back  Back

COIL ZIP 5 - The coil zip slider pull tab has broken off

Slider pull tabs attach to the slider body in a number of ways depending on whether the slider has an 'auto-locking' function built in (like a trouser fly zip) or whether it is a simple 'non-locking' slider. Auto-locks are usually only found in clothing applications. Non-locking sliders are invariably used on tents, backpacks and bags.

The non-locking tabs locate on one or both slider surfaces under a metal arch extending from the slider nose end but open at the back end. In an accident or when excessive force is applied in an unusual way the tab may break or be pulled out from under the open end of the metal arch. You can replace a lost or broken tab by removing one from a spare slider. Lever up the back of the metal arch, remove the new tab, then do the same to fit it to the slider on your gear. Only distort the metal arch just enough to click the new tab out and back under. Close the opening back down using a small hammer or pliers, knocking or squeezing the arch. It is important to not bend the diecast back and forth any more than necessary to fit the tab.

In most WE day packs, backpacks and tents we use sliders, single-pull or double-pull, that have never had a metal pull tab fitted. Instead these sliders are fitted in production with pull cords, reducing weight and providing an better grip. Unless you need a metal tab for a special reason, like attaching a padlock, a simple pull cord is a better option. Choose a cord that is thick enough to not pull out under the open end of the metal arch and tie the ends together as a simple, double-strand overhand knot.

Some bags use 'kiss-lock' sliders. Their noses have offset rings so when the zip is closed and the sliders are 'nose to nose' a small padlock can be fitted through the rings. If a ring is broken the slider must be replaced. The truth is, we really don't like to use kiss-lock sliders. The pull position on these sliders is too far back from the nose and this causes the slider to nose-dive into the zip coils. As a result kiss-lock sliders don't run as freely as they should. A 'padlock gate' behind a closed slider at the end of its run is a better locking solution.
back  Back

Wilderness Equipment ©2016