Gear Rx: Tents

Mildew. Torn mesh. Broken zippers and poles. Is it worth fixing your home away from home? Find out for yourself.

Can Fix

  • Broken tent poles. A repair shop can usually replace an old, broken pole or fix just the busted section. See Gear Works, September 1996.
  • Bad shock cord. Most outdoors stores carry shock cord, and repair shops can easily replace a broken or worn-out section.
  • Torn mesh or fabric walls. Repair shops can stitch in a patch over a hole burned into a tent wall or replace an entire mesh panel.
  • Broken zipper. One of the most common repairs for tents is zipper repair or replacement.
  • Broken hardware. Lost grommets, ripped guy anchors, and unraveled seams are all easily repaired. See Gear Works, May 1996.
  • Mildew. Repair shops can clean mildly-effected tents.
  • Delaminated seam tape or durable water repellent (DWR). Repair shops can retape seams and reapply DWR finish on most fabrics. See Gear Works, September 1997.

Can't Fix

  • Heavy mildew. Extensive mildewing can't be removed without damaging the tent itself. Brittle tent or rainfly. Ultraviolet light breaks down fabric structures irreversibly.

Click here, for a guide to repair shops nationwide.