How To Care For Your Raincoat
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Thanks to the revolutionary waterproof and breathable technology, which has become a staple in any quality raincoat, outdoor enthusiasts can stay dry in the harshest rain without sweating or drenching themselves from the inside out. However, just because these raincoats can keep you dry in the harshest conditions does not mean they are invincible. Like any outdoor equipment, raincoats need to be well maintained to retain the attributes when we first purchased them.
Proper care of your raincoat, mainly through proper washing and treatment, will ensure that you can enjoy years of dry and comfortable experience outdoors. Here is how to make sure you make the most of your waterproof and breathable clothing.
How it works
First of all, before you take care of raincoat correctly, it is important to understand its waterproof and breathable principle. The material of these raincoats allows tiny water vapor to pass through, but not large water droplets. These tiny pores form a breathable membrane to prevent sweat from condensing inside the raincoat.
Because this material can protect you from the rain, a finish called "Durable Water Repellent (DWR)" can protect the fabric itself from moisture and form another barrier between you and the rain. This finish helps the water drop to rise quickly, forcing it to roll off the raincoat, rather than slowly seeping into the fabric.
Wear and tear
However, after heavy use of your raincoat, the DWR coating will slowly begin to wear away, exposing the fabric not only to water, but also some impurities such as skin oil, sweat and dirt. Once these substances penetrate the membrane, the benefits of these raincoats will soon disappear. Not only will your equipment smell bad, you will also find that it no longer keeps you dry as before.
If you find that your raincoat has become heavy in the rain, or your skin feels a little damp under the fabric, it is likely that the DWR coating has worn away, or it has "wet-out". However, this does not mean that your raincoat has reached the end of its useful life. There are two ways to solve it: cleaning and re-waterproofing.
Before you reprocess your raincoat, you need to wash off the impurities collected on the membrane; otherwise you will lock them here forever. The first thing you need to do is to check the washing instructions on the clothes label. Although the protective measures for all waterproof and breathable fabrics are likely to be similar, it is important to follow these instructions strictly.
Now that all the impurities have been washed away, you can restore the DWR of your jacket. You can spray it on a clean jacket, or, more simply, wash the product together with the jacket.
Like any piece of clothing, washing too frequently will have a negative impact on the quality of the fabric. In the case of your raincoat, excessive washing will cause its water resistance and breathability to disappear. Instead of washing clothes every time, it is better to use them strictly several times before throwing them in. The DWR coating can withstand multiple cleanings, so there is no need to worry about returning to its original state every time.
A good raincoat is one of the most important things in your outdoor gear pack. After choosing one best suited for you, regardless of the weather, in any outdoor hiking, please be sure to use the following tips to properly maintain it to keep it dry and comfortable.