Waterproofing a Ski or Snowboard Jacket

Finding the perfect jacket to ski with is a time-consuming process, but you will feel safe, warm, and insulated once you have the perfect jacket. The ideal jacket will inspire you to get your ski boots on and hit the chairlift. Unfortunately, your perfect jacket will not last forever. Even if you take care of it and repair any tears or holes that develop on the jacket as you ski, it will inevitably one day wear down. One way a ski jacket wears down is it loses its ability to repel water. Many people do not know this, but waterproof jackets, the kind used in skiing, can lose their waterproof coating. But there is a way to repair the faded coating and re-waterproof your jacket. It will take some time and a steady hand, but at least you won’t have to go jacket shopping.

When Do Ski Jackets Lose Their Waterproof Coating?

waterproofing ski jacket

The speed at which waterproofing ski jackets lose their ability to repel water depends on how often you use the jacket. If you purchase a jacket at the very beginning of winter, which is December 21st, and you use your jacket nearly every day, the waterproof coating on your jacket may last until the end of March. But the waterproof coating on your jacket may not last that long, especially if your jacket develops rips and tears, or it frequently becomes muddy or dirty. But if you care for your jackets and it’s made of good quality, the coating should last three to four months. Some people use their jackets for years, so a few months of waterproof protection doesn’t seem that long. Luckily, waterproof jackets can be reproofed with a special spray.

What Is Wetting Out?

When a jacket loses its ability to repel water, it will act like any other jacket and absorb moisture into its fabric with the layers underneath it. A waterproof jacket that is not working correctly is known as wetting out. A jacket that is wetting out does not mean that its waterproof coating faded away. Wetting out means that a jacket is so dirty with contaminants and residue that the dirt and filth inhibit the waterproof coating. The filth on the jacket is preventing the waterproof coating from working. The waterproof coating is most likely trying to prevent the mud or grime from soaking into the fabric.

If your jacket is so dirty that it is no longer able to repel water, it needs to be cleaned. But a jacket like this can’t just be thrown in the washer. It needs to be cleaned by the manufacturer’s method. The instructions are usually on the tag. Still, if it is a specialty jacket, you may have to go to the manufacturer’s website to see how to properly clean the waterproof jacket. If there are no instructions on the website, you will have to email the company and request your jacket’s specific cleaning instructions. This process is quite a pain, but taking these extra precautions will prevent you from damaging your waterproof jacket.

Washing your waterproof jacket

When you are ready to wash your dirty waterproof jacket, you must first remove all of the mud, dirt, and grime from the outside of the jacket. Do not place your dirty jacket into the washer without removing the substances. The water will absorb the dirt and filth in the washer, and your entire jacket will be washed with dirty water. The dirty water can ruin the inside of your jacket and the outside, and you’ll have to buy a new one.

To remove any excess dirt and grime, take a soft washcloth and dampen it with water. It should not be soaking or dripping wet. Gently brush your jacket with the damp washcloth in an up-and-down motion from the collar to the jacket’s hem. When you wipe the sleeves, wipe them in a bottom to top motion from the sleeve’s end to wear the fabric meets the shoulder. Wipe the entire surface of the jacket until all of the residue has been removed.

What Kind Of Spray Reproof A Waterproof Jacket?

waterproofing snowboard jacket

When the waterproof coating on your jacket wears out, you need a waterproof spray to reproof it. There are several different waterproof sprays on the market, so you just need to pick one with great ratings. Also, if your jacket is from a winter sports store, It could have come with instructions provided by the manufacturer that says what kind of waterproof spray you need to reproof it. 

Please do not choose a waterproof spray that isn’t made for fabric or is extremely cheap. Spraying this type of waterproof spray on your expensive ski jacket could damage it irreversibly, And you may have to purchase another ski jacket. As we all know, high-quality ski jackets cost around $100 or more. A simple $5 spray you choose to save money could cost you at least $100 in damages.

If you’re having trouble picking up a high-quality waterproof spray, you can rely on the Atsko Silicone Water-Guard. This spray works on all different types of clothing, including leather and nylon. It is also a UV protector, so your jacket won’t be damaged by the sun’s light.

How To Waterproof A Ski Jacket

When you are waterproofing ski jacket, do it in the middle of the room. There should not be any other clothing around it. If you come, you should spray your waterproof spray on your jacket outside on a windless day.

Prepare your work area

Place a few rags or some newspaper over the surface where you plan to spray the jacket. The waterproof spray is extremely hard to get out once it dries on a fabric or surface, so the layer underneath the jacket will protect the table or bench you’re working on.

If you have rooms available, it would be best to use them as you will have to touch and move the fabric around to coat it thoroughly. Place the jacket face down with the outside of the jacket facing you. Extend the sleeves out as far as they can go. 

Spraying your jacket

When you aim the spray at your jacket, do not position it less than a foot away. The right position for the spray is about 1 to 1 1/2 feet. The spray should not be so close to the jacket that the liquid concentrates in small spots. If there is too much liquid on a spot of fabric, it becomes hard when it dries. Do not move your arm around quickly. You should spray the spray in long slow strokes, so the spray is evenly distributed throughout the jacket. Moving your arm around too quickly won’t allow the spray to fall evenly on the fabric, so some pieces of your jacket will be waterproof, and some pieces will allow water to be absorbed. Start on the sleeves first. Do one sleeve and then do the other slave. Once you’re done with the second sleeve, flip over the first sleeve, so the other side faces you, but do not let it overlap on to the second sleeve. Spray the underside of the sleeve and then flip over the second sleeve and spray that too. 

Don’t forget to spray the hood and around the zipper. Many ski jackets have zippers with waterproof stitching, so water cannot seep through, but extra waterproof coating never hurts. 

When you’re done

After you’re thoroughly sprayed the entire outer jacket, leave it in a well-ventilated area by itself. Do not leave the treated jacket in the sunlight. It normally takes anywhere from 24 to 36 hours for the waterproof spray to dry completely. Once twenty-four hours pass, you can wear your jacket again, but you may be seriously put off from wearing it because of the intense smell. 

Don’t worry, the smell will go away, but it will take another 48 hours. From the moment you apply the spray onto your jacket, it takes about three days for the odor to dissipate completely. 

 I recommend that you test your reproofed jacket in the rain or the snow before you take it on your next skiing trip. The last, and worst, thing a skier needs is to realize that their jacket is allowing water through to the under layers of their clothing, especially if they are in Sub-Zero degree temperatures.

Conclusion

Every skier should know how to re-waterproof their ski jacket. A ski jacket has to be reproofed every 3 to 4 months, so it is pretty much a necessary skill. Act as if you are spraying a wall with spray paint, and you won’t need to practice how to spray waterproof your jacket. It doesn’t take much time, although it will take about three days for the jacket to dry and the smell to dissipate. Along with reproofing your jacket every once in a while, you must treat your jacket and remove any dirt or grime that gathers on the fabric whenever you are finished using it for the day. Caring for your jacket well will make it last for years, and it will keep you warm and comfortable throughout your adventures on the slopes.

Categories: How to

Harry Sowers

Harry has been skiing and snowboarding since he was a boy growing up outside of Denver Colorado. He is most passionate about skiing and when he was in college a UC Boulder he even participated in the olympic trials for the USA Olympic Downhill Ski team.