Best Waterproofing Spray 2019: Tips, Reviews

Getting out into nature is always a blast, but nobody likes to get their feet wet. You could own top of the line raingear, but the second it rains you’re bound to get wet. Moisture seeps into all those little nooks and crevices in your gear. That’s where waterproofing sprays start to come in handy.

Waterproofing sprays have always been a required tool of every outdoorsman. They work hard to keep out moisture keeping you warm on those cold rainy days.

Staying Dry in The Rain

High quality rain gear should always be at the top of your shopping list, but unfortunately that’s not enough to keep out all moisture. You just need a little TLC with your preferred waterproofing spray.

Doesn’t matter if you’re waterproofing your boots, gloves, raincoat, waders or hat the following waterproofing sprays are sure to impress. We got our hands wet so you don’t have to testing all the best waterproofing sprays.

Regularly Use Waterproofing Spray

All water-repellent gear and equipment needs regular maintenance to continue working well. Unfortunately, dirt, debris and time wreak havoc on all our gear.

To make matters worse every you throw gear in the wash the waterproofing gets worse. While regular detergent might clean your gear you should actually use laundry detergent designed for waterproof clothes(check out my favorite detergent).

The Best Waterproofing Sprays

1) Nikwax Direct Spray-On Waterproofing

  • Water Based Formula is Safe to Use
  • Easy Application and Extreme Waterproofing
  • Affordably Priced With Enough Product For Extended Use
  • Environmentally Friendly Without Harmful Chemicals
  • Use on Most Synthetic Material

Check Price: Amazon

  • Application: Very easy to apply, just a few quick sprays and you’re good to go. Wait 2 minutes and the product is waterproof.
  • Smell: Reminds me of those natural cleaners that smell strangely like vinegar. It really isn’t all that bad and it goes away after a couple days.

Throughout a lifetime of camping, hunting and fishing I’ve tried more waterproofing sprays than I can count. None of them work as good as NIKWAX.

Nikwax comes in a regular old spray bottle and it restores the power of your already waterproof items by adding a waterproof layer to synthetic materials. It comes in a really big 17 Fluid Ounce bottle and can cover a wide area.(Perfect for Tents)

As you wash hiking and camping gear the waterproofing inevitably wears off. Nikwax is specifically designed to be used to restore waterproofing on rain coats and fishing waders. If it works on waders it’s going to work on everything else.

I’ve been using this to waterproof all my hiking and camping gear for years. IT’s so easy simply spray it onto your clothes, sleeping bag, tent, waders ETC, and let it dry.

So in less than 5 minutes you’re gear will be waterproofed and ready to go. It’s safe to use this spray on almost any material without damaging color. Within minutes it restores DWR water-repellancy ratings without making your clothing stuffy. Don’t be cheap with the stuff, spray it on all the seams zippers and clasps.


  1. Lay clean garments on a flat working area
  2. Hold the bottle 6 inches away and spray liberally
  3. Spray an even coating across the entire surface of the product
  4. Wait 2 minutes and wipe off excess waterproofing spray
  5. Make sure that you didn’t miss any areas and test waterproofing

2) Kiwi Camp Dry Heavy Duty Water Repellent

  • Time Tested Product
  • Works Really Well on Leather Boots
  • Cover a Wide Area
  • Reasonably Priced

Check Price: Amazon

  • Application: Easy to apply, but the 2-day wait is kind of a pain. Had to leave my raingear hanging in my bathroom while it cured.
  • Smell: This stuff smells like straight up silicone mixed with weird chemicals. The smell went away fast, but it smells terrible while curing.

Kiwi has long offered tough silicone based protection for all your boots and gear. Their unique formula bonds to leather and fabric creating a tough waterproof fabric.

This is a silicone based aerosol spray that was specifically designed to protect outdoor gear. It’s one of the most popular brands on the planet and for good reasons. I’ve used this stuff on my boots for the past 20 years and it works extremely well.

You might not get as much coverage out of a can as you do with the Nikwax, but there’s enough to coat all your rain gear and a few pairs of boots. There’s no mention of how big of a surface area this will cover, but I wouldn’t be surprised if you could waterproof a tent and most of your gear.

There’s no mention of this product being non-toxic so it’s probably not something you want to accidentally inhale. Honestly who wants silicone sprayed in their face anyway.


  • Make sure clothes are clean and dry before applying
  • In a well ventilated area spray a light even coat from 10 inches away.
  • Wait 24-48 hours for gear to completely dry

3) Scotchgard Heavy Duty Water Shield

  • Application: Even coverage and easy to apply, but there’s a long cure time.
  • Smell: Smells just like the Kiwi Brand listed above. It’s like a mixture of silicone and strange chemicals that goes away after everythings dry.

Bought this stuff to use on the outside of my camping hammock. Didn’t matter what I tried moisture always seemed to seep in. Sprayed it on and it works really well, but I swear this stuff is exactly the same as the Kiwi Spray yet more expensive.

Smells just like kiwi and has almost identical coverage. Can’t tell for sure, but who really care since it works. Since it’s made by Scotchgard, this stuff is extremely popular. Heard nothing but good reviews and it’s always rated really well online.

As an aerosol spray it’s very easy to apply and goes on evenly. All you really need is a single light coat over the entire product. You should probably wait for it to fully dry before using your gear, which could take a day or two.


  • Make sure product is clean and dry before applying
  • Go to a well ventilated area and spray evenly from 6 inches away
  • Wide sweeping motions seem to work best
  • Make sure you don’t get it on other surfaces during application
  • Wait 24 hours or until completely dry.

4) Grangers Performance Repel

  • Application: Very easy to apply with a standard spray bottle. Needs to be tumbled dry after
  • Smell: Horrible chemical smell that goes away completely after drying.

Granger’s Performance Repel is a high performance spray designed to restore water-proofing on outdoor technical clothing. It seems to work best on synthetic materials like tents, raingear and sleeping bags.

Just like Nikwax, Grangers is in a regular spray bottle which makes application easy. With a wide even spray you can quickly cover a large area with waterproofing.

When you spray this stuff on there’s a ridiculous chemical scent, but after it dries there’s absolutely no smell. I don’t know how they do it, but it’s virtually scentless. You can use it on all your hunting, fishing and camping gear.


  • Moisten your gear with a damp rag before applying Grangers
  • Spray evenly from about 1 foot away making sure you have even coverage.
  • Toss your garment in the dryer and tumble dry for 15 minutes

How to Use Waterproofing Sprays

  1. It doesn’t matter what you plan on waterproofing, you need to wash everything down. If your washing boots or clothing toss them into the washing machine. Cleaning your clothes will remove all the oil and dirt that will prevent the waterproofing spray from working. For tents and large object just make sure it’s not visibly dirty.
  2. Let everything dry completely and hang it up for easy application. When waterproofing boots you’ll need to place them by a fan or heater so they can dry completely.
  3. When your gear is fully dry take it outside and hang on a clothing line or the across the back of a lawn chair. Apply the spray evenly across the outside of the garment holding the bottle about 1ft away. It’s important to make sure you do this step outside.
  4. Let everything dry and repeat the process applying another layer.(you don’t have to rewash gear)

Main Advantages of Waterproofing Sprays

Before you go out and buy waterproofing sprays make sure you have high quality rain gear. If you don’t have good gear, waterproofing spray isn’t going to do you any good.

You don’t even need to spend a lot of cash on waterproofing sprays. Some of my favorite pieces of gear were bought at garage sales for a few bucks.

Try checking around your local thrift stores and for used gear on ebay. As long as it doesn’t have any rips/tears you should be able to reapply waterproofing.

Impregnates Into The Fabric

Obviously the main reason we all buy waterproofing sprays is to improve the water resistance. With a high quality waterproofing spray you can waterproof just about every fabric.

Even very old equipment that lost its waterproofing can be fixed with a waterproofing spray. Reapply waterproofing spray every couple months to frequently used gear.

Articles like boots/jackets that get worn down will wear faster than waterproofing on tents and backpacks.

Waterproofing Sprays Shouldn’t Affect Breathability

High quality waterproofing sprays really shouldn’t affect breathability. Materials that are breezy and breathable before the application will still be breathable after.

As an added bonus, waterproofing sprays will actually make material more breathable in a rain storm. Once fabric starts to soak up moisture you start to lose breathability, so waterproofing will actually enhance it.

Protect Against Dirt/Stains

So you’ve bought a brand new backpack and you’re excited to take it out into the field. You take off the pack and set it down onto the ground and look in horror as mud covers the bottom.

Nobody likes seeing their brand new gear all covered in dirt. After you use a waterproofing spray your pack will not only resist dirt and stains it will be easier to clean.

It’s like an invisible layer of protection over the outside of your gear protecting against stains. Most of the time you’ll just have to hose everything off when you get home and you’re good to go.

Prevent Mold and Mildew

At some point in your life you’ll lose an expensive piece of camping gear to mold and mildew. Doesn’t matter how successful you are in life, we’re all slightly lazy.

The last thing you want to do after a long backpacking trip is to wash, clean and dry your gear for storage. Everything gets tossed into a pile in the corner of your garage until you can’t stand it anymore.

The best waterproofing sprays will prevent mold and mildew from forming on the fabric. It’s going to increase the durability of your gear ensuring you don’t waste your hard earned cash.

Materials You Can Use With Waterproofing Sprays

Obviously some materials are going to hold waterproofing sprays better than others. I’ve found that the best materials to hold waterproofing sprays tend to be more porous. Here are a few of the fabrics that work really well with waterproofing.

  • Nylon: Nylon is by far the best material to use with a waterproofing spray. After spraying nylon your fabric will be almost 100% waterproof. Nikwax seems to work the best with nylon drying almost instantly.
  • Leather(Real and Synthetic): Most leather is naturally resistant to water, but you get leakage through all the seams. Applying Nikwax to those seams will make your boots/jackets almost completely waterproof. Just make sure you reapply every couple of months because waterproofing wears off fast.
  • Cotton: Cotton works with waterproofing sprays without losing any breathability. Your cotton clothing won’t be completely waterproof, but moisture will bead up on the outside. I spray all of my hats with Nikwax before I take them out.
  • Gortex: Gortex is that is the generic term for all technical camping fabrics made in the past 20 years. Most companies have their own term for their technical fabrics, but they all work about the same.
Does it Damage The Color?

Doesn’t matter what spray you try they all seem to cause slight discoloration on light colored fabrics. Your bright whites are going to look like they have a slightly darker colored stain.

Honestly, I’ve never had much of an issue since most of my camping/hiking gear tends to be green, brown ETC. I’ve always found that the benefits you get from waterproofing is well worth the slight discoloration.

You Can’t Waterproof Polyester

I’ve tried just about every waterproofing spray on the market and I’ve never found one that works with polyester clothing. Sprays all soak into the fabric, but they don’t seem to do anything.

Let me know in the comments below if you find a spray that works with polyester.

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