Preparing for your next outdoor adventure or when skiing, you’ll want to have your gear be up to part. With proper care of your products, you can achieve just that without the need of buying yourself new gear every season. Specifically, the outer layer, such as a shell jacket, needs an extra bit of extra care as it is the first layer that protects you from the extreme outdoors.
What is a shell jacket?
In essence, a shell jacket is a technical jacket made and treated to be fully windproof and waterproof whilst still remaining breathable. At Cortazu, the men’s hard shell jackets, as well as the women's hard shell jackets, are made with a lightweight 3-layer fabric using a Dermizax®EV membrane to achieve the highest protection against extreme weather conditions. With usage comes wear and tear, and the water repellency will lessen. However, with proper care, a shell jacket can easily be revitalized. For more details on the differences between various models, check out this comparison of hard shell jackets.
When should I clean my shell jacket?
There are two main reasons why you should consider cleaning your shell jacket. First, and the most obvious one, is that it has become dirty during your last adventure and it's time to wash your shell jacket. The second, less obvious reason, is when the jacket starts absorbing water rather than repelling it due to the fading of the DWR coating. This fading of the DWR coating also affects the breathability of the shell jacket, as moisture will be absorbed into the jacket making it unable for the heat and sweat from your body to escape. This will lead to the eventual leaking of moisture onto your skin, which is the last thing you want whilst being active outdoors. Usually, the fading of the DWR coating comes from usage over time, or from splatters of dirt, food, dust etc. that scraps the coating away.
Most of the time, a good wash will rejuvenate the DWR coating. However, after heavy usage or if the jacket is still wetting out after a good wash you should reapply the extra DWR coating to your own preference.
How to wash a shell jacket
The cleaning process of your shell jacket can be broken down into several steps:
Always read the care label
Firstly, it is important to carefully read the washing instructions for the specific jacket. Cortazu has provided a specific step-by-step guide to washing your shell jacket from us for an optimal result under our FAQ page. Some major don’ts whilst washing your shell jacket are: do not bleach, dry-clean, iron, use standard detergent or use fabric cleaner.
Add the right cleaner
Once aware of all don’ts, zip up all zippers and release the tension of all elastic drawcords before putting the jacket into the washing machine. Thereafter you should use a cleaner specifically designed for synthetic/technical fabrics. We recommend Nikwax, as it is specifically made for outerwear and assures a good result.
Washing & Drying
Important to know is that the jacket should be washed in cold water (around 20˚C), and preferably be dried naturally by hanging it out. Once, completely dried up the jacket should be stored somewhere not too humid or hot when it’s not in use. If reapplication of DWR is deemed necessary, this should be done before you hang out your shell jacket to dry.