What is Tenacious Tape?

Tenacious Tape is a stick-on, easy to use DIY patch that comes in a wide range of colors. It works great on just about everything from down jackets to Gore-Tex shells, backpacks, tents and sleeping bags. “Better than duct tape” is Gear Aid’s tagline, and as a repair facility, we couldn’t agree more! It’s machine washable (as long as you apply it correctly) and will last years. Plus, if you ever decide to ditch the tape and opt for a fabric patch, it peels off without leaving a sticky residue, unlike duct tape.

Here’s some tips to apply Tenacious Tape for best results:

  1. Make sure your item is clean and dry. Dust and dirt cause the tape to peel off after the first wash.
  2. Cut the tape into a circle. Corners are the first place it will start to peel away from.
  3. Lay the fabric completely flat—no wrinkles—and stick on the tape!
Choose a type of tape
Cut into a circle
Peel and stick!

Does it work?

Yes! Specifically, it works best on nylon, polyester, vinyl, rubber, neoprene, polyurethane leather, canvas, and plastic surfaces. If you have a Dyneema tent, Gear Aid also makes silnylon patches that stick to silicone. There are a couple different types, so here’s the breakdown on which type to buy based on how you will be using it:

Nylon Fabric: these come in red, black, yellow and are our go-to tape! They are slightly flexible and great for down jackets, outerwear, and tight corners on backpacks or gloves.

Clear Vinyl: this is a plastic tape with a non-gloss finish. While it works great, it looks like scotch tape on your item and doesn’t have the flexibility of the nylon fabric tape.

Ripstop Nylon: this type comes in sage green and grey and is reinforced nylon fabric. This type works great on tents, tarps and backpacks.

Reflective: this tape is perfect for bike gear, moto jackets, running shells and really anything that you want a reflective strip on! You don’t need to have a tear for this one to be useful.

Silnylon: silicone treated nylon (ex. Dyneema) is very popular for ultralight backpacking gear and this is the tape you want on the trail with you.

Is it waterproof?

Yes, the tape is sealed with a waterproof coating that holds up in the wash! For waders and air mattresses, you can first apply Aquaseal and then a Tenacious Tape patch over the top to ensure it stays air/watertight. Aquaseal is essentially superglue for outdoor gear. It is a waterproof urethane adhesive that comes in a tube and is highly abrasion resistant.

Can you wash it?

Yep! Tenacious Tape is machine washable and dryable. Just make sure your item is clean and dry when you apply the patch, press out any bubbles or wrinkles, and then wait 24 hours for it to set. Note that dry cleaning removes Tenacious Tape, so stick to a traditional washing machine.

How do you remove it?

If you make a mistake when applying, Tenacious Tape peels away easily within the first 24 hours so you can reposition it. When you get tired of the patch–whether it’s been 48 hours or 48 days–simply pick at an edge until you can peel away the tape. It should come away clean without ripping the fabric or leaving a sticky residue. If your item can be dry cleaned, that should remove the tape easily. If it’s difficult to remove or can’t be dry cleaned, try these tricks:

  1. Warm the patch for 30 seconds using an iron set to low heat. Use moderate pressure and a circular motion to heat evenly.
  2. Quickly lift up an edge or corner and pull slowly but firmly across the patch. Be careful not to cause further damage to the original repair.
  3. After the area has cooled, remove any residual adhesive with rubbing alcohol and a terry cloth. Rub in a circular motion for at least one minute until the adhesive has lifted.

Want a fabric patch instead?

Get a quote from Rugged Thread Outerwear Repair here. We professionally patch down jackets, tents, sleeping bags, backpacks, motorcycle gear and Gore-Tex shells.