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?
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)
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