Understanding the difference between water-repellent, waterproof, and water-resistant can help you choose the right gear for your needs. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you distinguish between these terms and select the best option for your outdoor activities.

What is Waterproof?

Waterproof: Impervious to water. Items labelled as waterproof are completely impervious to water, meaning they will not let any water pass through. These items are suitable for heavy downpours and snowy conditions. Due to their construction, they are also windproof.

Characteristics of Waterproof Items

  • Completely impervious to water
  • Windproof
  • Ideal for heavy rain and snow


What is Water-Repellent?

Water-repellent: Not easily penetrated by water as a result of being treated with a surface coating. Water-repellent items are designed to keep water at bay for a certain period of time, thanks to this coating, which is sometimes known as DWR (Durable Water Repellency). These items are breathable, making them perfect for various outdoor activities. However, they cannot withstand prolonged exposure to heavy rain.

Benefits of Water-Repellent Items

  • Breathable; perspiration escapes quickly, keeping you dry and comfortable
  • Treated with Durable Water Repellency (DWR)
  • Most AW24 pieces feature waterproof zips and pockets, to protect valuables and belongings
  • Great for light to moderate rain showers

DWR (Durable Water Repellency)

Durable water repellents are coatings added to fabrics to enhance their water resistance. Over time, the effectiveness of DWR can diminish, and re-treatment might be necessary to maintain its water-repellent properties; so it’s important to consult the care label before cleaning.



What is Water-Resistant?

Water-resistant: Able to resist the penetration of water to some degree but not entirely. Water-resistant items offer a basic level of protection against water. They are often made from tightly woven fabrics that provide short-term protection from light showers.

Key Features of Water-Resistant Items

  • Good for light rain and brief exposure
  • Often require additional treatment for enhanced water repellency
  • Not suitable for prolonged exposure to heavy rain


Summary of Differences

  1. Waterproof:
    • Completely impervious to water.
    • Suitable for heavy rain and snow.
    • Windproof, with some breathability.
  2. Water-Repellent:
    • Treated to resist water penetration.
    • Breathable, making them perfect for outdoor activities.
    • Requires periodic re-treatment with DWR.
  3. Water-Resistant:
    • Resists water penetration to some degree.
    • Suitable for light showers.
    • Requires additional treatment for better water resistance.

Choosing the right type of protection depends on your specific needs and the conditions you expect to encounter. Whether you need full waterproof gear for heavy downpours or breathable water-repellent items for active outdoor use, understanding these differences ensures you make the best choice.







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