How To Repair Waterproof Jackets
All fabrics have a denier count, this describes the thickness of the fibres it's made from. The higher the count, the thicker the material and the more durable it is. But even with a high denier, waterproof jackets can get caught on rocks, thorns or branches and tear. Being able to repair a rip in the field is essential to staying dry and warm, especially on multi-day expeditions.
Here's a simple guide on how to make repairs to your waterproof jacket and other equipment.
Waterproof Jacket Repairs
McNett Tenacious Repair Tape comes in a neat little container and rolls out to 50 cm x 7.5cm. Depending on the jacket and the tear you can place the tape on the inside (where the coat should be cleaner and less tape shows) or the outer. For the best level of protection put tape on both sides.
Once applied, the tape has several advantages over other more traditional DIY repairs (i.e. duct tape). It leaves no residue on the applied surface yet is very sticky, it's lightweight/malleable and it colour matches to your jacket with a matte finish.
Apart from waterproof jackets, you can also use the tape to repair, rucksacks, tents, sleeping bags, waterproof trousers, tarps and even air mats.
- 1. Clean and dry the area around the tear.
- 2. Smooth out the coat and place it on a hard flat surface
- 3. Place the tape over the tear and measure how much you need. Where possible leave 2.5 cm of excess tape around the rip.
- 4. Use scissors or a knife to cut the tape and round off the corners (this reduces the chance of it from catching and peeling up).
- 5. Line up the different parts of the tear as close as possible.
- 6. Peel off the back layer and place the tape over the tear pressing from the middle out, smoothing the fabric and removing any air bubbles.
- 7. The jacket can now be worn and is water resistant, but it takes 24 hours for the adhesive to fully set.
How to Repair a GORE-TEX Jacket
Made from breathable GORE-TEX fabric, the repair kit contains two patches, one round patch – 7.5cm diameter and one rectangular patch - 10cm x 5cm. They can be used on GORE-TEX jackets, trousers and other water resistant gear.
The patches affix to the garments via an adhesive layer on the back of the patch. Simply follow the same steps as above with the following exceptions:
- Only attach the patch to the outside of the garment.
- When you apply the patch, rub vigorously over it to generate some heat to help the adhesive bond.
- If you are carrying out the repair at home, set your iron to a low temperature and quickly run it over the patch, this increases the adhesion of the patch.
For larger or more complicated repairs, please contact our customer service department to discuss what we can arrange with partners and manufacturers.
About the Author:
Pete Fletcher - Outdoor Expert
Pete grew up hiking most of the trails in the Lake District before being introduced to skiing. A decade later and you're most likely to find him snowboarding, skateboarding or making a mean coffee.