How to repair waterproof jackets

We look at repairing tears and rips on waterproof jackets

Illustration photo of How to repair waterproof jackets

Repairing a small hole or tear
You will need: Duct tape, seam sealant
How to do it: Patch over with tape (do this on both sides if possible). Reinforce edges with seam sealant. You could also use a Gore-Tex repair kit. You can use duct tape on clothing and sleeping bags. Chris Townsend said: “I have down jackets and bags with duct tape patches that have been there for years). I’ve never had to repair a softshell jacket but if there was a big hole or rip I’d just stick duct tape on it. Of course a hole in softshell or fleece is more significant compared to one in a waterproof.”

Repairing a medium rip or tear
You will need: Duct tape, seam sealant, sewing kit
How to do it: Same as for a small rip or hole. If the area is under much tension and the rip is long, sewing the edges together as well would help to prevent it tearing again.

Repairing a large rip or tear
You will need: Duct tape, seam sealant, sewing kit
How to do it: For a large rip or tear use a long strip of duck tape or similar as a rough and ready repair. If conditions are right (in camp or on a sunny day), stitch the edges together before applying the tape. Seal the edges. Don’t rely on any repair of a large tear to last a long time – send the item off for professional work.

Maintenance tips
1. Hang jackets after a trek (never on a hot radiator)
2. Clean with Nikwax Tech Wash or Granger’s 2 in 1 Cleaner and Waterproofer. Conventional detergents damage the DWR coating. Waterproofer only needed if the DWR is failing
3. Membranes like Gore-Tex, eVent and NeoShell and any coating will leak when punctured. Páramo doesn’t fail when punctured and will last if re-proofed