What's the Difference Between Waterproof, Water Repellent and Water Resistant?

water resistant fabricThere are too many fabrics featured waterproof, water repellent or water resistant in the market. Actually, they do not create equally. There is a difference between them, so what do they mean and what should we pay attention to when picking those products?

water resistant fabric

Water resistance is the lowest level of water protection among the three. It can resist the penetration of water to some degree but not entirely. The most common fabrics which are water resistant are nylon and polyester, their water resistance can be credited to how tightly they are woven. That is to say, the denser the fabric is, takes longer the water can seep in. It can’t protect you from wetting forever. Water resistant products are designed to resist contact by light water such as rain showers, light rain, and snow flurries but it can’t withstand any heavy exposure to the elements.

  • Water Repellent

Water Repellent

Water repellent is a progressed level from water resistance. It is not easily penetrated by water, especially as a result of being treated for such a purpose with a surface coating. Water repellent products offer a bit more protection than water resistant ones as they are made with fabrics that are more effective than water-resistant fabrics. So, they can repel water by breaking water into little beads when it hits the fabric rather than going through. As a result, they are not easily penetrated by water.  


Waterproof doesn’t mean that the fabrics are impervious to water infinitely. It provides the highest quality level of protection from water among the three features. The waterproof fabrics target water-resistant features and enhance them to increase the amount of water being repelled. Due to the highest level of water protection,you can keep dry under heavy exposure to water at a certain time.

All in all, you should make it clear that what circumstance you will stand in and which level of water protection you need before buying relative products. Not on every occasion should you prepare waterproof products. Make sure that you get the proper gear and take good care of them to longer their using time.