Water Proof / Repellent Buying GuideDurable water repellent (DWR) is your jacket's first feature to prevent 'wetting out' or getting waterlogged and sticking to you. A DWR helps water to bead up and slick off the jacket. If the water isn't in contact with you and your jacket, it can't get you wet.
DWR naturally rubs off and wears out, this is where a DWR rating can come in handy. Not all manufacturers publish the DWR ratings for their clothing, but when you do find it, here's how to decode the rating.
DWR ratings appear in the format of ##/##. This is the percentage of remaining water, to the number of washes when the test was run. So a 90/10 rating would mean that 90% of the water beaded off, after the jacket had been washed 10 times. 80/10 is good, 80/20 is better and 80/100+ is the best rating
You can test your coats and jackets yourself with a bit of spray or drops from your hand. If you find that your favorite jacket isn't keeping off water like it used to, there are a few reasons for that, and a few fixes to keep you from running out and buying a new jacket.
First is to wash your jacket. At least once in the past, we have all been told to not wash out waterproof jackets, and the piece of advice isn't totally wrong. The reason we were told not to wash our waterproof jackets is that it wears off the DWR, and can clog the breathable pores in our jackets. The important thing when washing your jacket is to use non-oily detergent, like powdered Tide or some specialty products on the market.
If washing your jacket didn't drastically improve your DWR, it's recommended to iron your coat on low heat, or let it sit in the sun for a day or two. This helps smooth out the DWR that's still on your jacket so it performs better all over.
If washing and ironing didn't work, it's either time to go shopping, or maybe you can try any number of the waterproofing products on the market. We carry Nikwax products that have been proven to boost, or even replace missing DWR on your items. They are perfect for cleaning, and re-waterproofing your down, waterproof, and leather gear.