Mike Buckley - October 2015
Fed up with your Platypus' tube clip getting rusty or falling off and getting lost? Irritated that you've lost the neat clip for your Kokatat Tributary Hydration System? Found that all the fancy tube traps intended to be used with military kit aren't wide enough for the shoulder straps on your buoyancy aid?
Here's a simple DIY replacement / alternative. Which might even hold the tube more firmly as well.
1 strap adjustment buckle. (Also called a ladderlock). The one shown was taken from an old Palm BA.
1 spring loaded cord lock.
1 small bead.
4 mm bungee cord.
Being a bit of a squirrel, all these bits came from various old jackets, rucksacs and BAs. But of course are available from eBay and suppliers like PointNorth.co.uk and Ace Supplies. I've never found an on-line source for the beads, except by the hundred, but most towns will have a "bead shop" where you can buy them in small quantities. A search on eBay for "ranger beads" will provide you with 13 on a length of paracord, and they are ideal.
Drill two 4mm holes about 1.5 cm apart in the curved bit of the buckle. Insert bungee, and knot it tightly. Feed the bungee through the cord lock, through the bead and back through the cord lock and then into the second hole you drilled in the buckle. Adjust to suit. Tie off. Trim the ends of the bungee and heat seal with a hot knife or lighter.
Now slip the assembly onto your BA strap - this might be a little fiddly, but it will go on, eventually. If necessary, widen the cut a little. Since this one was made, I've made a few more and found that some straps seem to be stiffer than others, so a slightly wider gap than shown here may be better. Cutting the slot at a 45 degree angle would also help and I'll do this on any others I make.
© Mike Buckley - Oct 2015