6 Best Back Zip Wetsuits of 2024

6 Best Back Zip Wetsuits of 2024

We have reviewed 2024’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 - $229.95+
  • O’Neill - Epic Wetsuit - $219.95+
  • O’Neill - Heat Wetsuit - $389.95+
  • Patagonia - Yulex Regulator Wetsuit - $479.00+
  • Manera - Seafarer Wetsuit - $279.00+

Rip Curl Dawn Patrol - $259.95+

“Affordable with high-end features”

Rip Curl Dawn Patrol

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.

Read our full review of the Rip Curl Dawn Patrol Wetsuit.

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 - $279.95
Rip Curl Dawn Patrol 5/3 Back Zip Wetsuit - $279.95

Billabong Absolute - $229.95

“Entry level with awesome value”

Billabong Absolute

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 gets the edge in flexibility, the Absolute 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.

Read our full review of the Billabong Absolute Wetsuit.

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 - $229.95
Billabong Absolute 4/3 Back Zip Wetsuit - $249.95
Billabong Cleanline Absolute 5/4 Back Zip Wetsuit - $239.95

O’Neill Epic - $219.95+

“Timeless best-seller”

O’Neill Epic

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.

Read our full review of the O’Neill Epic Wetsuit.

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”

O’Neill Heat

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 suit we offer that is available in sizes 2XLS up to 4XL. This gives larger surfers or those with unique builds the ability to get into a high-end suit that actually fits!

Read our full review of the O’Neill Heat Wetsuit.

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 - $389.95
O’Neill Heat 4/3 Back Zip Wetsuit - $399.95

Patagonia Yulex Regulator - $479.00+

“Durable and sustainable”

Patagonia Yulex Regulator

The Patagonia Yulex Regulator 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 nylon 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.

Read our full review of the Patagonia Yulex Regulator Wetsuit.

Highlights and Features

  • Eco-friendly suit
  • Multi-year life expectancy
  • Unmatched warmth

Shop By Model

Patagonia R1 Yulex Regulator 3/2.5 Back Zip Wetsuit - $479.00
Patagonia R2 Yulex Regulator 3.5/3 Back Zip Wetsuit - $509.00
Patagonia R3 Yulex Regulator 4.5/3.5 Back Zip Wetsuit - $539.00

Manera Seafarer - $279.00+

“3D design for ultimate fit"

Manera Seafarer

The Manera Seafarer rounds out our best back zips of 2024. Manera is a newcomer to the Cleanline Surf inventory, and we’ve quickly learned why the brand stands out. Based in France, Manera produces high-end suits using quality materials, sustainable practices, and unique manufacturing processes. The Seafarer is designed in 3D, leading to a suit that truly fits like a second skin. In addition, the suit features recycled neoprene and jersey, along with aqua glue and dope-dyed yarn.

The Seafarer uses Manera’s S-Foam neoprene, which balances stretch and warmth. The X10D Fleece and X10D Jersey lining the suit's interior provide warmth while remaining 22% lighter than competitor liners. Couple all this with a durable PK 8mm zipper, GBS seams, and sealing prints that make the ankles and wrists stiffer, and you are left with an insanely warm suit that is ever so flexible and stays dry and light.

Highlights and Features

  • High-performance features
  • 3D design
  • Heavy-duty zipper

Shop By Model

Manera Seafarer 3/2 Back Zip Wetsuit - $279.00
Manera Seafarer 4/3 Back Zip Wetsuit - $289.00
Manera Seafarer 5/3 Back Zip Wetsuit - $299.00

Final Thoughts

There you have it, 2024’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 newcomer Manera Seafarer, 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, comment below, or email support@cleanlinesurf.com.

 Shop our full selection of 40+ back zip wetsuits



Spencer is a long-time member of the Cleanline family who started out as grom washing wetsuits behind the original Cleanline on 1st Avenue in Seaside. He has worked most positions in the company from managing our Cannon Beach store to providing knowledgeable customer service for our Ecommerce department. These days he works part-time answering the phones and writing blogs while also selling Real Estate locally on the Oregon Coast. When he's not working he's either surfing, traveling, or hanging out with his dog Wyatt.