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Dry Wear Latex Gasket Emergency Field Repair

VideoNovember 25, 2011

Latex gaskets and socks on dry tops, dry pants and drysuits are tough, but not indestructible. Boating with a tear in the latex can let water pour inside the garment if you swim, with possible disastrous consequences.

At the put-in you discover a tear; do you cancel the day’s trip? Or worse, you’re on a multiday and get a tear when putting the garment on in the morning. Risk a swim? Wrap yourself in duct tape?

There’s a better solution. In this video, NRS repair guru, Josh Gile, shows you how to make a field repair with Tear-Aid Repair Tape - Type A. It’s stretchy, durable, waterproof and sticks to just about everything. It belongs in every repair kit; get the 5-foot-long roll.

Tear-Aid comes in a kit with various sized patches and some alcohol swab packets, or that 3" x 5' roll. Those alcohol swabs are handy to have in your repair kit.

Try to catch and fix the tear as early as possible; even the smallest nick will soon spread all the way through the gasket. Cut out the patch so that it extends at least one-half inch away from the tear. Round the corners on any patch; a sharp corner is more likely to catch and peel up.

Clean the area around the tear, inside and out, with the alcohol or other solvent and let it dry. Align the edges of the tear together. Peel up one-half of the paper backing on the patch and carefully roll the Tear-Aid onto the gasket. Use your fingers to firmly press the patch into place. Then peel the rest of the backing away and press the patch onto the inside of the gasket.

There’s no cure time; you’re ready to go right away. The Tear-Aid is stretchy, but not as stretchy as the latex. Use care when donning the gasket; once you have it on check to be sure the patch is still firmly in place.

This fix will get you through your trip, just remember to replace the gasket once you get home. We stock gaskets and socks and replacement kits that include the Aquaseal and the Accelerator/Cleaner. We also have excellent video and printed gasket replacement instructions here online.

To prolong gasket life clean off sunscreen and insect repellants, which can damage the latex. Applying Gear Aid Silicone Grease Lubricant periodically will help keep the latex supple. And be careful of jewelry and watches that can tear gaskets.