Zipper care – 4 easy steps how to care for and clean your wader zippers

Take care of your zipper, and your zipper will take care of you.

From pocket zippers to waterproof zip front wader models, all of our fishing waders have multiple zippers that provide different levels of function. The pocket zippers keep things organized and in place, while the main waterproof zipper on the Primo Zip front wader allows easy in and out access. They all need a little care from time to time to keep them running smoothly and operating for the long run. Here are four easy steps for how to care for your zippers.

  1. Keep all debris such as dirt, sand, fishing line, clothing, bait goop, and salt crust out of the zipper teeth.
  2. Use a cleaner and lubricate regularly.
  3. Always store and pack fully unzipped. The exception to this is when hanging your zip front waders it is recommended to hang them fully zipped up. Packing them fully unzipped helps prevent damage.
  4. Never force a stuck zipper. Instead lubricate thoroughly and gently back off.

Notes on storage and transport of zip front wader models. We recommend storing and transport your waders fully unzipped, with the exception of hanging zip front waders fully zipped up. Never bend or fold your waders when zipped up as this can add stress and create a weak point in the zipper.  When packing for travel, fully unzip your waders and roll them from the feet up and try not to pack them at the bottom of your baggage with heavy items on top.

A final point about waterproof zip front models. Foreign matter caught in the zipper can result in damage which may not be covered under warranty. Keep it clean and never force the zipper. If the zipper sticks at all when zipping, stop immediately and gently unzip in the opposite direction if possible, and then clean the zipper thoroughly before using again. We recommend Zipper Cleaner and Lubricant and Zipper Lubricant Stick from Gearaid to get it sliding smoothly again.  Use the snap at the top to take stress off and keep it from pulling apart while wearing.  


Breathable wader care tips – how to take care of your waders

So you just picked up some new breathable fishing waders, and now you want to make sure you get the most possible use out of them? You came to the right place to learn how to take care of your new fishing waders.

Luckily breathable waders are pretty low maintenance, and doing just a few things will help prolong the life of them.

Drying your waders between uses

One of the main things you can do to prolong the life of your waders is dry them thoroughly, inside and out, between uses. Wet and damp waders stuffed in the trunk of your car or dumped on the garage floor tend to grow mildew, which breaks down materials inside and out.

hanging waders to dry

Always hang dry your waders after each use, and not only will you avoid breakdown of materials but the wader funk won’t turn your head on a swivel next time you go to put them on. If there is any moisture from condensation on the inside it’s important to dry the inside as well. This is usually accomplished just by hanging them right side out in a cool dry place. In the winter time hanging them in a furnace room, or near a de-humidifier to dry is a good idea. Otherwise a cool, dry place with airflow works just fine.

Zipper care

Keep all zippers, especially waterproof models, clean and free of any dirt, oils, fishing line or other debris. Foreign matter caught in the zipper can result in damage which may not be covered under warranty. Keep it clean and never force a stuck zipper. If it sticks gently back off in the opposite direction if possible, then clean and lube the entire zipper thoroughly before using it again. We highly recommend using zipper protectants and lubricants such as Zip Tech and Zip Care to keep your zippers performing as they should for years to come. Use the snap at the top (if applicable) to take stress off and keep it from pulling apart while wearing.

How to wash your waders

We recommend hand washing your waders with some mild dishsoap in cold or lukewarm water using a soft rag. This should work to clean as much of the dirt that will come off by hand and keep the waterproof fabric repelling water like it should.  Hang dry until completely dry and then if desired use some DWR spray reviver on them. Nikwax and GearAid (maker of Aquaseal) make spray on DWR reviving applications for use after cleaning. The Mcnett/GearAid ReviveX is a good product that does a great job of reinvigorating DWR coatings. You will want to clean up the waders as much as possible (hand wash) before using it and then just spray it on once the waders are dry.

We don’t recommend machine washing waders. Our reasons are that we don’t like the possible abrasion and catching or bunching that could possibly occur during the cycle (this sort of depends on the machine type), and also don’t like to soak the inside seams with water.

Transporting waders safely

When transporting waders in luggage or just back and forth during fishing trips, the safest way to transport is to roll them loosely from the feet up and pack them at the top of your bag with heavier items under them. If you have a waterproof zip front model, it is very important to unzip all the way before rolling or packing them. If the zipper is zipped and then folded it can create a crease that can cause the zipper to fail.

That’s pretty much it!