If a patch will fix your problem, here is how you decide:


1.  Determine the type of tear.  

For a tear on a seam, the repair kits may be more useful since they come with a reinforcing filament.  For surface tears or long tears, patching by the foot may be more appropriate.


2.  Determine the type of inflatable you have.

Commercial grade:  These inflatables are very large (larger than 10'), have higher capacities (5 or more children, 1,000 to 1,500 pounds), and are made of vinyl.  Vinyl feels like a thin rubber, is waterproof, and has a smooth feel to it.  River rafts are made of vinyl.  Inflatables sold at retail such as Costco or Walmart are NOT typically made of vinyl.  Use Type B patch for vinyl.


Residential grade:  These inflatables are smaller (less than 10'), have lower capacities (2 or 3 children, 100 to 300 pounds), and are made of various types of inferior materials.  These materials have a softer feel, more like a synthetic fabric or nylon.  The material may feel more like a parachute or a stiff synthetic clothing.  Inflatables sold at retail such as Costco or Walmart are typically residential-grade.  Use Type A patch for these inflatables.