Everyone who does a lot of hiking and camping will have their favorite pieces of gear, whether its a tent, jacket or sleeping bag. In order to ensure that your gear lasts, you need to take good care of it, regardless of whether it is down-filled gear, merino wool mid-layer clothing or anything else. And with the advance of technology, camping and hiking gear has evolved from older heavier fabrics to lighter synthetic ones that require special attention and care.
In recent years, Nikwax has made an entry on to the scene, helping protect expensive gear and making it last longer.
Nikwax Wool Wash
The Nikwax Wool Wash is being seen as a great product as it is easier to use, safer on woolens and fine Merino garments. It extends durability of your gear by reducing friction between fibers. The garments become soft, accumulated adventure odors vanish, the natural wicking properties of its base layers are revitalized and breathability is increased. Moreover, it is non-flammable, biodegradable and does not contain volatile organic compounds. Nikwax Wool Wash can be used in a washing machine, is suitable for all fabrics and is environmentally friendly.
I’m a big fan of Icebreaker’s merino wool clothing, and have a handful of ‘go-to’ layers I use for running. There is one Icebreaker shirt I’ve had for a few years, and have worn for more times while running than I care to admit. I know merino wool has naturally anti-microbial properties that keep smells away, but after a few years this particular shirt wasn’t smelling so fresh after coming out the wash anymore. I was curious to see how it would be after a run through the wash with Nikwax Wool Wash and I was very impressed. The smell was completely gone, and the material actually looked and felt a lot newer.
Nikwax Down Wash
Nikwax Down Wash is equally effective. Down filled items provide insulation by trapping the air between its filaments. When it is used over and over again the outer fabric attracts dirt, water and other particles that make their way into the down. This makes the down to clump together and when this happens, it fails to trap air and thus loses its insulating properties. Nikwax Down Wash prevents this from happening. It prevents water absorption, revitalizes insulation and repels water.
Apart from not leaving any residue after the washes, the products actually help to remove detergent residue from previous washes that used soap and water. They are said to be odor-free and are environmentally friendly.
So both the products appear to be very useful in their own way. While Nikwax Wool Wash is a great way to get woolen stuff clean without damaging the garments, Down Wash improves the performance and durability of sleeping bags and other apparel. They have a line of products for other materials as well but I haven’t personally tested them.
After using Nikwax a few times for my gear I’d recommend the products for hikers, campers and outdoor enthusiasts who want their gear to last longer and perform better.