FRONT ZIP VS BACK ZIP WETSUITS

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JamesBon92007

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I had a front zip full suit (3mm) and could not get out of it by myself. I have had back zip zippers get stuck and need help, usually zipping it up. Some zippers are better than others. I recently ordered a front-zip shorty--I have a back-zip shorty and when I put it on underneath my 2.5mm full suit it's too bulky at the back of the neck where all the zipper stuff is located. I'm hoping the front-zip is more comfortable when worn under the back-zip full suit, but I'll probably need help getting out of it.
 

lowwall

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I've been warm water diving for 40 years and have hit the Caribbean and much of Asia. Now I want to do some colder water diving as in Soccoro, Bali, Baja. I've only used Lavacore and skins.
The places you mentioned are not that cold. Use your Lavacore and layer with a 3mm shorty. You can get front zip shorties where the zipper runs through the entire suit for the ultimate in ease of donning and doffing.
 

CWK

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For 3mm wetsuit, I prefer a 2 piece with front zip jacket. This allows easy flushing of the bottom. I can’t see myself ever using a one piece 3mm wetsuit.

For 5mm semi-dry, I have only tried a back zip which was fine.
 

PBcatfish

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I had a front zip full suit (3mm) and could not get out of it by myself. I have had back zip zippers get stuck and need help, usually zipping it up. Some zippers are better than others. I recently ordered a front-zip shorty--I have a back-zip shorty and when I put it on underneath my 2.5mm full suit it's too bulky at the back of the neck where all the zipper stuff is located. I'm hoping the front-zip is more comfortable when worn under the back-zip full suit, but I'll probably need help getting out of it.
When I wear a shortie with a full suit, I usually put the shortie on top. This has worked well for me so far. Your mileage may vary.
 

Dave Kay

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For 3mm wetsuit, I prefer a 2 piece with front zip jacket. This allows easy flushing of the bottom. I can’t see myself ever using a one piece 3mm wetsuit.

For 5mm semi-dry, I have only tried a back zip which was fine.
Hi, thanks, some people say front zips are easier to put on but really hard to get off, what do you think?
 

Dave Kay

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The places you mentioned are not that cold. Use your Lavacore and layer with a 3mm shorty. You can get front zip shorties where the zipper runs through the entire suit for the ultimate in ease of donning and doffing.
Hi, some say that front zips are easier to get into but very hard to get out of with out help. What do you think ? thanks
 

lowwall

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Hi, some say that front zips are easier to get into but very hard to get out of with out help. What do you think ? thanks
Typical front zips, where the zipper ends around your belly button are hard to get out of without help. I was suggesting a full zip shorty like this:
mens-thermoprene-henderson-3mm-fz-shorty_850x850.jpg

These are quite easy to get in and out of.
 

JamesBon92007

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I agree with lowwall that the ones that zip up from the leg are easier, on and off. @PBcatfish The times I have worn my shorty underneath my full suit I did not even get wet under the shorty. My thinking is that if I'm dry I'm probably warmer, but I suppose it might take some research to determine that for certain.

I got my new--used shorty and it's a pain to get on or off--just a bit too tight for me. I compared it to my back-zip ScubaPro shorty which is a Medium and the Large Cressi LIdo and they appear to be exactly the same size. Being .5mm thinner seems to help a little, but not a whole lot. I had trouble getting it on (putting both arms through at the same time helps) but couldn't get it off by myself. No solo diving it this suit! Seac makes one they call the Ciao and they claim it's super-stretchy and the ultimate in comfort so maybe I'll try one of those (if Scuba.com ever gets them back in stock) and put the Cressi back on eBay where it came from.
 

eleniel

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I agree with lowwall that the ones that zip up from the leg are easier, on and off. @PBcatfish The times I have worn my shorty underneath my full suit I did not even get wet under the shorty. My thinking is that if I'm dry I'm probably warmer, but I suppose it might take some research to determine that for certain.

I usually put a shorty over the main suit (for example I have a 7mm semi-dry with a back zip and a 7mm hooded shorty topper with front zip for a cozy and miserable 14mm over my core) but I have an open cell shorty that I put under the semi-dry for extra warmth when needed - it wouldn't fit over the 7mm suit, trying would destroy the delicate neoprene, and the benefit of the open cell neoprene would be lost if I did manage to get it on over the thick suit without destroying it.
When worn under the 7mm suit I have a much more manageable 8mm thick neoprene core with the warmth of approximately 10mm of neoprene and that's even warmer if I stay more or less dry inside (which can and does happen).
 
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