Waterproof or water-repellent?
Did you know that your jacket can be waterproof or water-repellent? When looking for the right outdoor garment, it is important to pay attention to the technical features of the product. These features define, for example, how breathable the garment is, how well it withstands water and how stretchy it is. Your run could be cut short if you happen to be wearing a waterproof jacket with a low breathability rating. Talk about getting your sweat on! It is important to us that our products are suitable for a variety of outdoor activities and we have focused on providing a wide selection from which you are sure to find a garment with features fitting your specific needs. For sports, the most suitable products dry quickly, transfer moisture and are breathable. If, on the other hand, you are walking your doggo in the pouring rain, you’ll probably appreciate a waterproof and warm garment the most.
To make the choice easier, you will find a short introduction to some of the technical features present in our clothing below. Here you can easily access our selection of jackets, which can be waterproof, water-repellent, breathable, warm or stretchy – or have a combination of these features.
The waterproofness and water-repellency of a fabric
• The waterproofness of a fabric is usually measured by a water column test. A tube is placed on a piece of fabric, water is poured into the tube and the fabric is monitored for 24 hours.
• The first figure of the technical values of fabrics (15,000 mm / 2,000 g/m2/24 h) indicates how high a water column the fabric can hold per square metre for 24 hours.
• The waterproofness is based on a watertight membrane that has been laminated under the outer fabric.
• In practice, the waterproofness depends on the force of the rain and on how much the fabric is being stretched, amongst other factors.
• In general, 10,000 mm is an excellent waterproofness rating, and 5,000 mm is a good rating. Please note that every time you wash the fabric, its water-resistance is reduced.
• Water-repellency: The fabric repels water as a result of a special surface treatment which, however, doesn’t completely stop water from penetrating the material. The surface treatment gets worn away by use and washing, but a similar treatment can be reapplied at a dry cleaners. Waterproof products are also surface treated with water repellent. Without it, moisture could enter the outer fabric and make the garment heavy and impair its breathability, although it would eventually be stopped at the waterproof membrane underneath.
Waterproofness of the entire product
When discussing the waterproofness of a product, other features apart from the fabric’s waterproofness rating must also be considered. The product is waterproof only if all of its seams are taped, because taped seams do not let water or wind through. In some products, only the seams most important to weatherproofing are taped, which means that the product is not completely waterproof.
It is important to remember that if the product’s seams are not taped, it is always merely water-repellent, not waterproof, even if the fabric itself is waterproof.
In our products, taped seams are indicated by the following symbols:
All seams taped
Critical seams taped
How is the breathability of a fabric determined?
The breathability of a fabric is especially important to those who like to break a sweat during outdoor activities. It is usually thought that waterproof products trap perspiration, even though this isn’t always the case. A fabric can be both waterproof and breathable at the same time.
• Breathability is the ability of a fabric to allow moisture vapour to be transmitted through the material. In outdoor and sports clothing, breathability significantly increases wear comfort.
• There are many methods of measuring breathability, but usually the following steps are involved:
• A fabric is secured over a cup filled with water and left in a controlled environment for 24 hours.
• The cup is then weighed to find out how much of the water has evaporated.
• The second figure of the technical values (15,000 mm / 5,000 g/m2/24 h) indicates the breathability of the fabric. It indicates how many grams of water can pass through a square metre of fabric in 24 hours.
• A 5,000 g rating indicates a good level of breathability. The higher the rating, the more breathable a fabric is.
In addition to the fabric’s breathability, the breathability of the entire product is also affected by the use of different vents and materials. Running jackets often have vents on the back or under the arms to allow for more efficient air circulation. Breathability can also be increased by, for example, using mesh on the sides of a running shirt.
THE ACTIVE WEAR SYSTEM (A.W.S.)
A.W.S. The Active Wear System is the collection of technologies and functions that are used to ensure optimal user experience in various activities.
Our products have been divided into different A.W.S. main categories to make it easier for you to choose exactly the right garment for you needs. The A.W.S. categories will help you find the best products to suit your various needs, preferences and intended uses.
The A.W.S. main categories are not tied to weatherproofness (with the exception of A.W.S. RAIN), instead they indicate the intended use and main features of the product. The main categories are determined separately in each product category, e.g. jackets/coats, trousers, shorts, T-shirts.
You can read more about the A.W.S. main categories and A.W.S. technologies and functions here.