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Tech Tip: Question Backpack Repair

Discussion in 'Tech Tips and Gear' started by Tim Dowling, Apr 30, 2014.

  1. Tim Dowling

    Tim Dowling

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    I'm about ready to retire yet another backpack and have a few questions about what techniques might be out there for repair options. I try to only buy packs that have "smooth" backs - i.e. no straps or clips that will get scraped off in a canyon and create more damage to the pack in the process. Never the less, this only delays the inevitable. It also doesn't help that I carry a ICG canyon keg. The hard plastic makes a nice surface for the sandstone to do its work on the fabric.

    So, my question is what do the masses use to repair their packs? I'm looking for something a little more robust than duct tape. I'm thinking about buying some PVC laminated material to patch and cover the entire bottom of the pack. Anyone done this? What is the best way to apply it? Sewing? Adhesive? I don't have nor do I plan on buying a sewing machine, so any stitch work I would do by hand.

    Any help is appreciated! Thanks.

    Tim
    Rapterman likes this.
  2. Rapterman

    Rapterman

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    Hey Tim
    FEELING YOUR PAIN
    I despise armoring and repairing pack bottoms (and I sew stuff for a living!)
    The trouble is trying to get AT the bottom of the bag where the holes usually form- to do this with any ease you will need a post or cylinder bed sewing machine (maybe try a boot repair shop or a saddle shop).
    Besides duct tape we have seen good reinforcing/repairs done with 'tool dip' (home depot), Vinyl cement (canyonwerks.com), wet suit glue (canyoneeringusa.com) and Shoe Goo repair (REI, etc). How well it all sticks depends on the type of fabric. Best to test.
    Hand stitching (speedy sticher awl is a good bet) is horribly time consuming, you WILL stab your self, and the canyon will shred an HOURS worth of your work in short order. But glue, patches, and some handstitching all together may do the job!
    Post photos!
    Todd
  3. MrAdam

    MrAdam

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    Dental floss and Aquaseal are your best friend for any type of canyon gear repair. Sew it up and aquaseal over the stitching. Vinyl cement and Shoe goo will fall off quickly. Aquaseal will last for quite a bit longer.
    Mountaineer likes this.
  4. Sam G

    Sam G

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    I'm a big fan of Shoe Goo. It won't fall off if you really work it into the fabric with a popsicle stick or something, also don't put gobs of it on.

    If there is a smallish hole in a shoe or a pack I hold a piece of paper so that it covers the hole from the inside and smear Shoe Goo on the outside, once it is dry I tear off the excess paper from the inside... works pretty well.

    Also, I purchased an inexpensive sewing machine and it was well worth the hundred dollars in my opinion. I just recently sewed a bit of PU coated nylon onto the butt of some pants that a North Wash canyon ate up. I first repaired the torn seams, then pinned the patch on and sewed it, next I sewed a big X through the middle of the patch and covered all the stitching with the magical goo. It's not pretty, but it should hold up pretty well, we'll see.
  5. Tim Dowling

    Tim Dowling

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    Here's my bad. Canyon keg was sticking out after Jacob last weekend. I usually try to be careful, but got tired of taking it off so much.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  6. MrAdam

    MrAdam

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    Ouch! I have had and seen this same damage on packs in the same spot from canyon kegs. I have started keeping the keg higher up in the pack or storing it vertically on the bottom to avoid said damage.
  7. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Yah. Don't carry the Canyon Keg at the bottom of your pack.

    I go mostly drybag these days, especially in a canyon with almost no water, like Jacob.

    Tom
  8. John Styrnol

    John Styrnol

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    I stopped carrying a Canyon Keg back in 2007.
  9. Blake Merrell

    Blake Merrell Lovin' Utah's Backcountry

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    Dang, that pack looks pretty good compared to mine. Can't wait for the ICG Heaps Pack to be back on sale!
    ratagonia likes this.
  10. gajslk

    gajslk

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    I've been known to put grommets in smaller holes. It improves drainage, too.

    Gordon
  11. Bootboy

    Bootboy Atwood Gear

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    When grommeting, melt the holes rather than simply punching them.


    LNT
  12. 2065toyota

    2065toyota

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    That's a good idea. Always had issues with the punch
  13. Brian in SLC

    Brian in SLC Brian in SLC

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    I use Freesole which is like a thicker version of Seamgrip. McNett product. Works great and pretty durable.

    Duct tape over the hole on the inside of the pack, then, slather the Freesole on the outside and set it somewhere to cure. Bomber.

    I've coated entire pack bottoms with it. Soaks in and seems to keep the wear and tear at bay.
  14. Jeremy Freeman

    Jeremy Freeman Staff Member

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    I've never used Freesole but have had some great luck with Aquaseal recently. Prior to Aquaseal I used Shoe Goo which I found I had to redo any repair work almost every trip; so far not the case with Aquaseal (Thanks for the recommendation @MrAdam!)

    For those who have used Aquaseal a lot -- what do you do to keep the lid from sticking? Two tubes in a row I've had the lid stuck to the tube and when I try and remove it with a pair of pliers, the tube ends up splitting and pouring everywhere :facepalm:I even tried wiping the excess off the tube before putting the cap on but no luck...

    I'll have to get my hands on some Freesole to compare.
  15. MrAdam

    MrAdam

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    I have used both Freesole and Aquaseal and they are pretty much the same thing as far as I can tell. They both work awesome, but you can purchase the a 8oz tube of aquaseal on Amazon for $20 and the Freesole only comes in the 3/4oz tubes for around $10.
    http://tinyurl.com/kwd94em

    As for the lid, I clean the lid and the threads as best I can before I store the tube in the freezer. I still have to use pliers to open it back up, but I have yet to rip a tube open. To thaw the aquaseal,just put it in warm water for a few minutes.
  16. Jeremy Freeman

    Jeremy Freeman Staff Member

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    Good to know, thanks

    Why do you store in the freezer?
  17. TJ Cottam

    TJ Cottam Adventure Plus

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    Seamgrip, Aquaseal, and Freesole are all the same compound, just different thicknesses. Seamgrip is the thinnest, and I want to say Aquaseal is in the middle and Freesole is the thickest.
    Jeremy Freeman likes this.
  18. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    And you can thin down the Aquaseal with the Cotol to get it to penetrate and cling better.

    T
  19. Bootboy

    Bootboy Atwood Gear

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    To keep seamgrip tubes good, clean the lid and threads well, then apply just a smear of Vaseline to the threads. No freezing.


    LNT
    Last edited: May 28, 2014
    Jeremy Freeman likes this.
  20. MrAdam

    MrAdam

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    I'm pretty sure it said to store it in the freezer on the packaging.
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