If you just bought a new waterproof jacket but all those labels got you confused and you’re not sure if the jacket is also windproof, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s everything you need to know about waterproof and windproof fabrics.
Are Waterproof Jackets Also Windproof?
Most waterproof jackets are also windproof. This is because the same barriers and materials that prevent water from penetrating the fabric also block the wind.
Waterproof jackets are usually made from tightly woven fabrics like Gore-Tex or other synthetic materials that are designed to keep out all forms of moisture, including rain and snow.
These fabrics also effectively block the wind because wind cannot penetrate the tight weave of the fabric.
The most important thing to take into consideration is how well the jacket cinches around your neck, hips, and wrists as these are the place where you really feel the cold.
While the fabric itself may be windproof, if a jacket has areas not tightly sealed, such as zippers or ventilation openings, wind can still enter.
It’s also worth mentioning that while most waterproof jackets are windproof, not all windproof jackets are waterproof.
If you want to dive deeper into this topic, check out REI’s “How to Choose Rainwear” guide.
What Makes a Jacket Windproof?
For a jacket to be windproof, its threads must be wound very tightly so as to create a physical barrier against the wind.
The way a jacket is constructed plays a significant role in its windproofing. Sealed or taped seams, tight closures, storm flaps over zippers, and a close-fitting design can all help to block out the wind.
Features like adjustable cuffs, hem cinches, and high collars can also add to a jacket’s wind-blocking capabilities.
Windproof jackets keep you warm by retaining as much body heat as possible within the garment.
As you can see, a good wind-resistant jacket prevents body heat from dissipating through the garment and also blocks chill gusts of wind from affecting you.
How to Test if Your Jacket Is Windproof
If you’re still not sure whether your jacket is windproof or not, you can take a blow drier and blow cold air through it.
While this test doesn’t compare to the intensity of chill gusts of wind on a cold evening, it should give you an idea of how wind resistant your jacket is.
If there is something you’d like to add about waterproof jackets and their wind resistance, feel free to comment below.
Learn more about waterproof jackets:
- How Long do Waterproof Jackets Last?
- Why can’t I wash waterproof items?
- Can you dye waterproof fabric?
Last updated in July 2023 to add additional references.