Properly caring for outerwear is a subject many people have questions about–from folks who casually engage in outdoor activities to the most-dedicated dirtbags. As proud providers of high-quality outerwear, we figured that providing guidance on how to care for your outerwear–from washing to waterproofing, patching, and managing odor–will help elongate the life of your most-valued shell jacket, bibs, snow pants, or down insulator!
To Wash or Not To Wash is Often a Question
Many hardcore skiers will tell you that washing your jacket or pants serves little purpose other than to degrade the outerwear at an expedited rate. We’re here to debunk that theory! As a matter of fact, failing to wash your outerwear is more likely to deteriorate your outerwear faster! Whether you’ve brushed against the outside of your car a few too many times while getting your skis off your rack, broke a sweat while wearing one of your garments on a ski tour or warm ski day, or otherwise, substances like dirt and salt (even from sweat) are actually corrosive to your garment, can deteriorate their water repellant properties, and can make them less breathable over time. In order to preserve the Durable Water Repellent (DWR) coating on your garments, there are ways that you can, and should, improve the water resistance and cleanliness of your jacket after it gets dirty at home!
The approach to caring for your outerwear is dependent, however, upon what outer material and insulation your jacket has. Hard shells with high-level EXO Shield or Gore-Tex should be zipped, fully, and washed with like material. If you have it, use a DWR-replenishing wash such as those made by Nikwax, and hang to dry after. If you are using normal detergent (which will help your jacket as well), use a light amount.
For jackets containing synthetic insulation–the most common kind of winter jacket–follow the same washing procedures by zipping up the jacket, washing with like material, and using DWR-replenishing wash if you have it. For drying these jackets, be sure to dry on a cool cycle and hang to dry after if need be.
For down-insulated jackets–ones filled with goose down–follow the same procedures as synthetically insulated jackets. Because down has a tendency to clump together when wet, we suggest throwing two to three tennis balls in the dryer with the jacket to fluff it while drying, and hanging to dry if need be after!
Patch it, don’t ditch it!
Synthetic fabrics like polyester and nylon are amazing for their lightweight, water-resistant, and packable properties. When you’re using your garments regularly, however, they can get snagged on a sharp corner, have a hot ember from a campfire land unknowingly and burn a small hole, or the areas their most worn–or, as we like to say, loved–can eventually break down. This doesn’t always mean it’s time for a new jacket, though!
Patching small tears or holes on your Sanction Shell, Windom Down Jacket, or other Spyder garment can give it life for much longer! Adhesive patches, such as those made by NOSO will allow the garment to retain most of the properties that make it a go-to piece in the wardrobe.
When the odors are trapped in, air it out!
It may sound overly-simplistic, but unzipping a garment and hanging it in a dry place can do wonders. This allows the moisture that typically causes odors to develop to be released, and, after a few hours, your jacket will be smell-free!
We can help...
If you need help with a warranty, or a return, have a look at our Returns and warranties page for more information here.