Earlier this year, when it was still snowing outside I received two of the newest products from Kiwi Camp Dry, both the Performance Fabric Protector and the Heavy Duty Water Repellent. These two products are designed not only to protect your clothes, boots, tents, and sleeping bags, from water and dirt by “defying the elements”, but can also to extend the lifetime of your gear for relatively little cost.
The Performance Fabric protector is designed to repel water, dirt and stains. The spray is quick to dry, contains no silicone, and will protect your garments without discolouration and without sacrificing breathability. The fabric protector can be used on any synthetic fabrics including nylon and even Gore-Tex®. Use it to protect your outdoor furniture, boat covers, fleece hats, gloves, and even your kids clothing can benefit from an added layer of stain protection.
To test this product I chose to use it on my Misty Mountain soft shell jacket that is made of polyester and designed to be water resistant and breathable. I know from my experience in Algonquin Park that in a light rain the water can be repelled for about an hour before the rain will start to be absorb through to the inner layer that touches your skin, but in heavy rain it might only be minutes. I also know that if you come home clean from a camping trip you weren’t having enough fun out there and I had my fair share of stains and mud to wash out of my jacket.
Knowing how my jacket already performs under these conditions I took it outside in to my backyard and gave it a good healthy dosing of Kiwi Camp Dry. You’ll of course want your garment or fabric to be both clean and dry and it’s highly recommended that you do this outside or in a well ventilated place, the propellent smells like butane and is no doubt extremely flammable- so no sparks or flames nearby please!
Hold the can about 7-10″ away from the fabric and give all parts a healthy coating. I gave the seams of my jacket some extra passes as these can often be areas where moisture and dirt can become trapped. The fabric will take on a slightly darker “wet” look, but don’t worry, the colour will return to normal once it’s finished drying. Put the freshly treated garment in a well ventilated area where it can dry, but do not use a fan or any kind of forced air to dry it as this will just cause dust and other airborne particles to attach to the fabric before it dries. While drying the butane smell is still very apparent, so you might want to let this dry off in your garage or basement away from everyone
The first thing I noticed after protecting my jacket with Kiwi Camp Dry was that the overall waterproof performance of the garment increased dramatically in light to medium rain/snow fall, which is really what the jacket is intended for, in heavy rainfall the garment may have held out for an extra minute but I was probably soaked just as quickly as before. Even with the occasional precipitation on my trip to Algonquin, I found that water would often get matted in areas where the jacket folded on to itself, mostly around the wrist and elbow areas, which can be very uncomfortable when you’re paddling or casting all day. This was not a problem with the fabric protector as most of the water would bead and fall off with any quick and sharp motion, in a way the fabric protector actually increased the comfort of my jacket.
After getting home from one of my first trips with a nice section of dried clay and mud on my backside, not to mention a good healthy dose of exploded roe bags all over my frontside, I took it upon myself to test the stain resistance of my jacket since the application of Kiwi Dry. To clean all the dried mess off my jacket I wiped it down with a wet wash cloth with a tiny bit of dish soap. The remnants of roe were easily dispatched with only a few wipes, the mud and clay took much more scrubbing and I found that crumpling the jacket in those places got the majority of the caked on stuff off. After a few minutes of attention and some more hot water on my dish rag the mud and clay was clean and I left my jacket to dry. In both cases there were no noticeable stains or marks left on my jacket.
While I did take a few pictures of the cleaning process they did not come out as well as I hoped and the series had more of a bad infomercial feel so I have excluded them. Please take my word for it, I’m a messy man when it comes to the outdoors, and because of the Kiwi Camp Dry fabric protector I can still wear my jacket on everyday activities including going to work.
Kiwi Camp Dry Performance Fabric Protector works exactly as advertised protecting synthetic fabrics from water and dirt. The large bottle is capable of fully coating a large mens jacket about 2-3 times.
Even with the stain guarding effects of the performance fabric protector, some stains (and smells) are better left to the washing machine. After several long fishing trips in the early spring, we had one or two trips in a row that were so wet and muddy that I had no choice but to put my jacket in to the washing machine. I was a bit worried that this would ruin the overall protection of the garment, but at the same time I had no other choice and this served as a good test for the overall durability of the protector.
After having the fabric protector applied only once, about 3 weeks prior, and being sent through the washing machine (but not the dryer) a few times I found that the overall protection of the garment may have decreased slightly. The water protection may have suffered in that I noticed less beading during a short rainstorm the following week, but the stain protection doesn’t seem to have suffered at all as I was able to clean some pretty messy river clay off with ease.
After several long and rainy fishing trips, and even a trip through the washing machine I can still tell the fabric protector is working. Depending on the amount of usage your garment sees you may want to re-apply the protector throughout the year.
The large can that I had costs about 10 bucks, and considering that it’s capable of fully coating a large mens jacket about 2-3 times you could effectively stretch out one can to do an entire trips worth of clothing and gear. When you also factor in that protecting your performance fabric garments from water and stains can greatly extend the life of your gear $10 is a solid investment.
For less than $10 you can get a large can capable of treating a backpack full of gear.
To put it simply the Kiwi Camp Dry Fabric Protector does exactly what it says it will do- protect your performance fabrics from water and stains- and does so at a very competitive price. If you’re going to spend your hard earned money on a nice jacket or garment that’s going to be exposed to the elements applying Kiwi Camp Dry Fabric Protector is like buying an extended warranty- one you’d be a fool not to take.
Kiwi Camp Dry Fabric Protector is like an extended warranty for your gear.