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A waterproof jacket is one of the essential pieces of hiking equipment to be able to hike in any weather. Of course, we’d rather it stayed in the bag, but if needed, we’re always happy to have one! And especially since you don't take it out a lot and it represents a significant investment, you want to enjoy it for as long as possible.
We give you all the tips to extend its life through proper care and a few smart repairs.
You only need to wash a waterproof jacket fairly infrequently because, unless you roll around in the mud during a downpour, a jacket doesn’t get very dirty at all!
But let's say you've slipped and fallen into a pond, and you need to wash your jacket (and get yourself some boots with better grip):
Do you just want to clean up the outside?
How to dry a waterproof jacket?
There are two options:
Your jacket is no longer waterproof enough or you find that you’re getting wet in it. Warning: make no mistake: it’s very difficult, if not impossible, to design a product that’s both fully waterproof AND which allows very good perspiration wicking - it's a question of physical properties. When making a real effort when wearing a waterproof jacket, you may feel some dampness, but this has nothing to do with a lack of waterproofness.
However, over time, the water-repellent treatment of the fabric wears off and jackets lose their effectiveness to some degree.
2. Water-repellency reactivator spray, fast and efficient.
This paragraph promises to be very short, but is none the less important. Waterproof jackets, as they’re often taken “just in case”, are generally compressible. That's perfect when you have it in your bag during your hike or trek.But as soon as you get home, unfold your jacket! Otherwise, the waterproof membrane will get creased, which may create fragility or even reduce its effectiveness.
You can choose to put the jacket on a hanger or coat rack. To avoid damaging the hood, we recommend that you hang it with the small inside loop at the base of the neck.
Has your jacket got torn when walking past rocks or a rather aggressive bush? Don't even think about stitching it up or applying an iron-on patch: making a hole would create a way in for water and reduce the waterproofness.
Your best companion:repair tape! Cut out a round-cornered rectangle one or two centimeters larger than the size of the tear and glue it to the fabric nice and flat.Well done, your jacket is clean, waterproof and the holes are patched up! You’re good to go walking in the rain again! And if you enjoy hiking or trekking in the rain, feel free to share your best stories with the rest of our readers in the comments.
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