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How to fix a broken zipper on your sleeping bag or tent


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.

zipper-repairA. 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 zipper pulls 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.


Learn more about zipper repair in this short video from McNett:

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11 Comments on How to fix a broken zipper on your sleeping bag or tent

  1. I dont dee anything online about replacing the metal piece at the bottom of a sleeping bag that completely opens up.

  2. Livin in the mitten // October 11, 2016 at 1:53 am // Reply

    Alot of times sand and or dirt is the problem make sure your zipper set is rubbed clean after each trip you might even rinse them down on tents and bags this will extend the like of your gear

  3. my tent zipper came apart and the Pull has come off. How do I get the teeth back in and interlocking?

  4. Most tent and sleeping bag zippers that “split” after being zipped I have easily fixed with plyers. Take the zipper head to the beginning (open) position, then gently squeeze one side then the other of the zipper head. Test the zip & repete as needed. This should fix it. I have saved 4 tents (not all mine), 3 sleeping bags and many book bags/back packs.

  5. Slumberjack bags have a lifetime warranty. I was researching how to fix the zipper on my 10-year-old bag when I realized this. Mailed it to them and a month later they called and said they were sending me a replacement.

    • just came here to say I did a google search for how to fix sleeping bag zippers and I read your comment and it worked perfectly. You are a life saver!!

  6. On dual entry tents that had one door where the zipper teeth would not stay together, our gear guy used GOOP and some thread to whip/seal a zipper so that it cannot pull apart.

  7. 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.

  8. 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?

  9. I use zip ties and a pair of pliers…

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

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