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Lavacore instead of wetsuit for 77F 25C water?

jimqpublic

Love snorkeling in warm water.
May 4, 2006
185
12
108
I will be going to Maui, Hawaii in January and want to be comfortable in the water. I mostly snorkel on the surface with dives to the reef from 10 to 30 feet (10m) depth.

I just returned from a trip and was a bit cool after an hour in the water on cloudy days or when in bays with cold-water springs. I was fine on sunny days. January water temperature is predicted to be about 3 degrees cooler at 77F (25C). I wore board shorts, a 1.5mm neoprene T-shirt, and a long sleeve hooded lycra rashguard. I would rather not add more buoyancy since I'm diving so shallow. I want long sleeves and a hood for sun protection.

I recently learned about Lavacore and Sharkskin garments. They use a fleece lining inside a stretchy water resistant membrane. The idea is the fleece holds water in place, the membrane keeps flushing to a minimum. Since they don't have foam, they are neutral buoyancy. Claims of warmth are equivalent to a 2-3 mm wetsuit which would be great for my use.

We tend to try out different beaches, go to town for lunch, etc. so having an insulating top over board shorts is a lot more convenient than a full wetsuit.

Any experience with these types of garments?
 

Brochman

Active Member
Jul 16, 2016
159
69
43
I remembered having a discussion on the same topic with someone a couple of years ago so backtracked to dig this one out but hope it helps.
 
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