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Waterproof Jackets: The Tech That Goes Inside Making It
Waterproof jacket is one of the most popular winter wear. It is warm, comfortable and most importantly, it keeps you safe from the rain and blizzards. Have you ever wondered what it takes to make these waterproof jackets an all-around star? No, right?
A lot of technology and thought goes into the process of making a waterproof jacket and understanding what lies beneath that fabric, is the most important step in deciding, which jacket to buy for yourself.
First things first, to understand what lies beneath, you have to learn what it is made of- layer by layer. The quantity of layer with which the waterproof jacket is made, tells a lot about the construction of the fabric.
In a 2-layer fabric, the construction is mainly done with waterproof membrane and face fabric. These materials are often sewn in with a fabric lining or a mesh to increase comfort. When you buy a 2-layer fabric jacket, it is the most affordable of the lot, which also makes it less breathable as well. There are also 2.5- and 3-layer fabrics. These two types are better than the 2-layer fabric with more durable, breathable, and comfortable characteristics. It is the back and face fabric that affect the characteristics of the jacket mostly.
- Fabric with Laminates and Coatings
Laminated fabrics are made with a thin waterproof membrane that is bonded to a shell fabric. They are a lot more comfortable, durable and breathable, and high performing than the coated fabric. Also, coated fabrics are a lot more affordable than laminated fabrics.
Moisture Vapour Transmission Rate
Breathability of a water jacket is closely related to its comfort. In other words, a jacket will not be comfortable, if it is not breathable enough. When you are exercising, moisture or sweat is created that requires a means to escape. A jacket that has a high level of breathability will wick the moisture and will not let you feel wet or sticky.
Other factors that influence the breathability of your jacket are, humidity, pockets (as they add another layer), air permeability, and dirt and abrasion.
Durable Water Repellent (DWR) Coatings
One of the most common features of water repellent and waterproof jackets is the DWR coating that stops the water from sitting on the jacket and getting absorbed. With the help of the coating, the water droplets just roll out keeping the integrity of the jacket intact. Also, if the water gets absorbed by the fabric, the jacket will feel heavier and more uncomfortable when you wear it. It is important to remember that regular cleaning and reproofing of a jacket will keep the DWR coating intact and continue to repel water.
Difference between Water Resistant and Waterproof Jacket
There has been a fair amount of debate on waterproof and water-resistant jackets. Well, the simple explanation is, a waterproof jacket is designed with some type of membrane built in the jacket with a coating on the outer surface that repels water thoroughly even when it is pouring down. On the other hand, a water-resistant jacket repels water to a certain extent and in a downpour, you will eventually get wet.
A Better Option
If you are wondering, which one to invest in, then, buying a good quality waterproof jacket will pay off in the long run. They are made with highly comfortable fabric and for rigorous activity, there is no better replacement than a waterproof jacket to keep you warm, dry, and safe from the outside elements.