How to repair back pack straps
November 20, 2017 11:17 AM   Subscribe

My backpack straps are becoming unusable due the canvas covering of the strap-cushion tearing where is creases. The manufacturer is unable/unwilling to repairs. So anyway how you go about repairing the torn fabric covering on backpack straps?

Here are some pics:

This tear goes all the way around and is basically being held on by the seam and the cushioning.

Here's the other strap with a smaller tear.

Further back. Lots of little tears, which I'm not that worried about, but the big tear actually gets in the way during everyday use.

Overall it is pretty unusable and I feel like its just gonna get worse. I don't know where to start, besides using either iron-on patches or fabric glue and denim I have laying around. But it's a nice backpack, and when I purchased it I wanted it to be usable for a long time, so any 'classier' solutions like taking it to a tailor or something would be cool too. I'm willing to spend some money, maybe around $50, for a long term solution that looks better than I'm able to do.
posted by kittensofthenight to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (10 answers total)
I'd just replace the whole straps. You can buy replacement backpack straps, and you have a seam to work with to take out the old ones and add new ones. If you're not a sewer this is definitely something a tailor or cobbler can do.
posted by brainmouse at 11:21 AM on November 20, 2017 [4 favorites]

You're in Seattle? Take it to the gear repair wizards at the flagship R.E.I. store and have them put new straps on it. They've done wonders for me in the past and the charges have always been very reasonable (when they haven't been waived entirely.)
posted by Nerd of the North at 11:33 AM on November 20, 2017 [5 favorites]

That's a great idea NotN. Do you think they will have straps or should I purchase some?
posted by kittensofthenight at 11:55 AM on November 20, 2017

Looks like REI outsources repairs to a different company now, seems pretty steep at $83/hr. Any other suggestions?
posted by kittensofthenight at 12:16 PM on November 20, 2017

I'd take it by a neighborhood shoe repair shop to see if they can help. They have heavy duty sewing machines, sometimes repair luggage, and might be able to fix it for you.
posted by MelissaSimon at 1:15 PM on November 20, 2017 [2 favorites]

Looks like REI outsources repairs to a different company now, seems pretty steep at $83/hr. Any other suggestions?
That's a damn shame. They used to be excellent.
posted by Nerd of the North at 1:35 PM on November 20, 2017

Look for tent, awning or canvas repair in your area. Also look for auto or boat upholsterers. The people working in the garage beside their house might be most willing to do a small repair.
posted by ITravelMontana at 4:40 PM on November 20, 2017

REI does sell replacement straps and you could take them to a cobbler aside from the other repair suggestions -key is someone with a heavy duty sewing machine - to put on if you don't feel daring - otherwise buy heavy nylon thread like upholstery thread and a sailmaker's needle (heavy curved needle) to sew on. I've done a few of these repairs over the years.
posted by leslies at 7:28 PM on November 20, 2017 [2 favorites]

I've broken straps on my goalie bag and on gear clean through before. If you use synthetic twine and an upholstery needle to join the broken pieces, and just be sure to sew them very thoroughly, they'll be stronger than ever. That's super cheap and it will absolutely work.
posted by heatvision at 2:45 AM on November 21, 2017

When my backpack straps started coming loose at the seam where it was held to the pack, I took it to a local shoe repair shop and they reinforced it all back to a wonderful state of usefulness. Cost was in the $10-20 range.
posted by CathyG at 10:49 AM on November 21, 2017 [3 favorites]

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