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View Full Version : Treating Kifaru Gear (water-proofing spray)....Any tips....



KDOG
09-04-2009, 01:09 PM
Another high end US made tactical gear maker recommended using McNett Thundersheild as a water resistant spray. I got a can and used it on a pack they make. I haven't had a chance to see if it works yet.

What does Kifaru recommend in this area?

ADK
09-04-2009, 03:29 PM
I just use a rain cover. Mind you it's hard to find one in tactical covers although OR does make one in coyote it's expensive. My 2 cents.

square peg
09-04-2009, 04:20 PM
Integral Designs make the best raincover I've come across. I have one that fits over my ZXR and is od green. I believe it is the same material used for their tarps. Super light stuff. It fits neatly in its own sewn in sack and takes up absolutely no room. I use this setup for SAR in the pacific nw with light roll up waterproof dry bags inside the ZXR and love it. I know whats in each bag, my xtra clothes are always dry and things are separated(and dry). I even keep my food in a light dry bag. If I am in bear country I can easily rope it off a couple of trees. I could takes a swim with my pack and feel comfortable nothing is going to get wet. mtc.

KDOG
09-05-2009, 08:16 PM
Ok I guess what I'm asking is it ok to use that stuff on Kifaru gear?

mb
09-06-2009, 02:11 AM
I haven't used Thundershield myself. It's quoted as a silicone-based, colorless and environmentally-safe, water-repellant spray suitable for nylon (among other things). McNett is a reputable brand, and they have products used in military applications. So, why not? The only question mark I can think of is whether it affects NIR.

Water-repellancy treatment of the outer surface of packs, pouches etc does make sense. It will take longer for the fabric to get soaked in wet weather, and hence it'll remain lighter to carry, for some time anyway. It also slows down water leakage to the interior. Sealing seams and repairing worn-out urethane coating on the interior of the pack using a good seam sealing product for urethane-coated fabrics (eg SeamGrip by McNett) slows leakage more still.

Raincovers do much the same, but are somewhat of a pain to use, and are compromises somewhere between breaking easily or weighing a ton. I prefer not to use a raincover except for 1) floating the pack in waterway crossing, 2) at bivouac, 3) if required for camouflage (snowcamo in particular).

There are many sources for military and military-like pack raincovers.
http://www.recon.se/images/Recon_Regnoverdrag.jpg.
This one is available in M90 and OD, sizes L and XL, I think, but annoyingly not shipped outside Sweden http://www.recon.se/product_info.php?cPath=94_152&products_id=61
When choosing or making a raincover, make sure there are no seams except along the brim, if planning for flotation usage. Sewing a custom raincover is pretty easy - a good 'entry-level' DIY project.

Packing waterproofly inside the pack using drybags or such is highly recommendable in wet conditions, and mandatory in amphibious ops, regardless of all of the above. The only exception are dedicated dry-packs ('swimmer's packs') that are submersion waterproof.

ADK
09-06-2009, 07:08 AM
I can't see why you couldn't use the spray.

Tony1911
09-07-2009, 03:30 AM
Has anyone experienced water entering their Kifaru bag from rain? I take it a water-proofing spray would hardly be sufficient for amphibious operations so rainfall is what we are discussing, right?

My experience with my X-Ray has been that my gear remains dry in even the hardest of downpours, but I have not been out in those conditions for prolonged periods of time with this pack.

ADK
09-07-2009, 07:33 AM
I don't trust anything in a prolonged downpour. That's why the gear that's inside my pack that must be dry is packed inside a SealLine type drybag. That is not only waterproof but submersion proof.

ahisa
09-07-2009, 08:49 AM
I've had water begin to seep in through the seams and then the fabric in my G2 express after 2 hours of hiking in steady rain and even had wet snow begin to seep into my EMR after several hours of backpacking. In my experience all the waterproofing sprays do is make the fabric stain resistant and prolongs the period of time before the fabric wets through.
If I expect rain I use my OR hydrolite stuff sacks and dry bags, I put my sensitive items in pelican cases, or sealine electronic cases. Aloksac also makes durable zip lock bag type bags for electronics. Short of dry packs made for kayakers and a few packs from arcteryx, you can never rely on a pack to keep things waterproof for more than a brief shower. This set up has worked for me several times when I have had to walk in rivers or canyons and use my pack as a float. That's also why I always get groments, so I don't get weighed down when I'm gong in and out of water obstacles. Hope that helps.

noflushbandit
09-07-2009, 10:15 AM
I agree with what you all have said. Treating fabric that is not waterproof to begin with will only delay the absorption of the water in a prolonged situation. I have not treated any of my packs, and my G2 Express just went through a tropical storm with me a few weeks back. The pack got wet like I anticipated, but I use a Seal Line bag to line my pack. If you are really concerned with being completely waterproof/submersible, then use a dry bag to line your pack and keep everything inside nice and dry. If you wont be in a torrential rain/heavy snow scenario, then the way the pack comes will be alright. Hope this helps a little bit!

Akilae
09-07-2009, 01:32 PM
So what do you guys recommend when it comes to getting something like a Seal Line sack? One large waterproof sack as a pack liner, or a bunch of smaller waterproof sacks that also serve for organization purposes? Been looking around and it seems the waterproofing world uses liters when making their sacks, while Kifaru uses cubic-inches, so there's no way to get a perfect fit...

On a related issue... anybody know how waterproof/resistant are the non-mesh pullouts?

KDOG
09-07-2009, 03:23 PM
Well I'm not expecting it to be submersible. LOL. I just would like to give it INCREASED water repellency, as in rain, etc. I realize in a prolonged down pour, its gonna soak through....

ADK
09-07-2009, 06:08 PM
Don't go with the vinyl SealLine ones as they are thick and heavy and you lose space. Check out their "storm sacks" here; http://cascadedesigns.com/SealLine/Dry-Bags/Storm-Sack/product . As far as one big bag lining the pack my preference would be no unless it's just a daypack like the Express. If it's for multi-day use like ZXR/MMR/EMR I would go with a bag for the sleeping gear, another for the clothing, etc....And if you really feel like treating yourself check out the thread I posted in this forum on their bags with the purge valve!

Akilae
09-07-2009, 07:21 PM
Don't go with the vinyl SealLine ones as they are thick and heavy and you lose space. Check out their "storm sacks" here; http://cascadedesigns.com/SealLine/Dry-Bags/Storm-Sack/product . As far as one big bag lining the pack my preference would be no unless it's just a daypack like the Express. If it's for multi-day use like ZXR/MMR/EMR I would go with a bag for the sleeping gear, another for the clothing, etc....And if you really feel like treating yourself check out the thread I posted in this forum on their bags with the purge valve!

I did check out the Seal Line bags TAD was selling... 90 bucks for a 56 liter Seal Line with purge valve, compared to 35 bucks for a 60 liter Storm Sack... I'm already poor enough investing in Kifaru packs, think I'll go cheap on the pack liner, lol. That is, unless there's something other than the purge valve that warrants a 55 buck increase...