DWR on Gore-tex

4:48 p.m. on March 3, 2010 (EST)
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Hi guys,
I have a relatively new Gore-tex jacket that I have washed with nic wax (just the wash, not the reproof). However, the water does not really bead up on areas such as the shoulders.
If I apply the spray on DWR, would it make the water start to bead up again, or is my jacket going to get heavy in certain spots every time it rains.
If the reactivation of the DWR dosen't make the jacket bead up again, then what is the point of buying these expensive (overpriced in my opinion) Gore-tex jackets? It is starteing to get a little uncomfortable in the rain.
P.s. I only had the jacket for a year. I do wear a pack a lot and I have fallen on the jacket a lot so I do understand that there is going to be abrasion. I guess my question is, can the parts of the jackets with lots of abrasion be repaired with DWR coating or do I have to baby my rain jackets from now?

6:03 p.m. on March 3, 2010 (EST)
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First thing - the DWR that most manufactures use on their jackets is heat activated, so after you wash your jacket with let say tech wash you better tumble dry it to reactivate the factory DWR.
Nikwax TX spry or TX direct work different and are type of DWR that doesn't required heat activated. I can't tell in what condition is your original DWR but you may need to reapply it - by using something like the TX range. It'll help a lot to bead up the water and by using the spry you can do just what you said - work your way on high abrasion parts of the jacket...
Grangers sell a wash in proffer that work like the ones that gear manufactures use so heat activated...if you want to use the same type of thing as they use. BTW - you want a membrane (like goretex) and a good DWR in a waterproof jacket/pant - they work together to make you feel comfortable.

7:02 p.m. on March 3, 2010 (EST)
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nirotem,

NikWax recommends you tumble dry warm for for the spray and direct to get full benefit from TechWash and DWR renewal. They recently introduced a "field" version for people to take along on extended trips that does not need the warm dry. You can also benefit the DWR by ironing the jacket (WATCH THE TEMPERATURE OF THE IRON!!!!! You don't want to melt the fabric). I have had several discussions with NikWax and McNett at the OR Shows, and both recommend the warm tumble dry and/or ironing.

somethingwrong,

As one who puts a lot of wear on my Gtx and eVent, yes, you do have to properly wash wp/b fabrics to get dirt and, more important, body oils off them. Usually, for 2 or 3 washings, a warm tumble dry after washing with TechWash or McNett's equivalent will have the DWR back to near new. Eventually, though, depending on the amount and type of wear, you do have to renew the DWR. I have found that it varies with the brand - my Marmot Alpinist 3 gear holds up through a couple month-long expeditions, while my TNF Kichatna seems to barely last a couple weeks. Both my eVent jackets (Montane and Wild Things) and Integral Designs Belay Jacket seem to hold up for a year. (the Marmot Alpinist 3 jacket was finally retired after 8 years, 4 trips up Denali, 1 on Vinson, and 1 through the rain forests on Kilimanjaro, while I have gotten frustrated with the Kichatna and retired it to occasional "town" use).

And, yes, as nirotem says, areas of high wear (under pack straps, the back under the pack) lose their DWR faster. And also, as he says, the membrane fabric and the DWR work together. Gtx and eVent stand up to a lot of hard use. But you do have to spend time taking care of them, as with any piece of gear.

9:39 p.m. on March 3, 2010 (EST)
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I came across this discussion by one of the Gore tech people on caring for Goretex from YouTube:


Note the important points about washing and drying in a machine, NOT hang drying and NOT using dryer sheets.

1:06 a.m. on March 4, 2010 (EST)
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Wow, I have not had any problem with my Gore-Proshell, but that video was very good to see/hear, especially coming from the Gore folks. Thanks for the vid-post!

DJ

4:36 a.m. on March 4, 2010 (EST)
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Bill, The nikwax rap for my area was very keen to point out that the main different between Nikwax and Grangers is that the Nikwax do not need the heat activated. He also was saying that there is no harm to try and reactivate the factory DWR. Saying that, I wasn't too impress by the guy and there is a good chance he said what he said from a selling point of view more then any thing else. Saying that, I am trying to think that if using the TX spry what one should do? it obviously not a wash but only spraying the outer...I'll need to find out about this one.

11:36 p.m. on March 5, 2010 (EST)
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Best DWR I ever, ever got on a GTX garment was recently when I sprayed Revivex on my mountain parka then remembered I had already washed it with Nikwax wash-in DWR.

So I ran the sink spray on it and MAN! The water absolutely could not wet out any of the fabric, even after several minutes. Now THAT'S DWR.

Naturally I had run it thorough a medium heat dry cycle after using each DWR.

Eric

7:03 p.m. on March 10, 2010 (EST)
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i have had good luck with wash-in DWR with my pro shell parka. follow the instructions - clean off the dirt and oils with tech wash, then do the wash-in DWR while the garment is still wet. i tend to dry the parka in the dryer on low, but i'm not sure that's necessary.

it is, however, necessary to wash the parka and reapply DWR, especially if you use it a lot. i don't care how expensive or high-quality it is. if the water repellency doesn't work, your shell will get wet rather than forcing rain to bead, and if the outer nylon is wet, it blocks some of the pores that allow the jacket to breathe.

if the jacket is truly abraded, meaning the nylon and gore-tex have been punctured, water will get in via those holes, and DWR can't prevent that.

i don't baby my gear - the pro shell parka i use has spent a lot of time under 40-60 pound backpacks, in the woods, on the rocks, snow and ice, and it has held up extremely well. just keep it away from the sharp end of your ice axe and crampons, because anything that's meant to keep you secure on hard ice will shred your gear.

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