Hey Captain, I’ve heard that most heat loss is through the head, so I’m wondering if wearing a hood with my 4/3 is a better idea than wearing a 5/4. Can you tell me how much of a difference wearing a hood makes? –Blair P., San Francisco, CA.

BLACKSHORTS RESPONDS: Shiver me timbers lad, your question sends a chill up me spine. Ayyy, there’s no doubt a huge amount of heat is lost through your head (between 40 and 70 percent since blood vessels don’t vasoconstrict up top), so wearing a skullcap will not just keep your head but your whole body warmer, especially if it’s windy or you’re duckdiving like a scurvy dog. One of my NorCal buccaneer buddies has tried it all and reckons he’s warmer when he wears a seam-sealed 4/3 with a hood rather than a bulkier 5/4 without one. So, matey, unless you like those ice-cream headaches, dig up a neoprene scarf, tie it around your noggin and raid those northern waters for all they’re worth.

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