Dry Jacket Waterproofing

-- Last Updated: Nov-24-08 6:17 PM EST --

Last two trips out I noticed the sleeves near the cuffs of my dry jacket absorbed water. Is one waterproofing product better than another. Significantly better? What would you recommend? Thanks.

This is what NRS recommends for their
Extreme drysuit


I wouldn’t do that

– Last Updated: Nov-25-08 8:52 AM EST –

I looked the product up on the 303 website and nowhere does it say that it's approved for use on waterproof/breathable fabrics like Gore-Tex. This stuff is designed to make canvas and similar fabrics waterproof and I strongly suspect it would adversely affect the breathability of W/B fabrics. There are products made specifically for W/B fabrics, so if you're going to use anything, use one of them. However, I've found that they're largely a waste of time and money, as the water beading stops as soon as the surface gets rubbed, much like it does with the factory DWR coatings. As long as the jacket sleeves aren't leaking, I'd just leave them alone.

I’ve had good luck with this stuff…
…from McNett, specifically made for Gore-Tex:


For just the collar and cuffs, however, this might do you:


With both of them, it is important to follow the directions exactly, especially the washing part (how to and in what.)

yes to Mcnett’s and no to 303 HighTech
Mcnett’s is approved for Gore-Tex fabric, 303 high Tech Fabric Guard is not.

If you read through the list of fabrics and also companies that approve the product for use it is things like sunbrella - think fabrics for outdoor cushions, fabric for umbrellas, fabric for your powerboats seats… not waterproof BREATHABLE fabrics.


McNetts here also
I sell and have used McNetts as well as Nikwaxs products and prefer the Mcnetts. In my use the McNetts appears to have a much longer life on the garment, but the Nikwax does the job well also. Makes a big difference, no more wet out even on 2 week long rain filled canoe trips.

Nikwax or Revivex
Make sure you get the version specifically approved for use with Gore-tex.

I’ve used both. The Nikwax doesn’t last as long as I’d like. Last month I treated my Gore-tex drysuit with Revivex but can’t speak for its durability yet.

Many Thanks
Uhhh… would I be really, really stupid to try my cheap Walmart silicone spray? I mean it’s here in my hand already.

It’s called SILICONE WATER-GUARD by sno-seal.

  • “allows leather and fabric to breathe”

    I’ve used the stuff on shoes and a cheap jacket and they didn’t melt or anything. Anyone had terrible experiences?

    The only thing listed about contents is petroleum distillates - harmful or fatal if swallowed and “polymers”.

It’s not worth the risk
A container of the approved stuff costs maybe $9 or $10. Do you really want to risk damaging a garment costing hundreds of dollars so you can use a cheaper treatment?

I Understand.
On the other hand it’s just a jacket and not a full drysuit… not all THAT expensive. And BNystrom’s experience is all brands get rubbed off over time regardless.

Actually I wasn’t thinking about treating the whole jacket… the only place that’s absorbing water is the sleeves below the elbows.

I’ll give it some thought.

Don’t use the wrong product
Really, what’s the point? Sure, it may work, but if it does ruin the fabric in the areas you treat, the whole garment is shot. Unless you’re willing to throw the jacket away, it doesn’t make sense to use a non-approved product on it.

Check with the producer of your
Check with whomever made your “dryjacket”… That way you will know if you are voiding your warranty or if it is a known problem if you use the product in your “hands”.


Woohoo! Off Work Early

– Last Updated: Nov-26-08 2:04 PM EST –

Happy Thanksgiving Eve, y'all.

Maybe I can get the Mythbusters to compare the $3 can of waterproofing to the $15 can. I wouldn't be surprised if they performed about the same.

As much of the cheap stuff as I have used on shoes and boots and fabric I'm pretty sure I wouldn't ruin my dry jacket by using it. I think the big risk would be that they lied and it won't really breathe. If I were a rich man I'd do my own Mythbusters test.

OK, time to order the expensive stuff.

Hey, any of you rich kayakers interested in testing cheap vs expensive waterproofing? No retailers or manufacturers!

bmach1 is right
I found the care instructions that came with my jacket and, by golly, NRS recommends Fabric Guard. Maybe the 303 company doesn’t make breathability claims but on the NRS website they do. That’s what I’ll order. Many thanks for everyone’s help. I’ll let you know how long the stuff lasts and if the jacket will still breathe.

My spray arrived yesterday. Now
to wash my suit and spray it.

Used the full drysuit on Sunday and noticed the sleeves were starting to absorb water same as the jacket. Guess I better order the stuff.

Stockholm tar.
That will stop water.