6 Best Back Zip Wetsuits of 2023

6 Best Back Zip Wetsuits of 2023

We have reviewed 2023’s best back zip wetsuits Cleanline offers to help you decide which option is right for you. The back zip is the original entry system and, up until recently, was by far the most popular entry on the market. Back zip suits have the largest entry area, making them the easiest to get in and out of. This is particularly appealing to beginners and surfers who have shoulder issues. The larger opening gives a feeling of increased mobility, especially in the shoulders. It also creates less resistance through the chest, which isn’t as claustrophobic as other entries, especially when the suit is brand new.

Some people may steer away from a back zip wetsuit because companies do not offer them in hooded versions for cold water. In addition, the larger zipper creates a larger area for water to penetrate the suit. You’ll find that many of the high-performance back zip models have design features that nearly eliminate flushing.

Wetsuits Reviewed

  • Rip Curl - Dawn Patrol Wetsuit - $259.95+
  • Billabong - Absolute Wetsuit - $179.95+
  • O’Neill - Epic Wetsuit - $219.95
  • O’Neill - Heat Wetsuit - $379.95+
  • Patagonia - Yulex Wetsuit - $428.95+
  • O’Neill - Psycho Tech Wetsuit - $469.95+

Rip Curl Dawn Patrol - $259.95+

“Affordable with high-end features”

The Rip Curl Dawn Patrol has been one of our best-selling wetsuits over the years. The suit is one of the few back zips available in a 5mm version and has been trusted as our go-to rental suit for many years. The 5/3 model is almost like a combination of a 5/4mm and a 4/3mm. You get 5mm in the chest and legs and 3mm in the arms.

The Dawn Patrol seams are triple glued and blind stitched and use Rip Curl’s E5 neoprene. This is the same neoprene used in Rip Curl’s high-end wetsuits, such as the Flashbomb. The popular Dawn Patrol is also partially lined with the same Flash Lining, which is also used in their $500+ wetsuits. With these high-end features, this is, hands down, the best value of any back zip we carry.

Highlights and Features

  • Quick-drying internal liner
  • Available in a wide variety of sizes
  • Affordable price point

Shop By Model

Rip Curl Dawn Patrol 3/2 Back Zip Wetsuit - $259.95
Rip Curl Dawn Patrol 4/3 Back Zip Wetsuit - $269.95+
Rip Curl Dawn Patrol 5/3 Back Zip Wetsuit - $279.95

Billabong Absolute - $179.95+

“Entry level with awesome value”

The Billabong Absolute is such a solid suit that Cleanline partnered with Billabong to release a custom 5/4 back zip option. Overall, the Absolute is an excellent suit for any surfer looking for an affordable, warm, and durable option. As of last year, it became our go-to suit for rentals on the Oregon Coast. Where the Dawn Patrol 5/3 gets the edge in flexibility with 3mm arms, the Cleanline Absolute 5/4 takes the cake in terms of warmth.

The Absolute is jam-packed with features you’d come to expect in a wetsuit twice its price tag. The suit utilizes Smart Foam neoprene which is super light and flexible. The interior is lined with Graphene on the torso, which has some of the highest heat retention possible. To top it all off, the suit is 100% internally taped, ensuring you stay warm and leak-free no matter how long you’re in the water.

Highlights and Features

  • Nobel-prize winning Graphene liner
  • True to size fit
  • Go-to Cleanline rental suit

Shop By Model

Billabong Absolute 3/2 Back Zip Wetsuit - $179.95+
Billabong Absolute 4/3 Back Zip Wetsuit - $219.95
Billabong Cleanline Absolute 5/4 Back Zip Wetsuit - $239.95

O’Neill Epic - $219.95+

“Timeless best-seller”

The O’Neill Epic has been around for decades. As new lines of suits are released year after year, the Epic has stood the test of time. It is a solid product that combines several desirable features into an affordable package. While the suit's design has remained mostly unchanged since its inception, the materials have advanced over time.

The Epic recently upgraded to 100% UltraFlex Neoprene. It is hard to tell the difference between this stuff and the neoprene other brands use in their high-end suits. O’Neill utilizes Strategic Seamless Paddle Zones for maximum comfort in the areas that are moving the most, such as the shoulders and back. The torso is lined with O’Neill’s FluidFlex Firewall, which is extremely comfortable and warm as it acts as insulation. The double seal neck closure is comfortable and does a great job of preventing water from flushing the suit. Lastly, it has 100% glued and blindstitched seams.

What separates this suit from the other entry-level back zip on the list is the smooth skin paneling on the front and back torso of the suit. This is ideal for surfers in harsh environments since the paneling acts as a wind barrier.

Highlights and Features

  • Durable neoprene
  • Smooth skin paneling
  • Affordable price point

Shop By Model

O’Neill Epic 3/2 Back Zip Wetsuit - $219.95
O’Neill Epic 4/3 Back Zip Wetsuit - $229.95

O’Neill Heat - $379.95+

“High Tech Performance in Larger Sizes”

There is not a suit more aptly named than the Heat from O’Neill. This is definitely a high-end wetsuit at a mid-level price. The suit features many of the same beloved characteristics of the Psycho Tech line, including the lightweight and hydrophobic Techno-Butter 3 neoprene and heat-insulating Technobutter Firewall in the torso and legs. Smooth skin paneling is placed on the front and back, which makes it ideal for frigid conditions where wind might play a factor.

What separates the Heat from competitors is the variety of sizes offered. It is the rare suits we offer that are available in a 2XLS up to a 4XL. This gives those larger surfers or those with unique builds the ability to get into a high-end suit that actually fits!

Highlights and Features

  • Sizes range from Small to 4XL
  • True to size fit
  • Less paddle fatigue due to lightweight neoprene

Shop By Model

O’Neill Heat 3/2 Back Zip Wetsuit - $379.95
O’Neill Heat 4/3 Back Zip Wetsuit - $399.95

Patagonia Yulex - $428.95+

“Durable and sustainable”

The Patagonia Yulex back zip is a great option for any surfer looking to wear the same suit year after year. The Yulex material is super durable, and when you couple that with Patagonia’s Ironclad Warranty, you can rest assured that you will have a suit that will outlast the competition.

The Patagonia Yulex is also the most sustainable wetsuit on the list. The suit is made from a combination of 85% natural rubber known as Yulex, which is harvested from Hevea trees, and 15% synthetic rubber. The natural rubber is from sources that are Forest Stewardship Council® certified by the Rainforest Alliance. The suit is 100% externally sealed, while the inside is fully taped. The recycled polyester jersey liner keeps you warm and dries extremely fast. Lastly, the Patagonia Yulex suits have been one of our best-selling wetsuits over the last 5 years.

Highlights and Features

  • Most eco-friendly suit we sell
  • Multi-year life expectancy
  • Unmatched warmth

Shop By Model

Patagonia R1 Yulex 3/2.5 Back Zip Wetsuit - $428.95
Patagonia R2 Yulex 3.5/3 Back Zip Wetsuit - $458.95
Patagonia R3 Yulex 4.5/3.5 Back Zip Wetsuit - $488.95

O’Neill Psycho Tech - $469.95+

“The pinnacle of performance”

The O’Neill Psycho Tech 5/4+ is our best-selling wetsuit of all time. Luckily for all those back zip enthusiasts, the Psycho Tech is offered in a back zip option as well. Due to the thick cut of the neoprene and the heat-insulating properties of the Technobutter firewall, these suits are nearly as warm as competitor suits that are manufactured a millimeter thicker. There is no question that the Psycho Tech is the apex of back zip wetsuits.

New for 2023, O’Neill unveiled their stretchiest and most durable TB4 neoprene throughout the suit's exterior. The TB4 Duraskin chest and back panels are more of a hybrid smooth skin that is less susceptible to nicks and tears. The TB4 Firewall lining the suit's interior in the torso and legs is the lightest and warmest insulation O’Neill has ever developed. Couple all this with an exterior fluid seam weld, internal TBX taped seams and a hydrophobic exterior jersey; you are left with an insanely warm suit that is ever so flexible and stays dry and light. This suit will blow any back zip you have ever worn out of the water.

Highlights and Features

  • Most high-performance back zip
  • Updated neoprene and liner for 2023
  • Best-selling model line

Shop By Model

O’Neill Psycho Tech 3/2+ Back Zip Wetsuit - coming soon
O’Neill Psycho Tech 4/3+ Back Zip Wetsuit - $529.95

Final Thoughts

There you have it, 2023’s Best Back Zip wetsuits at Cleanline Surf. Whether you are looking for something with a large entry or you are a fan of increased mobility, we have a back zip that is right for you. In the end, your goal is to find a back zip wetsuit that fits your needs while keeping you warm session after session. Ultimately, all the suits featured here are great contenders, so don’t be afraid of investing in quality and taking into account all of their features depending on your preferences.

What's the best choice for your needs? The answer lies in what you’re looking for while surfing: protection from cold waters or maximum mobility when paddling in big surf? From the affordable yet durable Billabong Absolute to the high-tech O’Neill Psycho Tech, rest assured; there’s a suit for you. Exploring these options should help make an informed decision. Good luck!

If you have any questions about the suits featured in this blog, you can always call us at 1-888-546-6176, drop a comment below, or send an email to support@cleanlinesurf.com.