How many of you have holed hiking pants laying around the house waiting for a generous sewer to repair them for you? Did you know that you can just as easily repair them with Tenacious Tape? I’m not talking about rain pants, but regular nylon hiking pants. I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t tried it myself.
If you’re not familiar with Tenacious Tape, it’s a very sticky gear repair tape that’s good for repairing rain jackets and rain pants, insulated jacket shells, tent flies, sleeping bags, mesh backpacking pockets, and other synthetic fabrics when you rip or hole them. I go through several rolls of it every year and think it’s the bee’s knees of gear repair.
But I was surprised to learn that it can be used to repair tears in hiking pants and survive repeated machine washings afterward. For example, I ripped up the mesh inner thigh vents on Ex Officio Sand Fly Pants (shown above) this spring, snagging the mesh while scrambling over a fallen log. I decided to try repairing them with Tenacious Tape to see how long the patch would stay attached. I wear these pants a lot and machine wash and dry them after every hike, backpack, or fly fishing trip I take.
That Tenacious Tape patch is still holding fine after 6 months of use, which is pretty amazing because I doubt I would have ever gotten those pants repaired otherwise.
Tenacious tape is available in multiple colors, but I mainly use the transparent kind for lightly colored clothing because it’s less obvious. When I cut a patch, I make sure it has rounded corners which helps prevent it from peeling off. I also tape the hole on both sides of the pants, the inside and the outside because I think it creates a stronger bond. This also works well for big punctures and rips where the inner patch sticks to the outer patch in the places that are missing some fabric.
The tape itself is very flexible and natural feeling, so the patches don’t stick to your skin when you sweat or chafe in any way.
When I was growing up, people used to repair pants with iron-on patches. Remember those? My mother used to iron them onto my blue jeans, but they’d always peel off after a few washes. So for me, it’s nothing short of a miracle, that I can tape my hiking pants back together using Tenacious Tape and save money by keeping them in circulation for a while longer.