When To Replace Your Waterproof Jacket
A waterproof jacket is an outdoor staple all year round, and it’s essential that your jacket stays effective at keeping water out. If you notice that your waterproof isn’t performing as well as it used to, it may be time to reproof, repair or replace it to keep you protected for many adventures to come.
When To Wash Your Waterproof Jacket
If your jacket isn't performing as well as it used to, the first thing you should try is washing it. Over time, environmental pollutants, mud and general dirt coat the inside and outside of your jacket, which can result in poor breathability and waterproof functioning. Try washing your jacket according to the label instructions, and following our waterproof care guide.
When To Reproof Your Waterproof
Most waterproof jackets are treated with a DWR (durable water repellent) finish. This treatment is applied to the exterior of the jacket and 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, it’s time to reproof and refresh the DWR coating. See our waterproof care guide for advice on how to do this.
How often you need to reproof a jacket depends on how often you use it and the extent to it is put to the test in the elements. If you wear the jacket frequently and are out in all conditions we recommend reproofing every three to four months. However, if you wear your jacket less frequently or are out in less extreme weather, then reproofing your jacket every six months should be sufficient.
A 'wetted out' jacket (left) and following reproofing (right).
When To Repair Your Waterproof
If your waterproof is ripped or has holes in the fabric, repairing it can restore its functioning. If you want to preserve breathability, we recommend using a Gore-Tex patch. The patches are easy to use, you simply fix a patch to the garment via an adhesive layer on the back of the patch. Then to increase the adhesion simply rub vigourously to generate heat or iron on a low heat setting.
The patches are best for smaller repairs, and for a major tear or if the taping on the seams along the inside of your jacket has failed you should have it professionally repaired. We offer a range of repairs across our stores, so recommend bringing your jacket into store to see if we can help.
When To Replace Your Waterproof
Waterproof jackets do have their limits, so if you’ve found that the above fixes haven’t restored your jacket, it’s probably time to replace it.
Find out about how to choose a waterproof jacket here, or visit us in-store for expert advice on the best waterproof jacket for your adventures.
Adventure doesn’t wait for the weather, and the rain shouldn’t stop you from getting outside to do what you love. Embracing the rain and heading out on a walk brings a number of unique joys – but the right kit is absolutely essential. Dressing for the weather and having the right things with you will make sure your walk is enjoyable and safe, too, so here’s our kit list for a rainy-day walk (a waterproof jacket goes without saying!):
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