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Best Waterproofing Product?

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Best Waterproofing Product?

Postby JTOlson26 » Sun Feb 03, 2013 1:10 pm

Hello, all. My Marmot Precip is beginning to be somewhat less effective in repelling water. I've read up on some techniques to restore most of its ability when it comes to waterproofing, but I was wondering which products you have found to work well when it comes to repellents.

Thanks!

JT

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Re: Best Waterproofing Product?

Postby RoanMtnMan » Sun Feb 03, 2013 2:31 pm

Our laundry room has quite the arsenal of Nikwax and Sno-Seal products on the shelf. Have worked well for us.
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Re: Best Waterproofing Product?

Postby Dex » Sun Feb 03, 2013 2:58 pm

MountainFan wrote:Hello, all. My Marmot Precip is beginning to be somewhat less effective in repelling water. I've read up on some techniques to restore most of its ability when it comes to waterproofing, but I was wondering which products you have found to work well when it comes to repellents.

Thanks!

JT


You can first try putting it in a dryer to 'renew' the DWR or buy DWR product.
http://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/rainwear-dwr.html

Most mfgs don't recommend products that you add to washing machine and throw in your jacket.

http://www.amazon.com/3M-Scotchgard-Durable-Repellent-12-Ounce/dp/B004ZP83HI
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Re: Best Waterproofing Product?

Postby JTOlson26 » Sun Feb 03, 2013 3:40 pm

RoanMtnMan, thanks! I'll check into those.

Dex, that's the article I read from REI about applying heat to renew the DWR. I guess I should look to see what Marmot says about possible laundering additives. Thank you!

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Re: Best Waterproofing Product?

Postby Dex » Sun Feb 03, 2013 4:33 pm

MountainFan wrote:RoanMtnMan, thanks! I'll check into those.

Dex, that's the article I read from REI about applying heat to renew the DWR. I guess I should look to see what Marmot says about possible laundering additives. Thank you!


I've used this on my soft shell - hard to find.

http://www.atsko.com/products/waterproofing/water-guard-extreme.html

They make Sno Seal also.

REI has this - looks like the same.
http://www.rei.com/product/832781/tectron-water-repellent-spray-for-apparel
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Re: Best Waterproofing Product?

Postby RoanMtnMan » Mon Feb 04, 2013 12:19 am

Sno-Seal works well for us on leather products. Better than the Nikwax leather offering. There is also a product from Fiebing Inc. out of WI that provides a great weatherproofing leather rub, but you can't always find it.

The Nikwax, I believe it is "TX.Direct", has restored life to our waterproof shells over the years. Their softshell product have also worked for us. But I have noticed that it has diminishing returns. Meaning that we get less life out of each application. I've resigned to the fact that I have to retire shells at some point. The washing machine deal gave me pause as well, and certainly it is still suspicious in my mind. But it has worked thus far. However it is very easy from an application standpoint. We load all the needed items up once a year, dump in the juice and go from there. I am sure there are some chemical engineers on the site who can articulate things better, but my gage is when the rain and snow continues to bead up.

For some reason, shells with the same advertised construction and coating seem to have vastly different waterproof lives. For $8 though the Nikwax is at least worth a try for you.
Always follow the 7 P's. Proper Planning & Preparation, Prevents Piss-Poor Performance.

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Re: Best Waterproofing Product?

Postby Svenski Norski » Mon Feb 04, 2013 4:59 am

Waterproof / Breathable: Getting Around The Big Lie-

Sno-Seal will waterproof leather better than almost anything else- BUT- it will seal pores shut, rendering any gore-tex or facsimile membrane non-breathable. If you want to retain the breathability you need to use something labeled "for use with Gore-Tex, eVent, or other waterproof/breathable membranes". Unfortunately, these products (e.g. NikWax, Granger's) need to be re-applied more often than Sno-Seal, although they don't need heat to absorb like Sno-seal does. Zamberlan's Hydro Bloc cream is labeled good for gore-tex, etc. on their website but not on the container. It holds up a little better than some stuff and applies without heat, although it has similar appearance & spreadability to Sno-Seal. I use it on my membrane-lined leather footwear.

As to re-treating hard shell clothing, the factory applied DWR (durable water repellant) coating on a jacket, pants, bibs, etc. is much tougher than any after market renewal product- after a few months of regular use your shell fabric will soak up water, supposedly still stopped by the membrane before it gets to the inside. True 3-layer (laminated liner) fabric will function this way better than the 2- or 2.5 layer (like Marmot PreCip) that are common- they will feel wet through when the outer fabric "wets out". Also, if you stay wet long enough, moisture WILL seep (or "diffuse") through any of these membranes. Your only option when a membrane garment starts wetting out is to renew the DWR. Something to remember about the wash-in products is that they are coating the INSIDE as well as out, therefore affecting breathability. It makes more sense to first wash it and then re-apply DWR to the outside only, despite the work involved.

Because Waterproof/Breathable fabrics are imperfect to date, I've taken to using them only in winter where they seem to function well. In summer I use a coated nylon, ventilated barrier jacket- O.R. Rampart, now discontinued (marketing has led folks to believe the mumbo-jumbo and accept only so-called W/B fabrics). It always keeps all the rain out, and is lighter, more packable, and a lot cheaper than my Gore-Tex ProShell Marmot Exum Jacket , which comes out in late autumn.

W/B technology is improving, but until the Holy Grail I call "Flubber-tex" comes out (where water beads up and runs off a breathable fabric without need to renew an outer coating), these are our options.

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Re: Best Waterproofing Product?

Postby Dex » Mon Feb 04, 2013 4:25 pm

I wasn't advising using Sno Seal on the jacket - just that Sno Seal is a great product.
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Re: Best Waterproofing Product?

Postby YouAndWhatGendarme » Mon Feb 04, 2013 5:43 pm

There are a couple things that could be causing your PreCip to not feel as 'dry' as it once was. Membranes (like GoreTex) and coatings (like the PU coating the PreCip uses) will stay just as waterproof as they day you bought them until they are structurally compromised through a rip, tear, puncture or delamination. As long as the membrane or coating is in good shape, the garment should be fine - most of the issues I've seen have had more to do with the breathability of the piece being compromised leading to water vapor in the form of sweat cooling and condensing on the inner face. This is most noticeable in coated pieces (like the PreCip) or anything where the membrane is directly against your skin due to the "trash bag effect".

The first thing I'd look at is when was the last time you washed the jacket with a non-detergent cleanser. You'd be surprised how many people are afraid to wash their waterproof/breathable clothing out of a fear of rendering it useless. You're greasy, dirty and your sweat contains salts and skin cells and body oils. All of these get deposited on the membrane or coating and clog up the microscopic pores in the barrier that let the evaporated sweat out. The same thing happens when you wash with a traditional laundry detergent that contains waxes and detergents. They're sticky and larger than water vapor so they too gunk up the pores. This reduces your jacket's already tenuous breathability and since it has nowhere to go it condenses and bastes you in your own climber juices. Yum.

Grab some purpose built cleanser, NikWax Techwash, Grangers, Penguin Sportwash, etc. or be a bum like me and steal some Woolite when you go to visit your mom and give that sucker a nice warm wash. Two if it's been longer than a season. This should clear out the gunk and get the jacket breathing again.

Stage 2 is when, as many folks above me have alluded to, the DWR fails on the face fabric of the garment, allowing it to 'wet out'. This will typically happen in high motion / high abrasion areas. For me, shoulders and elbows are usually the first places to go. Even though DWR doesn't affect the jackets inherent waterproof-ness (since that's the membrane or coating's job) it works to again, increase the breathability of the piece. By not allowing the face fabric to saturate (DWR treatments are hydrophobic polymers that cause the moisture to bead up on the surface) the space between fibers in the face fabric remains air space that water vapor can pass through, since the escaping water vapor isn't being stopped at the face by a layer of liquid water. For light use or to keep the DWR invigorated throughout the season, tumble dry the garment by itself on low setting. Once a season (or more, depending on use) use a spray on, NOT A WASH IN, DWR treatment (like NikWax TX.Direct) to treat only the outside face of the garment. Much like you don't want the membrane to be clogged with body oils, you don't want it clogged with DWR polymers. Use a dryer on low heat to "set" the DWR spray into the fibers. There is a reason why most manufacturers use chemical vapor deposition treatments at the factory to apply DWR treatments. Save the wash-in treatments for your fleece.
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