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Zipperless Wetsuits: Exploring High-Performance Wetsuits

The zipperless wetsuit is a new trend that has seen significant growth in the past few years. It was originally created to help reduce water leakage, but many people are now wearing them for aesthetic purposes. We’re going to look at zipperless wetsuits and dive deeper into whether they are good or not.

The zipperless wetsuits are said to be some of the warmest, flexible, and most waterproof suits available for watersports today. Providing you amazing warmth while cutting down on extra zippers and design issues.

So are zipperless wetsuits good or are they just a fad? Well, we can dive in deeper below and help provide more information and context as to why they are quickly becoming the favorite of all water enthusiasts!

Wetsuits on a rack near the water with a mix of zipperless and zippered wetsuits

What is a Zipperless Wetsuit?

Rather than relying on a zip, as the name implies, this wetsuit has two layers of tightly fitting neoprene that overlap one another to keep you warm.

Why Do Divers Wear Speedos?

This suit is the most adaptable since there’s no zip restricting it. It has the finest range of motion and the least amount of flushing because of this suit’s unrestricted fit. Getting in and out of this garment might be a little more difficult, but once you’ve mastered how to do it, you’ll find it straightforward.

Zipperless wetsuits are generally constructed of stretchier neoprene, making them easier to slip into. You’ll benefit from it on the water as much as you will while changing.

Why Choose a Zipperless Wetsuit?

For many, the reason to want a zipperless wetsuit is for the looks. With all of the extra zippers being removed, it simply leaves a cleaner-looking wetsuit design which many people are drawn to.

Another reason that zipperless wetsuits have become so popular is that they’re watertight and do not leak even when fully submerged or worn under dry suits. This makes them a very versatile option for many water sports and activities.

Are Zipperless Wetsuits Good?

They are good, but they aren’t perfect by any means. They do have their downsides such as the difficulty to get in and out of them without zipping a zipper. Also if you were looking for something with more features than this may not be the ideal wetsuit for you.

But if your top priority is warmth, flexibility, and waterproofing then yes – they are good! They’re great to wear under drysuits or any time that extra water-tightness is needed on a daily basis. You can get them custom-made in many different colors so finding one that suits your personal style is key.

Do Zip Free Wetsuits Work?

The Zipper free options are found in the higher-end performance wetsuits which means that yes, they do work, and they are worth paying more money for when people choose them.

These suits will use an ultra-stretchy neoprene which allows for a simple and easy entry, even though the entry area hole you get in through is much smaller.

Additionally, when you decide to go with a zipperless option you never have to worry about ending a day earlier than expected due to breaking or busting a zipper.

Benefits to a Zip Free or Zipperless

There are many benefits to choosing a zipperless wetsuit which is why they are quickly becoming the go-to choice for all sorts of water enthusiasts. Some of these reasons include:

Warmth

Because the zip is where the water enters the suit, there’s no need to be concerned about it on a zipless wetsuit.

According to several reviews, the 3/2 wetsuit feels like a 2/2 and a 4/3 wetsuit feels like a 3/2 while retaining warmth. The faster something dries, the lighter it is! If you want to enjoy trips into the water multiple times per day without donning a chilly and wet suit, this is fantastic!

Flexible

Many people who enjoy the water and have used zipperless wetsuits praise it for its unrestricted comfort.

However, don’t be frightened by the unusual manner of getting into the suit when trying it on for the first time at a shop.

It’s made of rubber, which wraps around your body after some time (that means it might feel too tight in a store).

Unique

If you want to test a new technology that is still in its infancy, go for it! All of the zip-free wetsuits on the market are of high quality.

Lightweight

The use of a zipperless design works in your favor to help eliminate the weight and bulk of a sewn-in zip closure that comes on the more common wetsuits.

Drawbacks to a Zip Free or Zipperless

There are issues with buying a zipperless wetsuit. Let’s look into some of the most common ones below:

Changing Out of the Wetsuit

It’s difficult to get into and out of the suit at first, if you have a bigger build this can lead to some initial frustrations and effort. Slender and flexible people do not appear to make that mistake as frequently.

Inability to Wear it Half-Way

As the zipless wetsuit’s entrance is somewhat tight, it’s not a good idea to stretch the neck region by leaving the suit half-on for extended periods of time.

Expensive

Because most zipless wetsuits are not mass-produced, they do not yet meet the cost-effective stage for many people.

Not Widely Available

Zipperless wetsuits are a niché-product, and because they are difficult to use, sell, and maintain, it is typically risky for surf shops to keep them in stock.

How to put on a zipless wetsuit?

Best Zipperless Wetsuit Options on Amazon

I found the fixed best options available from quality manufacturers and present them below to help you make a choice on purchasing the CORRECT zipperless option for your needs!

Rip Curl – E-Bomb

Editor Choice
Rip Curl E-Bomb Zip Free 2mm
  • Lighter, ultimate stretch & less water
  • New zip free entry
  • 100% E6 neoprene

Rip Curl – E-BOMB PRO

Best Overall
Rip Curl E-Bomb Pro 2MM GBS Zip Free Wetsuit
  • The E Bomb Zip Free is our Ultimate superstretch performance wetsuit.
  • These suits are designed for maximum flexibility and lightweight performance.
  • Zip Free entry.
  • 100% E5 Neoprene. GBS. Magnet Key pocket.
  • Internal E5 Tape in stress points.

Rip Curl – FLASH BOMB

Best Quality
Rip Curl Flashbomb Wetsuits
  • Should fit snug, but not too tight
  • E5 flash lining
  • Internal stress point E5 flash lining tape
  • 100% external aquaban Plus tape
  • Glued and Blind Stitched
  • Front and back mesh panels

O’Neill – Hyperfreak

Best In Water
O'NEILL Hyperfreak Comp Zen 3/2
  • Should fit snug, but not too tight
  • Zipper less entry lightweight closure system over a 360 degree Barrier with drain holes and a Cinch chord
  • O'Neill exclusive Techno Butter 3 exterior jersey for maximum stretch keeping you Dry and warm
  • O'Neill exclusive Techno Butter 3x the lightest softest warmest inner jersey ever created
  • Super stretch Techno Butter 3x Split Neoprene tape seams to keep you Dry and loose
  • Minimal seam design for Insane flexibility and fit

Quiksilver – Highline

Best Mid-Level
Quiksilver Mens Highline 3/2mm Zipperless Wetsuit
  • F'n LITE x2 is our latest and greatest upgrade in next-level neoprene
  • Coupled with a zipperless design for less bulk and our warmest thermal fleece lining to date
  • WarmFlight x2 Far Infrared thermal lining on body and upper legs
  • WarmFlight thermal fleece lining keeps body heat in and water out on lower legs & arm panels. 
  • Hydrolock, our thinnest, lightest and most flexible external seam seal.

Buyers Guide to Zipperless Wetsuits

For those who need more details on making a choice on the right zipperless wetsuit, I wanted to assemble a bunch of helpful information on making the right purchase.

Sizing the zipless wetsuit is pretty conventional. If you wear a medium rash guard, it’s probably best to choose a size of that brand for your new zipperless suit as well.

WHAT FABRIC DO I NEED?

There are many fabrics but most zipperless will feature a high-end neoprene. A good choice is a 20 mil neoprene, which will be ultra-stretchy and super comfortable when wearing.

WHAT THICKNESS WETSUIT DO I NEED?

Neoprene is a stretchy material that’s often used in wetsuits. Thicker neoprene is warmer, but it’s also less flexible. Wetsuits are available in a variety of thicknesses, ranging from one to three numbers, which are measured in millimeters.

The first figure, X, represents the neoprene thickness around your core, where you’ll want the most insulation. The following numbers (Y and Z), on the other hand, will refer to the thickness of your arms and legs, where you’ll want more flexibility but not as much inner warmth; therefore you’ll get better efficiency.

The type of wetsuit you need will be determined by the location (and time!) where you intend to use it.

If you’re not sure what temperature to wear your new wetsuit, we recommend that you consult the average water temperature at your favorite spot at the time of year you want to get the most use out of your new suit.

WHAT SIZE WETSUIT DO I NEED?

Wetsuits from different manufacturers might not all have the same size, so once you’ve picked your wetsuit and know the brand, it’s critical to compare your measurements with the appropriate wetsuit size chart, which is accessible on each wetsuit product page.

Do you have any idea how tight your wetsuit should be? When the package arrives, try on your wetsuit and make sure it fits like a second skin. You should be able to bend down and touch your toes (or as far as you can normally reach!) with plenty of freedom in your arms and shoulders.

However, you don’t want your suit to be baggy anywhere since this will allow cold water to run continuously through the suit (this is referred to as flushing).

WHICH TYPE OF STITCHING & SEAMS SHOULD I LOOK FOR?

There’s more to seams than just keeping your wetsuit in one piece. The seams on a wetsuit are the most common locations for wear and tear, so they’re also the most susceptible to:

  • Because stitching necessitates the creation of tiny holes in neoprene, it may result in leaks, depending on the technique used.
  • Restricting your movements; seams are the second least flexible portion of a wetsuit (after the zip) and, having more seams will mean a better fitting wetsuit but less flexibility versus fewer seams providing more flexibility.

So, if you’re looking for maximum flexibility or are in a chilly environment, this is the place to figure out your best gear choice.

FLATLOCK STITCHING

This entails stitching through both panels with the edge of one over the other. It creates a strong seam with some flexibility but a lot of holes in the neoprene, which might leak. Flatlock seams are typically used in summer wetsuits since they are not permeable.

BLINDSTITCH

Blindstitch is only used on high-end and winter suits since it prevents the most leaking along with having greater flexibility which offers the longest life of any stitching technique.

It’s commonly known as GBS, or Glued Blind-Stitched since the panels’ edges are glued together end-to-end before stitching. Then, because the stitch only goes partway through the neoprene and does not completely pierce the panels, there is a solid, waterproof seam.

TAPED STITCHING

This is where stretchy tape has been used to keep the seams more watertight and durable. It’s a second barrier against water getting in your suit. Strategically taping refers to just putting it on the high-stress regions, whereas totally taping entails reinforcing all of the seams.

SEALED STITCHING

On some suits, liquid rubber is sprayed over the seams to waterproof them completely. This process is also known as “liquid sealed,” “fluid sealed” or “welded.”

DO I NEED A LINED WETSUIT?

The next question for many when looking at wetsuits will be on whether they required lined or if unlined is enough. Let’s find out.

What is a Lining?

A lining is a protective layer on the inside of a wetsuit that’s primarily found in mid-range to premium suits.

The lining materials will be as flexible and light as before, as well as water-repellent and fast-drying, so you won’t have soggy, drenched fleece against your skin.

Various manufacturers are developing their own lightweight, super-insulating liner designs to more effectively retain heat without the need for thicker neoprene as wetsuit technology improves.

This is a fantastic feature to have in a wetsuit because thinner neoprene implies greater stretch and, if you’re surfing in cold water, it will make an enormous difference

Do I Need a Liner?

When it’s chilly outside, a liner is an excellent way to add more warmth without compromising the wetsuit’s flexibility. However, if one is accessible to you, that doesn’t mean you’ll always want one.

Despite the fact that these materials are becoming lighter and more flexible, you won’t need one for warm weather surfing, and the flexibility should be valued above the added insulation because you’ll stay warm enough just moving around.

If you want a lining, keep in mind that the area covered by it on each wetsuit varies. Essentially, the more money you’re willing to spend, the more coverage you’ll get, and if you surf winter swells on a regular basis, it’s well worth the investment.

Some wetsuits, such as entry-level or summer suits, will not include a lining, whereas some may be entirely lined (1), with only the legs and torso (2) or even just a single panel on the front (3) to better protect your core.

Final Thoughts on Zipperless Wetsuits

If you’re looking for the most flexibility and water resistance, zipperless suits are an excellent choice. If you want to be able to adjust your suit as needed or if it’s chilly outside, a liner is also recommended.

Regardless of whether or not these features will benefit you, we hope that this article has helped shed light on what makes up a high-performance wetsuit today.

These insights should help make shopping easier and more efficient when searching for the best gear possible!

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Written by Water Diversions

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