Buying brand new gear is always exciting, but it can be a complete waste of time if you don’t look after it properly. Even the best outdoor gear in the world won’t continue to perform forever, but the quickest way to hasten its demise is to treat it badly between outings. On the flipside, if you give your jackets, boots, tents and backpacks the aftercare and attention they need when you return from a trip, you can get years more use out of them.

For us, outdoor aftercare is synonymous with one company: Nikwax. Founded by Nick Brown in 1977, a keen hiker, this British brand has grown from a kitchen sink operation (literally - Brown mixed his first batch using a discarded tea urn and a primus stove!) into the best-respected maker of aftercare products for outdoor gear anywhere in the world. As our gear expert Daniel Neilson points out in his review, Nikwax is now so widely used that its name has become a verb, like “Google" or “Hoover".

"Give your jackets, boots, tents and backpacks the aftercare and attention they need and you'll get years more use out of them."

Nikwax products are great first and foremost because they work well. But they’re also made to be environmentally friendly. All of the aftercare products listed here are water-based and contain no solvents. Perhaps most importantly, they don’t contain any PFCs either. These harmful flourocarbons have been proven to damage the environment, and some studies suggest they can be seriously harmful to human beings too. By not using them, Nikwax have ensured that when you’re re-waterproofing your gear you won’t have to worry about the state of your garden or about putting harmful chemicals into the water table.

Also, Nikwax’s wide variety of products means that there’s something to suit every bit of outdoor kit you own - from tents and backpacks to down sleeping bags and jackets. We’ve gathered together our favourite ones to create this - the ultimate winter kit bag for aftercare.

Nikwax Tech Wash & TX Direct

Nikwax’s signature cleaning and re-waterproofing treatments for waterpoof and breathable jackets. Include these in your washing cycle and you’ll not only clean your jacket but add to the DWR (durable water repellency) coating on it too.

Read the full review of Nikwax’s Tech Wash & TX Direct.

Nikwax Down Wash Direct & Down Proof

If you’ve got down gear - sleeping bags or jackets - that needs cleaning and re-waterproofing, these are the best things for it.

Read the full review of Nikwax’s Down Wash Direct & Down Proof.

Nikwax Tent & Gear Solarwash and Tent & Gear Solarproof

This combo cleans and re-waterproofs tents and other gear like backpacks. Cleverly, it also protects the fabrics against UV degradation.

Read the full review of Nikwax’s Tent & Gear Solarwash and Tent & Gear Solarproof.

Nikwax Footwear Cleaning Gel & Fabric & Leather Proof

When the waterproofing’s going on your boots, these are the products to use to give them a proper clean.

Read the full review of Nikwax’s Footwear Cleaning Gel & Fabric & Leather Proof

Nikwax Waterproofing Wax for Leather

This is “one to sling in your backpack" whenever you’re out walking according to our testers. It can be applied to leather boots on the fly using the easy applicator and adds instant water repellency.

Read the full review of Nikwax’s Waterproofing Wax for Leather

The 100 Best Outdoor Products for Winter 2016 View them all

Shot on location in Chamonix