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Gear Water-Proofing/Repelancy Treatment

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  • Gear Water-Proofing/Repelancy Treatment

    If you want a good treatment for uniforms, boots, or equipment I have to recommend Nik-Wax. I have used these products on polar-fleece, boots, civilian/military winter and rain gear, and just about all my other gear. Never had any luck with camp-dry or other silicone products (other than a bad smell after using).

    There is a specific Nik-Wax for each type of material, and use by directions and it works (for example all of my fleece gear is now water-repelant (tested in a shower). I used the version for nubuck and suede on my boots, and they definetely shed water (tested on a land nav course this spring in sleet and rain - boots were good from start to finish).

    One note of caution - I went to treat my ALICE ruck, I most definately over treated using both the wash-in and the spray over two days... now I am not 100% sure on this, but the stictching on the outside pockets started to break - could have been a bad ruck... On my current ruck I just did the wash-in by directions and no problems to date.

    Just know that there is a difference between water-proof and water-repelant... If I wear my polar-fleece (water-repelant treated) and roll around in puddles it will turn into a sponge...

    Also - I learned from a local back-country outfitter that you should never use standard liquid detergent on gore-tex or similar glothes - it leaves a residue in the material making the porous material clogged and gummed up. I used a tech-wash on all my gear and double cycled (one with the technical wash, one without anything but water (warm/warm-warm-cold) before treating everything - and if no tech or sport detergent is available use a little powder when I have to wash things.
    Last edited by LRSU_Dog; August 17th, 2010, 04:39 PM.

  • #2
    Re: Gear Water-Proofing/Repelancy Treatment

    From my days working at REI, I've had good luck with Tectron spray (can't recall if it is silicone-based, but I think it is) and ReviveX for restoring the DWR (durable water repellent) finish on rain gear. I've also used many of the Nikwax products and they work well.

    I have always found that "waterproofing" a the material of a backpack is nearly impossible- too many seams and too much flexing/movement. Better to use a waterproof cover (could be hard to find in ACU pattern I imagine) or a waterproof liner inside the pack (plastic/PVC bag). A quick search shows that REI makes a gray pack cover and EMS has a black one.