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Gear Question

What does the the 5K waterpooof rating...

Posted on

What does the the 5K waterpooof rating mean? Other jackets are "guaranteed" or only 1K.

Responded on

Hi Susan. Any time you see a "(number)K" rating for waterproofing it refers to the water column test. This fabric is rated to stop a 5000 mm water column over a 24 hour period of time. Any more than that and the fabric starts to leak.

I highly suspect you've seen ratings of "10K" not "1K" as the latter seems ridiculously low. That just means the fabric will withstand a 10000 mm water column for 24 hours. Most fabric are in the 10-25 K rating. We're starting to see some 30K jackets out there and even the odd 40K, but they are not widespread yet.

Gore-Tex does not use this type of testing to "rate" their fabrics so the waterproof rating of a Gore-Tex piece is "guaranteed". That means if it leaks, they will warranty it no questions asked.