Technical waterproof fabrics like those used in dry cags and trousers only do their job effectively (keeping you warm and dry) when water doesn’t soak into them. Through wear and tear this ability to shed water begins to fail leaving you with kit that soaks up water. This often means that your kit takes on extra weight, takes longer to dry and is not as breathable as it may have once been.
Nikwax TX has been around for some time and is a possible solution to this problem. Nikwax is suitable for re-proofing breathable waterproof and water repellant fabrics. It works best after cleaning the garment by washing in Tech Wash or pure soap, and then machine or hand washing in TX . You must make sure that the kit is completely clean before treating. Nikwax Tech Wash is a pure soap liquid formulated for washing and cleaning a wide range of outdoor clothing. The great thing about Tech Wash is it’s ability to clean garments without adversly damaging the garments waterproofing. In fact by removing dirt, grease and even salt it helps to restore your gears ability to keep out the wet.
Does it work? Yes, but it’s not a permanent solution. You will need to retreat your kit from time to time. I have used the stuff on lots of kit over the years and it has helped keep my dry tops etc working longer. I did find that after treating a pair of dry trousers that I found the bum a little slippy when I was raft guiding which did result in a few unexpected exits from the raft. But whilst kayaking this has never had an impact.
Neoprene and latex seals seam unaffected by the treatment and have appeared to be just as robust despite the treatment process.