|Ryan taking advantage of the full zip vent|
It's time to vent about venting because women get the short end of the zip.
Zip base layer tops are a fantastic invention: zipped all the way up they warm up your neck, zipped down they allow a bit of a breeze to cool you. The longer the zipper, the more options you have to tailor how much venting you get.
|The excellent Stoic Merino Bliss 150|
Men's (left) zipper length: 12 3/4"
Women's (right) zipper length: 7"
Zippers on men's zip tops are much longer than on the same piece made for a woman.
I understand that there is a balance of modesty and venting for women's clothing. There are many, many occasions where I don't want to accidentally flash the people around me if the zipper creeps below bra line. If the zipper doesn't allow for anything but modesty, I won't flash anyone. But when I'm hiking and sweaty and only the trees will see me, give me a long zipper! All a good zip top needs is a high quality zipper that locks in place (as most of these garments already have).
|Patagonia men's R1 (left) zipper length: 17.5"|
Patagonia women's Capilene 4 (right) zipper length: 15.5"
Yes, I could just buy tops made for men. And I do have a couple. I love the amazingly long zipper on my men's Patagonia R1 top. However, I prefer clothing that fits me better and I don't mind when it looks nice on me as well.
Also, it seems like a long zipper would provide nursing access for those adventuring with a baby.
I do own one base top with a nice, long zip: my Capilene 4 top. The Cap 4 top is great: it breathes incredibly well, dries quickly, keeps me comfortable in a wide range of conditions, is shaped to work with a woman's curves (unlike my men's R1) and has a nice, long zipper.
Here's hoping that more women's tops are made with zippers more than 12 inches long!