Layering For Warmth
A little neoprene only goes a little ways, meaning millimeters do count. As a general rule, 3mm wet suits work for the Caribbean and 7mm wet suits work for Michigan diving. However, water temperatures vary greatly in the Caribbean depending on both location and the time of year. For example, in October, St. Lucia was a lovely 84`F but just two months later, Bonaire was down to 81`F. By this February, Florida and the Bahamas will be in the mid to high 70's. A few degrees may not sound like a lot but underwater it is. So, will a 3mm wetsuit be warm enough on your vacation? For many of us, the answer is no.
Besides packing multiple wet suits, what's your option?
Consider layering neoprene. It's affordable and takes very little luggage space. Your options are....
1. Neoprene Vests: These come in an array of men and women sizes. Vest add an additional 3mm of warmth plus they cover the back zipper of the wetsuit, greatly reducing water flow into your suit which also increases warmth.
2. Hooded Vests: This option reduces water flow thru the back zipper AND also down the neck which increase warmth. Plus you add 3mm additional torso warmth on the body and 5mm on your head. The hood also keeps your hair 'contained'. Hate hoods? This is more comfortable than the norm and you can push it back during the dive when you don't want to wear it, think a hoodie.
3. Rash Guards: There are rash guards for sun protection, rash guards for fashion statements and rash guards for warmth. Lycra rash guards are not the warmth building kind. Let me repeat this, lycra will not make you warmer, in fact in the wind, it will make you colder. If you are looking for warmth layering rash guards, check out our new stock form Scubapro. Very Nice!