Instead of buying all-new gear with the requisite bells and whistles attached, I'd just like to have my old stuff upgraded. I do remember hearing about a company that will restore or fix your old gear as well as upgrade it; you know, putting new straps on a backpack or adding new zippers to a rain shell. Have you heard of any companies like that? Evan New York City
Nikwax TX Direct
In your own home, you can launder nearly all outdoor gear and chuck it in the clothes dryer (with the exception of tents, which are best hand-washed then hung out to dry). Clothing can also be treated with one of several after-market liquids that restore or even add water repellency. Examples: Nikwax TX Direct Spray-On ($21; www.rei.com) for outerwear, and Nikwax TX-10 Polarproof ($11) for fleece and pile. You can also iron on patches of various types to plug holes and leaks. McNett makes a Gore-Tex Repair Kit that sells for $6 (www.mcnett.com).
So give it a shot, and keep that old gear looking great and working well.