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Everything you need to know about the waterproofness of your raincoat


When choosing the right clothing for wet weather conditions, waterproofness is a crucial factor. Assessing water tightness often goes hand in hand with the concept of 'water columns'. In this blog we take a closer look at what water columns are and why they are essential when selecting your waterproof trail jacket.

What are water columns?

Water columns measure the waterproofness of fabrics and indicate how much water pressure a garment can withstand before it starts to leak. The measurement is expressed in millimeters (mm) and represents the height of an imaginary column of water that the fabric can withstand before the water begins to penetrate. A millimeter of water column is also indicated by the term 1 Schmerber.

Water resistance rating

  1. 0 - 5,000 mm: Slightly water resistant
    Clothes with a water column up to 5,000 mm are suitable for light rain showers. This level of waterproofing is ideal for everyday use or your training run in the drizzle. These jackets are in our windstoppers category for men and women.

  2. 5,000 - 10,000 mm: Medium waterproof
    These clothes provide protection against moderate rainfall and are suitable for outdoor activities such as hiking and running. You can also wear this when cycling to work.

  3. 10,000 - 15,000 mm: Very water resistant
    Ideal for more intense showers, this clothing is suitable for activities such as a long trail or hike in moderate weather conditions.

  4. 15,000 - 20,000 mm: Excellent waterproofing
    For extreme conditions, such as heavy rain or snow, clothing with a water column of 15,000 - 20,000 mm is recommended.

  5. More than 20,000 mm: Waterproof
    Clothes with a water column of more than 20,000 mm can withstand the most extreme weather conditions, such as heavy rain or stormy weather conditions. On more extreme trails this is sometimes mandatory.

View our raincoats for men and for women.

Why is waterproofing important?

The importance of waterproof clothing goes beyond just comfort. Improper waterproofing can lead to unpleasant situations such as soaked clothing, which can affect body temperature and increase the risk of hypothermia. By being aware of the water column classifications you can choose clothing that is tailored to the specific weather conditions you find yourself in.

Tips for choosing waterproof clothing

  • Consider the activity: Suitable waterproof clothing is available for various outdoor activities. A more flexible and breathable jacket is nice when walking.
  • Breathability: So choose clothing that is not only waterproof, but also breathable to wick away moisture from within.
  • Maintenance: Regular maintenance, such as re-impregnating the fabric, extends the life of waterproof clothing. However, we never do that with our jackets.

Conclusion: Understanding water columns is essential when selecting waterproof clothing that suits your needs. By considering water column ratings you can make the right choice and enjoy dry and comfortable outdoor adventures, whatever the weather.

View our raincoats for men and for women.

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