/ Adventure Travel
adventure — By Vawn on February 16, 2010 at 5:16 pm
Filed under: featuredarticle, Granger's, waterproofer

Review: Waterproofer for technical gear

Perhaps, like me, you’ve found yourself caught in a torrential downpour in the middle of nowhere, and that well-worn “waterproof” jacket you’re wearing isn’t so waterproof anymore. I now carry one of those emergency disposable rain ponchos in my backpack, just in case, but if you don’t want to look like you’re wearing a giant garbage bag, there’s another option.

Factories apply a treatment called Durable Water Repellency (DWR) to fabrics, which gives them the ability to repel water. Over time, with wear and multiple washings, your waterproof garments and gear lose this barrier and become less effective.

A friend recently gave me a bottle of Granger’s One Step Wash and Waterproofer to try out. Granger’s, which has been around since 1937, specializes in cleaning and waterproofing products to protect and restore technical gear.  The One Step Wash and Waterproofer replicates the DWR formulation originally applied by fabric manufacturers to restore the original treatment. And it’s ISO 14001 accredited, meaning it’s environmentally friendly.

Basically, you wash the garment with the required amount of cleaner/waterproofer and then throw it in a tumble dryer at medium heat (since heat is needed to make it work properly). If you’re traveling off the beaten path, however, it can be hard to find a tumble dryer – for such scenarios, Granger’s offers a Performance Wash and Performance Waterproofer option.

This isn’t just for clothing – you can also restore your tent or backpack (one made of waterproof-coated fabric) back to its original condition. Granger’s recommends one litre per 18 square metres for lightweight synthetics and one litre per 7.5 square metres for medium-weight canvas. A handy tip I just learned: You can wash your backpack by hand or in a washing machine, but stick it in a pillowcase if you’re using a washing machine to protect all the straps and cords.

It’s hard to say how often you’ll need to do this – it depends on the garment itself and how much you wear it. As a guideline, when the water no longer beads off, it’s time for another treatment.

If you’re buying water-resistant clothing, however, it’s not meant to seal you off to the effects of monsoons. For light drizzles while strolling the streets of Paris, water-resistant is fine, but if you’re trekking in the Himalayas, look for waterproof.

Photo Credit: Granger’s


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