Waterproof Expert

Waterproofing tips & tricks


Are zippers waterproof? How can I waterproof a zipper?

The zippers you’d typically find on jeans, as well as casual jackets and bags are not waterproof. Some outdoor garments are equipped with water-resistant or waterproof zippers that can successfully keep your pockets dry.

Of course, if you’re in a hurry, you can use one of the solutions below to make your zippers water-resistant. However, for the best possible results, you should replace your standard zippers with waterproof zippers.

How do you make a zipper waterproof?

You can’t make standard zippers waterproof. You can only make them water-resistant. To do that, you need to treat your zipper with a water-repelling coating. Alternatively, you can also cover the zipper with a storm flap or piece of waterproof tape. This will prevent water from sipping through the zipper teeth.

Use waterproof tape

The quickest solution to make your zippers water-resistant is to use waterproof tape. Simply stick a piece of waterproof tape over your zipper to keep rain at bay. The end result may not be aesthetically-pleasant but should do the trick.

Sew a storm flap

If using waterproof tape doesn’t appeal to you, you can use a storm flap. Sew a piece of water-resistant or waterproof fabric alongside the zipper. The storm flap will cover the zipper preventing water from reaching the teeth. Alternatively, you can also use a velcro attachment to keep rain at bay.

Use silicone wax

Rub silicone wax on your zipper’s teeth to seal them up. Make sure there’s enough wax on your zipper to cover the cracks between the teeth. Then, run the zipper up and down a few times to spread the wax evenly.

Of course, rubbing wax on your zipper won’t make it completely water tight. This solution is far from ideal but it should do the trick if you’re in a hurry.

However, be careful when using wax or other lubricants on the teeth on a zipper. The lubricant can catch and hold fine dust or sand damaging the slider.

Can water get through zippers?

Water droplets can get through standard zippers. Zipper teeth are tightly woven but water can still penetrate after long exposure. To prevent that from happening, you can apply a coating of silicone wax to seal the cranks between the teeth or sew a storm flap. Alternatively, replace standard zippers with waterproof zippers.

How do I know if my zipper is waterproof?

If your zipper has a rubber or vinyl coating that covers the teeth as you close it, this indicates it’s waterproof or at least water-resistant. Also, waterproof zippers are less flexible than standard zippers.

What are waterproof zippers made of?

Waterproof zippers are usually made of nylon and TPU. The teeth are typically made of nylon. These materials are waterproof. Water droplets will bead up on the surface on the zipper but won’t get through.

Are waterproof zippers really waterproof?

Waterproof zippers are really waterproof. They use a special design that blocks water drops from sipping through. The teeth are located at the back of the zipper. On top, there’s a rubber or PVC flap that covers the teeth when you close the zipper.

Ideally, you should use waterproof zippers instead of trying to make regular zippers waterproof. Take your outdoor jacket to a tailor and ask them to replace your zippers with waterproof zippers.

Are YKK zippers waterproof?

The YKK AquaSeal and ProSeal series are completely waterproof. You can use these zippers for diving suits to keep water out. The YKK zippers of the AquaGuard series are only water-resistant, they’re not waterproof.


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