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Berghaus Customer Service

Waterproofing Explained

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WATERPROOF JACKET FABRICS

The fabric a waterproof jacket is made from is key to how it will perform, and understanding what makes a jacket waterproof is sure to help you choose the perfect jacket.

At Berghaus we offer waterproof jackets made with Hydroshell or AQ; a collection of our own award-winning waterproof technologies, or Gore-Tex; the market-leading waterproof jacket fabric brand. We are the UK’s number 1 brand for Gore-Tex products.

All fabrics used in our waterproof jackets are completely waterproof; however there are a number of performance criteria to consider when choosing which waterproof jackets are most suitable for you.

WATERPROOFNESS


The level of waterproofness is determined using a Hydrostatic Head rating. This measures how much water pressure a fabric can withstand before it leaks, and is given a value as an equivalent height of water column.

To put this in perspective, a hydrostatic head (or water column) of 10,000mm is able to withstand the same level of pressure as if there was 10 meters of water in a column above your head all pushing down onto your waterproof jacket! Even if you kneel in a puddle in the worst wind/rain possible it is extremely unlikely for your waterproofs to ever be put under a water pressure of anywhere near 5,000mm, let alone the levels you can expect from a Berghaus Waterproof jacket.

So why are there different levels of Hydrostatic Head if all Hydroshell/Gore-Tex fabrics are completely waterproof?

Accordingly to the British Standards Institution, any fabrics over 1,500mm can be classed as waterproof. At Berghaus we want to ensure that your jacket stays durably waterproof for its entire lifetime which is why we have a minimum Hydrostatic Head of 8,000mm on all our fabrics, with most fabrics exceeding 10,000mm and some getting a rating of over 20,000mm.

The rating you need for your waterproof jacket all depends on how you plan to use it; an alpine guide using their jacket for extreme activities every day of the week may need a higher hydrostatic head rating than someone using their jacket to stay dry on the daily commute. In both instances the fabric will be completely waterproof, the different levels are just suited to stay waterproof after a lifetime of different end uses.

Advanced waterproof technology from Berghaus, designed to keep you drier for longer, whatever your adventure. Guaranteed.

WATER REPELLANCY

All Berghaus waterproof jackets have a Durable Water Repellent (DWR) applied to the outside to provide water repellence.

Water Repellence is a measure of how well a fabric will repel rainwater on the outside of the jacket. The water repellent effect is the performance you will most likely be able to see and is characterised by water ‘beading’ and running straight off a fabric. Confusingly, this is not what is keeping your jacket waterproof (this is done by the waterproof membrane or coating layer on the inside of the fabric) but it does play a very important role in the performance of your waterproof jacket.

The water repellent finish is there to stop the outside of your jacket ‘wetting out’ or becoming wet on the surface. If this happens water will still not find its way to the inside of the jacket, however it may cause your waterproof jacket to become colder and the combined effect of reduced temperature and water on the surface may reduce the breathability of your jacket.

Hydroshell

What is the difference between rainproof and stormproof?

To make it easier for you, we have categorised our products into rainproof or stormproof.

Key features

RAINPROOF

The design and construction of rainproof jackets provides the right level of protection for activities in wet weather. Additionally, features such as storm flaps covering zips to prevent water getting through, removable hoods to meet your needs and taped seams all make sure you get the right level of protection.

STORMPROOF

If you are going to be in environments with harsher weather conditions, you may wish to look for a higher level of protection. Our stormproof jackets provide this so you will have extreme levels of waterproof protection; perfect for extreme heavy storm conditions.

Additionally, construction features such as YKK® waterproof zips, designs with reduced seems and fixed hoods all contribute to a high storm level protection.

What should I look for with the waterproof jacket’s construction?

Taped Seams

These are used to make a waterproof jacket’s seams more watertight. This is where hot-melt tape is applied to the inside seams of the fabric, to reinforce them. This also seals-up any tiny punched holes created in the sewing.

Zips

Water-resistant zips such as YKK® zips are specifically designed to keep the weather out, and all of our zips are taped at the stitching to reinforce their level of protection. Storm flaps across zips also help with waterproofing.

Length

It is important that the back of your waterproof jacket extends below your lower back. This is so your back is never exposed, even during sports where your arms are outstretched, such as cycling.

Research & Development

Our designers research the best practise in and outside of our industry to make sure you get the latest innovations and technologies in your gear. Our MTNHAUS® team developed a world-first vented waterproof jacket, using storm venting.

Our athletes test our products in the harshest conditions so you have the confidence that every product Berghaus produces will perform perfectly for its intended use.