Have you ever been shopping for motorcycle rain gear and wondered which was the best: waterproofed gear, water-resistant gear or water-repellant gear? Yes, there is a difference. If it's water-resistant, the gear will resist water penetration to a certain extent, but you might still get wet, depending on the quality of the clothing. If it's water-repellent, it usually has a surface coating that repels water. You might still get wet if the rain is hard enough to penetrate through the surface coating. And, if the item is waterproof, you shouldn't get wet at all, depending on the brand and how it was tested.
Waterproofing on Motorcycle Gear
Renegade Classics' waterproof gear is fire hose tested, not drop-tested, which means that when it's advertised as waterproof, it's waterproof. Water pressure measurements on gear are shown in pounds per square inch (psi) or in millimeters. To convert, 704 millimeters is equal to one psi. During testing, a technician employs a water column on fabric that has been washed and dried ten times. Rainproof gear needs to have no leaking at three psi or 2,112 millimeters. Wind-driven rain puts about two psi on gear while hurricane-force rain puts about ten psi on the gear.
The drop test is not the better testing procedure for motorcycle gear because of the force of the rain when it hits you while you are riding. A hurricane has winds that are whipping rain around at about 75 mph. That means for gear to be waterproof for riding, it must be able to withstand wind and rain for the speeds that you will be traveling.
If something is waterproof, it has to be made from rubber, which is not breathable. That could make a jacket or pants very uncomfortable. Some fabrics have a breathable membrane that gets woven into the fabric. Thus the garment made from this type of fabric is waterproof and breathable. The membrane helps release moisture and regulate heat so that you don't overheat wearing waterproof clothing. This is the best type of waterproof clothing for outdoor activities, including riding a motorcycle in the rain.
Though an industry standard doesn't exist, international standards state that the water entry pressure must be at least 8.000 millimeters for fabric to be considered waterproof, and that is measured with a hydrostatic water column. If the test shows the fabric allows water in at a lower number, then the garments made from that fabric may be advertised as water-repellent, not waterproof.
If you are sitting or kneeling, you will be putting more than 8.000 millimeters of pressure on the clothing, and it will leak unless the fabric withstands a higher pressure before it leaks. Thus, it may be considered waterproof, even though you may still get wet.
Visit Renegade Classics
For the best in motorcycle rain gear, visit us at Renegade Classics. Whether you are looking for something that is waterproof or water-repellant, we have the gear that you need.