One of the challenges of living in Bangkok is the humid climate. It’s tiring to be hot and sticky every time you go out. But it is also damaging to equipment.

Corroded zipper on my Lowepro camera bag

Corroded zipper on my Lowepro camera bag

I bought a Lowepro Nova Mini AW camera bag from San Jose Camera & Video when I purchased my Canon EOS-30D in 2006. The AW means All Weather: it has a plastic cover that you can pull over the entire bag to protect it from the rain. It is ideal for the monsoon rains we get in Bangkok.

I don’t use the bag all year, preferring to keep the camera ready for use. When I went to use it this year I found that the aluminium zipper had corroded so much that it would not move at all. The zipper teeth are plastic and don’t corrode but the metal zipper was immovable.

I tried to free it by soaking it in WD-40. It’s worked in the past with a lightly corroded zipper on another bag but this one was too far gone. The bag is still usable as it has a top flap and plastic fastener, but it’s the zipper that provides a lot of security.

Lowepro have a limited lifetime warranty for their bags. I could take it to their distributor in Thailand but I doubt they would entertain me.

The moral of the story is that items like zippers need maintenance in a tropical climate. If I had lubricated the zipper and exercised it, perhaps once a month, then the problem would not have happened.I think that’s the sort of thing they teach soldiers who deploy to the jungle.

I was spoiled in dry Northern California for so long. Things last indefinitely there.


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2 Responses to “Corrosion!”

  1. Toucanzoo Says:

    I know how you feel on this one.

    After spending lots of time in rainy and hot climates my zip broke in half and now I only have one that I can use.

  2. bkkphotographer Says:

    I would have thought a good quality nylon / plastic zipper would work better than aluminium. I’m surprised Lowepro use it. I see the company is based in California. Their designers don’t have regular and direct exposure to tropical climates. Maybe the aluminum works better in cold climates.

    I should contact them and see what they say.

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