Waterproofing has come a long way since Scandinavians used leather to stay dry – we have a long history of figuring out the best way to survive bad weather. With ever changing weather conditions – we truly demand excellence in protecting ourselves against rain, wind and snow. Our waterproof jackets come with a 20 000 mm water column as standard.
WHAT MAKES A JACKET WATERPROOF?
Essentially there are two kinds of ‘waterproof’ jackets – water resistant, sometimes referred to as showerproof, and fully waterproof. There are several ways to make a jacket resistant to water, for example by adding a waterproof coating. However, to make a fully waterproof jacket, which remains waterproof over time, you also need a waterproof membrane and taped, or sealed seams.
The outer fabric used for water resistant and waterproof jackets will often be treated with a Durable Water Repellency coating (DWR), or a similar water repellent coating. You can tell a jacket has been treated with a water repellent coating as water will bead up on the surface of the fabric and run off.
A waterproof membrane is a thin layer bonded to the outer fabric. The job of keeping the water out is left to the membrane, which prevents liquid water (rain or melting snow) from entering – but at the same time allows water vapor (sweat) to escape from the inside and out. Under a microscope, you will see that the membrane has tiny holes that are small enough to keep rain from penetrating, yet big enough to let the vapor move from the inside and out.
WHY IS BREATHABILITY IMPORTANT?
The ability of a jacket to allow perspiration to escape is as important as not letting water in, especially if you will be doing anything energetic. If a waterproof jacket is not breathable, sweat will be unable to escape, making the user feel damp. It is common for people to feel as though their waterproof has ‘leaked’ when in fact it is perspiration from the inside they are feeling.
|Dry conditions/very light rain
|Light to average rain
|Moderate to heavy rain