Lesson 7 of9
In Progress

Waterproof and Windproof

When inclement weather rolls in, you will want to have the appropriate protective gear to keep you moving, comfortable and at times, even safe.

Anymore, you can find very lightweight and packable versions of either a windproof, waterproof, or a hybrid style jacket. The jacket is made this way so you can always keep it in your gear quiver whenever and wherever you go, even if the weather is calling for calm blue bird skies.

Windproof Jackets – The main purpose of a windproof jacket is to block wind gusts from blowing through your clothes, stealing the heat from your body. Windproof jacket material is usually made of a durable or ripstop fabric, hearty enough to stop strong gusts. Some windproof jackets have breathability capabilities, but generally not much.

Waterproof Jackets – The main purpose of a waterproof jacket is to keep rain and snow out, and to keep you warm and dry. When purchasing a fully waterproof jacket make sure it has the following items:

  • Taped or Sealed Seams – Tape-like laminate heat pressed/bonded over all garment seams. This prevents water from leaking through the seams.
  • Zipper Shield – A flap of material that is generally hydrophobic, covering the zipper/s, preventing water from leaking through.
  • GORE-TEX – GORE-TEX uses an ultra-thin waterproof membrane that is sandwiched between layers of the jacket material. There are other fully waterproof material options, but DWR sprays or fabrics labeled water-resistant do not count. If the material is not fully waterproof, it will become saturated with the water soaking through.

In doing a great job of keeping water and snow out, waterproof jackets tend to be less breathable, and therefore moisture and perspiration can build up on the inside depending on the intensity of your exercise/energy output.