Do you own a backpack that you consider irreplaceable, and the strap broke, the stitching came undone, or a buckle snapped? You could take it to a shop to be repaired (and could end up spending $50 or upwards!), but why do that when you could fix it yourself? And if you are going to repair it yourself, there is no need to buy some standardized kit with parts you don't need. With a little know-how and the right materials, you can put together a backpack repair kit that suits your specific needs!
Plastic or metal hardware and webbing to repair various parts your backpack. Hardware includes, but is not limited to: D-Rings, O-Rings, Side Release Buckles, Slides, Snap Hooks, Cord Locks, etc.
For a hiker's backpack the most common hardware is made of plastic, which keeps weight down. For a standard everyday backpack plastic hardware is preferred, and Lightweight Polypropylene or Heavyweight Polypropylene is the most common webbing used for backpack replacement straps. If any webbing is needed for repairs Heavyweight Polypropylene is popular as well as highly recommended. The Heavyweight webbing has excellent UV protection, medium level of abrasion resistance, and does not absorb water, making it highly resistant to rot and mildew, and comes in different widths. With these qualities it is great for outdoor weather conditions. Lightweight Polypropylene has a minimum breaking strength of 300 pounds (maximum recommended working load is 100 pounds). Heavyweight Polypropylene has a minimum breaking strength of 450 pounds (maximum recommended working load is 150 pounds).
Another popular webbing type is Flat Nylon. It is a great choice for heavy duty backpacks due to its high strength and excellent abrasion resistance. Minimum breaking strength for Flat Nylon is 1400 pounds (with a maximum recommended working load of 460 pounds), and is becomming popular for use on bags and backpacks of all kinds.
When the repair calls for re-stitching, a sewing awl is your best bet if you do not have a sewing machine. It only weighs 3.14 oz.--making it ideal for repairing your backpack in the field. The Speedy Stitcher Sewing Awl has been a part of many homes around the world since 1909. It can be used to sew any heavy material you need. Each Speedy Stitcher is Made in the USA and comes with approximately 85 feet of high tensile waxed thread (colored tan/beige) and custom made diamond point needles. Sews a perfect lock stitch every time and as everyone knows, a stitch in time saves nine!
When cutting webbing for a replacement strap, you can seal the end (to prevent loose threads) by holding a lighter under the webbing and using a gentle back and forth motion. The Speedy Stitcher sewing awl comes with instructions and with a little practice, it doesn't take long to get the hang of it. It is recommended that you order a sample of webbing for practice (webbing distributors will often give out free samples), or use an old piece of material you have on hand.