After some research, I found out that there are 4 types of wetsuit entries but you have some variants between them here and there.
In general, you have 4 types of wetsuit entries and some of them have different names and variants. But the most common is the back zip, front zip (chest zip), and the zip-free (zipperless) wetsuits.
What are wetsuit entry systems?
There are different ways to enter (put on) your wetsuit and many wetsuit shops call it an entry system. The most common entry systems with different names are here below.
1. Back zip Wetsuit
The back zip wetsuit is the most common wetsuit entry and should be the easiest wetsuit to put on. The zipper at the back is pretty long so you can almost just step into your wetsuit, almost ;).
2. Front zip / Chest zip / Slant zip Wetsuit
- Zip bib (ZB) / Double front zip / Mod and Mutant Wetsuit
This is a slightly different wetsuit entry than the now know chest zip variant. The difference is that you can pull the back flap or neck flap all the way to the back and front and there is a smaller zipper in front. This variant has sometimes a customizable neck or hood.
- Front zip variant
I have no clue if this variant (see image below) even has an exclusive name but the zipper is on the front side of the wetsuit, so it should be a front zip. But you only see this variant with diving I think.
3. Zipperless / Zip free / No zip / Top entry / Neck entry Wetsuit
As the name refers it has no zipper at all and the entry of the wetsuit is at the top or neck. I think as the wetsuits will get better and better this will be the future entry type of wetsuits for the more experienced water sports fanatics. The neoprene is getting more stretch and strength every year it will be easier to put on and you have the maximum flexibility and warmth. Also, this way of production is more environmentally friendly because you don’t have a zip.
4. Two piece wetsuit / 2 piece wetsuit
This wetsuit type has 2 pieces you put on. It is mostly used with spearfishing or scuba diving, but also you see it in triathlon. There are different variants of 2 piece wetsuits. Some with zips, no zipper, and even with velcro.
- 2 piece wetsuit with diagonal zipper and velcro
- 2 piece wetsuit with straight zipper and velcro
What is the best wetsuit entry?
This is, of course, a difficult question and it depends on what you want to do with the wetsuit, how warm you want to be, and how easy you want to put on the wetsuit and you have your own personal preference. But in general, the big difference is the flexibility, warmth, and ease or hassle from taking the wetsuit on and off. I will grade the wetsuit from 1-10 with of course 10 is the best grade and 1 the wurst ;).
Back zip wetsuit
- Flexibility: 6,5
Because this suit has the longest zipper (and zippers are not flexible) it gives you the least amount of flexibility in the wetsuit compared with the other two.
- Warmth: 7
The have been upgrading the back zip with a back flap in the back of the suit. But still the zipper at back lets the most amount of heat slip away at a crucial part to keep you warm.
- Putting on and off: 8
This is one of the main reasons people buy this wetsuit it is the easiest wetsuit to put on but still it will be a hassle ;).
Front zip wetsuit
- Flexibility: 7
Because the zipper is at the front/chest and much shorter then the back zip it gives the wetsuit more flexibility.
- Warmth: 7,5
The zipper is the weakest point in the wetsuit when it comes to heat and flushing (water in and out of the wetsuit). Because the front zip has a shorter zip than a back zip it has a better warmth grade.
- Putting on and off: 7
Putting the wetsuit on and off becomes a bit more difficult because the hole or entry where you step into the wetsuit is a lot smaller.
Zip free wetsuit
- Flexibility: 8
Because it has no zippers it gives you maximum flexibility.
- Warmth: 8
No heat loss and water flushing through the zippers. It has the potential to be the warmest wetsuit. There are other important factors for a wetsuit to be warm like, neoprene thickness and quality, inner and outer lining and how the seams are sealed.
- Putting on and off: 6
This is the hardest wetsuit to put on and take off because the entry is really small. Squeezing your body in there can be a pain but when finally in there you should have all the benefits.