Filtered by:
Inside The Outdoors

The Difference Between Waterproof & Water Resistant

09.09.2016 | Expert Advice

Shopping for a waterproof jacket can be a little confusing. You may have seen that jackets have different labels which state their level of water proofing – these come in the form of showerproof, water-resistant and waterproof.

Different jackets offer different protection from the elements. To make sure you know what you’re getting into and what will offer you the best protection, we’ll discuss the different levels of waterproofness. 

The outer fabric of the jacket will keep you dry in light rain and has been treated with a coating that resists water but does not have a hydro-static head rating which is a garments waterproof rating. The jacket is likely to have no tape seams, so after time water will seep through and you will get wet. If you are looking for a jacket for light rain and that doesn’t break the bank, this style is ideal.

This is very similar to showerproof and doesn’t have a hydro-static head. water-resistant means however the jacket will have a waterproofing repellent coating applied to the outer fabric to prevent absorption of water letting it just run off but it will not be fully taped seamed. It’s always best to check all the stats on the jacket before purchasing. A lot of soft-shell jackets tend to be water-resistant, wind-proof and the cost of is mid range.

This means the jacket has a waterproof coating on the outer fabric with fully taped seams and, this is where it gets exciting, it may have a built in membrane lining. Now a membrane lining is a sheet of material with lots of tiny holes in it to help with breathabililty and because these holes are so small no water can penetrate it. So this is what will keep you dry without overheating you..impressive right?

A waterproof jacket will have a hydro-static rating to let you know the best weather conditions for that jacket and this can range from 1,500 (light rain) up to 10,000 (heavier rain).

Showerproof/Water-resistant Waterproof
Suitable for light showers Suitable for heavier rain
Fabric has been treated with DWR (durable water repellent) Has a waterproof fabric membrane
No taped seams Taped seams
Less expense Generally more expensive

Mens Waterproof Jackets Womens Waterproof Jackets Kids Waterproof Jackets