I seem to take a mountain of clothing with me and to date it’s proved pretty effective at allowing me to fish several hours in very cold conditions. On a very cold winters day I’ll wear thin thermal leggings with snowboarding trousers on top. Above the waist I wear two thermal tops and a cotton artic top. I’ll also wear two pairs of military artic socks. That amounts to seven items of under clothing!. See my winter clothing post.
My new Typhoon PS200 Xtreme dry suit came with a typhoon lightweight thermal fleece undersuit. It’s a decent piece of kit though I don’t consider that it’s up for those cold winter days in the UK where the temperature can be the wrong side of 0˚C.
I decided to purchase an undersuit that’s specifically designed to be worn below a drysuit whilst diving. These come in various grades to suit the water temperature. As I’ll be sitting stationary for several hours at a time with minimal time spent paddling, I know from experience that you can chill off very quickly indeed. I’m hoping that this will prove to be a good solution to staying warm on those cold days. The model I purchased is the Weezel Extreme one piece undersuit. It’s nicely padded with four layers of material designed to maintain warmth whilst wicking away moisture. There’s no requirement for additional under layers which means I’ve substituted five pieces of clothing for one!.
It looks a little bulkier in the stock photos shown above, in reality it’s not so bulky and compresses within the drysuit. There are foot loops that prevent the suit from riding up when slipping into the drysuit. There are also thumb holes in the cuffs for the same purpose. The zip is dual direction so access to the drysuit convenience zip remains unaffected.There are also two deep hip pockets which can be used to keep hands warm whilst wearing only the undersuit.
I’ve tried it on and it’s very easy to get into and comfortable to wear. Slipping into a drysuit created no issues and it’s easily accommodated beneath the drysuit, as was expected.
Cold feet have always been an issue during the very cold sessions so I also took the opportunity to purchase and test out some new socks. I ended up going for a pair of Fourth Element Xerotherm Arctic Socks. They’re lightweight and are said to have excellent thermal properties and are designed to wick moisture away from the foot whilst preventing moisture from re-entering the sock. They tuck under the Weezel undersuit whilst allowing the undersuit foot loops to slip over the socks.
Obviously the above clothing is purely for the winter months when temperatures are towards zero or below, though in the UK that can be for many weeks!