Suiting Up with Gill’s ZenTherm 2.0

It's almost spring, and with spring comes the chill, but the new Gill ZenTherm 2.0 wetsuit lineup will keep you toasty.

OK, it’s a wetsuit. It’s black, it’s neoprene, what more can be said about it? Well, in Gill’s newest ZenTherm 2.0 line, apparently a lot. We checked out Long John and Top, figuring that would provide the most versatile kit, and indeed, it is all about the details. Perhaps a big part of this is that the ZenTherm 2.0 line was developed in conjunction with the US Olympic Sailing Team. 

Let’s start with basic construction. With an inner lining that resembles a very fine fleece, this is about the most comfortable wetsuit we’ve tried–and we’ve been sailing in various wetsuits for a heck of a long time. Made of Gill’s 3mm super-stretch Limestone Neoprene, when first trying on this kit, my first thought was, I’m going to need a bigger size. But because it’s so stretchy, I quickly discovered that their sizing chart is dead-on, and for a wetsuit, it quite easily accommodates a wide range of body movements. Plus, the lining makes it easier to put on, even when it’s wet. And, the 3mm thickness will keep you warm in temps down into the lower 50s and upper 40s–perfect for spring and fall conditions.

Gill ZenTherm 2.0 Long John
The Gill ZenTherm 2.0 Long John is more that simple wetsuit. Small details take it to a higher level. Courtesy Gill

Now the nitty-gritty stuff, starting with the Long Johns. Two things stand out. First, there’s the “Di-Guard” abrasion padding on the seat, which extends down to just inside the back of the knee. No way you’ll find yourself off the padding, even when full-out hiking. And, you’ll really appreciate that the knee padding starts just above the knee and extends down to the ankles. If you have an inseam that’s either overly short or long for your size, the padding position is still going to be in the right spot for you. Second, at least for the guys, there’s a Velcro-sealed opening for relief. The ankles have drainage holes for letting out excess water as well as silicon grips that keep the wetsuit from creeping up at the ankles and creates a next-to-the-skin seal.

The neck of the ZenTherm 2.0 top uses Gill’s Glide-Skin, a smooth neoprene material that’s comfortable around your neck, yet provides an efficient seal to keep water out. Like the ankles of the Long John, the top has silicon grips at the wrist openings. What’s cool is that the top can be worn in different configurations, such as with the Long John or as a top for hiking pants.

The Gill ZenTherm 2.0 top
The Gill ZenTherm 2.0 top has a fleece-like lining and effective grip at the wrists. Courtesy Gill

In addition to the Long John and Top we also checked out the ZenTherm 2.0 leggings, a shorty, and full-arm wetsuit, as well as junior versions of those, all designed for cold-weather use. A Long Jane model, specifically designed for women, and a women’s top round out the line. The Long Jane has additional coverage on the front of the suit and a racer back, which Gill says is more comfortable for women. The women’s top is similar to the men’s, but accommodates female body measurements to ensure a better fit. ZenTherm 2.0 Long John, men’s sizes S-XXL.