Waterproof Clothing Technology

Waterproof Jackets and Trousers

Waterproof Clothing
Waterproof Jackets & Trousers

Waterproof clothing is one of the most versatile and vital pieces of outdoor clothing.  A waterproof jacket can help keep you dry, warm and comfortable in the harshest of conditions.  In addition to the 3-layer clothing advice page, here’s a little extra on waterproof clothing.

I guess you could say that waterproofing technologies for clothing has come on a bit in recent years. Many now see them as the ultimate testament to the quality of outdoor gear seen in camping shops around the world – a sort of flagship product maybe.

Modern Waterpoof Clothing

A waterproof jacket used to be simply called a Mac, after the designer Mackintosh who found a way to rubberise materials.  Now though, there are a variety of different synthetic materials that waterproof clothing and other items, as manufacturers recognised the need of outdoor sports people to have clothing that was suitable for there needs:

  • Hardwearing
  • Ultralight / lightweight / heavyweight
  • Snag-free minimal design
  • Rip-stop material
  • Hood / hoodless / climbing helmet hood / hood peak
  • Storm flaps
  • Deep chest pockets
  • Map pockets
  • Breathable
  • Warm
  • Windproof
  • Cinch cords
  • Weatherproof / waterpoof zips
  • Soft collar
  • Full length, 3/4 length or half length
  • Active sports cut design
  • Long-tail cut
  • Poncho style
  • Compact and compressible possibly with stuffsack
  • Resistance to contaminants such as body oils, cosmetics, salt water insect repellent and other environmental contaminants.

Not only have the design specifications of waterproof jackets evolved to meet the requirements of a variety of different outdoor activities and sports.

Breathable Waterproof Materials

One of the most impressive evolutions in waterproofing clothing has come from the design of highly waterproof jackets and trousers that can also breathe.  This means that the material does not allow water droplets into the

More tests for waterproof clothing

Many of the best outdoor clothing manufacturers put their clothing through sever tests using rain rooms and other tests, but many have also learnt about the resistance of the material to pressure (sitting on the floor in waterproof trousers can sometimes saturate them and cause them to leak), and temperature (hot and freezing) and humidity for breathability.

Examples of waterproof materials and technologies include:

  • eVent
  • HyVent
  • Watergate
  • Triplepoint Ceramic
  • HydroDry
  • Aquafoil
  • Nikwax Analogy
  • Paramo
  • Gore-Tex
  • Gore-Tex Performance Shell
  • Gore-Tex Paclite
  • Gore-Tex XCR
  • Gore-Tex Pro Shell
  • Gore-Tex Soft Shell

These technologies have been designed and adopted by some of the top brands in the outdoor industry, namely Berghaus, The North Face, Paramo, Lowe Alpine, Sprayway, Brasher,  Scarpa and may more.  You can see a wide range of waterproof clothing from these outdoor brands here.


If you’re unsure of which waterproof jacket or waterproof trousers are most suitable for you, please feel free to contact us via email or give us a call on 01925 411 385.


What’s your favourite item of waterproof clothing?  Any there any that you’d recommend for a particular activity?  Which material do you find most breathable?  Why did you choose your last waterproof jacket or trousers?


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