How to care for your outdoor clothing

How to care for your outdoor clothing

By Alex Guerrero

Outdoor gear needs proper cleaning. Our guide helps you wash merino, down, and waterproofs to keep them fresh and extend their usefulness.

From waterproofs and Merino wool to down and synthetic kit, cleaning and looking after your outdoor clothing is really important to keep your gear working better for longer. And it can be easy.


  1. Why do I need to take care of my outdoor kit?
  2. How do I take care of waterproof kit?
  3. How do I look after Merino wool kit?
  4. How do I take care of down jackets and sleeping bags?
  5. How do I look after sports kit/everything else?

Why do I need to take care of my outdoor kit?

Reduce. Reuse. Repair. Recycle. The four Rs are part of our Alpkit DNA. Keeping and, most importantly, using our clothes for longer reduces the environmental impact of their manufacturing, production, and delivery, as well as the pressures on the people who made them. We want to make gear you’ll love for longer. Repair old gear. And treat what we have to a spin around the block as often as we can.

Alpkit products are function first. To keep them working at their best, you’ve got to wash them and treat them like you would a good friend. Don’t let them get too smelly. Patch them up when they’ve had a fall. Keep them around for as long as they keep you happy. And when they don’t anymore, pass them on via our Continuum Project.

Caring for your waterproof kit

Red Definition waterproof jacket,


If you get your sweat on while you’re wearing your waterproofs, it can affect how well they work. Keeping your waterproofs, well, waterproof is all about proper care. And you can’t just chuck them in the washer like any old laundry. Standard detergent is full of composition-breaking chemicals which might ruin the waterproof membrane of your favourite jacket, so you need to use a tech wash, like Nikwax or Grangers.

Sound all a bit too stressful? Then, send your beloved waterproofs to the Alpkit Laundry. And get them delivered back to you squeaky clean.


Every now and then, waterproof kit needs a bit of TLC to keep working at its best. We’ve recently been working hard to get rid of nasty chemicals in our waterproof kit. This is great! But it does mean that they need reproofing more often. If you don’t know when or how to reproof your waterproof kit, a good sign is when the water is no longer beading on the surface of your kit.


If you’ve stumbled over a particularly spiky rock and got a snag in your beloved waterproofs, you need to patch that up! Stormsure Tuff Patches are self-adhesive waterproof patches. They can fix small holes in your waterproof kit to keep you nice and dry.

If your damage is a little too dramatic to be saved by patches, send your clothing into one of our repair stations. Available at all our stores.

Caring for your Merino wool clothing

Man wearing merino on bikepacking bike

Washing merino wool clothing

The better you look after your Merino wool garment, the better it will look after you. And if we love our products for longer, we can do our bit for the environment and keep that circular economy going. Avoid snagging, vigorous machine washing, putting your finger through the fabric, and hungry moths.

Repairing merino wool clothing

Darn any holes as soon as possible so they don’t grow. If you’re not too handy with a needle and thread, then you can send your Merino kit (Alpkit or otherwise!) to our repair stations, available in all stores.

Caring for your down sleeping bag and jacket

Woman in down jacket in tent with sleeping bag

Dirty down just isn’t as effective as fresh-out-the-wash down. It’s the pockets of air in down that keep you warm – so when it gets dirty and the down gets all clumped up, it won’t be able to keep you roasty toasty. Make sure to chuck it in the washer when it’s getting pongy. Special down washes, like Nikwax or Grangers will do the trick.

We also provide a down wash service at our Ambleside store. Keep your down products fluffy with our professional cleaning service.

What about everything else?

Woman removing outer layer

The premise is the same. Keep it going for as long as possible. Don’t let the holes grow. And keep it clean. Polygiene™ treated products can go a little longer between washing, but otherwise stick to the rules: wash them cold and don’t use fabric conditioner.

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