Gear Rx: Packs

Can you revive a sputtering pack? With this diagnostic checklist, you may be able to breathe new life into a tired old backpack.

Can Fix

  • Broken hardware. Zippers, lash straps, buckles, grommets, clevis pins, and zipper pulls can all be repaired or replaced inexpensively. See Gear Works, May, June, and August 1996.
  • Holes, tears, or blown-out seams. Also easy to patch or restitch. See Gear Works, April 1996.
  • Dirty pack. A scrub brush and warm water will take care of typical trail grime, but send the pack to a repair shop for a thorough, safe cleaning if you have persistent stains and smells.
  • Bent framesheet, stays, or external frame. A good repair shop will have the skill and tools to shape stays and frames.
  • Tired, compressed padding. Repair shops can replace the compressed foam and the semi-rigid foam panels in hipbelts and back panels.

Can't Fix

  • Mangled external frame. If the metal tubing is bent, broken, or crimped in more than one or two places, it might be wise to simply buy a new frame for your pack.

Click here, for a guide to repair shops nationwide.