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If I were to ask you what you carry in your gear repair kit, what would you say? Some folks may not carry a full repair kit and resort to just a few bare essentials like a multi-tool and some duct tape. Honestly, those two things alone can go a long way if you know how to use them. Still, regardless of what is already in your gear repair kit, the one item I think everyone should have on hand in their repair kit is Tenacious Tape.
Tenacious Tape is a GEAR AID repair tape designed to fix holes and rips in outdoor gear materials and fabrics. You may think, “I can just use duct tape for that.” Well, the benefit of Tenacious Tape is that it utilizes an ultra-aggressive adhesive that stays on even after you wash the fabric and can easily be repositioned without leaving residue. The materials are designed to bond to synthetic fabrics, allowing it to bond easier and create a more effective repair.
Even if you take the tape off and then apply a permanent patch, Tenacious Tape doesn’t leave behind the same sticky residue that duct tape does. Still, it provides equal if not stronger adhesive holds to synthetic fabrics.
Which Tape To Use
Tenacious Tape has a more robust overall structure and adhesive than duct tape and many other comparable tapes. It is intended to create a strong bond to fabrics, including polyester, vinyl, nylon, neoprene, canvas, rubber, polyurethane leather, and even some plastic surfaces.
Types of Tenacious Tape
Clear Vinyl: available in a tape roll or mini patches, this is a clear plastic tape with a non-gloss finish
Ripstop Nylon: A few of the classic Tenacious Tape colors like black are nylon fabric available in patches, shapes, and tape rolls. Other colors like sage and off-white are ripstop nylon materials, making them more tear-resistant and better for tents and tarps.
Flex Patches: Made from TPU plastic and utilizing a more heavy-duty adhesive, the flex patches are ideal for repairs on thick or stretchy fabrics, inflatables, or materials in the sun often.
Silnylon Patches: ideal for silnylon materials (primarily used in tents and tarps), these peel-and-stick patches use a silicone adhesive. They adhere and stick to silicone-treated nylon fabrics.
Reflective: available in strips or patches, Reflective Tenacious Tape uses a glass bead nylon reflective fabric.
The various patch types work best with certain materials and fabrics, and Tenacious Tape alone is designed as a quick fix, making it ideal for in-field repairs. It can still be utilized as a longer-term fix when paired with the Gear Aid Aquaseal adhesive. Apply Aquaseal FD to the area you are repairing and then the Tenacious Tape on top.
We recommend using Aquaseal and Tenacious Tape together for fabrics that need to be waterproof as well. So, if you are fixing Gore-Tex or a tent, having both on hand can help your gear last longer and perform better in the field with minimal repair time.
How to Apply Tenacious Tape
Applying Tenacious Tape is fast and easy if you have the right items with you in the field. We recommend always having a packed gear repair kit and a first aid kit to help you perform a wide range of in-field repairs.
Here’s how to apply Tenacious Tape according to the Gear Aid instructions:
Clean repair zone with an isopropyl alcohol wipe and trim loose ends. Be sure the area is free of any dirt or debris.
Cut out a patch large enough to cover the repair area and extend at least ½ an inch in all directions. Round corners of the patch if possible while cutting.
Apply the Tenacious Tape or patch to the fabric covering the repair area. If you are repairing a waterproof fabric or want a longer-lasting repair, apply Aquaseal first and then the tape.
Smooth out bubbles and readjust as needed to get a smooth and secure fit. Tape can be adjusted for up to 72 hours after application without leaving residue, but adhesive does reach full strength after 24 hours.
We recommend patching both sides of the material for large in-field repairs for best results.
What is Tenacious Tape good for?
Tenacious Tape is suitable for in-field fabric repairs on outdoor gear. It can seal seams and repair rips, tears, and holes in most synthetic fabrics. It works well to repair gear, including air pads/mattresses, tarps, jackets, tents, bivvy bags, awnings, sleeping bags, and more.
How long will Tenacious Tape last?
Standard nylon Tenacious Tape has been known to last at least 2-3 years on simple repairs but can last longer when paired with Aquasel adhesive. For longer-term repairs, the Flex Patches are a more reliable option. Tenacious Tape is meant for temporary repairs but can be used as a permanent patch in some circumstances.
How do you pack Tenacious Tape?
Packing Tenacious Tape is easy, especially if you purchase the patches. Patches are great for building a repair kit. If you have a roll of Tenacious Tape, you can pack it around a pen or roll a small section of tape on itself to fit in your repair or first aid kit. You don’t need to carry much, but bring enough to be valuable and effective in case it is needed.
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