I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been out in the woods, ready to get some shut eye in my tent, only to find that the zipper is broken and I can’t close the darn thing. Not only can this ruin the fun of camping, but not knowing how to fix a tent zipper leaves you susceptible to the elements, bugs and other critters throughout the night. Unfortunately, this is an all-too-common problem that can occur at random. how to fix a tent zipper Hand pulling in the zipper of a tent Luckily, over the years I’ve been taught a few ways to get a tent zipper to work properly again once it breaks. In this article, I’m going to share these methods with you to hopefully help you the next time a tent zipper (or any zipper for that matter) stops working. Even the investment of a small amount of your time and effort can keep your tent’s zipper in good working order. With dedicated care and responsible maintenance of your tent and its zipper you will ensure they both remain in good working condition for a long time to come.

Clean The Tent Zipper

When particles, like dust, sand or dirt get trapped in the zipper, they can cause the teeth of the zipper to stop functioning properly. The simple solution entails regular cleaning of the zipper teeth. As part of the overall maintenance of the tent, the cleaning of the zipper provides a good starting point to ensure the overall longevity of the tent. To remove any dirt or grainy build-up in the teeth of the zipper it’s best to use an old toothbrush and sweep it across the teeth. This will help remove any unwanted particles and is a technique that will keep the zipper working right.

Resist The Urge to Force The Zipper to Run

Rather than trying to force a stubborn zipper to run, it is best to go slow and tend to the problem causing the disruption. While you may be able to rush it through every now and then, the stuck zipper will stop working overtime unless the problem is addressed.

Carefully Get The Zipper to Move Properly

Instead of trying to get a stubborn zipper to work again by forcing it to move, it’s better to try and open and close the zipper carefully. This will help you avoid breaking it altogether.

Properly Mount Your Stakes

Be mindful of how tightly you mount the stakes of the tent, as this can also contribute to how the zipper functions. If you ground the stakes in too tight and taut, it can place undue pressure on the zipper, resulting in difficulties moving the zipper up and down.

Keep The Zipper Teeth Lubricated

To keep the zipper in good working condition, it is helpful to lubricate the teeth of the zipper. Suggested lubricants include things like a Windex spray or a graphite pencil. I don’t recommend using Vaseline and other thicker substances, as they may leave excess residue behind.

Quick Tent Zipper Repair

How To Fix A Tent Zipper 1 Most of the issues you’ll find with tent zippers stem from the slider. I recommend that you first check the teeth of the zipper. If they are free of debris and other trappings, then you may proceed to try one of the following solutions:

Use Pliers to Press Down on The Slider

Gently apply pressure to both slides of the zipper’s fastener using pliers. It’s important to note: tightening the slider in this way only provides a short-term solution. You should really try to replace the slider as soon as possible. While the tightening application works well with metallic sliders, it’s not the greatest when it comes to plastic sliders as they are less pliable and will require more effort on your part.

Get a Replacement Slider

Though a bit more complex, replacing the slider can still be a very convenient solution. You will need a few tools, including needle nose pliers, a suitable replacement slider, and an end nipper tool. Here’s how you can fix the zipper by replacing the slider:

  • Move the old slider to the bottom of the zipper.
  • Applying pressure with the end nipper, hold the stopper firmly.
  • Remove the stopper from the fabric carefully to ensure it doesn’t get damaged.
  • Take off the old slider.
  • Position the replacement slider on the zipper. It may help to use a zipper repair kit, but make sure the replacement slider has the same up and down motion as the original.
  • Gently use the nose pliers to attach the replacement stopper.
  • Check your work! Test the slider’s mobility as it should now move up and down smoothly.

Stopgap Replacement Of The Zipper Slider

Unfortunately, you might not have all of the tools necessary to replace the slider on-hand. Fortunately, there are a few simple quick fixes. For example, the FixnZip Replacement Slider lives up to its name, in that it provides a one-stop solution to solve the problem fast and with minimal effort. All you need to do is place the new zipper in the correct spot and secure the fastener. When you can make a full repair, simply unscrew the bolt and dislodge the slider. This can be a useful, albeit temporary, fix when you’re in a pinch.

Should I Replace The Zipper With Velcro?

You might be tempted to remove the entire zipper arrangement and replace it with velcro instead. However, I don’t recommend doing this, as velcro isn’t as secure as a zipper and can’t be easily managed. Velcro also doesn’t waterproof that well. I must admit, it may be something to consider, especially if you’re on a budget, but you can always get a quote from a professional zipper repair company before looking into other replacement options.

Wrapping Up How To Fix A Tent Zipper

Like I mentioned at the beginning of this article, broken zippers are a common problem. With that said, if you know how to fix them you can save yourself the trouble of having to deal with a tent that’s forced to stay open throughout the night. Camping or any other overnight outdoor activity is not fun without a tent. Well, there are other sleeping gears that you can carry or make, but a tent is the most convenient choice. However, there is one fundamental issue that you must deal with, which is the tent zipper. [the_ad_group id=”21″] Be put on the alert that zippers on a tent are the very first thing to fail, and they will definitely need repair. Tent zipper repairis not difficult as most people would imagine. This posting offers you crucial tent zipper repairing info, which you can use to make the necessary repairs.

What is a Tent Zipper?

Zippers have plastic or metal teeth, or a synthetic coil of nylon or polyester attached to a woven tape. Usually, all types of zips come in all-purpose weights. Coil zippers are normally rustproof, heat-resistant, more flexible, and lightweight. Metal zips come in heavier weights. Tent zipper Even though zippers are normally made to blend into the tent fabric, some are big, intriguing, and made to be shown off. The durability of your tent zipper depends on the type and anatomy of the zip. There are some types that get damaged easily while others do not.

Types of zipper

Coil Zipper

They have a continuous binding of nylon filament, which interlocks as the slider is passed over. These closures are basically lightweight when compared to tooth zippers, and are found in waterproof varieties. Coil zippers are known to wear slowly than tooth zippers. This means that you are less likely to face problems in the field when using a tent made of coil zips. Coil zipper

Tooth Zipper

They are also referred to as vision locks. They have separate blocks of nylon that intertwine as the slider is passed over. Tooth closures are exceptionally rugged; however, they are slightly heavier and bulkier when compared to coils. Tooth zips are prone to catastrophic failure when a single tooth cracks off. In most cases, the zip is proximately short with less hope for repair.

Conventional Zipper

These fasteners are made of strong as well as flexible continuous spiral threads of polyester or nylon fitted to a synthetic tape. These closures are appropriate for light to medium weight tent fabrics. The most popular conventional zippers are the centered zippers.

Zipper Anatomy

Knowing the types of zippers is not enough knowledge; you need to know the anatomy. There are various zipper anatomies, which include:

Separating Zippers

They are common on jackets and sweaters, but they are among the best tent closures. They are fasteners that come apart at both ends. Separating zips release half of the closures for easy entry and exit from the tent. This minimizes the strain on a zip, and at the same time reduces the likelihood of broken zips. Separating zippers sew4home.com The most common separating zips are two-way, which have two zipper pulls. You can choose tents that have exposed, lapped, or centered separating zips. To make sure that the zippers will last a while before needing repair, you must ensure that the zips finish on the tent fabric is durable.

Non-Separating Zippers

These are fasteners that are fused on each end. They open and close, but stay permanently connected at one end. Most tent doors are fitted with this kind of zips. Unlike separating zips, non-separating are prone to failure, especially when something gets trapped in between. A good number of low-quality tents are installed with non-separating zippered doors. It is usually challenging as far as keeping the door from damage is concerned. You need to be extremely careful when handling the zip. However, they are not difficult to repair. Non-separating zippers Other anatomies include: slider (small device that passes over the zip to align and join the two sides); tape (the fabric on either side of the zipper); stop (small plastic blocks at each end of the zipper that prevent the slider from coming of the tape); and pull (is the grab tab that connects to the slider). Irrespective of how effective a tent zipper is; the problem is that they tend to gridlock, break, or separate. Therefore, it pays to know how to fix them properly. There are a number of things that can happen to your tent zipper, including separation, breaking, or jamming. Regardless of whether it is a broken, separated, or jammed zip, the slider is the main component to check first. In most cases, the teeth may fail to connect or the slider detaches. The bottom line is that you cannot close your tent door, and that is kind of a big problem, especially when camping in the cold. A tent zipper repair diydry.co Whether the zipper needs repair or replacement depends entirely on the quality of the zip and the tent material. It is quite unfortunate if you are forced by circumstances to replace a zipper of a new tent that you have just bought.

How to Repair a Closed-End Tent Zip

One of the most popular zipper door found on most contemporary tents is the closed-end zipper, which you can also refer to as a non-separating zipper. It is always closed at one end, meaning that it is sewn together. You can use a fixing slider if the original slider fails to work or if the zip keeps on opening at some point once the slider has passed. [the_ad_group id=”22″] This can save you replacement cost because if the slider fails to lock the tent door, you can easily fit a fixing slider in its place. The following are the basic steps to follow. Step 1: Make sure the screw on the fixing slider is in the direction of the outside of the tent door. Step 2: Then untie the screw on the fixing slider. Step 3: Go ahead and slide the fixing slider over a single row of the zip teeth. Step 4: Once the first row is in, go ahead and fix the second row. Make sure you place the slider so close to the retaining box. Step 5: Gently tighten up the thumbscrew on the slider so that the zip stiffens. Step 6: Have the bottom and top of the slider squeezed at the same time. Make sure your second hand has a strong grip on the zipper box. Step 7: Go ahead and pull the slider to lock the two rows together. Retighten the slider’s thumbscrew where necessary as you continue moving the slider to tighten. Repair a closed-end tent zip

How to Repair a Broken Tent Zipper

Step 1: Examine the tent zipper to know the extent of the damage. It is usually easy to fix broken slider towards the top. You will be forced to replace the entire zip if the following happens:

  • The stops at the bottom of the zipper fall off.
  • Broken teeth at the middle of the zipper.
  • Missing / broken teeth towards the zipper’s end.

Step 2: You can proceed if your zipper misses teeth towards the top. Use a pair of pliers to pull out the stops at the top of the zip. You might need to apply some pressure when pulling off the stops and you will need to remove stops from both rows. Step 3: You can either replace or fix the slider. To fix the slider, remove it from the zipper and access any damage. Sometimes the slider may only need a little squeeze to provide it with the power needed to close the zip. Balance the two rows and then place the slider. If required, you will have to use a pair of pliers to bend either side of the slider. You might still have to replace the slider if the rows do not balance and fasten together properly. Step 4: You will have to replace the stops since the removed stops are damaged from the pressure you applied when removing them. Replacing them is easy all you have to do is place new stops at the zipper’s top. Then use a pair of pliers to fasten and put them in position. The top, as well as bottom stops, are crucial because they prevent the slider from falling off. Broken tent zipper

How to Repair Separated Zippers

It is unlikely for your tent zipper door to separate from normal use. However, there are times when your children or even you might apply pressure on the fabric near the zipper causing the teeth to separate. Apart from pressure applied on either side of the zipper; sometimes the teeth can separate due to dirt. Step 1: Pull the slider to the other end. Usually, the teeth separate when they are locked. Use cleaning agent to remove any dirt that is trapped in between the teeth. You can use soap and water to remove any sediment. Take a clean cloth, dip it in the soapy water, and then use it to clean the teeth. Once you have done this, use a damp cloth to wipe off the soap from the teeth. Step 2: Then gently pull the slider towards the bottom to remove the separation. You might want to use a little force when doing this. The zipper should be able to fasten smoothly once the sediments are removed. Step 3: You might want to straighten twisted teeth. Any bent/twisted teeth can significantly cause the zipper to separate at some point. You can easily correct the bent teeth with the help of needle nose pliers or tweezers. Hold the teeth firmly and attempt to straighten them. Repeat as needed. Camping tent zipper

How to Fix a Stuck/Jam Zipper

There are a number of reasons that can cause a zipper to jam or stuck. As mentioned earlier, any form of sediment can cause the zip to jam. If you rush into your tent and then pull the slider swiftly and carelessly, you might cause some teeth to bend. As a result, the zipper may stick at the point where the teeth bent. Step 1: Use soap and water to clean any dirt from the zipper. Then use a damp piece of cloth to remove any soap. Try to close and open the zipper; it should open smoothly. Step 2: Use graphite to grease the zipper. If dirt is not the issue, then a little graphite can do the trick. Sometimes the problem may exist on the tracks and not the teeth. Applying graphite or any other lubricant can loosen the tracks and allow the slider to move effortlessly back and forth. Step 3: In thecase of bent teeth, the trick is still the same as the one discussed earlier. Use a pair of pliers or tweezers to straighten the teeth. The slider should be able to move back and forth effortlessly once the teeth are straight. Fixing a stuck zipper silive.com You can choose to replace the entire zipper if all the above methods fail to repair your tent zipper door. To successfully implement all the above-mentioned processes, you need zipper repair kit. Here are a few kits that you can consider to buy.

4 Best Zipper Repair Kits

Zipper Repair Kit

This is one of the best kits to use, especially for broken zips that require slider replacement. The kit consists of a repair manual, a sewing kit, and a number of sliders. You will find the following inside the kit: five teeth zip sliders, ten coil zip sliders, five double pull coil zip slider, and eight double pull coil zip sliders. All the accessories are top quality, and they will perform exceptionally. All you have to do is follow the manual on how to use each kit, but it is normally straightforward.

ZipperStop Repair Kit

This is another amazing kit for the money. It provides you with the most popular replacement sliders that you might need to fix your tent zipper. It is the ideal kit for replacing broken or worn out zip sliders. The contents of the kit can consist of10/7/5 or 3 aluminum automatic lock sliders with bottom and top stoppers. ZipperStop repair kit

Dritz Zipper Repair Kit-Clothing

This kit is mostly recommended for clothing, such as coats and jackets, but it can come in handy when dealing with your tent zipper. The kit is equipped with all the necessary accessories you might need to repair a broken tent zipper that is not separated towards the bottom. However, the kit does not contain everything that you might need. The quality of the individual parts is fine. It will save you a great deal of time and keep any frustrations off your reach. The sliders’ sizes might be an issue though. Compare the sizes before you buy the kit.

Zipper Rescue Kit, Outdoor

This is the real deal because it comprises of the most popular accessories you might need for repairing tent, backpack, duffle bag, or sleeping bag zipper. The sliders along with the tops are classified according to the weight as well as type to cover most zipper repair requirements. Zipper rescue kit, outdoor The kit offers you the following: 2 top stops; 2 bottom stops; 2 (8 mm) coil sliders; 2 (5mm) coil sliders; 2 (4.5 mm) coil sliders; and 2 (5 mm) tooth sliders. You should not be worried when you inadvertently the zipper slider on your camping tent when busy setting up the tent. You can use this kit to easily repair the slider within a few moments.

Preventing Damage to Tent Zipper

Usually, prevention is the best care. Do not be too pushy with the slider, especially when you pull it up and you experience some resistance. A piece of cloth or sand can get trapped in between the teeth causing the slider to jam. The best thing you can do to avoid damaging the zipper is stop pulling. See also: Sleeping Bag Zipper Repair: Make it Close Even After it Refuses to Then inspect the zip to single out the problem. Once you have identified the problem, go ahead and eliminate the problem. Be very gentle with those ultra-lightweight zippers on your new lightweight tent. They are even more vulnerable to malfunction. [the_ad_group id=”23″] Be sure to correctly align the zipper sides prior to pulling on the slider, and stop tugging if you encounter a hitch. The good news is that many broken tent zips can be repaired using a small set of pliers. In the case of fabric getting caught in the zipper, use your pliers to gently pull the fabric out. Make a habit of using lubes to lubricate your tent zipper. This should make fastening and loose easy. However, be careful not to apply too much oil since this may lead to grit sticking on the zipper.

In Conclusion

The very first thing that you must do is buy a quality tent. This way, you will be able to avoid zipper repairs. Low-quality tents tend to have loose clothing that gets trapped in the teeth and cause a number of zipper problems. Know the various types of zipper and the anatomy of the zipper. This will make repairs easy since you will know exactly what you are dealing with. With that said, never force a zipper if it rejects to budge. Stop and fix the problem. For more tips and guidelines on how to repair a zipper, check out our earlier article for reference. Barry Wilcox is an avid hiker and camper. He was born and raised in a small town in the Appalachian Mountains. His love for the outdoors started when he was a kid, running around the forests with his friends. He now lives in a small city, but still escapes to the hills whenever he can. Barry Wilcox is a well-known hiker, naturalist, and camper. He has hiked the entire Appalachain Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail. He has been featured in many hiking and camping magazines, on national radio and TV shows. how to fix a tent zipper May 2, 2013 There must be a broken tent zipper epidemic going on, because the majority of the phone calls I’ve received this week are from people who need a tent zipper repair. Actually, it probably has more to do with the fact that spring is here, and people are digging their camping gear out of the garage and finding broken zippers. If you’re having the same problem, just take a deep breath. You’re not alone and there is help. When it comes to broken tent zippers, it’s usually one of two things: The zipper slider came off or the teeth aren’t connecting anymore. Either way, you can’t close your tent and that’s a problem. In both of the scenarios, the zipper slider (the thing that goes up and down the track, connecting the teeth) is worn out and needs to be replaced. This might come as a surprise, if you recently bought the tent or spent a lot of money on it. Put simply: most zippers are cheap pieces of junk (yes, even the ones on your expensive camping gear). What’s worse is that a lot of manufactures do not warranty zippers. You can try calling the retailer or manufacturer, but most people are told to go buy a new tent. You could always take your tent to an alterations shop or a seamstress. The process usually involves un-stitching the broken zipper and sewing in a new one. This can easily cost over $100, which search the internet for a cheaper solution and end up finding us. We manufacture a tent zipper replacement called the FixnZip®. It’s easy to use and requires no tools or sewing to install. It’s made of zinc and is nickel plated, so it is strong and built to last. It’s also entirely manufactured/produced/ assembled in the USA. It’s perfect for tent zipper repair, and can also be used on other outdoor gear. We sell it for $9.99 on our online store, and we also have a “Buy 3 get 1 Free + Free Domestic S&H” promo going. Of course, we think it’s a great solution… we sell it. But don’t just take our word for it. See what other industry pros have said about it:

  • Kayaking blogger at We Stroke recently tried the FixnZip® when the zipper failed on his Coleman tent. Check out his review: «FixnZip to the Rescue»
  • Exploring Elements included FixnZip® in its 2013 “Top 10 Survival Products” at the Outdoor Retailer Trade Show.

Watch the Video below to see how to repair a broken tent zipper using FixnZip® (Note: It’s easier to put the FixnZip® on before you set up the tent.)

Below is a list of frequently asked questions I get about ordering a FixnZip® for a tent.

What Size do I need?
Most likely a Medium. The majority of camping tents use zippers that fall within our Medium size range. The Medium alone fits zipper sizes 5, 6, 7, 8 and will work on nylon, plastic, and metal teeth or coils. Unless it’s a large canvas tent used for outdoor events, there’s a good chance the Medium will work for your tent. Can I measure my zipper, just to be sure I get the right one?
Absolutely. Click here to use the measuring guide on our website. Do I need Nickel or Graphite?
It’s a matter of color preference. The Nickel is brighter and the Graphite is darker. Other than that, they are exactly the same. What if it doesn’t work?
Send it back and we’ll issue you a full refund. Miscellaneous tips for installing on a tent:

  • Try installing the FixnZip™ before you put the tent together. It’s much easier to put on when there’s no tension.
  • On a tent zipper, the coils will be visible from either the inside or the outside of the tent. Make sure that the thumbscrew on the FixnZip® is on the same side that the coils are visible (see picture below).

The great thing is that FixnZip® can be used on a tent, sleeping bag, or backpack etc. So don’t wait until you’re out camping and the zipper breaks before you buy one. Keep a spare in your first aid kit just to be prepared. If you have any questions, feel free to call/email, or hit us up on Facebook or Twitter. Now get out there and hit the trail! Jonathan Your tent zipper failed? It might seem like the end of the world, but a broken zipper doesn’t mean you have to pack and go home early. At least, not when you know how to repair it. Luckily, you’ve come to the right place to learn how to fix a tent zipper. In this article, I’ll cover everything there is to know about failing zippers – whether they’re stuck, split or even broken. Let’s dive in!

  • How To Fix A Tent Zipper
    • Step 1. Get A Zipper Repair Kit
    • Step 2. Remove The Sewn-In Zipper Stop
    • Step 3. Pull Off The Slider
    • Step 4. Slide The New Zipper Slider Back
    • Step 5. Do A Test Run
    • Step 6. Resew The Stopper Seam
  • What To Do About A Stuck Zipper
  • How To Fix A Split Zipper
  • Zipper Care Tips
    • Clean Them Regularly
    • Lubricate
    • Keep Your Tent Doors Closed When Pitching
  • To Zip Things Up

How To Fix A Tent Zipper

a tent with the zipper open Zippers tend to fail. Whether it’s due to our misuse or the production quality – it doesn’t matter. What matters is knowing what to do when it happens. In most cases, the zipper slider is usually the “trouble maker.” That’s why everyone needs to know how to replace it. Here’s how you can do that, step by step.

Step 1. Get A Zipper Repair Kit

Zipper repair kits are quite affordable, so there’s no excuse for it not being a staple of your camping equipment checklist. They usually include different slider types and sizes, as well as top and bottom stop replacements. These kits are rather compact and can fit in just about any pocket on your backpack. One thing that doesn’t usually come in the kit is adjustable pliers. This tool is ideal for zipper repairs, so make sure you pack it.

Step 2. Remove The Sewn-In Zipper Stop

As you might know, there are two types of zippers – separating and non-separating. The first type is usually on jackets and some high-end tents. They have an insertion pin and a stop box system at the bottom. Separating zippers are great because they don’t put so much strain on the zipper like the other type does. But, they’re more pricey than the other type. Non-separating zippers are more commonly used on tents. They feature a stopper at the bottom, which doesn’t allow the zipper to separate all the way. This type of zipper is more prone to damage if not handled carefully. Luckily, the repair is just as easy. You should start by removing the stopper at the end of the zipper track. For this, you can use either pliers or nippers if you have them close at hand. Just be careful not to damage the tent webbing as you’re taking the stopper out.

Step 3. Pull Off The Slider

Once you’ve removed the stopper, you can pull the slider all the way down and off of the zipper tape. If it’s stuck and won’t come off, you can grab your pliers again and start bending and gently pulling the slider. This should loosen it enough for you to be able to take it off.

Step 4. Slide The New Zipper Slider Back

Look through your zipper repair kit for a replacement slider that’s similar to the one that was installed originally. Tents usually feature medium-sized zippers, so finding a replacement shouldn’t be hard. When installing a new slider, make sure it’s facing the right way, just like the slider before it. Otherwise, it won’t work.

Step 5. Do A Test Run

Once the slider is in, pull it up until you’re left with at least 2 to 3 inches of the closed zipper. This is just a test to see if the chosen slider is the right fit. If there’s little friction when opening and closing, then it’s a good one.

Step 6. Resew The Stopper Seam

Once you’ve made sure the new slider is up and running, it’s time to resew the stopper seam back to the way it was originally. Most kits contain a needle and a thread, but in case yours doesn’t, always have these two things packed for any camping trip. Close the zipper all the way, to make sure all the teeth are perfectly aligned. Then, add the stopper and stitch the finish. It doesn’t have to look neat, just make sure no loose thread can get stuck in the slider, or else it will bring you back to step 1.

What To Do About A Stuck Zipper

a stuck zipper Your zip slider won’t budge? Trying to slide it up and down like you’re bat crazy won’t magically make it work again. Actually, it’s more likely you’ll break the zipper, or even rip up your tent doors. There are many reasons why a zipper gets stuck sometimes. The first thing you should always do is check if any part of the tent fabric might have gotten stuck inside the slider. If that’s the case, take it out, and try moving it again. This usually happens when we open and close tent doors with too much pressure. To me, that always occurs at the worst possible moments, like when nature calls in the middle of the night. That’s why I always keep my repair kit close at hand. But stuck tent fabric is just one possible cause for a jammed slider. We camp on all kinds of soil, so it’s not surprising that both sand and dirt can easily get inside the slider, causing it to get stuck. In this case, you’ll need to get a lubricant out of your kit box. Both Q-tips and toothpicks work great as applicators here. They allow you to smear the lubricant all over the zipper teeth and even inside the slider. If this didn’t manage to solve the issue, then it seems like the problem lies in bent teeth. In such a case, you need to take your pliers out and put them to use. Open the zipper and straighten any teeth that are not in alignment with the rest. Don’t press too hard though, or you might accidentally break them.

How To Fix A Split Zipper

a split zipper Personally, I can’t decide which is more annoying – a zipper that won’t budge, or the one that keeps splitting even when nothing has touched it but air. In most cases, the culprit is the same as with a stuck zipper – dirty teeth. Grab some soap and water, and remove any dirt stuck between the teeth. Once you’re done, wipe them down with a clean cloth. But the problem doesn’t always lie in zipper teeth. In fact, there’s a possibility that the slider is the cause of all your troubles. In that case, try tightening it with pliers. If that doesn’t solve the issue, replace the slide altogether.

Zipper Care Tips

With zippers, like with most things, prevention is the best cure. So what can you do to keep your zipper working smoothly? Here are a few care tips that will prolong the life of zippers on your tent.

Clean Them Regularly

As I mentioned earlier, both dirt and sand can easily get inside the slider. If the particles build up, it’s very likely the zipper will jam. To avoid that, clean your zipper regularly. A little bit of vinegar will do just fine. Sailors use vinegar to remove salt from their zippers. But generally, this liquid is great for removing all kinds of dirt while being gentle on the fabric.


To keep your tent zippers in optimal condition, lubricate them on a regular basis. You can use petroleum jelly, wax and similar things found in your house for urgent fixes, but I wouldn’t recommend them for regular upkeep. Why? Because these things build up, and might eventually cause the zipper to stop working. Instead, buy a lubricant specially designed for zippers.

Keep Your Tent Doors Closed When Pitching

Before you start pitching your tent, close the doors. That way, there’s no risk of dirt or sand getting inside the slider or between the teeth. What’s more, keeping the doors closed makes sure you don’t stretch the tent too much. As we all know, stretching puts too much strain on both sides of the door, causing the zipper to split.

To Zip Things Up

No matter how high-quality your tent is, it’s prone to one thing – the zipper failing. It’s annoying, but it isn’t difficult to repair. With a simple repair kit and a pair of pliers, you can easily fix any zipper issues that happen during a camping trip. But keep in mind – a stitch in time saves nine. Treat your zippers with care, and you might not even have to use the repair kit at all.

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