Waterproof Zippers – Uretek vs AquaGuard vs AQUASEAL
Apr 22, 2021 at 1:01 pm #3710032
I’m gathering materials for a MYOG, DCF clone of the infamous X-Mid, and had a question on zippers:
What is the difference, if any, between Uretek zippers and AquaGuard zippers? Both appear to be coil zippers with a PU laminate on one side.
I know AQUASEAL zippers are a different animal – pretty sure they’re Vislon zippers with a coated tape of some kind. Are these suitable for shelters? My understanding is they are weaker than coil zippers.
Thanks for any insight!Apr 22, 2021 at 2:46 pm #3710044JCHBPL Member
Oooooo…DCF X-Mid clone! Super interested in seeing this.Apr 22, 2021 at 9:53 pm #3710121
Yeah I’m gonna go for it, just can’t wait for the real deal…Sorry Dan ;) Very similar overall dimensions – 67″ x 100″ footprint, 46″ peak height.
Probably going to take me awhile, but I’ve got all the material sourced and a design drafted up in SolidWorks that I will eventually print full-sized patterns from. Curved seams and all. Just radial arcs, not true catenary curves, but I’ll modify that if needed. Needs a few tweaks, but it’s pretty much there.
Of course, I need to sort out the zippers as well. I’m leaning toward #5 Uretek at this point.Apr 23, 2021 at 8:18 pm #3710217CFDTucBPL Member
Can’t wait to see it! (Sorry, Dan. I have the X-Mid 2p and love it, just curious about the difference in the material.)Apr 25, 2021 at 6:17 pm #3710363Eric BlancheBPL Member
@eblancheLocale: Northeast US
Erik, idk if you plan on bonding (hense the need for pu laminate) or not but take a look at this video from ripstopbytheroll.com with their “waterproof” hhh compared to ykk. I don’t have any experience with HHH waterproof zipper though.
Though it would be worth pointing out…Aug 6, 2021 at 10:17 am #3724085Koben MeausetteBPL Member
Jumping into this a little late but trying to expand outwards from r/myog and this thread caught my eye..
I run Mozet Supplies and like zippers/ buckles. Here is some history on your main question.
No big difference between Aquaguard and Uretek. Uretek zippers are made by Uretek for YKK in Canada?/ the US. Aquaguard zippers are made everywhere. There are some politics as to why YKK uses Uretek here that can be read in this lawsuit:
A quick summary:
Mike Blenkarn, a MEC/ Arcteryx innovator created the first “waterproof” zippers. He did so through a connection with Stuart Press from Uretek, a developer of polyurethane coatings for outdoor gear. In August 11, 1999, Uretek agreed to laminate zippers exclusively for YKK USA in exchange for an upfront payment as well as a guaranteed minimum annual order. The agreement expired on July 31, 2004. Although the agreement was never renewed, YKK USA continued to pay Uretek to laminate its T4 and T5 zippers for many more years.
YKK then entered into an ELA (exclusive licensing agreement) with the patent holders and began to pump out zippers in Asia and abroad. There was one exception: the ELA does not convey a license to use the patents “for zippers placed in finished goods in the high end outerwear, marine, military and luggage (excluding sports bags and cosmetic bags) markets. In 2006, a belief came about YKK was selling these zippers into the unlicensed markets – hence politics ensue. The suit above goes into detail but for the most part it’s been put aside.
Aside from politics, Aquaguard is also available in vislon as well as coil. You can see this in certain bike bags and rain jackets. Only downside of the vislon stuff is that there is about a 6 month lead time to get it, whereas coil is much faster at 2-4 weeks pre-shipping. I quite like the durability of vislon over coil but I like the ease of how coil slides. Different sliders will improve sliding but overall, I find coil slides easier than vislon – especially with the Aquaguard coating.
Aquaseal is one of YKK’s submergible waterproof zippers. I would not use this in any other application. You can see it used on dry suits. It does use vislon teeth similar to the Aquaguard vislon zipper. It should be welded to show it’s true colours.
For a tent, I would go with Aquaguard coil in #5 or else a regular uncoated #3 or #5 reverse coil zipper with dual flaps. #3 Aquaguard is asking to fail in long term use, but depends on how you are using the tent and how much. The weight savings are nice over #5 – I just don’t see the tent holding up over the same time span as an equivalently used one with regular coil #3 or else #5 in either. My thoughts.
I am curious what you ended up going with.Aug 6, 2021 at 12:01 pm #3724094Jerry AdamsBPL Member
@retiredjerryLocale: Oregon and Washington
I couldn’t find ripstopbytheroll’s video of uretek vs ykk
what did they conclude?Aug 6, 2021 at 2:24 pm #3724104
That is an interesting story on the zipper drama.
I ended up ordering #5 Uretek zippers. Still haven’t put the darn tent together, but I have all the materials in hand.Sep 3, 2021 at 5:29 pm #3726614
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