Keeping the rain off

Jackets and pants with waterproof fabrics are the first step to staying dry so that kids can focus on having fun outside, no matter what the weather has to say about it. They are also handy for wearing to school and back without them having to spend hours and hours soaked to the bone.

Rainbow  Click here to request a double brushed  fleece fabric sample from Devon Clothing

There are many different types of water resistant fabrics and materials that can be used to make jackets including fleece, and although you are not likely to become a rain jacket expert in the next few minutes you might be able to understand how to choose the right jacket for you and your child.

Why isn’t my child’s coat completely waterproof?

All outerwear designed various degrees of water resistance but will eventually leak given enough water, time and pressure. Manufacturers define “waterproof” according to different standards, and testing is not standardised. A rubber raincoat is completely waterproof and may be the ideal garment for standing in a downpour waiting for the bus but if you tried to walk to the bus stop, or run in it, you’d be wet in no time from your own perspiration. The trick is to balance protection from rain on the outside with the ability to let water vapor (warm perspiration) escape from the inside.

Manufacturers typically describe the waterproof breath-ability of fabrics using two numbers. The first is in millimetres (mm) and is a measure of how waterproof a fabric is. If interested and paying attention stay with me for the next two sentences, if not, skip to the next heading. In the case of a 10k or 10,000 mm fabric, if you put a square tube with inner dimensions of 1” x 1” over a piece of said fabric, you could fill it with water to a height of 10,000 mm before water would begin to leak through. The higher the number, the more waterproof the fabric.

The second number is a measure of how breathable the fabric is, and this is normally expressed in terms of how many grams (g) of water vapor can pass through a square metre (m2) of the fabric from the inside to the outside in a 24-hour period. In the case of a 20k (20,000 g) fabric, this would be 20,000 grams. The larger the number, the more breathable the fabric.

What do you need?

In general, the higher the waterproof the less breathable it is. So, lets just focus on waterproof for the moment. Below is table of waterproof rating and what you might use it for:

Waterproof rating (mm)

Resistance provided


0-5,000 mm

Limited resistance to rain, no real resistant to water under pressure.

Light rain with little wind or pressure applied

6,000-10,000 mm

Rainproof and waterproof under light pressure

Light rain with some wind or movement

11,000-15,000 mm

Rainproof and waterproof except under high pressure

Moderate rain and wind

16,000-20,000 mm

Rainproof and waterproof under high pressure

Heavy rain and wind

20,000 mm+

Rainproof and waterproof under very high pressure

Cyclonic conditions

The jacket you buy will depend entirely on the conditions you are likely to face. I’m not really interested in walking in a cyclone, so I don’t need that much but if I rode a motorbike in the rain, well that might be the same thing.

Contact us for what we would recommend for your local weather conditions.

Thinking New School Uniforms? Where To Start

Devon Clothing supply business uniforms from simple corporate shirts through to complete custom workwear.