Fixing a zipper

So I have this nice roller bag from to fit my oversize bogu (hey what can I say? I’m a big guy).

I put the bogu in the bottom half and gi in the top.

Anyways, this is supposed to be a how-to on fixing a zipper, specifically repairing a retainer/retaining box.

Parts of a zipper

About two years after purchasing this bag, the retainer box and slider fell off. The retainer box is at the end of the zipper and keeps the slider from falling off. The box fell off because there was weakness in the tape.

Zipper missing retainer box/slider

Basically the part of the tape attached to the box became separated from the rest of the tape and the box fell off.

Amazon sells replacement zipper parts. It is important the parts are sized properly. I purchased this kit.

Rather than replacing the whole zipper tape around the bag which would involve sending the bag to a seamstress, I decided to tape the zipper tape back together with this:

Gear aid tenacious tape mini patches

These are vinyl tape patches for repair of synthetic fabrics such as on down jackets, inflatables, rain gear, tents. They are self adhesive and can be cut down to size.

The patch was used to repair the zipper tape. The slider was inserted onto the zipper and then the box was attached to the repaired tape.

The replacement box was slid onto the tape and crimped down with a needle nose plier. It took a great deal of effort to do this since the patch would bunch up in the middle. I had to widen the groove in the box and then pinch it down after. The opposite side of the tape was inserted into the slider and the box.

Update (31DEC2018):

Well, it seems the fix is only temporary since the adhesive is not strong enough to keep the frayed parts of the zipper intact for long. I’ve already replaced the tape once.


I’ve been wanted to get this journal from

Musha shugyo nikki 


However, I wanted to start journaling right away, so I found this leather journal cover on Amazon that comes with a 3.5×5.5in insert with dotted pages. Replacement notebooks are cheap (you can use field notes, field books or moleskine cahier).

Compared to the Musha shugyo nikki (means “warrior quest/pilgrimage journal”) it is only $14.95 whereas the one from Bujin design is $54 plus VAT and shipping.

It comes with an elastic strap. Somehow you can insert three notebooks but I have yet to figure that out.

Hopefully by journaling I’ll be able to further incorporate what I learned during first and second practice.

Maybe if I get access to a laser cutter I’ll engrave something on the cover.

New wheels

After ten years, I’ve decided to retire my gas guzzling 2008 Lexus 400H which has seen me to practice twice and sometimes three times a week and back and forth for the one hour total trip to and from home to dojo and back again (twenty minutes per leg) between adult and junior practices.

Having spent about $300 every two weeks to fill up the car five times (it’s a V6 and we live in an area with lots of hills) I decided to get an electric car- a Tesla model 3.

Lexus, top
Tesla, bottom

It’s not really $35K like teased, more like $52K for extended battery, color other than black and performance package plus tax and title fee for a total of about $56K. (Less the federal tax credit of $7500 that leaves $48500 or $46500 if you meet eligibility requirements for the state of California).

But is it a good kendo vehicle?

In the Lexus, I was able to get three regular sized e-bogu backpacks (21x20x11 in) and three shinai bags comfortably in cargo sideways with the rear seats in recline (not folded down or upright).

In the model 3, I probably could fill the trunk with four backpacks but the shinai bags would have to fill the front seat or lie on the rear floor.

I can fit a large roller bag (13.75×25.5×15.75in) and a regular size shinai bag diagonally but NOT a combination of backpack, roller bag AND shinai bag(s) (including fabric shinai bag with size 37 shinai).

Here is a table of dimensions:


There is a “secret” compartment below the cargo space which can fit a small cooler. The rear seats can also fold flat for additional cargo space.

For additional cargo space info see below:


Update ———

It’s possible to fit the shinais in the trunk if you put them in sideways left side first.

It fits!