How to mend a torn sleeping bag

Last Friday I woke up to the sound of sleet drops falling on my tent. I don’t think I’ve ever been more afraid of packing up camp. Warm and snuggled up in my sleeping bag, I didn’t have much motivation to move.

My new zero degree sleeping bag has been wonderful. I am never cold on winter camping trips. However, I recently discovered that it is much more difficult to wash due to its thick insulating lint.

I try not to wash my sleeping bags unless it is absolutely necessary to wash them. Wet and muddy conditions usually warrant a wash.

After unpacking and hanging most of our gear out to dry, I tried washing the largest sleeping bag at home. I loaded it in the washer by itself and ran it through a heavy wash cycle. The washing machine overflowed and the sleeping bag suffered a small tear. Next time, I’m going to have to make a trip to the laundry mat.

The sleeping bag came out clean and air dried just fine, but I had to figure out how to fix a 1 inch tear in the polyester taffeta fabric.

mend a torn sleeping bag

There are a couple of products made to patch a variety of outdoor equipment made from a variety of materials.

Gear Aid’s Tenacious Tape is a weather-resistant material with an “ultra-aggressive” adhesive backing that can instantly repair holes and tears in almost any material and makes it machine washable after 24 hours. It comes in a variety of colors to match your gear and a clear choice. It can be used to quickly fix tents, ski pants, puffy coats, sleeping bags, hammocks, backpacks, awnings, tarps and more. According to Gear Aid, their Tenacious Tape permanently adheres to fabrics and outdoor materials, such as nylon, vinyl, rubber, and plastic. It’s also a relatively inexpensive option, selling for $5.95 a roll on Amazon.

Tear-Aid is a more expensive option. Tear-Aid Type A patches adhere to tarps, rubber, neoprene, nylon, plastics, polyethylene, polypropylene, polyurethane, oil-free leather, umbrellas, Gore-tex, acrylics, fiberglass, aluminum, polyester, hypalon, dacron and most fabrics. Type B heads are made for vinyl and vinyl-coated materials only. Tear-Aid patch kits are about $12, according to the retailer.

After diving into customer reviews on Amazon, I settled on Gear Aid’s Tenacious Tape to repair the small tear in my sleeping bag.

Mending a tear in your sleeping bag while it is small will ensure that the tear does not spread and can extend the life of your sleeping bag for years to come. Follow the steps below to effectively seal a tear or hole in your sleeping bag.


  1. Make sure your sleeping bag is clean and dry.
  2. Cut a patch that is at least ½ inch larger than the hole or tear on all sides.
  3. Peel back of patch and apply over tear or hole.
  4. Smooth the edges of the patch from the center out to remove any air bubbles.
  5. Use Gear Aid Seam Grip to cover and seal the edges of the patch.
  6. Allow the patch to dry completely before storing it.


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