Waterproofing spray is an essential item that you should consider getting if you are planning to go for fishing, hiking, cycling or any other outdoor activity that you enjoy. It helps in keeping your items safe from the harsh weather conditions.
Waterproof sprays work by adding a protective layer on the surface of the items so that they can repel water. There are many waterproofing sprays available on the market, but the best ones protect your baggage without causing any damage.
Generally, it is good to use water spray for items that can be harmed from the weather such as clothes, backpacks or sling packs, and tarps. You can also use to reestablish waterproof features in waders or even chairs that are sitting in the water for a prolonged time for example. It is good to apply the best waterproofing spray every season to ensure the best results.
Quick Overview – Best Waterproofing Spray
- Best Waterproofing Spray: Grangers Performance Repel Plus
- Best Value Waterproofing Spray: Scotchgard Suede & Nubuck Protector
- Best for Durability Purposes: Nikwax TX. Direct Spray-On Waterproofing
- Best Heavy Duty Spray: KIWI Camp Dry Heavy-Duty Water Repellent
Quick Comparison – Best Waterproofing Sprays
Waterproofing your outdoor clothing and equipment has many advantages. Not only does waterproofing keep your fabric dry but it also provides a protective layer that ensures that your items have a prolonged life. If you have invested in an amazing waterproof jacket or any other outdoor gear and you want to make sure that its quality is maintained and it does not wear off with time then use a good waterproofing spray to enhance its life.
There are many different types of sprays available in the market depending upon the item you wish to protect. The best waterproofing spray is one that is easy to use, doesn’t leave any stains, smells or sticky residues, and doesn’t allow fabrics to soak in water droplets.
However, choosing a good waterproofing spray can be challenging because of a plethora of options available in the market and also the variety of formulas available. Some of the sprays are water-based and some of them are silicon based. Also, some sprays create a thicker protective layer on your outdoor gears and take more time to dry.
Let’s take a look on the different factors that need to be kept in mind before investing in a waterproofing spray.
Type of Gear
Not all waterproof sprays are good to use for all type of materials. For instance, if the spray works well on jackets and coats then it doesn’t imply that it would be a great choice for your shoes. So, look carefully at the description of the product to find out what it is good for.
All the best waterproofing sprays will make it explicitly clear on the label that on which surfaces you should or shouldn’t use them. If you’re not sure about your waterproof spray, a smart idea is to test it on a small patch of less visible material as this will show you if it’s safe to use or not. This is especially recommended for sensitive materials such as suede or nubuck.
Protection & Durability
All waterproofing sprays are protective but not all of them have the same level of protection. For instance, waterproofing your shoes is different from waterproofing an entire tent for the upcoming rains. So, the protection and durability of spray is dependent on the ingredients used to manufacture it.
Some sprays work well on leather apparel, whereas others are good to use on outdoor gears. Some products provide you UV protection and do not allow the material to fade.
Durability of the coating is another crucial factor. You should apply the coating once in every three weeks if you are applying it on your fabrics. For sturdy items such as outdoor furniture, the coating might last for an entire season.
Change in the Fabric
Most of the sprays available in the market do not leave stains on the item, however, there might be a slight change in color. But you need not worry as these changes are temporary and only last till the coating is cured. It is recommended to test the spray on a patch before applying it on the entire fabric.
Sometimes if the product is used inappropriately it can result in unequal color. To prevent this, you should ensure that the material has an even thickness throughout. But do not apply a very thick coating otherwise it will reduce the breathability of the fabric.
Also, generally silicone-based sprays have a strong odor as compared to the water-based sprays. So, go for a spray that does not have an odor after it dries out completely. You will find odorless sprays easily.
Application and Ease of Use
You should apply the waterproofing spray properly to ensure maximum protection. To make your job easy, majority of the sprays come in a bottle that can be sprayed according to use. Also, read the instruction manual provided by the manufacturer to get a clear idea on its application.
Most of the sprays are applied from a distance of 8 to 12 inches. Also, they should be sprayed on clean and dry surfaces.
Ingredients & Safety
As already mentioned, the majority of the sprays are either silicone-based or water-based. These sprays have many ingredients that are specifically meant for waterproofing a particular type of gear. Generally, water-based sprays are great for your shoes and clothes. On the other hand, silicone sprays work well with heavy duty outdoor gears such as jackets, tents, and boots.
However, you should be careful when using the spray so that it doesn’t come in contact with your skin. It is because these sprays have chemicals in them that might irritate the skin and also leave a strong smell. Being in a well-ventilated area before you start to spray is a good idea. It is also recommended to use gloves so that your hands are safe.
Also, you need to take care that the sprays are stored in an area that is not closer to any heat source as they are highly inflammable.
The Best Waterproofing Spray Review – Our Top Picks
The Best All Around Waterproofing Spray
- High performance waterproofing of technical, performance, sports, waterproof/windproof, eVent & Gore-Tex fabrics, softshell, fleece, down outerwear and equipment
- Fluorocarbon free / VOC free
- Bluesign Certified Environmentally Friendly
- Adds no scent or optical brighteners and is great for hunters
- New Improved Formula
- Money back guarantee if you are not satisfied with the product
- Some customers have complained that the product has been delivered leaking
Grangers Performance Repel Plus is a good spray-on product that is designed to bring back the water-repellent finish on all outdoor gears and clothing. If your outdoor items are not used for long, they collect dirt and this inhibits their ability to repel water. So, when you use them for outdoor activities you might get wet and cold. Grangers Performance Repel Plus provides an excellent solution to this problem. It is free of fluorocarbons and uses enhanced technology to maintain the water repellent finish on your outdoor clothes and equipment.
You should apply this product on damp garments for maximum benefits. The Grangers Performance Repel Plus is easy to spray and provides the best protection when the items are heat activated in a dryer. It is effective on a range of outerwear such as Patagonia, The North Face, Carhartt, Burton, Columbia, Mountain Hardwear, LL Bean, Marmot, Mammut, Eddie Bauer, Black Diamond, Montbell, Fjallraven and Arc’Teryx outerwear.
Features and Specs
- Product Dimensions: 3.5 x 3.5 x 8.7 inches; 9.3 ounces
- Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
The Best Value Waterproofing Spray
- Helps repel water on suede and nubuck items
- Resists salt stains
- Simple, one step application
- Great Price / Value
- Is not odorless despite the claims on the product
Looking for a cheap waterproofing spray? The Scotchgard Suede and Nubuck Protector provides great weather resistance to your suede and nubuck leather items. This protector has been designed to protect against rain, snow, and sleet. It helps you stay dry while ensuring that your boots, handbags, and clothing.
It also prevents your outfits from getting stains. The Scotchgard Suede and Nubuck Protector ensures that your boots and outdoor gear stay protected and look newer.
Features and Specs
- Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 2.5 x 7.9 inches; 9.1 ounces
- Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
- Not intended for use on smooth and finished leather items.
- Needs to be reapplied every six months
The Best Waterproofing Spray in Terms of Durability
- Cleans your gear
- Waterproofs your gear
- Aids the breathability of your gear
- May not work well on jackets
When the outfits are cleaned with normal laundry detergent or when they are covered with dirt, they tend to absorb more water. It is because their Durable Water Repellency (DWR) is compromised and the item becomes wet in damp conditions. DWR is a coating that is added to fabrics in the factory so that they become water resistant. The Nikwax TX. Direct Spray-On ensures that DWR is restored and the fabric becomes more breathable.
Waterproof fabric must allow moisture vapor to pass through it, or ‘breathe’, otherwise out sweat cannot evaporate, causing us to overhear and get wet from condensation. Nikwax products waterproof without sealing fabric to maintain that breathability.
You can use this spray on all the waterproof garments such as ski jackets, rain jackets, and synthetic sleeping bags. The Nikwax TX. Direct Spray-On is water based and biodegradable. It does not have any PFCs, VOCs, optical brighteners and is odorless.
Features and Specs
- Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 2.5 x 2.5 inches; 12.8 ounces
- Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces
The Best Heavy Duty Waterproofing Spray
- Provides tough silicone protection to boots and gears
- Allows the fabric to breathe
- Ensures that the treated material remains odorless
- The fabric may sometimes become hard and wrinkly on its application
- The tip has a little sponge applicator that may quickly clog up
KIWI Camp Dry Heavy-Duty Water Repellent is great for your outdoor boots and clothes as it provides a tough silicone protection. It is made up of a unique formula that helps in creating a tough water barrier for your fabrics and leather items. Moreover, it still allows the fabric to breathe. This heavy-duty water repellent is great for boots, tarps, tents, outdoor gear, hunting apparel, and boat covers. You can also use it to protect your patio furniture from getting wet.
For those of you who do not like strong scents the KIWI Camp Dry Heavy-Duty Water Repellent is a good choice as it is odorless.
Features and Specs
- Product Dimensions: 3 x 3 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
How to Use Waterproofing Spray for Outdoor Gear
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
The primary benefit of using a waterproof spray is that it protects your gear from damage caused by water. The spray forms a uniform layer on the surface of the item and this makes it impermeable to water droplets. So, waterproofing spray works to prevent your fabrics from getting wet and damaged.
Sometimes the fabric develops a stain because of food and drinks. Waterproofing spray protects your items from such stains. Sprays meant for patio furniture protect them from harsh weather conditions and help in maintaining their color and shine.
Sometimes when you are not using the right spray or if you are applying it improperly, it can damage your shoes and fabrics. To minimize any damage, ensure that you read the manufacturer’s instructions.
Most sprays do not cause any damage but there is always a risk.
The distance will vary from one product to another. However, it is safe to have a distance of somewhere between 20 to 30 cms. This ensures that the aerosol is distributed evenly on the surface of your shoes, fabric, and other gears.
Also, make sure that you read the instructions carefully before applying the spray.