Global leader in safe, high performance waterproofing, cleaning and conditioning for outdoor gear


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Learn to snowshoe with Get Going! snowshoeing workshops

Picking up a new sport can be intimidating sometimes, with all the new skills to learn and gear to buy. But for those looking to get out this season on snowshoes, Nikwax is partnering with Snowshoes.com and REI to help promote this super fun and fast-growing winter sport.

The crew from Snowshoes.com, an online guide to staying active in winter, will be bringing its popular Get Going! Workshop to REI stores across the country. These totally free workshops will feature an introduction to snowshoeing technique, a guide to local places to go, and products from sponsors including Nikwax, Atlas, and Tubbs snowshoes, GORE-TEX and more.  This is a great opportunity for everyone, from those who have never strapped on a pair of snowshoes, to intermediates looking to upgrade their equipment, find new places to explore, or meet other local enthusiasts.

Instructing students on all aspects of the sport will be accomplished adventure athlete and performance coach Julie Hudetz, an avid snowshoer and adventure racer with several years of experience teaching the Atlas Explore Winter Women’s Workshops and the W.L. Gore Dressing for Success Winter Workshops.

The tour kicks off Nov. 12, 2012 in Fort Collins, CO, and continues through January 17th, with several stops all over the country. Check out the upcoming dates below, stop by, and get out there!

  • Nov. 28 – Bend, OR REI, 6:00pm
  • Nov. 28 – Salt Lake City, UT REI, 5:30 and 7pm
  • Nov. 29 – Portland, OR REI, 7pm
  • Dec. 3 – Saratoga, CA REI, 7:00pm
  • Dec. 3 – Reading, MA REI, 5:30 and 7pm
  • Dec. 4 – Berkeley, CA REI, 7pm
  • Dec. 4 – Framingham, MA REI, 7:00pm
  • Dec. 5 – Sacramento, CA REI, 7:00pm
  • Dec. 5 – East Hanover, NJ REI, 7:00pm
  • Dec. 6 – Manhattan Beach, CA REI, 7:00pm
  • Dec. 6 – NYC SoHo, NY REI, 5:30 and 7:00pm
  • Dec. 10 – Redmond, WA REI, 7:00pm
  • Dec. 11 – Issaquah, WA REI, 7:00pm
  • Dec. 12 – Southcenter, WA REI, 7:00pm
  • Dec. 13 – Seattle, WA REI, 7:00pm
  • Dec. 19 – Clackamas, OR REI, 7:00pm
  • Dec. 20 – Eugene, OR REI, 7:00pm
  • Jan. 2, 2013 – Santa Fe, NM REI, 6:00pm
  • Jan. 3 – Albuquerque, NM REI, 6:00pm
  • Jan. 4 – Denver, CO REI, 6:30pm
  • Jan. 7 – Lincoln Park, IL REI, 7:00pm
  • Jan. 8 – Brookfield, WI REI, 6:30pm
  • Jan. 9 – Madison, WI REI, 7:00pm
  • Jan. 9 – Reno, NV REI, 6:30pm
  • Jan. 10 – Bloomington, MN REI, 5:30 and 7:00pm
  • Jan. 11 – Maple Grove, MN REI, 6:30pm
  • Jan. 15 – Portland, OR REI, 7:00pm
  • Jan. 16 – Olympia, WA REI, 7:00pm
  • Jan. 17 – Seattle, WA REI, 7:00pm
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Saving Money is Child’s Play…When Dressing Kids for Outdoor Adventure

We all want to save a buck or two, but not at the expense of our family’s comfort and protection. Weighing the cost of high quality outdoor gear against the amount of time it will take your kids to grow out of said gear doesn’t typically bode well for the family budget. Nikwax is the solution.

If your ultimate goal is to raise active children – who love the outdoors and prefer ripping down a bump run to setting the “highest score” on some couch-bound video game – comfort is key. The same rules that apply to adults work for kids:

Dress in layers (top off with a waterproof-breathable layer for warmer endeavors); If skin isn’t covered by protective gear of some sort (gloves, jacket, goggles), make sure it’s covered by sunscreen, and; Opt for similar materials that you would choose for yourself.

The sticking point is the last one. With quality outerwear easily reaching costs of several hundreds of dollars, it’s hard to justify that sort of expense for a jacket that will only fit for one season. Repurposing gently used snow apparel saves money, minimizes resource use, and is good for the planet. But none of it matters if the apple of your eye is wet and miserable. Nikwax will revive or boost the original performance of used gear to keep your little one happy.

With the small commitment of washing with Nikwax once or twice a season, here are some money-saving solutions for outfitting your family.

1: Look for gear that “grows with” your kids

Several outdoor brands have incorporated “grow with me” features into their kids’ lines. With easy, at-home solutions, the garments expand (in hem, sleeve length, etc.) to keep up with your child’s growth rate. We’d like to give a specific shout out to Obermeyer, whose ‘I-Grow’ System® has proven its value with years of wear for one family.

2: Shop Consignment and Ski Swaps

Most ski towns have an underground ski wear trade of some sort. Check out the local ski clubs and race teams, or hit the local consignment stores and the formal ski swaps. You can find huge deals on kids’ gear. Avoid items with rips, tears, or visible sun fading. Don’t worry about a little dirt. Nikwax has you covered.

3: Dress Up the Hand-Me-Downs

This one can be a little tricky, because a kids’ first ski jacket can be a rite of passage for snow-focused families. But if you can get away with it, try to extend the life of the big-ticket items (like jackets and snow pants) by going with fairly neutral styles and colors. Then, go hog wild with items that have less of a chance of being passed along to younger siblings. Find awesome prints and favorite colors for base layers. Decorate helmets with every sticker known to man.

4: Nikwax It!

Before (1st row) and After (2nd row) gallery

Don’t inadvertently make your child the guinea pig in your fiscal-responsibility experiment. After pulling together the perfect “recycled” outfit, do a full Nikwax wash and proof – as appropriate to the fabric. You’ll have the peace of mind of knowing your offspring will be protected from the elements, and they will feel like they have a brand new outfit.

Waterproof/breathable materials work best when they are clean. Oils and dirt clog the woven “holes” in the membranes that determine their effectiveness. Use: Nikwax Tech Wash and TX.Direct Hint: Tech Wash and TX.Direct are also appropriate for waterproof outerwear with synthetic insulation (prevalent in kids’ ski lines).

Softshells are great for kids, allowing tons of flexibility. Use: Nikwax Tech Wash and Softshell Proof.

Down coats and vests are like giving your little munchkin a warm hug all day long. Your kids will love it as much as you do. UseNikwax Down Wash and Down ProofHint: Yes, you can wash down jackets at home. The key is to use a machine without an agitator (or hand wash) and a down specific cleaner. Nikwax Down Wash and Down Proof are designed to gently clean and reinvigorate the natural loft of the down feathers.

Don’t forget the accessories! Nothing ruins a fun day faster than cold, wet hands. Kids’ gloves and mittens take a beating, so waterproof them frequently. UseNikwax Glove Proof for fabric and fabric/blend gloves, or Nikwax Waterproofing Wax for Leather for leather gloves.

Always feel free to call us with any questions, (800) 563-3057. We’re here to help you and your family enjoy the outdoors.


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Nikwax Supports Recent Greenpeace Report to Ban Harsh Chemicals

A recent study by Greenpeace reports on levels of perfluorinated compounds (also known as PFCs) used in the production of outdoor apparel. PFCs are bio-persistent chemicals that are linked to a range of human health problems (see selected bibliography for studies). Many companies use PFCs to add water repellent finishes to apparel and gear.

Nikwax has been arguing against the use of fluorocarbon chemicals (PFCs) in aftercare products for over ten years. We have highlighted their environmentally persistent nature, and the studies linking them to reduced fertility, damaged immune systems in children and other negative health impacts.

In the industry, a so called “C8” chemistry to define PFCs is considered harmful. More commonly, we hear that a “C6” version is safer. At Nikwax, we have not seen any convincing evidence to support this. And, in line with the recommendations of the Greenpeace report, we will continue to exclude ALL (including C6) PFCs from our products.

We would like to reassure our customers, dealers and industry partners that NONE of the products in the Nikwax aftercare range contain PFCs of any kind. Most PFCs used in the industry until now have been based on so called “C8” chemistry. It is now common to hear the argument that shorter PFCs, such as the “C6” versions are safe. At Nikwax we have not seen any convincing evidence of this, and in line with the recommendations of the Greenpeace report, we will continue to exclude C6 PFCs from our products.

Many look to “eco labels” to determine the chemical safety of products. Greenpeace warns us of the dangers in assuming an “eco label” automatically means PFC-free. Most of the common standards do not currently prohibit the use of PFCs.

Part of the Greenpeace report calls on the Outdoor Industry to find immediate alternatives to PFCs. The good news is that alternatives exist because PFCs are not necessary to achieve high standards of effective waterproofing. All Nikwax waterproofing products are a safer alternative.

Please view our environmental page for detailed information. Feel free to write us with any questions or concerns.


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Winter Hibernation for Summer Gear

Winter is officially here, which means it’s time to rotate goods in the gear closet. How many of us just want to throw our used summer gear aside with excitement to reconnect with our snow gear?  And, how many of us hear Mom’s voice ringing in our heads…”put it away clean!”? Oh mother, how you are always right.

Cleaning your gear doesn’t just come from a motivation to have a decent smelling closet through the winter. It’s more about keeping pricey gear in good shape.

Over time, your adventures take a toll on gear and naturally break down its materials. Here are tips to clean oft-used summer gear like tents, sleeping bags, and sandals.

Camping tents

Mildew and stains are common on tents. To make sure your tent doesn’t smell like Grandma’s basement, give it a pre-storage cleaning with Tech Wash. Make sure it dries fully before you put it away, otherwise your efforts will have been for naught. If you want, you can also use Tent & Gear SolarProof to refresh the water repellency and add UV protection, that way it will be ready for action when spring returns.

Sleeping Bags

Use Tech Wash to clean synthetic sleeping bags. If you have a down sleeping bag, make sure to use Down Wash. The best option for sleeping bags is to go to a laundromat. Home washers are generally too small to fit a sleeping bag. Also, never wash a down sleeping bag in a top loading washing machine! The agitator will bash up the down feathers, reducing your bag’s loft.

Nikwax products are safe in industrial washing machines. Just be sure to calculate the correct amount to use if you pile multiple bags into a huge washer.

Footwear

Heck, while we’re on the cleaning spree, might as well wash those stinky Chacos too! Sandal Wash works wonders on all funky summer footwear.

Listen to Mom and put that summer gear away clean!