How to fix a jingling zipper

I have a backpack. It’s a great backpack. But, this backpack sounds like it has bear bells hanging off of it when I walk. This simply isn’t going to work for me. Thankfully, I have metal tools and some rope. This is how I silenced my noisy zipper.

Starting off, there are likely two sources for jingling zippers. A zipper pull (the typically metal flat part that you actually grab to operate a zipper) may be bouncing along the teeth of the zipper. This makes a light, plasticy sound normally. Another possibility is that the zipper pull could be rattling against it’s own lug (the bent piece of the main zipper mechanism which holds the pull on. This method covers both of these situations, and is quite cost effective. However, it does require damaging the zipper. For this reason, I’ll also I’ll mention a few alternatives which you may consider, but I won’t cover these in detail.

With my pack, the zipper came with not only a metal zipper, but also some cord wrapped around it. I’ll be using this cord, but tossing the actual metal zipper pull. A sturdy pair of wire cutters ($1.89 at my local big box store) will allow you to safely remove the pull. Simply locate the thinnest point of the pull, apply some pressure, and it’s cut. You’ll need to carefully pry the pull open, preferably with a pair of pliers or two. From there, a thin piece of paracord (likely 2 or 3 mm) can act as a new pull, or you can order pulls online pretty cheap if you want something specific or a bit fancier.

ImG (12)

Once you have removed the pull, you can easily create your own pull from paracord. This is nice because it’s cheap, silent, and still works great. Plus, you have a practically infinite number of choices of color, length, etc.

All you need to do is take a length of paracord, double it over, and tie a figure 8 or similar knot at the end. Any good knot will do. From here, slide your newly created knotted rope (first image below) through the zipper lug. Next (top right image below) tuck the knot through the loop on the bottom of the rope. Finally, (bottom right image) simply pull the rope tight to secure it.

As you can see with the finished product, the knot is secure, looks nice, and is easy to pull. You can make the rope as long or as short as you want, and you can approach the zipper from several directions. Here, I had a horizontal zipper, but you can also tie the rope vertically with the zipper for vertical zippers (just slide the rope through the lug, then tie your knot for this method).

ImG (1)

You can also add sleeves to your paracord between the two knots (above) via shrink tubing and such, but I find that this is just extra weight/cost and really doesn’t improve the grip so I chose not too. However, it can look nice depending on your color choices.

Alternatives

If you do not want to damage your zipper, and it’s simply the pull bouncing along the teeth causing you grief, you can try applying shrink tubing to the zipper pull. You could also try applying a brush on (or dip) silicone or other forms of Plastidip. If you’re on a tight budget, a little electrical or duct tape will do the trick, but won’t look nearly as nice.

If you have any ideas or suggestions for ideas for alternative ways to fix a jingling zipper, feel free to comment below. If you’ve been making other modifications, I’d also be interested in hearing about those. I’m always looking for new ideas.

As always, thanks for reading!

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3 thoughts on “How to fix a jingling zipper

  1. Pingback: North St. Flanders Backpack Review | TreeLineBackpacker

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