More and more people engage in and enjoy outdoor activities, such as fishing hiking, or climbing. Protection from the elements while you act is essential. Since both the environmental conditions and the moisture vapour generated by activities are beyond the control of the wearer, it’s important to provide people with reliable and functionally performing apparel ready to meet the challenges from various weather.
Waterproofness is defined as the ability of a fabric to prevent penetration through its construction by water. A fabric labelled waterproof must provide sustained water protection in very wet conditions and is usually a tightly woven material which has been either coated or laminated with a “coating/membrane” to prevent water droplets from penetrating the fabric and thereby wetting out the wearer.
Breathability (moisture vapor permeability = MVP), is important for comfort and is defined as the amount of moisture generated by the body that may move through said fabric to help keep the wearer dry and comfortable.
A key ingredient for waterproof breathable fabrics is DWR which is a durable water repellent that allows water droplets to be repelled.
On a scale, the lower the WP Rating has less protection directly from the water. Example a 10,000mm WP garment will have better capability in protecting the wearer then 5,000mm WP garment.
Conversely, a higher breathability rating helps to avoid quick wet-outs on the interior of the garment, caused by the wearers own physical exertion.
As you consider weather protection choices, there are different types of shells which help including hard shell, soft shell, hybrid shell and insulated shell.