Gear Reviews

How to repair a down jacket

A minor disaster occurred yesterday as I took a corner too sharply going through a door and caught my lovely Rab down jacket on a sharp piece of metal, tearing it slightly. An untreated tear in a down jacket is a disaster, as all the down within that section will pretty rapidly come out, and create an un-insulated spot. Rab, like most good manufacturers, offer a repair service and I may well take advantage of that at some point, but in the meantime there was an urgent short-term need to make the jacket wearable without losing all the down.

my Rab, worn and battered! aka: how to repair a down jacket
It’s a harsh wound, but not the end of your jacket’s life!

Fortunately there are solutions, and I popped to a nearby street where I knew there were a couple of outdoor stores. Blacks were, perhaps predictably, useless, giving me a blank look and a shake of the head when I asked if they had anything to repair a jacket. Cotswold Outdoor were, equally predictably, totally on the ball, immediately grabbing a couple of items from behind the counter. One was goretex patches, which seemed unnecessary, while the other was Tenacious Sealing and Repair tape, the item that seems most commonly to be recommended in articles on the subject.

The tape comes in a handy waterproof tube which means it can easily be taken with you on trips and, I now realise, probably ought to be since it could be a vital supply for short-term repairs to critical equipment like jackets or tents.

tenacious tape
Trust me: it’s very, very tenacious.

Anyway, once you have the tape, it’s just a case of cutting out a small patch, ideally in a round or oval shape since that is much less prone to peeling, and carefully sticking it over the hole.

The tape is clear, so the patch is kinda, sorta invisible. I mean, it’s not really particularly invisible up close but at a distance it’s fairly innocuous. More importantly it seals the hole effectively, stops the loss of any down, is waterproof and (or so it promises) leaves no sticky residue if/when I ultimately remove it for a more permanent repair. Win win.

So I guess now I might need to repair my Rab waterproof jacket that ended up with a couple of holes in the arm because of reasons…

rab waterproof jacket

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