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Has anyone had a backpack that discoloured your clothes?
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Alina G
(Alina) - MLife

Locale: Toronto, Ontario
Has anyone had a backpack that discoloured your clothes? on 08/19/2013 20:10:56 MDT Print View


Has anyone had any problems with a backpack leaching its dye?

I have purchased a pack recently but unfortunately it discolors my clothes. I am really disappointed because I like this pack otherwise.
This pack discoloured my shirt in quite a few places the first time I wore it. The interesting thing is that I have put a piece of paper towel in the front mesh pocket and part of it got discolored as well. It rained that day so it looks like the pack discolors when in contact with water even when there is no friction. Probably it would discolour when sweating as well.

I am not going to mention who the manufacturer is because they have told me to return this pack for a refund. They say that the dye is not water soluble and that they have no idea why the pack would discolour my clothes. The refund would be somewhat of a hassle to me though. I am in Canada so I paid $40 in shipping. To return it I would have to spend another $40. Additionally I paid taxes on it (13%) for which I will have to fill in paper work, sent it away etc. to get the tax money back if I can even find the receipt.
Anyway, I wonder if anyone had such a problem and what did you do about it? Anything that I could do to set the dye in?
I am looking forward to hearing from you.

Thank you.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Has anyone had a backpack that discoloured your clothes? on 08/19/2013 20:13:16 MDT Print View

Gossamer Gear had that problem at one point.
I had a Gorilla and had NO problems. And I'm a sweat hog.

michael levi
(M.L) - F

Locale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
re on 08/19/2013 20:31:40 MDT Print View

What material is your pack made of? There is no reason to hide the maker.

Desert Dweller

Locale: Wild Wild West
Setting dye on 08/19/2013 21:05:32 MDT Print View

Dye can be set with a mordant. Dharma trading sells it.

Nick C.
(nixie) - F
re: Has anyone had a backpack that discoloured your clothes? on 08/19/2013 21:13:53 MDT Print View

Sorry to hear it's happened to you Alina!

Though I have no solution to share I did have a similar experience with a backpack. Oddly, my troubles were geographically reversed. A backpack from Canada for use in the USA.

I had a 2012 MEC Travel Light Top Loader daypack (link) in the color blue (which is no longer made apparently.

You can read a brief description of the problem on the reviews section of the same page (no way it seems to link directly to the review but if you are interested you can look for the review dated September 23, 2012). There is also a picture attached to that review showing the dye transfer from the backpack to my shirt.

Good luck!

Rex Sanders
(Rex) - M

Locale: Central California Coast
Re: Has anyone had a backpack that discoloured your clothes? on 08/19/2013 23:06:56 MDT Print View

I had a backpack from a well-known grown-up cottage manufacturer that discolored my clothes. That pack had more serious problems, too, so it's gone.

My new pack is white cuben fiber from HMG. Now, my clothes stain my pack :-)

Discoloring in either direction is not a big deal to me. I have more trouble with sweat and dirt stains, but I don't care much about those, as long as everything still functions well.

-- Rex

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Has anyone had a backpack that discoloured your clothes? on 08/20/2013 21:41:03 MDT Print View

In 2009 my GG Murmur stained a brand new Rail Riders Eco-Mesh shirt. Apparently it was a common problem as I found instructions on the GG Website on how to prep the pack. They fixed the problem since then.

I was a little peeved, but over the years most of the stain has slowly washed out of the shirt. Doesn't really matter -- I only wear it backpacking anyway.

Alina G
(Alina) - MLife

Locale: Toronto, Ontario
Has anyone had a backpack that discoloured your clothes? on 08/20/2013 23:06:42 MDT Print View

Thank you Guys,

@Michael L --- I have went to their website but they do not say what the fabric is. I do not want to mention their name because they are willing to take the pack back so I do not want to give them a negative review and drag their name through forums. Apparently, according to them, I am the first person to have such problem.
@Desert Dweller--- Did you do any dyeing yourself? How were the results?
@Nick Gatel--- Do you still have/remember the instructions on how to fix colour form GG website?

Thank you.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Has anyone had a backpack that discoloured your clothes? on 08/20/2013 23:19:51 MDT Print View


Instructions were to soak it in warm water (I think).

The problem was the mesh panel that holds the frame pad. Apparently they got a bad batch of material from a supplier and did not find out about it until customers started complaining.

It is not something to be concerned with their quality or service, just one of those things that happen.

Alina G
(Alina) - MLife

Locale: Toronto, Ontario
Is Gossamer Gear a good company? on 08/23/2013 22:40:52 MDT Print View

I have sent an email to Gossamer Gear asking them about the problem they had with their packs leaching dye before ( a couple of you had mentioned that it was the case). I thought that maybe that could shed some light on my problem. To my surprise they have denied having such problem ever.
I have sent a response saying that that person maybe was not working there long enough to know about it and that maybe they should ask around. I have received no response.
I wonder how are their products and customer service?
Can anyone comment on it?
As of now I do not have much faith in them if they have no problems lying like that.
Thank you.

Desert Dweller

Locale: Wild Wild West
Dyeing fabrics on 08/23/2013 23:17:42 MDT Print View

Much depends on the composition of the dyes used. There are many types of dyes, some more binding to fabrics and some not so binding. I have dyed fabrics, leather and feathers for my business as a seamstress for movies and theater costumes. If they are using synthetic fabrics the dyes should have been set if its quality material since synthetics do not take dye well after manufacture. Most of the time dyes are entered into the synthetic "fibers" when they are in a malleable state before being woven. If its natural materials it is normal to have some bleeding at certain times. Often a strong dye is used taking that into consideration, or several layers of dye. But the mark of quality materials, synthetic or natural is no bleeding or very little cause they should be setting the dyes before cutting fabrics to make things.
If it bleeds, then somewhere in the process of production steps were skipped entirely or neglected.
I have some very nice cotton towels that still bleed three years after I bought them....this was rare 30 years ago so production is getting sloppy.
And it might not be the fault of the end product maker, they might have gotten a bad lot that just was not set well.
Salts in our sweat are very leaching, it's possible that the dye used in your pack was/is chemically inclined to break down faster with sweat rather than plain water.
And yes, warm/hot water plus white vinegar and salt set dyes.

Edited by Drusilla on 08/23/2013 23:20:34 MDT.

Alina G
(Alina) - MLife

Locale: Toronto, Ontario
Dye leaching on 08/23/2013 23:24:15 MDT Print View

Thank you Desert Dweller.
The pack is made of nylon. Someone before also has asked me what the pack was made of.


Locale: South West US
Re: Has anyone had a backpack that discoloured your clothes? on 08/23/2013 23:24:29 MDT Print View

I had a 2003 Granite Gear Vapor Trail that stained a white hiking shirt and a soft-shell jacket.

edit to add: Great pack that served me well otherwise.

Edited by oiboyroi on 08/24/2013 00:18:33 MDT.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Is Gossamer Gear a good company? on 08/23/2013 23:30:11 MDT Print View

Yes, they are a good company.

Click Here for their Mariposa manual and a note about dye stains on page 3.

Alina G
(Alina) - MLife

Locale: Toronto, Ontario
Dye leaching on 08/23/2013 23:55:39 MDT Print View

Thank you Nick.
Interesting! I am going to send this pamphlet to GG and see if they will still claim that they had never had such problem. Ha....I caught them.
Is this pamphlet out of their current website or is it from before? I wonder if they still have this problem. In the pamphlet they say that it might be body chemistry but in your previous post you said that they had a bad batch. I guess it is hard to say what the reason was, isn’t it?
In my case the manufacturer says that there are people who have the same batch as me yet nobody complains. Therefore the “bad batch” theory is not applicable in my case, according to them at least. I am not sure how forthcoming companies are with their shortcomings though. I have a feeling that manufacturers do not admit having problems very easily.
I wonder how well would soaking in hot water work. When I wash clothes where the dye is not set too well there is dye leaching every time I wash them.
The company that made my backpack says to use fabric waterproofing spray. I do not know how well that works.
Thank you.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Dye leaching on 08/24/2013 08:30:05 MDT Print View


The manual is from their website. It is several years old and the problem is probably fixed, so it would not be fair to expect all the employees to know about it.

The problem was with the mesh panel on the back of the back that is used to hold a pad as a frame, which most manufacturer do not incorporate into there designs.

Other than McHale Alpine Packs, I don't know of any manufacturers that dye their packs.

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: Dye leaching on 08/24/2013 08:46:58 MDT Print View

Here's what nick linked to.

Recently we’ve had a few reports of the pad holder mesh causing stains on shirts. Last year we
encountered this issue in less than 1% of the packs sold and have always thought that it had something
to do with specific personal body chemistry which reacts with the dye in the mesh. We have been notified
of several more staining issues this season so we have looked into the production of the mesh and have
been assured that the fabric is colorfast. We are currently searching for either an alternative fabric or
mesh that has been through a more rigorous wash test for the next run of packs. We are also
considering a redesign of the back panel that we may test later in the year. In the interim, the best
solution is to soak the pack in warm/hot water which should leach out any excess dye in the fabric. Do
not put the pack in a washing machine, however

Robert Kelly
(QiWiz) - MLife

Locale: UL gear @
dye leaching on 08/27/2013 15:20:32 MDT Print View

I've had this happen with a number of packs. I sweat a lot. Newly dyed fabrics don't always retain all their dye when exposed to warm salty sweat. Like Nick, I had my original spinnaker fabric GG Murmur do this, also with EcoMesh shirts as it happens, which are my favorite 3-season hiking shirt. The leaching was restricted to the back of the hiking shirt and top of hiking pants, where typically black mesh fabric either made up a pad pocket (GG) or covered a frame sheet or other pack element in another manufacturer's pack. GG seems to have fixed this problem.

Eventually any dye leaching stops and eventually the discolored areas on hiking shirts also fade, though not completely. But they are, after all, backpacking attire. Stains are an indication of the trail miles they have seem, a mark of "character" if you will. I love GG stuff, and own a lot of it. I still use my old Murmur, which no longer has spare dye to stain anything with. I still use my EcoMesh shirts, which are now conveniently pre-stained should a new pack tend to leach any dye. ; )

Edited by QiWiz on 08/27/2013 15:22:00 MDT.

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
Has anyone had a backpack that discoloured your clothes? on 08/27/2013 15:39:16 MDT Print View

The Murmur still leaches dye. I took it about a month ago on a couple weeks outing and it stained my shirt a bit. Not too bad, I ignore it. It generally only transfers to clothing that has a better afinity to the dye. Not nylon for instance, but wool will pick up some. (I wear an Ibex hiking shirt.)
The older GG MiniPosa did the same when it was new. As did the old G5. I also picked up some from an older Atmos I have. And the older Trek leached onto my shoulders a bit. ... Part of hiking in HOT weather.