First of all, what on earth is a zipless surf wetsuit? Well, yeah, you’ve guessed it – It’s a wetsuit without a zip! No zip. Wait, no zip to zip it? Yes. No, no – there’s no zip. That’s about it.
The two main types of surf suits there are by today are either the old-school back-zip or the chest-zip wetsuits. Recently, a handful of premium brands introduced the wetsuit without a zip.
Zip free = Zipperless = Zipless
Getting in and out of the zipless suit is very similar to chest-zip wetsuits!
While there’s no zip, those wetsuits are said to be one of the warmest, flexible, and most waterproof suits for surfing!
Rip Curl – E-Bomb
The ultimate super stretch lightweight wetsuit
MSRP $230 Amazon
- Thickness 2/2
- Full E6 Taped Seams
- 100% E-Bomb E6 neoprene
- Quick-drying, Super stretch
Navy BLUE: S, M, M tall, L
BLACK: M small, M, M tall, L short, L, L tall
Rip Curl – E-BOMB PRO
The high-end E-Bomb by Rip Curl is one of the greatest spring suits you could get
- Temperature range: 65’F / 18’C and up
- Made out of the ultimate 100% E6 Thermoflex neoprene
- All seams are sealed with E6 tape on high-stress points.
- It is warmer and more flexible than most 3/2 wetsuits out there
- Unrestricted movement and performance
- Comes with a 1-year warranty
Maroon: Small, M short, M, M tall, L, XL
Grey: S, M short, M, M tall, L, XL
O’Neill – Hyperfreak
- Temperature Range: 60’F / 16’C and up
Black: XS, S, M short, M, M tall, L, L tall, XL short, XL
Oil Graphite: M short, M, M tall, L short, L, L tall,
Black Olive: L short, XL short
- Exclusive Techno Butter 3 exterior jersey for maximum stretch keeping you warm and dry
- Techno Butter 3x is the lightest, softest, warmest inner jersey ever created
- Super stretch Techno Butter 3x Split Neoprene taped seams keep you dry and loose
- Minimal seam design for insane flexibility and fit
Quiksilver – Highline
The lightest most flexible performance-driven wetsuit available
- Weight: 1200g
- Temp guide: 58’F / 15’C and up
- F’n lite neoprene that provides 16% more stretch compared to Hyperstretch 3
- F’n taped A Thin ultralight seam sealant gives a watertight reinforcement without sacrificing flexibility & weight
- The lightest most flexible suit available in the Quiksilver range
- Made using Aircell-rich limestone that minimizes water absorption for increased warmth and decreased weight
- Warmflight thermal lining on body, legs & arm
- Warm, fleece lining keeps body heat in and water out. This lightweight material insulates to keep you warm yet repels water for faster drying time.
- The inner Red Seal seam treatment is strategically placed throughout the suit to provide the lightest seam sealing technology possible
- Zipperless design eliminates the weight and bulk of a sewn-in zip closure
- Zipless design reduces water entry and keeps you warmer for longer
- Ecto-flex knee pads
- Flush lock 2.0 seals on wrist & ankles
- Elastic wrist strategically placed seals to prevent water flushing through wrists and ankles
- Fused edges on neck wrist
Rip Curl – FLASH BOMB
The latest and greatest from Rip Curl
MSRP $369 Wetsuit Warehouse
Temperature Range: 55’F / 13’C and up
Colors: Gray / Blue
Gray: Large Tall
Blue: M short, L short, L, L tall
Designed with top performance features
- Made with E5 neoprene, this full suit is super stretchy, lightweight and is 30% stretchier, 20% lighter and 10% warmer than Rip’s E4 neoprene
- Three-quarters of the suit is lined with E5 Flash Lining making it one of the warmest and most comfortable linings on the market
- The two engineered layers funnel water rapidly out of the suit plus the lining keeps you super warm
- Along with sealed seams, there’s E5 Flash Lining taping internally in 3/4 of the suit for extra warmth and flexibility
- Add in the zip-free entry and you’ve got one seriously lightweight, warm, high-performance full suit!
- Comes with 1-year Warranty
Rip Curl – E-BOMB PRO
One of the stretchiest and super lightweight suits by Rip Curl
Temperature range: 55’F / 13’C and up
COLORS & SIZES
Blue/Slate: S tall, L tall, XL short, XL, XXL
Black/Yellow: S, S tall, M short, M, M tall, L short, L, L tall, XL short, XXL
- The 100% E6 Thermoflex neoprene is brand-new and surpasses industry standards with its high stretch and performance design
- The seams are completely sealed with E6 stress point tape added internally to high-stress points for increased strength and durability
- The zip free entry offers a light, unrestricted experience
- Durable kneepads
- Key loop
- 1yr Warranty
Quiksilver – Highline
The HIGHLINE SERIES is hands down the lightest most flexible performance driven wetsuit available
Temp guide: 11-14’C / 51-58’F
Sizes: M tall, L, L short, XL
- The HIGHLINE SERIES is built using f’n lite neoprene that provides not only more 16% more stretch compared to Hyperstretch 3.
- 0, but makes it the lightest most flexible suit available in the range.
- 100% f’n lite neoprene), (Made of using air cell-rich limestone that minimizes water absorption for increased warmth and decreased weight. Warmth just got lighter.
- Made using air cell-rich limestone that minimizes water absorption for increased warmth and decreased weight. Warmth just got lighter. External stitchless technology. Durable, lightweight & flexible. Protects you and your board. Weight 1260 g
- Warmflight thermal lining on body, legs & arms), (Super warm fleece lining keeps body heat in and water out. This lightweight material insulates to keep you warm yet repels water for faster drying time.
O’Neill – HyperFreak
TechnoButter 3X is the most unique, lightweight, fully sealed suit on the market!
Temp guide: 10-15’C / 50-60’F
Sizes: ALL ONEILL SIZES AVAILABLE
- 360° Barrier with Drain Holes
- Minimal Seam Design
- Seamless Paddle Zones
- Double Seal Collar
- External Key Pocket with Loop
- TB3X Fully Taped Seams
- Chest/ Lower Body: TechnoButter 3
- Back/ Arms/ Shoulders: TechnoButter 3X
- Aqua Alpha Solvent Free Neoprene lamination
Zipped Wetsuit Concerns
99% of the wetsuits used today are either back, chest, or front zip wetsuits
PRO‘s of having a zipped wetsuit
- Back-Zip wetsuits are the easiest suits to get in by offering the widest entrance hole. You can also wear the suit half-way on your legs, which is great when walking longer distances to the beach and not wanting to over-heat.
- Chest-Zip wetsuits are widely used among both springer and steamer wetsuits. Surfers prefer chest-zips by their minimized flush qualities. The smaller the zip, the less possibility of water entering the suit.
CON‘s of having a zipper wetsuit
- The zipper can wear out or break
- Extra seams and stitches around the zip
Zipless wetsuit feedback
- Warmth. As the zip is the main area where the water sweeps in the suit, there’s no need to worry about it on a zipless wetsuit.
Many reviews state that the wetsuit feels 3/2 feels like 2/2 and 4/3 feels like a 3/2 while keeping the warmth. The lighter the suit, the faster it dries as well! Great if you’d like to surf multiple times a day without jumping in a cold and wet suit!
- Flexible. Many surfers who have had the experience with a zipperless wetsuit tend to point out the ultimate flexibility.
Flexibility = Unrestricted comfort
Although, when trying the drysuit on at a store first time, don’t get scared by the unusual way of getting in of the suit. It’s rubber, that forms around your body after a while (that means it might feel too tense at a store. Also a bit sweaty as those suits are very warm).
- Unique. If you want to try a new technology that’s still in their baby shoes, give it a go and try it out yourself! All the zip-free wetsuits available are of premium series.
- Lightweight. Zipperless design eliminates the weight and bulk of a sewn-in zip closure
- Changing. Hard to get in and out of the suit at first as surfers with heavy build tend to struggle with it. Slender and flexible persons don’t seem to counter that error as often.
- Can’t wear it halfway. The same goes for the chest zip. As the entrance of the zipless wetsuit is quite small, it’s advisable not to stretch the neck area by leaving the suit half-on for longer periods of time.
- Expensive. Since most of the zipless wetsuits are not mass-produced, the price won’t meet the affordability stage to many just yet.
- Not widely available. Zipperless wetsuits are more of a niché-products and due to their complex nature to someone who’s looking for an easy-to-use affordable and durable wetsuit, it might be a bit risky for surf stores to keep them in.
As each brand has its own thickness and sizing chart, check out the tables down below to find the most suitable one for you!
It’s crucial that the wetsuit must fit snug but not tight in order to get the best warmth&performance!
How to put on a zipless wetsuit?
There’s a faster, non-verbal version of getting in and out of the suit tutorial on YouTube by Rip Curl
I created Nulltuul to share my experience, research and analysis with other surf enthusiasts out there. If I'm not surfing on my travels - I like to photograph waves, surfers, and the surf lifestyle in general.