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Backpack, boots cleaning and water repellency + strange hue


I have some questions regarding the general upkeep of some gear.

Boots: Lowa renegade GTX Mid, washed with Meindl footcleaner and applied Nikwax Suede proof.

Backpack: Osprey Aether 60, washed with Nikwax Techwash, rinsed with a garden hose and lukewarm water, washed with Nikwax TX.Direct wash-in, waited 5 min and rinsed it again with a garden hose and lukewarm water.

Now my question is: what is a good way to test the water repellency. By spraying a few droplets here and there some stayed on the surface like it should, but others didn't and got absorbed. Is there something I did wrong?

I also recently discoverd this strange yellow hue on my backpack. Does someone know what it is, the cause and how to clean it?
Kind regards

Not sure I totally understand what you are asking:  were the droplets on the boots or backpack?  Also, I don't see a yellow hue in the photos...maybe its just my eyes.

In general, on leather boots, I have found multiple treatments last the longest rather than just one.  While i only wear my leather boots for work now (they still get a couple of days use per week), I treat them monthly and never have much of a problem.

I haven't used the TX direct spray, so am unsure if that could cause any color change.

The yellowish color was alsready there before I washed my pack. Maybe this is a better photo (it's probably hard to see because of the net):


Droplets were tested both on boots and on pack. And I just wanted to ask if I did it right, because on some spots the water formed droplets like it should on water repellent materials. On others it just got immediately absorbed by the material.

It's not really the direct spray, but some sort of sponge on top of a bottle and when you squeeze and press it against your boots, some sort of milk comes off.


Me thinks most of these treatment products are better at making profits for the vendor than performing as they allege.  I would not rely on a water repellent to keep contents of my pack dry.  They are not water proof.  Your pack will sodden in a sustained shower, and the contents will get wet.  Many folks use a coated fabric rain cover, but these  wear with use and lose effectiveness, and cost too much for me to consider replacing on a regular basis.  Some use stuff bags designed to be used around water.  These have the same issues as a pack sack.  Some pack gear into large plastic bags.  Cheap and effective.  I use a large heavy duty trash bag over my entire pack.  Cheap and very effective.

I don't worry about my boots.  I have found nothing works if you are wet in conditions for a sustained period.  Untreated boots do not wet through if doing a simple stream crossing now and then.  Frequent crossings may be another matter.  Consider also that waterproofing reduces the breathability of your footwear.  For me that translates into getting soaked by foot sweat regardless of weather conditions.  My solution to wet feet is carry spare socks.

As for the yellow stains - this is backpacking!  Get out more frequently, and soon enough you won't be able to detect that yellow stain, as it will be obscured by additional hard earned soiling, making it less likely you'll be mistaken for a newbie.


Agree with whomeworry about waterproofing pack.

Down in New Zealand.... I use a pack-liner (personally I now have a "dry-bag" silnylon type, but used a tough rubbish sack for decades, then a dry-bag for clothes, a dry-bag for sleeping gear, dry-bags for each outer pocket of my Osprey Xenith (all silnylon), and then a pack cover when I am hiking through the rain. Did a  10 day hike in Nelson Lakes in June (our winter) and found this worked very well with no penetration. It is overkill, however, it gets very wet here sometimes, but more importantly it is peace of mind to know that nothing will get in.

Thanks for the replies.

I mosly use the integrated rain cover, but thought the pack was made out of a material that needed such cleaning.

October 27, 2021
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