Perhaps it is, but make sure you also consider the thickness of the insulation layers you’ll be adding. A drysuit on it’s own offers almost no thermal protection in the water.
I own a Kokatat Expedition XL, more for the height than the width. But I’ve found when paddling in the winter that the extra bulk is handy. I’d love to have different sizes for different conditions, but I’d also love to win the lottery… which you need to play in order to win, and I don’t.
I’ll gladly spend more on clothing than a boat or paddle so i can boat in the winter( in wv)- your life could depend upon it, so going cheap ain’t a good idea for true winter paddling- just my two cents
You don’t want to die dumb because you cheaper out.
Ok. I hear you. But, even with the “best” gear, nothing is 100%.
I don’t know the statics of it, but I think I am actually more likely to die pedaling to work than going out paddling. I wear my helmet and reflective clothing. Still several years back, a woman broadsided me in front of an entrance to a mall and sent me flying 20’ or more across the road. I tucked in the air and rolled and came up luckily with a few minor bruises (my bike fared much worse). Another time, my attention lapsed and I went into a pothole and did a head over heels with my feet clipped into the pedals. I got knocked out and blew out my knee (torn ACL and ripped meniscus). Having experienced these, I could give up biking (as many has suggested and some said outright) and get into a car crawl through traffic on the daily commutes… No thanks. I acknowledge that I may die yet while commuting by bike. But, when the times comes, so be it. No one lives forever (and I don’t want to).
Don’t do it! I haven’t read through all the posts so, my apology if this has been stated. My point is that wet suits are not designed to be used in air. Under water, there is no evaporative cooling, therefore you stay warm. In air, you are always cooling down (assuming the suit is wet). I find a wet suit good on a super hot summer day because of this. My opinion would be to go with a windbreaker if you can’t afford a dry suit. Of course, when it comes to clothing and staying warm, time is always an issue. An hour in a wet suit may not kill you but, a full day on the water in windy conditions may give you hypothermia. I went the wetsuit route early in my kayaking life. I soon ditched it for the above reasons.
So Sparky, are you a clothing retailer. I’m just trying to prevent an inexperienced user from making a big mistake. Even after the initial poster stated he’d be out in 50 degree air, people are still suggesting a wetsuit. And as to your post about sweating in a dry suit, I wear a Kokatat dry bib and anorak and, I stay dry as a powdered babies bottom. You get what you pay for. And, the web is the land of misinformation.
Yes I believe you need a windbreaker with a wetsuit in 50° air. Don’t really bother with my wetsuit much anyway. Water below 60° definitely a drysuit for me. I am usually alone paddling and feel better in it. Even 65° water I’ll use drysuit some times.
The O’Neill chart is fairly close to what works for me, until the blue zones. In those, the upper end matches my “comfortable” zone but the lower end would be Get Out Quickly territory. And in the purple zone, it is strictly drysuit time for me.
The chart, and others like it, is only a starting point to determine what YOU need.
Fit matters, too. A lot. Make sure the wetsuit is snug enough to minimize flush-through of water.