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Revengeful_Lobster

DPM smock waterproofing agent?

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This may be a long-shot, but considering that this forum seems to be mostly UK-centered, I'm hoping someone might be in-the-know about this. I recently picked up a windproof/waterproof smock in Desert DP and it's been keeping me warm and comfy during Tokyo's miserably windy winter. It's gotten soaked in rain once and I noticed the tag says that every three washes it needs to be retreated with a "suitable proprietary waterproofing agent" and I'm assuming that if it's gotten wet a few times I may need to reproof it. Aside from the contradicting pair of "suitable" and "proprietary," I haven't the slightest clue what kind of waterproofing agent I need. Anyone know?

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Nikwax do a wash-in proofing agent. Have a look on their site for a suitable one.

 

If not, try a decent outdoors shop for products/advice :)

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^agreed. Also the issue smock is waterproof in name only imo.

 

The technical definition of waterproof is ridiculously minimal as well. Anything with a water column of 1000mm may be called waterproof, while anyone who has ever bought a hardshell knows that it only gets interesting from 10,000mm and up...

 

Ontopic: I use Nikwax Techwash and Nikwax TX Direct Wash-in. Wash with Techwash first, wash with TX Direct Wash-in directly after, let dry for a bit and then apply some heat (with a hairdryer for example) to activate the agent in the latter. Always use a synthetic and relatively cold setting on your washing machine (30C, 40C MAX)

Don't expect stellar results. Something that is not actually waterproof will not suddenly become a Gore-Tex Pro-Shell with a 30k water column. It should, however, to some degree regenerate the water repellent properties of a garment. 

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I'm not sure but I suspect it will. Just remember to apply some form of heat afterwards, otherwise the agent is not activated and the effect is substantially less impressive. 

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Can anyone quickly explain how to interpret the therm " waterculumn? "

I know my Nordisk tent is 3000 for example. No idea what that means.

 

Ontopic: here us what I learned when I bought my Arc'teryx hardshell: wash it only when needed: gore:tex, hydravent and other membrane based tech need a wash to clear the microscopic little holes for the ventilating property to work. Salt and other residue left by sweat clogs those holes. Other dirt can most likely be washed off by a light soapy lukewarm water or even rinsed off by cold water. Only machine wash when smelly or when penetrating substances like bike/motor grease fouled the jacket. Washing hotter then 40c can harm the waterproofing glue. You could contact the manufacturer and ask what waterproofing agents to use in a mashine wash. Arc'teryx for example has a few recommendations. I went to the store ( as adventure) and asked for Northface jackets ( hydravent). If it is a army issued/surplus jacket, try asking a few serving membersnor veterans ( that what you're doing here i guess)

Good luck!

Take care of your equipment and it will take care of you eh? ;)

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Can anyone quickly explain how to interpret the therm " waterculumn? "

I know my Nordisk tent is 3000 for example. No idea what that means.

 

 

Water column is a term brands use for the amount/pressure of water a certain fabric can withstand before leaking through. It has to do with the way they test it: a column with a certain diameter is placed on a piece of the fabric to test, and then they put water in the column under pressure. The higher the pressure the material is able to withstand, the higher the water column.

 

Generally, anything with a water column higher than 1000mm is regarded waterproof.

 

Hence, tents can be waterproof at only 1000 to 3000mm. However, the fact that you're not touching a tent with your skin or anything else makes a hell of a lot of difference. No doubt you've at some point touched your tent with your back, or hand, or whatever, which immediately got wet. The same goes for jackets. That's why waterproof jackets need a higher water column to be actually waterproof. For hardshells, this is around the 12000-20000mm mark, for winter jackets around 8000-10000mm because you're not wearing the membrane on your skin. 

 

And then we're not even discussing the amount of degeneration membranes suffer from due to bad maintenance, abrasion, chafing from backpacks or LBE and sweat and salt. The amount of people I've seen with overused Gore-Tex Paclite...

 

Always take the term 'waterproof' with a grain of salt and IMHO only use waterproof jackets when actually necessary... 

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^agreed. Also the issue smock is waterproof in name only imo.

 

Well.. our standard smocks are termed windproof, not waterproof.  Which they still aren't 100%, especially the PCS ones, but they're not too bad at blocking wind.

 

There is a version in the system as of the past 2-3 years that lacks the vertical chest zip pockets and has some sort of black liner and is supposed to stop more water, but I've never bothered trying to get one as it looks a lot less breathable and personally I bloody love those zip pockets.

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