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How Effective are DWR Restoration Treatments?

1-Durable Water Repellant Coatings Prvent Wet-Out by Making Water Bead on the Surface of Fabric and Roll Off
Durable Water Repellant Coatings Prevent Wet-Out by Making Water Bead on the Surface of Fabric and Roll Off

Waterproof breathable rain jackets are not permanently waterproof. Instead they’re coated with a chemical formulation called DWR, which stands for Durable Water Repellant, that causes water to bead up on the jacket surface when it rains and roll off.

The problem is that this DWR coating rubs off after a time, so your jacket soaks up the rain rather than repelling it, making you wet inside your jacket.

When this DWR coating wears out, many people simply buy a new rain jacket. Others try to reproof the DWR coating using aftermarket restorative formulas like Nikwax TX-Direct, Gear-Aid ReviveX or Granger Performance Repel by washing their jackets with it or spraying it on. Unfortunately, these aftermarket treatments work or last as long as a jacket’s original DWR coating.

Have you ever used one of these products to restore the DWR on a waterproof/breathable jacket? How did it work for you?

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  1. No I never used the stuff I used the camp saver spray

  2. No, If the gear fails, I replace it.

  3. I tried Nikwax TX Direct once, but soon after, I ultimately wound up replacing the jacket on which I’d used it. Water seemed to soak into the jacket, possibly because the jacket was just too old.

  4. I own a couple of Paramo jackets and a Berghaus jacket made of goretex active. The Nikwax TX direct wash in has successfully reproofed my paramo jackets for years. As long as i wash the jackets in Nikwax techwash and then reproof them every 4-6 months haven’t had any issues. My Vista jacket is 7 years old and my Alta is about 10 years old now. My Berghaus jackets dwr is still fuctioning so haven’t had to reproof it yet.

  5. I use the Nikwax TX Direct on my The Northface rain gear at the beginning of the season for routine maintenance and think it works great.

  6. No, I’ve never had to fix anything like this before, so that means I’ll never win any prizes like this. I would love be proven wrong.

  7. No. I have just started Hiking and one thing I don’t have, yet, is rain gear.

  8. No, I am interested in these types of products but am not sure which one is correct for me yet. I’ve been looking around to find the best fit.

  9. I’ve used Nikwax Tx-Direct on a TNF HyVent rain jacket and I was pleased with how water beaded off of the material afterwords. I’ve only been in a few rainstorms since then but the jacket seems to be performing really nicely still.

  10. I have used Nikwax TX-Direct on a jacket after washing. It effectively restored water resiliency to the garment for a couple of weeks.

  11. No by this time I need to a lighter generation jacket comes along and I buy it

  12. No, I haven’t had the chance yet as I am new to backpacking

  13. It’s nice to know there are products out there like this. I am not completely opposed to trying a product like this. For me hiking to exciting new places like the AT or the Grand Canyon is the adventure of a life time! And the second thing is the “stuff’! So I just usually replace my equipment. The planning and buying of the “stuff” you are going to be using is just about as exciting as the trip it self! I love trying new equipment! And thanks to you Mr. Philip I have followed your reviews of equipment ever since I decided to hike the AT. I have a lot of the same “stuff” you have used. I would love to meet you one day to think you in person for all your invaluable advice on hiking. Thank you!

  14. The Nikwax works just OK. After cleaning with their techwash I treat with their DWR. Water beads up just fine but in a long, all day rain the jacket either lets water in or I just sweat it up so much that I and my clothes are wet. It all works fine for snowy conditions but for hours in the rain I am going back to the old-school poncho. I stay dry and ventilated.

  15. I’ve used a variety of DWR products on my rain jackets but no longer do.

    I’ve used Nikwax wash in treatments and found they made the garment more clammy as the DWR preventing any wicking of the moisture along the inner surface or lining. I’ve used both Nikwax and Grainger spray on treatements but at this point, I no longer use them. They don’t make a huge difference in prevent wet out and, to be honest, at this point I just expect to get wet on all day walks in the rain. Between sweat, cuffs, face and zippers, I just expect that some amount of wet will be inside my jacket. Instead of worrying about being dry, I worry about controlling my temperature. I still use waterproof/breathable jackets as I stay warmer in them during all day rain.

  16. It was announced on April 6, 2016 at 6:25 in a previous comment.

  17. No I have not. Just have had the need yet. However, it is something I would consider for a jacket or such in otherwise good condition.

  18. Yes, I have used the nikwax spray-on DWR for a tent that seemed to work really well. Others indicated it is heavy and I agree with this assessment. I have also used Nixwax Down proof wash-in for down sleeping bags using a bucket and this really makes a big difference on non-treated bags. makes them smell a little like elmers glue, indicating to me that they use some type of PVA or PVP (Polyvinyl) formulation. I would not be surprised if the manufacturers are using it on their products. As for how it stands up, I will have to get back to you after I wash them a couple times. the tent has only been out a few days and only one rainy night, so too soon to tell.

  19. As a qualified mountain leader I spend quite a bit of time in the outdoors and in inclement weather .I’ve used Nikwax treatment for the last 18 years and can vouch for their effectiveness. Most of my out door clothing is now Paramo, however, I still have Gortex jackets which are kept waterproof using the same products.
    Use properly and in conjunction with each other, ie wash then proof . I always wash by hand in a dedicated bucket. Kept clean and proofed not a drop has got through.

  20. Well, my Nikwax DWR treatment worked very well on top of Ben Nevis in “traditional” weather conditions!!!

  21. Gangers works well. Nikwax works well on somethings. I use my gear too often to just replace it everytime the DWR wears off. Eventually you get good at it. I like grangers for my outerwear because its basically what the manufacturer uses, a fluorocarbon based DWR. Nikwax wash in also seems to work relatively well, but nikwax always seems to fade too quickly. I treat my gear once a year or more if it has a lot of wear and it seems to last my an entire year when I do it right. I think the heat set DWR coats tend to last longer, they really sink into the fabric. Some of the pros of gangers is it doesn’t leave a film on the cloths, it sheds water faster than nikwax, lasts longer, and resists wear better.

  22. I’ve a Huntech top that is treated with a new DWR called EverShield and it works extremely well. The fabric is treated during the weaving dying process so is right in the fabric. It repels oil and other substances as well as water and is very durable. I actually purchased two different tops off of the store at the same time both Huntech garments but one didn’t seem to work as well as the other so I rang the manufacturers

    It turned out that they were only part way through changing treatments so I had purchased an “old stock” top as well as a new one. They were very generous and sent me a new replacement top treated with EverShield. They also told me of the testing that had taken place before they decided to run with EverShield which included wear tests on something called a Martindale? a machine which replicates wear. Apparently, the fabric exceeded 30,000 wear cycles before there was any noticeable reduction in performance.

    EverShield is apparently a very new treatment so I’m guessing not many people have heard of it yet.

    • Whoops forgot to mention EverShield is due to be released as an in-wash treatment combined with another product that they have that removes odours

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