KevinH's advice is exactly what I've heard from Mountain Equipment Co-op in Canada and it works for me. Especially the THOROUGH rinsing and drying at low/medium heat. Residual detergent has the effect of lowering water surface tension (this is how detergent works) and thus rain doesn't 'bead' as easily on the fabric. More expensive non-detergent soaps like Nikwax's Tech Wash are supposed to rinse out more easily and prolong the life of the factory coating, but I haven't used them myself.
The factory water repellent coating should last through several of these cycles before you need to think about reapplying something like Nikwax TX-Direct or Gore Revive-X or Techtron. <FONT size="1">
[This message has been edited by andrew_tai (edited May 07, 2001).]</FONT>