How to choose a waterproof jacket

Weatherproofing has come a long way and Scandinavians have a long history of figuring out the best ways to make sure we stay warm, dry and comfortable. With ever changing weather conditions, we truly demand excellence in protecting ourselves against rain, wind and snow, while still feeling comfortably warm and cool. Please have a quick view through our guide to choose a waterproof jacket or coat and review the table at the bottom for reference.

WHAT MAKES A JACKET WATERPROOF?

Essentially there are two kinds of ‘waterproof’ jackets – water resistant, sometimes referred to as shower- proof, 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.

weatherproof jackets

WATERPROOF COATING

The outer fabric used for water resistant and water- proof 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.

WATERPROOF MEMBRANE

waterproof coating

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) to enter, but at the same time allow water vapor (sweat) to escape. The membrane is also what makes a jacket breathable.

TAPED SEAMS

A jacket can be treated with a waterproof coating and have a waterproof membrane but not be fully waterproof. For a jacket to be 100% waterproof it will also need to have taped seams. Taped seams are heat sealed seams that stop water coming through the stitching. It is particularly important that you choose a jacket with taped seams if you will be in heavy, prolonged rain.

WHY IS BREATHABILITY IMPORTANT?

waterproof windproof snowproof

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 wearer feel damp. It’s common for people to feel as though their waterproof has ‘leaked’ when in fact it’s perspiration from inside they are feeling.

WHAT DO THE RATINGS MEAN?

RATING

RESISTANCE

WEATHER

0-1,500mm

Water resistant/snowproof Dry conditions/very light rain

1,500-5,000mm

Waterproof Light to average rain

5,000-10,000mm

Very Waterproof Moderate to heavy rain

10,000-20,000mm

Highly waterproof Heavy rain

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