Hack Your Gear: Fix The Zip

Cure frosty midriff with this easy zipper repair

Holy pumpkin latte, Batman! Winter is just around the corner, and your ski setup is about as un-dialed as a Dominos pizza hotline before 10 p.m. But don’t fret, because we’re back with another rousing installment of Hack Your Gear, the semi-regular DIY column designed to get the most out of you and your aging ski gear.

This week we offer up an easy fix for a pesky culprit: the zipper. When the it works, the zipper is a thing of magic. When it doesn’t, the zipper is the bane of alpine existence, turning grown men into pouty toddlers in ski boots.

One of the worst instances of zipper malfunction is when the teeth of the zipper fail to engage, leaving both the bottom and top of the jacket unzipped and flapping in the wind. It’s annoying, to say the least.

But instead of calling it curtains on your ski day (or prematurely tossing your ski bag), check out this easy fix from the experts over at UCAN Zippers USA. A multi-tool and a little patience are about all you need to put those zipper troubles to pasture. Without further adieu, “Welcome to Everybody Loves Zippers.”

Tools: Broken ski jacket, ski bag, or fanny pack, multi-tool with pliers, patience, iron will

1. Position slider body so that there is enough space for pliers to effectively clamp.

2. With your pliers, gently clamp down on the mouth of the zipper (traditionally the bottom of a zip-up zipper). Clamp down just hard enough for teeth to engage, but not too hard to cause a jam and additional headache.

3. Slowly zip slider body up. If clamped correctly, zipper teeth should engage where it was originally clamped.

4. Once teeth are successfully engaging, carefully zip jacket or bag all the way down. This will reengage all of the zipper teeth and end your zipper nightmare.

5. Get back in the lift line, and cheer up, bud—it’s all going to be OK.

Have more gear hack ideas? Let us know at powder@powder.com for a chance to be featured on the next Hack Your Gear.

Marquee image: Don’t be the guy with his zipper down. PHOTO: Kade Krichko