How waterproof is your jacket?

Rain can be a huge problem when you work in agriculture or outdoors doing anything else. It massively increases hazards such as slipping and falling. Plus, if you aren’t wearing good waterproofs it can make you uncomfortable and have an impact on your health. It is important to dress properly, whether it is a light shower or a heavy downpour.

Waterproof rating

One thing you can look for when you choose garments is how they are rated. You will likely see details of the hydrostatic head rating. This is important, and tells you a lot about what you can expect from the waterproofing. The figure will be in millimetres (mm). It can vary from the hundreds into the thousands.

What you need to remember here is it does not mean the total volume of water. For example, a 1,000mm rating doesn’t ensure you will be safe in that much rain. In fact, the average rainfall per year in the UK is from 800mm to 1,400mm, so it would be a lot.

What the number actually means is the height of liquid a material can support before it can leak through. You test this by using a tube of water and filling it to different heights. It gives an idea of how heavy the rain would need to be before there is leakage.

An important thing to keep in mind with waterproofs is the higher the rating the better. A 1,500mm jacket is not completely waterproof. It will be good in light showers, but heavier rain can get through. What you need if you will be out in heavy downpours is a jacket with at least a 10,000mm rating.


You also need to factor in how old your jacket it. Most materials will gradually degrade with time. It happens because of dirt and exposure to the sun as well as things like chemicals and detergent. So, the longer you have had a garment, the more the waterproofing can decline.

It is not just the material itself that can degrade in time. The seams will also begin to wear and can allow leaks. The majority are stitched and then covered with a waterproof material. They can wear due to regular use and exposure to the same things that damage the materials. Bonded seams are better, but the bonds won’t last forever either.

Order reliable waterproofs

JS Hubbuck Ltd knows how important good garments are, especially for agriculture. They keep you safe, dry, and warm when working in different settings. This could be out in the fields, in the yard, or even in outbuildings. They are also great for other jobs, including working with horses.

We always recommend you plan carefully when you choose your waterproofs. Cheap, low quality ones are unlikely to last or provide the protection you need. It is better to choose good ones and then look after them.

You can have a look at some high quality garments on our website. We also have a much larger selection at our store. Buy from us with confidence, or get in touch if you need advice.