Ask the Gear Guy

Fixing broken zippers

Q. My sleeping bag zippers always break off. This is my second sleeping bag that broke and I don’t have any extra money to keep buying a new one over and over again. PLEASE HELP!!
— Zipperless Zaragoza, Dumfries, Va.

A. Wow, Mr. Zaragoza, that does sound like a problem. But there’s no reason to shout—I can hear you fine.

OK, just because you’re having problems with the zipper on your sleeping bag doesn’t mean you need to throw it out and buy a new one. Same goes for bum zippers on a tent or a rain jacket. Simply try to fix it with a repair kit like the Gear Aid Zipper Repair Kit ($10; It comes with several replacement zippers and repair tools, plus a short manual on how to fix your zipper. That should do the trick for you.

When you’re on an extended camping/hiking trip, it’s also a good idea for you or someone else in your troop to carry a zipper repair kit like this because a broken tent zipper can turn into a pretty big problem on the trail.

Comments about “Fixing broken zippers”

  1. Sly Fox says:

    When your zipper breaks apart, if the teeth are not broken off, it can be repaired easily. We bring our tents like this into a shoe repair shop and they replace the slide with a high quality one for about $8.00. It’s a lot better than scrapping or parting out a tent. We have also had to replace entire tent zippers, cost was about $35.00 per tent; but we did put in much heavier zippers the 2nd time.

  2. 160 man says:

    When my zipper got stuck, I pulled it to hard and now when I zip it, I can pull it apart. How do I fix it?

  3. smrtgi says:

    I use zip ties and a pair of pliers…

  4. Frank says:

    Carry the oversize diaper safety pins to keep using your bag on the trip.

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