Cool weather: wet suit/splash pants????

Now that it is starting to cool off I am wondering what to wear.

I am planning on getting a Farmer John style wet suit (probably from NRS) for winter use, and for use in the cold Pacific near Monterey where I will be moving to in about a month or two.

I am wondering whether or not to get splash pants. I use a splash top in cooler weather and like it. However, if you have a wet suit, is there any point to using splash pants at all?

Can splash pants be dangerous? Since they are sealed at the ankles, if you were to have to do a wet exit, is it likely that you could have water enter at the waist, and then not drain out the bottom, thus filling with water and pulling you down??? Just a thought that occured to me.

thanks for your help


Splash pants
I wear splash pants and jacket with my wetsuit. I’ve found that on windy days I get chilled with the wetsuit only as the water evaporates more quickly. Splash pants typically only have elastic at the bottom hem so water drains out pretty easily. Conversely, it also enters easily so if you do a wetfoot entry like me you get a nice jolt of cold water in the crotch when you sit down.

Splash pants
Welcome to Monterey!

I wear Hydroskin John here - and I am on a surf ski.

I suggest you move first and than decide what to wear.

Sergey / Monterey CA

Splashwear/ Wetsuit
Early and late season, and now until my drysuit arrives (finally broke down and ordered one), I have tended to use a combination of an NRS wetsuit and splashwear (top and bottom) or wetsuit and drytop. As the season get colder I up the warmth of the top I wear under the wetsuit - starting with regular rashguard then moving to something like hydroskin or NRS’s mystery top. I have used this combination down to 50-60 degree air and mid-fifties water temperatures. This includes pond practice of rolling or rescues, where I can expect to do some swimming.

It works well because the splashwear or drytop will keep the exposed body portions from getting chilled by the wind and allow the neoprene layers to do their work. As said by an earlier poster, just the wetsuit etc layer without a wind-blocking top gets cold in air once it is wet. In fact if I could get up on every roll attempt, I’d probably stay pretty dry.

I’ve never had any water in the splashwear arms or legs be a problem until I started walking out and found myself dragging a couple of small weights on my ankles. In the water, it has never been an issue - they must float.


filled water and pulling you down
Having filled chest waders with water on a number of occasions while fishing before I learned to wear a belt with them, I found that filled with water in water is no issue. After all how much does water in dry pants or waders, in my case, weigh under water?

Now when you walk up on the bank, you’ll notice an issue, but you won’t be drug down to the bottom because your britches are full of water.

Case in point, wearing chest waders while fishing out of a canoe. Flipped the boat and was floating in the water. Feet up due to trapped air. I forced my feet down and head to surface and burped some air out of the waters and floated fine. If I had allowed the waders to completely fill with water, the floation remaining would have been equivalent to my pfd and the neoprene waders. I wouldn’t have been drug to the bottom.

Best of Luck,

Steve G.