Are Winter Jackets Waterproof?


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 a dark blue jacket with white inner clothing

There is a lot of misinformation about whether or not winter jackets are waterproof. The answer is yes, they are! A winter jacket provides a type of water resistance which helps keep you dry when the temperatures drop. They also come in handy when dealing with snow and rain. With that being said, there are some differences between winter jackets and standard jackets, which determine how much protection they provide.

A standard jacket, such as a trench or bomber jacket, is only water resistant; this means it will provide great coverage for going out for dinner on a rainy night but wouldn’t do anything to protect you from drenching from heavy rain on those cold days under the snow. A winter jacket can typically be used in light snowfall conditions but will keep your total body temperature warm even if exposed to heavier wet snowstorms.

Winter Jacket Waterproofing

Waterproofing means creating a semi-permeable barrier between your body and the outside world to prevent water from getting in or out of your clothing when it gets wet (like rain or snow). It is usually measured by an International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standard called “water vapor transmission class” (WVT).

WVT is a three-part classification system to determine the effectiveness of a water barrier, and the warmer the temperature, the higher the class rating.

The first part is how much liquid water it can hold before getting wet. A fully waterproof winter jacket will be able to keep out 4 liters or more of water.

The second part is how quickly that water can evaporate or escape when contact with air. A fully waterproof winter jacket will evaporate in two minutes or less when exposed to air.

The third part determines how long that water will stay on your body before escaping; this would primarily be affected by your personal activity level (i.e. walking vs standing still). A fully waterproof winter jacket will keep that water on your body for 3 hours or more.

It is important to note that these numbers can vary slightly by manufacturer, but a good outdoor winter jacket should be able to keep you warm and shielded from the elements while staying dry. This method of waterproofing works best under cold, dry conditions when it is not windy outside. The less wind, the better as it will cause less evaporation.

With that being said, there are typically small gaps or holes in the jacket that allow for ventilation so that your body can breathe and for heat evaporation. These small holes are not only essential for your body warmth but necessary to keep airflow through the jacket so that your body can release excess heat from within which will prevent overheating and sweating.

The one place where you are not protected at all is on the shoulders and arms, which are typically closed and thus vulnerable to getting wet when you get soaked in a heavy rainstorm. However, this is usually not a big problem as the portion of your body being protected by the jacket is minimal and would only be exposed during moments of very heavy rain.

Otherwise, by wearing a waterproof jacket you can go outside in any weather conditions with the confidence that the material will keep you dry and warm.

Are winter jackets waterproof?

The answer is yes, they are. A winter jacket provides a type of water resistance, which helps keep you dry when the temperatures drop. They also come in handy when dealing with snow and rain. With that being said, there are some differences between winter jackets and standard jackets, which determine how much protection they provide.

To perform well in all conditions, a winter jacket must have a weather-resistant outer shell, a substantial inner layer, and a moisture-wicking lining. The outer shell will keep the snow from melting and wetting your jacket, and the inner layer will keep you warm even if the outer layer does get wet. Also, the linings should be fleece or wool materials, as thin synthetic linings tend to absorb moisture instead of wick it away.

Winter jackets are most commonly made of nylon or polyester in order to give them strength and durability. Some jackets have waterproof membrane layers while others are completely waterproof on the exterior; just make sure that you have an adequate warmth level before going out in extremely cold temperatures.

black hoody winter jacket

A good winter jacket will be able to keep the wearer warm in temperatures as low as -40 degrees Fahrenheit, but the warmth that comes from these jackets will become less effective when exposed to intense cold, so it is important to layer up if you are going out in extremely cold temperatures.

It’s also important to note that while a winter jacket can provide some protection against water, they are not completely waterproof. They are able to protect your body from light rain or snow and can help keep you dry, but if the weather gets too intense they will not be able to withstand it and end up getting soaked.

A good pair of winter boots will provide extensive waterproof protection, which means that they can be submerged in water up to the ankle and they will still protect the wearer. For example, a fully waterproof jacket would not be able to keep your body completely dry if it begins raining and you begin walking through puddles of water.

Waterproofing on jackets is tricky. They’ll have a weather resistant shell, but what about the inside? Winter jackets are made of outer shells and inner linings that wick moisture.

What Makes a Winter Jacket Waterproof?

A winter jacket is waterproof because it usually contains some type of membrane that allows the water to clump up and eventually fall off or evaporate, which prevents it from running into the inside of your jacket.

The membranes used in these jackets are typically made out of polyurethane or polyvinylchloride (PVC) and are designed to allow water vapor, like your sweat, to escape, but not any liquid water. Some jackets use a more advanced material called Gore-Tex. Gore-Tex is most commonly used for expensive cold weather gear because it will keep you warm in almost any conditions.

The process of making a rough, porous material into a water repellent surface by coating or laminating it in such a way that the pores are blocked and the water becomes trapped on the outer surface. This is then usually finished with a Teflon coating to prevent water from seeping into material.

It is important to note that not all waterproof fabrics are made equally; some use different types of waterproofing techniques. A waterproof jacket is a great investment for anyone who likes to spend time in the outdoors in the winter and can be very helpful when dealing with the freezing temperatures and unpredictable conditions.

Waterproof jackets are also great choices for people who work outdoors, such as on construction sites or farmers, as they will help keep you warmer and happier than if you were out in the cold wearing a standard jacket.

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Warmth and Water Resistance

It may seem contradictory that a winter jacket is waterproof, but think of it this way—your body heat is what keeps your body warm when exposed to the elements. A winter jacket can be made out of water-resistant and breathable materials, like nylon or polyester, to keep you warm.

These materials allow the wearer to trap air within their layers that helps regulate their body temperature and keep them warmer than they would be in regular cotton. This also allows them to maintain a high degree of both water resistance and breathability, which is ultimately what makes it possible for you to stay warm and dry in the heavy rain or even light snow.

A waterproof fabric will have a small percentage of water resistant properties, which is typically about 1% or less. Therefore, if a winter jacket claims to be waterproof it should always be treated like this even when the temperatures are mild. It may not be able to keep you completely dry when it begins raining, but it will still help keep you warm and dry if exposed to light rain.

Most waterproof jackets will do a pretty good job at keeping you dry, especially if you purchase a high-quality jacket that utilizes Gore-Tex. The waterproof membrane used on these jackets typically blocks most of the water through evaporation or tries to trap the water in pockets beneath the surface where it is less noticeable.

But don’t get the wrong idea about what waterproof means—when it comes to winter jackets, they’re only good up to the point when they’ll eventually melt. That is, if the water is so heavy that it penetrates all the layers of your jacket and gets to your skin, you’ll still get wet.

Determined by a fabric’s ability to resist liquid water, or water vapor transmission. A rating of 10 means that no water permeates the fabric and 1 means it allows 10% of the vapor transmitted through it to pass through.

Determined by a fabric’s ability to protect against falling raindrops or spray. A rating of 8 means the fabric will keep you dry for a short period in heavy rain with the material wet on the outside, and 4 means that it will keep you mostly dry and comfortable.

The time it takes for the outer surface of a fabric to become wet when exposed to water vapor. The lower the number, the faster it absorbs water and vice versa.


If you spend a lot of time in nature during the winter, then it is important to have a complete layering system that includes a waterproof jacket that will keep you dry no matter what climate you find yourself in.

Are winter jackets waterproof? A winter jacket is an essential part of this layering system. It is designed to provide warmth and protection from the elements so that you can brave the unpredictable weather of a snowy outdoors.

The good news is that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to get a quality waterproof winter jacket, as there are great options that can keep you dry and warm no matter the weather. Just be sure to use caution when purchasing waterproof clothing as it can be dangerous to your health if you don’t do it right.

Waterproof jackets should always be treated with respect and caution, especially during cold winter days. One should know know whether or not winter jackets are waterproof and how to use it before purchasing it.

man wearing a red winter jacket with hand gloves

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