Jackets and Pants
While I end up having to wash my Klim Badlands Pro suit a few times over the summer after long sweaty days preparing for the Touratech Rallies, the full treatment is normally saved for fall.
With the new Touratech Companero World 2 suit, the Gore-Tex layer is on the outer shell. This keeps the waterproof membrane away from the sweat and much of the other hot weather abuse that a single layer suit is subjected to. All of the Gore-Tex (and equivalent waterproofing) riding gear I have seen is machine washable. This may come as a surprise, so don’t feel bad if you haven’t checked the tags.
You’ll want to remove all of the armor, make sure the pockets are empty and I normally zip everything back up. When removing the armor it’s normally easiest to pull the sleeve or pant leg inside-out to access the pockets that hold the armor.
Gore-Tex and other performance waterproofing membranes are not compatible with the standard, aggressive, detergents found at the grocery store. I recommend NikWax products for this task. I’ve been using them for over a decade, and really wouldn’t use anything else.
NikWax Techwash is formulated to be safe for Gore-Tex and other high tech waterproof membranes. My understanding is, it washes clean the membrane that allows moisture to escape but not ingress. I honestly don’t know the science behind it, but it works. If your suit is still covered with mud it’s a good idea to throw it in the shower and at least get the big chunks of trail off before going into the washing machine. Follow the directions on the label and let the machine do what it does.
Once the suit is clean, it’s time to re-treat for waterproofness. Nikwax TX Direct Wash-In is the tool for this. It will be added to the washing machine (following the label) and another cycle will be run. From there, it’s a trip to the drier on low. Put the armor back in and you’re good to go.
A word of caution: the pants will be a bit slippery with a fresh treatment, so watch you throttle inputs the next time out.