Neoprene question

Would neo paddling pants worn with a neo paddling jacket be as effective as a neo Farmer Jane worn under the paddling jacket?

Jacket would be worn over wool and synthetic layers.


What is the thickness and layup?

– Last Updated: Apr-21-16 12:07 PM EST –

Farmer Jane as I recall is 2mm, maybe 3. Neo paddling pants might be thinner.

But paddling pants may also include a fuzzy lining, like Mountain Surf at least used to, and/or some wind blocking layer that is more effective at additional insulation than the Farmer Jane.

From my personal point of view, it is more of a convenience than warmth factor. If you take a swim in any neoprene, you will be wet unless you have it under a dry suit. Which would be kind of silly. You will be cold up in the air unless it is warm and sunny or you have a wind-blocking Jacket. So I see no difference between one piece or neo separates for warmth in a situation.

However, if you want to hit the low tide mark at lunch break for necessaries, separates are a LOT easier.

something seadart posted made me think
He posted about farmer john or janes being inherently subsceptible to getting flushed out. It brought back a memory.

You should use it properly.
Flushing, as it pertains to wetsuits, is your enemy. You want as little space for flushing as is at all possible. If you can layer up under your neoprene jacket, the jacket isn’t serving as a wetsuit. It still provides you with a layer of warmth otherwise, but it can’t work as intended while swimming.

Get the farmer John/Jane with the relief zipper for paddling. A farmer John with a jacket is potentially much better than just the pants for keeping you warm. Why? Again, flushing. There is no flushing between the two layers at the waistline with the farmer John/jacket combo while swimming. I use, and always recommend for someone wanting to use a wetsuit paddling for long periods where relieving yourself throughout the day is necessary, to go with a 3mm farmer John/Jane with relief zipper, and a high-end neoprene flexible top. The O’Neil Superfreak L/S crew top made with technobutter neoprene, or Rip Curl E-bomb pro l/s jacket. The farmer John/Jane doesn’t bother flexibility so much, but the tops do. The top seals off the farmer John/Jane from flushing, gives your core that extra layer, and leaves you nice and flexible. Those two tops, even at 1.5 mm and 1 mm respectively, feel much less restrictive than the .5 mm NRS jacket as a personally experienced example, and are warmer. I’m big on a flexible, non-restrictive top. There is a remarkable difference between these two tops, and even the next step down tops offered by O’Neil and Rip Curl when it comes to paddling flexibility. I’ve tried them, and other brands.

Layer up over your neoprene as much as you want. If the layers help to retain heat without neoprene, they help equally to retain heat with a neoprene skin. Neoprene should be thought of and worn as a 2nd skin. The superthin rashguards underneath seem ok, but nothing more than ultrathin. Nothing that you would consider insulating underneath of your 2nd skin.

In my experience, most paddlers are too tactile finicky to use properly fitted wetsuits. Well, in addition to tactile, fashion and appearance finicky. It all looks and feels better to them when it isn’t skin tight, but it’s also not much use as far as it’s intended to work.

You can use it as an ordinary rubber outer jacket if you like. Just understand that it won’t work as advertised when used as such. You’ll get a lot of paddlers, even on this forum, that use them as rubber coveralls over layers instead of 2nd skin wetsuits. And they’ll still act as insulation. But it’s not nearly as effective as it’s intended to be when properly fitted. I swim in mine all the time. I will be on Saturday quite a bit, although the water temp is up to 63 degrees here already. So I’m not talking about theory and hope and how well it’s worked for me sans capsize, or even how it worked out that one time.

The best outer layer is anything that further prevents flushing underneath of your neoprene, and breaks the wind. You can put 3 wool sweaters and a dry/semi-dry top or paddle jacket on over the top if the weather warrants.

I hope this helps you to sort through what you need.


– Last Updated: Apr-21-16 4:32 PM EST –

Thank you for the input. I guess I should have provided a bit more detail. I have a 3m Farmer Jane wetsuit (no relief zipper, which I regret) and wear Kokatat surfskins over it, then a neo paddling jacket, gloves, boots, etc. Geared up, I feel like a sausage filling stuffed into a casing. Used that setup for paddling into mid-November 2015 and kept warm. Dry until I take off the wetsuit. Only feeling yuckier than that is putting on a cold heart rate monitor strap.

Just got back on the water Tuesday when most of the ice went out. Paddled for 45 minutes and then an hour last night - in the company of a pair of loons and a bald eagle for a while, which was quite terrific.

The repetitive motion of paddling causes muscle/tendon tenderness in my left shoulder and the tight fit of the Farmer Jane puts pressure on that area. That's why I want to ditch the Farmer Jane for now and wear two pieces. The jacket is a size small, fits well, but doesn't create the same pressure point as it's cut a bit roomier in the shoulders.

I have no plans to venture out on Lake Michigan or the big inland lakes for several weeks. When I do, I'll wear the Farmer Jane, etc. For now I just plan to paddle here at home where the water is quieter and I can get to shore (and home) quickly if needed.

Is one brand of neo pants better than another?

It isn’t just you

– Last Updated: Apr-21-16 6:00 PM EST –

It is startling easy to forget about the relief zipper, in fact when l ordered mine before going dry it was actually an expedition Jane to get that. Many years ago.

A lot of people used to like the Mountain Surf pieces with a fuzzy lining and an outer rubberized surface that handled wind ok until you wore big cracks in it. Very soft and comfortable, not as refined for cold as a fancier wet suit but they wore easily. I have no idea if their products are still around.

well hell

– Last Updated: Apr-21-16 5:29 PM EST –

Good thing you don't only have a drysuit! I struggled getting mine on and off with a shoulder injury.

I don't know neo brands, but I'd do what you have to in order to get on the water comfortably and get the shoulder some real-time exercise. Err on the side of caution. The powerboaters should be absent for awhile. Personally I'm shopping for a full wetsuit and probably only using my farmer when it's very warm.

I'm just getting done with feeling bundled up like the kid in the Christmas Story, but as you described there's more to come!

What is a neo paddling jacket?

– Last Updated: Apr-21-16 7:13 PM EST –

If you want to stay warm with adjustable layering you can use 2 mm neo shorts and 2 mm neo wetsuit top with arms and a semi dry top paddling jacket. O'Neil makes excellent flexible 2 mm tops. If you get to warm, just splash or roll.

When you introduce the farmer jane under a paddling jacket it flushes cold water up inside through the arms and shoulders and is not very effective. I'm not a big fan of farmer john wet suit. It might be OK in warm climate.

Ah I just saw the continued thread. Yes don't wear layers under neoprene. A rashguard is good for avoiding problems with the wetsuit rubbing and cold feeling when putting on a wet wetsuit. You can use nylon underpants if you want, most don't bother. 2 mm recomendation is for water above 57 degrees. If colder I would just use a wetsuit and forget all the different layers, semi dry top if it is really cold and windy.

Neo jackets

– Last Updated: Apr-21-16 9:00 PM EST –

They are out there, intended to be an outer layer. I have never worn one myself so can't comment on how well a neo jacket would work , have preferred dry/semi-dry tops. Not at all uncommon in dive shops, which is where those of us who have to think about really chilly water have spent time looking because the stuff is usually a tad thicker than paddling neo. My winter boots are diving dry boots for ex.

1.5 neoprene hydroskin

– Last Updated: Apr-22-16 11:34 AM EST –

jacket is what I've been wearing over the Farmer Jane. It's fleece lined, warm, and comfortable even in the wind. I've never tested it in cold water.

I did test a 2mm shorty Farmer Jane last year in Lake Michigan. Water temp was around 62F. The next day I ordered my full length 3mm FJ and the jacket.

I still have that shorty. It is a bit too large (which is good for my purposes), so before I shell out $100+ for neoprene pants, I think I'll try the shorty under a pair of fleece lined tights, then top that off with my Kokatat surfkins (also lined). With a merino wool shirt and a synthetic rashguard under the jacket, that setup should offer more core protection than two separate pieces and could be the short term solution I need.

Lakes are empty now, SP,
until the Memorial Day convergence of power boats and lake lice (I love that term).

You’re right about “real” exercise. While working out with weights, pulleys, and resistance bands has had good benefits, it can’t replicate getting in a kayak and paddling. Plus, paddling’s more fun.

Different possibility
One of my favorite combos is a 1 or 1.5mm long sleeve neo shirt worn UNDER a 2mm long legged Farmer Jane made by O’Neill. Bahia Jane is the name of the FJ and the top.

Wearing the FJ over the shirt reduces cold water in the armpits. It is not as warm as a 3mm fullsuit but, to me, is a little more comfortable. Also, it is a lot easier to pee because this FJ has a partial zip from neck to chest. No need to bare your upper body.

Good thinking, pikabike.
Gosh, that makes so much more sense; wearing a shirt under the FJ. Not only from the standpoint of ease of undress should you have to visit the loo, but I’d rather have a damp shirt on my torso when stripping off the FJ, than cool clammy skin.

Thanks for the tip!

all the real motions
Not just paddling but bracing, getting in and out, loading, carrying and unloading, just moving about in a lot of gear, those are when I’d usually tweak a healing injury. You’re right, PT exercise doesn’t replicate all that.

Spring is one of my favorite times to paddle because the lake lice are gone, so I have to rein myself in sometimes. This weekend is looking warm though…

Hydroskin is not great for warmth
I have used hydroskin tops and a hydroskin farmer john, just plain old 2 mm neoprene is much warmer. I use the hydroskin top in the summer on cool water.

That jacket is actually quite warm.

It’s kept me quite comfortable in 40F and wind.

They changed some specs
My old FJ is thicker than than the newer one, which seems to be 1.5mm as the current ads state.

My old longsleeve shirt with partial zip is now a full-zip jacket. I don’t think that would be comfortable under the FJ. But RipCurl also makes thin neoprene shirts, so check out the other surf brands, too. I had one of theirs with no zipper. Used it so much I wore through the shoulders!

NRS keeps messing with hydroskin
Year by ear. The current version has some layers built in that make it not at all the same animal as my older stuff from a decade ago.

Sounds good .

Yeah that is quite different
My hydroskin stuff is a lot thinner.