SITKA Gear is designed to provide exceptional weather protection and breathability. Because hunters seek the trail less traveled, garments naturally build-up dirt and other surface contaminants such as blood, sweat and campfire smoke which can reduce the effectiveness of the textile’s performance and breathability. Routine care and maintenance ensures the optimum performance of your SITKA Gear.
Properly washing and drying your SITKA Gear removes dirt and other contaminants to increase the garment’s breathability, longevity and revitalizes the Durable Water Repellent (DWR) treatment that is critical to the performance of a GORE-TEX® garment.
This simply depends on how often or how hard you use your gear. The following applies for both standard SITKA Gear and GORE-TEX® products. For next-to-skin layers, vigorous activity or gear that’s been worn on a successful hunt, we suggest washing every 10-12 days or as soon as you get home. For light activity, wash every 20 to 30 days of use. We recommend using your best judgment. If the garment is sweaty, dirty or bloody; is no longer shedding water and is wetting out; or you are beginning to feel damp or clammy, it’s time to wash and dry your garment. Not only will you be more comfortable but you will increase the life of your gear and maximize your experience in the field.
Not only are GORE-TEX® garments built to last, they are easy to care for. Routine care will ensure excellent performance and extend their useful life. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s care instructions–typically found on the inside tag.
Before laundering your garment, zip the front closure, pockets and pit zips completely, and fasten all flaps and straps. Be sure to follow the garment manufacturer’s instructions to ensure high performance.
Wash your GORE-TEX® garment in the washing machine in warm (105°F/40°C) water using a permanent press or gentle cycle setting. For best results use a small amount of liquid detergent, preferably a scent-free or hunting-specific detergent. Rinse twice to remove any residual cleaning chemicals.
Try and avoid washing your GORE-TEX® garment with other heavily-soiled clothing. However, you can wash moderate or light soiled garments together.
NOTE: Do not use powder detergents or any products that contain fabric softeners, conditioners, stain removers or bleach as they will affect garment performance and DWR treatment.
Do not use chlorine bleach.
We recommend line-drying your garment. It uses less energy and reduces your impact on the environment. Once the garment is dry, it only takes 20 minutes of tumble-drying to revitalize the durable water repellent (DWR) finish of a GORE-TEX® garment.
If you use a dryer, we recommend a gentle cycle with medium heat. Because today’s high-efficiency dryers shut off as soon as the moisture rate inside the dryer reaches a certain level, continue the cycle an additional 20 minutes to reactivate the DWR.
If unable to tumble dry, iron the dry garment on a gentle setting (warm, no steam) by placing a towel or cloth between the garment and the iron. This will help reactivate the DWR treatment on your garment’s outer fabric.
We recommend home laundering. If professional dry cleaning is necessary, request that the cleaner use clear distilled hydrocarbon solvent for rinsing and then spray DWR on the garment’s outer fabric before drying. Follow the garment manufacturer’s instructions.
WATER-REPELLENT TREATMENT (DWR)
When the factory applied treatment can no longer be reactivated, apply a new water-repellent treatment available as a pump-spray or wash-in product to the garment’s outer fabric. More information under 'What is DWR'.
Each garment has its own care instructions. Be sure to read the care tag before washing and/or drying your gear.
In general washing your gear under a Normal setting with warm water and a hunting-specific detergent will remove most dirt and blood stains. We recommend a second rinse cycle. Wash with like colors. Do not use bleach or fabric softeners and do not dry clean.
We recommend line-drying your garment. It uses less energy and reduces your impact on the environment. If you use a dryer, use a normal or gentle cycle with medium heat. For all outerwear garments, whether hung or machine-dried, an additional 20 minutes of tumble-drying will reactivate the DWR treatment and is recommended.
Many of SITKA’s outerwear and all GORE-TEX® garments are treated with an ultra-thin treatment of DWR, or durable water repellent. This treatment causes water to bead up and roll off of the outer layer of the garment, instead of being absorbed or wetting out. DWR is not what keeps you dry in a GORE-TEX® garment. Its benefit is to prevent loss of breathability and performance caused when a garment wets out.
DWR is not permanent. Regular wear and tear, plus exposure to dirt, detergents, campfire smoke, cooking odors and other impurities diminish the protective DWR treatment. When water no longer beads up on your garment’s outer fabric, you can restore its DWR properties by using a topical spray-pump or a wash-in DWR treatment available at retail outdoor stores. These special treatments help maintain and restore the DWR on the outer shell fabric of the garment so that it remains water and stain repellent.
DWR is reactivated after a standard wash dry cycle. Once the garment is dry, we recommend an extra 20 minutes of tumble-drying to fully revitalize the DWR treatment. DWR is not permanent and if a garment wets out quickly after being reactivated, it’s time to restore it.
When drying the garment no longer revitalizes DWR, it’s time to restore. When the factory-applied DWR treatment needs to be restored, apply a new DWR treatment available as a pump-spray or wash-in product to the garment’s outer fabric. A spray-on DWR is easy to use and more efficient. After washing the garment, shake to remove excess water, close all pockets and hang, preferably in an open area. Spray the new treatment evenly onto the wet face-fabric. Toss garment into a tumble dryer on a medium heat setting for 40 to 50 minutes. Now you can reactivate the DWR until you notice it needs to be restored again.
We recommend pump-action sprays instead of aerosol sprays to reduce the environmental impact. However, technically an aerosol spray can be used.
Merino wool is a delicate fiber and requires more attention than a synthetic garment.
It is safe to machine wash merino wool under a gentle cycle with cold water. Wash with other merino wool products of like colors. Do not use bleach or fabric softeners and do not dry-clean.
Tumble dry on low heat or lay flat to dry. Merino wool will shrink if not cared for properly.
From continual compression or the build up of sweat and dirt, down can lose loft—reducing the garment’s insulating effectiveness. When your down garment has lost it’s loftiness, it is recommended that this garment be washed. Although necessary, it is best to do it as sparingly as possible. Use a front-load washing machine and a down-specific detergent such as ReviveX Down Cleaner Concentrate. Use warm water on permanent press or gentle cycle and rinse twice to ensure all cleaner has been removed.
Remove excess water with a towel by patting dry. Dry the down garment on low heat with two clean tennis balls to help regain loft. If you don’t have tennis balls, you can substitute a pair of rolled up heavy socks. It is very important that you dry your down garment entirely, which may take upwards of 2 to 3 hours. Your down garment will not regain its loft until it is fully dry. Store unstuffed in a dry place.
Do not remove the frame. The best way to wash your pack is in your shower or at a car wash using the rinse setting. Using warm water, scrub lightly and use a small amount of a hunting-specific detergent if heavily soiled. Hang dry.
CAN I ALTER MY GORE-TEX® GARMENT OR EMBROIDER A LOGO ON IT?
Any form of alteration to your GORE-TEX® garment after purchase, including repairs, logo embroidery, or fit alterations, should be done at a Gore-certified facility. Otherwise, you might compromise the waterproof protection of your garment, usually via small needle holes that have not been sealed. If you need to change your garment in any way, contact us to locate a certified repair facility.
I'VE DAMAGED MY GORE-TEX® GARMENT. WHAT CAN I DO?
You can temporarily fix minor punctures and tears with a GORE -TEX® Fabric Repair Kit, available at specialty outdoor stores. These special adhesive patches allow you to make instant repairs to preserve the waterproof integrity of your outerwear until you can get it to a certified repair center. Please contact our customer service team for assistance with repairs.