Why is my rain jacket no longer water resistant?

TRAVEL TIP:  Your rain jacket may no longer be water resistant. To test, simply pour water on an area of your jacket. If it puddles on the surface, you are good to go. If it soaks in, use a DWR (Durable Water Repellent) product to easily wash-in and re-apply.

Dear Venturer,

Growing up in Seattle, I learned to enjoy the rain. Rain actually makes me happy. But, recently on our hiking trip in Valbona Valley National Park, Albania, we were met with several days of rain and thunderstorms. After five hours of hiking joyfully in the rain one day, I learned my rain jacket was no longer waterproof anymore. I was soaked through. 

How did this happen?  

All rain tech wear can lose its protective layer. And, when washing rain gear with regular detergent, it can remove its DWR (Durable Water Repellency).

So, what do you do? 

To keep your gear conditioned and avoid costly replacements, there are a couple products from NikWax that can help. There are other products but, this is the brand which was recommended to me and, I personally found worked well.

TX. Direct Wash-In
To add waterproofing back in, soak your jacket in the sink or run it through the washing machine with TX Direct Wash-In. It comes in a spray but, I found the wash-in easier to use so everything is coated. Before applying, use the Tech Wash listed below so you are applying the coating to a clean jacket.

Tech Wash
To wash and revive your wet weather clothing without stripping the DWR, soak your jacket in the sink or, run it through the washing machine with Tech Wash. Note, this product does not add the DWR back in. But, can be used for maintenance.

Happy Travels,
Lesley Ames
Chief Venturer, BonViage

Travel Q&ALesley Ames