Image of the June 2016 Wilderness Magazine Cover Read more from the
June 2016 Issue
Home / Articles / Skills

How to patch a down jacket

Little holes like this can grow into big holes. Photo: File

Stop the down escaping from your jacket with a bit of Tenacious Tape

Whether it be from a low-hanging thorny branch or a stray nail in a backcountry hut, a hole in your warm, fluffy down jacket needn’t ruin your tramp. The good news is, along with the bonus of adding character to your jacket, there’s a quick fix that will save the day (and keep those feathers in place).

It’s called Tenacious Tape, and Matt Hobbs from TwinNeedle Outdoor Equipment Repairs says it’s the best cost-effective repair option. “We’ve seen people use the stuff for five or six years,” Hobbs says, adding that it’s especially good for small puncture holes that aren’t worth sewing a patch on.

Here’s how to apply it:

1.  Clean the area to remove dirt or oils that could inhibit the tape bond

 Cut out a patch with rounded corners that will overlap the repair area by at least 8mm in all directions. Photo: File

Cut out a patch with rounded corners that will overlap the repair area by at least 8mm in all directions. Photo: File

2.  Cut out a patch with rounded corners that will overlap the repair area by at least 8mm in all directions

Apply Tenacious Tape patch over the hole. Photo: File

Apply Tenacious Tape patch over the hole. Photo: File

3.  Apply Tenacious Tape patch over the hole

Smooth out any bubbles and ensure edges lay flat. Photo: File

One hole down, one to go. Photo: File

4.  Smooth out any bubbles and ensure edges lay flat

The adhesive should reach full strength after 24 hours. Hobbs says if you can apply heat when you’re placing it on the fabric, it will help bind the glue.

If the hole is more like a tear, it’s best to get a professional to fix it. Most down jackets have an external layer with an extremely small stitch-count, requiring an ultrafine needle and thread.

You can use Tenacious Tape on backpacks, tents, sleeping pads, sleeping bags and clothing.

Support Wilderness

Since 1991, Wilderness has had one simple goal: to help Kiwis ‘See more, do more, live more’ of New Zealand.

If you value our mission, please consider subscribing. As a loyal supporter, you’ll receive these benefits:

  • New Zealand’s best outdoor journalism We’ve won multiple awards for our journalism and magazine production.
  • NZ’s best trips. Browse more than 610 trips with downloadable maps and route notes.
  • Trustworthy gear reviews. Each month we review gear we’ve been bashing and thrashing for months so you can determine if its worth your money.
  • Member benefits. Our WildCard provides discounts at more than 20 partners throughout New Zealand.
  • Your support goes a long way. Your subscription will help us fund NZ’s best outdoor journalists and writers and ensure Wilderness will be there to inspire the next generation of outdoor Kiwis.

A subscription costs as little as $7.00/month for instant access to all articles, trips, gear reviews and gear guides.

View all our subscription options and join the club.

Already a subscriber? Login Now.