So, I’ve had the Soul Drysuit for a while now and feel sufficiently impressed to say a few words. First off, I’m kiting on the East Coast of Canada (Gods Land) and I’ve used the suit in +10 Celcius to about 0 Celcius (cold enough there were flurries in +30 knots ).
It’s true, layer up or down for the conditions on a given day and you can stay warm without the loss of mobility- say good bye to the 5/6 wetsuit. It’s pretty sweet going out in 5/6mm wetsuit conditions in the Soul and still having the freedom of movement like you’re in pajamas! This is the #1 reason I bought the suit. For me, the biggest deterent going out in the cold was having to wear a thick restrictive wetsuit (and I’ve owned a few different brands) that saps your strength and limits your athleticism. It’s a cold water performance issue that’s been resolved by using the Soul. This is great because some of our best conditions for kiting/SUP are in the winter. And yes, it’s pretty nice getting in/out of the Soul all dry and toasty warm vs. freezing cold and wet getting out of a wetsuit (or driving home wearing it).
More to follow
I know a lot of this is ‘personal preference’ and everyone has a slightly different comfort zone. But in general is there a fairly standard chart somewhere that equates a given thickness or grade of drysuit insulation to a given temp range?
As stated in the subtopic I’m specifically interested in under a 3.5 mm crushed neoprene type wetsuit (Waterproof brand, D10 Pro), as that’s what I’ve got arriving shortly.
For my first real “open” (well, cavern, but certainly non-pool) dives with it I’ll be in a mine at 58 deg (F). For that temp I’m thinking even just a thin set of polypropylene undies as more of a moisture transport/wicking material vs. a lot of airspace “loft” or “fleece” layer should be enough. Prior experience has mostly been in the 70deg (F) plus range. Last trip, 3-tank days with 1 hr per dive at 78deg water temps with a 2/2 shorty I was getting a bit chilled, but in general I don’t think I’m that cold-natured.
I will be wearing a hood and wet gloves - both probably 3-5 mm thicknesses