Waterproof and Breathable Jackets: How Do They Work and What to Look For

Three-layer fabrics feature a third liner that’s bonded into the membrane’s waterproof layer, shielding the skin from body’s oils and dirt. They are more efficient in managing moisture and durability over two-layer fabrics however, they come with an expensive price.

Patagonia’s Torrentshell 3L (PS160) is one of the best examples of a durable three-layer jacket that features a durable 50D ripstop fabric for the face and Gore-Tex Paclite Plus technology. It does not have the lining used in many 2.5-layer jackets. It also helps reduce weight.

Waterproof and Breathable

Waterproof-breathable fabrics like Gore-Tex and eVent create jackets that are very protective in stormy weather. They let sweat escape however they also keep out water due to the differences in pressure of body heat versus cold air inside the jacket. The most breathable models will also feature an inner layer that absorbs sweat and offers a silky close-to-skin feeling. These layers shield the membrane’s breathable surface from dirt, body oils and wear, so they require more frequent laundering in order to be as airy as they can be.

Aristino jacket

Historically 2-layer jackets used to have an exterior face fabric bonded to a waterproof-breathable membrane and a loose (typically mesh) liner hanging on the inside. They have largely fallen out of favor because more cost-effective 2.5 layer jackets are taking the market by the storm. Each of them should feature a waterproof (DWR) finish that keeps rain off the exterior. As time passes, these finishes will deteriorate and need to be retreated.


A lot of jackets have two-layer membranes. However, a handful are a step above. The affordable XeroDry GTX by Co-op ($169) is constructed with a GORE-TEX PACLITE two-layer membrane, providing a stout layer of protection from wind and moderate rain, while also allowing sweat to go away. The polyester mesh liner helps protect the membrane as well as helping reduce that clammy feeling it’s common to feel when wearing a waterproof, cheap jacket when it rains continuously. For your jacket to continue working its best, it’ll need to be treated with a DWR treatment (either spray-on or wash-in) after enough use.

Three-layer jackets include a third wicking layer to the membrane and dramatically increase dryness and manages moisture. Jackets made with this type of technology, such as Patagonia’s Torrentshell 3L jacket ($179) have the ability be able to endure all-day floods.

The top three-layer membranes for performance are the polyurethane film and ePTFE. Polartec’s NeoShell is a popular choice for its high-elevation, trail-running-friendly balance of water resistance and breathability at 20,000 g/m2. The Gore-TEX Pro membrane makes use of several ePTFE membranes bonded together to deliver exceptional water resistance (RET 13) and breathability (24,000 G/m2). Depending on your level of activity and your outdoor weather such as a jacket with pit vents may be essential for you.


Any jacket will stand up to moderate rain. However, only jackets that are water-resistant and breathable technologies will keep you the driest even in the midst of heavy rain. The jacket brands employ a variety of outward-facing fabrics and high-tech laminates in layered constructions There’s no standardized industry standard for water resistance. Therefore, making comparisons of water resistance claims among different brands can be difficult.

The most popular waterproof materials are coated fabrics, as well as an elastomer that is slid between woven fabric layers and click to read more https://aristino.com/ao-khoac-nam.html. Coated fabrics are typically utilized in low-cost jackets but they’re also less breathable than their layered counterparts but still give decent protection from water.

If you’re in a particularly wet environment look into a jacket made of 3-layer construction or an alternative 2.5-layer layout. The inner layer of most three-layer jackets do a better job at protecting the second-layer membrane from oil, dirt and abrasions than the outermost fabric of a 2.5-layer jacket. But they’re generally larger and heavier than two-layer versions.

Lightweight and Packable

In contrast to old oil- or wax-coated coats that had to be reapplied regularly and were extremely bulky, membranes used in modern two-, 2.5-, and 3-layer models keep out water and aren’t stiff or heavy. They’re also light enough to be packed down in a tiny case or pouch, making them perfect for trips in the backcountry.

The majority of jackets with two layers use a bonded membrane with an outer fabric that is used for protection against abrasions and wear. A few of them, for instance Columbia’s $85 Watertight II and women’s Arcadia II are equipped with an attached liner which adds the weight and bulk, but also helps to protect the waterproof membrane from damage, skin oils, and an increase in clamminess.

The jacket by REI makes use of Gore-Tex Paclite or Paclite Plus and is a good option for front-country and casual use. We like that it’s easily machine washed and dryable as it can restore DWR (durable water repellent) and breathability–just follow these washing guidelines from the manufacturer. Fair-trade Certified as well as made of sustainable products.

Previous PostNextNext Post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *