How to Replace the Zipper Slider of YourZippers

Zippers are very common on things you use every day, from your favorite jacket to your backpack, luggage, sleeping bags, and tent. However, the fact that zippers are so common is the reason why many of you probably never take the time to appreciate how sophisticated the zipper’s anatomy really is.

Of course, everything changes until the zipper of your camping equipment or beloved jacket gets stuck. Usually, it happens when the zipper slider is broken or missing, which means you can no longer zip your gear down or up, rendering it useless.

While zippers are a clever feat of engineering, they are astonishingly simple and easy to fix provided that you got the right tools handy. All you have to do is detach the broken zipper slider and find the perfect replacement at The secret to getting the replacement right the first time is to know and understand the specific type of zipper you have and the size of zipper slider you will work with.

Replacing the Zipper Slider of Split Zippers

If your split zipper doesn’t pull in both directions on your bag or jacket, you don’t have to buy a new zipper. Here are the steps to follow when replacing the zipper slider of a split zipper:

  1. Check your zipper for the right size and type of slider replacement.
  2. If the top of the zipper has a metal zipper stop, use needle-nose pliers to remove it. If you have a plastic Vislon zipper, just cut off the top stop with nippers. You can also use a seam ripper to get rid of the fabric stitching if it gets difficult to access the top of the zipper.
  3. Move the old zipper slider to the top and slide it off to remove it.
  4. Slide the new zipper from the top of the zipper with the “nose” facing up.
  5. Use the needle-nose pliers to crimp the new zipper top stop on the top of the zipper.

Replacing the Zipper Slider of Closed-Loop Zippers

For zipper sliders sewn in closed-loop zippers, the repair is a bit different compared to the top stop, although it can still be repaired with some know-how.

  1. Similar to a top stop repair, be sure to check the zipper first for the right size and type and look for the right replacement.
  2. Remove the stitching on the zipper’s lower end using a seam ripper.
  3. Take off the old zipper slider then pry off the metal stop at the zipper’s bottom if there is any. Make sure you don’t tear the fabric at the zipper teeth’s base.
  4. Put the new zipper slider by guiding the zipper teeth into the slider’s top grooves and pushing them down to the bottom. Use a pin as needed if pushing through gets a bit difficult.
  5. Gently pull on the zipper to make sure the slider has been set evenly on the zipper tracks.
  6. Pull up the slider until you see the track teeth locked at the bottom.
  7. Sew in a new stop at the zipper tracks’ bottom using thread and needle.