Image of the June 2020 Wilderness Magazine Cover Read more from the
June 2020 Issue
Home / Articles / Skills

Patch your waterproof trousers

Waterproof outer wear can be repaired so it can perform as good as new. Photo: Matthew Cattin
A crampon point will make quick work of your waterproof trousers. Here's how to mend them.

I knew I shouldn’t have been wearing my crampons. I was no longer walking on hard ice, but post-holing down a spur with each step sinking to past my knees in soft snow. But to stop would take up time and I really didn’t want to stop, even though I told myself this could end with a spill.

And so it came to pass. A few seconds later, I stumbled as my crampon caught on a soft bit of fabric and down I went, eating snow. When I checked my leg there was a gaping hole in my expensive waterproof/breathable overtrou.

The good news is, though it won’t look as good as new, it is possible to patch your technical outerwear – raincoats and pants – so it works as good as new. Here’s how.

1. Find your tape. I used Gear Aid’s Tenacious Tape Fabric Repair ($17) which comes in a range of colours, including a yellow that almost matches my waterproof pants.

[caption id="attachment_179812" align="alignnone" width="2560"] Even a large hole in your wet weather gear can be repaired.[/caption]

2. Clean the area where the patch is to be applied using rubbing alcohol (Gear Aid recommends isopropyl alcohol). If necessary, trim any loose threads.

[caption id="attachment_179813" align="alignnone" width="2560"] After cleaning the area, cut away any loose threads.[/caption]

3. Cut a patch with rounded corners so that it overlaps the damaged area by at least 25mm. (For larger holes, which I decided mine was, you may need to first apply another patch on the opposite side.)

[caption id="attachment_179811" align="alignnone" width="2560"] Place the patch over the hole, applying pressure from the centre.[/caption]

4. Peel off the backing and place the patch over the hole applying pressure from the centre to force out any air bubbles.