The snow is melting, the sun is shining—it's time to drag your camping gear from the garage and get it ready for another season
Broken tent poles, mouse holes in your bug netting, and zippers that are as unmovable as the sword in the stone—it's time to rediscover the busted gear you told yourself you'd repair over the winter. This week, we scanned Amazon's bestseller list for the highest-rated gear-repair kits, then pulled the best, most authoritative reviews for each.
Gear Aid Tenacious Tape ($5)
"This tape saved my brand new Marmot jacket. Don't hesitate to purchase this product. I am a perfectionist when it comes to looks of my gear, and this tape is awesome. I slipped down the stairs in my brand new jacket a week after I purchased it and somehow I managed to get two precision cuts on the elbow of the jacket. I had down feathers flying out of the hole every time I moved my arm. This is the best solution out there."
Sea to Summit Field Repair Buckle ($10)
"I didn't have to cut or disassemble anything to install this replacement buckle. It's a cheap, easy, and effective way to replace a broken buckle on any bag or backpack."
Gear Aid Tenacious Tape Mesh Patch ($10)
"I won a really nice tent with tons of mesh in a giveaway and my dog tried to step right through it, putting a little tear in the mesh near a seam. This kit made it super easy to fix and the adhesive stuck right onto seam."
Zipper Rescue Zipper Repair Kit ($13)
"I used this kit to fix the zippers on two jackets and I still have parts left over. One slider is an exact color match to my jacket and the other is just slightly off. The whole job only took 30 minutes. The kit has more than paid for itself. I recommend this kit to anybody who knows how to use basic hand tools. They also have other kits for different zipper applications."
Speedy Stitcher Sewing Awl ($15)
"This awl has saved me more money than probably any other tool I have ever bought. I have fixed everything from our leather couch after our rescue dog found it irresistible to chew on, to a garment bag which United Airlines must have used for target practice, numerous duffel bags, leather sandals, boat shoes, belts—the list could on and on. It's easy to operate once you get the stitching pattern down and it lasts!"
Seam Grip Waterproof Sealant Adhesive ($4)
"I applied this seam grip over the factory taped seams on my North Face tent. I was worried that the seam grip would remain tacky even after it cured, but I'm happy to say the seam grip cured in about 24 hours and is not tacky at all. It has a slick glossy finish and has a similar consistency of rubber. I used an entire tube to seam seal the tent tub and critical seams along the canopy."
Shock-Cord Repair Kit ($5)
"I broke a tent pole taking down the tent on my last trip, and I couldn't find a replacement anywhere. No matter, I found this neat little kit on Amazon for about $5 that would let me repair four-to-five broken poles. But I had never done it, so I was worried it'd be a pain but it only took me about five minutes."
MSR Tent Pole Repair Splint ($10)
"This kit from MSR helped an old tent last another wonderful season! This really should be a must-have item in any campers gear closet."