October 5th, 2018
Don’t let rain stop you exploring the great outdoors here in Snowdonia. If you wait for a dry day in the Autumn and Winter you may be waiting a while!
Here’s our handy guide to choosing a brilliant waterproof coat and clothing to help keep you dry in all of our glorious Welsh weather, and enjoy some Wet weather walking!
- A waterproof fabric……has a coating or membrane that acts as a barrier to prevent penetration by water. A DWR (durable water repellancy) can also be applied to the fabric to repel surface water and prevent the fabric from wetting out.
- Waterproofing of a fabric is measured in…….in ‘Hydrostatic Head’ – which is used to denote the amount of water pressure it will take for water to penetrate a fabric. A fabric with a Hydrostatic Head of over 1000mm (HH1000) is considered waterproof.
- Breathability is very important….. as it stops you getting wet from your own perspiration during activities, and will also help prevent the body from overheating. For a fabric to be breathable the weave of the fabric must be small enough to prevent water (rain/snow) getting in, but large enough to allow moisture (perspiration) to escape.
- Under waterproofs you should always……use layers when undertaking any outdoor activity – a base, middle and outer layer all need to work together to draw moisture away from the body, but to also keep you warm.
- There are lots of different features in waterproof gear…….but I look for four things; taped seams, a hood that will not impair vision when it’s up, snug fitting cuffs and the pockets. Pockets are really important – can an OS map fit in them? Are they lined? Are they waterproof?
- To look after a waterproof jacket….. always follow the care label when cleaning. And all waterproofs will need its waterproof coating to be re-applied at some point during its life – for this there are plenty of washes and sprays available to do at home.
- The level of waterproof protection, breathability, durability and cost varies greatly…..so it’s important to buy a suitable jacket for the task you are undertaking. For example, for the school run a lightweight compact waterproof will be fine, whereas for active pursuits a more breathable jacket is more important.