Request for info on winter wetsuits

Request for info on winter wetsuits

Post by Pet » Wed, 20 Nov 1991 01:00:54

    I am considering buying a new wetsuit for use in the winter months
and would
be gratefull for any information about good suits, bad suits or just general
comments about wet suits.

    Winter in the UK usally means an air temprature range of 0-10 oC
(32-50 oF).
This occasionly dips to just below zero oC (27-32 oF). I usally sail in the
English channel or Cornwall.

    My initial general impressions are that there are two main
categories (of cold
weather) suits :-
        i)  The 'older' style, smoothskin neophrene, with a fairly water
            zip that goes right up to the neck.
        ii) 'Newer' style, also smoothskin, with a metal dry zip that runs
            across the top of the shoulders. Some of these have coloured
            They also tend to have wrist and neck holes made with thin
            neophrene that folds back on itself to make a tight seal.
            These suits also typically claim to be 'nearly-dry' or 'semi-dry'.

    My current suit is 4mm double sided with a front zip that lets water
trickle in. I find that this is fine in spring and autum but not really warm
enough for winter use.
I suspect that this may be mainly due to windchill caused by the water not
running of the suit.

    Does anybody have experience with the both types of suit ?
    How much water really gets into the 'semi-dry' suits ?

    I am considering an O'neill Oasis(?) (dry metal zip, 4mm smoothskin
body) or
a Spartan OTT (dry metal zip, 5mm smoothskin body). Does anybody know anything
about these suits (good or bad) ?

    Is it worth also wearing a T-shirt or thermal vest ?

    The next problem is picking the thickness - 4 to 5mm is a jump of 25%.
Does this feel any different with smoothskin ?

    I will post a summary if there is much response/interest in the subject.

    Thanks you,


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