March 15, 2022

Somebody Tell Me Why My Zippers Have Two Sliders

OK, gear-heads, this is for you.

I never made a "Things that Annoy Me" category for this blog, but if I did, it would include coats and jackets with double zipper sliders.

Double zipper on a Patagonia parka.

There I am, dressing for the winter, with the dog bouncing around my knees — "Oh boy, a walk! I have to pee!" —trying to line up the "insertion pin" with two, not just one,  "sliders," and then push it down into the "retainer box." 

Easy to do with one slider, but getting the two to line up, expecially with stiffer, bulkier zippers is a chore. Sometimes pulling downward on the "retainer box" helps.

The top-fastening look from 1871.

The double zipper lets you open the coat from the bottom. That used to be fashionable, although in the case of Mr. Henry Edwards above, it seems like the tactic of a gentleman of increasing girth who is reluctant to discard his favorite velvet-collared coat.

"Buttoned at the top" was not just a look
for the older gent, however (1880s "sack suit").

Here again, a young man's look.  That is a box camera he is holding —
his selfie stick would not fit into the photograph.

The outdoor brands seem to love their double sliders. My coat rack holds the afore-mentioned Patagonia jacket, a Cabela's down-filled coat, and an Eddie Bauer fleece-lined coat, all with double zipper sliders. And there is a double set on my waterfowling parka down in the basement as well.

But why? It is just more bother for no clear gain.

I never see anyone on the street with the coat zipped only at the top, its bottom floating free in the breeze.  Jacket and coats are either unzipped completely, zipped up completely, or open partway down from the neck.

We do not fasten coats only higher up so that they expose the elegrance of their linings or our fashionably cut waistcoats — not for the last 125 years or so.

Nor is this I look that I see on cross-country ski trails, in the marsh, or in the woods. I could maybe see it for horseback riding, but Eddie Bauer doesn't go for the "winter equestrian wear" niche.

So somebody tell me why the outdoor brands keep doing it.

Meanwhile, the dog really needs to go out!


Glypto Dropem said...

I like it on longer heavy coats. If I have to pee I just run the lower slider up halfway and my coat is out of the way. Then I can just whip out the junk, let loose, and not get my coat wet.

Chas S. Clifton said...

Glypto -- I have no problem with that, but the key word is "longer." Why have two sliders on a hip-length outer garment?

Ruth said...

I'm below average height, EVERY jacket is long on me. I zip up the bottom slider (opening the bottom of the coat) when I'm sitting in the car. Zip it back down when getting out.

Pat, Marcus & Alexis said...

I have to say that they mystify me on coats. I never zip up form the bottom with them everywhere.

A year ago or so, however, I learned their utility in a completely different application. I took a Jeep top into a canvas ship to be repaired as the back window zipper was wrecked. They replaced the two-sided zipper with a one-sided one. I have no idea why. It was pretty much a disaster, as the window was designed to be able to be part way rolled up from each end and not be taken completely off.

As it was, it was disintegrating anyway, so it only made one more year. What I learned is that finding a really heavy duty, suitable zipper for an attempted home repair is darned near impossible.