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Types of Wetsuit Seam Seals

Views:41 Author: Publish Time: 2022-01-29 Origin:

Flatlock Wetsuit Stitching
● Recommended for use in water that is above 62°.
● Lies flat against your body, causing no discomfort.
● May let in a little water.

Sealed Wetsuit Seams
(Glued and Blindstitched)

● Recommended for use in water that is 55° and higher.
● These stitch panels are glued and then blind stitched. Blindstitching does not go all the way through the neoprene. Instead, the stitch comes out the same side it went in, making it watertight.
● This seam style will let in very little water.

Sealed and Taped Wetsuit Seams
(Glued, Blindstitched and 100% Taped)

● Recommended for use in water that is 55° and below.
● This stitch is glued and then blindstitched but it also contains interior seam taping. The interior taping will add durability, reinforce the seam, and prevent any water from seeping through.

Wetsuit Zippers - Front/Chest Zip vs Back Zip
There is more to getting into your suit than you may think. There are three types of wetsuit entry constructions: back zips, chest zips and ziperless.

Back Zip Wetsuits
This is the classic solution with the zipper going down the length of the spine with a long cord attached so you can zip yourself in and out. The advantage of a back zip is that, relative to the other styles, it is typically the easiest to enter and exit. This is a big deal when you are trying to get into something that is skin tight. The disadvantage is that water can get through the seams on the back zip, which in cold water can become a major deterrent (think ice cubes down your back). Many companies have come up with their own flush guard technologies to reduce this from happening (e.g. Quiksilver Hydroshield). Also, when you are bending forward, the suit will go taut in the back and the zipper lacks give, which may restrict movement.

Chest Zip Wetsuits
Chest zip wetsuits are entered through a zippered cutout around the neck and you drop down into the suit through the neckline before pulling the neck cut over your head and zipping closed at the chest. Chest zips are the trickier of the two types to both enter and exit. The chest zip is superior at keeping water from penetrating the suit through the seams and the neckline. The chest zip may also be a more comfortable fit once on with a snug neck that is less likely to cause rashes and the zipperless back yields a greater level of flexibility.

Zipperless Wetsuits
Found on lighterweight (think 3/2 and thinner) wetsuits and neoprene tops, these suits prioritize mobility over warmth by eliminating the lack of flex found around zippered areas and stitching. This may be a good solution if you have issues with mobility while paddling or surfing. The entry point for zipperless wetsuits can be found around the chest or neck area and is usually secured by a small zipper, elastic or velcro.

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