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Travel bag repair?

While packing for a trip the plastic clip on the strap that keeps clothing secure broke. Any suggestions on how to fix or replace it? They seem very fragile.

Are you referring to the clip/buckle on the interior compression strap? For clips/buckles/straps/plastic cable ties/key chains and lanyards/carabiners - you can check out hardware stores and websites that sell paracord products. You can also go on YouTube for ideas for repairs. Paracord planet has photos and videos for different "crafts." You can figure-out your own repair and report your DIY project to the rest of us. Look up weaving/knots/sewing. You can do this! Think like a camper. There's always duct tape and safety pins.

Posted by
1259 posts

First stop might be to contact the mfr for warranty protection. Failing that, if you don’t want to go do-it-yourself, most larger markets have a luggage repair shop. The only luggage repair facility in Boise, Idaho, closed about twenty years ago but there are many custom sewing and bag construction shops that could do the job. Also, according to a yellowpages search, some upholstery shops will attempt to repair luggage.

Picking up on the above post - some shoe repair shops can fix luggage as well. I think I would check out various carabiners and "s" clips first for cost and ease. Maybe you can pilfer parts off of a thrift store "organ donor" bag.

Posted by
5835 posts

Starting point is checking with the luggage company and if they are good, they will just mail you a replacment component.

Alternative is to check with outdoor eqipment retailers like REI for Camping and HikingGear Storage and MaintenanceGear RepairBuckles, Cordlocks and Fasteners:

Posted by
8130 posts

Since going to the packing cubes, we never use those straps anyway.

Posted by
156 posts

I second the shoe repair shop idea. Several of the shoe repair places in my area also do luggage repair.

Posted by
6788 posts

If this thing broke while you were packing it, that could be a troubling indication of how it's going to hold up under actual use while traveling, which will surely be orders of magnitude more demanding. If it were me, I'd take a good, hard look at this bag now and evaluate how it'll hold up to being tossed around, slung and dropped repeatedly while packed full and under stress. Pack it up full with heavy things, almost to the point of bursting (a good simulation of actual travel use) and throw it around like an airline baggage handler - better to find out if it's going to fall apart now then while running to catch a train.

Assuming you think it's worth keeping (and fixing) see the above suggestions.

You might also check out (of all things) dry cleaner shops, which IME often also have a side business in "garment repair" and alterations. At least where I live, most seem to be run by hard-working immigrants who can sew nearly anything. I've had several different shops do minor gear repairs for me on small travel packs and related outdoor gear. Each time they did a great job and the part they repaired was probably 10X stronger than any other original piece of it. Just be sure you clearly communicate your expectations, since this is probably not their usual line of work, but I found these folks happy to take on small jobs like this.

Posted by
5202 posts

Great suggestions by the others!

If the clips are the kind that are not stitched onto the straps, you can easily replace them by getting a new set at a sporting/camping goods store, such as REI (as Edgar pointed out above)

If the clips are stiched, then you may be also be able to find a set of such clips at a fabric store such as JoAnn’s. If the clips are stitched onto the straps, you may be able sew them yourself, or take your bag to a shoe repair shop.

I’ve actually cut off the straps (with clips) from an old bag that was badly damaged.

Just wondering. What brand is your bag?

BTW, I’ve wrapped a piece of
paracord, long enough to tie my bag together in case the zipper breaks, on one of the handles (macrame style) of my travel bag...Just in case.

Have a wonderful trip!

Posted by
11161 posts

It’s a Rick Setevs (sic) bag - soft sided.

Call the RS office on Monday

Posted by
347 posts

You may find replacement clips at a fabric store.
You may find hook and loop tape (e.g Velcro) that you could sew on the the ends of the existing straps.

You might add 2 D rings to one strap and wind the other through it as you would on an apron neck strap.
If long enough, you could tie the straps together.

Posted by
786 posts

A similar strap buckle broke on my RS rolling carry-on. They sent me a pair of replacement buckles, which I had to sew in after removing the old ones (hint: use a seam ripper).

Understand I have zero sewing skills but I was able to manage the task without disaster. The replacement buckles are sturdier than the old ones.

Posted by
13 posts

At the suggestion of a forum member, I called Rick Steves customer service on Wednesday. Explained the problem and the representative sent me clips from a money belt. Got them today. Will remove the stitching, replace the clips and restitch. No need for a shoe maker.
Very fast and courteous service!

Posted by
12172 posts

Yes shoe repair places are equipped to fix bags. They're used to heavy threads and big needles.

On the road my repair is generally duct tape, safety pins and my sewing kit. That usually fixes it enough to get home.