This winter, I have been able to try out some Nikwax products; and I am quite impressed. Our local liquidation store got in some of their stuff. That meant that I was able to pick up a range of their products at less than half price. When the time comes to replenish my stock, I should probably pay the going rate, but definitely take advantage of any sales.
I used their waterproofing wax for leather to restore an old pair of Danner Trophy boots. The boots were still waterproof due to the Gore-Tex liner, but the leather was absorbing water. My feet were not getting wet, but they were getting cold. After giving the boots a good clean and allowing them to dry thoroughly, I applied a coat of the cream, left it to soak in for a while, and then wiped off the excess with a cloth. The boots look and feel a lot better; and the leather repels water.
One thing to note about this wax cream is that it does separate a little in the tube. A good shake and some massaging of the tube are necessary before beginning to use this stuff.
My primary use for high-tech underwear (sorry, base layers) is hunting. I have the kind which keep one warm, yet kill odours. So, I tried the BaseWash. Not having enough garments of the base-layering nature to make up a load, I added a number of fleeces, and washed and dried the lot according to the instructions.
Everything came out of the dryer feeling soft. The fleeces were very much revived. The Basewash did a much better job than our usual detergent. The only concern that I have is that while unscented, the Basewash does have a smell to it. I could not detect that smell on the dried clothes themselves; however, I could smell it on the waistband of the longjohns and on the tape used to cover some seams on the fleeces. After a few hours of airing, the smell went away. I have yet to find out if it will come back with body heat.
The Nikwax products which I have used most are the Tech Wash and the TX.Direct Wash-In waterproofing liquid. I have used them on various Gore-Tex and Dry Plus products with great success. Even on the sueded fabric of the children’s coldweather gear, the water beads and sheds; and the micro-fleece lining of their bibs does not wick water up the legs. My wet weather hunting gear was greatly revived by this combination of products. It used to be that the lining of the jacket would hold perspiration and not allow it to pass through the breathable membrane. Recently I was out shovelling snow, wearing two layers of fleece and the rain gear. I was neither cold nor damp; and each layer was dry as I peeled off when I came inside.
There are two things about Nikwax products which any prospective purchaser should bear mind. The first is that the company likes to hide the directions for using its products under peel away labels. Sometimes there’s a little arrow in the corner to help you; other times there is not. The second is that their liquid products are very runny. If using a front loading washing machine, do not pull the little drawer all the way out when pouring in the liquids or you might find them running down the front of the machine. So, apart from the price, there isn’t much to complain about with this stuff.