Tom Kirkman wrote:
Because of the nature of the Islands - drysuits are not exactly ideal. On the Islands, water comes up from beneath you, so you're going to get wet. Water will get past the dry suit. Count on it.
I shifted to a pair of Zhik Hydrophobic Fleece top and bottoms. Yes, I get soaked, but I'm not cold. The stuff is very warm. I still wear a dry top sometimes just to cut down on splash, but just the fleece on the bottom. Cost me about $200 total and I won't go back to a dry suit.
I too have to jump on this comment. Water gets past your DRY suit? How is that? A Dry suit is dry. IF water is getting in, you have the wrong size.
To answer the question posed, I wear a 3 or 5mm Shorty Wetsuit and at times have gone for my full suit that is extreme at 8mm but only if it's cold out. I get them wet and let my body heat it back up before going out. I wear the Hobie Spray Top / jacket over the suits if the wind is really kicking. (Nasty = Fun!)
Admittedly, I had a heart attack at $150 US original price for the spray top. Not sure if my whine helped but now they are $99. You cannot beat them at any price.
I have been out in 46 degree water for 6 hours and no issues