Waterproof Covers

December 18, 2008

Waterproof?  Or just resistant?

Waterproof? Or just resistant?

Everyone wants to keep the elements off of their outdoor gear.  Sun and rain are the usual suspects when it comes to damaging equipment, and a question I hear often is, “How waterproof are these covers?”

Well, covers have to do a balancing act between breathability and water-resistance.  There’s a reason people don’t just Visqueen their gear.  While almost completely impermeable to moisture, the same is true of air, meaning that with little circulation, the interior of these covers become little terrariums, with closed ecosystems that produce mold and mildew.  That’s not good.  So, manufacturers use synthetic fabrics for breathability, then usually coat them with a layer of plastic or acrylic to make them more resistant to moisture, not to mention UV radiation.

If someone promises that their covers are waterproof, be wary.  Even if they’re telling the truth, you probably don’t want to use them.

For instance, probably a lie:

Water proof covers

More accurate:

Water resistant covers

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