Impermeabilizante – Try saying that word out loud without making a mistake! I must have said it a hundred times today, trying to find a product that will add waterproofing to my waterproof gear.
Well, that sounds silly, let me explain. As it turns out, most waterproof products, like jackets, tarps, rain fly’s etc. are made of syntnetic materials that do not allow water to pass thro. Of course when they are sewed on, they no longer are waterproof and the standard practice is to tape the seams. That works well. In addition, the fabric is coated with some sort of DWR (Durable Water Repellant) Coating and that adds additional water repellant quality to the product.
As it turns out, using things often removes the coating and one needs to reapply these coatings regularly. Who’d have known. Ah well.
Anyhow, the last few weeks (or even months) of camping, I had notices that excessive humidity and rain tended to cause a bit of a water pooling inside my tent. That is not acceptable as I rely on the tent for shelter, especially on rainy days. I had been sleeping with a towel in hand to wipe off excess moisture and figured that a better solution was in order.
I contacted the tent maker (Nemo Equipment) and they acknowledged that the DWR needed to be reapplied and advised me to look for Nikwax products. Unfortunately, NikWax products or the term DWR mean nothing to people here. I am in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
So after trying a variety of shops, I finally figured out that there is a Argentinian Product made for these purposes and in Spanish, one has to ask for – “Impermeabilizante para Carpa”. There are 2 versions I found.
- Lubrilina SportDry – This is an aerosol and the spray is easy to use and quick drying. I was told to apply a coat, wait for 24 hrs, apply another coat and let it dry. Since it’s an aerosol, it has a pretty strong fumes and one has to apply it outdoors. The big bottle (500 ml) cost me 250 Pesos and I managed to coat only half of my tent (It’s a 2 person minimal tent – Nemo Obi 2p). The recommended coverage is about 4 Sq meters.
- Boro – This is a spray and does not have the fumes as the Lubrilina. The recommended application was to make an even spray, wait for a few minutes and rum / spread with a damp cloth. The application process was a bit more cumbersome, but I used half the bottle for the remaining half of my tent and hope to use the rest on my jacket and shoes. I paid 400 Pesos for a 500 ml bottle and the recommended coverage is 15 sq meters. Boro claims UV protection too.
It seems like the Boro is a clear favorite in terms of value and both products were highly recommended (By a neutral shop owner who sold neither of them). But the proof will be in the pudding.
The surfaces with with of these applied seem to repel water pretty well at the moment. But I have no idea how long they will last. Will have to update once I camp out in some heavy rain to find out if they really work or not!
So in case you find yourself looking for DWR in Argentina, look for fishing and camping shops in Calle Parana and ask for Impermeabilizante para Carpa! And good luck pronouncing it properly!