Granger’s XT Waterproofer

Scruffy Band

Photo Credit Stone Heart

There is hardly anything that can be as miserable as being in out if the cold and soaking wet at the same time.  Honestly, why do we spend so much money on waterproof shells?  To not be cold and wet is why, but eventually those uber expensive shells just don’t keep us dry anymore.  This leaves the choice of suffering through with your shells that don’t work anymore or selling off a kidney to fund buying new ones.  How about option 3, using a DWR to retreat those leaky ol’ shells?

scruffy lead

Photo Credit Climb Run Lift Mom

After spending a soppy wet day taking some gals out for some ice cragging right in the middle of a storm, sadly I was soaked.  So soaked I could have rung my layers out from all the water that my shell had let through.  To make it worse, the leaky shells had never given me any grief before and, I have a BIG trip coming up this weekend.  One of those trips where proper clothing systems will make or break the entire adventure.  On top of the upcoming trip, I’m way too poor to contemplate buying new shells without selling off that pesky kidney, and I despise Gore-Tex…. Thus almost all local shell options for winter alpine would be out of the question regardless of cost.  So a couple days after finally managing to dry out, my research led me to Granger’s XT Waterproofer (it was either granger or nikwax which wasn’t carried locally)

XT waterproofer

First step to trying to revive the shells was washing them with none detergent soap and then running them through the dryer.  Afterwards I ran a sleeve under the faucet which instantly started sucking up water showing me I’d made little head way.  So I walked away went to the store and came home with the XT Waterproofer.

Application went very straight forward, hang the shells on a hanger and spray, trying to make sure you don’t miss anywhere.  Now I would recommend this part being over a piece of plastic as there will be run off.

After spraying the shells down, throw them in the dryer on medium heat and let the DWR do its thing.  I left mine in for 45 minutes but have heard good things at around 15 minutes.

Afterwards when doing the faucet test again my shells are back to being fully waterproof!  So much so I might have accidently let the bibs pool up and mistakenly shift them so all the water poured over the edge of the sink, completely flooding out my floor….  Next test will be going on the big trip to access if the DWR has hindered the breathability or not, but I am fairly confident that the eVent will be just as breathable as always.

This test was done with my Wild Things eVent Alpinist  Shells purchased in 2005

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Wild Things – On the Rebound

Originally I wanted to start my reviews with individual pieces of gear from my quiver.  However after seeing some MP chatter today about one of my favorite clothing and pack companies on the rebound, today we look at walking on the wild side.

 wild-things-logo-2010

webiste

 

Wild Things is a company founded on making functional clothing for climbing, nestled in North Conway NH with the infamous Mt Washington for a testing facility.  This allowed them to build a reputation for high quality made in the USA products that plain and simply worked.  They kept the business model simple with producing very little inventory, which allowed them to modify any product off of customer feedback without much issue.   Packs and clothing alike from the early days became the stuff of legends.

Unfortunately for climbers they started a military contract that would eventually take their prime focus off of the climbing world while they focused on the Government.  On the up side to this the products they already had for climbers were solid. So solid that one of their original pack designs the Andinista would ride though the rough years largely unchanged and still be a great pack by today’s standards.    Sadly over the years the products from the past stopped being offered one by one, including some of my favorites.  But, now the company is breathing life again and I must say what I’ve already seen is very exciting!

 

I first stumbled upon Wild Things in the early 2000’s.  I was frustrated with the common climbing world buying into the Gore-Text scene when there were better materials to use over Gore-Text.  At the time I was a supporter of Lowe Alpines Triple Point Ceramic and anxiously awaiting eVent  to hit the shelves, but that was not to be.  Gore-Text bought out Lowe Alpine (at least that’s what I’ve been told) and replaced all their shells with Gore-Text and completely squashed the company’s use of eVent.  After searching around for eVent I stumbled upon Wild Things.  I knew of Wild Things prior to, but had never paid that much attention to them. Now with eVent being used in their Alpinist Shells they were squarely on my radar.  Mind you I was living in Alaska at the time and decided to wait until moving to Massachusetts, where I could head north to climb and visit their North Conway store, before buying.

Every time I visited the store I always left pleased even if I didn’t buy anything, the staff was always friendly and helpful, and they really knew their product.   Over the next few years I would come to own many different products from Wild Things.

As for what I already own from WT, I love every single piece.  I use their shells for my winter climbing, and my personal favorite the Andinista has been used for all but one of my overnight trips since buying it in 2005!  The items are tough, and they work.  After years of use everything is still like new, mind you some of it I have tried to kill and it refuses to even show any sign of wear.  Sure I spent a good bit of money buying my WT gear but after years of use without having to replace it, how much money did I save down the road…

Andinista 2006

loaded Andinista 2006 Photo Credit Jen Kulicki

kieners andinista

Andinista 2008 Photo Credit Mike Hasse

crestone Andinista

Andinista 2012 notice how bright it still is!  Photo credit Jocob Moon

 

This brings us to current times.  Wild Things is returning to their core values that put them on the pedestal back in the day.  They’ve recently launched a new aspect to their gear with allowing a customer to design your own  Insulgiht and Wind Pro Hoody.  Beyond the color options with the Insulight you can now choose two different amounts of fill, three different types of Primaloft fill including Primaloft One, and three different shell materials!  They also released the Heritage Primaloft Sweater at an amazing 84.00 dollars (during the holiday sale) I couldn’t believe it when I saw the post on FB about the limited release of the sweater.  Mind you I responded by calling my better half that I knew was looking for a climbing puffy and telling her to get one, at 84 bucks how can you go wrong!

The biggest piece I’m interested in trying out is the Insulight jacket listed above, however there are some simple design changes that I’d like to see.  I’ve contacted WT about them and they immediately responded to my inquiry acknowledging the feedback and that it could be an improvement to the current design, thus for now I’m going to hold out and hope they add the features.  Now that they are offering two different fill weights I can see myself with two different Insulights in the future one 2oz and one 4oz.

 

If you’re interested in supporting an American made company on the rebound to being one of the most innovating companies in the climbing market I encourage you to check out Wild Things web site, have fun while you’re there playing with the design your own apps, take a look at what makes eVent better than Gore-Text, but above all else Walk on the Wild Side.

 

http://www.wildthingsgear.com

 

 

this company review has been compiled on my own accord and any views expressed are solely my own, I have never received any form of free or reduced cost gear from the company listed above.