02 November 2011

Zipped or Clasp?

This question has been asked before I think, but in relation to the smaller size organisers.

I would like your opinions on the advantages and disadvantages of a zipped Filofax compared to a normal clasp closure Filofax?

Please pop your thoughts in the the comments below.

Thank you.


  1. My very first Filofax-like binder was zipped, and the same size as a Personal size Filofax with equivalent size inserts. I really liked the security of the zip. I haven't bought another zipped organiser since then, but am planning to move back in that direction.

    One thing I really liked about my zipped organiser is that it had a pocket on the outside to tuck random papers into for easy access without having to open my binder.

    One thing I do like about slasp or snap closures is it's easier to have papers sticking out of it. For example, fold full-size pages in three letter-style and stick in the back of my Personal Filofax. The pages stick out the top and bottom a little bit but it's an easy way to carry the papers I need (and don't mind getting slightly bent).

    As with everything it's personal preference, and what you prefer depends on your needs. Security and streamlined outline of zipped vs. one-hand access of snap.

  2. I tried zipped filofax once and I didn't like it. I found it quite bulky. But I like the idea that the zipped version usually got bigger rings.

  3. Does anyone know of any zipped pocket designs available?

  4. My preference is for the clasp closure, but that said, I have no experience of the zipped. I just don't fancy them - they look a bit bulky and although there would be the extra security of having the zip (and the larger rings) the fiddle of the zip would annoy me I think.

  5. I don't fancy zipped for all the same reasons as Amanda, & also much prefer how the clasp ones look.
    Happy Thursday :)

  6. @Anita
    Happy Thursday? You ahead of the dateline from me? Sadly, 'tis only Wednesday in Scotland.
    Happy Whateverday.

  7. I would much prefer zipped - for security of loose documents, to look more professional and to save the paper contents getting wet. Who has never dropped their organiser in a puddle or spilt a jug of water - followed by a hasty drying out of contents!?!

    But zipped versions are always bigger and bulkier and, for some reason usually come with a larger ring mechanisms making them even fatter and ungainly to carry around - especially at A5.

    I reasonably purchased an A5 Holborn. This has 25mm rings - still too big for my liking. I would have loved to wait for the Holborn Zip version but that has 30mm rings and is bigger all round - with no obvious benefits Not for me! (I notice that the A5 Holborn Zip is not currently listed on the UK site)

  8. I loved the security of a zipped folder, the fact that you can leave it on a desk zipped up.But it adds to the weight so much, that I went back to a clasp file. I take care to put any rare pieces of confidential info in my briefcase now. I would love a magnetic closure on a Filofax, just for a change.

  9. I have never had a zipped filo, because I think the zip adds to the size of the filo. Also, the ones I like best don't come in a zipped version.

  10. My first Filofax was Graphic Zip in A5; I used it for university and it served me well - it became more of a carry-it-all-bag for me! Later, when at job, it was clearly too bulky to carry around in my handbag and I switched to pocket size. But I missed the space and the zip and when I had a chance to get a Finsbury Personal Zip at a reasonable price, I didn't think twice! I don't find it bulky or restricting at all and it lies perfectly flat despite the zip - I heard people have trouble with their Cuban Zip ones. The reason I like the zipped version so much must stem from my inclination to cram my filofaxes full of things - a great abuser, I am! Zipping it all in feels just like closing the door of my cosy room!

  11. I'm breathlessly awaiting my personal Cuban Zip's arrival. I know it's going to be bigger and bulkier than my Malden. For me, getting the larger rings is the attraction. We'll see how I manage the size/weight. I like the idea of the outside pocket, though.

  12. My cuban zipped personal is very good on the practical side, definitely useful for university as I feel my papers are safe and it's good for being able to carry with me as I'm not worried it will get wet when it rains. But it's not as pretty as my non-zipped versions. Also, it doesn't lay flat :( I'm getting a bit bored of it, as I do every few weeks, so soon I'm going to swap over to another filo in my rotation, either my raspberry Finchley or my crimin/ochre Maldens!

  13. A lot has already been said about function & preference. My comment is about aesthetics.

    In my opinion, clasp is more stylish than zipped. I also feel a zipped binder is more masculine.

    Personally, I prefer a clasp closure or a slide in "belt", like a Scanda. It's my impression that a zipped binder doesn't last as long as one with a clasp.

  14. I too prefer a clasp binder over a zipped. I've never had a zipped Filo, but I did used to carry a zipped off brand.

    While the larger rings and outside pocket on a zipped binder are appealing, I know myself and as I can barely keep a clasped personal looking presentable, I can only imagine what the inside of my zipped binder would look like! All I can think is that a bajillion little slips of paper + a pretty zipper to hide it all = a small atomic bomb every time I open the book!

    Nope, my Malden is still the way to go for me!

  15. like @laurie, my first planner was zipped and it was also A5 sized, so it was one heavy hunk of leather. but very secure and at the time, in the job i had at the time, that mattered to me a LOT.

    now i prefer the snap closure...mostly for aesthetics, as i don't they make zippered closures like they used to - across the brands.

    actually, if given my druthers, i would go for an open binder (no clasp) so i could stuff the living daylights out of it...but there aren't too many of those around to choose from.

  16. When a zip breaks, and boy can they break easily, because of the costs of repair it usually means that the fax is lost.

  17. I've used an A4 zipped Metropol for work before which was okay as I just had it round the office.

    I liked the idea of the personal Cuban zip, but when I actually looked at it, in the flesh, it was just so bulky. The zip's a great idea though - but it does encourage you to be messy and just shove everything in!

    I'm for the clasp.

  18. I'm not a fan of the zip look mself. I can appreciate the added security factor - having dropped mine before and everything came tumbling out nightmare - but they just look a little bit masculine to me like others have said.


  19. I prefer snaps. And I like "alternative" closures like the Dominoe's strap.

    The extra few seconds of unzipping a binder is enough to maybe make me think twice about writing something down. I one who prefers ease of use to the security of a zipper.

  20. My carry-everywhere filo is a pocket Durham, zipped, that I found on eBay when I first started acquiring Filos. It is slim and compact, with only 5/8" rings, soft black leather, and no "extra" bulk -- everything fits snugly around the inserts. I have since bought "prettier" pocket filos, but always end up carrying the Durham. Most of my snap pocket filos are bulkier than the zip Durham.

    I like the pen being zipped up neatly and not getting caught on things in my purse, or other things in my purse getting stuck between the covers of the filo (and bending the inserts). The smoothness of the zipper and relatively short length make it easy to unzip. And when unzipped, it lies totally flat. I love it!

    But I do prefer the snap closures for anything personal size or larger -- the size difference between snap and zip in those sizes is truly monstrous (and unnecessary).

  21. This year, I've been changing between my Zipped Durham Personal and my Guildford of the same size every few weeks. As a bike commuter, I appreciate the zipped Durham for its security while in a bag. Literally toss the little guy into my bag on my way out the door -- I don't have to worry about losing a pen (I always carry a fountain and ballpoint, clipped to the pen loop) or having a pen open and leak all over my packed clothes. I'm able to extract it from the bag after considerable jostling without worry about bending the edges of the organizer or dogearing pages.

    The clasp Personal I carry when I'm not on the bike, and particularly when traveling, as the Guildford has a flap pocket on the left side that's perfect for carrying boarding passes and other tri-folded papers, sticking out of the top edge.

    I've been considering another A5 to complement my A5 Durham zip, but one thing I've noticed about most of the leathered clasp A5's is how once the organizer is properly "stuffed," there can be pinched-in look to the cover at the clasp that I find unsightly. This is where I find the zip finds its true elegance, presenting a cool and unruffled face to the world, no matter how much is inside.

  22. I only have one zipped filofax and that is the mini Lyndhurst. that was my second ever purchase. i love it and would never part with it. contemplated many a time of buying a pocket one.

  23. I'm late to the party BUT. I love my Cuban Zip, because I know I never have to worry about my cards/ID/pens falling out! Throw it in my bag and go. (I use my Filofax as my wallet) With the Malden, I'm always really worried that stuff will fall out!

  24. I totally disagree that the Cuban Zip is not as pretty as other binders. In fact, it is made of GORGEOUS leather, smells divine, and is super rugged.

  25. I've been using a Cuban Zip for 3 years. I loved it.......until the rings stopped closing properly. As per the suggestions on this site, supported by the staff in the Neal St shop, I sent it back to ask them to repair it. Imagine my pleasant surprise to receive it back only 2 days later. Deep joy, I thought. Amazing customer service, I thought. Only to open it and find a note saying they didn't do repairs, but I was welcome to browse their website and buy another one. I've been a user since 1986, I'm a member of their Focus Group, and I've spent a small fortune on stuff over the years. I wrote a review on their website, and got no feedback at all. So My Cuban Zip is now a beautifully crafted, yet worthless, piece of gorgeous leather. I promised myself I am going to move to Mulberry soon.

    In Summary: Loved the Cuban Zip, outside pocket very useful for putting in papers without opening, loved the quality of the leather, loved the practicality. Didn't love: that it doesn't lie flat without a battle worthy of a WWF Smackdown final, the awful customer service and the poor quality of the rings.

    A vintage mulberry awaits me.....

    1. Paul
      We recommend returning damaged ones to Filofax HQ, not Neal Street, HQ is where the main customer service people are not in Neal Street. You will find the details in the FAQ page.

      Number 15.


  26. I greatly prefer clasp organizers because they are so much less bulky. I also find that the zipper gets in the way while writing. If I had to carry a lot of loose papers for work, I think I'd still prefer a clasped A5 or A4 Filofax with file pockets for carrying papers rather than dealing with the zipper.

  27. Definitely one more clasp person here - just like the look of it more than a zipper.

  28. I tried a zip because it seemed like it would provide more security. However, I ended up leaving it unzipped all the time because it was faster and easier to open. In the end, the clasp won.

  29. Help! I'm looking for an A4 binder WITHOUT zip closer. Strap or clasp is fine. Any ideas?