DWR: Explained

Staff gear review by Tory Hayssen

DWR is essentially buzz cut stubble of plastic hairs. The little hairs act like a mosh pit or little cradle, keeping the water droplets all beaded up and preventing them from dispersing. When water droplets land on these hairs, they balance on the very tips and roll off keeping you dry.

There are several ways to damage DWR. Dirt, sweat, smoke etc, smoosh these little hairs. Rubbing and abrasion cause these hairs to flatten and eventually fall off. And like anything, over time, the hairs weaken. DWR damage can be at a number of stages.

DWR Explained

To test DWR, hold the garment under the sink and drip a little water on it. You can also leave the droplet on the shell and see if it slowly penetrates into the fabric. The more and longer the water stays beaded, the more intact the DWR. We’re more than happy to help you test any garment at the shop.

Please note: DWR can be at different stages of damage and DWR will wear differently on different parts of the jacket.

If the jacket is fairly new or recently re-DWR’ed, the easiest way to perk up those little hairs is to throw it in the dryer for 10 minutes under medium heat. I typically do this in the middle of the season for a little re-fresh. Think of it like a quick blow dry. Washing your jacket removes dirt and sweat that might be causing these hairs to flatten. I always recommend this at the beginning or end of the season. Storing your jacket hung up in the closet or neatly folded will prevent DWR damage. Balling up your jacket and stuffing it under our bed or in your backpack will flatten and break off hairs.

If the jacket is still wetting out, you can replenish the DWR with a number of Gear Aid products we have here at the shop!

Shop our DWR treatment products here!