Outex products are built to last. When properly maintained all of our components can last as long as your camera equipment.
The Ports, rear glass, domes etc use materials like optical glass, aluminum, and stainless steel. There's a dedicated Maintenance entry with tips, tricks, and videos showing ideal cleaning & maintenance of these parts using mild soap, water, and lubricant available in our Shop By Parts online store
The Accessories use materials like nylon, plastic, neoprene, and other resilient, long lasting fabrics, also designed to last years. You can similarly optima their lifecycle by keeping them clean after use, dry when stored, and in a similar place where you would store your camera equipment. Tripods, cable adaptors, plugs, etc are also made of stainless steel, aluminum, and long lasting polymers that will last a lifetime.
The Covers are the components most likely to wear with use. The clear covers have been perfected over the years to balance transparency, durability, ruggedness, and tactile response in extreme conditions. The Covers have to perform in the heat of the dessert sun to the human touch, as well as underwater below ice while using wetsuit gloves. Like a pair of running shoes, the covers are designed to be "run-on". But a frequent trail marathoner would have to replace them more often than casual treadmill jogger. When cleaned, dry, and properly stored, several of our frequent users get 5+ year use of a single cover. And the clear covers, unlike our first-generation blue covers, do not oxidize over time, so they are designed to have an even longer lifecycle than the 1st-gen predecessors.
- Do not use glycerin, acidic chemical cleaners, or solvents.
- Do not use super-glue or other bonding agents. They can damage the cover's properties and create micro-tears.
There's a dedicated Maintenance entry on this topic, but in summary:
- Rinse the Outex parts with mild/neutral soap and water after use to rinse and clean. Treat it as you would treat your skin. Avoid acidic/harsh chemicals.
- Use a toothbrush to remove detritus from the metal parts/threads.
- Pad components dry with a towel or cloth and let them dry before reassembling parts back together. Avoid storing it wet or assembled.
- Store in a dry, cool place, just as you would your camera gear.
- Refrain from folding/compressing the cover tightly when stored, to avoid creating fold-marks. Let is "breathe".
- Protect the cover when installed on a camera by using our carrying case during transport, even inside a backpack, to avoid hitting other hard objects.
The covers are rugged and resilient to stretching, pulling, and tugging. They are very elastic and malleable. But they are susceptible to punctures against sharp objects. That includes use and storage. For example, avoid pulling the cover against the camera's hot-shoe during installation. But equally, avoid hits against other hard objects like paddles, the inside of a kayaks, or the side of a pool. Such impact is unlikely to result in large tears, but could create micro tears that would eventually allow in water when submerged. And use a protective case during transport so other objects can compress the cover between two hard edges.
The protective case available in our Shop By Parts store uses a soft neoprene material that is large enough to store all the component on an Entry or Pro Kit and then some.
All of the Outex components can be acquired individually/separate in Shop By Parts, including the covers. They range in price between US $99-149.
There's no waterproof way to completely restore/repair a tear or hole in the covers. The covers are malleable, rugged, transparent and engineered thru a process that cures under pressure & temperature. So it's impossible to restore all of those properties post production. (It's like baking a cake. You can't just add ingredients later.) The covers are affordable to replace and all covers fit all of our optics (front glass ports & domes).
For a short term, water resistant and possibly waterproof solution, you can try tape on both sides (inside & out), such as Gorilla Tape (image below). Cut patches to apply inside & outside of the trouble area, trying to keep the original cover sealed within it.
You can also try using silicone adhesive or glue (the kitchen & bath type), allowing it to dry (cure/vulcanize) for 24hrs. There are several types depending on your country of origin. For example, this Silicone Tent Sealant Seam Grip adhesive is endorsed by some of our EU customers.
None of these solutions are permanent. For that please purchase a replacement cover. These limited solutions may buy you some time until you replace it. We cannot recommend specific brands or guarantee results as solutions and brands vary from country to country and come in different compositions.
Refrain from using resins, super glue or bonding chemicals. They often dry out the Outex cover material, creating cracks and having the opposite intended result.
Some of our clients traveling to remote locations will sometimes keep a spare, second Outex cover just in case.
Please consult our tech team if you have other questions about repairs or replacement of a particular part.