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Old 05-17-2011, 03:30 PM   #1
Kytann OP
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How to waterproof my leather jacket

I'm asking. I've never done it before, and I've been caught in a few rainstorms where the jacket seems to soak up the water, not repel it.

It's a First Gear, not that that detail matters much, that I got used several years ago, so it's probably 10 years old now.

I know the best waterproof gear is Aerostitch stuff, but I'd really rather just spend $20 on some waterproof oil or something for my jacket than buy another jacket. Not to mention Aerostitch stuff is really expensive..
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Old 05-17-2011, 03:34 PM   #2
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I've used the Nikwax for leather on boots and gloves; works quite well. Never tried it on an entire jacket but it should work...
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Old 05-17-2011, 03:35 PM   #3
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Variety of products are available, I've used a nikwax product before on leather boots. You basically cannot waterproof the seams and zippers if they are not designed to be so, but you can overall reduce the amount of water that gets into the leather in brief drizzle.

Get a rain suit to throw over your jacket.
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Old 05-17-2011, 03:40 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by P B G View Post
Variety of products are available, I've used a nikwax product before on leather boots. You basically cannot waterproof the seams and zippers if they are not designed to be so, but you can overall reduce the amount of water that gets into the leather in brief drizzle.

Get a rain suit to throw over your jacket.
Yeah I actually own a rainsuit, for when there is an actual deluge of water.

I'm more talking about how the jacket seems to soak up water like a sponge, and get really heavy. So I suppose water repellant is more like what I'm looking for. Something where a medium rainshower won't bother the jacket.

The leather feels pretty soft when dry. I've oiled it a few times, usually using the stuff made for car seats. Seems like that should be fine, right?
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Old 05-17-2011, 03:50 PM   #5
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Treat it...

There are a lot of products out there to clean and 'treat' the leather. Bottom line, all leather needs to be treated. Since it's dead and not receiving the natural oil it would when alive you need to do this for it.

One of the better products I've used on leather is called bag balm. Comes in a square green container (http://www.google.com/products/catal...322#ps-sellers)

Stuff works great on condition leather and will help with repelling water. Not good for suede however. This stuff works great and is something you should use on leather often.
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Old 05-17-2011, 04:04 PM   #6
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back in the day, regular treatments of mink oil

I'd probably still lean that way unless it was a really technical newer leather.
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Old 05-17-2011, 04:16 PM   #7
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sno-seal

http://www.campmor.com/sno-seal-orig...ci_sku=10603WC

this stuff worked great on my boots...does darken the leather a bit
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Old 05-17-2011, 09:19 PM   #8
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No really, you can try things like sno seal or the like but lots of them aren't even good for the leather.

But i've found that the best way to waterproof a leather jacket is either a rain jacket over the top or break down a buy a textile jacket.
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Old 05-18-2011, 09:58 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by squish View Post
No really, you can try things like sno seal or the like but lots of them aren't even good for the leather.

But i've found that the best way to waterproof a leather jacket is either a rain jacket over the top or break down a buy a textile jacket.
Not helpful in the slightest bit.

I'll give you a clue, we sometimes have huge downpours of rain that cover the entire state. If it's going to be like that, I'll take the car. Sorry, I ride for fun, and if it's no fun than why bother riding?

We also have days where it'll be absolutely beautiful over most of the state, with pockets of scattered heavy storm, usually no bigger than a city. So you'll be riding along and bam, you're in a downpour for five minutes, then you're past it and you can move on. This is the situation I'm asking about.

In that situation, I could:
1. Stop and put on my raingear. Which is the no shit sherlock response, but is still kinda a pain in the ass when the rain is past five minutes later and you gotta stop again to remove the raingear. This is what I currently have to do and was looking for alternatives.
2. Add some sort of oil to the leather so it mostly shrugs off the water. Not worry about it and just keep going. Maybe some water will seep in the sippers in those five minutes, but that's not a big deal. This is what I asked a question about
3. Buy a textile jacket. I already said earlier in my post that I was not interested in getting a textile jacket, aerostitch or otherwise. Did you fail reading comprehension or something? No money for it and frankly they're fucking ugly and uncomfortable. Whereas my leather jacket I wear as a street jacket all fall, winter and spring in addition to wearing it on the motorcycle.
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Old 05-18-2011, 10:01 AM   #10
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I've gotten three good responses.

Ph0rk - I've used Mink oil in the past on boots. Since that's the most natural option I'll probably go that route.

SF_Rider - that Bag Balm stuff looks like it's for living skin. It's always been my understanding that lotions and things meant for living skin can be alot harsher than the stuff meant for leather because living skin will replenish itself, whereas dead skin (leather) will not. Thanks for the suggestion but I'll skip that stuff.

TexasInSeattle - Snoseal? Never heard of it, but that's not a surprise. I haven't heard of alot, which is why I'm asking. Looks like it's meant for boots, which alot of this stuff probably is going to be meant for boots. They probably even have it at the local REI. I'll check it out, thanks.
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Old 05-18-2011, 10:37 AM   #11
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you won't like it, but you cannot waterproof a leather jacket . . .

you can't even make it highly water resistant, without clogging the pores and basically taking years off the life of the jacket.

if you are treating it with a quality leather food/treatment, it should not immediately soak up water in a drizzle. In deluge, though, you will be SOL.

If you insist on waterproof leather, see Aerostich Transit.
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Old 05-18-2011, 12:05 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bomber60015 View Post
you won't like it, but you cannot waterproof a leather jacket . . .

you can't even make it highly water resistant, without clogging the pores and basically taking years off the life of the jacket.

if you are treating it with a quality leather food/treatment, it should not immediately soak up water in a drizzle. In deluge, though, you will be SOL.

If you insist on waterproof leather, see Aerostich Transit.
I have very water resistant leather pants. Whatever they applied at the factory is still new enough to be effective, so I'll take your comment as uninformed.



I should know better than to ask this site for leather questions. You all wear your space suit textiles, not leather, therefore what would you know about leather? I gotta ask people that actually wear leather.

Mods please delete this thread, it serves no purpose other than frustration.
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Old 05-18-2011, 01:14 PM   #13
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Sno Seal

Sno-Seal Original Beeswax Waterproofing protects leather from rain, sun, snow, and salt. The beeswax formula dries to a solid wax that "stays put" in the surface of the leather so it lasts longer.
Our competitors' greases, oil, and animal products are able to migrate through the leather till they clog all the pores. These waterproofing products fill the natural spaces that are supposed to absorb perspiration and insulate.
In addition, animal fats weaken and rot leather. The tannery worked hard to remove the fats and preserve the leather, so it's hard to imagine why you'd put it back on.
Sno-Seal will help you feel more comfortable in Gore-Tex® fabric lined boots because it allows the Gore-Tex®-absorbed perspiration to escape out of the leather.
And not only will Sno-Seal keep you warm and dry, it'll also help you from getting tired. A typical leather boot can soak up to a pound of water. That means you lift an additional 2,212 lbs. to walk one mile. Sno-Seal keeps the whole boot dry, warm and light.

SNO-SEAL
  • Enjoy dry feet all day!
  • Prevents water from penetrating leather.
  • Lubricates and conditions leather without softening.
  • Preserves and lengthens the life of leather.
  • Does not interfere with the natural breathability of leather.
  • Extremely resistant to salt stains and spotting.
  • Does not soften heel counters or box toes.
  • Will not damage seams or welts.
  • Maintains flexibility in freezing temperatures.
  • Will not crack during continual flexing of leather.
  • Does not deteriorate like other products containing animal fat.
  • Contains no silicone.
Works well on leather boots but have never tried it over a leather jacket but for less than $10 or less than $20 for a whole quart, you can give it a try.
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Old 05-18-2011, 02:34 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kytann View Post
Not helpful in the slightest bit.

I'll give you a clue, we sometimes have huge downpours of rain that cover the entire state. If it's going to be like that, I'll take the car. Sorry, I ride for fun, and if it's no fun than why bother riding?

We also have days where it'll be absolutely beautiful over most of the state, with pockets of scattered heavy storm, usually no bigger than a city. So you'll be riding along and bam, you're in a downpour for five minutes, then you're past it and you can move on. This is the situation I'm asking about.

In that situation, I could:
1. Stop and put on my raingear. Which is the no shit sherlock response, but is still kinda a pain in the ass when the rain is past five minutes later and you gotta stop again to remove the raingear. This is what I currently have to do and was looking for alternatives.
2. Add some sort of oil to the leather so it mostly shrugs off the water. Not worry about it and just keep going. Maybe some water will seep in the sippers in those five minutes, but that's not a big deal. This is what I asked a question about
3. Buy a textile jacket. I already said earlier in my post that I was not interested in getting a textile jacket, aerostitch or otherwise. Did you fail reading comprehension or something? No money for it and frankly they're fucking ugly and uncomfortable. Whereas my leather jacket I wear as a street jacket all fall, winter and spring in addition to wearing it on the motorcycle.
You may not feel he's being helpful, but he's correct. You're never going to make that jacket "waterproof". All you're going to get with "treatments" are varying degrees of "water-resistant".

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kytann View Post
I have very water resistant leather pants. Whatever they applied at the factory is still new enough to be effective, so I'll take your comment as uninformed.

I should know better than to ask this site for leather questions. You all wear your space suit textiles, not leather, therefore what would you know about leather? I gotta ask people that actually wear leather.

Mods please delete this thread, it serves no purpose other than frustration.
Ah, so you're not interested in the right answer, you just want someone to tell you what you want to hear.

Yeah. You may want to try another site.
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Xeraux screwed with this post 05-18-2011 at 02:41 PM
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Old 05-18-2011, 02:39 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xeraux View Post
You may not feel he's being helpful, but he's correct. You're never going to make that jacket "waterproof". All you're going to get with "treatments" are varying degrees of "water-resistant".
Yes, and that's the goal I said I was trying to achieve, as I stated before

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kytann
I'm more talking about how the jacket seems to soak up water like a sponge, and get really heavy. So I suppose water repellant is more like what I'm looking for. Something where a medium rainshower won't bother the jacket.
Therefore by not reading the question I was asking, his comments were not the slightest bit helpful. And neither were yours for that matter

The Snoseal suggestions is a good one. From what I've learned in the last day and a half Beeswax is one of the best things to use for waterproofing leather.
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