303 Aerospace Protectant

rated 5.0 of 5 stars (2)
photo: 303 Aerospace Protectant equipment cleaner/treatment

Specs

Price Current Retail: $3.95-$84.99
Historic Range: $3.95-$84.99
Reviewers Paid: $13.00-$38.00

Reviews

The best protection available for rubber and plastic.

Rating: rated 5 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $38 for a gallon.

Summary

The best protection available for rubber and plastic.

Pros

  • Easy to apply
  • Repels dirt
  • Will do no harm
  • Not greasy once dry
  • Water based, environmentally friendly

Cons

  • Expensive in small quantities

Formula 303 Protectant was originally developed by NASA for use on the Space Shuttle. It looks like milk and has a very slight smell that reminds me of Elmer's glue. It can be quite expensive if you purchase it in the small spray bottles, but is quite reasonably priced by the gallon.

It's advertised as sunscreen for your plastic, and I can attest to its effectiveness. Used regularly it will keep your plastic and rubber products free of sun damage and looking new. It will not repair or reverse existing damage, nor will it cause any damage. You can read more here: http://www.atmosferasmuebles.com/catalogos2014/303-Pamphlet-TechFacts-2009.pdf

It will not leave behind a greasy residue or a "wet" shine. It will simply leave your plastic looking new. If you stop using it your plastic will simply age as it normally would. It contains no petroleum distillates so your plastic products will not turn chalky white upon discontinuing its use, as with some other products.

For plastic kayaks it can't be beat. I simply mist it on to my clean boat, let it sit for a few minutes, and wipe it off. I do this the night or morning before long or multi-day trips, and every few partial day trips; it so easy it only takes a few minutes. I have a heavily used, 10-year-old Wilderness Systems Tarpon 140 and the plastic still looks as new as the day I got it...well except for the scuffs and scratches.  

The owners manual included with my boat actually recommended the stuff by name. In fact, many plastic items like vent domes for campers actually come with a sample of the stuff. It will also keep trailer tires that aren't used much from developing spider cracks if used once a month or so.

There's really nothing negative I can think of about the stuff. If you have one or more plastic boats the gallon size is by far the way you'll want to purchase it. Shop around on line and you're sure to find a deal; I usually pay around $40 for a gallon. Once you have some, you'll find many uses for it including but not limited to your auto, kayaks, trailer tires, vinyl tops, and more.  

303 products claims it's also good for composites like fiberglass, and while I'm sure the sunblock properties are just as valid with those surfaces as they are with rubber and plastic, I find a quality wax to not only provide protection from the sun but also a slick surface and fine shine, so I'll recommend sticking to wax for that; but for plastic and rubber there is no better protection available.

Screen-Shot-2019-04-22-at-7-25-59-PM.png

Experience

I've been using this stuff since 1994 when a car dealer recommended it for the vinyl top on the new car I had just purchased. It has since proven itself to keep plastic from aging when used regularly. I couldn't recommend it more.

Alicia MacLeay TRAILSPACE STAFF

Thanks for the recommendation, Wade! Nice review.


8 months ago
Wade in the Water

I swear by this stuff. I have several plastic kayaks and also use it on my autos, camper, etc.


8 months ago
Nordic Runner

It sounds like it’s really doing what it’s promise, but what about the chemicals when the kayak is in the water. A friend of mine is manufacturing sunscreen that doesn’t have a damaging effect on corals, I wonder if this stuff is making amphibians with aparte sex organs?


8 months ago
Wade in the Water

Nope Nordic Runner, it is not. It's water based, environmentally friendly, and you can read more here... https://marinfish.org/303-aerospace-protectant/


8 months ago
Nordic Runner

That actually sounds pretty awesome. Thanks


8 months ago
Alicia MacLeay TRAILSPACE STAFF

Good question and good answer! Thanks for sharing that, Wade.


8 months ago

I began using 303 a couple of years ago on my kayaks…

Rating: rated 5 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: Around $13 for a small bottle

Summary

I began using 303 a couple of years ago on my kayaks after it was recommended by a friend. It does bring new life back to an older kayak and I believe improves their glide and tracking.

Pros

  • Non-greasy, soaks right in
  • Brightens the color of your boats and makes them look new again.
  • Is safe for the environment.

Cons

  • The cost, it's expensive

It's worth the price, but I agree with the other buyers, purchase it in larger quantities and it goes a long way. I originally purchased a small bottle to try and after seeing the results now I purchase it by the gallon and refill the small spray bottle to use it. 

Experience

It does what it claims to do. I was very pleased with the results and have continued to purchase it.

Alicia MacLeay TRAILSPACE STAFF

Thanks for sharing your recommendation of this product too, Outdoor Gram.


8 months ago

Where to Buy

Help support this site by making your next gear purchase through one of the links above. Click a link, buy what you need, and the seller will contribute a portion of the purchase price to support Trailspace's independent gear reviews.