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Waterproofing (again)

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  • Waterproofing (again)

    Looking for some feedback on waterproofing. I know there are some old threads, but I figured there are enough new opinions to make it worth discussing again.

    I have several items I would like to waterproof or re-waterproof. In the past I have had only minimal short term success with store bought sprays. I saw a couple of videos on YouTube showing silicone RTV thinned with Naptha or mineral spirits and then soaking items in a bucket. I think this might work well for a couple of stuff sacks that I have that were never waterproof in the first place. I can see how the mixture would wick into the fabric and seal it well.

    With previously coated material, I'm not so sure. I'm a bit worried that I would be mostly adding an exterior coating that would easily flake off. In addition to not wicking in, nothing really sticks to silicone, including silicone.

    I am also a bit concerned about the solvents attacking the synthetic materials. Canvas and cotton can handle it fine, but I'm not sure about sil-nylon or polyurethane.

    Any thoughts?

  • #2
    I'm not a fan of re-waterproofing waterproof-breathable fabrics after the DWR fails, or trying to waterproof fabrics that weren't intended to be waterproof.

    My recommendation is to use fabrics with no DWR. That includes both non-breathable fabrics such as those in the Lightheart Gear jacket, or breathable fabrics with no DWR such as the Columbia Outdry Extreme fabrics.

    For tents, I have never needed to re-waterproof the basic silnylon fly. At most, I use a bit of silicone to seal the seams.

    Inexpensive, lightweight dry bags are available, and I use them instead of trying to waterproof regular stuff sacks. Check out the Outdoor Products set of 3 dry bag stuff sacks, which I use for quilts and sleeping clothes.