What is a Water Resistance Rating?

A Water Resistance Rating indicates how well a fabric will withstand rain ☔, snow ❄️, and splashes from the sink whilst washing dishes 🍽️ - & there can be some big variations.

The water resistance of fabrics is measured by an International Standard called the Water Column Test. This test measures how much water pressure, in millimetres, a fabric can withstand before the water penetrates through to the other side. Imagine putting a really long tube on top of a piece of fabric, & filling it with water - the "height" at which the fabric can no longer hold back the water is where the rating number comes from.

 

 

 

But: keep in mind that this only refers to the fabric, & doesn't take into account zippers, seams & other openings in the fabric. If you're looking for a more waterproof garment, keep an eye out for styles which note that their critical seams are taped - this means there's a waterproof tape behind seams like shoulders & centre zips to stop water getting through.

Another thing to look out for is water repellent treatments like Bionic FinishŽ ECO - these make the water roll off the fabric rather than sitting on top of it.

Looking for a garment to suit an active lifestyle? The water resistance rating should be read in conjunction with the Breathability Rating : it's no good having a garment with a super high water rating if it can't breathe - you'll be sweaty & damp inside the garment without a good balance between the two 🥵

Just remember - no amount of waterproofing is going to stop that one drop of rain that manages to get inside your collar & roll down your neck 😖

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