a bagmaking essential

Some people like to wear their bags high on their chest, others prefer to wear it on their hips. All people are different, in height, in preference, in style. 

Unless you are sewing for yourself and will only use your bag under the exact same conditions, chances are you will always want a bag strap that can be adjusted in length

A strap slider is one of the most used hardware pieces that can do just that. It is mainly used for crossbody bags and backpacks. 

It is also referred to as: adjustable slider, triglide, adjuster or adjustable buckle

Note that a strap slider can never be functional when used all by itself! You will always need another piece of hardware, like a ring or snap hook to form a loop. (see: how to apply below)

size matters

Strap sliders come in various sizes and dimensions. Common sizes range from 15 to 50mm (1/2 inch to 2 inches) in width.

When you buy a strap slider, the size that is indicated refers to the inner width of the slider. This is the most important measure since you have to match it to the width of the strap you intend to use.

Question: How much tolerance is acceptable for a good strap – strap slider fit?

Answer: A deviation up to 2mm both up or down is perfectly acceptable for a good fit. So e.g. a strap of between 36-40mm will usually fit into a 38mm strap slider. More space will make your strap susceptible to twisting, less space will make it almost impossible to feed through.

Question: Is the height important?

Answer: The (inner) height should mount up to at least 4 times the thickness of your strap. Usually you don’t have to worry about this too much. For regular webbing or straps made out of fabric, this will almost always be the case. There are 2 exceptions though:

  1. If you make your strap yourself out of 4 layers of (faux) leather you might need an extra high opening. 
  2. If you use a high strap slider with fixed center bar and your strap is rather thin, the strap may start slipping through when weight is put in the bag. 
common styles

Loose bar, fixed bar, curved, straight, wire-formed or die-casted. Strap sliders exist in many forms, all with their own pro’s and con’s. We show a few so that, from now on, you can recognize any strap slider.

Just remember: the feature that sets a strap slider apart from other hardware is the center bar.

How to apply

The center bar is the defining feature in this piece of hardware. By attaching one end of the strap around that bar, then threading it through a piece of hardware that allows the strap to move freely (such as a rectangular ring or swivel hook) and again through the strap slider, a loop is formed.

That loop can be made smaller or larger, thus shortening or lengthening the bag strap. The center bar, especially when it is a loose bar, then obstructs further lengthening when in use.