How To Fix A Tent Zipper: A Complete Guide And 11 Care Tips

How to fix a tent zipper: Check different fix methods and care tips for your zipper

A broken tent zipper during camping is not only annoying, it can even ruin your entire sleeping and trip. After all, only a fully waterproof and windproof tent can provide reliable protection against various weather conditions. In this article, we will show you how to fix a tent zipper and how to repair it in just a few easy steps without searching for special services.

how to fix a tent zipper

In our article you will learn:

  • Can a tent zipper be repaired?
  • Can you fix the broken zipper?
  • How do I put a new zipper on a tent?

Can a tent zipper be repaired?

Zipper use

A wonderful invention of modern times is the zipper. With this ingenious system, fabric sheets can be joined tightly together lengthwise, without large fabric consumption due to overlapping. Both on jackets, travel bags, suitcases as well as on cases, trousers, tarps or tent entrances, such as at the awning or at the sleeping and living tent – you can use the zipper or zipper everywhere.

At the tent, there are usually several entrances on top of each other, which can be opened and closed with zippers. Fly screens can be closed as required.

The zipper has plastic or metal teeth or synthetic nylon or polyester coil sewn to a cloth. As a rule, all types of zippers have weight for any use. The zipper is usually stainless, heat-resistant, more flexible and lightweight. Metal tent zippers can be heavier.

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Keep in mind that the tent zipper is the first thing that fails, and they definitely need repair kits. Fixing a store zipper is not difficult, as most people could imagine.

These zippers should be especially reliable. Few people will want to stay with a broken zipper in bad weather. Lightning freezing is a frequent phenomenon in winter. A small one-piece double-lock zipper is used in the inner tent and its ventilation windows.

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Zipper types

I really like the tent zippers with a convenient double-sided side of the zipper. Often there is another tent zipper behind it covering the mosquito net of the “door”. A similar solution for the single-lock zipper of the awning is an original bar of magnets. It opens easier and holds the wind just as well.

  • The vast majority of equipment manufacturers use zippers from the Japanese company YKK.
  • A careful attitude to the lightning and the use of the most suitable type by manufacturers is the key to long and trouble-free operation for many years without using a zipper repair kit.
  • Lightning is imperfect and sometimes breaks. This fact should be taken for granted and quickly find a way out of the situation (for example, use a zipper repair kit).

Tips for the care and fixing of zippers:

There are a lot of tips that will help put the tent zipper in order and prevent it from breaking. For these purposes, you can use soap, a pencil, or a candle. Below are some tips to help you deal with lightning:

  1. After purchase, carefully pull the slider several times. If the slider pulls tight, lubricate the zipper with a candle or lard.
  2. If the slider has stopped and is not budge, do not pull it. It is necessary to try to find out the reason. Threads and dirt are often stuck between the teeth. They need to be extracted.
  3. If the slider closes the zipper, it then diverges. To do this, use pliers. Just hold the slider on the front side of the zipper. Try not to press in the middle. At first, the zipper will be tight to slide, but then it will slide well.
  4. If you have a broken zipper or it still does not fasten well over time, you can remove the clips from above and pull out it. Put a new slider in its place. It can be purchased at the store. Put the retainers back and attach them.
  5. Do not pull and tear the zipper. You risk breaking the lock. In this case, you will have to make a replacement or lose it.
  6. Do not iron the plastic zipper with an iron. The teeth can melt from the high temperature.
  7. Look at the inside of the zipper, maybe a piece of fabric or dirt gets between the teeth. In this case, cut it off near the problem area.
  8. Keep the zippers clean. Fine sand is especially dangerous for them, which, clogging between the teeth, can eventually disable the lightning.
  9. The toothbrush and silicone spray handle the zipper well.
  10. Dirt particles on the zipper increase its wear. Therefore, regularly clean the zipper from sand and dirt. It works great with a toothbrush. Then clean the zipper with silicone spray or candle wax.
  11. Thus, the zipper remains smooth, and its service life is significantly increased. A pleasant side effect of silicone spray: the zipper becomes more waterproof.
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Clean your Zipper regularly

Not only the tent fabric but also the zippers should be regularly maintained and cleaned, so that they last a long time and remain smooth running. For maintenance, simply treat the zippers – when the tent is set up – regularly with a standard zipper spray.

A soft brush and cold water can also be used for cleaning. This can be done well during the washing of the tent.

To do this, brush the teeth of the zipper with a little water. Finally, it makes sense to grease the zippers so that the smooth running of the zipper is maintained.

But be sure to pay attention to the material here: for a zipper made of plastic, silicone spray is suitable – in not too large quantity. A metallic zipper, on the other hand, should be treated with wax if possible.

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How to fix a tent zipper?

Can you fix broken zippers?

Broken zipper? No problem! You can easily fix it with these zipper repair tips. Unfortunately, there is no universal answer to the question of how to fix a tent zipper. It all depends on what is causing the problem. Lightning stuck—what to do?

  • If the tent zipper does not pull and gets stuck, it’s usually because the hooks are rough and worn. In this situation, it helps to walk over the zipper teeth with a lubricant or graphite.
  • If you don’t have both on hand, you can also use hand soap. Just dip a cotton swab in the soap and run over the zipper track, and it will work like clockwork again.
  • The zipper track is worn out. A worn slider can be quickly fixed. All you need is pliers. The first step is, to press the long sides of the zipper against each other with pliers. It’s important to be careful here. If you push too hard, the zipper may break and need to be replaced.

Replacing the zipper slider

If the tent zipper slider no longer closes properly, you can’t fix the zipper. This is due to the fact that the slider is separating, and the two sides of the tape can no longer fit together tightly enough. And you can miss it outdoor when you’re pulling it.

This usually happens with cheap aluminium zipper teeth, but even high-quality sliders have a limited service life. Here, solve the problem methods using a tent zipper repair kit. It is necessary at the first step to carefully press and pull the slider with pliers from above and below (that is, from the body and outside).

After that, it will close again as new. Please do not press and pull too hard, otherwise, the slider will break. And you will have to buy a new slider and a new tent.

There are also limiters on the plastic tent zipper. However, unlike metal ones, they are disposable: if you removed them from there, you will not be able to put them back. How to replace the slider in such a situation.

Take a pair of pliers or scissors and simply remove the limiter from the clothes. After replacing the slider, you need to make sure that this place protrudes above the teeth so that it cannot slip off. This can be done with a thread. Take a thread with a needle and make a few stitches in the place where the retainer was.

The edge of the zipper is dishevelled

Sometimes there is such a nuisance as a dishevelled edge at the zipper. And the problem is not only that it looks unsightly. In such a situation, it becomes more and more difficult to fasten the zipper every day. And if you do not take measures in time, the fastener will have to be completely changed.

And the solution is quite simple. As soon as you find that the fabric on the edge of the zipper has started to get dishevelled, gentle smear this place with epoxy glue. When the glue is completely dry, it will make the fabric tougher and protect it from further destruction.

The tongue broke

Another problematic situation is that the tongue on the slider broke. There is only one way out here – to replace the slider. However, sometimes there is no such possibility. Is there any other solution?

Yes, in such a situation, you can use improvised means. Take a metal clip, a keychain ring or an ordinary pin and insert it into the place of the tongue. The replacement looks, of course, not as beautiful as the factory tongue, but it will allow you to unbutton and fasten the zipper.

Replacing the zipper

And the most difficult problem that can arise when using a zipper is a complete replacement of the fastener. In these cases, it is necessary to unpack clothes, and not everyone can do this at home. It is especially difficult for those who have some other elements next to the zipper, such as buttons. We want to show you how to replace the zipper without removing it.

Use the lubricant

If the zip is old and it gets stuck. In this case, you should follow some steps.

  1. The first step is to take some lubricant and spray it on the tip of a cotton swab. The cotton swab should be clean and moist
  2. The second step is to apply grease to the part of the zip where, as it seemed to you, it stuck,
  3. In the third step, fasten it a couple of times. As you will see, the lubricant is now distributed throughout the zip. And now you can use the tent zip without any issues.

Quick fix fastener

The first step, you have to make sure that there is absolutely nothing wrong with this tape. Namely, that the teeth are all present, the teeth are not damaged. The problem is that the zipper slider or pull is broken and of course gets jammed when it goes up and down, and if your zipper ever opens again,

The second step is to prepare new sliders that you will buy at a sewing store, as well as pliers. The pliers will remove the upper stop so that we can immediately remove this slider.

In the third step, take out the old slider and throw it away because it is completely worn out.

In the fourth step, take a new slider, and insert it there. Be careful that it doesn’t scratch the teeth. Then, slide the upper stop. Then just put it right on top and snap it.

If the zipper of the tent seems to be undone

You should take pliers. Then pinch the zipper on both sides. As we have already written above, be careful not to pass the tent sliders.

How do I put a new zipper on a tent?

To completely replace the damaged zipper, you will need to contact an atelier specializing in the repair of tourist equipment or the manufacturer of your tent.

I would like to summarize

In the article, you learned how you can fix a camping tent zipper.

For many people, camping or a trip is the ideal way to spend a holiday or a short weekend break. The tent is also safe accommodation for sleeping on extensive trekking and hiking trip or camping. Tents are often exposed to extreme loads. Heavy rainfall, storms and other outdoor mechanical stresses can take a toll on the tent’s poles and fabric, causing serious damage. Most damage can be repaired with little effort with a zipper repair kit, so you don’t have to throw away a defective tent right away.

So, how to fix a tent zipper? The zipper works well when it’s pulling. Lubricate and repair kits are practical aids for the zippers of tents. Due to the spray, the teeth of the zipper become smooth and supple. During the treatment with lubricant, you should be careful not to spray the spray on the tent tarpaulin. So you should lubricate only the gear. Torn-out teeth of a metal zipper can be replaced with new and quality ones.

These can be found in the sewing accessories and can be pressed in with pliers or a special zipper repair kit.

Maybe it is intresting for to know how to fold a tent, then read this article.


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