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June 2020 Issue
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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.

Even a large hole in your wet weather gear can be repaired.

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.

After cleaning the area, cut away any loose threads.

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.)

Place the patch over the hole, applying pressure from the centre.

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