Question: How do you Care for Breathable Jackets and Breathable Waders?

Greg Price

Love da little fishies
WADERS - I had a pair of Simms Waders that i owned for 20 years before they started to leak. I put them through hell every winter.

So i sent them into Simms to be rebuilt. Problem is, they required that i wash them before sending them in. They put brand new boots on them and sealed them up. But it seemed i had to apply aqua seal to new pin holes that seemed to spring up on a regular basis. It seems the washing did them in. I know my old pair are pretty thin now and i kind of gave up on them and bought a new pair 5 years ago. I may have used the wrong soap or wrong setting on the wash machine when i washed to old pair of waders.

I am noticing small pinholes now with my "new" waders. I am afraid to wash them cause i do not want them to fall apart like my old ones. I called simms and they recommend i send them in to them. they do not recommend customers trying to maintain waders.

JACKET - I have an older Columbia Heavy Duty Wading Jacket. It has the fake gortex Omni Teck. The outer layer does not shed water like it did when it was new,, just soakes it in. I called Columbia and they recommend wash in wash machine on gentle cycle with Nikwax Brand soap, then hang dry.

I watched a video on real gortex jackets and they recommend drying on medium or low heat after machine wash to revive the DWR Durable Water Repellent layer on the outer layer. They also recommend spraying a new layer of DWR on the jacket after it is clean.

What experience have you had with caring for your breathable waders and or jackets?

What were your results?
 

jaredoconnor

WFF Supporter
The construction of modern outdoor garments can be complicated. It's best to follow the recommendations from the manufacturer, for each product. Whether or not a product actually comes with practical and reasonable maintenance instructions is part of my purchasing decision.

For example, I specifically purchased my Redington vest, because it didn't have any foam or plastic bits that couldn't go through the washer and dryer. Similarly, North Face recommend putting my rain jacket through the washer and dryer, to keep the DWR layer functioning correctly. Conversely, the first ski jacket I ever bought was basically unmaintainable; it had a weird metal foil layer inside the material and it was really easily damaged.

Beyond that, I accept that all these items are disposable and buy new ones when they stop fulfilling their intended function.
 

Bruce Baker

Active Member
WADERS - I had a pair of Simms Waders that i owned for 20 years before they started to leak. I put them through hell every winter.

So i sent them into Simms to be rebuilt. Problem is, they required that i wash them before sending them in. They put brand new boots on them and sealed them up. But it seemed i had to apply aqua seal to new pin holes that seemed to spring up on a regular basis. It seems the washing did them in. I know my old pair are pretty thin now and i kind of gave up on them and bought a new pair 5 years ago. I may have used the wrong soap or wrong setting on the wash machine when i washed to old pair of waders.

I am noticing small pinholes now with my "new" waders. I am afraid to wash them cause i do not want them to fall apart like my old ones. I called simms and they recommend i send them in to them. they do not recommend customers trying to maintain waders.

JACKET - I have an older Columbia Heavy Duty Wading Jacket. It has the fake gortex Omni Teck. The outer layer does not shed water like it did when it was new,, just soakes it in. I called Columbia and they recommend wash in wash machine on gentle cycle with Nikwax Brand soap, then hang dry.

I watched a video on real gortex jackets and they recommend drying on medium or low heat after machine wash to revive the DWR Durable Water Repellent layer on the outer layer. They also recommend spraying a new layer of DWR on the jacket after it is clean.

What experience have you had with caring for your breathable waders and or jackets?

What were your results?
How did you wash your waders? By hand or machine? And if machine, did you use a front load machine?

I sent in a Simms pair of waders and before doing so, washed them by hand with powdered laundry soap.
I had an Orvis wading jacket that I washed in my top loading washer (with agitator). I cannot remember what cycle I used and whether I had the jacket zipped up or not. But the velcro on the sleeves attached to the body of the jacket. I brought it to Orvis in Bellevue to see if I ruined the jacket. The gentleman helping me said that I did not ruin it, it was just cosmetic, but he did notice some delamination in another part of the jacket and I was allowed to replace it. He also told me I should not have washed it in the washing machine. Perhaps if I had used one of the machines in the laundromat that did not have an agitator.
 

Greg Price

Love da little fishies
i think back then we had a front loading washing machine. we got sick of it after a few years of smelly seals and tossed it for another old fashioned top loader which we currently have.

Maybe i should hand wash the jacket as it may be more gental on it than a top loading clothes washer?
 

jasmillo

WFF Supporter
I wish I could get 20 years out of my waders I would be happy just 10 years.

I’d be happy with 10 months. Expensive or cheap, every pair of waders I purchase seems to spring a leak within a year. I patch it and deal with it before sending in for repairs eventually. Generally around the 1.5 - 2 year mark. I fish a lot...but not more than some. Saltwater heavy use, bad handling on my part? Don’t know probably some combination of things. For me, I chalk it up as a “cost of doing business”. I currently have 2 rods, 2 pairs of waders and a reel that need to be sent back. For the waders, I’ll patch one and send the other back shortly so I get them returned before summer. Both rods have been repaired by me (tips) but one will go back now (7 weight) so I have it for coho this summer. Make it a 9’6” again instead of a 9’2”. The other 6 weight will be used until April then sent back so I have it for fall SRC. The reel needs to go back now. The second Nautilus real I have owned that seized up.

Point is; learn some basic repair to get you through hot fishing but be prepared to send stuff back eventually, especially rods and waders.

20 years in the same waders = win! I have probably gone though a dozen pairs in that time.
 

jccady

WFF Supporter
To echo someone else's sentiment, I'd be jacked if I could get 10 years from waders.

My first 2 pair were Orvis and i got about 4 years out of each. Then I moved to Simms. 1st pair lasted about 4 years and the 2nd pair only 2 years, 3rd pair about 5 years. I'm now on my 1st pair of Patagonia. Hoping that they feel like they have some decent life in them.

I've never washed waders except when Simms required me to in order to send them. But they were not impressed with the amount of mold still present in my seams on the inside so they could not/ would not repair them so I get a small discount.

They said I need to get better about drying them out in between uses but for a few bachelor years I was in the river 3 days a week at least for about 3 years year-round and it was hard to get them dried out. I do hang them inside out when I get home what I reckon I really need is a couple pair to rotate through.
 

Greg Price

Love da little fishies
i have always sprayed off my waders immediately when getting home, and hung them up inside my home to dry in front of a portable fan. Only time they dry out in the sun is when i camp, but i rarely need waders when i camp because i hate wearing waders when i can wet wade. waders are only used now in early spring when fishing lakes on cold mornings and salt water puget sound beaches in middle of winter. Oh yeh i use waders 3 or 4 days a year during my annual eastern washington nunya creek fishing in October. they get hung up under outside shelter to freeze dry overnight.
 

MT_Flyfisher

Active Member
Here is what I do.

First, I wash my waders or wading jacket using Nikwax Tek Wash.

For a helpful discussion on how to clean waders, refer to this Simms video: https://www.google.com/search?sxsrf=ALeKk02Sezd6A7zigoL11RwvkX0lvBp45A:1609842893465&source=hp&ei=zUD0X-mFGba05NoP4c2diAM&iflsig=AINFCbYAAAAAX_RO3Y3uSAA4w4AKNypY620EK1ZQSsrH&q=how+to+clean+simms+waders+video&oq=how+to+clean+simms+waders+video&gs_lcp=CgZwc3ktYWIQAzIFCCEQoAE6BwgjEOoCECc6BAgjECc6BQgAEJECOgsILhCxAxDHARCjAjoICAAQsQMQgwE6CAguELEDEIMBOgoILhDHARCjAhAnOgQIABBDOgIIADoFCAAQsQM6CAgAEMkDEJECOgcIABDJAxBDOgUIABDJAzoKCAAQyQMQFBCHAjoHCAAQFBCHAjoGCAAQFhAeOggIABAWEAoQHjoJCAAQyQMQFhAeOgUIIRCrAlCwFFikdmCpeGgBcAB4AIABf4gB4BSSAQQyNy40mAEAoAEBqgEHZ3dzLXdperABCg&sclient=psy-ab&ved=0ahUKEwipoLmOzITuAhU2GlkFHeFmBzEQ4dUDCAw&uact=5#kpvalbx=_3UD0X42BEqnU5gL50JrYBA14

That video says to not use a liquid detergent which Nikwash is. However, Nikwax Tech Wash is designed specifically for high tech products like waders and does not hurt them in my experience.

For basic pin hole repairs i just follow the instructions in this Simms video, using Aquaseal.


Second, I spray on ReviveX. I do not put my waders or wading jacket in the drier. Simms recommends not doing that. Instead, I use a hair dryer to dry and set the ReviveX.

D9D9D927-AA1B-4250-AFB2-ADE1233C9A49.jpeg
 
Last edited:

Greg Price

Love da little fishies
Here is what I do.

First, I wash my waders or wading jacket using Nikwax Tek Wash.

For a helpful discussion on how to clean waders, refer to this Simms video: https://www.google.com/search?sxsrf=ALeKk02Sezd6A7zigoL11RwvkX0lvBp45A:1609842893465&source=hp&ei=zUD0X-mFGba05NoP4c2diAM&iflsig=AINFCbYAAAAAX_RO3Y3uSAA4w4AKNypY620EK1ZQSsrH&q=how+to+clean+simms+waders+video&oq=how+to+clean+simms+waders+video&gs_lcp=CgZwc3ktYWIQAzIFCCEQoAE6BwgjEOoCECc6BAgjECc6BQgAEJECOgsILhCxAxDHARCjAjoICAAQsQMQgwE6CAguELEDEIMBOgoILhDHARCjAhAnOgQIABBDOgIIADoFCAAQsQM6CAgAEMkDEJECOgcIABDJAxBDOgUIABDJAzoKCAAQyQMQFBCHAjoHCAAQFBCHAjoGCAAQFhAeOggIABAWEAoQHjoJCAAQyQMQFhAeOgUIIRCrAlCwFFikdmCpeGgBcAB4AIABf4gB4BSSAQQyNy40mAEAoAEBqgEHZ3dzLXdperABCg&sclient=psy-ab&ved=0ahUKEwipoLmOzITuAhU2GlkFHeFmBzEQ4dUDCAw&uact=5#kpvalbx=_3UD0X42BEqnU5gL50JrYBA14

That video says to not use a liquid detergent which Nikwash is. However, Nikwax Tech Wash is designed specifically for high tech products like waders and does not hurt them in my experience.

For basic pin hole repairs i just follow the instructions in this Simms video, using Aquaseal.


Second, I spray on ReviveX. I do not put my waders or wading jacket in the drier. Simms recommends not doing that. Instead, I use a hair dryer to dry and set the ReviveX.

View attachment 266686
Thank you. I think i will try using niki wax cleaner and hand wash them. I have plenty of experience with applying alcohol to spot pin holes, then covering them with aqua seal. I might try the revive x on my parka after getting it clean.
 

Clarkman

Huge Fly Guy
WFF Supporter
Sounds like you've gotten some great use out of both your jacket and your waders! Sounds like you're also due for a late Christmas present to yourself.....ha!

For pinholes, I've always found it better to use a bright led flashlight in a dark room (run over all seams, and wear spots on the inside) vs alcohol. You'll find everything including spots that may not be leaking yet that you can address. I'll then use aquaseal on both the inside and outside.
 

Albula

swollen member
I'm a long term subscriber to the "benign neglect" method of caring for my waders and rain coats, occasionally alternating with the deliberate neglect method. This level of care has served me well up to this point, as I get pretty good service life out of both jackets and waders.
Wish I could force myself to be equally conscientious about what keeps me dry.
 

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