Grangers and Nikwax are some of the first companies people think of when they’re looking for affordable, effective waterproofing products. Both of these companies have specialized formulas that can help clean gear, remove odors, and offer layers of protection in the future.
We’ve taken a look at what each company has to offer and analyzed which is worth the price.
Our Best Pick
Grangers offers a wide range of different products. The company categorizes them by cleaning products, protection products, and kits. From there, each category is further broken down into products meant for clothing, footwear, and tenting gear.
When you’re looking for a cleaner for your clothing, there are four to choose from: active, merino, down, or performance. Each uses a slightly different formula to obtain a different result.
The active wash is a wash-in cleaner that removes odors, dirt, and sweat from activewear. It also helps improve the wicking properties of mesh by removing any clogging material.
The merino wash is specifically formulated to use on clothes made of merino wool. Many hunting shirts and jackets are crafted from this wool since it’s one of the warmest natural materials available.
The down wash handles jackets and other gear that are filled with real or synthetic down. And the performance wash is a more heavy duty wash that can be used on all technical and outdoor clothing.
Next, you have the footwear cleaning. The company offers a footwear and gear cleaning formula, along with an odor eliminator that can remove bacteria and other bad smells from used shoes. A boot brush is available to clear dirt and mud from the surface of your boots.
Also available is a tent and gear cleaner that’s made for tent fabrics, sleeping bags, backpacks, and any other gear you might need to wash.
The company’s protection products can be used alongside or in lieu of the cleaning products. There’s a wash-in clothing treatment that restores a waterproof finish or adds waterproofing to a non-waterproofed piece of gear. At the same time, the formula allows for breathability. The water repellent is active even when there’s no heat activation. If you need more intense waterproofing, the performance repel treatment can be sprayed on for maximum effectiveness.
There are also two-in-one wash-and-waterproof formulas available for both general clothing and down-filled clothing. As the name implies, these gently cleanse the clothing and leave behind a waterproof coating that protects against the elements.
For footwear, there’s a general waterproofing sealant available. You can also choose from two different kinds of wax and even use a leather conditioner. As for your tents and other gear, there’s waterproofing material that can be either painted on or sprayed for effectiveness.
The company’s kits are collections of different products optimized to suit different needs. One kit has all the down cleaning and waterproofing products, while another has all the activewear wash products, and another is created specifically for clothing care.
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Nikwax also offers a number of different products to suit a variety of different needs. The three main categories are waterproofing, conditioning, and cleaning. The products aren’t sorted according to purpose like with the Grangers, so it can be a little more difficult to find what you’re looking for.
Like the Grangers, Nikwax offers both a basic cleaning formula and a cleaning formula for down. The company has also created a gel for cleaning footwear, which can be easier to apply than a spray. Also available is a natural rug cleaner and a technical wash for technical gear.
One unique aspect of Nikwax is that the company offers many dual-product packages without creating a full kit. For example, there’s a dual pack of fabric and leather footwear cleaner. There’s also a dual pack of nubuck and suede footwear cleaner, along with a dual pack of hardshell cleaners for waterproof clothing.
The conditioners offered by the company are meant to enhance your gear in different ways. One of the conditioners helps to enhance the moisture-wicking capabilities of any fabric that’s meant to wick away sweat. This helps to keep you cooler throughout your adventure. There’s also a basic conditioning wash that cleanses your clothes and then adds a layer of anti-odor protection to keep bacteria from forming.
Another conditioner is the conditioner for leather, which uses water-based softening technology and waterproof coating to make your leather footwear smooth and sleek. The final conditioner is a wool wash, which is made to soften and freshen wool clothing while keeping odors from building up.
Where Nikwax really shines, though, is in their waterproofing technology. There are dozens of different waterproofing formulas and dual packs designed to suit a variety of different purposes. Some waterproofing technology is for clothing, such as the leather, fabric, and cotton waterproofing. There are also multiple options for waterproofing footwear and tents.
One unique note is that there’s a sponge-on waterproofing formula for gloves, which Grangers doesn’t have. Once the coating is applied, the gloves repel water while maintaining grip and breathability.
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Both of these companies create high-quality waterproofing and gear cleaning materials that can stand the test of time. All of the formulas are high performance. The one that works best for you will vary depending on what you want.
Other than that, it really depends on what type of gear you’re waterproofing or cleaning, how you prefer to apply the coating, and whether you’re enhancing any previous capabilities of the fabric.