How Does a Zipperless Wetsuit Work?
A zip-free wetsuit works just like a usual neoprene wetsuit, except that it has no zippers. As mentioned above, there are two styles of zipperless wetsuits. One is simply a two-piece suit, which is almost like wearing separate wetsuit bottoms and top, except that the pants in such a suit usually have a high waist and the jacket comes with a beavertail closure. This setup creates a double layer of neoprene around the abdominal area, thus providing more core warmth. The beavertail closure ensures that the top won't roll up and everything will stay safely in place, just like with the normal fullsuit but with the added benefit of flexibility for there are no long inflexible zippers. For these reasons, such two-piece wetsuits are preferred by freedivers and spearfishermen, who need both good thermal protection underwater and freedom of movement.
A zipperless fullsuit has a relatively small opening around the chest or shoulder area and relies on overlapping layers of snugly fitting neoprene to seal the suit. The collar that goes over your head and a cinch cord provide a more snug fit. These suits are made of very flexible and stretchy neoprene, so donning the suit is easier than it may seem. The extra flexibility of the material is, of course, beneficial in the water as well. Zipperless wetsuits are thought to provide the most freedom of movement out of all wetsuit entry systems. Zip-free wetsuits also have less flushing.
How to Put on a Zipperless Wetsuit and Take it off?
Donning and doffing a two-piece zipperless wetsuit is a piece of cake.
Things do get a little more tricky when it comes to a zip-free fullsuit but it is not as hard as it looks. First, find its opening in the chest area. Reach with your arms inside the suit, grab some material below the armpits, and pull it upwards so the upper part of the wetsuit turns inside out. This will create a nice opening for your legs. Pull the wetsuit up to your waist like you would with any other style. Watch out not to damage it with your nails. You can use plastic bags or socks if you have trouble sliding the foot through the ankle seal. Once the wetsuit is up almost to your chest, you can start working on your arms. Make sure your watch or wristband is off. Start with the side where your opening is located (usually the left), and work the sleeve up your arm. Do the same with the other arm. Make sure everything is smooth and even. Finally, put the neck seal over and tighten a cinch cord.
After surfing, you may wonder how to take off a zipperless wetsuit. First, don’t forget to loosen a cinch cord, then pull a zipless closure over your head. Starting with your left hand, take off the sleeves. Lastly, pull the suit off your legs.
Are Zipperless Wetsuits Good?
Zipperless fullsuits have a number of benefits. They are very soft and lightweight, which makes them comfortable to wear. They are made of extremely stretchy material and, lacking the zipper, have no inflexible parts, which gives you unparalleled freedom of movement. They have fewer seams and are less prone to flushing. However, whether such a suit will be good for you will depend on the intended use. Zipperless fullsuits are mostly geared towards surfing and paddlesports, so if you are into one of these activities, absolutely go for the zip-free style. They are not, however, the best choice for scuba divers, as the material is not designed to withstand the higher pressure underwater and the wear and tear caused by scuba equipment.
Two-piece zipperless wetsuits are also suitable for a specific purpose. They are usually made with built-in hood, as well as chest, knee, and elbow pads perfect for spearfishing.