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Product Care

Keeping your products going longer.

Looking after your kit

Gear lasts longer and performs better when clean.

Down wash and reproofing

Gear needing a little pick-me-up? We offer a down wash and reproofing services. Services and prices.

Donate

If your beloved kit still has life in it and you would like to give it a second life, consider donating it to our Continuum Project.

How do I clean and reproof my waterproof garment?

If you don't regularly wash your jacket it may wet-out, which is where rain doesn't bead up and roll off, but saturates an area of the outer fabric of the jacket. The jacket is still waterproof but areas that have wetted out can't breathe as well so you can feel sweaty after prolonged use.

This is because the chemical finish that jackets are treated with to keep water beading off a jacket has changed.

The outdoor industry is moving away from PFC based durable water repellents (DWRs), which have shown to be persistent (they stick around in the environment for a long time). As technology moves towards more environmentally friendly materials, some of the dirt and oil repellent ability of waterproof garments will decrease. This makes it more vital than ever to keep your waterproof squeaky clean.

When a waterproof garment absorbs oil and dirt (perspiration, detritus from skin, mud, sun screen and so on), this inhibits the ability of the material to breathe. The fabric is saturated, which prevents perspiration from leaving the material. The result is that the inside of the garment feels wet, even though it is still fully waterproof.

The average person will lose between 1 - 2 litres of water an hour through perspiration during exercise. If your garment isn't breathable, all that water will end up inside your clothing unable to get out, because your garment is still waterproof. Ironic, huh?

Cleansing your washing machine

Rule number one: Detergents are a big no-no for reproofing your waterproof! In fact, detergents will attract water to your waterproof, which is the opposite of what we are aiming for. For this reason, we recommend thoroughly cleansing your washing machine before cleaning your waterproof. To cleanse your washing machine, clean out the detergent tray, then run your machine on its hottest setting with a towel (or similar) and 500 ml of white vinegar inside.

How do I tell if my waterproof is in need of a reproofing?

Durable Water Repellent (DWR) is the coating on the garment which allows the water to bead off the outer shell preventing the top layer of the jacket becoming waterlogged and diminishing breathability [see above]. DWR is not the main waterproof competent of the garment which is the membrane making up the mid layer of most jackets.

The easiest way to test your DWR is to pour a cup of water on the garment and watch. If the DWR is working effectively, then the water will bead off. If the DWR has degraded then the water will soak into the top layer of the fabric and wet out making the fabric look darker.

You will not need to reproof your garment with every wash. How regularly you will need to reproof your garment will depend on the quality of the DWR coating and the usage of the garment. For light usage, you should expect to reproof your garment 2 - 3 times per year for optimum repellency. If you use the garment for intense exercise (such as hiking, biking, running, climbing) you should expect to reproof much more frequently.

There are two types of reproofing solution: wash-in and spray on.

How to your wash your waterproof

  • Brush away any dry mud/sand/cake crumbs.
  • Do up zips and velcro, loosen any draw cords.
  • Treat any stubborn stains with neat Tech Wash and a damp cloth.
  • Place garment (max of 2) in cleansed washing machine.
  • Use a tech wash such as Nikwax Tech Wash or Granger's Performance Wash according to instructions - this tends to vary depending on water hardness in your area. (Soap can be used as an alternative, but remember, no detergents!)
  • Run a delicate wash at 30°C.
  • Run a gentle rinse cycle to ensure all removal of all cleaning solutions.
  • The garment can be hand washed in warm water as an alternative to machine washing.
  • Allow your garment to air dry or tumble dry on a low heat.
  • You can use an iron over the garment on a very low setting to reactivate the DWR.
  • Note: Tumbledrying or ironing your garment will increase the durability of the DWR as the heat assists bonding between the DWR and the garment - even if the product states that airdrying is sufficient.

How to reproof your waterproof with Wash-In reproofer

  • Once your garment is all lovely and clean (doesn't need to be dry), place the garment back in the machine.
  • Use a reproofing agent such as Nikwax TX Direct or Granger's Repel according to the directions on bottle.
  • Run a gentle cycle at 30°C in your washing machine.
  • Dry your garment in a tumble dryer on a low heat. If a tumble dryer is not available, dry in another warm location such as in full sunshine or a warm room. Heat applied to the fabric helps the proofer bond to the material which makes it more effective.

How to reproof your waterproof with Spray-On reproofer

  • Protect your chosen work surface and lay your freshly cleaned garment flat whilst it is still wet.
  • Spray the proofer (such as Nikwax TX Direct or Granger's Performance Repel) evenly to the outside of the garment from a distance of 15 cm.
  • Wait for 2 minutes and remove any excess from the garment with a damp cloth and ensure that no areas have been missed. Repeat after several minutes.
  • Repeat procedure on other side.
  • Dry your garment in a tumble dryer on a low heat. If a tumble dryer is not available, dry in another warm location such as in full sunshine or a warm room. Heat applied to the fabric helps the proofer bond to the material which makes it more effective.

How to rewax your waxed cotton product

If you notice your waxed cotton pack isn't repelling water as it should (for example, the water isn't beading off), it probably needs rewaxing. Otherwise, we recommend rewaxing it every 12 months.

Cleaning wax cotton

First, make sure your pack is clean. If it isn't clean just sponge it down with cold water and brush it lightly to remove dirt or grit. If it's really dirty (these things happen!) hand wash it in cold water with Nikwax Tech wash. Don't dry clean or wash your waxed cotton pack.

Rewaxing cotton

Now your bag is clean...

  1. Spray Nikwax Wax Cotton Proof onto the outer of the bag, paying close attention to the seams and area s of high wear. The waterproofing will look opaque and white, don't worry - it will dry clear!

  2. Once you've sprayed the bag, rub the cotton proof into the fabric and remove any excess.

  3. Buff the bag.

  4. Let the bag hang dry in a well ventilated area, avoid humid places! It may take a coupld of days to completely dry.

  5. Bob's your uncle! A rewaxed bag ready for your next adventure!

Can I send my bag somewhere to be rewaxed?

Yes! If you don't fancy rewaxing your own bag, you can send it off to Rewax and they'll do it for you. Head over to rewax.co.uk for more information.

Sleeping Mat care advice

You know you've got good kit when it's always got your back: but even the hardiest of gear needs a bit of looking after every now and then! After your Cloud Base has been working hard to keep you comfy on adventures, it'll need a little TLC itself. Leave it out to sunbathe with the valve open after use - that way it can dry out on the inside, preventing the growth of mould.

Self inflating camping mats - Repairs and care

If you've just bought a shiny new sleeping mat but are unsure how to show it the appropriate love and care, watch this video!

Merino Care Guide

Pilling

Pilling happens when the shorter merino fibres find their way to the surface of the fabric. It’s a natural process.

To prevent pilling, we recommend washing your merino before you wear it. If pilling does occur, pop them in the wash with a pair of jeans (make sure all zips are closed on your jeans).

Pure merino is delicate, so make sure you follow these guidelines to prolong the life of your merino clothing.

How to wash your merino

  • Check any pockets, do up zips and turn inside out.

  • Machine wash: Use a delicate cycle at 30˚C (maximum). Use a liquid detergent such as Ecover, Delicate, or Nikwax Woolwash.

  • Hand wash: First, check your sink is clean. Soak your merino for 10 – 20 minutes in lukewarm water with a few drops of detergent, gently agitating from time to time, then rinse thoroughly in clean water. Never wring your merino.

  • To dry: Preferably lay your merino out flat. Otherwise hang somewhere airy and out of direct sunlight (over a chair or banister).

  • Never tumble dry your merino.

Warning!
  • NEVER tumble dry your merino. Ever. (Seriously, we mean it)

  • Never use hot water – this will shrink the fibres and damage them beyond repair.

  • Do not use soap powder: soap powder residue clings to the fibres and inhibits their ability to wick.

  • Do not use fabric conditioners or softeners: they will interfere with the merino’s natural odour resistant and moisture wicking properties.

  • Do not dry on a radiator, in front of a fire or in a tumble dryer.

Rips and tears

If you snag, tear, or get holes in your merino, it can be mended using silk sewing thread.

Dishwasher Safe - Can I put my cookware in a dishwasher?

After an adventure on the hills the last thing you need to worry about is how best to clean your beloved pots and pans. You can of course hand wash any pots and pans in the sink without a care in the world, but what if you have the luxury of a dishwasher?

Titanium - Fire away! Titanium cookware is absolutely fine in the dishwasher and will come out sparkling, except for the burnt on porridge from when you left the pan unattended to get your favourite spoon perhaps.

Aluminium - DO NO put aluminium cookware in the dishwasher. It will do terrible things and make your pots unusable! Always clean aluminium cookware by hand

Tent Care Instructions

Care and Cleaning

Please note – you should never use a washing machine/tumble dryer to clean your tent. Car washes are also frowned upon.

To clean the tent, use a sponge and non-detergent soap in clean warm water, make sure to clean and look after your zips after every trip as they can bear the brunt of a lot of abuse. Use a brush and some lubricant (there is a debate as to whether Flora or Bertolli is best, compared to a ‘commercial’ zip lubricant). Fingering your zip while closing the door will keep the fabric from being caught in the teeth and potentially ripping the tent or causing damage to the zip.

To increase the life of the poles, take care not to bend them too much. When slotting them together, take extra care at the joints to stop the ends becoming sharp or bent. When removing the tent poles it is also better to push the pole through the pole sleeve rather than pull the separate sections through as this could cause the elastic inside to tear or break, while possibly causing the pole sleeve to rip as well.

A major contributor to the life of a tent is its UV exposure, pitching the tent in a shaded area will help prevent the fabric degrading in the sun. Although be careful not to pitch under dead wood or a popular lemming jumping cliff.

Using Pegs

When retrieving the pegs from the ground refrain from using the tent itself to pull the peg out as this can cause tears or rip the peg loops from the tent. Instead use a spare peg or stick to hook the pegs out. If a peg bends it can usually be bent back over a stone or through brute strength. Replacement pegs are available from our shop.

In some cases tent pegs can be replaced with skis or rocks and guy lines can be tied off to a tree. In deep snow burying a bag full of snow can act as an anchor. Using a Tike or Y-beam peg on its side and burying it can also provide enough strength to anchor a guy line. Lastly for a specific snow peg visit the shop and check out our Ankkor snow pegs.

Repairing Your Tent

If you're unlucky enough to rip your tent when out camping (freak cat attacks can and do happen!) then the ever trusty duct tape works well or even better, StormSure Tuff Tape makes for a great repair. If it is an extensive rip then use some tape while out and when you get back, get in touch with us and we will help you work out the best and most cost effective way of getting it fixed.

If a pole breaks use a splint or pole sleeve as a temporary repair and contact us for spare parts.

Camping on Sand

When camping on a beach or on sand, a footprint will decrease the abrasion on the groundsheet and decrease the amount of grit in the tent. Use similar methods as in the snow to anchor the tent down using a variety of pegs, rocks or trees.

Taking the tent down during the day when it is not being used and pitching in the shade (but not under any dead wood or coconut trees) will decrease the UV effect on the flysheet material. Another option is to pitch the Rig (7) tarp over the tent to protect it from UV damage.

Folding and Storage

In order to get the tent the right size to fit into the bag, fold it into a long rectangle using the poles as guidance. When rolling the tent, roll with the poles and pegs in their storage bags. This prevents dirt getting into the tent and reduces the chance of tears from sharp pegs or loose poles.

Sweep the tent out and clear the pockets before folding the tent and ensure it is completely dry before storage. When storing the tent for a prolonged time, similar to a sleeping bag or down jacket, store in a large cotton storage bag or mesh bag to stop mildew and odours occurring, store in a cool, dry, dark area.

How to Clean A Down Jacket or Sleeping Bag

Why wash your down jacket or sleeping bag?

When you clean your down jacket or bag, it does more than just get rid of the pong.

Washing away dirt helps to restore warmth and breathability and - whilst you’re at it - you can treat your garment with reproofer to improve performance in damp conditions. Finally, tumble drying your down properly works out those clumps that form naturally when you get caught in the rain.

Washing your down can be intimidating, but it shouldn’t be! In fact, it’s quite easy to wash your down kit – especially with our handy how-to.

Washing

Machine washing down
  1. For jackets, a 7kg household washing machine should be big enough to clean your down jacket. For a sleeping bag you’ll need a 10kg capacity washing machine.

  2. Only use agitator-free washing machines (such as front loading washing machines).

  3. Run an empty was to flush out all the soap residue, clean the detergent dispenser.

  4. Using the recommended quantity of Down Wash, wash at 30˚C and select the slowest spin cycle possible.

  5. Rinse the bag thoroughly in clean water until the water runs clear.

Handwashing Down
  1. Ensure your bath is clean.

  2. Fill with lukewarm water and add down wash or pure soap flakes.

  3. Put in your down item and press gently to submerge.

  4. Soak for around 30 minutes, gently agitate every now and then.

  5. Drain water, refill the bath with clean lukewarm.

  6. Gently massage the item in the water to remove all the soap until all the soap water is gone (use a shower head if you have one).

  7. Drain the bath, gently press down on the item to get as much water out of the down as possible.

  8. Rinse thoroughly until the water runs clear.

NEVER wring or squeeze the down garment/sleeping bag.

Drying

For starters: NEVER hang your down garment or sleeping bag on the line to drip dry, it will end up very clumpy and a bit useless.

Tumble drying (recommended)
  1. Tumble drying is the most effective way of drying your down. When reproofing garments, the heat helps to cure the waterproofing to the fabric quicker.

  2. Set your tumble dryer to the lowest temperature.

  3. Throw in your item with a couple of clean tennis balls (these will break up the wet clumps of down and restore loftiness)

  4. Leave on until the garment is dry and restored to full loftiness

Flat dry

This can take up to a few days. If left unattended, the down will clump together and lose its fluffy loftiness. (That’s why we recommend tumble drying)

  1. Lay open your garment or bag in a dry, shady area.

  2. Frequently massage and separate the drying down until it is dry and fluffy once more.

Waterproofing (optional)

Make your down more effective in damp conditions by reproofing it.

After washing (and before drying) wash your garment or sleeping bag as above, but use a down reproofing treatment such as Nikwax Down Proof.

Please remember: this does not make your down waterproof, but makes it more resilient in damper conditions.

Storing down items

  • To help your down to retain its loft, store your down garments and sleeping bags in a clean, dry, ventilated area.

  • We recommend hanging your jacket up in the wardrobe or laying it on top of the wardrobe. For your sleeping bag, we suggest a large cotton or mesh bag.

  • Do not store you down items in compression sacks or squeezed into a draw.

How to clean your down sleeping bag

Why clean your down?

Careful washing can extend the effective lifespan of your down sleeping bag, and give you a clean and fresh feeling every night. These cleaning instructions apply to both our range of down sleeping bags and goose down jackets.

Do I have to have my down washed professionally?

If you're keen to do it yourself, read on for method for washing your down.

IMPORTANT: We do not recommend dry cleaning or bleaching down products.

What will I need?

  • A large tumble dryer is worth its weight in gold as air drying takes a long time and you will have to constantly agitate the down as it dries to ensure that it does not clump.

  • A bath or large capacity washing machine (10 kg).

  • NikWax Down Wash

  • NikWax Down Proof (optional)

  • Clean tennis ball or tennis shoe

The how-to
Stage 1A - Hand wash (the gentle approach)

If you share a house with other people make sure you negotiate an appropriate time slot since this may take some time.

  1. Fill your bath with luke warm water mixing in either pure soap flakes or our favourite down cleaner.

  2. Place your sleeping bag into the bath and gently press it down so it is submerged.

  3. Agitate it a little and then go and get a cup of tea and some biscuits.

  4. After an hour or so let the water drain from the bath and refill with fresh water. Gently massage the bag to remove the soap from the down, if you have a shower head this could work well.

  5. Keep at it until all the soapy water is removed. Gently push down on the down bag to evacuate as much water as possible.

IMPORTANT: Do not wring or squeeze the bag, this will damage the down.

OR

Stage 1B - Machine wash (the less gentle approach)

We recommend using a large capacity front loading washing machine (over 10 kg capacity), but the bigger the bag the more capacity you'll need. A normal household machine has a capacity of under 7kg and is just not going to cut the mustard.

  1. Try to remove all soap residues by flushing the machine through with an empty wash and clean out the soap dispenser.

  2. Set the water temperature to 30C (warm) and fill the soap dispenser with the recommended quantity of Nikwax Down Wash (this will depend on the weight of the bag).

  3. After the wash cycle is complete, rinse the bag thoroughly.

Stage 2 - Waterproofing (optional)

You can increase the effectiveness of your down in damp conditions by treating it with Nikwax Down Proof.

  1. Before removing your wet bag from the washing machine reload the dispenser with the recommended quantity of Down Proof.

  2. Let your machine work its magic whilst you have some custard cream and a coffee OR if you are using the bath roll up your sleeves again and get hands on (and ask someone else to get you custard creams).

Stage 3 - Rinse well
  1. Rinse until the water runs clean.

Stage 4 - Drying your sleeping bag

Now what are you going to do with that soggy mass of feathers?

IMPORTANT: Take care when lifting your bag, it will be heavy so keep a straight back, bend your knees and avoid putting any stress on the bags seams.

  1. If you have tumble dryer we told you about earlier, set it to the lowest heat option (take care with launderettes as they seem to have one single setting that could melt glass).

  2. Throw in the clean tennis shoe or tennis balls with your bag. As the bag dries these will break up the down clumps. Large bags will require several hours of tumbling before they are dry.

  3. We recommend tumble drying when using products such as Nikwax Down Proof as the heat helps cure the waterproofing to the fabric quicker.

OR

  1. No dryer? Lay it opened in a clean, dry, and shady area to dry.

  2. Massage and separate the drying down until completely dry.

  3. Air drying a bag can take days! If your bag is left unattended the down will clump together and it will not be nice and fluffy.

IMPORTANT: Do not just throw your bag over the washing line and leave it to drip dry overnight. Better still, place in the dryer on a low heat.. oh did we say that already?

Cleaning and storage tips
  • Sleep in long underwear or using a cotton or silk sleeping bag liner to reduce the number of times you will have to wash your bag.

  • Store your down product in a clean, dry, and ventilated area.

  • Avoid hanging it over a rail.

  • Stuff it loosely inside its large grey cotton storage bag so that it retains its loft.

  • Do not store your sleeping bag in its compression stuff sack or when it is damp.

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