Chest vs Back Zip Wetsuit

sam0's picture
sam0 started the topic in Tuesday, 8 Mar 2011 at 8:50am

Hi i was just wondering if anyone was able to give me some advice on the pros/cons on getting a back or chest style opening wetsuit? thanks

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig Tuesday, 8 Mar 2011 at 9:31am

Used to always use back zip as I was skeptical on if the chest zip would hold up after multiple uses getting in and out of it.

Got a chest zip early last year and they're amazing. Easy to get into once you figure it out the first time, and there's no flushing at all!

Awesome for the winter months, and they feel real good as well.

I recommend one!

scottyseabrook's picture
scottyseabrook's picture
scottyseabrook Tuesday, 8 Mar 2011 at 9:49am

I concur with Craig. Chest zip wetsuits are awesome and most of the makers have now figured out how to reduce or stop flushing altogether.

I have tested out the O'neill, Rip Curl and Quik chest zips and haven't had problems with any of these.

I have found though, a wear and tear factor around the neck with the chest zips. Nothing to worry about really, I'd say I have been getting about 3 months less wear out of the chest zip suits. BUT mine are older styles and I suspect this has been sorted out, given the look of the new seasons models.

By the way, you as most people probably already know, might want to check sites like

You pay the ex-VAT price and nil shipping. can save up to $300 AUS dollars a suit. I have never had a problem with suits ordered from the UK, generally take about 10 to 15 working days to arrive.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet Tuesday, 8 Mar 2011 at 9:49am

Much more flexibility in a chest zip Sam. Like Craig said, they can be a bastard to get in and out of (especially when you're cold), but they cant be beaten for comfort and freedom.

logger's picture
logger's picture
logger Wednesday, 9 Mar 2011 at 1:28am

I'm a chest convert - don't wear back zips at all now, apart from tube jacket.
I wear a Patagonia R2 through winter, more than warm enough (Vicco) although some people down here favor the R3 during the colder months.
I know the very mention of Patagonia creates a stir (expense etc), but worth every penny in my opinion, no flushing to speak of.
But back zips are the way forward (pun intended)