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Verdict: 
A great product that reinvigorates and adds water repellency to fleece garments
Weight: 
363g
Contact: 

Nikwax Polar Proof is a really useful coating for fleece kit that not only freshens up older garments but adds or replenishes a useful degree of water repellency.

  • Pros: Adds water repellency & reinvigorates old fleece, environmentally friendly
  • Cons: None

At this time of year, as the weather has turned and the mercury has plummeted, fleece becomes your best friend. An even better friend if it can keep the rain off as well as the cold out...

> Find your nearest dealer here

Polar Proof adds or reapplies waterproofing to fleece garments while maintaining insulation and breathability. It's water based and doesn't use PFC, so it's pretty environmentally friendly too.

Using it is really simple: you just add it in as you would any regular laundry detergent. You need to make sure there is no excess detergent in the drawer, so take it out and give it a quick rinse, then add one capful for a single item, or two caps for two or three items, then run it/them through the recommended wash cycle on the label.

I tried it on a fleece that had a little waterproofing, but not a huge amount. After first washing it with Nikwax Tech Wash and then the Polar Proof, the difference was immediate: what would normally come out of the washing machine pretty damp was essentially dry, and completely wearable within 10 minutes.

The waterproofing is impressive – water beads off the fleece, none of it soaking in even when I've held it under a running tap. It makes fleece look almost new, and though I don't have access to the road.cc labs to do a scientific analysis of before and after, I have noticed an improvement in both insulation and breathability.

At £6 a bottle, giving about six washes of a single fleece, or three washes of two or three garments, it works out at about 65p-£1 per garment – which is a pretty good price compared with buying a new one.

I'm impressed. Polar Proof does what it promises, completely reinvigorating fleece to 'as new' standard and giving it water repellency. And it's environmentally friendly to boot.

Verdict

A great product that reinvigorates and adds water repellency to fleece garments

If you're thinking of buying this product using a cashback deal why not use the road.cc Top Cashback page and get some top cashback while helping to support your favourite independent cycling website

road.cc test report

Make and model: Nikwax Polar Proof

Size tested: 300ml

Tell us what the product is for

It's for reinvigorating fleece garments, adding water repellency while maintaining breathability and insulation.

Nikwax says: "Adds Durable Water Repellency; reducing weight gain and maintaining breathability and insulation of fleece in wet weather."

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Nikwax says:

For best results always clean item(s) first with Nikwax Tech Wash® in a separate wash cycle. No need to dry item(s) before waterproofing. Shake well before use. Follow care label instructions.

Remove all detergent build-up from the detergent dispenser.

Place clean items(s) in washing machine (maximum 3 items).

Use 50ml for 1 item and 100ml for 2-3 items.

Wash according to care label.

Drip-dry or tumble dry on a low setting if care label allows.

To maintain waterproofing always wash with Nikwax Tech Wash®. Do not use detergents.

Rate the product for performance:
 
10/10

Excellent performance: not only added water repellency, but made a slightly worn fleece look practically new.

Rate the product for durability:
 
7/10

In the review period I can't test how long this treatment is likely to stay on, but you get six washes per bottle...

Rate the product for value:
 
9/10

Excellent value if the alternative is buying a new fleece.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Very well: does exactly what it's meant to – adds water repellency and reinvigorates old fleece products.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The water repellency is excellent; I think the fleece I tested it on might now be more waterproof than when I first got it.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Nothing much to not like.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your overall score

It's a great product that gives new life to old fleece, helps them fend off the weather, and all while being environmentally friendly.

Overall rating: 9/10

About the tester

Age: 29  Height: 6 ft  Weight:

I usually ride: Mercian King of Mercia or Cinelli Gazzetta  My best bike is: Cannondale Supersix Evo

I've been riding for: 5-10 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking

George spends his days flitting between writing about data, running business magazines and writing about sports technology. The latter gave him the impetus (excuse) to get even further into the cycling world before taking the dive and starting his own cycling sites and writing for Road.cc. 

When he is not writing about cycling, he is either out on his bike cursing not living in the countryside or boring anybody who will listen about the latest pro peloton/cycling tech/cycling infrastructure projects.  

3 comments

Avatar
Disfunctional_T... [337 posts] 10 months ago
0 likes

> ... completely reinvigorating fleece to 'as new' standard
> ... freshens up older garments
> ... which is a pretty good price compared with buying a new one.

What is meant by these statements? Fleece does not go bad, and fleece almost never has a DWR coating, unless there's a face fabric.

In fact, I don't think you would want fleece to have a DWR coating. One of fleece's positive attributes is that it can transport water to outer face of the fleece if there is a temperature differential, similar to Páramo.

road.cc really needs a technical editor that understands fabric technologies.

Avatar
Disfunctional_T... [337 posts] 10 months ago
0 likes
Valbrona wrote:

I'll give it a go:

Nikwax Polar Proof® has been specifically designed and optimised for fleece garments; it leaves a flexible water repellent treatment on individual fibres allowing moisture vapour to pass through, maintaining breathability and optimising performance in wet weather. Additionally, it inhibits pilling of fleece fabrics, prolonging the life of gear.

Awesome... you can cut-and-paste from Nikwax's promotional blurb.

Avatar
Freddy56 [344 posts] 10 months ago
0 likes
Disfunctional_Threshold wrote:

> ... completely reinvigorating fleece to 'as new' standard > ... freshens up older garments > ... which is a pretty good price compared with buying a new one. What is meant by these statements? Fleece does not go bad, and fleece almost never has a DWR coating, unless there's a face fabric. In fact, I don't think you would want fleece to have a DWR coating. One of fleece's positive attributes is that it can transport water to outer face of the fleece if there is a temperature differential, similar to Páramo. road.cc really needs a technical editor that understands fabric technologies.

 

...or a less agressive , more intelligent readership. IF you read before you spewed.....it is targeting advanced  fleeces with membrane or tight knit windstopper properties, which is is fantastic at. Primark fleece isnt worth the effort.