Mystery storm hood

Water 50F, air 40-50F.

I have a mystery scull cap. Two problems; doesn’t cover the back of my neck, and water get’s in the ears.

I did buy the HYPERFLEX BY HENDERSON 5MM MAGMA WINTER HOOD (thanks to the posters in the thread on cold water hoods.) Keeps the water out of my ears really well! Maybe thicker and tighter than I need though. (duh, I should have bought an XL instead of an L. I didn’t want to err on the loose side for ear protection.) Also my goggles for rolling don’t fit under the bill and in the face opening that well. They seal on my skin, but it’s touchy.

I’m wondering about the mystery storm hood. I think it would be warm enough since it covers the back of the neck. Does it keep the water out of your ears though? Not crazy about the flare at the bottom of the neck tunnel. I guess that would tuck in around the neck seal of dry top/suit, then velcro the dry top fabric over it.

There’s lots of 3mm hoods here too.

Paul S.

If you have a bigger head than me it might keep water out of your ears - for my smaller head the Mystery hood mostly slows the rate of incoming. I think the dive caps that are designed in more sizes may be a better idea, or the paddling products made by companies that are primarily scuba outfitters. A friend of ours showed up to paddle last week with a really nice hood by Deep Sea, or Deep Six, forget which, that I want to look around for.

But for really keeping water out of your ears, important since cold water in your ears will make you dizzy, go with Doc’s Plugs. Vented so that you can still hear, and get the leashed ones. Also recommend red so that when they do land in the water unexpectedly you can still see them.

Doc’s Plugs has a webiste to whihc you can send mail to find the nearest vendor.

Rapidstyle survival hood
same price. aside from the titanium same materiat more or less. cut so that it can be put up around the chin or not. Covers the neck but less flare at the bottom. good for a quick roll or wet exit but not as warm as a properly fittedd 3mm hood.

The NRS Mystery Storm Hood to which you linked has full-thru perforations near the ears, to facilitate hearing, but which would also undoubtedly let water in. Click to enlarge and see the holes over the ears.

The Mystery storm hood
will let water in around your face and into your ears. I put one over top of the other in really cold water which makes for a very tight fit, but I still take water in the ears, even with two on.

Thanks everyone.
I’ve written it off. Sure wish I could walk into a store and try on a bunch of the 3mm hoods like they have at Oh well, the 5mm one I did buy isn’t bad. Moving on. Thanks again.

Paul S.

Just bought the 3mm Henderson
based on your comments. I have been looking for one also. Hopefully it will keep the water out of my ears. Basically I am trying to get the same type of head protection I get with my Brooks tuiliq and this should do the trick with my semi dry suit. (stohlquist body pod)


50 Degree Water…
I am still in a 4/3 and wearing a goretex baseball cap under my helmet.

The surf hood is the best head immersion once water drops below 40. Combined that with silicone grease on exposed skin surfaces. I’ve been winter surfing for three years with that.

I wear glasses. So, I sewed and sealed two neoprene loops on the sides of the temple areas to run my earpieces through and then loop a eyeglass strap on to keep they eyeglasses in place. This has worked well and stayed in place through most of my surfing, except for the one time a wave broke right on the side of my head. Push the glasses side ways resulting in a cut to the bridge to my nose. No big deal since it was great wave day.


Sounds like a good choice
I kind of wish I’d got that one. The visor is the only thing that made me go for the 5mm. As Sing pointed out below, there’s other ways to get a visor though.

Paul S.

the one I ordered is in 3mm with the visor.


Oh yeah, bad memory.
It wasn’t that it didn’t have a visor, it was that it did have a bib. I didn’t want the bib.

Paul S.

1.5mm hood
I just picked up the thinner 1.5mm hood from the scuba shop as I won’t go out into 40degree water like you die hards and have heard from many folks that the 3mm hoods are good for rolling practice but not for paddling. (too hot)

So I just decided to try the thinner hood so who knows - maybe I will still sweat in it when paddling yet still freeze when I do a roll…in other words, not good for anything!



this morning
Lake Murray, SC

air temp 41

water temp 63.8

more comfortable hanging under the boat than on the surface.

felt almost like bath water given the wind and air temperature!


For me
in 40F air any full hood would be too hot. A 0.5 mm scull cap is plenty and sometimes just a ripstop rain hat. If the 1.5 mm keeps water out of your ears it might be fine for rolling. And just depends on the person I guess whether it would be too hot for paddling.

Paul S.

not me
40 degrees for this florida transplant with the head wet and a good wind would get me off the water in a hurry…gimme a tuiliq or a 3mm hood! Of course with no wind, and just cruising it would be definitely too much.


It gets comfy
We paddled thru last winter, strictly speaking, in upstate NY. Not planned - snowshoeing type snow was hard to find w/o a decent drive and some water stayed pretty open. So I was religiously over-dressed compared to my companions considering that I was staying fully upright when the water hit 40 and below.

The only time I ever had with wearing a hood that was maybe a bit much was when we stopped for a break, where I wasn’t working hard enough to overcome the effect of the wind on a sweated head. So I just kept a spare dry wool cap for that. But really didn’t have any problem with the neo hood being too much while paddling.

o neil
I got the 0.5mm hood

And it actually does a pretty good job of keeping the head warm if you roll in BC early spring. Now,the neck is a whole other story because there’s no neck’s not watertight but after a couple rolls my ears aren’t full of water,though wet. and it’s actually very comfortable for just paddling in. don’t get sweaty if its not HOT out,very comfortable.

I just wish they made a full neck version.

looks like
I made the right decision but only time will tell. got confirmatin within a day but then told it would not be here until around the 29th!!! over 10 days to stuff a hood into a small box or envelope?


Oneil 1.5
I ordered the Oneil 1.5mm to stay warm yet not overheat and also just got an email saying it was backordered and not shipping till the 29th…

Did those guys go on early Thanksgiving vacation or what?


got no message about back order. I suspect you are right about the thanksgiving break.