Review by Fiona McIntosh
The crunch was ominous. We’d stopped for cappuccinos at the Peregrine Farm Stall before heading out into the Hottentots Holland and, as I stood up, my booted foot crushed one side of the waist buckle on my backpack. I knotted the straps together, grateful that it was only a day hike and that the pack was light. But it made me wish that I’d had a few cable ties and some duct tape with which to jerry-rig a more effective solution.
A fellow hiker offered some advice. ‘You should carry a field repair buckle in your survival kit,’ he suggested. So, since I’m often out in the hills for days on end, I sought these out.
Sea to Summit’s Field Repair Buckles are quite ingenious, and work not just on backpacks, but on anything that has buckles, like dry-bags, personal flotation devices, and camera cases. You simply open the stainless steel pin, thread it through the existing fabric loop, and lock the pin using a screwdriver. (Make sure you have your Leatherman in your survival kit too!) Hey presto! Not only have you made a plan in the field, but the buckle is good to last as long as the original ones.
The non-corrosive buckles come in various forms – two pin side release buckles (for waist belts), and a one pin ladder-lock, with which to replace shoulder straps. They come in two widths – 20 millimetres and 25 millimetres – with the side release buckles also coming in 50 millimetres.