How to Repair Kelty Backpack Buckles

Written by bryan hansel
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How to Repair Kelty Backpack Buckles
Repair a broken buckle to get back on the trail. (backpacking image by Galyna Andrushko from

Kelty produces a variety of backpacks, which range from small day packs to large backpacking packs. On the packs, it uses many different styles and sizes of plastic buckles. Although plastic buckles are durable, they do occasionally break. Usually the break results from an impact, like being slammed in a car door or by being stepped on. You must replace a broken plastic buckle, because once broken no repair holds. Broken buckles are easily replaced.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Replacement buckle
  • Quick attach buckle
  • Wire cutter

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  1. 1

    Determine the type and size of the buckle. This varies based on the buckle's location, style of pack and the model year. It's best to replace a buckle with the same type, but some different types of buckles are compatible with others. It's best to try the replacement buckle with your pack before buying. When shopping for a replacement, look for a "side release buckle" for buckles that snap together, or a "ladder lock buckle" for those that hold a threaded piece of nylon webbing in place.

  2. 2

    Determine whether the buckle is sewn to the pack. If it's sewn in place, you'll need to rip the stitching out to replace it to factory specifications. Usually, the stitching is part of the pack's seam, and ripping it out might void your warranty or weaken an important part of the pack. Instead of ripping the stitching out, consider using a "quick attach buckle."

  3. 3

    Slide the unsewn, broken buckle off the end of the nylon webbing. Before it's completely off, look at how the webbing slides through the buckle.

  4. 4

    Slide the replacement buckle onto the strap. Replacing it with the webbing running the same direction as the buckle you took off.

  1. 1

    Use a wire cutter to snip the plastic piece holding the broken, sewn-in buckle to the Kelty backpack. Once snipped, remove the buckle from the webbing loop and throw it away.

  2. 2

    Look for the gap in the plastic on one end of the quick attach buckle. That gap allows you to attach the new buckle to the webbing loop without having to remove the stitching.

  3. 3

    Slide the webbing loop on your backpack through the gap in the plastic buckle until the buckle is attached to the loop.

Tips and warnings

  • Consider sending your broken pack to Kelty for repair. Kelty replaces defective buckles under its limited warranty. For normal wear and tear, it charges a repair fee.
  • You can recycle some plastic buckles. Look for a recycling symbol.
  • Removing stitching from the backpack to repair a broken buckle might void your warranty. Call Kelty before you do this.

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