Global leader in safe, high performance waterproofing, cleaning and conditioning for outdoor gear.
To work and back means that I have many days out on the bike, where I get wet. Sometimes soaking wet.
Over the years I have been lucky enough to invest and also have been given clothing that keeps me suitably warm and dry. Sometimes perhaps even too warm and dry.
As we approach the Summer months my cycling apparel is slowly starting to become less of an issue on the daily commute, as I continually hope and pray for the weather to settle and my Gore Tex waterproof clothing is needed less and less.
With that said, and as we all know, the weather can be extremely unpredictable at times so I still carry my lightweight waterproofing clothes in my cycle pannier sacks to be at hand just in case the weather suddenly decides to take a turn for the worse. My light weight garments comprise of my trusty Montane cycling jacket and a set of matching waterproof trousers.
I have had these items for some time and over the years they have served me increasingly well, but recently both seem to have lost their protective seal and are slowly beginning to lose their intended purpose of keeping me dry. Especially in the waterproofing department.
After a particularly mild and wet ride home from work, I was finding my much travelled waterproof trousers were starting to leak in very small amounts of water and subsequently now alerted me to the fact that the overall waterproofing was perhaps beginning to not perform as well as it used to do.
FREE samples from Nikwax
To help matters, I was kindly sent some Nikwax samples to test out.
Over the years, I have read and heard a great deal about Nikwax. Mainly through reading appropriate articles in magazines and always being so well represented on the shelves of any good outdoor adventure store.
With that in mind, I have always remained fairly open minded, but also had a level of scepticism as to whether the product actually worked or how it would perhaps compliment my already well-established and reliable waterproof cycling clothing.
Anyway, I was very willing to give things a go and in turn test out and then review what the product did for me, as a keen cyclist and outdoor enthusiast.
Nikwax is a well-established outdoor company and was founded back in 1977 by Nick Brown, who was a keen mountain walker and traveller. This fabulous brand was started when he first created a waterproofing wax which he applied to his walking boots after they began letting water in.
Now, Nikwax have become the global leader in environmentally safe aftercare and waterproofing solutions. As a result of this, the lifetime of outdoor kit is extended significantly and Nikwax now provide an huge range of great outdoor products which are available online and within many outdoor clothing stores all around the world.
Nikwax has also led the outdoor industry to move away from using polluting PFC repellents and continues to demonstrate that high performance waterproofing can be achieved with minimum environmental effect.
Furthermore, Nikwax is the only major aftercare company to have never used aerosols or fluorocarbons.
The products are suitable for any outdoor enthusiast or traveller; you just need to look at their range and choose the right one for your needs which you can find here: Nikwax products.
From my own practical use and opinion, I feel Nikwax are well worth looking at, as they undoubtedly provide something for everyone.
What did I test?
I ended up trying out the Nikwax TX.Direct Wash In Waterproofer. Before testing out the product on my own outdoor garments, I spent a little time researching and reading one or two reviews.
It seemed clearly apparent that the Nikwax products already had some overwhelmingly positive reviews. For example a 300ml bottle was priced at around £7 for the TX Direct Wash-in and even lower for the Tech Wash. There was enough liquid inside the bottle to wash at least six different garments, if you chose to hand wash.
Rather than add the liquid to the washing machine, I decided to hand wash it. There were two options on the back of the packet and as I was only washing one item, I set about conserving water.
- Firstly, I hand cleaned my waterproof jacket with lukewarm water. This was to simply clean the jacket of any initial dirt and grime.
- I then filled a bucket with around six litres of hot water and sunk my jacket in to the water.
- Next, I added half on the sachet or (50ml) of Nikwax TX.Direct
- Once in the bottom of the bucket I began to splash it around in order to make sure the Nikwax and water were mixed together. After a few moments of swirling the liquid around the garment, I then left it for a further 10 minutes. Just to settle and do what was required.
- Then, I agitated the mixture again, removed the jacket from the bucket and rinsed it with cold water, until the water was running clearly. I did this is within a small sink so to separate the water from the Nikwax.
- Finally, I left my waterproof jacket to dry in the fresh air.
TX Direct Wash-In
- After cleaning and re-proofing clothing it maintains all waterproofing qualities within the garment.
- Adds Durable Water Repellency and revives breathability - when your waterproof clothing gets dirty, or even if you’ve had it a while, the DWR will wear off. After cleaning it with Tech Wash, to remove dirt, you should TX.Direct it to restore the DWR and breathability.
- Cleans technical gear - really important as you shouldn’t use detergents to clean breathable/waterproof clothing as it will block the membrane making them ineffective.
- Revitalises water-repellency and breathability.
Did it work?
I suppose that is the key question on everyone's lips...
Since carrying out the garment wash and experiment, I’ve ridden on several more commuter rides in some awful weather conditions, mainly in heavy and persistent rain.
On these particular occasions the wind was howling and the overall conditions were pretty bleak but I have to say that the jacket kept me perfectly dry throughout and also very warm.
Water did inevitably hit the jacket and it did so pretty frequently however the overall effects of the Nikwax TX.Direct seemed to suitably repel excess water and allow it to stand up to the elements. I personally found it did the job exceptionally well.
So... all in all I feel that Nikwax worked very well at re-waterproofing my outdoors gear.
Nikwax provide a variety of options, so if you want to restore the Durable Water Repellency and breathability on your outdoors gear, then you can either get the wash-in version or the spray version. Both are very well reviewed by a wide range of different people from cyclists to walkers to adventurers. All seem to give a well balanced viewpoint and recommend the product.
Some people argue that the 'spray in' version was less likely to impact the breath ability of the jacket and as result prefer the wash in version. Personally, I’m not really sure if this really would make a huge difference as it should simply do the same job.
I guess it is all down to the individual and there for you try out for yourself. With my particular jacket I’ve been delighted with the overall responses and not had an issue with it all. Especially in relation to its overall waterproofing and breath ability.
Additional tips when using Nikwax
- Make sure your washing machine is fully clear of any washing detergent; this will block the breathable membrane in outdoor clothing which, in turn, will make it ineffective – particularly Gore-Tex.
- Beware of any liquid run-off from the jacket, after the wash, onto the floor as this will leave the floor slippery!
- Although not recommended by Nikwax, I found it is wise to run a 60 degree empty wash through the machine before using the TechWash or TX.Direct to make sure that the washing machine pipes are suitably free from all detergent.
- Nikwax does really work, but be sure to just follow the instructions and don’t try to wash to many items at once as the normal size bottle is only meant to do three or four jackets.
- Would I recommend it?...Yes!
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