Does this have a zipper on the women's model? If not, is it hard to get into?
FRANK M No there is no zipper but it is very easy to put on. I bought a 3mm for me (male) and both a 3mm and 7mm (female) for my daughter. The hooded vest stops any "flow through" down your neck and back. It will add comfort to your dives and extend your dive season. Also-we notice it does not add any bouyancy. We highly recommend this item it will be money well spent.
JEFFREY R No, it does not have a zipper, but I don't find anymore difficult to put on than any of my other gear. Perpetually cold, I wear it combined with a Comaro semi dry suit.
ERIC N no zip, not too hard to get into, the hood can be if you have long hair to deal with when bringing the hood up and over .
ELIZABETH B I was very unhappy with this item. I don't recall if it had a zipper, but I do remember struggling to get it on, and feeling quite claustrophobic once I had it over my head...I tend to think it did not have a zipper. I returned it so I'm unable to comment on how it felt in the water.
ROSANNE L No, this doesn't have a zipper. It is not hard to get into. There is enough stretch in the fabric making it easy to put on.
DESDA S No zipper but its a cinch to get into just don't wear earrings.
This vest does not have a zipper, but it's not any harder to get into than any other hooded wetsuit. When I first got the vest, I had never worn a wetsuit of any kind and had some trouble getting the vest/hood over my head. Now I am accustomed to it, and have no problems.
Because the vest fits well, it is warm. I wear it under a 7 mm wet suit when I dive in the Atlantic (Gloucester, MA), and wish I had worn it when diving in Kauai, HI.
ELIZABETH L Thanks. I actually go diving in Gloucester as well and am looking at it for under a 5mm wetsuit. I had a hooded jacket and it was the worst thing in the world to try to get on. Is the merino worth the added price or should I just get a cheaper vest without it?
SARAH E I really like this vest, but again, I didn't have any diving experience before I got it a few years ago. My boyfriend has been diving for over 15 years--a year or two ago he got the merino vest and the wetsuit that goes with it. He thinks the merino might add comfort, because it is thin but provides adequate warmth. But he is typically warm, and is not entirely sure the merino makes a huge difference. He said that getting into this vest was "no more difficult than any other vest." I get cold easily, but am completely fine diving in ~50 deg F temperatures with the 5 mm merino vest under a 7 mm wetsuit. If you're OK diving in Gloucester with a 5 mm wetsuit, you might not need the added warmth.
ELIZABETH L I have never gone with just the 5mm. I am replacing a 7mm Jane and 5mm hooded jacket with a full 5mm and a vest (probably this one). I also get cold easily but was thinking the full 5mm and the vest would be enough for 55-65 water which is what it typically is when we go diving in Gloucester. As long as it isn't too difficult to get on, I think I will go with it. That was what I hated about my jacket. It was really difficult to get in and out of. I am new to diving so there's a lot I don't know. I'm in the same boat as you with my boyfriend. He has been diving for about 12 years and is usually a lot warmer than I am so he's not much help with this :) Thanks for all your input; I really appreciate it!
TRENA K No zipper. Easy to get on and off though.
AMY H It doesn't have a zipper. I actually found it a bit hard to get into. But even worse for me was the feeling of claustrophobia once i had it on. The chin part came up too high and just overall felt constricting. I ended up cutting the hood off and just using it as a vest. If you are looking for a hood, I would suggest buying just a hood without the attached vest.