How To Fix A Broken Luggage Zipper 

One of the most common travel problems is a broken luggage zipper. It can be a real hassle, especially if you’re in a foreign country and don’t have access to a repair shop. But don’t worry; it’s easy to fix a broken Luggage zipper.

When I was traveling in Thailand, my luggage zipper broke. I was staying in a small hostel with no repair shop nearby. I was starting to panic because I didn’t know what to do.

I decided to try to fix the zipper myself. I had never done anything like this before, but determined to figure it out. I searched online for tips, and I found a few helpful articles.

I started to fix the zipper by following the expertise guidelines. I faced a lot of difficulties in the process, but I persevered. Finally, I was able to solve my Luggage zipper. I was so relieved that I had been able to fix the zipper myself. I had learned a valuable lesson.

So, In this guide, I will share my experience of how to fix broken luggage zippers. Let’s go to start.

Common Causes of Broken Luggage Zippers

While traveling is exciting, the thrill can quickly wear off when your bag zipper breaks. Here, I share the most common causes of your luggage zipper broken.

Common Causes of Broken Luggage Zippers

1. Overpacking

The most common reason for a broken zipper is overstuffing your bag. When there’s too much pressure on the zipper, it can cause the teeth to separate or the slider to break. I’m guilty of this -I always want to bring my entire closet! Next time, I’ll be more selective and leave some space in my luggage.

2. Faulty or Cheap Zipper

A good-quality zipper will fail much more quickly under stress. Buying a solid bag with a strong zipper is a good idea if you travel often. After repeated zipper issues, I’ve replaced a few cheap suitcases over the years.

3. Metal Fatigue

Metal zippers can become brittle and break over time and use. The repeated motion of the zipper causes the metal to weaken until it finally snaps. My old duffel bag has been around the world with me, so it’s no wonder the zipper finally gave out.

I used a strong safety pin to fix my broken zipper in Thailand and secured the two sides together. It held up for the rest of my trip, and I could get my bag repaired once I got home. A quick fix can get you out of a jam, but in the long run, the best solution is a new zipper or new luggage. Quality is vital because I want my bags to last through all my adventures!

How to Fix a Broken Luggage Zipper – Expert Tips

The zipper on my luggage broke when I was backpacking through Thailand last year. I started panicking because I didn’t know how to fix it. But after some tinkering, I managed to find a solution to get me through the rest of my trip. Here’s what I did to fix my broken luggage zipper:

How to Fix a Broken Luggage Zipper Expert Tips

1) First, I inspected the zipper to determine what was wrong. In my case, several zipper teeth had detached from the tape. The zipper may still function if only one or two teeth are damaged. But if multiple teeth in a row are broken, the zipper will need repair.

2)  I gathered a few supplies: pliers, superglue, duct tape, and a needle and thread. The pliers helped me gently work the detached zipper teeth back into place. I then applied superglue to the underside of the zipper tape to re-adhere the teeth. Once the glue was dry, I added duct tape to the zipper for extra strength and protection.

3) As a final precaution, I hand-sewed the zipper tape along the sides of the luggage opening. It helped prevent the zipper from detaching again or bursting open. My quick fix got me through the trip, though once I was home, I did invest in a new suitcase.

With patience and the right tools, a broken zipper doesn’t have to ruin your travels. First, fix any loose teeth. Then, use solid adhesives and reinforcements to secure your zipper. 

Inspect the zipperNoneIdentify what is wrong with the zipper.
Gather suppliesPliers, superglue, duct tape, needle and threadGather the necessary tools and materials to fix the zipper.
Reattach detached zipper teethPliersUse pliers to gently work the detached zipper teeth back into place.
Apply superglue to the underside of the zipper tapeSuperglueApply superglue to the underside of the zipper tape to re-adhere the teeth.
Add duct tape for extra strength and protectionDuct tapeAdd duct tape to the zipper for extra strength and protection.
Hand-sew the zipper tape along the sides of the luggage openingNeedle and threadHand-sew the zipper tape along the sides of the luggage opening to help prevent the zipper from detaching again or bursting open.

How to Temporary Fixes for a Broken Luggage Zipper

When traveling, there’s nothing worse than discovering your luggage zipper is broken. As an avid traveler, I’ve had this happen to me more than once. So, I had to find a temporary fix. Here are a few tricks I’ve learned to fix a broken luggage zipper in a pinch:

How to Temporary Fixes for a Broken Luggage Zipper

1. Use zip ties, string, or rope as a makeshift zipper. It is a quick solution if you have cable ties, sturdy string, or thin rope in your luggage or can buy some nearby. Tie the ties, string, or rope through the zipper teeth or holes to keep your bag closed. It may not look pretty, but it will do the job once you can repair the zipper.

2. Apply strong double-sided or duct tape. Place strips of heavy-duty tape over the broken part of the zipper to seal your bag shut. Press so the tape adheres well. The downside is you’ll have to cut through the tape to open your bag again. Masking or scotch tape only holds for a short time.

3. Use metal clasps, carabiners, or clips. Use metal clasps, carabiners, or sturdy hooks to fix a broken zipper. Attach one end to each side of the zipper to close it. It allows for more effortless opening and closing than the tape method. 

4. Sew or stitch the opening closed. If nothing else works, you can sew the sides of the broken zipper with a needle and thread. You can also use dental floss or a fishing line. Tie off securely. While it may not be the easiest method, you can use it to keep your bag closed until you can fix the zipper.

How to fix a broken luggage zipper without a zipper repair kit

When I travel, there’s always a chance of something going wrong. On a recent trip to Vietnam, the zipper on my luggage broke, leaving my bag open and all my belongings exposed. I started to panic, thinking I’d have to buy a new suitcase. But after taking a deep breath, I realized there were a few ways I could fix the broken zipper myself without a repair kit.

I checked if the zipper tab had just come off the track. If the bag is still intact but not closing, use a screwdriver, pliers, or key to fix it gently. Be very careful not to break the tab or damage the zipper further. The zipper worked again once I got the check back on track.

You’ll need to get creative if the tab needs to be fixed or added. I’ve used a sturdy paper clip, binder clip, or key ring instead of a zipper tab. Loop the substitute tab through the hole at the top of the zipper, and you can zip and unzip as usual. You can also tie a knot at the zipper’s end to create a makeshift pull tab.

As a last resort, you may need to replace the zipper altogether. But unless you have zipper replacement experience, I’d suggest finding a tailor or luggage repair shop. They can install a heavy-duty replacement zipper to get your luggage working and new.

A broken zipper can save your travels and luggage with patience and ingenuity. Next time you hit the road, pack a few zipper repair essentials like pliers, paper clips, and a small sewing kit. If your zipper breaks in a foreign country with language barriers or lack of resources, stay positive. Use hand gestures to communicate. You’ll get your point across! There’s always a solution if you keep your cool.


So, Follow my tips to fix a broken bag zipper and have a great trip. Next time you hear that dreaded sound of a zipper giving way, don’t panic. You will Take a deep breath and try one of these methods.

You’ll be able to get your bag closed again with some work. And if all else fails, find a tailor. But if you follow my advice, you will get solutions, a tailor’s services won’t be necessary, and you can continue enjoying your travels, zipper intact.

Let me know if you have any other questions – I’m happy to share more of my travel repair tips and tricks.

Oh yeah, your luggage handle gets stuck while traveling? You could read this. What to Do When The Handle On Your Bag Is Stuck

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