Inflatable Pad Repair
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Brian Camprini
(bcamprini) - MLife

Locale: Southern Appalachians
Inflatable Pad Repair on 11/30/2010 17:12:06 MST Print View

Normally with inflatables, I drop some seamgrip on the hole and then (if I have one at the time) slap a peel and stick nylon patch on it, but does anyone have any repair suggestions that might be better? I know there are some real MacGyvers out there. Thanks!

Edit for clarity: the particular patient in this case is an old 1980s thermarest similar to a current prolite.

Edited by bcamprini on 11/30/2010 17:13:32 MST.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
re on 11/30/2010 18:00:26 MST Print View

I've used seamgrip to successfully repair pin holes in inflatable pad - put it in water and look for air bubbles - no need for anything additional.

On another 1980 Therma-rest I could never figure out where it was leaking, maybe in the seam.

I recently bought a Therm-a-rest Prolite and it is so much better than the Therm-a-rest guidelite that I had used for years - 16 ounces - about half the guidelite.

If you can afford it, spend the $100 for the new version.

Mark Ries
(mtmnmark) - M

Locale: IOWAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!
self inflater repair on 11/30/2010 19:56:36 MST Print View

If just a small hole compress the pad like maybe roll up 1/6 of pad close valve as foam expands it will be drawing air into hole apply factory sealant or seamgrip once it has drawn some in the hole open the valve lay mattress where it wont be disturbed thenwhen it finishs self inflating smear alittle more or level out whats there if it is still plyable Drawing some in the hole kinda helps seal it from both sides for bigger tears I have always used the patches supplied but I havent bought a thermarest in 15 + yrs so I dont know if they even supply these any more I heard the stuff sacks are extra seams like the glue was always dried out by the time you needed it though and as I recall my old le had these hot bond patchs with it it had a soft fabrictop I dont use them much any more but all the patches hold to this day and I use them for car camping to save wear and tear on the new stuff

Brian Camprini
(bcamprini) - MLife

Locale: Southern Appalachians
Re: Inflatable Pad Repair on 12/01/2010 04:58:13 MST Print View

Mark--that's a great idea about applying the seamgrip while it's self-inflating and drawing some of the goop into the hole. I'll try that.

Jerry--I've already identified where the hole is (not on a seam thank goodness). I'm just looking for ways to repair it. I have newer pads, but I've never gotten rid of this old one because it's so well made. I don't recall the model, but it's a purple 47x20 and it's weight is almost the same as similar-sized Montbells or Prolites--about 13 oz if I recall. Much tougher fabric, it seems, though. But pretty slippery. I used it with no groundsheet for years and this is only the 2nd small hole.

F. Thomas Matica
(ftm1776) - F

Locale: Vancouver, WA
Inflatable Pad Repair on 12/05/2010 15:56:20 MST Print View

My 2 cents:
I've used Shoe Goo on an in-house Aerobed inflatable.
Worked quite well, even on some small slit holes.
It does remain somewhat flexible when dry, especially if it is layered on thinly. It might be worth a try. It seems to stick quite tenaciously to the flocked or plastic side of the Aerobed. I can't say for seams, but it sure worked well in the "spring" pockets of the Aerobed where I thought it would be futile to put a patch. The "Goo" flows, unlike a patch, which could still leak and require another patch. I guess it could be used with a patch, but that seemed like overkill in my case.

Edited by ftm1776 on 12/05/2010 16:03:26 MST.

Brian Camprini
(bcamprini) - MLife

Locale: Southern Appalachians
Re: Inflatable Pad Repair on 12/05/2010 18:03:44 MST Print View

Shoe Goo--that's one I hadn't thought of. I already patched it using my normal method, but with Mark's twist where you do it while the pad is inflating through the puncture. It seems to be holding fine, but I haven't spent a night on it yet. I'll remember the shoo goo thing, especially if I ever get something larger than a pinhole. I've seen people use 2 part epoxy on bigger tears or holes near the valve where a normal patch is tough, but that stuff dries like a rock--not bad on the edge, but I wouldn't want to sleep on it. Shoe goo's gotta be softer.