This backpack was purchased in 2015 and has been stored in a closet for the past few years. I've noticed that the rubber layer on some zippers has turned yellow and is peeling, and there is also some coating peeling on the inside. What could be the reason for this, and how should I address it? Thank you, everyone.

  • 3
    Rubber will perish. This looks like normal ageing to me.
    – Chenmunka
    Oct 21, 2023 at 14:08
  • Thank you for your reply. Is there anything I could do to save it or just leave it like this?
    – user25873
    Oct 21, 2023 at 15:58
  • Related, if not duplicate: outdoors.stackexchange.com/questions/18169/… Oct 21, 2023 at 17:54
  • Except for real dry bags, I never count on my pack actually being waterproof anyways. So if it still carries stuff, carry on.
    – Jon Custer
    Oct 24, 2023 at 13:21
  • Nylon/polyester fabric is usually backed with silicone or polyurethane to make it waterproof, not rubber. While this does not help you, i believe that not even rubber should perish within only 8 years.
    – Martin F
    Oct 25, 2023 at 22:13

1 Answer 1


What happened to your backpack is just ageing.

In 8 years of use and/or storage rubber will go yellow and start peeling. This is to be expected with these materials and not much can be done.

The time span depends on the quality of the pack, the time it was in storage before you bought it, how you stored it, the temperatures, humidity and likely some more details.

It is very unlikely that you can get it back to its original condition, you might be able to get some use out of it if needed.
If the waterproof layer on the inside is damaged you might be able to replace it by clearing all off and applying a new layer, which is a lot of work and might not work. The easier version is to line it with a bin liner.

The damage on the outside is harder to work around, either it is beyond what you are willing to walk around with and you ditch the bag or it is still within acceptable limits and you use it as is.

If all of the bag was in perfect condition and only one part failing you would be right to spend time or money on it, but with the pack failing in several spots, in several ways, I would not spend money on it.

  • Would you really ditch a bag in good conditions just because some coating is peeling off? I know that extreme cosumerism is rife there, but this seems a bit exaggerated.
    – FluidCode
    Nov 13, 2023 at 13:10
  • I would not ditch a pack for some peeling off, but I would ditch a pack with multiple problems, each of which takes more than a simple repair. As I wrote, I would use a liner to waterproof, and use it with the proving on the zip peeling, but I am not OP, who might have different standards.
    – Willeke
    Nov 13, 2023 at 13:45

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