When shopping for gear to keep you dry, you’ll see both waterproof and water-resistant products on offer.
How do you know which is best for your activities? There’s usually a price difference between both, with the designs most likely to keep you dry costing a little more. Shopping for coats, hats, pants, boots, and accessories providing maximum dryness in even the wettest weather can be tough if you’re on a budget.
However, investing in the best available leads to the best results. Your comfort, safety, and health are always worth paying for.
Let’s look at the differences between waterproof and water-resistant materials to help make that daunting shopping trip a little easier …
What is Waterproof?
Some products out there claiming to be waterproof may not actually be.
While the idea of ‘waterproof’ coats and accessories is fairly simple, the materials and the manufacturing processes involved is anything but.
To be officially classified as waterproof, any product should be able to keep the user (or any items contained within, such as in a waterproof bag) totally dry in even the heaviest downpour. Seams are typically fully-taped and outer fabrics are coated with a waterproof agent.
In specialist products, there may also be a membrane lining, which encourages better breathability. Any jacket or item of clothing featuring one of these will be much more comfortable to wear, leaving you without a build up of moisture over time.
The tiny holes put into the membrane, which allow for this breathable function, are also minute enough to prevent water getting in.
At Adamant Gear, for example, our Adamant X-Core Waterproof Dry Bag Backpack is made with 500D PVC Tarpaulin, providing completely waterproof performance in even the heaviest rain, snow, and sleet. As the seams are heat-sealed, this can keep the contents dry even after hours of constant exposure to moisture.
For anyone spending long periods in wet conditions (or where wet weather is likely), completely waterproof products will keep yourself and your goods dry. When hiking in the rain, for example, you will need to keep your map, phone, GPS device, drinks, snacks, and spare clothing safe from rain. Likewise, wearing waterproof jackets will keep you warm, dry, and comfortable no matter how much time you spend at the elements’ mercy.
Investing in coats with a breathable membrane and wind-resistance is a smart move, reducing the risk of overheating and chilly conditions.
What is Water-Resistant?
For anyone engaging in everyday activities during wet weather, water-resistant clothing and accessories may be a suitable, cost-effective investment.
Water-resistance applies to any product which has been coated with a waterproofing agent without having its seams fully-taped. As a result, water will still be able to penetrate the jacket or accessory in heavy exposure.
In the case of water-resistant jackets, these are generally best worn when going from one place to another in a hurry. They are totally unsuitable for long hikes, runs, or bike-rides in extremely wet weather.
For the dedicated outdoors-enthusiast, water-resistant gear should be your priority. No matter how you like to stay fit and enjoy your surroundings, you have to be prepared for all weathers and situations.