Skip to main content

How to waterproof a jacket in 3 simple steps

Waterproofing your jacket isn't as hard as you might think

Creative Cat Studio/Shutterstock

Do you have a favorite jacket that you wish you could go out in the rain in? I don’t blame you, especially if you live somewhere rainy. Waterproofing your jacket can transform a comfortable wardrobe staple into the ultimate waterproof rain jacket, and it’s really not as hard as you might think. Believe it or not, there are plenty of ways to make your jacket waterproof, and it can be done in as easy as 3 simple steps. 

Why waterproofing your jacket is important

There are several reasons why you might want to waterproof your jacket. Protection from the rain is one, but waterproofing can also protect you from the wind, too. The extra coating adds an additional layer that can make your favorite jacket that much more comfortable. 

Waterproofing your jacket can also make it more durable in the long run. It can extend your jacket’s lifespan by preventing water damage and reducing wear and tear. You might also find that your new waterproofed jacket has a ton of versatility. It can now be worn in a variety of outdoor activities, from hiking to running, and you never have to worry about bringing an extra layer. 

StockSnap / Pixabay

How to waterproof a jacket 

Step 1: Choose your waterproofing method

There are several ways to waterproof your jacket, and it all depends on what kind of material it’s made of. There are several options on the market, including waterproof sprays, wash-in solutions, and wax-based solutions. 

Waterproof sprays are great for synthetic materials such as polyester and nylon. Windbreakers, softshell jackets, down jackets, and ski jackets are all water resistant to a certain degree, but they can be improved upon with a waterproof spray. 

Wash-in solutions are also fantastic for jackets that are machine friendly. It’s important to pay attention to the wash-in solution you choose and make sure that it’s compatible with your jacket. Some wash-in solutions require certain machine settings. They could need an extra rinse cycle, so make sure to read the directions thoroughly to ensure that you don’t ruin your jacket. 

Waxing is a traditional method of waterproofing that is often used to treat natural materials such as cotton, leather, or canvas jackets. Pay attention to which solution you buy because some may require heating with a hair dryer or a heat gun to melt the wax into the fabric. 

Step 2: Clean your jacket

Before applying the product, ensure that your jacket is clean of dust, dirt, and any other kind of residue. If you skip this step, don’t be surprised if you get patchy results. Use a mild detergent and warm water to thoroughly clean all the nooks and crannies, and then rinse it to remove all the soap. After that, hang the jacket to dry completely. 

Step 3: Apply the waterproofing product

If you’re using a spray, many brands recommend holding the can at a distance of six inches from the jacket and spraying evenly. With a wash-in solution, add it to the washing machine during the rinse cycle. If using a wax-based solution, apply it evenly with a soft cloth, then heat the jacket with a hair dryer or heat gun to melt the wax into the fabric.

Some brands recommend different application strategies, so be sure to follow the instructions on the waterproofing product before applying it to the jacket. 

After that, allow your jacket to dry completely before wearing it. Hang it in a well-ventilated area, and avoid exposing it to direct sunlight or heat. 

Waterproofing your jacket is a simple and effective way to protect it from the elements and extend its lifespan. By following these three easy steps, you can transform your favorite jacket into a versatile and reliable piece of gear that can be worn in any weather condition.

Editors' Recommendations

Sarah Joseph
Sarah is a lover of all things outdoors. With a bright sense of adventure and a heart for the mountains, she is always…
These are the best multi tools you need to have in your EDC kit, hands down
Stay prepared for any eventuality with one of these tools
Leatherman signal fishing

We are men. We always feel as though we need our chosen tools nearby. There is a culture of men always feeling the need to be prepared for anything. Just in case the world ends tomorrow, we have what we need to survive and protect. We are so dedicated to this that an entire industry called everyday carry, or EDC, has grown around it. But there is a component of EDC tools that cannot be forgotten: the multi-tool. Not only is it vital to get yourself one of the best multi-tools, but it may be the most vital.

Multi-tools are the most important item in EDC
All the best EDC kits have a handful of must-haves to ensure you're prepared for any eventuality. A great EDC knife is the first thought many have when they think of everyday carry. But there is a long list of possible things to carry: a flashlight, a first-aid kit, a lighter, a compass. Each of these items has a very specific design intent.

Read more
Stay hydrated on the go with our bulletproof water purification tips
Leave the heavy water bottles and hydration bladders at home. Learn to purify water anywhere your adventures take you
Young man checks water filter alongside river

Water, it's essential to everything we do. Around 60% of the human body is made up of water. It helps to maintain our core temperature, lubricate our joints, clear toxins from our body, and maintain brain function — the list goes on. Sounds pretty good, right? Out in the backcountry, whether hiking a trail, skiing a mountain, or in a life-or-death survival situation, water is vital for keeping you focused, alert, and, well, alive. It can literally make or break your success.

But carrying enough water to keep you adequately hydrated over multiple days — or even one long day — is rarely in the cards. After all, with every liter of water adding another kilogram of weight to your pack, you soon feel the effects. The alternative, then, is to collect water on the go.

Read more
This is how much it actually costs to climb Mount Everest
Mount Everest Nepal

Towering approximately 29,032 feet over the Himalayas (and growing every year), Mount Everest is the tallest mountain in the world. To date, over 6,000 climbers have reached its pinnacle. It takes years of physical conditioning and technical know-how to reach the top, even with the assistance of a team of sherpas to help you. And then there's the financial outlay.

Permits, air transportation, gear, oxygen, ground transport, food, time off from work — it all racks up pretty quickly. Whether you're thinking of heading there yourself or you're just curious as to how much these daredevil athletes shell out for their trip, here's our answer to the question, "How much does it cost to climb Mount Everest?"

Read more