I love spray-on DWR

12:58 a.m. on May 7, 2009 (EDT)
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440 forum posts

Not to get brand-happy, but I just used the Revivex brand spray-on water repellent to, well, yeah, revive the water-repellency of a couple of hard-shell jackets. Both jackets have seen lots of use, some of it fairly hard. Both have been washed numerous times, and both were starting to suffer significantly from "wetting out" when in the rain. Not horribly, but enough to be noticeable.

So, the spray-on treatment. Followed the directions, including an hour-plus in the dryer while still wet with spray, and both are now shedding water like the proverbial duck, in the shower, anyway. Can't know yet how durable this stuff will be. (The last time I did this was a few years ago, I think. Can't recall what brand, etc.) But thus far I'm pleased, moreso than I remember being way back when.

Anyone else with comments, suggestions, etc. regarding this? Is the current stuff better than a few years back? Does brand matter, or are they all pretty much the same thing? How much does it affect breathability of the typical WP/B fabric? Is that variable by brand, etc.?

Lastly, how well does this stuff work on dogs? (Just kidding!)

12:30 p.m. on May 7, 2009 (EDT)
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6,007 forum posts

I have found with the spray-on type that there are always some missed areas. You hang the jacket on a hanger (outdoors, of course) and try hard to move the hood, sleeves, etc around to get in all the folds, but there is inevitably someplace you miss (or at least I do - MD's have hand skills that the rest of us clumsy mortals do not).

So I find the wash-in DWRs (same companies make them) give better (more complete, more uniform, longer lasting) coverage. I have found the Nikwax products work better than McNett's, but like them both. In my usage, I generally have to renew the DWR once or twice a year, though it varies with the manufacturer of the garment. I had one jacket that seemed to need renewal after every trip in a snow or rainstorm, and a couple others that seem to hold the treatment for a full year that includes a Denali climb and a couple of multiday backcountry ski tours.

6:55 p.m. on May 7, 2009 (EDT)
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170 forum posts


I have used Revive X with pretty good results on a 1992 or so Windy Pass gore tex parka. I still wear that jacket while cycling in fall and spring and it has had a lot of washings to get the stripe of mud off the back from mountain biking. I have to use it once or twice a year but I don't think that is excessive when you consider how dirty the jacket gets and how often it has been in the washer. Once the bottle runs out I may try some of the stuff you add to the wash that Bill S was talking about. I spent $50 on the jacket in New Hampshire at a backpacking store, it may have been the best 50 bucks I ever spent.

Did you ever order any of the Thanksgiving Coffee Company coffee? I'm getting excited, my movers show up next Wednesday and I take off for California in two weeks.

11:56 p.m. on May 7, 2009 (EDT)
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440 forum posts

Funny you should ask about the coffee. It just arrived day before yesterday. As soon as I finish the current bag o' beans, I'm diggin' into the new stuff. I got some of the Humboldt Blend and some of the Kona Blend. Think I'm gonna start with the Humboldt. Or maybe the Kona.....

Bill--Your mention of the wash-in vs. spray-on leads to one reason I posted the original. I failed to mention that I've been using the Nikwax wash-in version for a while, but in talking with a guy at a local shop, he swore that this stuff (the Revivex spray-on in particular) is better than the wash-in. Can't say that I can tell any real difference, but I somehow just kinda like being able to see it being sprayed on, etc. Makes me feel like I'm actually doing something, I guess.

As for the missing spots bit, I draped each jacket over a patio chair, which gave me fairly good access to most of 'em, and then just moved around, picking up the sleeves, hood, etc. as needed to get to areas underneath. By being very systematic, I don't think I missed too much, and I certainly concentrated my efforts on the areas most oriented to rainfall--shoulders, back, hood, sleeves. I also sprayed a whole lot of the stuff on. One (10 oz) bottle got me through the two jackets, but the remainder is certainly not enough for a third jacket.

Up to now, I've been treating my jackets and what-not about twice a year, sometimes less. I always intend to do a spring/fall thing, but it doesn't always work quite that way.

And DM--good luck with the move. One of the things I'm happy not to be doing every few years any more. If I get my way, they'll drag my corpse out of the house I'm in now--but in about forty years or so. Neighborhood oughtta be well and truly run down by then. They can bury me in my Gran Torino.

10:16 p.m. on May 11, 2009 (EDT)
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170 forum posts


One of the good parts of my job is moving every 2-4 years. I've lived in so many places I never would have even heard of if I had stayed a civilian. I was stationed in a National Park, Olympic, lived on the Oregon coast and am going back for a second tour in Fort Bragg, CA. I've had the chance to drive all over while moving, including going biblical when I transferred to Michigan. I spent 40 days wandering in the desert. Now I get to move back west, see the Black Hills, maybe parts of Montana, and head west through Utah and Nevada.

Of course I've also had to pack up my stuff every time and leave behind friends everywhere I went. Which sucks. I have maybe one or two moves in me after this one. As great as the Coast Guard has been it is starting to feel like it is time to move onto another career. Of course, I get tuition assistance while I am on active duty so I am going to make sure I finish up a second degree while I am in. :) Thanks!

Feel free to bring up the coffee thing in a few weeks. The guys (no ladies, we don't have the facilities to accomodate both sexes here) at my station have been great and they are going to get some care packages from CA once I get out there. A little local coffee, beer, wine and maybe some good cigars to let them know it really was an honor to be their boss. I can easily mail out some coffee to you to try out.

edit: I was thinking of this thread because I found my bottle of Revive X so I threw all of my older gore tex jackets in the wash and treated them again. I just realized I have 3 older parkas including one from work, along with the newer Mont Bell shell. I'm turning into quite the gore tex fashionista!

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