Why do I need to waterproof my kit?

Waterproof items have a Durable Water Repellent (DWR) coating which acts as a waterproof membrane for the fabric. Over time, dirt and grime can build up, masking the DWR. so it will start to absorb rainwater making you feel wet and cold. Waterproofing products can restore and enhance your kit’s durability, keeping it performing at its best.

DofE recommended waterproofing products

Waterproofing products are easy to apply – either in a washing machine or by direct application to your equipment.

There are two types of Nikwax waterproofing products. Green cap products are for cleaning – your kit should always be cleaned first with the appropriate Nikwax product before it’s re-waterproofed, as normal washing detergent leaves behind residues that can inhibit the protective layer.

Choose purple cap products for proofing. Nikwax waterproofing products restore the water repellence of your kit and revive breathability.

Nikwax TechWash

  • Great for cleaning waterproof breathable clothing and synthetic sleeping bags
  • Easy to apply in a washing machine
  • Optimised for breathable waterproof fabrics

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Nikwax TX.Direct

  • High-performance wash-in waterproofing for wet weather clothing
  • Washing machine application ensures the treatment goes right through the garment, treating seams, tapes, and cords as well as fabric
  • Allows moisture vapour to pass through, maintaining breathability

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Nikwax Footwear Cleaning Gel

  • Safe cleaner for all waterproof outdoor and sports footwear
  • Doesn’t leave residues
  • Removes water absorbent dirt and stains
  • Regular use revives breathability of your footwear

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Nikwax Waterproofing Wax for Leather

nikwax waterproofing wax for leather

  • WaterBased waterproofing cream
  • Can be applied to all types of smooth leather
  • Provides instant Durable Water Repellency
  • Revives the leathers appearance

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Nikwax Fabric and Leather Proof

  • Water-based waterproofing for fabric and leather footwear
  • Easy to apply – either spray or sponge onto wet boots
  • Water-based waterproofing for fabric and leather footwear

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Nikwax Nubuck and Suede Proof

  • Water-based waterproofing for nubuck and suede footwear
  • Easy to apply – either spray or sponge onto wet boots
  • Leaves a flexible, water repellent treatment on individual fibres of nubuck and suede

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Nikwax Tent and Gear Solarproof

  • High performance waterproof and UV blocker for all synthetic weatherproof material
  • One application can double the effective life of fabrics
  • Can be applied to wet or dry synthetic fabrics

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Nikwax Tent and Gear Solarwash

nikwax tent and gear solarwash

  • Easy to use cleaner for tents, rucksacks and other items
  • Can double the life of equipment
  • Can vitalise Durable Water Repellency

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Tips and advice on looking after your waterproof kit
  • Always choose ‘waterproof’ over ‘water resistant’ for better protection against the elements.
  • Make your waterproofs last much longer by using a waterproof cleaning product after an expedition.
  • If you can see dark patches appearing on your waterproof jacket or trousers, then it’s wetting out. This is when you need to re-proof your kit.
  • Check what fabric your clothing/kit is before buying waterproofing solution. Some products are designed specifically for fabrics e.g. down wash.
  • Nikwax products can be applied on wet or dry material – not need to wait until your gear is dry to reproof it.
  • Treat your boots properly – before and after expedition.
  • Take a set of gaiters to keep the water out of the top of your boots.
  • Practice putting up and taking down your tent so you can do it very quickly if it’s raining.
Ways to save money

Helpful resources

Waterproofing and weather protection poster

Know how to look after your kit and yourself, in hot, cold, wet or windy weather.

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