NRS Dry Wear Care

ArticleDecember 21, 2022

With proper care and maintenance, your NRS dry wear will provide years of protection and enjoyment. Follow the instructions and recommendations below to ensure the best performance and longevity for your gear.

Article Contents:

Safety Considerations

  • Paddlers wearing dry suitsDry suits, dry tops and dry pants provide excellent thermal protection when boating in cold water. Add and remove insulating layers to meet the conditions you encounter.
  • All garments: replace any damaged or torn gaskets and socks before use.
  • Dry suits: make sure all dry zippers are fully closed before boating. Remove excess air from the suit (“burp”) before paddling and after opening or closing a zipper. To burp the suit, enter the water or squat, while holding the neck gasket open to expel air. Then release the gasket. Excess air in the suit can make it difficult or impossible to escape certain hydraulic features.

Gasket Care

  • New latex gaskets may not be comfortable initially, but they will stretch over time. You can speed up the stretching process by placing something slightly larger than your neck, wrist or ankle in the gasket and leaving it overnight (or longer, if necessary).
  • Sunscreen, insect repellant and other chemicals can damage latex. Clean gaskets after each use and regularly apply silicone grease or spray to moisturize.
  • Be careful of rings, earrings, watches and other sharp objects when donning and removing your dry wear.
  • Do not force your body, especially your head, through the gaskets. Gently stretch them open as you put on and take off the garment.
  • Even with the best of care, gaskets will eventually break down and need to be replaced. We offer do-it-yourself replacement kits, plus complete video and written instructions. Replacing your own gaskets isn’thard and is a valuable boater skill. Our experienced repairs crew can also replace gaskets at a reasonable cost.
  • Dry wear gaskets are not covered under our warranty.

Zipper Care

Proper care for dry suit, dry wear, and wetsuit zippers will help prolong the useful life of your paddling and boating technical outerwear. These tips and techniques will ensure maximum dryness and extend the lifespan of your dry zippers.

  • Avoid bending or crimping a dry zipper. A broken zipper cannot be repaired, and replacing one is very expensive.
  • When closing a zipper, line up the two halves and slide the zipper car with a smooth, steady motion. If you have difficulty, stop and determine the cause. You may need to ask for help.
  • Clean your zippers; this will help them operate much more smoothly and make them less subject to damage. See below for product recommendations.
  • To ensure maximum and long-lasting dryness, lubricate the zippers often. See below for further details.
  • Never force a zipper. When having difficulty, inspect the zipper, clean out any obstructions and lubricate the zipper teeth. Closing a zipper over a piece of debris can ruin the zipper.
  • For prolonged storage of dry suits, store with the zipper all the way open. If left closed for long periods, the zipper’s sealing elements can take on a “compression set” making them less effective.

We recommend the following products to keep your dry wear zippers working optimally.

Gear Aid Zipper Cleaner and Lubricant cleans and lubricates nylon and metal zippers.

  • Before applying, unzip garment and clean zippers with the applicator brush.
  • Open cap and brush generous amounts of lubricant onto zipper teeth.
  • Re-apply regularly, especially before long storage periods.
  • Close cap and rinse brush after use.
  • Apply Zipper Lubricant Stick when finished for further protection.

Gear Aid Zipper Lubricant Stick lubricates and protects nylon and metal zippers.

  • Rub lubricant up and down zipper teeth.
  • Work zipper to fully lubricate entire mechanism.
  • Re-apply regularly.
  • Store product in a cool dry place away from direct sunlight.

Gear Aid Silicone Grease Lubricant permeates the surface of materials to prevent oxidation, extend the life of zippers and ensure maximum dryness.

  • Squeeze a small amount along the length of the zipper.
  • Using your finger, spread the grease along the zipper.
  • Run the zipper back and forth a few times to distribute the lubricant.

Dry Wear Transportation

  • Keep garments out of direct sun, and avoid leaving them in closed, hot vehicles. Sun damages gaskets and heat can affect seam taping.
  • Special care must be taken when transporting your drysuit to avoid damaging the zippers. Fold or roll the suit so the zippers are not bent or kinked. Ensure that no heavy objects are placed on top of the rolled suit.

Dry Wear Cleaning

  • It’s a good idea to rinse your dry wear in fresh water after use, especially if you’re boating in silty water or seawater.
  • If more thorough cleaning is needed, use a product that is designed for technical outerwear garments. We recommend products like ReviveX Synthetic Fabric Cleaner or Nikwax Tech Wash. Closely follow cleaner directions.
  • Do not use liquid laundry detergents, bleach or harsh chemicals on garments.
  • Hand wash and rinse. Low-heat activates DWR properties; tumble dry on low-heat settings only.

Restoring Durable Water Repellent (DWR)

  • Dry wear fabrics are given a DWR treatment by the manufacturer so water beads up on the surface rather than soaking into the fibers and interfering with breathability. This treatment is long lasting but eventually abrasion and soiling will overpower it, leading to “wetting out” of the fabric.
  • Sometimes just washing away soiling on the garment with cleaners like ReviveX Synthetic Fabric Cleaner or Nikwax Tech Wash will restore the DWR. (If this does not work, you have not wasted a step because it’s necessary to clean the garment before using a DWR-restoring treatment.)
  • There are a number of good DWR replacement treatments available. We recommend 303 High Tech Fabric Guard, ReviveX Spray-On, Nikwax Direct Wash-in and Nikwax Direct Spray-On. Closely follow directions.

Dry Wear Storage

  • Dry garments thoroughly before storage.
  • Store them out of direct sunlight in cool, dry conditions.
  • Store dry suits with plastic zippers fully closed. Store suits with metal zippers with zippers open.
  • Do not store them in rooms with combustion sources, such as a furnace room; they can generate ozone, which damages latex.
  • Treat gaskets with silicone grease or spray before storage.
  • Hang or loosely roll garments.
  • Avoid high heat and humidity.

Care & Maintenance for GORE-TEX Pro Dry Wear

GORE-TEX Pro is the most rugged and high performing of waterprooof GORE-TEX material offerings, and the most appropriate for paddlesports use. It is waterproof, breathable, windproof and abrasion resistant. GORE-TEX products are built to last, giving users great longevity in their investment. However, like any piece of technical gear, care and maintenance is necessary for peak performance as well extending the life of the garment.