Duct tape. It's the stuff that puts life back together, from the simple breakdowns you sensed coming to out-of-left-field disasters that would throw MacGyver for a loop. New brand Adventure Tape believes duct tape might soon be relinquishing its ultimate fix-all crown, though. The company's all-new fix-it tape pops out of a chewing tobacco-like tin to repair broken tent poles, fix leaky hoses, sling up injured arms, strap gear in place, and perform innumerable other impromptu functions and fixes. When the mission is complete, give the tape a rinse, drop it back in the tin and use it again next time. You definitely can't do that with duct tape.
While there are likely a million and one home and workplace uses for Adventure Tape, the British spin-off is firing directly at the GoPro and Red Bull set. To make its tape easy to carry in on all kinds of adventures, it's packaged it in a 3.1-in-diameter (8-cm-diameter) round tin. It might be too large for folks who really count every gram and millimeter, but it should be small and light enough for others to throw in a pack, saddle bag or jacket pocket. And if you really want to go fast-and-light, you could always cut a smaller section and leave the tin behind.
Adventure Tape was first designed in 2014 by Richard Brooks, a downhill mountain biking enthusiast who was looking for something to protect his chainstay. The products on the market weren't cutting it, so he used his day job as technical director at Watts Urethane Products to whip up something better. He came up with the stretchy, polyurethane-based ribbon known today as Adventure Tape, wrapped it around his chainstay and it's been hard at work ever since.
Brooks was happy with his protected bike, and at first didn't think of the commercial viability of what he had created. Later, Watts CEO Anthony Cooper found the leftover tape in his drawer, had it developed out, and spun off the new brand aimed at outdoor explorers and action-video protagonists. Both Cooper and Brooks are part of the Adventure Tape team, which continues to work out of Watts' headquarters.
Unlike the traditional tapes we're all accustomed to, Adventure Tape does not rely on an adhesive, but its tacky surface holds to itself when it's wrapped up. In other words, it won't be much help for flat fixes like creating a makeshift patch for a hole in your tent fabric or rain jacket, but it will work for wraparound fixes and uses, sealing a leaky hose, creating a sling, taping the ripped toe box of a boot, or strapping things together. It can also be used to compress gear, like when you need to compact down a sleeping bag.
Not being able to stick to other things might sound like a real disadvantage (isn't that what tape does?!), but it also has a very clear benefit: Adventure Tape can be pulled off and used again, and it won't leave behind a residue or rip the materials you've secured together. So it kind of plays a role that's part tape, part rope. There are other self-tacky tapes out there, like Rescue Tape, but that one and other styles we've seen are not reusable.
To use Adventure Tape, you simply wrap it tightly around whatever it is you're fixing or tying down, then tie the loose end off or tuck it beneath the wrapped tape. We wonder how strong of a hold that really makes for without an adhesive bond, so we'd definitely get comfortable on small, inconsequential fixes long before using it on something really essential.
Adventure Tape has enough stretch to expand to roughly eight times its length, which means a little bit goes a long way – quite literally. Once you pull it off your repair, it contracts back to original size and can be rolled back into the tin.
In terms of durability, Adventure Tape says its tape resists abrasion better than duct tape and is highly resistant to breakage. It works to temperatures of -4 °F (-20 °C) before getting too brittle to function properly, according to a Q/A on the company's Kickstarter. It is also waterproof.
Adventure Tape plans to offer its tape in three widths: 9 mm (0.4 in), 18 mm (0.7 in) and 43 mm (1.7 in), each in a 3.6-m (11.8-foot) roll. Through its Kickstarter campaign, it is offering a multipack with rolls of all three sizes for a pledge level of £21 (US$28). This multipack also includes buckles, which can be used in conjunction with the medium and large tapes. The company has already sped past its US$20,000 goal and has 15 days left to go on the campaign.
While Adventure Tape looks like it'll definitely find its uses, we don't think it's a universal replacement for other emergency repair tools. Duct tape still seems more versatile thanks to its ability to stick to all kinds of surfaces; rope is better suited to supporting heavy loads; and a needle and thread will stitch up materials in situations that render Adventure Tape useless. So it might be worth throwing a roll of Adventure Tape in your pack next to those other things, but we wouldn't leave them at home until you really know Adventure Tape is your one-and-only fixer.
You can see the Adventure Tape pitch video below.
Source: Adventure Tape
Want a cleaner, faster loading and ad free reading experience?
Try New Atlas Plus. Learn more