What’s the difference between Water Resistant and Waterproof?
When buying a jacket, or any new garment for that matter, a couple of terms that tend to get thrown around are ‘waterproof’ and ‘water resistant’. But what does this even mean, and what materials possess these properties? Get in the know, below…
What is the difference between Waterproof and Water-Resistant?
Waterproof v Water Resistant
Water Resistant means that the material can resist the permeation of water but only to a certain degree, after a certain point water will permeate the material and it will feel wet. Waterproof means that the material is impermeable and not susceptible to getting wet, waterproof materials offer the best elemental protection.
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How do I know if my Jacket is Waterproof?
Typically if a garment is waterproof, then the designer will scream about it till kingdom come. I mean, in all fairness, its is a pretty big deal, and they deserve bragging rights for effectively combatting the dreaded downpours that arrive with British weather. But if somehow “I am Waterproof” isn’t plastered all over the piece you own, or are interested in buying, then here are some telltale signs that what you’re looking at really is waterproof.
Is Gore-Tex Waterproof?
Not to be confused with Gore-Tex Infinium, a Gore-Tex label (like the one seen below) is a sign of advanced weather protection. Products made with Gore-Tex are impermeable to water, meaning that they are waterproof, however sweat vapor can permeate the material allowing for advanced breathability. In short, sweat vapor gets out and water, or rain, can’t get in. Its a pretty great technology and is used in the most premium pieces of outdoor clothing, it does also come with a pretty premium price tag, but rightly so!
2. Wax Coating
Are Barbour Wax Jackets Waterproof?
Probably the oldest from of waterproofing on this list, Wax Coating is typically done to cotton jackets and accessories. Made famous in the current fashion climate by Barbour and their iconic wax jackets, this waterproofing process is celebrated thanks to its ability to easily re-wax / re-proof making it the most sustainable choice on this list. The process is exactly what you’d imagine it to be, you take a piece of clothing, such as a jacket, and apply some proofing-wax, rub it evenly over the garment and then set it out to dry. And voila, you’re done. By the way, we really do recommend checking out Barbour’s wax jackets, they are truly the top choice for a timeless waterproof jacket.
3. Polyurethane Coating
Are Rains Jackets Waterproof?
Probably the most unheard of proofing process on this list, a polyurethane coating can be applied to garments in order to make them watertight. The contemporary minimalists over at Scandi brand Rains are the perfect example of this process.
Rains jackets are fully waterproof thanks to their polyester material which is then covered with a waterproof polyurethane coating. A synthetic resin, polyurethane is a great way that brands use to proof jackets on a budget, reducing the final costs for the consumer. This means that this is the most affordable process on this list, check out Rains Jackets for a few examples.
Now that you’re all clued up on the easiest way to spot a waterproof garment, why not browse our jackets category and see how many you can spot (while resisting the urge to *add to cart*). Whether you’re more interested in Gore-Tex, Wax-Coating or Polyurethane Coating, we have each and every proofing option available on offer below.