Nikwax Camping Care Kit | Review - Outdoors Magic

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Nikwax Camping Care Kit | Review

These two simple spray-on solutions do more than just restore water repellency to your tent or rucksack: they also protects the fabric from harmful UV rays, thereby prolonging the life of your outdoor gear

Why We Chose Nikwax Camping Care Kit: Inexpensive, effective, eco-friendly

A warm, sunny day might seem like the perfect conditions for adventures in the great outdoors. But while that’s true, that big yellow guy up in the sky is also one of the biggest killers of outdoor kit. That’s because the sun’s rays also emit harmful UV radiation, which can be hugely damaging to synthetic fabrics.

Think about it: you spend a few hours unprotected in the sunshine, and what happens? You get sunburnt. That’s why we cover up with long sleeves and hats, or slather on plenty of high-UPF sunscreen. But what’s protecting your precious kit from UV damage? Nothing. Until now.

Nikwax’s Camping Care Kit contains two solutions: Tent and Gear Solar Wash and Tent and Gear Solar Proof. And these two sprays are specially designed to help you wash your gear, to reproof it and to give it a protective UV barrier. Think of it as sunscreen for your tent or rucksack. Ultimately, when used together these two sprays are going to make your kit last much, much longer.

They’re really easy to use – you can just spray them on. You can see the process in this video we made out in Albania’s Accursed Mountains.

We should add that the Camping Care Kit also comes with a rolltop waterproof dry bag and two handy microfibre cloths to help with the cleaning process.

Who Is Nikwax’s Camping Care Kit For?

It’s for everyone and anyone who has a nice tent, rucksack or other bit of outdoor gear that they’d quite like to look after, thank you very much.


Obviously, the specific constituent ingredients in this stuff are a trade secret – otherwise we’d be mixing it up in the shed ourselves and flogging it off as ‘Magicwax’. But if you’re worried about it containing lots of nasty chemicals, we can put your mind at rest. All Nikwax formulations are water-based, while also being non-flammable, aerosol-free and PFC-free.

They work on any synthetic textile, including polyester and nylon, which are the two fabrics that most modern outdoor gear is made from. So, fine to use them on most tents, rucksacks, bikepacking bags and panniers, and all sorts of other kit (even around the home and garden). For example, we’ve found they also do a great job on things like BBQ and fire pit covers, as well as outdoor seat cushions, stopping them from a) leaking or getting soaked in the rain and b) disintegrating after a summer in the sun.


The Solar Wash is the stuff that, as you might’ve guessed, will clean up your gear, ridding it of any bits of mud, dust and dirt and without removing any of the pre-existing durable water repellent treatment.

As the name suggests, Solar Proof is primarily designed to protect against the sun’s rays by increasing fabric strength and blocking harmful UV radiation. But like most Nikwax products, it’s also a specialist waterproofer, so it’ll both enhance the performance of your tent, rucksack and other outdoor gear, while also extending their useful life.

That’s a great thing in terms of sustainability through longevity, since in the long run it means needing to buy less outdoor gear. Which is also easier on your bank balance. Double win.


According to the brand, this stuff has been shown to effectively double the lifespan of synthetic textiles. Which means your tent or rucksack ought to last twice as long, and that can only be a good thing.

Effective, inexpensive and easy to apply, while also being eco-friendly too, there’s really nothing not to like. There’s also no reason not to add the Camping Care Kit to your collection of cleaners and re-proofers that you should use to give your outdoor kit a bit of regular and much-needed TLC (what do you mean you just shove it all in a cupboard and forget about it it?!)…

Tester’s Verdict

Will Renwick, editor of Outdoors Magic

“These two sprays really are excellent. I used both of them on my old Vango Apex 200 which I took with me on my 1000-mile walk around Wales seven years ago. In all those years I hadn’t washed it or done anything to look after it, and it had been looking very sorry for itself.

“I had never really understood why some people enjoy washing their cars, but I kind of get it now.”

“Before applying both solutions it would wet out straight away with zero beading. Now, after half an hour applying them both, it looks genuinely completely rejuvenated and repels water like new.”

“The process was much simpler than I thought it would be. First, I sprayed the Solar Wash onto the the tent when it was dry (it doesn’t matter if it’s wet), applying it evenly right across the fabric. Then I wiped it all in with a damp cloth, left it for a bit to sink in and then wiped off the solution at the end. At this point it was already looking much, much better.

“After that, I sprayed on the Nikwax Solar Proof while the fabric was still wet from the last coating and the process was then exactly the same.

“The overall result, as I alluded to earlier, was impressive. I’m going to make sure I do it to my other tents now as well. I had never really understood why some people enjoy washing their cars, but I kind of get it now.

The kit being tested at our Test Team weekend in the Lake District in May. Photo: Neil Irwin.

Nikwax Camping Care Kit

Selected for the Outdoor 100 2022/23


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