Oct 23, 2009 at 7:23 am #1240506
@dteneyLocale: Somewhere in the Alps
I used my packraft a lot this summer, in warm weather, but things are getting less practical now that the temperatures are colder. I just thought about using a thick neoprene suit for keeping me warm even when wet.
You can get used 7mm diving suits (which are usually fine for swimming in waters down to 50°F) for less than 50$.
Has anyone already tried this, or have some insight on how it would perform for paddling ?
-DamienOct 23, 2009 at 8:04 am #1539014
Richard NisleyBPL Member
@richard295Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
The neoprene is cut to keep your arms along your side (normal diving position). Correct paddling requires that your upper arm rotates across your body. A dive suit's arm rotation resistance will quickly fatigue you.
If you want to use a neoprene suit, then purchase a Farmer John style. It allows the required arm mobility. You can use a rain top in combination with the Farmer John but this allows copious water flushing during a swim. It is much safer to couple your Farmer John wet suit with a semi-dry or dry top. Sierra Trading Post has the Extrasport dry tops and semi dry tops on sale. Read the reviews to appreciate the product’s value. The semi-dry top gives you the most flexibility for packrafting because you can ventilate the neck when are walking with your packraft.Oct 23, 2009 at 8:24 am #1539023
@pivvayLocale: Rocky Mountains
A wet suit meant for swimming, AKA triathlons might be much better than a dive suit. They're expensive but an older used one can be had cheaply.Oct 23, 2009 at 6:19 pm #1539187
@romandialLocale: packrafting NZ
Richard's got a good point about a dive suit's cut.
Maybe you could buy a used dive suit and modify it by removing the arms?
Packrafting is pretty wet, but it's sort of chest down wet as you are often sitting in a puddle and it's the legs and butt that get you cold. That's why Farmer John with paddle top is good. So long as you are not swimming you should stay more comfortable than you'd think without the arm insulation.Oct 23, 2009 at 6:27 pm #1539191
Michael MartinBPL Member
@mikemartinLocale: North Idaho
I've spent a fair number of days paddling in both wet and drysuits, as well as swam hundreds of miles in trisuits.
1) Wetsuits are miserably uncomfortable to wear all day…especially for multiple days.
2) Dive wetsuits don't allow proper upper body mobility for paddling, exacerbating #1.
3) Tri Wetsuits don't have a nylon exterior and would abrade quickly at contact points like the seat.
4) Drysuits rock. ;-)
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.