303 on neoprene? Impact on repairs?

Hello, I’m actually a scuba diver, but I’m looking for info on a product called 303 Aerospace Protectant, which I’ve seen promoted by kayakers, so I registered here. (303 use is not common among divers).

Do kayakers use foam neoprene products, such as wetsuits or neoprene drysuits? And if so, do you use 303 on them?

What about doing repairs, say patching a hole or replacing seals, on a neoprene drysuit? Would that be a problem? Can you get the 303 out of foam neoprene?

I’ve already emailed 303 people about the topic, and they said it would work on neoprene in terms of providing protection from UV and Ozone, but the reply guy wasn’t sure about whether it would be feasible to get it out of neoprene, or if it would compromise the ability/effectiveness of doing repairs on the neoprene i.e. getting adhesives to hold, etc.

Thanks in advance.

I would try it out on a sample…
That’s the best I can give you… sorry.

I wouldn’t use it.
The best UV protection is keeping stuff out of the sun when not in use. What do you think 303 would do for you? If you want to extend the life of neoprene suits, rinse and wash them in a mild cleaner, and store them out of the sun.

I’ve put it on neoprene and have had no problems. It is a very good uv block. Vaughn Fulton

I have heard of some outfitters
using a solution of 303 diluted in water to rinse gear like wetsuits and PFD’s. I may extend the life and prevent fading. I used a diluted solution on one of my PFD’s after contacting the manufacturer who said it didn’t need it, but it wouldn’t hurt it. It hasn’t faded compared to my other, untreated PFD. You might try to contact some kayaking outfitters to see if they treat their gear.


Effect is Cosmetic
The stuff is like Snake Oil. The surface oxidation from sunlight is cosmetic. It will have very little effect on the overall life of the neoprene since it’s a surface effect. The stuff works by making the material “look” darker.

Re: I would try it on a sample…
I won’t be able to test it properly, not the way years of use would test it.

That said, I did spray a pair of dry gloves with 303. One of the glvoes has an ugly Aquaseal patch on the cuff (on a smooth neoprene seal) - I’m planning to redo the patch job, time permitting, to see how that works out…

Re: I wouldn’t use it.
“The best UV protection is keeping stuff out of the sun when not in use.”

That’s not always possible. I usually do at least 3 dives on the days I dive, and it’s not unusual to leave the gear out in the sun to dry a bit between dives, or to keep it on if the outside temperature permits.

“What do you think 303 would do for you?”

I got a bottle of it for latex dry gloves that I use because they are especially prone to UV/Ozone damage. I’m hoping 303 will extend their life span.

However, I’m considering using this stuff as a general protectant in the place of talcum powder and/or silicone solution/spray. Talc can be messy to apply, not ideal for lubrication (donning seals) - at least not all grades of it, and can reportedly clog up drysuit valves. Silicone on the other hand may be good for latex, but some people worry that it may weaken seal attachments, or make future repair and seal replacement jobs harder. And at the moment, I’m not using anything on the main body of the neoprene suits (nothing is recommended, but neoprene does wear out over time).

303 looked like it might be a better alternative as a general protectant/lubricant, and might even improve the durability (in terms of general aging) of my neoprene suits and seals.

Neoprene seals stretch over time, and then you have to cut out a slice to re-tighten them or just replace them altogether.

“If you want to extend the life of neoprene suits, rinse and wash them in a mild cleaner, and store them out of the sun.”

I already do that, in addition to other normal maintenance including applying protectants to seals and zippers.

Re: 303
Have you had to patch or do any other repair/replacement jobs on those neoprene products? If yes, did the 303 cause any problems for ease of those repairs?

Re: I have heard of some outfitters
I have a spray bottle, so I was just planning to spray the neoprene suit, wait 5 min and wipe dry as suggested by the instructions (of course you can’t wipe neoprene completely dry given its porous nature). Is there a reason to believe the dilute solution method might work better?

How many oz of 303 would people using the dilute method add into a half full bathtub used for the rinsing? (Or in my case for a soaking)