I wore a 4/3 with polyolefin thermals on Saturday in Jersey for 3 hours and never really got cold. Of course the air was almost 50, but the water was 43. I have a 6/4 for REALLY cold days, but would rather have a 5/4/3. A 3/2 and 5/4/3 will get you through the whole year. Add in a 4/3 for the transition and days when the air is warmer when you have the money. The 4/3 is definitely worth the added flexibility when you don't HAVE to wear the 5/4/3.
so you think id be able to make it through the rest of this winter with thermals and a 4-3? thanks for the tips.
If air temps are below freezing and the water dips into the 30's I personally would not try to go out in a 4/3, but I know people that have. But this winter has been so ridiculously mild that you can probably get away with it this year. I would eventually pick up a 5/4/3 for really cold days though.
On really mild days, I wear a GBS and taped 4/3 and I am fine. Maybe I'll throw a long sleeved rashguard and shorts under it if it's breezy out.
On cooler days, I have a 17oz. polyofelin skin with brushed fleece that I wear underneath it. It fits like a second skin, and offers the same bulk as a thicker mm wetsuit. I've been in the water for up to 4 hours on days where there are very gusty offshores with low air temps.
And no - I don't need a life jacket to float with it on.
I paid about $80 for the skin, and I have a Rip Curl 4/3. I really like Rip Curl suits.