Call Us: 0800 287 4282
  • 30 DAY RETURNS More details


What you need to know about 

Waterproof Ratings and Breathability

Whether part of your profession requires roughing it up in the outdoors or you simply enjoy playing in the snow, keeping your body warm and dry is essential. Waterproof fabrics have made it possible to fully enjoy the outdoors, while staying dry and comfortable. With different types of water resistant and breathable fabrics to choose from, find out how to choose the best waterproof garment for you!

Perhaps the most common misconception about waterproof fabrics is that they completely repel water, similar to that of a rubber coat. However, waterproof fabrics go beyond just that. They are defined not only by their waterproof resistant properties, but also their breathability.

Waterproof fabrics do not actually repel water, but they are treated with a solution called DWR (Durable Water Repellent) so it doesn’t soak up water. On the other hand, breathability is what allows body moisture and vapours to be released, allowing the drying process to happen quickly.

In choosing the right waterproof garment, it is important to balance protection from rain and snow on the outside with the ability to let your perspiration escape from the inside.


Waterproof fabrics consist of multiple layers meshed together for stylish functionality. The outer layer is called the “ face fabric” and is usually made of nylon or polyester, and a laminated membrane or coating, usually made of ePTFE (expanded Polytetrafluoroethylene, also known as Teflon®) or PU (Polyurethane). Being the outermost layer, it is what protects the fabric and makes it look stylish.

The membrane functions in keeping the water out. It is made of tiny holes too small to let liquid water enter but large enough to allow water vapor to escape. It is further protected by an ultra-thin layer of Polyurethane to keep it from losing its ability to keep out water.  

Finally, a fine scrim or mesh is bonded to the inner surface for comfort in 3 Layer (3L) fabrics. 2 Layer (2L) fabrics receive a separate fabric liner, while 2.5 Layer fabrics use an abbreviated pattern screened on the inner surface to save weight.

Understanding Waterproof Ratings and Breathability

Different garments vary in waterproof ratings, and the most widely used test for this is the Static-column testing. A 1-inch-diameter tube stands vertically over a piece of material. The tube is filled with water, and the water's height in millimeters when leakage begins becomes the waterproof rating. A piece of fabric that can withstand 20,000mm of water pressure will have a rating of 20,000mm or 20K. These waterproof ratings correspond with specific conditions that the fabric can withstand.

Waterproof Rating (mm)

 Water Resistance Provided


0-5,000 mm

No resistance to some resistance to moisture.

Light rain, dry snow, no pressure.

6,000-10,000 mm

Rainproof and waterproof under medium pressure.

Moderate rain, average snow, medium pressure.

11,000-15,000 mm

Rainproof and waterproof  under medium to high pressure.

Moderate rain, average snow, medium pressure.

16,000-20,000 mm

Rainproof and waterproof under high pressure.

Heavy rain, wet snow, high pressure.

20,000 mm+

Rainproof and waterproof under very high pressure.

Heavy rain, wet snow, high pressure.

Seam Sealing and DWR

Another important standard for all waterproof fabrics is seam sealing. Seam sealing is additional protection from leakage. Using a heat application of thin waterproof tape, it is what covers the tiny holes in the fabric made by the needle. A fully taped garment has every seam taped, while a critically taped garment has tape on areas like the neck, shoulders and chest.

On the other hand, DWR stands for Durable Water Repellent. This is the material used to treat fabrics to become water resistant, causing water to bead-up and roll off the fabric. It is affected by abrasion, body dirt and body oils. In these cases, the jackets need to be cleaned using the proper technique.

Choosing the best waterproof garment for me:  

Garments with waterproof rating of under 5,000 mm can keep you dry during light rains. Anything less than 5,000 can get you wet and cold in a storm. 5,000 mm is also the minimum waterproof rating for ski and snowboard jackets. While the range between 5,000 mm and 10,000 mm is excellent for spending long days outdoors through cold and wet weather conditions. It can withstand rains and winds, making it ideal for hunting and fishing. Waterproof ratings beyond 10,000 mm are best suitable for avid skiers, snowboarders and mountaineers. 

Made of a technical three layer fabric, DWR Coated for Water Repellency, and ASTM Lab Tested with a 10,000mm Waterproof rating, Bushbuck offers the Big Four and Defender Jackets made to protect you from the elements and keep you dry through all seasons. DWR Coated for Water Repellency and reinforced with 100% Fabric Seam Sealing, these Bushbuck jackets were designed to withstand extreme outdoor conditions, whether for farming or hunting. 



The Defender Jacket is a tough, no-nonsense waterproof outer-layer jacket Perfect for the hunter, Farmer & outdoors-man that demands quality performance!




With almost 80+ 4 star reviews, this jacket sells itself. It is the ultimate all-round high performaning hunting jacket. We believe it is one of the worlds best


Grangers Clothing Wash & Repel Waterproofing. (DWR)

  • Grangers Clothing Wash & Repel Waterproofing. (DWR) Use two 50ml capfuls per outdoor jacket or garment. For best results,  we recommend washing waterproof garments separately.
  • Wash & Rinse at approx at 30°C or 86°FHeat activation is required for the DWR to work correctly. 
  • Tumble dry on  a low heat, or dry under the heat pump alternatively you can dry in front of the fire (not to close as to much heat can de-laminate seam seals).

Grangers Performance Repel Waterproofing Spray. (DWR)

  • Spray Xtreme Repel directly onto a freshly cleaned, damp garment from around 15cm away.
  • Remove any excess drips or droplets with a clean cloth
  • .Dry the garment in a tumble drier, following the recommendations of the garment care label.


Grangers Tent & Gear Repel

  • Ensure article being treated is clean.
  • Tent + Gear Repel is best applied to damp or wet fabric. Wash, spray, or otherwise wet fabric before application.
  • Decant product into a container and brush or sponge on evenly.
  • Wait 2-3 minutes before removing excess product with a damp cloth.
  • Allow article to dry fully before use. Do not pack away until completely dry.

Bushbuck Outdoors