Hard Shells, Soft Shells, and Wind Shells Product Care

An Arc’teryx Alpha SV Revised hard shell made out of Gore-Tex Pro Shell material.

So you’ve just spent your hard earned cash on that shell that you’ve been lusting after and you’re wondering, how do I care for a technical shell?

Caring for a technical shell is a bit different than your usual jackets. They need specific care so that they remain water repellent and breathable.

If you notice that your shell no longer beads water, it’s time to wash it. It’s recommended that after 6 to 8 washes or 40 days of use, that the DWR (Durable Water Repellency) finish should be reapplied. First of all, don’t use any detergents or fabric softeners. You have to use specific soaps that won’t degrade the DWR finish of your jacket. You should use warm water in a gentle wash cycle. Brands like Granger’s G-Wash Cleaner Plus, Nikwax Tech Wash or McNett Xtreme Wash will not adversely affect the DWR finish. The goal is to remove the dirt that masks the fabrics water/stain repellent finish. The most effective cleaners for performance fabrics remove dirt, contaminants and odors without leaving water-attractive residues behind

Once washed and thoroughly rinsed, the garment is ready to get it’s Gore Revivex, Granger’s Spray On, McNett Spray On Water Repellent or Nikwax TXDirect Spray On used on its outer face. These will restore the DWR finish. Then, it’s time to tumble dry at medium heat. The heat will reactivate the DWR finish. Excessive heat will damage the finish, so it’s important not to use too much heat. That’s 50 minutes on medium heat (perma press), which equals to 130F (50C).

Arc’teryx recommends Granger’s products for use with their jackets. Most interesting is the Spray On UV Waterproofing from Granger’s, which adds UV protection on top of waterproofing.

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