We are headed to Australia on a live aboard for a week. 77 degree average temp. I have a super stretch 3mm that I love but I believe I will be cold. My question is should I go for a vest layer under the 3mm or buy a new 5 mm? Yes, I am going for a hood.
For 77 degree water I would go with the 5mm and take a 3mm hooded vest as a backup. On a liveaboard you'll tend to do quite a few dives and your core will get cool.
We did the same think a live aboard for 7 day bur our average water temp was a few degrees more and as the week progressed I needed my 5mm suit and my 3mm vest for some reason after a few days of diving your body temp is harder to stay warm . Definitely go for the 5mm suit you won't be sorry
It depends on how cold you think you may be. If you get cold very easily, even in 77 degrees, a 5 mm may be best. I, however, would opt for the vest, even though I'm pretty warm-blooded. Mid-day dives in 77 degree water might get too warm in a 5, and a vest will keep your core warm in cooler early morning or evening dives.
Hi Shannon - We were in Hawaii this past April and the temp was 78-79.
In the past we were ok with a skin + 3mm full or shorty. Not this time. We needed 5-6mm. Whether you can get by with just 6mm on your core and 3mm everywhere else, only you can say. Personally, I'd buy the vest and try a 5mm when you get to Australia. Hopefully the boat will have some to try.
Hope this helps. Have a great trip!