo over the stitching that holds on the reinforcements so the stitching doesn't get abraded as quickly.

  7. #5
    Content Provider Emeritus ratagonia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SRG View Post
    I find that the knees/elbows on my wetsuits tend to wear out first, so I look for wetsuits that have reinforced(w/ additional neoprene patches) knees and elbows. I also like to Aquaseal or ShoeGoo over the stitching that holds on the reinforcements so the stitching doesn't get abraded as quickly.
    This is a good reason to wear knee and elbow pads, and Gold's Gym Shorts, pretty much any time you wear the wetsuit. Exceptions could be the few non-scrapey canyons out there.

    Tom

  8. #6
    Have a look at this site - http://www.tommydsports.com/

    I've ordered two wet suits from them. The prices are great and the quality isn't bad either. I've got a 5mm full wet suit and a 3/2 shorty. Both have served me well in the Utah slot canyons.

  9. #7
    I've been using a 4/3 full wetsuit from quiksilver and it has served me quite well so far.

  10. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by cougboy65 View Post
    Have a look at this site - http://www.tommydsports.com/

    I've ordered two wet suits from them. The prices are great and the quality isn't bad either. I've got a 5mm full wet suit and a 3/2 shorty. Both have served me well in the Utah slot canyons.
    DITTO!

    I have purchased over a dozen wetsuits for friends and family over the last 5 years and they have all come from Tommy D (except for one that came from Tom). Their product is as good as any other wetsuit and the prices are very affordable. I have yet to find a better dollar value when it comes to wetsuits, best of all they have a large selection of various styles so you can get what you desire. If you are on a strict budget and watch their sales you will find some unbeatable deals.

    Iceaxe and family rockin' Tommy D's

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  11. #9
    I have the Hyperflex Cyclone 4/3 and have been very pleased. Especially with how stretchy it is.

    How does the TommyD suit compare stretchiness wise?

  12. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Sandstone Addiction View Post
    I have the Hyperflex Cyclone 4/3 and have been very pleased. Especially with how stretchy it is.

    How does the TommyD suit compare stretchiness wise?

    Tommy D's are 1/2 to 1/3 the price of Hyper flex. As for stretchy I have no clue as I've never used the Hyper flex, but I've never felt constricted in a properly fitting Tommy D and I've owned a lot of wetsuits in my life, at least 20 probably 30 or 40 including my boating and jetski wetsuits so I know a good value.


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  14. #11
    Content Provider Emeritus ratagonia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sandstone Addiction View Post
    I have the Hyperflex Cyclone 4/3 and have been very pleased. Especially with how stretchy it is.

    How does the TommyD suit compare stretchiness wise?
    Don't know, have never used the TommyD... however, I just ordered one to check it out. Front zip is definitely a plus.

    Tom

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  16. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by ratagonia View Post
    Front zip is definitely a plus.
    Just curious why you like front zips?

    I prefer rear zip because they are easier to take on and off. I've owned a couple front zips but will buy a rear zip all else being equal.



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  17. #13
    Content Provider Emeritus ratagonia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iceaxe View Post
    Just curious why you like front zips?

    I prefer rear zip because they are easier to take on and off. I've owned a couple front zips but will buy a rear zip all else being equal.
    I have had one front zip wetsuit, a Camaro. I like being able to zip and unzip at will for ventilation and comfort.

    Tom

  18. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by ratagonia View Post
    Don't know, have never used the TommyD... however, I just ordered one to check it out. Front zip is definitely a plus.

    Tom
    @ratagonia , did you receive and try out the TommyD?

  19. #15
    Content Provider Emeritus ratagonia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sandstone Addiction View Post
    @ratagonia , did you receive and try out the TommyD?
    I have received it. It is very heavy. (5mm suit). I have not even tried it on. Seems to be twice as heavy and bulky as the Hyperflex 4/3mm suits I am used to.

    Tom

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  21. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by ratagonia View Post
    I have had one front zip wetsuit, a Camaro. I like being able to zip and unzip at will for ventilation and comfort.

    Tom
    x2 - great for temp control
    My NRS also has wrist and ankle zips. I love the ankle zips as it makes it a snap to get the wet suit on and off. The wrist zips got blown out fairly quickly :-(

  22. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by ratagonia View Post
    I have received it. It is very heavy. (5mm suit). I have not even tried it on. Seems to be twice as heavy and bulky as the Hyperflex 4/3mm suits I am used to.

    Tom

    This doesn't sound good for canyoneering, being twice as heavy and bulky as Hyperflex 4/3, especially when you consider the often long approach hikes to some canyons, as well as the bulk issue (when not wearing, may take up too much space in canyon backpacks). Get back with us after giving it a spin in a canyon!

    Why do all our posts end up in italics? Can SOMEBODY turn the italics off . . . it is easier to read straight text.

  23. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by townsend View Post
    This doesn't sound good for canyoneering, being twice as heavy and bulky as Hyperflex 4/3, especially when you consider the often long approach hikes to some canyons, as well as the bulk issue (when not wearing, may take up too much space in canyon backpacks). Get back with us after giving it a spin in a canyon!

    Why do all our posts end up in italics? Can SOMEBODY turn the italics off . . . it is easier to read straight text.
    Italics issue has been created in a new thread here to let this current wetsuit topic continue:
    http://www.bogley.com/forum/showthre...ssue-on-Bogley

    Thanks

  24. #19
    You do have to remember that we're comparing a 4/3 to a full 5mm wet suit. Of course the 5mm is going to be heavier and thicker. I've carried it through Imlay and Kolob and it hasn't killed me. The front zipper is great because I can unzip it and cool off. Plus, the one I've got has zippers on the wrists and ankles. That makes it easier to get on and off. The other great thing is, for the price, if I destroy it in a slot canyon, I can get another for not too much money. I can't see spending over $100 for a wet suit only to have it get ruined in a slot canyon. Just my two cents worth.

  25. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by ratagonia View Post
    I have received it. It is very heavy. (5mm suit). I have not even tried it on. Seems to be twice as heavy and bulky as the Hyperflex 4/3mm suits I am used to.

    Tom
    A full 5mm should be about 40% larger than a 4/3mm in both weight and size. It should also be about 40% warmer. If you want a lighter and less bulky wetsuit order a thinner material as Tommy D sells them all.

    For the record I have both a full 5mm and a full 3/2mm and I wear the 3/2 about 90% of the time. A full 5mm is a little too much for me on your typical spring, summer and fall trade routes.

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