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What is Waterproof Rating?

Do you know how waterproof rating is determined? To learn more about different waterproofing levels and scales, read this helpful guide!

You might have seen the term “water column” when shopping for Reima rainwear or other waterproof Reima products and wondered what exactly this term means.

Water column means waterproofness. Here at Reima, we test our products to make sure they are suitably waterproof to help keep your kids dry. Through this testing, we’re able to assign a water column value to the product that tells you how well it keeps out water and for how long. Different products have different needs when it comes to waterproofness, which is why our products will come with their own water column value.

How is a Waterproof Rating Determined?

So, how do we determine a product’s water pillar value? We spray water onto the material and add pressure until it becomes too much for the material to bear. When drops of water seep through, that leaking point is the pressure – caused by an imaginary column of water – that the fabric can hold without leaking. We express the thickness of that imaginary water column in millimeters. The higher the number, the more water the product can withstand.

Reima’s Waterproofness Scale

To make it easier for you to quickly spot products with the right water pillar value, we have a simple system ranging from one water drop all the way up to four water drops.


Reima's Waterproof Scale

One Raindrop: Waterproof Rating over 3000 mm Products with one water drop protect against light rain. They’ll keep rain and moisture out for some time and are perfect for unexpected showers.

Two Raindrops: Waterproof Rating over 5000 mm Products with two water drops protect against heavy rain. They’ll keep rain and moisture out for longer periods of time and are perfect for playing outdoors on rainy days.

Three Raindrops: Waterproof Rating over 8000 mm Products with three water drops protect against both heavy rain and higher water pressure. This means they’re perfect for kids who love to spend all day sitting and splashing in rain puddles.

Four Raindrops: Waterproof Rating over 10000 mm Products with four water drops are for extreme conditions. They’re perfect for demanding environments in all-day heavy rain.

What Can Improve Waterproof Rating in Clothing?

We know that a higher rating means more protection, but what factors actually impact a clothing’s waterproof score? The list below dives deeper into several components that can help boost a garment’s rating:

Taped Seams:

waterproof tape is bonded to the seam from inside of the garment to prevent leaking through the stitches

Critically Taped Seams:

These seams use the same process as above but are only applied to “critical” areas of the clothing - typically the head, neck, and shoulder area. If you are going for a higher waterproof rating, this type of seam is not recommended.

Welded or Sealed Seams:

this type of seam uses no stitching or thread but rather fuses two materials together using heat and pressure. These seams are very durable and rarely experience deterioration.

Durable Water Repellent:

Oftentimes, rain gear is coated with a durable water repellent (DWR) finish that provides extra defense against water saturation.

Laminate and Coating Construction Type:

Waterproof technologies are typically classified as having a 2, 2.5, or 3 layer construction. This describes how the inside membrane is bonded to the fabric. A two layer is usually found on more casual jackets, while three-layer bonding can offer more protection.

Stay Dry with Reima’s Waterproof Clothing!

There you go! With the right rain gearwinter coats, and snow pants your kids can safely spend as much time outdoors as they like without the risk of getting cold and wet – even if they choose to sit smack dab in the middle of the biggest puddle they can find.