So you’ve taken your family and friends to the wild outdoors for a leisurely weekend of camping. Maybe you weren’t paying attention. Or the weather suddenly took a turn for the worse. But what you did end up with was damage to your precious shelter, your home away from home, your tent. Maybe a tree branch punctured it, maybe you gashed it when you dragged it over an unassuming piece of glass. Whatever the reason might be, emergencies like these can happen at any moment. That is why we always recommend carrying a basic tent repair kit with you whenever you take your tent out.
Unless you are a particularly avid camper or outdoor enthusiast, you probably are not buying the absolute top of the line tents. And you probably are not using it too frequently. What the combination of these two factors does is that it keeps minor damages away from your attention. This causes small things to build up and by the time you notice it, it is already too late.
We have all faced a scenario where we pitched the tent and noticed a tear that wasn’t there before. Maybe it wasn’t a tear after all but a weakened seam that ripped itself apart when you put the poles in place. Or a zipper that just refuses to close. Tents on the more affordable end of the spectrum are noticeably less durable than their more expensive counterparts.
The savings in costs are directly related to the quality of the materials. And the processes used in the construction of the tent. To put it simply, cheaper tents are more likely to develop tears over time. Much sooner than more expensive variants. Therefore, it is extremely wise to always have a tent repair kit handy, maybe even within your tent, at all times.
Carry a tent repair kit
A repair kit is quite similar to a first aid kit, but for your gear. You hope and pray that you will not have to use it. But if you do, you will be thankful that you had it around. And like a good first aid kit, you should have most of the essential tools required to fix common issues in your repair kit. The cheapest and most barebones kits are usually single purpose ones, such as those for just one application. Zippers and seams for instance.
However, we believe that it is a much better investment of your time, space, and money if you go with an all-purpose repair kit. These contain a number of different items that help you manage a host of unforeseeable issues.
All purpose tent repair kit
An all-purpose repair kit also prevents you from having to remember to bring along multiple kits. Instead, you can just have one repair kit that can fix most common issues. We recommend you keep your repair kit with your tent, maybe even inside the organizer pockets of your tent, at all times.
There are very few repair kits on the market that have everything that you might need to repair a tent. However, we discuss three repair kits that are definitely worth your money. Additionally, feel free to augment your kit with things that you feel might be helpful in an emergency. Such as additional batteries, zip ties, re-sealable bags, strong glue, etc.
The items we are going to look at in this article are Gear Aid Tenacious Tape for Fabric Repair, Coghlan 703 Tent Repair Kit, and the Coleman Tent Repair Kit. Read on till the conclusion where we discuss our findings and suggest what you ought to do with your particular situation.
Gear Aid Tenacious Tape for Fabric Repair
Gear Aid is well known for making great quality repair kits and DIY tools. Tenacious Tape from the same company is a high strength repair tape. It can be used to fix rips and tears on your tent. Tenacious Tape is water resistant and does not leave any sticky residue. Its adhesive power is extremely aggressive. Allowing it to stick to all kinds of surfaces in a wide variety of temperatures.
Tenacious Tape also works really well not only for tents but for inflatables and even non-inflatable recreational vehicles. The fabric is completely water repellent so you need not worry about water seepage or leakage through the material of the tape. Functionality is retained on a number of surfaces, such as fabric, rubber, and hard vinyl.
Available in rolls of 3 in. x 20 in. pieces, you can easily cut shorter pieces of Tenacious Tape if needed, just remember to keep removing the backing material for the last.
Gear Aid Tenacious Tape is currently available on Amazon. Keep in mind though that this is just adhesive tape which, while functional enough, is not a repair kit by itself. It is definitely a great product and certainly lives up to its expectations.
Coghlan 703 Tent Repair Kit
Unlike the previous item on this list, the Coghlan 703 is a complete tent repair solution. You will find in the pack 2 pieces of 8 in. x 8 in. waterproof canvas, a nylon window screen measuring 8 in. x 8 in., a tube of canvas cement, and a needle and thread.
This might not seem like much but with these tools almost 90% of all minor tent damages can be fixed pretty easily. The patches come with adhesive pre-applied. Which makes it great for quickly fixing a leak after you have just discovered it. Additionally, you do not need to fiddle with glue or sealant.
One important caveat to keep in mind is that this tent repair kit is for a canvas tent. If you have a nylon or polyester tent, then you will need a repair kit that comes with a patch kit of the same material as the external surface of your tent. Otherwise the Coghlan 703 Tent Repair Kit is effective, efficient, high quality, and extremely easy to use.
Some people have lowered their rating of this product but it is highly likely that the rating is not a reflection on the quality of the repair kit but the inability of the buyers to use it properly.
Coleman Tent Repair Kit
This tent repair kit from Coleman comes with the greatest amount of equipment and therefore, versatility. Included in the kit are 2 adhesive patches measuring 3 in. x 10 in., 2 nylon mesh patches measuring 2 in. x 2 in., 2 spools of nylon thread, a needle, 3 tent ferrules, 2.5 mm gauge shock cord measuring 45 in. in length, a 15 ml tube of seam sealant, and a re-sealable bag.
Right out of the bag you have a lot more to work with in the Coleman Tent Repair Kit than the other products on this list. The adhesive nylon patches are made of the same material as the ripstop fabric used in the external coverings and floor pieces of many tents and works brilliantly. The sealant helps prevent any moisture seepage through the edges.
The sewing kit allows you to mend small gashes or seams that have come undone in a jiffy. It might not look very well, but a handmade stitch is functional and practical. The ferrules also work great for reinforcing tent poles or making up for lost length.
Because the sealant requires a clean surface to work best, we would have liked it if a few pieces of alcohol wipes were included in the kit. However, at its current price on Amazon the kit already offers more than enough functionality for the money.