My trusty North Face Goretex failed yesterday. The coat itself is in fine working order but the zip is totally broken. Just came apart. I'm loathed to trash a £200 jacket simply because the zip has failed but I'm not sure what other option I have. I checked the north face web site and this kind of thing is deemed "ware and tear" so the warranty does not apply (not worth the paper they're written on most of the time in my opinion but hey).

To make matters worse the zip was one of the fancy waterproof one's with a plastic coating built into the zip, so it's heavily integrated with the jacket. Is there anyway or any body who would be able to repair the zip?

My mother in law is handy with a needle and thread but I'm thinking puttin holes in it isn't going to make it very waterproof?

  • Got a photo of the damage?
    – Aravona
    Jan 11 '16 at 14:18
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    I'll take one tonight. Not got the jacket with me now. Basically the zip teeth are all bent out of shape and the zipper is stuck at the top. Even though the zipper is done up, it's open and won't budge back down...:( No rips, etc.
    – user2766
    Jan 11 '16 at 14:57
  • There are do it yourself ways to fix zips - Timpsons repair zips? Not sure if you have one by you though timpson.co.uk/services/71/clothing-repair-alterations
    – Aravona
    Jan 11 '16 at 15:00
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    Last time I wrecked my GORE-TEX synergy jacket I took it back to MEC and they fixed it for free. If it's just the zipper pull it's easy to repair, but if you need a full new zipper then all you'll have to do is re-tape the seam after you put the new zipper on.
    – ShemSeger
    Jan 11 '16 at 16:13
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    I have a Scott Goretex shell on which I broke the zipper a few years ago & a friends mother who is a professional seamstress was able to replace it no problem. Works fine to this day. Have a professional do it if you aren't confident in your mother in laws abilities.
    – renesis
    Jan 11 '16 at 16:23

Given the description of the problem, it seems you have to replace the zip entirely.

You can bring it to a tailor, they should be able to do most of it. They may not have the waterproof zipper, though, but you can find it online. Measure it first. It is probably a #5 size, though you don't have to use the exact same model.

Or you can do it yourself if you have a sewing machine. (If you have never done this, exercise first!).

Also, there should be a waterproofing mechanism behind the zipper. Often it is a tape: Seam tape

but it can also be a coating applied on the seam. In the easier case where it is tape, see rockywoods instructions on applying it.

You'll have to remove the tape, un-sew the existing zipper (be careful not to rip other seams), put the new zipper in place, sew it carefully, tape the seam.

Depending on where you live there might be an outdoor gear repair specialist near you who could do that for you. For example, those guys: http://www.lancashiresportsrepairs.co.uk/outdoor_clothing_repairs.htm


If you have a local outdoor shop, take it in to see what they recommend. If it needs repairing, they might be able to do it if they are licensed by TNF, or they might be able to send it in on your behalf. And don't assume it isn't under warranty. This could be a known problem, and TNF is, like most outdoor gear companies, good about standing behind its products.

Or as @njzk2 mentioned, try a gear repair shop.

In either case, it probably won't be very expensive to repair. Even if the entire zipper needs to be replaced, I bet it's under $50.

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