Waterproof vs Water Resistant Jackets - What's the difference?

Electric TravelsOct 15, '21

Before purchasing an outdoor jacket it is important to have in mind the conditions  in which you will be wearing it in. Given that the UK's winter season is coming, we can expect to feel the colder weather, along with wetter periods. Considering this, to stay dry  this winter it is important to take precaution and read further into what jacket is more appropriate for you / your environment. 

Waterproof rain jacket. Chrome industries. Shop now from Electric Travels https://electrictravels.co.uk/

What is the difference?

A jacket that is listed as waterproof will contain waterproof membrane and taped seams. Whereas the British Standard qualifies a water-resistant jacket as a jacket with a resistance rating of 0-1,500mm. A water-resistant jacket will be able to withstand some moisture, but will get wet in heavier downpour or if it is submerged in liquid.

How do manufacturers of outdoor jackets determine its resistance to water?

They use a Hydrostatic Head Test. During a Hydrostatic Head test, the material is usually pulled tight under a 1 inch diameter sealed tube of water. This piece of fabric is is then analysed over a 24 hour period to determine how many millimetres of water the fabric can withstand before soaking through. The level at which water begins to penetrate through the fabric is the hydrostatic head - this is measured in mm. 

How should my waterproof / water resistant jacket fit?

Most waterproof jackets will be designed and created differently for men and women. You should expect to find that women's jacket arms are shorter and come with a more tailored fit. If, however you are someone who prefers a looser fitting jacket then you should consider opting for a men's jacket. 

It is essential to always take into account the layers you will need potentially be wearing underneath. You need to be able to move your arms and shoulders freely especially if you are likely to be out involving yourself in outdoor activities where you don't want your movement to be restricted.

The length of the jacket is also an important factor. You should ensure that the jacket is long enough to cover your lower back, even when you lift your arms up. Finally make sure that the cuffs of the jacket are long enough to cover the top of your hand to prevent rain entering and soaking your arms.

To recap

Waterproof Jacket Water Resistant Jacket
Waterproof membrane is woven into the jacket itself, and with a water-repellent treatment on the exterior. No waterproof membrane, but treated with a water-repellent material on the exterior.
Better at preventing water from reaching your skin Not as effective at keeping out water.
Typically more expensive than water-resistant jackets. Usually cheaper than waterproof jackets.

Waterproof rating of 5,000-20,000mm

Waterproof rating of 0-1,500mm.


Now you're an expert in what to look out for when buying a waterproof or water resistant jacket, check out our range. Electric Travels offer Chrome Industries waterproof and water resistant jackets, which can be found here: ⁣Chrome Clothing | Electric Travels 

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