I don't know if I just have very calm bees but I have mostly inspected without any gear other that nitrile gloves for the past couple of years. I will occasionally throw on a veil when it is cloudy. They seem a bit antsy when the sun isn't shining.
What I started doing which seems to work is that I smoke myself head to toe before I open the hives. I will also give myself a smoke recharge as I work. Maybe this works because the bees can no longer smell me but it is working well. It is a pleasure to not have to wear the extra protection especially during summer heat.