First Look: Under Armour 'MagZip'

We covered an Under Armour zipper innovation in a post last fall, “You’re Looking At The Zipper Of The Future.” This week a jacket from the company showed up at the GearJunkie office, and we got to give MagZip a try.

Under Armour set out to make zipping a jacket easier, especially with gloves on or only with one hand. The brand calls it a makeover of the zipper, which, with magnets, will “automatically align and lock itself into place.”

Now, we’re not sure the common zipper needs any improvement, but any kind of “better mousetrap” for sure gets our attention, and so we were psyched to try MagZip out.

Magnets snap a zipper clasp together, and tiny hooks keep it in place to let a user initiate a clean upward pull

In short, the upgrade works — tiny, strong magnets unite the two sides of an undone zipper and put them in place. You can then pull to initiate the zip; it slides easily up and seals like any standard YKK.

As we wrote in the initial post last fall, the idea came from Under Armour’s Innovation Challenge, a contest that allows entrepreneurs to submit ideas for consideration.

A man named Scott Peters developed the one-handed zipper concept because a family member of his struggles with zippers as a result of myotonic dystrophy, a degenerative disease.

1, 2, 3… Snap the two sides together, and then pull

Said Peters about his goal, “I think I could come up with a better zipper than what the rest of the world has used for 100 years.”

It debuted on Under Armour outerwear in the Sochi Olympics last winter. Now, starting tomorrow, August 1, 2014, outerwear and apparel with MagZip will be on sale to the public, including jackets as well as the likes of the $59.99 UA Storm Armour Fleece Hoodie.

In our first test this week the MagZip works great. It snaps together and zips up easily, with one hand or two.

We look forward to testing it in true outdoors scenarios where frozen fingers, gloves, and one-hand situations like belaying could make the MagZip upgrade a must-have. —Stephen Regenold

Under Armour logo on the bottom of the “barrel” where the zipper connects

Stephen Regenold

Stephen Regenold is Founder of GearJunkie, which he launched as a nationally-syndicated newspaper column in 2002. As a journalist and writer, Regenold has covered the outdoors industry for two decades, including as a correspondent for the New York Times. A father of five, Regenold and his wife live in Minneapolis.