Dry suit hood

First… I am new to dry suits… I picked up a used Sweet Protection Intergalactic dry suit and plan to do some winter paddling and rolling. So far, I have used it in 50 to 60 degree temps, and absolutely love it! With the warmer temps, I have had no need for a hood. Trying to plan for winter, as its sneaking up fast, what is the best hood I can get to use with it?

Would the Pinnacle 7mm Dry Suit Hood work okay with this? Seems like it would? Since I’ve never worn a hood, I’m not sure what I should really be looking for…


Second… It IS common to wear a hood with a suit like this, isn’t it? I sent an email to Sweet Protection asking for recommendations on a hood, and their answer made me wonder…


If it is cold enough to need a dry suit, air or water, it is cold enough to justify a hood. Especially if you end up in the water, you can lose a huge percentage of body heat from your head.

That said, a 7mm hood like the diving one you show is usually too warm for paddling. Great for practicing rolls etc in 45 degree water, I have a couple of such hoods from my younger and colder water days.

For most of my paddling, I use a thinner one like this from NRS or Kokatat. In chillier stuff I just put it around my neck before I launch, not up, so I can just pull it over my head without having to fuss with anything if weather breaks down.

NRS has a somewhat thicker and fancier one than I use, but it looks like a nice hood. It is 2.5mm which is about as thick as most paddlers would find comfortable to wear over the duration of a paddle.

What about in 32 to 35 degree water?

I thought this was an odd response to get from Sweet Protection…

In 30 odd degree water for the thicker diving dry hood if you plan to be practicing. For paddling a distance you may find it too hot.

I suspect that the reply above is cautioning against sticking the bottom part of the hood under the dry suit neck gasket. I would agree this is a bad idea since it messes up how water tight the gasket will be and perhaps risks early breakdown by it having to fit over that.

But I also think the person replying was not even thinking about having the hood be on top of the suit, and frankly for someone in Norway I find that a little odd. I like feeling a continuity of coverage when I do need a hood, so I don’t have cold water or rain coming into the gap just below my helmet or hat and above the neck gasket.

That makes sense… I didn’t think of it that way. I was planning to put the hood OVER the neck gasket of the suit. IF I’m going to wreck a gasket, I’d rather it was the hood, and not the suit! Thanks for the comments! I believe I will get one of each. The 7mm and the 2.5mm NRS Storm Hood. Thanks for the help!

I don’t see temps as low as you are talking, so my experience may not be as useful. But I go with a cap made of neo or wool or some sort of wicking material.

I wear glasses when paddling, so this somewhat limits the type of cap I can wear. I can’t do the ones that have necks on them (like the diving hood that the OP listed), as the glasses would not feel comfortable under it getting to ears and would reduce the benefit of them, letting water in at glasses arms). But I like ones that do have a strap and buckle, as these help assure the glasses stay in place. Something like the Kokatat Surfskin Cap (https://amzn.to/2ntPeIc).

Before I left the frozen northland, I would use a ~2mm balaclava hood similar to this one https://www.nauticexpo.com/prod/rooster-sailing-limited/product-26568-461695.html

Once moving, it was plenty warm and prevented cold shock of my head when I would swim. On the really cold days (like 30* air and 33* water) I would put on a wool or synthetic cap. I liked the thinner balaclava with a cap method because when you were working hard and getting hot, the layering allows you to cool off a bit while still being comfortable.

My guess is you will find 7mm very warm, and also rather sound dampening. even 2 or 3mm will reduce sound volume a little.

General cold water paddling [https://kokatat.com/product/surfskin-balacalva-insuba]If you are going to roll practice in 30F range water that 7mm hood should be toasty, probably overkill. I have roll practiced in the kokatat bala many times in 30F water. It’s the air temp / windchill in cold weather paddling that is harsh. Water only gets so cold before it gets hard. Windchill in teens and I sport the tuilik over the dry suit.