Things to consider about heavy duty waterproof zippers

On rare occasions, we are asked about having a heavy-duty waterproof zipper installed in a DUI drysuit. The following information is so that our customers can make an informed decision. Here are the facts about heavy-duty waterproof zippers.
  1. Heavy-duty zippers are made with the same zipper tape as used in the standard-duty zippers. It is not scaled up for the heaver teeth.
  2. Heavy-duty zippers are made with bigger teeth.
  3. Heavy-duty zippers are only stronger if you pull on them from the sides.
  4. DUI does not have any record of a waterproof zipper breaking in this manner on a regular drysuit.
  5. Heavy-duty zippers are much stiffer and rigid and do not follow or lay with the contours of the body. This is why they are more suitable for cross shoulder applications - if used at all.
  6. Standard-duty waterproof zippers are used in high altitude pressure suits and the orange crew escape suits on the space shuttle and they were also used in the Apollo Moon suits.
  7. Some people have said that you can replace individual teeth on a heavy-duty zipper - THIS IS NOT TRUE. If you break a tooth on a heavy-duty zipper, you must replace it like any other waterproof zipper.
  8. Heavy-duty zippers are more uncomfortable to wear and there is no proof to show that they last longer. In fact, due to their rigidity, they may not even last as long as standard zippers.
  9. . A heavy-duty zipper requires about 30% more force to close and open then a standard-duty zipper.
  10. Due to all of these reasons, DUI uses standard-duty waterproof zippers in all of their drysuit styles and versions.
  11. If you truly want a heavy-duty zipper installed in your DUI drysuit (new or through the service department), we can do this. DUI does not inventory these zippers and it will need to be ordered for you. Lengths are determined by the size and style of the drysuit. Lead time is approximately 10 weeks before the zipper is received at DUI with an additional estimated cost of $300.00. Contact the DUI Customer Support Team for more information or to arrange service.
ADDITIONAL NOTE: Currently, all waterproof zippers are made by one company - YKK. There could be other names but YKK purchased all of them. Other waterproof zippers are under development in China and other countries. DUI is staying in contact with most all of these companies and testing proto-types as they become available. You can rest assured that DUI is doing everything possible to work with YKK and other companies to bring the very best waterproof zippers possible to our drysuits. When new information is available to us, we will make it available to you, our customers, through DUI-ONLINE.COM.