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Waterproof and breathable clothing

Our best rain jackets   Our best rain trousers

Protection from the elements while you are outside is essential. The key to comfort in any weather condition is waterproof, breathable outerwear. Jackets and trousers made from waterproof fabrics are the first step to staying dry so that you can focus on having fun outside. Here we'll help you understand everything you need to know to pick out the right jacket or trousers.

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Water column overview  icon-material-waterproof-02.svg

Water column (often abbreviated as WC), also called water column pressure, indicates in millimetres how much water pressure the material can withstand before water penetrates it. Imagine placing a glass tube on a garment and refilling it with water. When you’ve filled the tube up to 15 000 mm, i.e. 15 meters, the water passes through the material. Then the garment has a water column of 15 000 mm.
 
Water resistance (mm)
Weather conditions
6 000 – 10 000 mm Withstands light rain, moderate snow, light pressure.
11 000 – 15 000 mm Moderate rain, average snow, light pressure.
16 000 – 20 000 mm Can handle long walks in heavy rain, wet snow, some pressure.
20 000 mm + Withstands heavy rain, wet snow, high pressure.

We test the water column of all waterproof garments in a lab and label them with the water column so that you can easily see how waterproof that particular garment is. It also certifies that the garment’s fabric has been tested for its water resistance. What’s more, we go out into nature and test our garments in all weather and seasons to ensure optimal functionality.

Breathability icon-material-breathable.svg

Like water column, breathability is measured in a lab and indicates a material’s ability to release body moisture. It is measured in g/m²/24h, i.e. the amount of liquid, measured in grams, a square metre of fabric can release in a day. Lab testing is a good way to measure breathability, but it is more complicated. Outdoor temperature, humidity, activity, rain, sun, everything affects a garment’s breathability. RevolutionRace tests the breathability of all waterproof garments in real life. We head out into nature and road-test them in all weather and seasons to ensure their functionality.

 

How do breathable waterproof materials work?  3-layers-construction-fabric.svg

Breathable waterproof materials are made of an outer material, a waterproof membrane laminated on the inside and often a third material inside the membrane for comfort. The outer material is durable and looks good; it is not waterproof but treated with a DWR (Durable Water Repellent) so it does not absorb water. RevolutionRace uses a fluorocarbon-free DWR in all its products. The membrane is the waterproof part of the fabric and keeps the moisture out. The membrane has microscopic holes that keep the water droplets out but release the smaller particles from the body's water vapour. It is these three layers that make a 3-layer construction. There are also products with two layers; these do not have the inner layer and instead often have a loose lining on the inside of the garment. To make things even more complicated, there are also 2.5-layer products where the inner material is replaced by a thin film coated on the membrane to save weight.

 

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What is Hypershell®?  icon-material-insulation-01.svg 

Hypershell® is RevolutionRace's own brand, a collective term for all materials that we have developed ourselves. What distinguishes the materials are the terms Denim, SS and Pro Stretch. They are used for different materials that all have unique properties.  
• Hypershell® Denim: Cotton-free, durable fabric.
• Hypershell® SS: Water-repellent softshell.
• Hypershell® Pro Stetch: A durable, super stetchy fabric.
Hypershell® membrane
Hypershell® membranes are available in three different levels: Core, Performance and Pro. All RevolutionRace garments have a premium Hypershell® membrane to suit their intended use, optimised for different activities and weather.
• Hypershell® Core 5 000 - 10 000 mm
• Hypershell® Performance 10 000 - 15 000 mm
• Hypershell® Pro 15 000 - 30 000 mm

What is DWR? icon-material-insulation-01.svg 

DWR
RevolutionRace uses a 100% PFC-free DWR in all its products.
DWR stands for Durable Water Repellent. The treatment is designed to keep the fabric from becoming saturated with water, which can make the fabric feel heavier and colder. It also impacts its performance. DWR causes water to bead up and roll off the fabric. The treatment is affected by wear and tear, dirt and body fluids and can wear off. This is why, after some use, a garment might appear to no longer be waterproof.
If you notice that your garment absorbs water, we recommend that you first wash and tumble-dry your garment to restore the DWR. Sometimes you may also need to reimpregnate the garment.

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What is the difference between a waterproof and a water-repellent garment?

The main difference is that the waterproof garment has a membrane, a DWR coating and sealed seams, usually sealed with waterproof tape. A water-repellent garment has only a DWR (Durable Water Resistant) coating and no membrane.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of the two kinds of garment?
 
Waterproof garments
Waterproof garments have taped seams and both a waterproof membrane and a water-repellent surface treatment (DWR). RevolutionRace uses a fluorocarbon-free DWR in all its garments.
+ Advantages 
A fully waterproof garment is perfect for rainy days or for winter days with wet snow. A waterproof garment keeps you completely dry during persistent and heavy rain.
- Disadvantages
Because all waterproof garments have a membrane, they do not breathe as well. Different membranes release different amounts of fluid and, you can open ventilation zippers to release body moisture, but a garment with a waterproof membrane never ventilates as well as a garment without a membrane.

See all waterproof garments →
 
Water-repellent garments
Water-repellent garments do not have membranes but instead a water-repellent surface treatment (DWR). RevolutionRace uses a fluorocarbon-free DWR in all its garments.
+ Advantages
A water-repellent garment ventilates extremely well and is suitable for intensive activities. A water-repellent garment will often do if you’re not going to be in the rain all day.
- Disadvantages  
Water-repellent garments can only withstand moderate rain and not heavy, persistent rain.

See all water-repellent garments →
Our rain jackets are breathable

A good rain jacket needs good ventilation. That is why even breathable rain jackets often have underarm vents. Our rain trousers have outer leg vents.

Taped seams for water resistance

The weak spot for all rainwear is the seams. That is because small holes are made in the fabric when the garment is sewn together. This is where water can find its way in. Our taped seams make the garment waterproof.

Zippers that keep the rain out

Water-repellent zippers are a must-have for keeping the water out. The zippers on our waterproof garments are carefully selected to withstand high water pressure and sometimes even equipped with a protective flap on the inside.

Our rain jackets in order of waterproofness: from the highest water column to the lowest

Top picks: rain jackets

Our rain trousers sorted from the highest water column to the lowest

Top picks: rain trousers

Frequently asked questions

What is the difference between water-resistant, water repellent and waterproof?

Which jacket and trousers should I choose if I want a good all-round set that can withstand a lot of rain?

Which jacket and trousers should I choose for high-intensity activities with requirements for water resistance?

What is Hypershell®?

Why do you not always want as high a water column as possible?

I'm going to be active but still want water repellency, are there hybrid jackets?

I want an all-around rain jacket for everyday use, what should I choose?

What do taped seams and waterproof zippers mean? Is it needed even if the garment has a high water column?

Should I choose a higher water column if I'm going out in a storm?

Is the water column affected by how much I use the garment?

I do not want to get wet on the rear or knees when I sit down, what should I choose?

Will my jacket be less waterproof if I carry a backpack?

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