I haven't owned a zipless or chest zip wetty. I have heard horror tales of 'locked in syndrome' and 'hotel California syndrome' pertaining to the aging surf demographic. I had pulled the zip out of my steamer three times and repaired it. I finally had a light bulb moment (apart from losing the gut!)
Sew a small loop at the end of your zip strap. Thread a long shoelace through the loop and tie the two ends into a big knot. When you want to zip up, place the knot on the inside of the top of your car door and shut the door. Turn around, facing away from the door and then do a slow deep knee bend (full squat).
This fool proof method changes the 'angle of attack'. Open the door and undo the lace from your wetty and leave it in your car. Full money back guarantee!
LOL. I suffered the locked in syndrome with a chest zip steamer the first time I wore one. Partly because i hadn’t really worked out how to get it of, partly because of age induced immobility and partly because it was sticking to me. Simple solution is to wear a rashy under your new wetty the first few times you wear it. Do that and the thing won’t stick to you and just peels off.
I just asked the nice lady laughing at me to help get me out of mine...her reply, " Seeing as I have been watching and laughing for 5 minutes I'd be happy to help."
I have trouble with my chestzip steamer, I think the problem is long arms.
Once I get the thing peeled off past the elbow it’s easy, but the upper arm being long means I have to stretch everything a long way to get to that point.