Zippers are a common fail point on backpacks as they break or stop working after some interval of time. A consistent and trusty backpack is tough to find.
This could be the reason for some people to spend hundreds of dollars on good pack, as the perfect backpack with better quality will stay durable for longer period of time. But in an expedition for the perfect backpack, many people tend to oversee an explicit feature that will determine the lifespan of the zipper. It is just not the material the zipper that the backpack uses is made up of. One must also know to zip it well, otherwise it is impractical to use them.
Selecting the correct Backpack zippers
It is essential to ask yourself before buying a zipper: "Is the backpack going to be used for general purpose or will it be for carrying at the office with bare essential on daily basis? Will it be for carrying gear, clothes and equipment while moving for camping?
There are mainly three types of zipper used for backpacks.
1. Molded zippers: They are normally used in heavy duty backpacks such as for the general outdoor use and camping. As the name suggests, molded zippers, have separate molded teeth which are joined or combined together on the tape.
These zippers are basically made up of polyethylene and polyacetal resins that makes it more consistent and durable towards wear-and-tear. These backpack zippers are most suitable for camping as they do not catch dirt easily. But the only disadvantage of these zipper is that if one of the teeth is damaged, the complete zipper will be of no use. So one has to be very careful while zipping them.
2. Metal zippers: Known as metal chain or metal tooth, these metal zippers are the oldest form of the zippers since its invention in 1800s.
These zippers are relatively sturdy to use. But they get rusted and corroded over a period of time. The metal wires with which these zippers are made of easily catch on clothing or skin. The main drawback of these zippers is that they are bulky compared to molded or coil zippers.
3. Coil zippers: Often called as nylon zippers due to the material these zippers are originally made from. But nowadays, these nylon zippers are made of polyester material instead of nylon.
These zippers are cheap, smooth, water-proof, flexible and can be zipped up easily. They are less likely to catch on clothing, hair and skin. Its sliders come with huge variety of design, having wide scope for personal styling. However, these zippers become dirty easily and need to be cleaned on regular basis.
You can visit sbs-zipper.com to learn more varieties of these zippers.
Methods to take care of backpack zippers
Majority of the zippers wear down in time. Since zippers are the stress points on bags and also the component that faces substantial amount of wear-and-tear, it is important to take good care of them for prolonging their lives. The longer is the lifespan of the zipper, the longer is the usage of the backpack.
1. Do not force a zipper snag
This kind of practice is commonly found while dealing with zippers. Avoid forcing a material through a zipper if it is caught in zipper's teeth. This affects the durability of the zip. Pull the zipper away for the snag smoothly and try to pull or push the material to make it loose. If you fail in doing so, little bit of vinegar can be useful here. Apply that on the snag with an old toothbrush. The vinegar will eat up some of the material but loosening it from the zipper.
2. Avoid overloading the backpack
As zipper is the point of stress on the backpack, all extra weight in it puts more stress on zipper. An overfilled backpack makes you pull harder on the zipper, leading to its breakage. Use paraffin wax as a lubricant for smooth functioning of the zipper for long.
3. Always clean the zipper
Make of use of soap or water for cleaning the zipper or use material as recommended by the backpack manufacturers. Remove dirt or grime that is stuck on zipper's teeth since they might create problems in the long run. It is preferred to rinse out the bags and air dry them well if brought near the saltwater as the salt is extremely corrosive one, specifically to metal zippers.