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wetsuits for snorkeling?

Binghamton, New York
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56 posts
20 reviews
16 helpful votes
wetsuits for snorkeling?
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Would any of you recommend bringing my own wetsuit (we love to snorkel and plan to do a lot of it) - or renting one? wheres the best place to rent one? Is it too icky to rent the whole thing rather then just the top?

When snorkeling on the Cayman Islands last year I was very cold and told myself I would get one before our next trip. But now the suitcase space is seeming too precious to bring one for our upcoming trip in late January.

Barb

pzp
Kauai, Hawaii
Destination Expert
for Kauai, Kapaa
Level Contributor
27,037 posts
45 reviews
20 helpful votes
1. Re: wetsuits for snorkeling?
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I wear a vest, which seems to be fine. (And I get cold easily.) I wouldn't go with more than a shortie, and you may not need more than a top.

Nanaimo, Canada
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31,873 posts
115 reviews
79 helpful votes
2. Re: wetsuits for snorkeling?
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It does depend on what you are used to. All three of my kids laughed at the fellow trying to get them to rent a suit when they were snorkeling in Molokini. But then, my son goes scuba diving on the west coast even in November. And they swim at Long Beach in the autumn as well, when every one else is wanting to send them to a psychiatrist!

So, if you were cold in the Cayman Islands, and you have your own suit, I think I would be trying to make room for it. Especially if you intend on spending a lot of time in the water. My son did pack his own wet suit when he went scuba diving in Maui. He only went once, but he still packed it. He is 6' 4" though, and I don't think he would have been comfortable renting one for that. Never used it EVER for just snorkeling though.

Sorry, don't know if I helped you or not!

S W Arkansas
Destination Expert
for Kihei, Maui, Hana, Haleakala National Park
Level Contributor
13,228 posts
20 reviews
9 helpful votes
3. Re: wetsuits for snorkeling?
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I find room for my shortie when I come in winter or the spring.

Binghamton, New York
Level Contributor
56 posts
20 reviews
16 helpful votes
4. Re: wetsuits for snorkeling?
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Many thanks!

Barb

Washington DC...
Level Contributor
17,946 posts
26 reviews
183 helpful votes
5. Re: wetsuits for snorkeling?
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We bring our shorties and rash guards. Saves on sunscreen, too!

Snohomish...
Destination Expert
for Maui
Level Contributor
24,095 posts
17 reviews
59 helpful votes
6. Re: wetsuits for snorkeling?
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It really is what you are used to...my crew is fine in rash guards for snorkeling in the winter months but we also swim at home when it hits 70!

ON, Canada
Level Contributor
17,248 posts
46 reviews
158 helpful votes
7. Re: wetsuits for snorkeling?
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I would definitely recommend bringing your own. We like to stay in the water for a long time when we snorkel and there's no way we could do it without wetsuits (3mm) ... and that's in late April/early May when the water is likely warmer that when you'll be there. If we do a short snorkel, we skip the wetsuits, but if we didn't have them, it would really limit our snorkelling.

We use a duffle bag for our snorkel gear (plus hiking shoes, and other stuff that fits better in a duffle bag than it does in a suitcase). I would rather pare down the amount of clothing that I take (esp. when staying in a condo with a w/d) than leave my wetsuit at home.

Reedsport, Oregon
Level Contributor
4,090 posts
42 reviews
23 helpful votes
8. Re: wetsuits for snorkeling?
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We usually bring ours. The water no matter how many people say it's like bath water is pretty cool to us. This last August we bought some of the neoprene rashguards which usually are 1-1.5mm thick and easily pack in our carry-on's. They worked pretty good at the end of August which water temps are at their highest but you will be there when they are at their coolest. From everything I have heard the Caribbean is warmer than the islands so if you had issues down there I'm willing to bet you will be colder in the islands. I'm sure all the snorkel shops clean their equip well but I have always had an issue with wearing a suit that hundreds have worn before me. Same with our snorkel gear. We usually have one checked luggage for snorkel gear. The $50 extra dollars is worth it to us knowing it's our gear and it will fit right.

Binghamton, New York
Level Contributor
56 posts
20 reviews
16 helpful votes
9. Re: wetsuits for snorkeling?
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I think thats what I may do....we do have our own snorkels and fins...I'll just pack it in the suitcase.with them. Next week....purchase a shorty!

Barb

Sacramento...
Level Contributor
625 posts
22 reviews
14 helpful votes
10. Re: wetsuits for snorkeling?
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If you truly get cold (as I do to) and are going to purchase, you might want to consider a full length one. I use my full length 3mm in July so I can stay in the water for over an hour without having to get out.

It folds up pretty compactly. Yes people look at me a little oddly as I shimmy into my suit on a warm beach in the sun, but maybe they understand after they come out after 30 minutes to warm up!

My hubby on the other hand is just fine in a rash guard but only stays in a short time.

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