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Which Zip system to choose for your wetsuit ? Chest or Back Zip ?

You often ask us questions concerning your choice of neoprene wetsuit model and mostly which zip system to choose. Chest or Back Zip ? Here is our expertise to ease your choice.

The Chest Zip Wetsuit 

Combinaison Clovis Chest Zip

The one that changed everything in watersports. It got a zip system placed on the front of the wetsuit (on the chest) which open from side.

To put in on

- Take off your watch and jewelry

- Get sure that the zip system is on the front

- Slip your wetsuit on up to the waist then adjust the neoprene at the knees

- Pull up the wetsuit as high as possible

- Slip your arm from the opposite of the zip system opening (the left one on our models) inside the sleeve then do the same with the other one.

- Get the flap in the back above your head

- Close the zip system and the button

- And it is done !


Freedom of movement

Details dos combinaison neoprene Clovis Chest zip

The Chest zip wetsuit do not have zip system in the back and so no hard spot in the spine. That is why it offers a better freedom of movement and saves a lot of effort, especially for paddle surfing. 

Less risk of water perforations 

Detail fermeture chest zip combinaison

The zip system is not waterproof on a neoprene wetsuit. Our Chest Zip have a 29cm long zip versus 40cm on our Back Zip. Thanks to its smaller zip and its tighter collar, the Chest zip wetsuitne represent less risk of water perforations, ensuring a maximum of waterproofness ! 

Notice that there are two type of zip on the front of a wetsuit : the Chest Zip that opens from one side and the Front zip that opens like an apron, from both sides. At Saint Jacques, we opted for the Chest zip. 



The Chest zip brings a "second skin" feel to the rider. It is also practical for kitesurfers and windsurfers because there is no friction with the harness in the back. 

Scratch proofness

There is no velcro closing system in the neck on a Chest Zip wetsuit so there is no risk of scratching it on the neoprene and damage it. 


Last advantage, at the wetsuit closure, there is no need to ask a friendly rider to unstuck it because it is in front of you ! Long solo sessions are now waiting for you ! 


Surfer en Combinaison Stan


The Chest Zip Wetsuit is way longer to slip on but also to take off than the Back Zip. Do not panic, at Saint Jacques we worked on it ...


This wetsuit model do not suit every type of morphology (atypical or aged).


A Chest Zip is generally more expensive than a Back zip because we use nobler materials for its conception. For exemple, the 3/2mm Clovis Chest Zip cost 299 euros while the 3/2mm Clovis Back zip cost 219 euros.

The Back Zip Wetsuit

This first type of wetsuit appeared in 1952 to equip riders. It consists in closing the wetsuit thanks to a big zip system placed along the spine. 

To put it on 

- Take off your watch and jewelry
- Unscratch the wetsuit collar and open the zip system entirely. 
- Make sure that the zip system is in your back then slip the wetsuit on up to the waist
- Adjust the neoprene at the knees
- Pull up the wetsuit as high as possible
- Slip your left arm in the sleeve and adjust the neoprene 
- Then do the same with the other arm
- Grab the lining in your neck and put it on thanks to the hole provided for this purpose.
- Grab the strip at your waist and pull it to the top
- Scratch the closure system for more security 
- And it is done !



Fermeture Back Zip Combinaison Clovis

The main advantage of this system is the ease to put it on and to take it off thanks to its larger opening.


All of our Back Zip models have a double zip system and a collar lining in order to protect your back from discomfort and water perforations. 

Fermeture Back Zip Combinaison Clovis

The Back Zip system suits every type of morphology. First of all thanks to its large opening but also thanks to a velcro strap next to the collar that helps to adjust it. It is mostly valued by windsurfers that have a large upper body due to their practice because it adapts to their sizes. 


One of the main advantage of the Back Zip is its price that give novices an opportunity to invest in their first wetsuit without impacting heavily their wallets. Notice that its inferior price does not mean that it is less efficient than a Chest Zip, it is just not the same product range. Our model at 219 euros.


Freedom of movement

Thanks to its zip in the back, this model offers less freedom of movement than the Chest Zip wetsuit but do not worry, it is not a chainmail ! 

Risk of water perforations

With a larger zip, the risk of water perforations increase. That is why our Back Zip wetsuits have a lining for the collar and for the zip system. 

Recap !

The choice of your model depends on what you expect to do with it !

Si vous partez sur une pratique peu régulière et que vos priorités sont la facilité d’enfilage et le prix, la Clovis Back Zip est faite pour vous ! Vous nous en direz des nouvelles !

If you have an occasional use and if your priority is the ease of putting it on and taking it off, the Clovis Back Zip is made for you ! 

But if you have an intensive use and you are searching for a second skin and an optimal waterproofness that will boost you performances, then you will need a Clovis Chest zip, a long term investment ! 

Notice that a Zipless or Zipfree system exist, it is lighter and more waterproof but it is pretty hard to suit on, we do not recommend it for beginners. 

Now that you chose which zip system will suit you the most, you will just have to chose the thickness of your wetsuit, have a check ! 
-> Clovis Chest zipClovis Back zip

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