How To Fix Backpack Straps And Zippers Outdoors

Featured | Man in tactical outfit holding a knife and kneeling for backpack with camping and tactical gear on night forest background | How To Fix Backpack Straps And Zippers Outdoors

Take hold of these useful tips on how to fix backpack straps and zippers so you'll know what to do should yours get damaged, especially outdoors.

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Handy Tips to Fix Backpack Straps and Zippers

Keep a Sewing and Backpack Repair Kit Handy

While camping, hiking, or hunting, seemingly little inconveniences can turn into big problems if they're not fixed right away. A damaged backpack is a perfect example.

However, with the right supplies, tears and rips to backpack straps and zippers can be easily fixed. Heavy-duty backpacks are hard to come by and are even harder to keep in perfect condition.

This is because heavy-duty backpacks are made for the rugged outdoors. But they are still vulnerable to tears, rips, and even loosened threading over time.

To thoroughly fix an irreplaceable one-of-a-kind heavy-duty backpack, be sure to always keep a repair and sewing kit handy for outdoors. These tools and materials should consist of:

  • Sewing kit with needles, thread, and portable carrier (preferably waterproof).
  • Spare buckles, clips, and sliders
  • Heavyweight polypropylene webbing
  • Extra zippers, zipper threading, and pull tabs or 550-cord

How to Fix Backpack Straps

When fixing backpack straps there a few factors to keep in mind. For example, backpack straps usually have various tools attached to them such as buckles, clips, and even sliders.

These tools have a tendency to fall off or become lost when backpack straps tear and become detached. In order to prevent this, be sure to keep count of all the materials attached to the backpack prior to fixing.

Generally, when backpack straps tear or detaches, you can easily sew them back on. To be sure, keep additional heavy-duty sewing supplies nearby just in case.


Tools such as buckles, clips, and sliders are also generally easy to fix or replace when repairing backpack straps as well. Be sure to have spare materials in case some become broken or lost.

Backpack buckles and clips are usually sewn onto the backpack straps in a loop-like fashion. Sliders, on the other hand, are slid into place through the webbing or strap.

While quality backpacks have reinforced stitching to the straps, ripped straps still occur, especially if your backpack is too heavy. A ripped backpack strap is a bummer, indeed.

Unfortunately, only sewing will do the trick and you need to have a needle and strong thread with you on your backpack. If you want to know how to fix a ripped backpack strap, learn some basic stitches.

RELATED: How To Fix A Broken Zipper In Four Simple Steps

How to Repair Zippers in Backpacks

Some of the most common problems in backpacks for outdoor use include loose, stuck, or broken zippers. However, there is a great way around this dilemma.

For instance, with a sewing kit handy, you can reattach the threading on the zipper teeth. Your sewing kit will also help in freeing jammed zippers.


By carrying an additional 550 cord, you can retie pull tabs onto zipper loops if they become loose and/or lost.

One of the first most common zipper dilemmas is the tear between the backpack cloth and the zipper itself. This tear usually calls for either a new backpack or a new zipper.

Fortunately, if extra zipper teeth threading is present, this dilemma is good as taken care of. All you need is a sewing kit and a little know-how regarding sewing techniques.

For jammed zippers or zippers stuck in the nook or cranny of a backpack opening a sewing kit will also prove handy. Sewing needles, or items of the sort, are great for releasing the grip if you insert them inside the zipper itself.

Too often pull tabs become loosened from usage and ultimately lost while outdoors making it a bit harder to properly open and close zippers. However, spare 550 cords can be measured accordingly, cut, and tied through zipper loops in order to keep up with ease of access.

For outdoorsmen and backpackers, this video from BOgear on how to fix backpack shoulder strap slip is a must-watch:

Ripped backpack straps and a busted zipper is the last thing you want happening when you're outdoors hiking or camping. With these tips and tricks and a backpack repair kit, you can rest easy with your backpack full even when far from civilization.

Would you manage to fix backpack straps and zippers outdoors now? Tell us your thoughts about these tips in the comments section below!

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***Disclaimer: The contents of this article are for informational purposes only. Please read our full disclaimer.***

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on May 15, 2015, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

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How To Fix Backpack Straps And Zippers Outdoors

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