For the fortunate few that continued to earn your turns this Spring after the resorts shut down, the time has finally come to pack away your winter gear. And if you had to sadly throw in the towel when the lifts stopped spinning and pack it away early, you might want to re-think how you went about it. Our Head of Design and Development, Pia Halloran, has been in the business of making outerwear for 10 years. She sat down with Morgan Tilton of Denver’s 5280 Magazine to share her top care and packing tips to keep your outerwear and midlayers functioning and looking their best, season after season.
Hardshell Jacket and Pants
Pro tip: Wash and hang outerwear in a closet—avoid packing it in plastic bins.
“Spot-cleaning with regular soap and lukewarm water is a great way to keep your gear looking fresh between washings,” says Pia Halloran, Head of Design and Development for Strafe Outerwear. But for deep cleans, “We recommend washing in cold water (if your gear is really dirty, wash it in warm water) on gentle cycle with a detergent that is specifically made for outerwear. Never use liquid detergent or hot water, as both can destroy the membrane and the glue that holds the seam tape. We recommend Grangers, which has a wide range of products for all types of technical gear.”
Wearing and washing a garment eventually erodes the fabric’s water repellency treatment, DWR (Durable Water Repellency). “To reinvigorate the DWR after washing, throw the garment in the dryer on low for about 10 minutes and then hang dry.” Additionally, reapply the DWR via detergent or post-wash treatment.
Pro tip: Don’t squash (and suffocate) puffy jackets.
“If polyester fibers or down feathers remain compressed for extended periods, they will not be able to bounce back and become as lofty as they were when they were new. The loft between the fibers is what keeps you warm, so don’t leave your puffy crammed at the bottom of your pack or in its stuff sack for the summer,” says Halloran. “If you’ve already made this mistake, you can try to fluff it back up by putting it in the dryer on low; and with a tennis ball, if it’s down fill.” Insulators and hardshells follow the same wash-and-dry steps, but you’ll need a specific detergent for down and polyester-fill jackets. To repair rips, “we recommend using fabric patches with glue (not heat) rather than trying to stitch the tear, which can create holes,” she says.
Click the link below to read the full article from 5180 for more tips from brands like Smartwool, Hestra, Weston Backcountry and Apex Ski Boots.