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How waterproof is your gear? April 18, 2015 11:29

How waterproof is your gear?

I’m sure many of us have experienced the situation where we’ve though we are buying waterproof motorcycle clothing, because the tag in the clothing claims it is waterproof. Or a sales person told us that. 

And then you head out for a longer ride, hit the rain just to realise that your jacket (for instance) is not keeping you dry, quite the opposite, you are wet to the bone. 

How are waterproof ratings determined?

Resistance provided

What it can withstand

No resistance to some resistance to moisture

Light rain, dry snow, no pressure

Rainproof and waterproof under light pressure

Light rain, average snow, light pressure

Rainproof and waterproof except under high pressure

Moderate rain, average snow, light pressure

Rainproof and waterproof under high pressure

Heavy rain, wet snow, some pressure

Rainproof and waterproof under very high pressure

Heavy rain, wet snow, high pressure

 

One thing we need to be aware of: while some people refer to all waterproof/breathable fabrics as “GORE-TEX®,” it’s a proprietary product and technology of the W. L. Gore Corporation.

GORE-TEX® garments are fully seam sealed and feature a “GUARANTEED TO KEEP YOU DRY®” promise. Although many laminates are waterproof, a GORE-TEX® membrane is capable of maintaining an extremely high level of waterproofness while staying very breathable thanks to billions of microscopic pores that let water vapour out and prevent liquid water from entering.