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Colin Krusor
(ckrusor) - M

Locale: Northwest US
Buttons on 10/21/2011 14:16:09 MDT Print View

I have a plan to make a down vest using SevenD fabric and I'm considering using buttons rather than a zipper or snaps. Buttons are the most difficult type of closure to manipulate with gloves or cold fingers, I realize, but they don't snag like a zipper or lose their fastening strength like a plastic snap, and if they pop off they are very easy to replace. Buttons would also be lighter than a zipper or metal snaps. Does anyone have experience with down jackets or vests that have buttons? Any potential problems I haven't forseen?

John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Re: Buttons on 10/22/2011 05:44:54 MDT Print View

Hi Colin,

Sorry no experience with using buttons on a down vest here.

I do use plastic Kamsnaps on my top quilt and they seem to hold their fastening strength pretty well so far.

Have you considered another option like omni tape. It's a velcro style product with both hooks and loops on both pieces of the "tape" so that there is no snagging.

Quest Outfitters has a version of it that I have used on a pack. The link below will take you to a point about 60% down towards the bottom on a Quest webpage. Scroll down until you are about 75% to 80% towards the bottom and look for "HOOK & LOOP- SNAG FREE FASTENER -like Omni TapeĀ®". & LOOP

Potential problems? Velcro is noisy. ;-(

Potential problems with buttons? Sewing one back on with cold fingers or threading a needle with cold fingers and eyes as old as mine. ;-)

One more suggestion if you stick with the buttons, use an easily spotted color if you have to find one, "that has left the building", on the ground. :-)

Post pictures when you're done please. You know how us MYOG types like pictures.

Party On,


Chris Muthig
(cmuthig) - M

Locale: Georgia
Hooks Maybe? on 10/22/2011 06:07:42 MDT Print View

I have looked for solutions in the past to zippers and velcro on some pieces, and one thing I have thought about is possibly using hooks instead. What kind of hooks, I'm not totally sure. Fabric stores have those tiny little hooks that go on the back of dresses, but they also have some larger, burlier ones that won't bend if you pull too much. This might give you a good middle ground between being able to replace, but also able to undo it with cold or gloved fingers.

Daryl and Daryl
(lyrad1) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest, USA, Earth
Re: Buttons on 10/22/2011 08:51:36 MDT Print View

I use military surplus jacket liners a lot. They consist of fiberfill sandwiched between two layers of light nylon so they are somewhat puffy like a down garment.

These liners use 3 buttons to close the front. I find them wonderfully convenient and secure. The buttons are easy to use, even with mitts. They also have a beveled shape that makes them work easily. I think the military has done their homework on them.

I always wear a zippered windbreaker over the jacket liner so I'm not concerned about heat that might escape between the 3 buttons.

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Re: Re: Buttons on 10/23/2011 10:01:04 MDT Print View

I had a vest years ago that used buttons on the front. They worked well and were quite large so mitt and gloved use wasn't a problem. If I were to use buttons, I would look for some with a very large outer diameter but with a spoked design to save on weight. Think of an old style wagon they make carbon fiber buttons? :) Let us know how it works out.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Buttons on 10/23/2011 14:29:16 MDT Print View

We have plastic snaps on out silnylon ponchos (MYOG article at BPL). They have been hammered for years. They still work just as good as new.


Daryl and Daryl
(lyrad1) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest, USA, Earth
Re: Buttons on 10/24/2011 12:31:33 MDT Print View


Photo above shows the military buttons I referred to in an earlier post.

They weigh about 1/30th of an ounce each (plus thread weight).

William Cummings
(rcummings1) - F

Locale: Colorado
What about toggles? on 10/24/2011 12:50:08 MDT Print View

What about using toggles like the ones used on Peacoats. I loved those as a kid. Easy to use with gloves in cold weather also.

You could repurpose the small plastic tooggles like the ones used on tents to hold rainflys rolled back. Probably be big enough to get the job done and combined with a little dyneema cord or flat elastic it could be a home run.

With a little imagination you could engineer the modern day UL version of the pea coat toggle.

Edited by rcummings1 on 10/24/2011 12:54:20 MDT.

William Zila
(Ultralightwillinn.m) - MLife

Locale: Albuquerque
bra clips ? on 10/24/2011 12:52:12 MDT Print View

how about bra clips i use the 1/2inch ones on my quilts to secure elastic understraps too grosgrain loops. got them at hobby lobby

Michael Duke
(mpd1690) - F
Re: bra clips ? on 10/24/2011 13:10:59 MDT Print View

Not enough tension. There needs to be tension pulling opposite sides for that to work.

Steven Paris
(saparisor) - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Bra clips on 10/24/2011 13:16:04 MDT Print View

How would men ever be able to get them open?

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Bra clips on 10/24/2011 13:32:59 MDT Print View

"How would men ever be able to get them open?"