To patch, or not to patch: that is the question

4:48 p.m. on September 5, 2012 (EDT)
14 reviewer rep
318 forum posts

We just had a wedding here for my brother in law and the kids were using some gear to sleep on. They decided it was OK to walk on a Solkhumbu Thermal 2.0 Self Inflating sleeping pad with high heals. It has a nice hole in it on one side from the heal of the high heal. It's a U shaped tear in the outer fabric.

How reliable are the patches you can buy and do they last? Any suggestions on how I should proceed?

9:22 a.m. on September 6, 2012 (EDT)
2,170 reviewer rep
2,136 forum posts


I have used Tear-Aid type A tape to patch a 20 denier sil-nylon tent floor and a 210 denier cordura materiel on a backpack. Both patches have been in place for more than a year and seem to be holding just fine.

However, my patches are not under pressure like your pad will be. I know that my Thermarest Neo-Air All season comes with a package of tear-aid tape as the repair kit so it surely will be suitable. Depending on the size of your puncture hole it may only be a gamble of 10 or 20 bucks for the tape.

(But it would not be fun to find yourself unexpectedly laying flat on the ground in the middle of the night out in the wild somewhere.)

I would say to give it a go. The worst that can happen is you lose some sleep and are out $20. (heck I couldn’t sleep last night anyway and I was at happens right?)

11:38 a.m. on September 6, 2012 (EDT)
25 reviewer rep
3,218 forum posts

Patches are dependable if done properly.  Clean the damaged area with solvent.  Rough it up with an abrasive material.  Use high quality cement that is fresh on both surfaces.  Let it dry until it is tacky, then mate together and roll it with a weight.  Wait several hours and test the repair at home before trusting it out there.

2:02 p.m. on September 6, 2012 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
1,343 forum posts

Here is a patch that has been on my Thermorest for 20+ years. It is a simple bike tire patch. I used this as my only pad for the past 20+ years and it has held up better than any other patch I have ever used. If its a large hole like you say it is I personally would use a smaller patch and then cover it with one of the larger patches in the kit. Way cheaper than the specialized patching kits offered for outdoor gear and way more durable. Follow the directions as if you were actually patching a tire, just as ppine sugested above.


2:19 p.m. on September 29, 2012 (EDT)
280 reviewer rep
1,469 forum posts

Patch a few times yes.

When patches start to leak, replace.

June 20, 2018
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