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When To Replace Your Waterproof

By Cotswold Outdoor
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It’s a familiar story; summer fades and the great British seasons roll on; it’s time to retrieve your trusty waterproof from the bottom hook on the coat rack and combat the elements once more. The problem comes when you find that it could be one season too many for your now semi-waterproof jacket. So what do you do? Reproof, repair or replace? Read our waterproof SOS and see what your options are to stay protected from the elements.

When to Wash Your Waterproof

If you find you are sweating more than usual it could be that you need to give your jacket a wash. It might sound a little ugly but we all sweat and our skin produces oils that over time will coat the inside of your jacket. Couple this with environmental pollutants, mud and general grime and it’s easy to see why all these factors could contribute to a reduction in breathability and waterproof function. Start out by washing your jacket according to the label instructions and following our waterproof care guide.

When to Reproof Your Waterproof

A 'wetted out' jacket (left) and following reproofing (right).

Almost all waterproof jackets are treated with a DWR (durable water repellent) finish. This treatment is applied to the exterior of the jacket and acts the first line of defence for waterproofing your jacket. The treatment works to keep the outer fabric of the jacket from becoming soaked (also known as ‘wetting out’). DWR in a good condition will cause water droplets to bead and roll off, rather than soaking into the outer material. Abrasion from rucksack straps, heavy usage and pollutants all degrade DWR over time.

As well as feeling unpleasant against the skin, a poorly functioning DWR coating can lead to condensation on the inside of your jacket, so if  your jacket has become clingy, saggy and water sinks into the outer fabric then it’s time to reproof and refresh the DWR coating.

Follow our waterproof care guide to wash and reproof your jacket

When to Repair Your Waterproof

If your waterproof is ripped or has holes in the fabric, then you could look at repairing it. If you want to preserve breathability with the repair then use a Gore-Tex patch (rather than duct tape). This is really only effective for smaller repairs so if it’s a major tear, or if the taping on the seams along the inside of your jacket has failed, then you may want to consider a professional repair but it is important to use recommended specialist in outdoor-wear repairs.

When to Replace Your Waterproof

Like all clothing, waterproof jackets have a limit to their durability, so if your jacket is in a state of ruin that cannot be fixed or reproofing is ineffective, then letting go may be your best option.

It’s now time to get excited at the plethora of new technologies and features that are available in the evolving world of waterproof clothing and find a new trusted waterproof.

Whatever your passion in the outdoors, there’s a waterproof with features and functions to match, and armed with the right information, you’ll be able to find the perfect waterproof for your activity.

Visit one of our stores and have a talk through the options with one of our expert staff, or have a read through our waterproof buying guide to and our waterproof technology guide help you make an informed decision.

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