Paul Williams

March 9, 2021

Zipper Pulls

A fleeting thought about zipper pulls -- the kind that are either natively part of your bag, purse, dopp kit, etc., or those that you add on to an accessory because the native one sucks.

The more I enjoy bag construction and the meticulous materials, fabrics, and fastening devices used to build them, the more I scrutinize zippers. Mainly, I've come to to the conclusion that any zipper that rattles isn't fit for use, all security measures aside (way better to fasten locks against metal zippers than other materials). Trust me, once you've eschewed metal-on-metal clanking, there's no going back.

Goruck bags were the first experience I had in quiet zipper pulls back when I got my GR1 in 2012 (which, by the way, holds up perfectly to this day, nearly a decade later). They use YKK zippers with pulls constructed from parachute 550 cord and heated wax tubing that. They're amazing, and hold for a quite a while. I've only had to update one of them because the burned knot unraveled.

I've rarely seen completely silent zippers deployed anywhere else on the gear market, but you can turn any rickety loud zipper into a silent one, and use any kind of zipper pull you want, with a simple tool -- this (or others like it) will allow you to clip the metal/loud plastic zipper pull for removal. Just loop any other zipper pull to the main fastener of the zip itself, and you've engineered a better zipper. 

A few recommendations of zipper pulls that work exceptionally well:

[Alas, Goruck no longer sells their paracord + wax tube kit for making your own Goruck zippers, so you'll have to scrounge those materials together in your own way.]