Can you re-waterproof a Garuda Kaja?

10:23 p.m. on February 28, 2012 (EST)
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New to this site as I'm looking for answers to re-waterproof the Byrontex? fabric on the tent!

I used this tent climbing and was great, never even seam sealed as most of the camping was above 10K, no rain, just snow, never had a problem. Now at lower elevations the tent seams are the main culprit of moisture intrusion on very wet nights. I want to "wash" it to clean the tent, but I don't want to ruin the fabric!

I searched high and low but there is no info on washing or re-waterproofing this material!

1. Can this material be washed w/ Tech wash?

2. What washing product or spray on product works for this material?

3. I will seam seal the normal points of water entry after cleaning!

Any help or advice is greatly appreciated!



1:18 a.m. on February 29, 2012 (EST)
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Hi gaspipe and welcom to Trailspace,


Is the Bryon-Tex actually dirty and in need of washing?  I own a bunch of these tents and have never had one or seen one that needed the body washed.  Mine seem to stay pretty clean.  Form your post it seams that the leakage is thru the seams which is normal when older seam sealing either wears out (off) or if the sealing was done improperly or, like yours, it has never been sealed.  If there is no leakage thru the Bryon-Tex then it is doing it's job and I would not mess with it.  I do know that all the Tex fabrics (Byron-tex, Gore-Tex,Todd-tex) were invented within a rather close time period with Gore-Tex being the first.  I do know that the earliest of Gore-tex products recomended that one uses isopropyl alcohol to clean them.  Early Tex fabrics were laminates so I would be really careful about trying to wash and or clean them and only do so if it has lost it's waterproofness.  The floors are a different story and can be washed on a regular basis.  I would seal the seams with Mcnett Seam Grip and a small brush.    This is a tent that really benefits from sealing the inside as well as the outside.  If you can make this tent waterproof you most likely use it for many years to come and never let it go.  I have never seen a garuda too used up to be a viable shelter.  They are stron and last forever if taken care of.  I have never met a person who has used one of the Garuda tents and not been enthralled with them.  The exception is if you don't waterproof it correctly.  If you wish to take the time you can tape the seams off to give to a better look, but there are a lot of seams on these tents I find I don't have the patients.  If you do this make sure you pull the tape off before the sealer is dry but not so wet that it will run.

I have a small amount of original paper work that came with some of my Garuda tents and there is nothing in regards to wasing the Bryon-tex.  Since Marmot ended up with the Garuda line you might call them and see if they have any info from years ago regarding washing of Garuda's.  If that does not pan out you could call Black Diamond as they bought Bibler.  I own a number of Biblers and the Todd-Tex appears to me to be very much like the Bryon-Tex, so that might work. 


A picture of my Kaja.




6:31 a.m. on February 29, 2012 (EST)
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I mad a slight mistake in the above post.  Rather than isopropyl alcohol, si stated that one should use denatured alcohol.

I quote this from the original owners manual for the Early Winters Starship which is made of laminate Gore-Tex.


"Do not clean or wash your Starship with ordinary detergent!

Most detergents and dry cleaning fluids contain surfactants (serface cleaning agents) that break water down into small particals enabling them to  clean more deeply.  Detergents tend to remain in Gore-tex laminates even after repeated rinsing and can cause temporary leakage.  For this reason they should be avoided.

If detergents are inadvertently used and leakage results, remove them by washing in Ivory Snow and rinsing very thoroughly, or rinsing  in denatured alcohol, as described below.

Certain oils can reduce the surface tension of the Gore-Tex and temporary leakage may reslut.  These oils include body oil in excessivve amounts,some insect repellemnts, and some oiled wool sweaters.

To restore waterproofness in event of contamination.  Saturate the contaminated area in denatured alcohol and hand agitate to dissolve oils.  While area is still wet, wash in Ivory Snow, and rince very thoroughly.

Remember, waterproofness is an inherent property of Gore-Tex and it can always be restored.  One or two treatments should do the trick."


gaspipe asked:

"Can this material be washed w/ Tech wash?"

If you really feel the need to wash your tent using one of the newer products I would first contact the manufacture of the wash and ask them.

Hope all of this was some help.

8:52 a.m. on February 29, 2012 (EST)
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Downey Flakes was also a soap recommended back in the day for articles cleaning utilizing a Teflon film membrane or lamination. 



2:46 p.m. on February 29, 2012 (EST)
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Thanks for the welcome apeman! I appreciate all the info about the Garuda tents! You are an expert on the subject! I will follow your advice on the care and treatment of my Kaja! I did find the original paperwork and instructions for the Kaja late last night, no mention of how to wash other than hand wash cold! It does smell like smoke so I set it up to freshen the smell, then I'll seam seal and test in the rain before I utilize in the outback! Thanks again for the info! Gaspipe

3:07 p.m. on February 29, 2012 (EST)
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The fastest way I have found to air out a tent and get rid of smells is to set up a couple of high velosity fans in and around the tent.  In doing this you will accomplish in one day what it would take a week or two to do to do.  Leave all vents on the tent fully open.  I have found that even if you leave a tent up for a week or two unless there is pounding wind there is quite often still a hint of smell left.  Usually the fans get rid of all the smell.

Above I said:

"I quote this from the original owners manual for the Early Winters Starship which is made of laminate Gore-Tex.":


Where as I should have said:

I quote this from the original owners manual for the Early Winters Starship which is made of "first generation" laminate Gore-Tex.

9:27 p.m. on February 29, 2012 (EST)
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         Apeman said it straight. Goodluck with the reconditioning of your Kaja. Off the subject...that is one beautiful Shepherd in your photo. I used to have one years ago. She was my hiking buddy.

3:03 a.m. on March 1, 2012 (EST)
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Thanks for the nice words on the GSD!

He was one special dog, way to smart!

He came from Germany, I got him from a breeder w/ a contract stipulation that I could not breed, show, or register him w/o a huge fine/payment! All i wanted was a good dog! I got that and more! He was the nicest, friendliest dog once I told him "it's OK". Before I told him this, no one could get in the house or around my wife or child, he would not attack, but there was no way anyone would come near them! In the picture, he is watching motorcycle racing w/ bikes going around 75mph just 40 feet away! He would watch all of them come and go! Noise did not bother him. Shooting guns or fireworks  he would not even raise his head, but if a baby cried during the fireworks show he would be up and wanting to go find out why! Sad not to have him around anymore!

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