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Thread: Olympia AST Jacket Waterproofing

  1. #1
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    Olympia AST Jacket Waterproofing

    I have an Olympia AST 2 jacket that I am for the most part pretty satisfied with. I am good for below 32 degrees F riding with it. I am not so sure about its waterproof characteristics though. This summer I had to ride through some monster rain and the outer fabric did not quite repel water like I wanted it to. I know that it has been infused with Scotch Guard from the factory. I was wondering if anyone knew of an additional waterproofing procedure that would not ruin the effect of the factory Scotch Guard? Also the outer jacket is getting pretty dirty, I wonder if there's a way to clean it without destroying it? Outer shell, 100% Nylon, inner shell 100% polyester.

  2. #2
    na1g
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    I've had my AST jacket/Ranger pant combo for about 6 years. Once a year (whether it needs it or not!) I wash the outfit with Nikwax Tech Wash and follow with the Nikwax TX Direct Wash-In Repellant. That works very well for the riding season. The zippers work better, too, since the waterproofing seems to lubricate them a bit. If I remember correctly, Olympia recommends hand washing but I've found the washing machine on gentle cycle work fine and doesn't seem to abuse the clothing.

    My only gripe with the AST jacket, BTW, is that the vents have to be very carefully closed up to keep rain out. It's a fiddly operation best done with the jacket off and cannot be done safely while in motion (I could open and close the "pit vents" on my previous Aerostich without stopping)

    Anyway, give the Nikwax stuff a try. I get mine at REI but Aerostich carries it and lots of outdoorsy stores do too.

    pete
    Those who can, teach. Those who can't pass laws about teaching. -anon

















    ast

  3. #3
    Registered User dbaliko's Avatar
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    +1 on NikWax tech wash and wash in waterproofing.

    I have an AST and also use NikWax. I have never had my AST leak a drop.

    Doug
    Doug
    '12 R1200RT - The Green Machine
    '07 R1200RT - (sold)

  4. #4
    i just got my AST. should i do the nik-wax waterproofing now? or wait a year or so?

    thanks,

    -eric
    BMWMOA #182796

    '76 R90/6

  5. #5
    Registered User dbaliko's Avatar
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    No need until it's time to wash it. Use Tech Wash and then the waterproofing wash in.

    Doug
    Doug
    '12 R1200RT - The Green Machine
    '07 R1200RT - (sold)

  6. #6
    Polarbear Polarbear's Avatar
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    High Viz Yellow;

    My AST is the bright yellow one. A PAIN to clean up and washing machine does almost nothing, no matter what I use! Done all the above. My best so far has been Simple Green concentrate, scrubbing it in with stiff brush and it removes most dirt and then I wash it in machine. Hang dry. Once a year. Mine is three years old now and has never leaked. I agree the vents are a task, not real friendly to use! The Velcro is my biggest pain to use. Watertight zippers are first rate. Folding the Velcro flaps I hate! IF this jacket has a CON, its the washing it routine and I'm only doing it once a year, lots of miles. A THUMBS UP Jacket in my book for all else. Randy

  7. #7
    Registered User dbaliko's Avatar
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    Mine is also Hi-Viz yellow. I agree it's a bit of a pain to keep clean. But I do wash mine more then once a year which helps. There has got to be a better way than all of those Velcro strips that Olympia uses over the venting. Especially on such narrow flaps. In my opinion they would work better if the the flaps over the zippers and the Velcro strips were wider. It would make them easier to work with. Other than that the jacket is robust, comfortable, and totally waterproof.

    Doug
    Doug
    '12 R1200RT - The Green Machine
    '07 R1200RT - (sold)

  8. #8
    na1g
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    In full agreement on the AST vents. I can struggle and get the chest vents open or shut while in motion but the sleeves are hard enough to work with the jacket on and seal best with the jacket off, which is a pain when the rain starts. The matching Ranger pants also suffer from over-Velcroization. The zippered leg openings have a solid strip of Velcro from top to bottom. While this keeps the water out it makes getting them on and off over boots more of a project than it needs to be. I fixed that by buying some Velcro non-adhesive strips, cutting the pile side into 3" long strips and sticking them spaced out along the hook side of the pants. Voila! Easier to use and more flexible, too. The jacket sleeves are already sewn on in 3" long sections so you can't improve that so easily.

    All that said, I have found my Olympia AST/Ranger outfit to be a great piece of gear at a good price. I go there again. Roadcrafter quality? No, but the Roadcrafter suit runs over $1,000 now and could stand some upgrading.

    BTW, everybody's hi-viz yellow is a dirt magnet. Dirt comes from miles away just to stick to my jacket.

    pete

  9. #9
    Rally Rat
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    Quote Originally Posted by na1g View Post

    BTW, everybody's hi-viz yellow is a dirt magnet. Dirt comes from miles away just to stick to my jacket.

    pete

    Not just that, but they fade quickly too. In 50K miles my Olympia is simply a shadow of what it used to be.

    Rod

  10. #10
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    My blk Revit jacket has me wearing a cheap zip on safety vest-look around some are better constructed than others & more visible too. Google safety vests & buy from a safety equipment company after looking at lots of them. ~ $12-$16 will get you a good one. Visibility side note: I just spent $3 on ebay for 6' of SOLAS tape for my new Pelican cases-even brighter than the regular reflective 3M tape I've used before.
    "If I had my life to live over, I'd dare to make more mistakes next time...I'd relax,I'd limber up... I would take fewer things seriously...take more chances... take more trips...climb more mountains...swim more rivers...eat more ice cream." Jorge Luis Borges at age 85.

  11. #11
    na1g
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    Quote Originally Posted by ragtoplvr View Post
    Not just that, but they fade quickly too. In 50K miles my Olympia is simply a shadow of what it used to be.

    Rod
    True, they fade but it's so gradual you don't notice. But compare the jacket's shoulders to the underarm area and you can see the change. Sun isn't kind to that yellow dye. Aerostich solved the issue by going to a less fluorescent yellow that holds its color better but isn't as "Day-Glo" when new. BTW, reds don't hold up so well either.

  12. #12
    Polarbear Polarbear's Avatar
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    Mine fine:)

    Ive not noticed fade in viz yellow yet after three years! Never waterproofed my jacket either and its still watertight. Velcro is others object of discussion too I see. Yep, its an afterthought Velcro system, but I LIKE the jacket by Olymia and probably buy again. Already did just recently got the mesh version, also viz yellow. Thinking back, waterproofing is cool enough, but so many undergarments today do same job of keeping you dry. The jacket is never to leak so much to get you drenched underneath.

  13. #13

    Nikwax

    How much of the Nikwax etc is added to wash...for 1 jacket?

  14. #14
    I typically wash and refresh the waterproofing using instructions found somewhere on the aerostich web site. I've also found that for some reason a front loading washer does a better job (and is more gentle to the gear than the agitator on a top loader). A laundromat may have a front loader if you don't.

    • wash either a one piece or the top and bottoms of a two piece set, no more.
    • wash with detergent.... or the nikwax wash. Detergent does a better job of getting the gear clean. Use any available extended rinse option on your washer.
    • wash a second time with out detergent. This is in effect an extra extended rinse cycle. Make sure any automatic soap dispenser is clean of old soap before starting this second wash cycle.
    • wash a final time using about 4-6 oz of the Nikwax wash in waterproofing
    • stick in a dryer on the gentle cycle for a while
    • hang to finish drying

    I do that at least once a year, sometimes more often.

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