A wetsuit is a really important part of the kit of any water sports enthusiast or diver. There is a lot of debate over whether a front zip wetsuit is better than a back zip.
Truth is, both have their benefits and your favorite is likely to depend on your needs. We have decided to compare both of them in this article, detailing the benefits of each and who they may be most suited to.
We would argue that actually, there is no right or wrong.
One is not better than the other and it really comes down to your personal opinions.
We will explore each one separately and then use the conclusion to do some comparison work between them.
If this sounds like it could be helpful for you then keep on reading.
Front Zip Wetsuit
Front zipping wetsuits are the first ones we want to discuss. We have decided it best to divide their features and benefits into separate headings for easier reading.
First thing’s first, we want to discuss the comfort levels of this particular style of the wetsuit. Front zip wetsuits tend to have a far more comfortable neck on them. This is because by having a front zip, the need for an itchy and uncomfortable velcro tab is eliminated.
We all know how uncomfortable velcro can be, especially on an area as sensitive as our necks. They can even cause irritation. If that is something you struggle with, we think a front zip wetsuit is definitely the way to go for you!
As well as this, having a zipper in the front can also ensure that access to zips is far easier than having to turn around to the back. This means you can worry less about getting your zip caught on long back hairs, moles, and long hair!
Front zip wetsuits tend to have a lot of flexibility in them. This is because usually, they feature a stretchy panel at the back to allow for maximum stretching when you are moving around.
It lets your arms move more freely, which is especially good if you are using your wetsuit for surfing and other board sports.
Less FlushingFront zip wetsuits are also less prone to flushing than other styles. Flushing is one of the worst things any avid water sports fan can experience.
It is where water flushes into your wetsuit, affecting your temperature and destroying any thermal benefit you may be gaining from your suit. It often happens when you crash your board or even when doing duck dives.
The reason why front zipping wetsuits prevent this is that they have fewer gaps for water to get in! It must be noted, however, in order for the front zip wetsuit to be effective in stopping flushing, the zip must fit you adequately to ensure you are well sealed.
Back zip wetsuit
We have explored how beneficial a front zipping wetsuit can be, so now we must consider the back zipping wetsuit.
Read on to discover the desirable features of back zipping wetsuits.
In general, wetsuits that have a back zip tend to be a little roomier in the first place. This is because the back zip tends to unzip wider. You can easily wriggle it on but may need help from someone to do it up.
As a comparison, front zipping wetsuits tend to be harder to put on, but easier to do up alone. This roominess is a common theme with back zipping wetsuits, as even the shoulder areas tend to be a little more comfortable to squeeze into.
Easier To Put On
Because of how much more roomy the back zipping wetsuits are, many people may find them easier to put on. There is less restriction when getting into these wetsuits, which is a major factor to consider if you are a regular wetsuit wearer.
There also tends to be an allowance in these back zipping wetsuits for a little more arm movement. This extra freedom can be a welcome addition if you are using your wetsuit for activities such as surfing or if you will be swimming in it.
Easier To Adjust
Back zip wetsuits tend to have velcro at the top of them. We have already discussed that for many people this can be very uncomfortable. However, other users feel that this velcro is essential, this is because it allows easier adjustment of the collar of the wetsuit.
You can make it tighter or looser depending on your personal preference. This is helpful as you can adjust it to your own neck, and ensure it is snug enough so that water doesn’t flush in. it results in a better fitting suit.
Hopefully, you can see quite clearly but both front zipping wetsuits and back zipping wetsuits have their benefits. What wetsuit you should go for really depends on your personal preferences.
A front zip wetsuit is a great choice for someone who gets easily irritated by velcro as it does not have the velcro tab to adjust the neck, unlike the back zipping wetsuits. It is also the best at preventing flushing. This makes it the perfect choice for those who are maybe just starting out and are more prone to crashing on their surfboard.
It is also a good choice for those water sports enthusiasts who duck dive. Front zipping wetsuits may also be a good option for someone with long hair on their back, or moles that stick out. This is because a back zipper means they are more likely to get caught.
Front zippers eliminate this as you can see it is far easier than being said, they are a little tougher to put on, so you may need some help initially getting into the suit. Luckily, the zipper will be able to do up easily without the help of others.
That being said, back zipping wetsuits may well be the better option for you if you are someone who likes the freedom of being able to adjust the neck to your own comfort levels.
The velcro tab, although uncomfortable for some, may well provide others with some much needed freedom to be able to make it as loose or tight as they would like. Back zipping wetsuits also tend to be far roomier. This is because the zip at the back opens relatively wide, meaning you can slip into it with ease.
It is easier to put on and has lots of shoulder space, too. Even though it is easier to put on, some people may find that they need someone’s help zipping it up. This should be considered, especially if you tend to practice your watersports alone and have no one around to zip you in.
We hope you now have a far better idea of the benefits and the downfalls of each type of wetsuit.
Remember, it is a personal choice and depends on your needs!