Dive Jackets – Staying Warm Out of The Water
Dive jackets are a critical way to stay warm between dives, on the way out, and on the way in on chilly days on the boat. After you use one you will never go on a trip to a chilly place without it. If you are cold out of the water it is all that much more difficult to stay warm in the water. Here are some techniques that can help you keep warm.
Types of Dive Jackets
There are only a few different options and styles of jackets designed for diving and wearing over a wetsuit. The primary function of these jackets is to keep a diver warm. Most of these jackets accomplish this by reducing the amount of wind that can get to the diver. Outside of this they just use different technologies to help insulate the diver. They also are made of materials that are easily cleaned and don’t absorb too much water.
Hyperflex Dive Jackets
These are closed cell neoprene hoodies. Wear these jackets over a wetsuit, or against bare skin before, after, or between activities in the water. These jackets are windproof and hold little to no water. They do stop at the waist, but take up less space than some other brands. Check out a review based article by following the link, or look at a more detailed description here.
Surf-Fur Dive Jacket
Surf-Fur jackets use a windproof and waterproof fabric which helps to keep you dry and warm. These jackets are longer. Additionally, they have built in through pockets which allow you to change out of your swim trunks after your trip. One of the biggest benefits to this style jacket is that it is machine washable. The only downsides to this jacket is that it does have a tendency to collect fish scales, so that machine washable benefit comes in handy. The other downside is they are bulky. This isn’t a big deal if you are using it a lot in your waterways at home, but it makes it a challenge traveling with it.
Other Techniques to Stay Warm in Cold Water
A hot thermos of water is super helpful to get you warm in your wetsuit. Wetsuits work by allowing a small amount of water to come in contact with your skin and allowing your body heat to warm that water. At that point the wetsuit is just insulating you from the water around you. If you are able to pour warm water down your suit before hoping in the water you can get that insulated water on your skin without having to waste your body heat and energy to get the water warm.
In the same strategy as the thermos of warm water, a thermos of warm soup to eat or drink is helpful in keeping your core temperature up. Dairy based soups are a bad idea. There isn’t hard evidence that dairy increases mucous build-up. That being said, there are enough diver experiences to make dairy consumption a questionable dietary choice before or during diving.