How to maintain a tent zipper

topic posted Wed, June 6, 2007 - 12:34 PM by  Dok Atomik
It's true, I am a big time fan of a particular brand (duh), but this is good advice for any of you camping in tents that have zippers.

As much as possible, keep ypur zipper free of any debris, Never step on the zipper, if at all possible. Clean your tent frequently. At least once each year, include the zippers and slides in the thorough cleaning. Your end-of-the-season cleaning should include lubrication of the zipper and slide with silicone spray lubricant or candle wax. Lubricate again before (or during) your first camping trip of each camping season. In sandy areas, lubrication and cleaning may be necessary two or three times each year.

WD-40 is not an acceptable substitute for the silicone spray or candle wax, and is not recommended as a zipper lubricant.

Sand may make the use of candle wax our first choice for tent (and other zipper) use.

The slide (and its internal lubricant in the form of a polymer insert) are consumables, and will fail (eventually) in most applications, without regard for the quality of the zipper. But the mean-time-between-failures (MBF) tends to be much better for the quality product. If/when you notice a snag/catch in the zipper, inspection should be immediate (or darn soon).

When a zipper slide fails. do not freak out. It's replacable, either under warranty or for $5-$25 for the part (and easy install that doesn't require sewing). There are zipper field repair kits described on one or more of the links.

How to keep ypur tent forever

You may be able to repair your tent zipper on the trail

The care and feeding of your tent

How do you unstick a zipper?


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