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Way to waterproof a zipper?
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Sumi Wada
(DetroitTigerFan) - F

Locale: Ann Arbor
Way to waterproof a zipper? on 02/11/2013 09:39:50 MST Print View

I bought a couple of yards of HyVent material and made a rain anorak, intending it to be for around town. Well, it came out pretty nice and much lighter than what I was expecting, so I think I'm going to use it for backpacking. Only problem is that I just threw on a zipper I had on hand and the construction is a zipper box, so it's exposed. Is there anything I can do to make it a little more waterproof? Even if the coil part isn't water-tight, can I paint the fabric part with some sort of seam-sealer? What would you recommend?

Madeline T
(madscot13) - F
zippers on 02/11/2013 10:47:30 MST Print View

you could try putting on some zipper lube and sewing on a hyvent flap over the zipper

what are your thoughts on the hyvent? where did you order it from?

John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Re: Way to waterproof a zipper? on 02/11/2013 11:26:26 MST Print View


You might give the clear variety of Permatex Flowable Windshield and Glass Sealer a try. $5.00 at Advance Auto Parts.{keyword}&gclid=CPf1mOTqrrUCFeyPPAodqioASg#utm_source=acq&utm_medium=google&utm_campaign=enhancedrm&utm_content=7160107

Use a "thin" application of the sealer applied with a small disposable foam paint brush on the cloth portion of the zipper. Squeeze the sealant out of the tube onto the width of the end of the foam brush. Then brush the sealant onto and into the cloth portion of the zipper. Work the brush "sideways" (as narrow as possible) while applying the sealant vertically top to bottom on the cloth portion of the zipper. It will help if the zipper is run all the way up and held in tension in some way vertically and horizontally. Think along the same lines as seam sealing a tent.

Work up to the edge of the zipper coil and the HyVent material.


If the foam brush is too flexible it will be difficult to control the application of the sealer. Look for a foam paint brush that is small, less flexible and easier to use.

Party On,


Sam Farrington
(scfhome) - M

Locale: Chocorua NH, USA
wp zip on 02/11/2013 15:56:27 MST Print View

"I just threw on a zipper ..."

Just throw it off, and replace with a WP separating zipper,
unless of course you want to settle for a flap as John suggested.

The WP zips tapes are factory made to high tolerance to join and seal in front of the coil. Not an MYOG project.

Sumi Wada
(DetroitTigerFan) - F

Locale: Ann Arbor
Re: wp zip on 02/11/2013 16:12:41 MST Print View

I understand the construction of waterproof zippers and realize that the coil won't really be water tight. Just wanted to make the fabric part of the zipper more water resistant. It's a pullover anorak, so we're only talking 9-10".

Not interested in replacing the zipper or sewing extra stuff on.

I'll give the sealer a try. Thanks.

Sumi Wada
(DetroitTigerFan) - F

Locale: Ann Arbor
Re: zippers on 02/11/2013 16:16:03 MST Print View

>> what are your thoughts on the hyvent? where did you order it from?

Got if from Quest Outfitters. It's a nice fabric, great drape. Very lightweight (hooded pullover anorak is 4.5oz) but probably not all that durable. Breathes well. Haven't had it on in rain yet.

Kevin Beeden
(captain_paranoia) - F

Locale: UK
silicone floor wax on 02/12/2013 11:50:22 MST Print View

If you rub a little silicone floor wax up and down the zipper teeth, and rub it in well, then clean off the excess, you'll end up with something that's pretty water repellent. It makes a nice zip lube, too.

If you leave too much on the zip, it'll get all over the jacket and elsewhere.

Works nicely on tent zips, too.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: zippers on 02/14/2013 17:53:14 MST Print View

Try your garment as is - maybe it's waterproof enough

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: silicone floor wax on 02/14/2013 18:06:57 MST Print View

Be very careful about lubricating the teeth on a zip. The lubricant can catch and hold fine abrasive dust, like fine sand, and destroy the slider.


Dan Yeruski
(zelph) - MLife

Re: Way to waterproof a zipper? on 02/14/2013 19:19:09 MST Print View

Dissolve/melt some beeswax in glycerin. Ratio I think is 50/50. Brush it into fabric. Old school ;)

warren mcclintock
(the_gr8t_waldo) - F
making a zipper water resistant on 02/16/2013 19:53:57 MST Print View

seal sealer, thinned out with toluene..i loaded this mixture into a syringe and ran a small amount on the cloth section of wicked into the cloth quickly. just don't go "over board" and slop it into/on the teeth. i'd say 24hours to dry.

Kevin Beeden
(captain_paranoia) - F

Locale: UK
re: Re: Silicone floor wax on 02/18/2013 11:38:19 MST Print View

> Be very careful about lubricating the teeth on a zip.

That's a good observation, Roger. I guess because I clean off almost all the polish, I've not had problems with this. Either that, or the gear collection is so vast that it never succumbs to this long-term usage problem before it gets replaced (yes, I'm a terrible gear whore).

Edited by captain_paranoia on 02/18/2013 11:38:56 MST.