Fast Fix: How to Maintain Technical Apparel

3 ways to make your high-tech apparel perform better and last longer.

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Granger’s One Step Wash & Waterproofer totally resurrected the repellency of three well-used test garments (made with Gore-Tex, eVent, and Columbia’s Omni Tech). Just add two capfuls to the wash cycle and then either machine dry or iron the garment. The wash unclogs the membrane’s pores to reestablish breathability, and the heat activates the fluoropolymer structure, creating a new waterproof coating. The result? Shells look brighter, smell better, and bead water like new. We like Granger’s two-in-one efficiency–cleaning and restoring the DWR finish in a single step–saving time, money, shelf space, and water. $15; 10 oz.;

Standard soap can leave wool fibers rough and scratchy, and reduce the fabric’s natural wicking ability. Who wants that next to his torso or toes? Our testers love Nikwax’s Wool Wash, which made our merino socks and layers feel softer and warmer. Tip: Machine-washing on gentle cycle is fine in most cases, but to protect high-quality merino for the long haul, wash by hand and dry with a towel. $7; 10 oz.;

Over time, regular detergents strip down feathers of the natural oils that give them loft (and loft equals warmth). We tested several down washes on decade-old puffy jackets and an old sleeping bag
that had been relegated to the bottom
of the gear closet. The winner: ReviveX Down Cleaner. It neutralized musty smells and restored four inches of loft to a tired old sleeping bag. Tip: Dry down items thoroughly; use a large commercial dryer, on low heat, and toss in a few clean tennis balls to break up clumps. $8; 12 oz.;