Best Waterproof Spray for Jackets (Buying Guide)
Waterproof jackets are an essential hiking item. Whether it’s a fold-up waterproof coat or poncho, just in case a shower hits, or your trusty waterproof jacket that you take with you on every winter hike, you need to take care of them.
After a while, even the most heavy-duty waterproof jackets can lose their waterproofness, and start to absorb water. If this happens, you will need to reproof your raincoat, the most popular and easiest method being via waterproof spray. But which is the best waterproof spray for jackets?
In this article, we will go through our recommendations for the top waterproof spray for jackets on Amazon. However, you need to know a few things before you start. It’s imperative that you waterproof your jacket in the right way to avoid getting soaked by a shower on your next hike. The first thing you need to do is wash your waterproof jacket before you use the spray.
Dirt and oil can help to clog up the fabric of your jacket, and it’s breathable membrane, making it harder to re-spray the jacket and make it waterproofed again. Make sure you ask your waterproof jacket with a specialist performance cleaner, not household detergent, before applying the waterproof spray.
The reason why waterproof spray is preferable to other waterproofing agents, such as wash in proofer, is because of how easy it is to apply. All you need to do is hang the coat up so it has room to breathe, on a clothesline for example, with no need to use the washing machine. Then spray the jacket evenly, making sure you have an even coating on all areas of the jacket.
It’s recommended for parts of your jacket that experience extra wear, like the elbows and shoulders, to apply a second coat of spray. And then all you need to do is allow the jacket to dry naturally: simple! So, which is the best waterproof spray for jackets?
Best Waterproof Spray for Jackets – Overview
1. Nikwax TX.Direct Spray-On Waterproofing
- LONG-LASTING HEAT - The high capacity, insulated 11-liter soft Helio tank heats water using sunlight; Heated water stays piping hot for hours so you can clean up on your schedule
If you’re looking for reliability in your waterproof spray, then go with Nikwax. They have been pioneers in the waterproofing area, since their creation in 1977, and are widely believed to be the best product out there when it comes to waterproofing jackets, or any outdoor gear. Their direct spray-on waterproofing product will restore the DWR water-repellency of your jacket, whilst also reviving the breathability of all waterproof garments.
This is of vital importance when it comes to waterproofing sprays: although the priority is to regain the waterproofness of the garment, it’s key that it still maintains or improves the breathability of the fabric, so you are still comfortable as you hike in it.
Another benefit of Nikwax, except for brand recognition, is that they’re very eco-friendly. This product is water-based, biodegradable, and contains no PFCs, VOCs, optical brighteners, or added scent. Thus the product itself is neutral for the environment.
Nikwax have always avoided using aerosol cans, because of the environmental impact. They are also the only company in this area to have carbon balanced their operation for the last 40 years. So if it’s important for you to do good by the environment while enjoying it, Nikwax might be for you.
- Brand recognition
- 3 sizes
- Spray-on application
- Can cover multiple items of clothing
- Drips slightly on application
- Could have an effect on the color of the jacket
2. Scotchgard Outdoor Water Shield, 10.5-Ounce
This reliable waterproof spray from Scotchgard creates a durable water barrier that keeps clothing and gear drier longer. One benefit of this product is that you don’t just need to use it on your rain jacket. While you’re at it, you could waterproof your tent, backpack, sleeping bags, and other outdoors hiking kit with the same bottle. However, this bottle is only meant to waterproof one coat, so this might not be the most cost-effective way to waterproof your entire outdoors kit.
Another benefit of this product is that it dries quickly. If you have forgotten to waterproof your jacket before a big hike, and you’re running low on time, this could be a great option for you. However, part of the reason why it dries so quickly is because this product is an aerosol.
This is great for saving time, and makes the application really easy, as you can cover the entire jacket evenly with no issues. However, this isn’t the most environmentally friendly option as aerosol cans are really hard to recycle. It also means that the product itself doesn’t’ go as far.
- Heady duty coverage
- Can be used on multiple products like tents and backpacks
- Dries quickly
- Easy to apply in aerosol can
- Not enough in the can to waterproof entire outdoors kit
- The aerosol can is not environmentally friendly
3. Sno-Seal 3.5. oz. (100 gram) with applicator Waterproofing
If you’re looking to waterproof a leather rain jacket, then a great choice is the Sno-Seal. This product is perfectly designed for the outdoors, and keeps leather supple without weakening it like other waterproof sprays. It both lubricates and conditions leather without softening it, and as the name suggests, prepared you for both heavy rain and snowstorms! Another benefit is that it doesn’t interfere with the natural breathability of the leather, which is necessary for your comfort on a long hike. This also makes it a great option for leather hiking boots.
Another benefit of this product is that it’s made from beeswax. The beeswax formula dries to a solid wax that “stays put” in the surface of the leather so it lasts longer, meaning that this solution is really hardy. However, it’s not that appropriate for other materials than leather, which is what most of us wear as hiking jackets. For your leather hiking boots, this might be the best option for you, but for breathable hiking jackets that aren’t made for leather, there might be another product better suited to your needs.
- Excellent, heavy-duty product for leather jackets
- Lubricates and conditions leather without softening it
- Perfect for leather hiking boots
- Doesn’t work too well on non-leather hiking jackets like from Gore-tex
- Can darken the leather
4. Kiwi Camp Dry Water Repellent Performance Fabric Protector, 10.5 oz 3 Pack
- Non-silicone polymer. Repels water, dirt, and oil stains from all types of fabric and apparel, including performance fabrics (Gore-Tex)
If cost-effectiveness is your number one, and if you’re looking to waterproof all your kit, or waterproof jackets for the whole family, then an option like this from Kiwi could be ideal. This packet of 3 cans contains a non-silicone polymer that repels water, dirt, and oil stains from all types of fabric and apparel, including performance fabrics like Gore-Tex. One of the benefits of this product is that it maintains the appearance of all your outdoor clothing, and doesn’t lead to discoloration. You can use this spray on all your outdoor apparel such as coats, jackets, fleeces, hats, gloves, ski coats and light-colored footwear.
This product comes in an aerosol can which means it goes on quickly and evenly. However, as we have previously noted, aerosol cans aren’t that environmentally friendly. However, this product has a new can and cap design which delivers greater sustainability and contains less steel and plastic. Even though this pack contains three cans of waterproof spray, each can will only cover a few items of clothing, leading to more waste too.
- Heavy-duty waterproof agent
- Can waterproof all of your outdoor clothing
- Three can pack
- Quick and even application
- Aerosol cans mean this isn’t the most environmentally friendly option
- Can can leak
- Sometimes spray levers are faulty
5. Gear Aid Revivex Durable Water Repellent (DWR) Spray for Reproofing Jackets
- Restore water repellency on GORE-TEX jackets, bibs, ski pants, gloves, drysuits and waders; add repellency to nylon tent flies, down jackets and backpacks
This product by Gear Aid uses Durable Water Repellant or DWR. DWR is a coating often added to fabrics in the factory to make them water-repellent. If you have a heavy-duty raincoat or jacket already, chances are it’s covered in DWR. Therefore, you can know that this waterproof spray is heavy-duty, as it’s using industry-standard repellant. Because DWR wears off never time, it’s necessary to apply the waterproof spray, to reproof your raincoat, like this one from Gear Aid.
One benefit of using a DWR spray is that it maximizes on the breathability of the fabric, while bringing back optimum waterproofness. It also works on many different types of water-repellant fabric, including Gore-Tex, eVent, NeoShell and even bibs, ski pants, gloves, drysuits, and waders; as far as other parts of your kit like nylon tent flies, down jackets and backpacks. Another benefit of this product is that it’s long-lasting, meaning you should only have to re-treat your jacket once a year, depending on how often you are using it.
- Uses DWR
- Can be used to reproof tents
- Maximizes on the breathability of the fabric
- Long Lasting
- Aerosol can
- Not very eco-friendly
6. Grangers Performance Repel Plus / Waterproofing Spray for Outerwear / 9.3 oz
- HIGH PERFORMANCE WATERPROOFING of technical, performance, sports, waterproof/windproof, eVent & Gore-Tex fabrics, softshell, fleece, down outerwear and equipment
Grangers Performance Repel Plus is a high-performance spray-on product designed to restore the water-repellent finish found on all outdoor and technical clothing. You can use it on multiple different products and fabrics like technical, performance, sports, waterproof/ windproof fabrics, eVent & Gore-Tex fabrics, softshell, fleece, down fabrics and items, and even equipment like for reproofing tents.
But applying this product works slightly differently from others. This product is ideally applied to damp garments. It sprays on easily and provides maximum protection when heat activated in the dryer, so make sure not to forget this in your re-proofing process!
One unique factor of this product is that it adds not scent or optimal brightness to your jacket. This may seem like a miscellaneous piece of information to a hiker. But if you also use your waterproof jacket for hunting, then you’ll know this is a plus. When hunting, it’s imperative to remain as hidden a camouflaged as possible, and not to give any scents that might notify an animal as to your presence. This product is also in a spray, rather than an aerosol, and is Bluesign certified environmentally friendly.
- Works on waterproof and windproof fabrics
- High performance
- No scent, good for hunters
- Is applied differently
7. Star Brite Waterproofing Spray, Waterproofer + Stain Repellent + UV Protection
- Waterproofing + UV & stain protection for boat covers, car covers, bimini tops, sail covers, tents, jackets, backpacks, boots, awnings & patio covers
This waterproof spray from Starbrite has a few notable features which some of the other products are lacking. If you’re looking for your waterproof spray to do much more, then look no further. This product doesn’t just waterproof your jacket, but also offers you UV and stain protection. If you have a prized waterproof jacket, that you’re looking to last you for years, then this could be a good investment. This spray will not only protect you from a downpour but will stop any discoloration from stains or the sun.
Similarly to some of the other sprays we have looked at, this product doesn’t hinder the breathability of the fabric, necessary for a comfortable hike. This product is also marketed for use for new rain jackets, so you can begin with a base layers, and protect them from water and discoloration throughout their working life. If you’ve purchased a jacket with questions waterproofness, then this might be a good investment before you wear it on a rainy hike.
- UV and stain protection
- Doesn’t affect the breathability of the fabric
- Covers a large amount of fabric
- More pricey
- May have some odor, so not ideal for hunting
8. Sof Sole Water Proofer, 7.5-Ounce
- Helps protect athletic and performance materials from water and stains
This product by Sof Sole can be used on jackets, and other items of clothing like shoes, boots, or hats. It has a chic design and is cheaper than most of its competitors. Another benefit of this product is that it’s breathable, meaning you’ll stay comfortable on your hike even if you’re walking fast and there’s a downpour. Another benefit of this product is that you can use it on suede (but not vinyl or patent leather.
However, this product is another aerosol can. This makes it easy and quick to apply, and get a nice even coverage, but it does make it difficult to recycle. However, as this is a cheaper product and a less recognized brand, it might be better for light rather than heavy usage. If you’re looking to waterproof your jacket for walks around town or occasional hikes, it will suit your needs. But if you’re looking for a waterproof spray that can last after heavy use, one of the other options might better suit your needs.
- Chic design
- Keeps fabric breathable
- Applies quickly, easily and evenly
- Aerosol can
- Cheaper price and less durable than other products
Our winner is the Nikwax TX.Direct Spray-On Waterproofing. This product is popular because of brand identity, people have been trusting and using Nikwax to waterproof their outdoors gear for generations. And if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! Nikwax can be used on almost all rain jackets whether they’re made from waterproof fabric like Gore-Tex or not. And once properly applied, this product will make your jacket really water-resistant.
One of the benefits of the Nikwax waterproof spray is that it restores the DWR of the item of clothing, meaning after applying the spray it will be just as water-resistant as when you bought it. Knowing that the same standards are met in factoried for the most advanced waterproof fabric, and with the standards of Nikwax, should let you rest assured that this product will protect you even in a really heavy downpour on your hike. Nikwax is the global leader in safe, high performance cleaning and waterproofing products for outdoor clothing, footwear, and equipment.
Another benefit of this product from Nikwax is that it has no added scent, meaning it’s good for wearing if you’re hunting. It’s also really environmentally friendly: Nikwax is one of the few companies which has never succumbed to the aerosol tend, and has remained carbon neutral for 40 years. If you think like we do, that it’s of the utmost importance to choose wisely in outdoors, and protect it while we enjoy hiking or camping in it, then this will be a big plus for you.
However you decide to waterproof your jacket, whether it be with one of these waterproofing sprays, or a wash in reproofer, the most important thing is that you’re doing it! Many of us think that buying a waterproof jacket will keep us dry for years to come. But that’s not the case! DWR in waterproof jackets naturally wear out after some use, or after approximately a year, so it’s really important that hiking rain jackets are seasonally reproofed.
If you’re using a heavy duty reproofer, you can just reproof your jacket once a year. Once properly reproofed, any water on the jacket should appear like a ball on top of the fabric, rather than soaking in. If the water is soaking in, you know it’s time for a reproofing, and maybe to splash out on one of these waterproof spray for jackets.
Bonus tip: While you’re at it, check out this awesome video on how to waterproof your own jacket!