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How to Repair Hiking Pants with Tenacious Tape

Tenacious tape has many uses and can even be used to repair hiking pants.
Tenacious tape has many uses and can even be used to repair hiking pants.

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.

Another example of hiking pant repair using tenancious tape
Another before and after example of hiking pant repair using Tenacious Tape

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.

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  1. Philip, Where would be a good place to get some. For hiking repairs this tape would be perfect for me. Thanks

  2. Just ordered tape thru Amazon. Can’t hardly wait to begin taping. Thanks

  3. Repairs on a pair of Montane Terra pants & Paclite over trousers have lasted more than 2 years, it’s great stuff.
    Also used it to repair a small hole in the Thermarest Neoair, still holding strong after several weeks of use.

  4. Used it to make a field repair to a 1/2″ slice in the outer shell of my WM Megalight. Held up so well it’s still on 2 years later…it’s even been through a wash cycle!

  5. My favorite rain shell consists of an ever increasing percentage of Tenacious Tape. I’ve bought a couple other shells to replace it but keep going back to the old one. I should have invested the money I spent on the other shells in more Tenacious Tape.

    I never thought of repairing pants with the stuff, although I had enough foresight to hole a pair of RailRiders EcoMesh pants to give me the opportunity. I’ll break out the tape again. I just hope the rain shell doesn’t get jealous because of the divided attention…

  6. going to try this with the tears from all the barbed wire fences on the CDT! Thanks Philip!

  7. Thanks for the info on Tenaciuos Tape. i’ve been using Gorilla Tape and this seems like a more estheitically-pleasing alternative to black!

  8. FWIW I bought a new pair of Columbia light weight nylon hiking pants 4 years ago. I ripped a 2″x2″, L shaped hole in the lower left leg 3 years and two months ago. Taped it closed with tenacious tape. Have lived in those pants and washed them dozens of times since (maybe 50 or 80 times?). Pants are finally wearing out. Tape is still holding strong, albeit browner in color and slightly cracking in appearance. Truly amazing stuff.

  9. I fixed tears in my wife’s ski shell and my Nano Puff with it last year. I expected it to work, and it did. But a similar repair in my running shorts has also held up, despite repeated washings. Very good stuff.

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