Any hunter, hiker or other outdoor enthusiast knows that their boots, shoes and even their tent need to be waterproof. With shoes, even if they are initially waterproofed, the waterproofing will wear off long before the leather of the boot wears out. The solution is to use a waterproofing spray.
We scoured the market for good waterproofing sprays to find an option that was proven, worked on a variety of fabrics, and was relatively easy to use (although sometimes it's worth the extra effort and time). . These are the main candidates that we found on the market this year.
The 3 best waterproofing sprays
direct nikwax TXspray
The best waterproofing spray forBergschuheit prevents the fabric of the boot from absorbing water while the fabric retains its breathability. When you work hard or play hard, it's your feetprobably sweat. This sweat has to evaporate from your skin or you will be miserable. Simply locking moisture and warmth into your shoes is really doing yourself a disservice as your feet will get sweaty and wet anyway. Your boots need to breathe to allow sweat to evaporate, and Nikwax creates a waterproof layer that keeps water out without compromising the fabric's ability to breathe.
This Nikwax product is a simple spray that can be air dried. Many waterproofing sprays require the fabric to be tumble dried after the waterproofing agent has been applied. This is not practical when waterproofing boots and some older fabrics could be damaged by the heat of a tumble dryer.
This is a non-hazardous and environmentally friendly product. It is water based and in a non-aerosol packaging. Nikwax is also non-flammable, VOC-free and 100% fluorocarbon-free.
The spray is easy to apply and dries quickly. Simply spray it onto the fabric in an even layer. After waiting 2 minutes, you can wipe away any excess product that has not been absorbed by the fabric. Wait a few more minutes and check again that there is no excess product. After that, you should let the fabric dry completely before putting it on. It's the fastest drying spray on the list, which can be a huge benefit for some people.
Find Nikwax Spray on Amazon here.
KIWI Camp Dry water-repellent
KIWI Camp Dry Water Repellent is an excellent waterproofing substance for nylon, canvas and functional fabrics such as Gore-Tex, fleece and more. It is absolutely perfect for tents.
This product dries on fabric without leaving a lingering odor making it good for hunting wear and for people who may be sensitive to chemical odours. When drying we have no odor orresidue on our boots.
The Camp Dry is dependable and many of the outdoor enthusiasts we know wear it as a staple of their wardrobe. Restores the waterproofing of many of the fabrics we rely on for our outdoor clothing. It also helps repel dirt and grime from clothing, keeping fabrics looking their best for longer. It does not tend to stain fabrics or darken after application.
Like Nikwax, it offers good breathability so sweat and moisture don't accumulate.
Make sure the item you want to waterproof is clean and dry. Spray Camp Dry evenly onto the item, then allow to air dry for an hour. Repeat the application process for maximum coverage.
This is probably the product we would also recommend for tents as it seems delicate and odor free on so many different types of fabric. If you need to give your tent fly a lift, this would be our top choice.
Find Kiwi Camp Dry here on Amazon.
Grangers Performance Repel Waterproofing Spray
Grangers Performance Repel Waterproof Spray is a great repellent for all performance and athletic wear. It's especially effective on Gore-Tex when you need to give it a waterproofing boost. Can be used to help waterproofand windproof clothing, tents, sleeping bags and other outdoor gear - not just for boots.
This product leaves no odor, making it ideal for hunters and sports enthusiasts. It also won't cause your garment to change color or become shinier. A safe, water-based product, it contains no harmful ingredients that can affect the environment, is non-flammable, and is free of fluorocarbons and VOCs.
The app is a bit different here. You actually want to apply it to damp clothing or fabric (usually the clothing needs to be dry). Then let it dry and can heat it while drying if the garment allows it. Nothing crazy, but a tumble dryer on low heat would bake the dew.
Find Farmers Repel here on Amazon.
Frequently asked questions about waterproof spray
Are these waterproofing agents safe for leather?
These waterproofing agents are safe to use on leather goods. They are usually applied to garments that are a combination of leather and fabric, as leather is most effectively impregnated by the application of waxes and creams. In fact, we like to use them in our favoritewaterproof hiking shoeswhich consist almost exclusively of high-quality leather. If you have a garment or shoe made out of specialty leather or suede, you might want to do a little testing before going all out. But if the main goal is to make something waterproof, go for it!
Can I use the spray to waterproof a tent?
Generally yes. You may want to use the recommended kiwifruit spray as it tends to dry up without smell or odor and we've found it works particularly welltents. Just follow the directions on the can. The two parts of a tent that really need to be waterproof are usually the groundsheet and rainsheet. It's also not a bad idea to reapply every year or so. A wet tent is no fun!
How many times can you use a can?
It depends on the product. The products come in different sized cans, so each product covers a different amount of fabric. The number of applications is also affected by the density at which you spray the product onto the fabric and the type of fabric the product is sprayed onto. Some fabrics require a small amount of spray to restore their waterproofing ability, while other fabrics will absorb large amounts of product before reaching their full waterproofing ability.
How long should an impregnation last?
We recommend repeating it at least once a year. If the shoes or clothing you are applying the waterproofing product to are in good condition, you should be able to waterproof them once a season. For items that are very seasonal, like ski gear that you wear in winter orhunting bootswho will not be deployed until the fall, it is better to reapply a few days or weeks before the season than at the end of the previous season.
If you wear your clothes or boots all year round, you should reapply the products at least every three to four months. If you wear the garments frequently and expose them to large amounts of water, you may want to reapply the waterproofer every few weeks. It all depends on how often you wear the garment and how often the garment is exposed to water for long periods of time.
How long should I let it dry?
The drying time depends on the product, the air temperature and humidity in your area and how thick you apply the product. Most of these products dry to the touch in a few minutes to an hour. Once the item is dry to the touch, it should be left undisturbed for a period of 6-12 hours to allow the waterproofing agent to fully cure before exposing it to water.
If you live in a very humid climate, the product will take longer to dry on your items. It will also take much longer to dry the product if the air temperature is below 500F.
You can place a fan where it blows on your shoes and that can reduce the time it takes your shoes or boots to dry. Do not place shoes or boots in front of an electric heater or fireplace, and do not try to dry them faster with hot air from a hair dryer.
You can also ball up newspaper and place it inside the shoe to prevent moisture from entering the shoes while the product is going through the drying process.
Do I have to apply multiple layers?
No, but it's not a bad idea. Some of the waterproofing products recommend applying more than one coat for maximum effect. These products are designed to be applied in thin coats and allowed time to dry before applying another coat. You can skip applying more than one coat, but to ensure you create a waterproof seal, it's best to follow the manufacturer's directions and apply as many coats as they recommend.
The same impregnation results cannot be achieved by applying a thicker layer of product. By applying a thin layer and then adding another thin layer, you build a barrier that lasts longer.
Do these sprays work on ski wear?
Yes, in our opinion, ski clothing is one of the top users of impregnation spray. There is nothing worse than a ski jacket or ski pants losing their waterproofness. It only takes one warm winter day and you get wet. Treating clothing with a waterproofing spray extends its lifespan. If the clothing requires frequent repeat treatments, you should consider buying a new garment.
Do you have any other application tips for impregnation?
Wear it on a sunny summer day if you can. What we love to do is take out all of our gear that might need a waterproofing or touch up, display it on a driveway or sidewalk and go crazy with it all. If it's a nice sunny day with a temperature of around 65 degrees F or higher you can definitely have a very quick dry cycle and reapply as often as needed over the course of several hours. Make sure you put whatever you have sprayed in direct sunlight, rotate once and then reapply. With this method we can apply 3-4 applications over the course of a day.
The only other tip is to make sure whatever you spray is very clean. The cleanup only takes a few minutes and makes a huge difference to your bottom line. For example, if you spray a dirty boot, the waterproofing agent will stick to the dirt and not the boot. The result is a waterproof film that peels off the next time dirt is rubbed off the boot.
How effective is waterproofing spray? ›
A waterproof spray made from quality ingredients and nanotechnology can protect an item for more than a year especially when the items are not exposed to water, frequent washing or constant dry cleaning. After several washes, you can just waterproof it again to make sure that it can still be protected and use it again.What is the best waterproofing product? ›
Polyurethane is considered one of the best waterproofing materials. It can be applied seamlessly and penetrates the surface deeply and evenly. Thus, the polyurethane membrane will fill in even the finest cracks in concrete, reducing its water absorbency capacity.Is there a spray to make things waterproof? ›
You can use Bickmore waterproofing spray on various objects and materials, including leather, suede, boots, shoes, luggage, and more. It also protects against dirt and stains for an all-in-one spray treatment.
That's exactly what Grangers Performance Repel Plus, a non-aerosol spray from the British brand, did for an older pair of rain pants that were wetting out. In fact, the waterproofing on these pants was better after applying this spray than it was before. The sprayer works well so application is easy.
|Waterproof Rating (mm)||Level of Water Resistance|
|20,000mm +||Highest resistance|
Polyurethane liquid membrane method of waterproofing is used for the flat roof area and exposed to weathering. This waterproofing method is expensive.Is waterproof spray permanent? ›
Please note: There is no such thing as a permanent water repellent finish. Re-waterproofing is necessary to extend the life of your water repellent gear, unless you want to get soaked with water while wearing your jacket.What is the difference between water sealer and Waterproofer? ›
Sealers and waterproofers perform similar functions, but they differ slightly in how they work. A wood or concrete sealer will protect the surface. Waterproofers are more durable than sealants because they penetrate the surface, filling in leaks or gaps.Is there anything better than Scotchgard? ›
Maker suggests a green protectant called Vectra, which is similar to Scotchgard but made with gentler ingredients. She says it's the leading choice for green furniture protection because it's silicone free, fluorocarbon free, and safe for everything from suede to microfiber.How do you completely waterproof fabric? ›
To waterproof natural fabric like cotton, denim, or canvas, give it a thorough rubdown with a bar of Otter Wax. The wax won't leave any residue, but will stiffen and darken the fabric to give it a rugged appearance: We recommend denim shirts, work jackets, and old canvas weekenders.
Is there anything truly waterproof? ›
Plastic, glass, even solid steel are all permeable to a small degree. From a purely scientific point of view, it is correct to say that nothing is absolutely waterproof. The American Concrete Institute agrees.Does Nikwax actually work? ›
All Nikwax treatments are very effective and last a long time. If the item in question has been treated properly first using Nikwax Tech Wash and then with the appropriate waterproofing treatment then you should be able to wash it between 4 – 6 times with Tech wash before it will need to be waterproofed again.How long does waterproof spray take to work? ›
Some of the best waterproofing sprays take about an hour or two to dry. However, others take as long as 48 hours. On average, waterproofing sprays designed for light use on clothing, shoes, and similar gear takes about 2 to 8 hours to dry up.How good is 20K waterproofing? ›
Higher numbers mean more water resistant fabric. A fabric rated 20k for waterproofness resists approximately 66 feet of liquid stacked up in that 1-inch square tube before any seepage begins.
Most are about 2 to 4mm thick. There are essentially 2 types of membranes, sheet based membranes and liquid applied membranes. Ideally, a waterproofing membrane should be strong, flexible, tear-resistant and elastic so that it can stretch to cover cracks and also move with the building.What is the best time for waterproofing? ›
Post-monsoon conditions allow the repair and waterproofing work to progress quickly and smoothly, giving you long-term results.What is the new technology in waterproofing? ›
Nano technology in waterproofing
Many nanotech solutions have made their way into everyday life – one of the most prominent being the use of ceramic coating for waterproofing. Nano coating is hydrophobic (water repellent), oleo phobic (oil repellent) surface layer that repels water, oil, dirt, and other dry particles.
- Polyurethane Laminate (PUL)
- Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU)
- Extra-Long-Staple (ELS Cotton)
- Polyester and Nylon.
- Latex and Natural Rubber.
While basic waterproofing membranes should last at least ten years, they can last much longer given the right choice and circumstances. Conversely, poor quality waterproofing will rarely last the distance.How long does Nikwax waterproofing last? ›
Items that are properly treated (pre-washed with Nikwax Tech Wash, then treated with an appropriate Nikwax proofer such as Nikwax TX. Direct) will withstand 4 to 6 washes using Tech Wash. For an average use of outdoor clothing we recommend that you wash and re-proof your gear at least once a year.
How often do you use waterproof spray? ›
We recommend refreshing your shoes' waterproof coat after every 7-10 wears during winter. You should also apply a fresh treatment after each intensive wet cleaning.Is spray-on waterproofing better than wash in? ›
Both Nikwax wash-in and spray-on treatments work equally well, the main difference is in ease of application and which types of garment they suit.What is the best basement waterproofing products? ›
When sealing basement floors and foundation walls the best concrete sealers to use are the Lithi-Tek 4500 primer followed by the Siloxa-Tek 8510 waterproofing sealer. If you are going to be installing flooring in the basement, it is best to use a moisture vapor barrier coating like the Vapor-Tek 440.Which is the cheapest basement waterproofing method? ›
Paint: The easiest and usually least expensive option for waterproofing is painting the interior walls and floor of the basement with a waterproof paint. These paints are typically acrylic-based and adhere well while also creating a barrier against water.What is the best basement waterproofing method? ›
Interior Water Drainage – This method is one of the most effective water proofing solutions. The installation of a drainage system will help avoid water build up. The drainage system moves the water from the footers of the foundation and out below the basement floor.What are the 4 steps to waterproofing? ›
- Smooth the Substrate.
- Clean the Substrate.
- Apply the Waterproofing Membrane.
- Test for Leaks.
Waterproofing is applied and leaks are fixed by caulking. Caulking is the sealing process that uses ready-mixed materials such as silicone, polyurethane, polysulfide, or polyurethane and acrylic sealant.How long does Thompson Water Seal last? ›
Water Seal can only be used on bare and uncoated brick, stone or concrete. How long will Water Seal last? If applied correctly, Water Seal will last up to 4 years.Why was Scotchgard discontinued? ›
Several years ago, a worldwide health alert was issued stating that the main ingredients in Scotchgard were potentially toxic chemicals. These ingredients were found in human tissue, wildlife and the environment.What should you not Scotchgard? ›
In general, Scotchgard™ Fabric -Water Shield can be used on cotton, polyester, silk, wool, acrylic, nylon, and most other washable fabrics. Do not use on “X” coded fabric (fabric that cannot be cleaned with water or solvents). You can find this code on the tag sewn into your fabric item.
Did 3M stop making Scotchgard? ›
3M WITHDRAWS SCOTCHGUARD RANGE AFTER ENVIRONMENT FEARS. US conglomerate 3M, the Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company, which makes Post-It notes, Scotch Tape and a wide range of other consumer and industrial brands, announced yesterday that it is to cease production of Scotchgard stain-resistant sprays.Does waterproof spray work on fabric? ›
For untextured materials, fabrics like nylon, leather, and canvas, a basic waterproofing spray will work fine.Is it possible to make fabric waterproof? ›
But, if you're a die-hard do-it-yourselfer and you'd like to waterproof your fabrics the old-fashioned way, you can seal the deal with one tried-and-true ingredient: wax. One hundred years ago, wax was the go-to substance for waterproofing fabric.Can you coat fabric to make it waterproof? ›
In general, use a ratio of 2:1 wax to drying oil. Once the mixture begins to harden, use a spatula or popsicle stick to spread the mixture on the fabric you want to waterproof. Use a fabric made of natural fibers; natural fibers such as cotton are hollow, which allows them to absorb the waterproofing mixture.What can I use to make material waterproof? ›
- Using Waterproofing Sprays and Seam Sealers.
- Using Laundry Detergent and Alum.
- Using Turpentine and Soybean Oil.
- Using Iron-On Vinyl.
- Rubbing Wax onto Fabric.
- Using Linseed Oil.
Gorilla Fabric Glue & More is a 100% waterproof, no sew solution for hems, embellishments, trim and more! Formulated to bond fabric, and hard-to-hold embellishments, Gorilla Fabric Glue & More provides a fast setting, permanent bond that remains flexible after washing.How do you make fabric waterproof and stiff? ›
A water-repellent adhesive such as Glue/PVA glue can help you make fabric stiff and waterproof. Apply the adhesive to one side of the fabric, then press it against the surface you want to attach it to. Let the glue dry for a few minutes before peeling off any excess tape or paper backing.Is spray on waterproofing better than wash in? ›
Both Nikwax wash-in and spray-on treatments work equally well, the main difference is in ease of application and which types of garment they suit.How Long Does liquid waterproofing last? ›
While basic waterproofing membranes should last at least ten years, they can last much longer given the right choice and circumstances. Conversely, poor quality waterproofing will rarely last the distance.