If you are in the process of choosing the right Wetsuit, you may be wondering what type of zip to choose on it. Today, there are three types of zips: back zip, front zip and zipless. We explain the advantages and disadvantages of these to help you make your choice! If you are wondering what size neoprene would be ideal, don’t hesitate to consult our guide to choosing the thickness of your wetsuit.
Zipless suits (without zipper)
hile they were quite rare a few years ago, the suits without zipper have become widely democratized recently. This is due, among other things, to the technical advances made in the neoprene material, which now provides enough flexibility and resistance to offer this type of product.
Indeed, at first sight, when you have a zipless suit in your hands, you don’t know how you are going to fit in… The opening in the collar usually has a left/right separation that allows you to spread the hole in the collar to pass your body through. This often involves pulling on the neoprene, more than you would on a zip suit.
The advantage of not having a zip is to enjoy a maximum waterproofness once put on. Indeed, the ends of the zips are often a place where water infiltrates slightly, except on specialized drysuits as it exists for diving.
In addition, it limits the maintenance costs of the zip. These can rust or oxidize over time, and be a source of frustration if not repaired. By the way, if you need to repair your suit’s zip, don’t hesitate to contact us!
- No risk of rust on the zip
- Better sealing
- More comfortable
- Applying more pressure on the neoprene to put it on: risk of damaging it
- Tighter waistline: no question of putting on extra pounds when you’ve found your size!
- More difficult to put on/off
The suits with back zip
The most classic model of neoprene suits: the back zip. The latter is simply the easiest to put on. By opening the zipper all the way, you can put on the suit without effort in a few seconds. A cord is usually attached to the slider so that it can be pulled up by itself.
If we take care of it, it is this last one which is the most sensitive to offer a light maintenance: because its large opening normally allows not to force on the neoprene. Only the zip, very long, is at risk of wear, but if the suit is maintained, no risk.
Since there is no perfect combination, the back zip has some flaws, especially in terms of comfort…
- easy to put on
- Less risk of damaging the neoprene
- Stiff in the back
- No more water infiltration
- Less comfort in general, that’s why regular surfers sometimes look for other models
The suits with front zip
This article ends with the zip front, a mixture of the two models presented above.
The front zip offers a small zipper at the front of the suit, at the level of the chest. This opening allows for a better opening of the suit when putting it on, which reduces the risk of damaging it that is found on the zipless, and allows it to be put on more quickly than the zipless.
The maintenance of this suit is a little lower than for the back zip suits because the zipper is simply shorter.
The big weakness of this type of suit is its lack of comfort on the chest, where the horizontal pressure of the zip tends to be felt.
- A good in-between : comfort / neoprene life / waterproofness
- Not very comfortable on the torso (feel free to try it on to get an idea before you buy).
if you want to surf without spending too much time putting on a wetsuit or even taking it off. If you want to spend “little” time in the water, or don’t mind the back zip or having a little water seep in, then the back zip is a good plan.
f you want to surf for several hours and you have the patience to put on a zipless (a few minutes before and after the session), while enjoying maximum comfort, at the risk of having your wetsuit repaired from time to time for neoprene that is too damaged, then the zipless is for you!
For an in-between time, you will have understood that the zip front is not bad. Don’t hesitate to try by renting before buying!