Are Waterproof And Water-Resistant Jackets The Same Thing?

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Spoiler alert: waterproof and water-resistant jackets are not the same. They're not also synonyms of each other. We know this makes you even more confused as you've been using them interchangeably because you thought they were similar. So let us tell you more about these two jackets so you can understand them better and help you make a good choice when choosing customisable promotional jackets.

What is a Waterproof Jacket

Waterproof jackets are impervious to rain or snow and can be worn in wet conditions for an extended period. They are often constructed from multiple layers of cloth, with the outermost layer being waterproof while the inner layers allow for breathability. This is the type of jacket that can withstand heavy snow or a torrent of rain.

It is essential, however, to keep in mind that there are varying levels of waterproofness, and it is measured by hydrostatic head rating. The amount of water pressure that a waterproof material can withstand before leaking is determined by the hydrostatic head test. This measurement (in millimetres) represents the degree of waterproofing the garment offers. And here it is:

  • Less than 10,000mm = minimal protection from intermittent light rain and snow.
  • 10,000mm-15,000mm = medium protection from moderate rain, snow, and wind.
  • 15,000mm-20,000mm = excellent protection from intermittent heavy rain and snow.
  • More than 20,000mm = highest protection from heavy rain and snow, high winds, and very wet environments.

What is a Water-Resistant Jacket

On the other hand, water-resistant jackets can only provide less protection against rain compared to waterproof jackets. In most cases, they are constructed out of cloth with a dense weave and a DWR (durable water-repellent) finish on their outer layer, making it difficult for water to seep through. However, because of the lack of taped seams, the water will accumulate and seep through the fabric if it is left wet for a long enough time.

Water-resistant jackets only have a rating of less than 2,000mm when subjected to the hydrostatic head test. Additionally, the DWR treatment is not permanent and must be applied again to keep the water-resistant jacket's ability to ward off water.

Which Type of Jacket Should You Buy, Water-Resistant or Waterproof?

Since it will depend on who will use it and where, there is no clear-cut answer. The fact that water-resistant jackets are still lightweight and breathable makes them an excellent choice for drier conditions and even capable of withstanding a slight drizzle. While seeking shelter from the rain, they can protect you in staying dry.

Meanwhile, waterproof jackets are perfect for snowboarding, skiing, mountaineering, ice climbing, and kayaking. They are designed for use in heavy-duty applications and can withstand harsher downpours. However, you should be aware that the cost of these jackets is significantly higher than that of water-resistant jackets because they provide a higher level of protection.

We hope that by the end of this article, you have a better understanding of the distinction between waterproof and water-resistant jackets. And also help you in making the best promotional apparel choice for your promotional campaigns. 



Author Profile: Charles

Charles is the owner/operator of Cubic Promote. Charles has over 15 years of experience in the promotional product industry, making him an expert on not only the products in our range but also marketing strategy implementation and the industry as a whole. Visit him on LinkedIn.

Cubic Promote 1300 858 288 Cubic Promote Online ensures fast delivery & offers affordable promotional products, gifts, & merchandise in Australia. Shop now! Call 1300858288 for more info.