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4 Simple Product Care Tips To Maintain Your Pack

Your care guide to make your gear last!
Your care guide to make your gear last!

Take care of your pack and make it last!

Isn’t it a reassuring feeling knowing that your valuables are protected from damage between starting your week as an urban commuter and ending it with outdoor photography in the wonder of nature?

Since you have already invested in researching and selecting the right pack to support your day-to-day lifestyle, make sure to take care of it. Like most well-made tools and instruments, some simple maintenance helps your bag do its job. For example, an occasional complete brush down with a clean, soft brush can reveal any spots that need attention.

With basic user care tips, knocking off dirt with brushes, fighting stains before they set, and following cleaning guidelines you can keep your gear in good working order for years of service.

Brush off dirt and dust to keep it clean.

Brushes, these simple tools, really help get the grit and grime off your pack, whether it’s a dollar store paintbrush, a boar’s hairbrush, or a toothbrush. Simply knocking loose surface dirt away will ensure that it doesn’t become embedded in the fibers and cause premature wear on the fabric and materials.

Dirt can be very abrasive and keeping it off your pack will help prolong its longevity! You can also substitute a brush with an air compressor and an air nozzle (or compressed air) to blow off the dirt. This works well for the small nooks and crannies in a hiking pack like the MARKHOR-45 backpack that are easy to miss with a brush. A side note: don’t use a metal/wire brush; opt for soft nylon/plastic/natural hair bristles.

Spot-clean those stains and make your bag shine!

Spilled coffee on your ENVOY-17 messenger bag? No worry. Spot-cleaning is just part of the maintenance for your trusty bag. Knowing each Vanquest product has protective fabric coatings to keep moisture out gives you peace of mind. These coatings help keep the weather at bay, but a quick spot clean will take care of the new coffee splash before it stains.

When dealing with a stain and spot cleaning, this is where we see most people taking very different approaches to keeping their gear clean. They tend to use methods that are overkill and not ideal for the pack. We recommend using a spot cleaning technique for stains. This is because you don’t need to clean the whole thing for a single spot. The best route is to use a mild detergent (we like to dilute Simple Green) and a toothbrush. Only clean the dirty area and once it’s been scrubbed, use clean water to get any detergent off and let it air dry in a well-ventilated space.

No machine-washing and no tumble-drying.

The worst thing you can do is to machine wash and tumble dry your pack in high heat! We don’t recommend these practices for many reasons: Machine-wash and tumble-drying can cause too much friction and damage your bag’s hardware and webbing. Trapped moisture between layers may cause mildew and smell.

Let’s take the TRIDENT-21 backpack for example. The side main flap opening is a layer of Hypalon, Cordura, closed-cell foam, ripstop nylon, and ToughMesh before you get into the main compartment from the outside. Most of our packs are at least three layers of material thick. Drying them after machine-washing would be very difficult, and mildew could form between those layers. 

We also coat our packs in a Durable Water Repellent (DWR). Using a washing machine or aggressive cleaning methods with heavy solvents can rapidly break down this coating, rendering its weatherproofing ineffective.

Take good care of those zippers, and they will take care of you!

Zippers are a crucial component of a pack, designed for long-term performance, and often the most expensive item to repair on any bag. Zipper performance can degrade if the zipper is not properly cared for or used incorrectly.

Remember, zippers are not load-bearing, and you cannot pick up a heavy bag by lifting the zipper pulls alone. No pouch, bag, or pack should be opened or closed with most of the weight supported by the zipper or zipper pull during use.

Forcing a zipper to close will wear it out prematurely. Instead, try to help align the zipper tracks (coils) parallel before closing the metal slider, so it glides closed with only one or two fingers’ strength. Additionally avoiding sharp or abrasive items contacting the zipper, inside or out, prolongs its life. Check out these Product Care tips on our site, to keep your gear in good working condition for the best performance and long life.

Final thoughts…

All bags and packs from Vanquest are made with carefully selected materials and hardware, to help you stay organized and prepared. 

Treat your pack like a well-made tool and inspect before and after using all zippers, buckles, and webbing for signs of wear or damage. Routinely brush off dirt, tackle stains with spot-cleaning, and avoid machine-washing and tumble-drying. Also, remember that zippers are not meant for bearing heavy loads. Treat the zippers gently, align the tracks, and avoid abrasive items from contacting them. 

Gear maintenance starts with you, and by following some simple guidelines, your backpack will continue to protect your valuables and serve you faithfully through all your adventures. Taking care of your backpack is essential for ensuring its longevity and your peace of mind. Your choice of a reliable pack is an investment, and with some simple maintenance, your pack can serve you faithfully for years to come.