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Improving Water Resistance
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Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Improving Water Resistance on 06/05/2005 11:26:29 MDT Print View

Wonder if anyone has tried this?

A Golite Helios wind jacket will supposedly protect you from 10 min. of rain before wetting through at places.

What about selectively coating the jacket with Polycoat (or similar) -- such as the undersides of the hood top, shoulder top and cuffs?

Maybe rain won't seep through any top surface, but will flow/bead down the vertical sides of the jacket instead???

Joy Menze
(catamountain) - M
Re: Improving Water Resistance on 10/28/2005 20:53:00 MDT Print View

You might consider trying food-grade, spray silicone to revive a worn DWR coating. I found that tip back when I needed to know how to maintain my Gor-tex jacket through multiple washings. You can get a larger can for less money than the "special" Gore-tex DWR refreshers. I found the food-grade silicone at one of my local Ace Hardware stores.

Some of the newer fabrics loss their DWR abilities from just getting dirty and oily from use. The contaminates affects how water goes through the fabric pores. Those manufacturers only recommend washing to restore the effectiveness of their material. Epic is one of those fabrics - http://www.nextec.com/thetech/care.php

Additional water-proofing affects breathability and comfort of the garment.

I opted for a waterproof silnylon poncho-tarp.

paul johnson
(pj) - F

Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
Re: Re: Improving Water Resistance on 10/29/2005 03:33:53 MDT Print View

from 1st hand experience i would agree with the 10min estimate of a NEW unsoiled garment (have had longer times with lighter rain).

i have revived my GoLite Wisp with McNett ReviveX DWR (sold on this website). i used 2x the amount recommended. not necessarily recommending that anyone do this, it's just that i 'm saying that i did this.

so...'pj', how did it work? you ask.

well, thus far i've had it out in moderate rain for short durations up to 15min. it has not wet through. it seems better than when new. keep in mind that these are totally uncontrolled testing conditions. heck...i'm not even really testing, so my impressions could be all wet.

i'd really like to know more about the pros and cons of using the silicone treatment a prev. poster mentioned. is it 'ok' to use it on the fabric itself - long term? i don't know. does anyone out there know?

Joy Menze
(catamountain) - M
Re: Improving Water Resistance on 10/29/2005 13:12:28 MDT Print View

My silicone spray tip was a tip I got from a gear manufacturer in a phone call back in '99. McNett does sell a silicone spray for water resistance on some materials (as well as many other treatments) - http://www.seattlefabrics.com/mcnett.htm - so I know the treatment has been around for a while.

All applied treatments are active ingredient(s) suspended in a solvent. The solvent and active ingredients need to be compatible with the composition of the fabric it is applied to. The wrong refresher can degrade the original coating. Fabrics like Epic do not have a DWR coating so they do not need recoating. Another issue is whether or not the new coating will adhere. The wrong coating could just rub off because it will not chemically or physically bond. So this is a chemistry issue.

For example, the Golite Helios mentioned in the original post is DWR-treated ripstop nylon with an acrylic coat. Sounds like the DWR is applied and can wear off over time. An acrylic compatible refresher coating is indicated in this case. Check the ingredients of the recommended DWR refresher for the fabric to see if a cheaper substitution can be done.

When making gear, I consider minutia like this when I choose the best material with the properties I want. I don't try to "improve" the fabric - only design, construction, and upfront cost.

My silicone tip came from Stephenson Warmlite - http://www.warmlite.com/start.htm. That company seems to be a bit radical at first glance. But I notice that the tent they have designed and sold for many years have some very similar design features as Henry Shire's new line of TarpTents. So they do have some good ideas.