Waterproof vs. Water-Resistant: How to Choose Rainwear

Waterproof vs. Water-Resistant: How to Choose Rainwear

Have you ever felt like you are lost in a jungle of raingear not sure what to choose? Understanding the difference between waterproof and water-resistant work wear will allow you navigate easier and solve your next rain gear challenge like a pro.

2 Types of Weather Protection Gear

Although many jackets offer some level of water protection, if you have to work outside in the rain for an extended period of time, water-resistant or waterproof clothing will be a perfect solution depending on your particular situation.

1. Water-resistant gear is lightweight and can handle light rain for a short time. This type of jacket works great for some activities that are brief, outside in drizzly conditions. In windy, wet weather and in situations when you are highly active, for example, working at a construction site, you will need more protection.

2. Waterproof gear (rain coat or rain suit) keeps the rain out and is a cost-saving alternative ideal for frequent use in heavy rain. It also makes sense to add waterproof gloves to protect your hands.

Today’s protective rain gear is based on advanced technology and provides complete protection against unfavorable weather conditions. Some rain jackets are also flame-resistant and hi-vis, and provide excellent resistance to most chemicals, oils, and acids, and are able to keep you warm.

Breathability Matters

Air permeability in rainwear is a game changer. No one wants to work in a “wearable sauna” - that is why breathability is so important. The key component of rainwear fabric is a membrane, bonded to a protective fabric to create a laminate that blocks the rain while also allowing sweat vapor to escape. Today’s jackets have much better breathability performance than the previous versions. This diagram helps you understand fabric composition and how rain gear protection works.


PK Safety Expert Rainwear Picks:

1. PIP Waterproof Reflective Value Bomber Jacket 333-1766-LY

Waterproof Bomber Jacket

The Waterproof Reflective Value Bomber Jacket 333-1766-LY provides excellent protection from the elements and can be used by roadway construction workers, survey crews, utility workers, railway and metro workers, and emergency response personnel. It’s ANSI 107 Class 3 certified for safety on the road and on sites where you need to be seen.

2. PIP Hi-Visibility 2-Piece Reflective Rain Suit 353-1000LY

Reflective Rain Suit

Ideal for rainy conditions in construction, municipalities, shipyards, this Hi-Vis Yellow Rain Jacket and Pant Suit are made of lightweight polyester with a 100 % waterproof polyurethane coating. The jacket features a zipper closure with a storm flap, roll-up hood, and an elastic waist pant for extra comfort. Two-inch reflective tape adds superior visibility. The suit meets ANSI 107-2010 Class 3 standards.

3. Muck Chore 12 in. Steel Toe Boots CMS-000A

Muck Chore 12 in. Steel Toe Boots

Wearing boots in the rain is imperative. The high-performance 12" tall Muck Boot Company's Chore Boots are 100% waterproof, lightweight and flexible. They feature the steel toe, the steel shank for additional arch support, the bootstraps, and the top quality Vibram outsoles based on the latest technology in providing comfort and reliability, even in the temperatures ranging from sub-freezing to 85°F.  The 5mm NEOPRENE four-way stretch nylon, the Airmesh for extra breathability, and the self-insulating CR flex-foam ensure a snug fit to keep out cold temperatures and keep workers’ feet warm. Perfect for wearing in different job environments from muddy livestock fields to oil drenched grounds, the Chore Boots will also work great for rainy roads and construction sites.

4. MCR Memphis Waterproof Luminator Drivers Glove 34411

Luminator Gloves

The Memphis 34411 Luminator Drivers Glove is a grain pigskin glove (great for abrasion resistance and breathability) from MCR Safety with Thermosock® lining and hi-vis reflective tape on the back. This 3-layer system is made to keep your hands warm and dry in bad weather working conditions. Instead of water soaking through leather, the waterproof layer keeps the Thermosock® lining dry. The durable grain pigskin outer layer remains pliable, even after going through repeated wet/dry cycles. We have had success with customers using these gloves in the snow for tire chain installation and removal, shoveling, snowmobile riding, and staying warm while directing traffic. The hi-vis reflective stripe and bright orange color on the back help keep you visible in low light conditions.

Don't get soaked. Stay safe and dry with @PKSafetydotcom.

If you have questions or need help finding the right protective gear, please feel free to call us at 800-829-9580, or visit us online at

Oct 26th 2016 Mila Adamovica

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