Over in my member-only Discord (you are in there right? You should be in there, great way to not feel guilty about buying many amazing things) I was lamenting about how I don’t love all the duraflex and other buckles on my bags. And how I wished that more of them were Fidlock or Cobra. Turns out (thanks members) that you can get split bar V-Buckles from Fidlock.
For those of you not that deep in the bag rabbit hole, of which some of us are well into the abyss, a split bar buckle like this means you can add it to a webbing loop without the need for sewing. All you do is cut off the old buckle and add the new one. Well, kind of. These are designed for strap setups where one end is stationary and needs the split bar to attach to a loop of webbing, and the other end has a strap where you can remove the old buckle from it by threading it out of the adjuster.
What you can do is slide out the male end of the buckle, and cut the female end of the buckle off the bag (not the webbing, just the plastic buckle). The split bar replaces the female end, and the male end threads back on to the webbing strap.
I did this for my Tom Bihn SG23 as I thought Fidlock would be a great look for it:
The only note for that bag is that while I could unthread the old buckles, I had to cut the webbing cinch strap where it was sewn over itself so that it would thread on the Fidlock buckle (which has a much more narrow opening). You could stitch the strap back up if you are worried/prone to those straps coming undone, or just melt the end back in place and call it good (what I did). Overall this is a pretty great and simple upgrade.
(On the SG23 the buckle would be better if it were reversed as it would be easier to unlatch, but I still generally find this a solid change.)
And if you can’t find a buckle in the right size for your bag/strap then you can always try to create a split bar with a hacksaw, some patience, and time. Be sure to send me pictures of any mods you do, and be careful.
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