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DWRs — or “Durable Water Repellent” coatings — play a huge role in the performance of your outdoor gear, and are used on nearly every waterproof garment on the market. But most DWRs are made with chemicals called PFCs, which can be harmful to you and the environment.

Nikwax, however, makes products intended to extend the lifespan of outdoor gear, and none of their specialized cleaning, conditioning, or waterproofing products have ever used PFCs. So we talked with Heidi Allen from Nikwax about how DWRs work; the dangers of PFCs; how the industry is attempting to shift away from PFCs; garment care; and more.


  • Heidi’s background growing up off-the-grid (1:00)
  • Durable Water Repellent (DWR) overview (2:54)
  • DWRs vs. Membranes? (6:50)
  • Hydrophobic vs. Oleophobic? (11:38)
  • Why do clean garments perform better? (17:15)
  • Alternatives to PFCs (19:06)
  • Environmental & transparency initiatives at Nikwax (27:01)
  • The future of DWRs (31:09)
  • Páramo (33:30)

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