Back in January of this year, I wrote a paragraph for the LOR’s “Photo of the Day” on a basic and very simple way to carry a small amount of duct and electrical tape. The method used there by wrapping it around a card of some sort, has been my go-to way of carrying extra duct tape for years; until recently.

A couple of weeks ago, I was introduced to a newer product by Exotac, the company that is so well known for their no-nonsense survival gear. This product, the ripSPOOL, is essentially an easy way of keeping duct tape, braided line, and a few other items used in field repair, first aid, or utility with you at all times. The ripSPOOL was the brainchild of both BattleBox and Exotac combined, and has turned out to be an amazing product so far.

Made of lightweight aluminum, and anodized for protection (and more importantly, to look cool), the ripSPOOL measures in at 3” tall, 1” diameter, and weighs approximately 6oz. This little “tube” is packed with features, yet surprisingly takes up very little space. For any of us that have done any time hiking, camping, etc, we know exactly how important minimizing space is, especially when considering all of the added gear that we can end up carrying depending on the terrain and duration of hike.

Since World War II, duct tape has become an all-around necessity that is handy for a never-ending list of jobs. Not only can it hold things together for days-to-years depending on the job, but I’ve used it to temporarily seal air and minimal water leaks. Truth be told, duct tape is just one of those must-have items that should be included in every kit and this is the easiest way to store it.

When I saw the ripSPOOL, I was super excited about the braided line and sail needle. The uses for this have quite the range too as with duct tape, but two uses came to mind very quickly; sewing/repairing heavy fabric, and fishing when no other means are available. There is 60’ feet of the 30lb test line wrapped around the “cap” of the ripSPOOL, giving you enough to repair that torn tent or worn pack, or possibly even mending a boot if needed. The sail needle that is included inside of the cap is strong enough to punch through some pretty darn tough material, but it’s what Exotac did with it that makes it that much more special. If you have ever had to sew by hand, let alone go through a thicker material, you know that the needle puts an immense amount of pressure on the thumb or finger when feeding it through the fabric. Exotac made accomplishing this a breeze by giving you the possibility of using the cap as a needle holder (by turning the needle around in the cap), preventing you from that painful experience. Speaking of the sail needle, this bad boy can also be magnetized to use as a makeshift compass needle in a pinch.

Attached to the top of the ripSPOOL is a loop of “Fire Cord”. For those that are not familiar with this, it is basically 550 paracord, but instead of having the 7 inner strands of nylon, Fire Cord has strands contained in the sheath that can be used as kindling to get a fire started when no other means exist. Little things like this show the mindset that Exotac has when it comes to designing survival gear.

Last but certainly not least, though the ripSPOOL is small in size, it still has enough room in the compartment to house a few fishing hooks (not included), and a safety pin or two, and everything inside is kept dry by the o-ring on the cap!

Overall, the attention to detail that Exotac had when designing the ripSPOOL shows just by looking at it, but this tool really shines when breaking it down by functionality and purpose.

The bottom line on this, is that as mentioned above, the ripSPOOL takes up almost no space and can fit into any backpack, tackle box, glove box, or purse. All Exotac did was give us an easy and convenient way to carry some of the most common items that many of us probably already carry separately. When it comes to field repair and survival, you now have all your necessary goodies in a bombproof package that is waterproof… and don’t forget that it looks awesome too!

Exotac ripSPOOL:

  • Constructed of anodized aircraft grade aluminum
  • 50” of heavy duty duct/repair tape
  • 60’ of heavy duty 30lb test braided line
  • #16 sail needle for field repair/sowing & able to be magnetized to use on a makeshift compass
  • Attached 550lb Fire Cord (inner strands can be used for kindling to start a fire)
  • Room to store a couple safety pins, fishing hooks, etc
  • Waterproof
  • MADE IN THE USA

This article was written by Anthony Kuhn