• Welcome to ScubaBoard

  1. Welcome to ScubaBoard, the world's largest scuba diving community. Registration is not required to read the forums, but we encourage you to join. Joining has its benefits and enables you to participate in the discussions.

    Benefits of registering include

    • Ability to post and comment on topics and discussions.
    • A Free photo gallery to share your dive photos with the world.
    • You can make this box go away

    Joining is quick and easy. Login or Register now by clicking on the button

TiZip or YKK?

Discussion in 'Exposure Suits' started by Keith.M, Jan 5, 2015.

  1. Keith.M

    Keith.M PADI Pro

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Loomis, CA US
    So I finally have made the commitment to invest in a Signature DUI FLX Extreme.

    I actually thought it was already ordered, but just received a call from my LDS regarding which zipper to have installed.

    We had discussed this to some extent when I was measured and I thought it had been decided to install the YKK metal zipper.

    So now I am kind of in between.

    I was leaning toward the metal zipper for a couple of reasons.

    Long history of use and reliability.
    Longer lasting if properly cared for.

    But there are also advantages of the TiZip

    Easier to use
    Less noticeable while diving
    Lighter weight

    I know there are probable many more pros (and cons) for each zipper type.

    I have done some searching here on SB and results are all over the place.

    Some have had problems with the TiZip and will never use them again while others will never go back to a YKK.

    Obviously the suit is a substantial investment and I would really like to make the best choice for me.

    I'd like to get some feedback regarding pros and cons for each and what your preference is and why.

  2. RJP

    RJP Scuba Media & Publications

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: New Jersey
    I have two DUI suits; a TLS-350 and a 30/30.

    Both suits came with YKK zippers, both of which needed to be replaced after about 500 and 300 dives respectively. (TLS-350 has a zipper cover, 30/30 does not.)

    Both suits had TiZip zippers installed as replacements. (TLS-350 has ~100 dives, 30/30 has 24)

    Neither suit will ever have a YKK zipper again.


    While I've not had either long enough to really know about durability, both just "feel" like they'll hold up better. No fraying threads to trim, etc. The 30/30 - which I just had done before a dive trip - is much better with the TI-ZIP; it lays perfectly flat which is important on a suit with no zipper cover. The TI is also lighter, so both suits are now lighter. Maintenance/care is less, and easier, on the TiZip. Focus is on the zipper dock (closing end) which supposedly benefits from a drop of silicone grease ever few uses.

    I did 24 dives in Bonaire over a week. I smeared a drop of the grease each morning and the zipper never let a drop in. The dock is tight, which is good, but also requires a bit of a double-check/tug to make sure it's DEFINITELY closed.

    Could have been due to thinner/tighter undergarments in the tropic suit, but the TiZip doesn't seem to snag fabric as would happen now and then with the YKK.

    Lastly, both suits pack a lot smaller/easier now as the TiZip is much more flexible and less fussy about how it's stored packed. The 30/30 can now be rolled up into a tight package that is only about 5" in diameter. Since I don't travel much with the TLS-350, packing size/ease - also better with TiZip - is less of an issue.

    The 30/30 "tropical" drysuit ONLY travels (living in NJ as I do) and room in the suitcase is usually at a premium. In fact, on my recent Bonaire trip I was able to get down to 1 checked bag, which I've never been able to do previously. The TiZip will pay for itself in saved baggage fees after not very long.

    Hope that helps.
  3. PfcAJ

    PfcAJ Contributor

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: St Petersburg, Fl
    I've heard enough stories of the plastic ones leaking. Ain't nobody for time for that.

    The suit I just bought from DUI is going to have a metal zip.
  4. Keith.M

    Keith.M PADI Pro

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Loomis, CA US
    Thanks for the feedback fellas! This is just what I was looking for. My main point in questioning is exactly what PFcAJ's concerns are.

    From the DUI web site on the zippers:

    WHICH ONE IS BEST FOR ME?Use the following list of PROS and CONS to help you determine the best type of waterproof zipper for your DUI drysuit:

    • Proven
    • Higher breaking strength
    • When properly lubricated (lubrication of the zipper chain and slider once per dive day), the zipper will last for more cycles
    • Docking of slider at the bottom stop is not as critical – a diver can leave up to a 3mm gap without leaking

    • Zipper tape fraying (primary failure)
    • Stiff and does not conform to the divers body as well
    • If not lubricated, the zipper has a greatly reduced life cycle – entire zipper should be lubricated after every dive day
    • Zipper chain can be broken from tight bends
    • Packing volume is larger

    • Flexible and conforms better to the divers body
    • Comfortable and flexes with movement
    • Easier to clean
    • Smooth and easy operating slider
    • Lubrication of zipper chain is not required – lubricate closure/docking area only

    • Does not last as long as metal tooth zippers
    • A gap bigger then >1 mm between the slider and bottom stop will result in a leak
    • Lower breaking strength / Not for use in close-fitting neoprene drysuits
    • Slider can derail
    • Lubrication of docking area critical (bottom stop is critical) – failure to do so will the result in a zipper leak
  5. BFRedrocks

    BFRedrocks ScubaBoard Sponsor ScubaBoard Sponsor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Phoenix, AZ
    I recently bought a FLX Extreme and had the same choice, but I went with the YKK metal zipper, primarily because of the durability and long-term proof that it works just fine as long as it's cared for properly. I had a semi-dry wetsuit that had a plastic TiZip waterproof zipper, and while this is not a knock against it because I think it performed fine with my semi-dry, it just hadn't proven itself as being the most RELIABLE zipper for my drysuit, where a leak could be really really bad. The cons listed above weren't so much an issue for me, especially with a well-fitting suit (not conforming hasn't been a problem...you don't really notice your zipper when diving, unless it leaks) and proper maintenance. I haven't had to fold it so tight as to save luggage space, so the way it folds now (if you follow DUI's suggestions) has worked fine for me.

    While RJP makes a very valid point on saving money in baggage fees (not an issue for me, but still a valid point), if the TiZip isn't as durable and has to be replaced sooner than the metal zipper, then the cost savings may be a wash.

    All in all, DUI makes a great suit and I love my new FLX Extreme, so either way, I don't think you can go wrong.
  6. Aqua-Andy

    Aqua-Andy Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Southern NH.
    I have two suits a Bare nex-gen and a Whites Fusion. I went through two zippers in the nex-gen before bare installed a Tizip. I purchased the Fusion while my other suit was having the metal zipper replaced. I would never purchase a suit with a metal zipper again if I had the option, the Tizip will not work on the Fusion:depressed:. I would like to know where DUI got there info from about the plastic zippers not lasting as long as metal zippers. If you look on DUI's forum they have stated in the past that the reason other manufacturers use the plastic zippers is because they cost less. I see now they finally caved in and are offering there customers what they want. When I contacted Bare about warranting the second zipper on my suit they were just switching over to the Tizip. While talking to the rep from Bare I was told there testing lab for the Tizip was a commercial diving school near them that they provide suits for. The rep stated that they up to that time have not seen any failures yet and some of the suits had over 1500 dives on them with the plastic zipper. One of the cons is you have to close the zipper all the way? Just make sure the zipper is closed and you will be fine. I have over 100 dives on my bare with the Tizip and much prefer it over the old metal product. As for the breaking strength of the zipper I don't know, My suit is a back zip and I know for a fact when I bend over there is quite a bit of force on the zipper and I have not had any problems yet.

    TONY CHANEY Contributor

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Mount Holly, NC
    I am on drysuit number 4 and 5. I had my TSL 350 zipper changed to a Tizip and my 50/50 still has the metal zipper. The Tizip has been great and I rather look forward to replacing my 50/50's zipper with one as well. If you want to see something cool, go to DRIS and check out their demo video pertaining to the two zippers. Hitting both with a steel hammer and seeing the results was a great sway in my decision. I will not go back to metal zippers again unless something goes crazy with the TiZips.
  8. ajmcc

    ajmcc Solo Diver

    Sending my Bare Trilam front entry suit in this week for a Tizip plastic zipper.
    The metal zipper in the suit now lasted less than 100 dives or 2 years, the zipper before that (metal) lasted slightly longer, I am willing to try something new.
  9. FlyinV

    FlyinV ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: PNW
    YKK is coming out with their own copy of the Ti-Zip called the Aquaseal.

    I think a new drysuit from Pinnacle uses it.
    I have had suits with both metal and plastic and I am in the plastic camp.
  10. PfcAJ

    PfcAJ Contributor

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: St Petersburg, Fl
    idk about you, but I don't hit my drysuit zipper with a hammer.... Seems irrelevant.
    ericfine50, hongrace and Keith.M like this.

Share This Page