How to repair and replace the zipper door of a tent

Written by greg stone
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How to repair and replace the zipper door of a tent
(zipper image by Radoslav Lazarov from

Enjoying a camping trip is often directly correlated with how your equipment functions. A working tent helps. Zippers on tents often separate and break, especially in high-stressed areas, such as in the arch of the door. Knowing how to fix and, if needed, replace the zipper door of a tent ensures a longer life for the tent and comfort for the camping trip.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Pliers
  • Beeswax
  • Replacement slider

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  1. 1

    Release tension on the tent if the zipper separates by releasing the poles. Pull the zipper back and then forward to see if the teeth close.

  2. 2

    Check the slider of your zipper if the problem persists. The slider opens and closes the teeth of the zipper and features the tap you hold on to. Squeeze both sides of the slider, but not too hard, with pliers. Pull the slider to see if the teeth close.

  3. 3

    Open the seam at the bottom of the zip if the teeth do not close. Remove the old slider and replace with a new slider. Purchase a slider from a sewing supply store.

  4. 4

    Call a local shoe repair shop to see if it repairs or replaces zippers on tents. Many of these shops feature sturdy sewing machines that can sew zippers on tents.

  5. 5

    Replace a zipper by removing the teeth. Replace the teeth with Velcro. Purchase the Velcro from a sewing supply store.

Tips and warnings

  • Slow zipping pace when closing a zipper, especially around tight corners and at the arch section.
  • Treat zippers with care. Wash them with water after each trip.
  • Rub beeswax on the teeth for lubrication.
  • Consult with the manufacturer of your tent on zipper repair kits.

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