Make those raincoats last: Caddis Fly now carrying Nixwax waterproofing.
I first read about Nikwax in Colin Fletcher and Chip Rawlins hiking bible, The Complete Walker IV. The author was using it for water proofing his boots: The theory is that in order to transport waterproofing compound to its proper site, water is the best medium… The stuff works! It’s the closest I’ve come to a religious conversion in years.
With that kind of rave review, I had to have the stuff and wound up buying into the whole system, which includes a cleaning product for Goretex products and other breathable waterproof equipment, and a waterproofing compound. I’ve used Nikwax detergent on my Goretex rain coats and pants, softshells, down and fleece and can say I love it. You run a Goretex coat through the wash with Nikwax, treat it with the water repellent, and it’s like a new coat (unless you’ve been rolling in blackberries, at which point you’re screwed regardless).
From the Nikwax site:
The first stage of the Nikwax process must always be to clean. This removes contaminants, dirt and everyday grime that masks the water-repellent coatings on waterproof items. All water repellent finishes work at their best if the garments are kept clean.
Our spray-on and wash-in cleaners for clothing and equipment will safely remove any detergent residues ingrained in the fabric that would encourage wetting-out, ie. where water isn’t repelled from the fabric but absorbed into the fibers.
Using Nikwax proofing will maintain the breathable performance of gear, preventing moisture build-up on the inside of gear allowing it to be pushed from the inside out, keeping your body at the right temperature. At the same time Nikwax repels rain from the outer surface, keeping you dry from both directions.