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Eric Hansen
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PostSun May 13, 2018 12:19 pm 
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My friend has lost use of her left arm and using zippers (on a raincoat or parka) is hugely problematic for her. It would also be difficult for her to put an anorak on (over her head) by herself.

She's doing an Alaskan cruise/trip in a month or so and trying to figure out possible solutions. A poncho seems too vulnerable to wind.

Any thoughts? Not sure if there is a solution but I thought if anyone knew a way forward on this it may well be this electronic community.

I thought it not unlikely that somewhere in the PNW there were folks with disabilities that have figured out a work around on this.

Thanks in advance, Eric
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George Johnson
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PostSun May 13, 2018 3:16 pm 
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Some jackets have flaps that include velcro in addition to a regular zipper. Others might have a flap covering the zipper that might allow you to add velcro.
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Eric Hansen
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PostMon May 14, 2018 6:56 am 
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Thanks George. We've been considering that, eyeballing my Marmot Precip for alteration possibilities. That model's flap isn't particularly wide but it might just work.
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InFlight
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PostMon May 14, 2018 7:15 am 
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I haven't looked at the new models, but my older Mountain Hardware rain jacket came with Velcro Closures on a large flap already above the zipper.  So no alterations.

This North Face Women's jacket at REI looks promising

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DIYSteve
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PostMon May 14, 2018 7:29 am 
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How about starting with a shell with a full length zipper storm flap, cut out the zipper and velcro tabs (if any) then sewing in full length velcro strip on the storm flap?
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Huron
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PostMon May 14, 2018 7:30 am 
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Skill: Yootoob "one hand zipper"
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Eric Hansen
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PostTue May 15, 2018 4:40 am 
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Steve, InFlight, thanks for the velcro thoughts. We're looking at that. Huron's comment led to something. Googling "one handed zipper" led to articles detailing a magnetic zipper.

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/innovation/behold-the-worlds-first-one-handed-zipper-7278212/

https://hypebeast.com/2013/10/under-armour-creates-the-worlds-first-one-handed-magnetic-zipper

https://www.aarp.org/disrupt-aging/stories/solutions/info-2015/magzip-magnetic-zipper.html

I'll let you know what shakes out.

Edit: I'm seeing a bunch of youtube "one handed zipper" vids, as Huron noted. These are people who've lost use of an arm/hand, or actually missing an arm/hand, demonstrating how they pull a coat on, get the zipper engaged.

This is a good start, results pending.
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wakerobin
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PostWed May 16, 2018 10:05 am 
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This is a little of the wall, but I have been using some of those tiny "rare earth" magnets for another sewing project (curtains for the van.)
I have been really happy with how strong they are for the size, they just get stitched in along the hemline.
I'm not always a huge fan of velcro, mine is always full of lint, or embroidery floss or dog hair, and the scratchy bit is always the part right under my chin.
Magnets would not get caught on your scarf or sweater, but I don't know if they would affect, say a cell phone in your pocket or anything like that.

magnets on amazon

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Huron
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PostWed May 16, 2018 11:45 am 
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Its a good skill for those of us who only have two hands also. You can zip up while holding a hot coffee.

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AlpineRose
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PostThu May 17, 2018 2:11 pm 
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If you don't want to or can't do the alterations on your own, many little shopping centers have a little alteration shop that may be able to do it for you.  Or perhaps Rainy Pass repair can.  As well, this repair person received a couple of glowing recommendations from nwhikers - Carol Douglas of Sewing Specialties, 206-818-0870.

On a side note, there was a one-armed young lady taking riding lessons from the same instructor as we were a couple years ago.  She had been born with only a shortened stump for a left arm.  She was able to do everything with her horse - groom, pick hooves, put saddle and bridle on - a two-armed person could.  And she was a way better rider than we were.  Of course, since her condition was congenital, she'd had a lifetime of practice.  But it was still impressive.
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Eric Hansen
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PostTue May 22, 2018 3:47 pm 
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Thanks AlpineRose, everyone. Eric
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