When we say we build our gear to last, we mean it. Topo Designs packs and bags are built from high-quality, durable materials that can withstand daily wear-and-tear and the rigors of outdoor activity alike. But even the toughest stuff needs a little TLC sometimes. If you want to keep your pack in action, we have a few simple tips and tricks to help you care for it.
Keep it Clean.
First thing's first: We don't advise putting your pack in the washing machine or dryer, or using bleach on any of our packs. Now that that's out of the way, here are the best ways to spruce up your pack, whether you need a quick spot clean or something a little more thorough.
For spot cleaning:
Empty your bag (it makes it easier, promise), then use a washcloth to dab warm, soapy water onto the spot. A gentle detergent or dish soap should do the trick. If the spot isn't just a surface stain, use a toothbrush or other soft brush to scrub the area, then rinse with cool water and let air dry.
For deep cleaning (nylon packs without leather):
Empty your bag, then submerge it in a tub of warm, soapy water. Use a soft brush or washcloth to scrub any stubborn spots, then rinse clean with cool water. Hang dry with a towel below to catch any dripping water.
For deep cleaning (canvas packs):
Empty your bag, then submerge it in a tub of cool, soapy water. Use a soft brush or washcloth to scrub stubborn spots, then rinse clean with cool water. Warm water can cause the canvas to shrink slightly! If you need to, stretch your bag gently before hanging to dry.
Get Stains Out.
If you're dealing with a stain that soap and water won't fix, we have good news: You can use your favorite fabric stain remover on your cloth pack (don't put it on the leather, though!). Double-check that it doesn't have bleach, and if you're not sure, we always recommend testing on a small, well-hidden swatch.
Don't Forget the Zippers.
Zipper maintenance is one of the most often forgotten elements of keeping your pack healthy. We use burly YKK zippers on all of our pieces to increase their resilience, but as one of the most-used pieces of a pack, it's still important to take good care of them! If you've been hiking or camping and you notice caked-on dirt and grime, use a damp cotton swab or toothbrush to gently remove it. A simple soap and water scrub should help loosen debris and get your zippers back to new.
Tip: If you've been to the beach with your pack, be sure to clean the zippers when you get home. Salt is one of the most corrosive things to a zipper, so give your pack a quick, soapy rinse post-beach getaway.
Weatherproof Your Leather.
If your pack has leather, as many of our heritage pieces do, we recommend using a leather conditioner on your bag to keep it soft and scuff-free (we like Otter Wax). If you live in a rainy climate, a water and stain protector is your friend! Test a small amount on a relatively well-hidden part of your bag (like the bottom) before full application to make sure the product doesn't discolor the leather.
Tip: If your leather-based bag gets wet, let it air dry; don't use a direct heat source (like a hairdryer) to speed up the process — it can lead to overdrying and cracks.
On the Mend.
We get it — sometimes your gear sustains damage from the elements that's not so easy to wipe off. That's why we started our repairs program: to keep well-loved packs and bags in commission. If you have a rip, tear or a broken zipper, let us know and we'll be happy to repair your bag, so you can keep it in the family and out of the landfill.