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Backpacker Magazine – Online Exclusive

Gear Pro: Pack Fixes

Reinforce fraying pockets with a few simple tricks.

by: Kristin Hostetter



Pocketsóboth mesh and stretchy woven onesóare always the first places to show wear and tear in my packs. Here are some quick DIY techniques that Iíve used to effectively curtail major blow-outs down the road.

This mesh hipbelt pocket was starting to abrade against the hard plastic interior backing:


A good smear of Seam Grip (mcnett.com) plugs the hole and reinforces the mesh:


The stretchy woven fabric used for many side water bottle pockets can quickly abrade when rubbed up against rocks or dirt:


If you let it go, it can lead to a major tear, but a good gob of Seam Grip can stop the bleeding and prevent further abrasion:


Mesh side pockets are equally susceptible. Once a tear starts, the job is too big for Seam Grip:


Iím a total klutz when it comes to sewing, but even with my pathetic skills, I was able to fix this Swiss cheese-like pocket. Just tie the thread to the mesh using a simple overhand knot. Then pinch the edges of the tear together and whip-stitch them closed. (Click here to see how to make a whip-stitchóitís just a series of continuous loops in a tight, uniform line.)

In a case like this open-weave mesh, be sure to use wide stitches that grab the undamaged strands of mesh. Itís better to have puckered seams than have your repair blow out because you didnít go wide enough to bring the healthy mesh into the seam.


Sure, itís not a work of art, but itís effective, and the next best solution is to send your whole pack back for a pocket replacement, which will cost you money and perhaps more importantly, time without your pack.

Need help with a gear fix? Email me the details at khostetter@backpacker.com. Iíd love to help!

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Star
jeff86
Jan 23, 2014

Agree w gene99.

It'll just tear again and the bottom photo with the green bottle has two areas which will enlarge with time. If you like the pack, cut off the pocket and use as is or replace the mesh with 500 denier Cordura. Pack makers and designers compete against each other with these fragile "features" that do nothing for us but piss us off when they tear.

Star
gene99
Jan 21, 2014

Sew a tear? What a freakin' waste of time.

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