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Thread: Wear and tear on "upside-down" zipper?

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    Wear and tear on "upside-down" zipper?

    For those of you with bags that have the upside-down waterproof zipper, what is the expected wear and tear along that zipper fabric over time? I believe reduction of wear and tear was part of the motivation for flipping the zipper on more recent bags while maintaining the waterproof nature.

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    I’ve have S25 and a Co-Pilot the zippers have worn a little on both. Basically it’s more of a discoloration where the slide moves along the rubber gasket. The wear marks are just a slightly lighter color, but it does standout a little. If you look really close you can see some minor “shredding” along the gasket edge.

    Generally I try to be careful to pull the zippers straight and not to the side which I fear could accelerate the wear. I think if you’re somewhat conscious of how you open the zippers it will probably hold up fine. However, if you did develop a small tear I suspect it would wear much faster.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BarryLee View Post
    If you look really close you can see some minor “shredding” along the gasket edge.
    I have a Smart Alec from the "pre-modular" days that the gaskets have all shredded along the edge from repeated openings. I'll be interested to see if my new S25 does the same thing.

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    Registered User Melissa's Avatar
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    My SE (with zipper facing up) shows a lot more wear than my other bags (Ristretto, Aeronaut, S25) with the zippers facing down. As far as which bags get used the most frequently, it's 1) Ristretto, 2 Cork Swift, 3) S25, 4) SE, 5) Aeronaut.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Melissa View Post
    My SE (with zipper facing up) shows a lot more wear than my other bags (Ristretto, Aeronaut, S25) with the zippers facing down. As far as which bags get used the most frequently, it's 1) Ristretto, 2 Cork Swift, 3) S25, 4) SE, 5) Aeronaut.
    Interesting! I appreciate knowing that. From pictures I have scanned on Flickr and the website, it appears to me that some fading and visible texture on the fabric placket of the reverse zippers is normal. I didn't know the coils facing up also could show wear.

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    It seems common to have some abrasion and shedding of rubber around the slider, it seems to affect the bigger zippers and zips that go around corners more but is mostly cosmetic and might affect the water repellency very minimally, not to the point that I would even start to worry about electronics or paper inside the bag.

    But the wear is obvious and for some customers not used to it I can see where it would raise alarms when the zipper on your new travel bag or backpack starts disintegrating. I have a feeling that the matte black coating wears a bit more than the glossy finish zippers seen on outdoor specific packs from the likes of arcteryx and Black Diamond, it is hard to gauge because on a good year I will get a few weeks worth of use out of my climbing packs whereas my TB travel bags rarely get unpacked for more than a few weeks at a time.

    YKK needs to step up to making a better zipper, I don't really like the look of the conventional zippers with gun metal pulls but I understand why TB uses it, when you sew your bags to last a long time it's disappointing when the components let you down. Perhaps they could get a better coating process like Sinn uses on their watches. I have one of their watches with a black tegimented PVD (physical vapor deposition) coating and it is damn near indestructible.

    I really wish they would keep going with the reversed zippers as having the coils facing out makes them susceptible to damage via abrasion and catching on objects. That fact is one of the things that drew me to the Aeronaut, there is nothing to snag, no hard edges to abrade and no obvious weak points. Hopefully they carry that over with the Aeronaut 30.
    Last edited by Miking; 06-07-2014 at 08:06 PM.

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    Gee
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    Miking, many years and a few lifetimes ago I was involved with a small factory making daypacks, climbing gear, cordura briefcases, etc. In those days we viewed the zipper pull as a consumable part, in that it would hopefully wear instead of the teeth or coils. The reasoning being it was simpler for a consumer to replace a pull and rejoin the end of the zip with a few rough stitches than the much harder job of sewing a new zipper in. I have no idea if that is still the case today, but it may be.
    Miking likes this.

  8. #8
    Registered User Rufus's Avatar
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    I guess my new S25 has the upside down zippers (teeth are on the inside). I'm not sure I like having this orientation much though since the rubber is showing wear on it already. Not quite disintegrating yet, but I can already foresee that it will. If the bags will start having zippers with the teeth facing outwards, I think I'd like that better.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Melissa View Post
    My SE (with zipper facing up) shows a lot more wear than my other bags (Ristretto, Aeronaut, S25) with the zippers facing down. As far as which bags get used the most frequently, it's 1) Ristretto, 2 Cork Swift, 3) S25, 4) SE, 5) Aeronaut.
    Hi Melissa, none of my SEs have the water shedding zippers. My other bags all have the old style zippers and have held up well. I've seen no signs of wearing or tearing.
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