I have found that my walking jacket - which is supposed to be a 3 season waterproof jobbie - leaks like The Cabinet at Number 10.

Can you recommend any magic reproofing agent that I can bung in the washing machine?



In reply to G1STQ:
Assuming it was a decent waterproof in the first place I’d suggest you look on the Nikwax web site. They seem to have taken over the market for re-waterproofing everything from clothing to horse rugs. Perhaps we could apply a thin layer to the UK to protect us from this incessant rain :frowning:


73, Richard

Nikwax Tecwash. Or something like that, available from Millets and the like. You need two products (see below). And I once read in trail that a particular fabric conditioner also performs the same job, and indeed outperforms many leading brands of wash-in reproofers! It may have been Comfort but I cannot recall - I’m sure an internet search will find it. Fabric conditioner is a lot cheaper than Tecwash. In the latter, you have to wash it first using one product, dry it, then wash it again with the proofer product.


Worth a read:


In reply to G1STQ:
Another thumbs up for the Nikwax range.

Check fabric compatibility to identify the correct product before buying, but the most often use ones are:
Techwash - wash garments in this, don’t use detergents.
TX Direct wash in - every five or six washes with Techwash follow up with this.

AGAIN I STRESS - check compatibility with the fabric your jacket is made of.

This is the regime I’ve used for years (probably more than 15?) and it certainly prolongs the life of my kit.

My well used 5 year old Berghaus jacket had a good test today… and passed!


In reply to M1EYP:
Oh Gosh, interesting experiment. I’ve always stayed away from Fabric Conditioner and waterproofs. Usually ends badly from what anyone who has tried it says.


In reply to thread:

Over more than five decades in the hills I have worn my fair share of high-tech clothing, but for the last twenty years I have favoured a choice that many of you might find surprising: a simple green waxed jacket with detachable hood as worn by innumerable farmers! Warm, windproof, waterproof, perfectly re-proofable at a quite reasonable price, old-fashioned but it works well!

…But I only wear green wellies in the garden!


Brian G8ADD

I’m not surprised that what you wear is effective Brian - the shepherds should know.

There is a lot of hogwash and hyperbole talked about so called “technical clothing”. A lot of it is about money making.

Although I use Nikwax products myself to clean and proof clothing - Techwash and TX Direct, I get sceptical when I see the same company advertising a cleaning gel for walking boots!

I have two jackets myself and being an active member of several walking clubs have seen the effects of proofing and not proofing jackets and overtrousers.

In my opinion the latest Berghaus jackets have gone cheap. The old school Mera Peak jackets of five years ago (I have one - my favourite coat) are far superior to the jacket of the same name now. My coat has been reproofed with the Nikwax products three times in its life and is now 6 years old. It is still watertight - the only problem is that the cuffs are slightly frayed. It still looks good when clean.

My Paramor Alta II jacket (3 years old) is soft shell, comfortable but not as reliable as the Berghaus Mera Peak for keeping the water out. These soft shell coats are easily damaged when caught on hedges, fences etc. Mine has a few catches in it now, but no serious tears. The Paramor stuff needs proofing with Nikwax products every time it is machine washed. Nikwax own Paramo. I think the Paramo gear is good but overrated and some of their coats easily let in water via the zips.

The lined Paramor waterproof trousers, (Glissade I think they are called) albeit are expensive, but they are very good and can be worn as is without anything underneath in warmer weather. Mine are two years old and get proofed every machine wash. In between I just rinse the mud of them in the sink and they don’t get re-proofed. That keeps them proofed. If you wash them in the machine every time they would need to be reproofed every time. Same with the Paramo jackets. The cheaper Bergaus overtrousers with the studs down the side and wide entry are very good at the price. My XYL and several friends use these and they are waterproof and as breathable as you get.

The manufacturers make a lot of money out of outdoor gear - you only need to look at what they spend on advertising in magazines like Walk which the Ramblers publish. I’m also sceptical about some of the magazine reviews as the company’s advertising helps to fund them.

73 Phil

In reply to G8ADD:

…But I only wear green wellies in the garden!

Oh Brian please, I’ve just had my breakfast!


Barry GM4TOE

1 Like

In reply to G8ADD:

It’s “horses for courses”. The waxed jackets are designed to wear for different activities. I used mine for my first activations but then went and bought a decent Berghaus jacket. I noticed a big difference - mainly because of the improved breathability and the properly waterproofed pockets.

I’ve tried using my Berghaus jacket for riding but it’s cut means it’s not very good - surprising when it’s seemed okay scrambling. The Barbour spreads out nicely over the saddle. So, the bottom line is I wear the Berghaus in the mountains and the Barbour on the horse - even in the wettest weather.

73, Richard

In reply to G4ERP:

Hi, Richard, I’m not sure that the waxed jackets were ever designed as such, I think they evolved in the distant past, much like the heavy oiled wool pullovers worn by fishermen…which I also used in my winter climbing days!

The advantages that I notice with the waxed jacket are no condensation problems, great resistance to abrasion, perfectly windproof, and a generous poachers pocket which will take an FT817 if necessary - and a map! They are also noticeably cheaper than the latest garish high-tech money pits!

Apropos, I find that the pockets on many jackets and cagjacs will not take an OS map - and when my first polythene map case wore out I never replaced it as I found its flapping about in the wind very annoying!


Brian G8ADD

In reply to G8ADD:

Hi, Brian.

Thanks for those thoughts. By a strange coincidence I’ve just beeen going through all my SOTA photos looking for suitable images to include on the WB web pages and I’ve found some early ones of me wearing said waxed jacket. That was pre - FT-817. I’d never considered one fitting in a Barbour pocket. I’ll have to experiment. For safety reasons when I’ve had the FT-817 with me on the horse activating Cleeve Hill, it’s lived in a pocket on his saddlecloth.

Maybe I’ll have to try your wearable station experiment next outing. :slight_smile:

73, Richard

No amount of reproofing will make a leaky jacket not leak.

A waterproof fabric should be waterproof for it’s entire life - if it starts to leak then it is time to renew.

Usually joins in the fabric of a jacket are covered with ‘tape’, this is to seal the area where the sewing has punctured the fabric. If the seam tapes have come detached, -a common source of leaks in modern jackets, a seam sealer, like that used on tents, can be used to re-seal the tapes. Seam Sealer can be bought in the shops in small tubes although it can be quite expensive.

It would be a great time to buy a new jacket at the moment as there are sales on at most of the outdoor shops - I went to my local large chain store a couple of days ago - for around £50 pounds you could get a very nice waterproof and breathable jacket - I was tempted myself!

Condensation is a major problem of modern jackets and I find that lots of people confuse the condensation as ‘leaking’. Walking up a hill requires lots of effort - in cold weather we tend to wear quite a few layers underneath our jackets - usually a mental thing - it’s winter, it should be cold outside, put on lots of clothes! The result is that we get too hot and cause condensation inside the jacket.

The condenstaion problem is an area where we can try to improve things - do we really need to wear so many layers? A hard shell (waterproof) will fend of wind and make us feel warmer. What a ‘re-proofing’ agent does is to renew the ability of the fabric to repel water and the outside of the fabric or ‘bead up’ the water.

Beading up the water allows it to run off the fabric and not make the face fabric saturated. This allows condensation from inside the jacket to move as vapour through the porous ‘membrane’ behind the ‘face fabric’ to the outside. If the face fabric is saturated, this moving of vapour from ‘in’ to ‘out’ can’t take place effectively and thus the inside of the jacket gets wet.

I have a jacket made from Gore Tex Pro Shell, it’s about 5 years old now. I have found that the Grangers reproofing agent works very well to bead water and is available in a combined wash and reproof product. NikWax is also good (especially when you confuse the wash agent for proofing agent - my jacket got extra doses of proofer!). Most of the products are available in sachets to do just one article, although a bottle of the stuff will work out cheaper in the long run.

Paramo clothing works in a different way to most waterproofs in that the fabric is not designed as a barrier to water, in fact it is very porous! The way that the Paramo garments work is to ‘pump’ water from inside to outside, keeping the inside dry. The trouble with Paramo stuff is that water can be forced through - kneeling or sitting on wet ground for example.

As stated above - it’s horses for courses, no one garment can work for all situations. I too have worn the full length Barbour Jackets in foul weather on a horse and been dry but I wouldn’t dream of hiking up Whernside in it!

My vote - Grangers 2 in 1 http://www.grangers.co.uk/product.cfm?cat=14&productid=4


Colin, M0CGH

In reply to M0CGH:

Condensation is a major problem of modern jackets… in cold weather we tend to wear quite a few layers underneath our jackets… The result is that we get too hot and cause condensation inside the jacket.

Hands up, guilty my lord. I wear 4 layers in all - thermal base layer, two thin fleeces and a jacket - even so, I do not generally overheat. Paul G4MD and I have discussed this issue several times in recent days while out on the hills in horizontal driving rain at 8 degrees C though to cold gusty winds with light snow / hail showers at freezing. Below 10 degrees C, I generally wear the same clothing regardless of the conditions. Paul varies his layering and generally wears far less than I do for the ascents and then adds a layer or two at the summit, his over-fleece serving him well in this respect. All I add at the summit is a neck warmer, if I need to. I would suggest personal physiology (if that is the correct terminology) and tolerances play a part in what we wear.

I have a jacket made from Gore Tex Pro Shell, it’s about 5 years old now. I have found that the Grangers reproofing agent works very well to bead water and is available in a combined wash and reproof product.

Thanks for the tip Colin. My Sprayway jacket does not bead particularly well, even though it is treated with Nikwax.

The trouble with Paramo stuff is that water can be forced through - kneeling or sitting on wet ground for example.

That’s the downside, but they do dry out quickly once you get moving on the descent. :slight_smile:

73, Gerald G4OIG