Nikwax Tent and Gear Solar Wash And Proof Solutions | Review - Outdoors Magic

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Nikwax Tent and Gear Solar Wash And Proof Solutions | Review

Not given your tent some TLC yet? As our editor explains here, you really should

Why We Chose The Nikwax Tent and Gear Solar Wash And Proof Solutions: Easy application, great value and effective

While it’s good that more and more brands are looking to find ways to make the gear they’re manufacturing greener, it’s undeniable there still seems to be a heck of a lot of stuff going onto the market that just isn’t built to last. Take new tents with PFC-free DWRs for example. A lot of the time this DWR only last a few trips before it starts to fade away.

Two weeks of constant UV exposure can lead to as much as a 50% reduction in a fabric’s durability and waterproofness”

That’s why we’re glad that Nikwax are around, a company that create products designed to make our kit last longer – ultimately keeping it out of the landfill. Over the last few years at Outdoors Magic we’ve taken a look at their solutions for making our waterproof jackets last longer and our insulation pieces as well. This time, for our Outdoor 100 2020/21, it’s their two solutions for tents and backpacks that we’ve got under the spotlight: Nikwax Solar Wash and Nikwax Solar Proof. 

Nikwax Tent And Gear Solar Wash

When you consider the fact that two weeks of constant UV exposure can lead to as much as a 50% reduction in a tent fabric’s durability and waterproofness, it’s certainly good to know that Nikwax have these products that can come to the rescue.

The first one, Solar Wash, is the stuff that you use to keep kit with synthetic fabrics functioning at their best. If, say, you’ve bought a new tent from Webtogs and you want to make sure that the UV and water resistant layer lasts, one single application of this can double the product’s lifespan.

Nikwax Tent and Gear Solar Proof

This solution is the one to use when you feel the UV and water resistant barrier on your kit might be on the wane and needs restoration. Essentially, this will add a new layer of protection, making sure your kit that had been on the way out can return to fighting fit.  

Solarwash is the stuff to use to keep your kit performing at its best. Photo: Mike Brindley
SolarProof is the stuff to call upon when your tent or backpack needs a new protective barrier restored to it. Photo: Mike Brindley

Tester’s Verdict

Will Renwick, editor of Outdoors Magic

“These really are excellent. I used both of them on my old Vango Apex 200 (you’ll see the process in the video above) 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.

“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.”

Applying Solar Wash and Proof is simple. First start by spraying your tent with the solution. Photo: Jordan Tiernan

“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 wash is then wiped into the fabric with a cloth. Photo: Jordan Tiernan

“I should add that I used both of the solutions on my Osprey Skarab backpack as well. With this, as the fabric wasn’t already waterproof and soaked up moisture a fair bit even when it was brand new, the difference the two solutions made wasn’t as obvious as it was on the tent, but you could definitely see a lot more beading by the end, and the fabric did look smarter. I’d say that it would certainly be a good idea to give these a try with any backpacks with waterproof linings. 

“Any simple stuff like this that has the potential to make vital and in some cases expensive kit last longer gets a big thumbs up from me, especially when it’s completely free from harmful chemicals like PFCs and when it comes in recycled and recyclable packaging as well.”

Nikwax SolarWash & Proof


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