Let’s talk Water Protection 💦
I was tossing up whether to break down the definitions and characteristics of the water protection terms that are constantly being thrown around in running apparel. But decided instead of using technical terms, number ratings and letting you piece it all together, it is probably more ideal to explain the important properties behind water resistant and waterproof garments and what makes a good quality running windbreaker. One of our most frequently asked questions is if our designs are lightweight, waterproof and breathable. Well, unfortunately the answer isn’t that simple. Waterproof fabric consists of multiple layers – generally including a membrane, mesh backing layer (or inner layer) and cover layer (or outer layer). Both the inner and outer layers will help protect the membrane which offers different levels of water protection and breathability. The inner works for breathability (drawing water vapour out) and the outer works as the first layer of defence against water droplets.
Depending on the number of layers and how the layers have been treated, a lot of waterproof fabric can often become stiff, heavy, sticky and lack breathability – think snow wear or a heavy rain jacket. Other times brands can come close to the magic solution but will run your bank account bone dry (pun intended).
Windbreakers like our NiteRunnr and GHOST consist of a durable water repellent additive or DWR coating that will slow down the process of water seeping into the fabric. This treatment is done very early on in the production process. Other times the additive is added after the garment is constructed. This is the basically the first layer of defence, and will help fend off light to moderate (in shorter stints) rainfall. Water droplets will bead on the surface and roll off as you move. We felt as a running windbreaker the “weightlessness”, breathability and compatibility needed to override the importance of being able to take on heavy rainfall or snow. As you have probably gathered, we like to take things to the lightweight extreme. Having something that reduced the movement and draining unnecessary energy carrying around was never an option.
So concluding this article – we suggest weighing up what you’re needing the windbreaker or waterproof jacket for and taking it from there. What type of running are you doing? What are the conditions like? How long will you be wearing the windbreaker and how long will it likely be packed away? Our windbreaker range specialises in multiple ultra-lightweight designs that breathe well, protects you from light to moderate rainfall and will keep you comfy during your runs.
As always, Happy Running!