If you think that buying a dry top, wearing it, and then pulling it out of your gear bag every once-in-a-while is all you have to do to keep it in one piece, you will soon be unpleasantly surprised. There is actually some dry gear care and storage advice that will keep that expensive piece of equipment drier longer and keep the gaskets from coming apart. here is a little advice from our store guru, Braden.
When you get your new dry top, dry pants or dry suit the gaskets SHOULD be really tight because they will stretch a bit. Do not trim your gaskets without giving them a chance to stretch first. We recommend stretching them overnight on something slightly larger than the opening of the gasket. REMEMBER: Trim at your own risk, and know that your gasket will not be covered under warranty if it fails.
Treat your gaskets every 4-6 weeks with 303 Protectant. Rub it onto the gasket and let sit for a few minutes before wiping clean with an absorbent cloth until the gasket is dry.
Rinse your gaskets with fresh water after each use, especially if you wear sun block or bug spray. Allow to dry completely before storing.
Small holes and tears can be repaired on a gasket with a patch kit. In the event of a full blown tear gaskets can be replaced, saving the dry top.
Your gear does require maintenance in order to protect the integrity of the product.
After each use, rinse the gear in fresh water and allow it to dry thoroughly inside and out before storing.
Once or twice a year, wash your dry top in the washing machine. Use ONLY a cleaner designed for this purpose and do NOT put your garment in the dryer.
If your garment starts to get wet on the inside the first thing you do is wash it. Nikwax and Revivex are two brands we trust. After washing, check the taping on the seams inside the jacket/pants/suit. If any of the taping is beginning to peel up, use Aquaseal to glue it back down. Often times these two simple things can keep you and your gear happy together for a long time.
If you are still getting wet, try a DWR treatment. Nikwax and Revivex have DWR treatments that work well.. If using a spray, the garment should be wet before application of spray. In either case, heat is needed to set the DWR. Use and Iron on medium low setting. Place a thin piece of cotton in between iron and garment and DO NOT iron gaskets or zippers!
Store either hanging or loosely rolled. Avoid sun exposure and moist or hot environments. Sun, heat, humidity, extreme dryness, exhaust fumes etc. effect the longevity of the life of your garment so be thoughtful in where you want to store it.