Is It Time To Replace Your Waterproof Jacket?

A good waterproof jacket is essential for any kind of outdoor activity.

A good waterproof jacket is essential for any kind of outdoor activity.

A waterproof jacket’s principal purpose is to keep you nice and dry when the weather takes a turn for the worst. However, it should also be breathable and keep you warm when part of an effective layering system.

Waterproof jackets are incredibly well made these days, with years of research and development going into their design. However, as with anything in life, they don’t last forever, and eventually, they’ll succumb to the rigours of the outdoors.

You may start to see the signs that your waterproof coat or jacket is coming to the end of its lifetime, but there are ways to make them last longer. 

So, is it time to replace your waterproof jacket, or can you restore it to its former glory? Read on to find out…

Factors to consider

Factors to consider

Washing your waterproof jacket

If your waterproof jacket isn’t performing as it used to, the first thing you should try is washing it. 

Over time, mud, dirt, and general grime (e.g. fumes from vehicle exhausts) can coat the outside of your jacket and its lining. This can impact its waterproofing properties by wearing away the DWR.

Sweat, oils from your skin, and other lovely things can also affect the jacket’s breathability, causing build-up on the breathable membrane. Washing your jacket will help remove any nastiness like this and make your waterproof and breathable again.

Pro tip – always wash your waterproof jacket according to the label instructions, and add a cleaner.


Reproofing your waterproof jacket

If your waterproof jacket starts to absorb water, then you may have a problem. 

Ideally, what should happen is that water beads on the surface and rolls off, thanks to the durable water repellant (DWR) applied to the materials. However, over time, the DWR will start to wear away. 

This could be due to friction from rucksacks, other accessories, or just the passage of time. Either way, if the proofing starts to wear away, your jacket will absorb the water and become ‘wetted out’.

If you’ve noticed that the water isn’t beading off your jacket or feels much heavier (or clingy!) when it gets wet, it might need reproofing. You can do this with a reproofing spray or a wash-in proofer – to be done in a washing machine.

At Winfields Outdoors, we stock a range of waterproofing products from trusted brands, such as Nikwax and Kampa. To browse our selection, click here. 

Read More: How to Reproof a Waterproof Jacket.


Repairing your waterproof jacket

Obviously, if you have a hole or rip in your waterproof jacket then water is going to get in. You might think that any tear spells instant disaster for your jacket, but that’s not necessarily the case.

If it’s a big hole, or the arm has come off or something like that, then you’ll probably need a new jacket, but if it’s only a small rip then you just might be able to repair it.

Simply repairing a jacket can restore its waterproof abilities, and the easiest way to do so is with tape. If there is a large tear or the taping along the seam has failed, seek professional repairs.

When taping a jacket, you’ll have to clean it and dry the area around the tear. Place your waterproof jacket on a hard, flat surface and smooth it out.

Then, place your tape over the hole to measure how much you’ll need to cut. It’s best to leave up to 2.5cm of excess tape around the tear, so we recommend cutting a circular piece to ensure no corners can be easily picked or peeled off.

Peel the back layer of the tape off and place it over the tear. Press from the middle of the tape out, making sure to smooth the fabric and remove any air bubbles.

After you’ve made any repairs, ensure to reproof your jacket, especially if you’re repairing any seams.

Buying a new waterproof jacket

If all else fails and your jacket is beyond repair, it might be time to treat yourself to a brand-new one. There are plenty to choose from, with all sorts of features and technologies to help you battle the elements.

So which waterproof jacket should you choose? Which features are right for you?

A great way to determine this is to consider what you’ll primarily use it for. For example, if you’re doing strenuous hill walking, you might want a stiffened hood, storm flaps, and pockets for extra storage.

Alternatively, if you’re a climber, you might consider a waterproof jacket that’s a little more hard-wearing. For example, a jacket with a more relaxed fit (for ease of movement) and adjustable cuffs and hems.

We offer an extensive selection of waterproof jackets, with plenty of options to suit all outdoor adventures. We’ve included some examples for you to browse through below. Alternatively, click here to be taken to our waterproof jacket range.


Kathmandu Womens Amphi 2L Waterproof Rain Jacket

The perfect grab-and-go jacket to invest in! Introducing the Kathmandu Womens Amphi 2L Waterproof Rain Jacket!

Eco-friendly and ultra-stylish, this superb waterproof jacket benefits from NGX2 fabric construction, sealed seams, and a DWR finish. So, when you’re wearing this Kathmandu creation – you’ll be able to take any downpour in your stride. For more information on this superb waterproof jacket for women, click here. 

Mountain Equipment Mens Saltoro GORE-TEX Jacket

Next, we have the Mountain Equipment Mens Saltoro GORE-TEX Jacket – the perfect all-rounder waterproof jacket. 

This waterproof jacket from Mountain Equipment is lightweight and benefits from a GORE-TEX construction, making this jacket completely weatherproof. So, no matter what, you’ll remain shielded, protected, comfortable and warm throughout your outdoor adventure.

For more information on this ultra-durable waterproof jacket for men, click here. 

Complete wet weather protection

For complete protection from the elements, waterproof accessories are a hugely popular option for every lover of the great outdoors.

SealSkinz is renowned for its ground-breaking development of waterproof and windproof technology while maintaining high levels of breathability when you get more active. Their outdoor range includes gloves, socks, and hats, ensuring that every part of you will stay dry this Autumn.

The iconic brand’s range is perfect for every outdoor need, whether it’s hiking, a weekend stroll or running on the streets and trails – SealSkinz is the must-have accessory for British weather!


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