GEAR AID: Clean-Repair-Reuse

GEAR AID

Gear Aid is a care and repair company that started in 1981 with the Aquaseal product. Over the years it has operated and sold products under the McNett and Revivex brands, while continuing to be made in America. In their words: “We teach people how to keep their well loved and expensive gear in like new condition, thereby increasing performance, saving money, and consuming less in the process.”

As a whitewater kayaker I’ve used Aquaseal for over 17 years to repair my neoprene kayaking equipment and have used a number of other McNett products to clean and waterproof a wide variety of my outdoor adventure gear. I’m a “buy once cry once” kind of gear buyer, which makes it all that much more important to keep my gear in top condition, to get the longest life possible out of it. Below is a quick rundown on a few Gear Aid products that I’ve used recently to keep my gear in top order.

Down & Waterproof Gear Care

I had some down and shell jackets that needed some attention, as the waterproofing was failing and the feathers were coming out of some high wear spots on the down pieces. The first step is to clean the garments. Second step is to revive their waterproofing. Third step is to repair any wear spots and/or tears in the fabric. Using the Gear Aid products below I was able to get my gear back into top shape, in short order.

Revivex Down Cleaner– MSRP: $9.00 (BUY NOW)

Directions: Machine Wash- front loading washer recommended, close zippers, apply cleaner directly to heavily soiled areas, add 1-4 oz depending on number & size of gear being cleaned, use gentle cycle and warm water, run additional spin cycle, dry on low heat, commercial dryer recommended, tennis ball can be added to dryer to break up down clumps, air dry completely before gear storage

Revivex Durable Water Proofing– MSRP: $8.95 (BUY NOW)

Directions: shake well, apply to wet or dry hanging garment from 5″-10″ away, apply liberally to high wear areas of garment, tumble dry at medium heat or air dry for 48 hrs

Great For: Gore-Tex, eVent and down jackets

Aquaseal– MSRP: $7.50 (BUY NOW)

Directions: clean surface, apply Aquaseal, 8-12 hr cure time

Specs: dries clear, permanently seals, bonds and repairs, strong, flexible and washable, unaffected by extreme heat and cold, waterproof

Great For: rain gear, dry suits, awnings, vinyl upholstery, shoes, kayak spray skirts

Tenacious Tape– MSRP: $4.95 (BUY NOW)

Directions: clean, trim to appropriate size, remove backing, apply with pressure

Specs: strong adhesive for long lasting repairs, lightweight, waterproof, strong

Great For: tents, tarps, packs, sleeping bags, sleeping pads, down jackets, ski jackets and pants, rainwear

Neoprene Clean

As a paddler I have lots of neoprene gear, like spray skirts, that get worn and dirty quickly. Recently I also installed Wet Okole neoprene seat covers in the EEXP overland adventuremobile, and promptly spilled a bunch of juice all over the drivers seat cover. The McNett Drysuit Shampoo worked wonders at removing worn in tough stains on the seat covers, and removing nasty odors from my stinky paddling gear. I also use Aquaseal often to repair my kayak gear, after cleaning with the McNett Shampoo.

McNett Wetsuit & Drysuit Shampoo– MSRP: $5.95 (BUY NOW)

Directions: mix 1/2 oz per 1 gallon of water, wash by hand with kneading motion, rinse with clean water, air dry

Specs: Removes organics, cholroine and salt deposits. Reduces smells.

Great For: any and all neoprene and most watersports gear

Gear Aid also makes some great rechargeable LED lighting products, like this SPARK LED Light (MSRP: $49.95 BUY NOW). I’ve used this little guy for all kinds of projects, like light painting photography and working on my vehicle late at night.

(Gear Aid provided these product samples to Exploring Elements for review consideration.)

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