Keep your waterproof gear waterproof

Last week, I went fishing up in the Snowy Range. That day, it was more like the Rainy Range. And my Gore-Tex wasn’t doing its job.

There’s not an awful lot that’s worse than a rain coat that doesn’t keep the rain out. What’s the point of packing it along if it just turns into an extra layer of soaking-wet clothing?

Gore-Tex is fantastic stuff, but it doesn’t last forever. I’ve learned that lesson the hard way more than once. But I’ve also found that leaky Gore-Tex clothing isn’t necessarily garbage. You can rejuvenate it and get it to start shedding water again.

You need to be careful what you use to re-waterproof it, though. Some waterproofers will get the water to roll off it, but they’ll also seal up the pores that make it breathable. If you’re going to do that, you might as well just cut a couple holes in a garbage sack and carry that around. It’ll be even more waterproof, and it’ll probably weigh less.

But if you use this stuff called ReviveX, you’ll get back the old breathability as well as the waterproof characteristics your garments had when they were new.

It’s a bit of a process, but it’s worth it. You first need to wash your jacket, pants, or whatever you’re trying to re-waterproof. Don’t wash it in regular detergent, though. You can just wash it in warm water, or you can use ReviveX Synthetic Fabric Cleaner. It’s made by the same company as the waterproofing spray, and you should be able to find it in the same place in the sporting goods store.

After the washing machine’s done, pull the garment out and douse it with the waterproofing spray. Then toss it into the dryer for an hour on medium. When it comes out of the dryer, it’ll shed water and breathe like it did when you first brought it home.

There may be other Gore-Tex rejuvenators out there, and one is probably just as good as another. I don’t know about any of the others, though. I’ve used the ReviveX, and it works. But like the original Gore-Tex, it doesn’t work forever. I generally re-treat my fabrics about once a year, just to be on the safe side.

If you’re starting to get wet in your Gore-Tex clothing, look into ReviveX or a similar synthetic fabric waterproofer. You paid a lot for that raingear, so you might as well get as many miles out of it as you can.