the difference between waterproof and water-resistant

Some of our products are water-resistant, and some are waterproof.  Which can beg the question…what’s the difference between the two?  To help shed some light on the issue, we turned to Wikipedia, which describes them as one and the same: “Waterproof or water-resistant describes objects relatively unaffected by water or resisting water passage, or which are covered with a material that resists or does not allow water passage.”  In fact, there are differences between the two, and the applications for each vary.

In a nutshell, “waterproof” means no water in, no water out. To be entirely waterproof, the surface must be completely impervious to water, and provide a high level of sustained water protection during the harshest conditions. Where Ruff Wear gear is concerned, if a product is marked waterproof, such as our Sun Shower™ rain jacket, that means no water can get in through the fabric, seams, or flaps because not only is the fabric waterproof, but the seams are sealed and buckles are covered. 

taped Seam

Tiny pinprick holes in the seams and stitching can compromise a garment's waterproofness

Certain waterproof fabrics contain a breathable membrane woven within the fabric, making them both waterproof and breathable.  Waterproof, breathable fabrics help regulate heat and release moisture, and are recommended for high energy activities to dissipate heat and moisture.

Water-resistant (sometimes labeled “water-repellent”) fabric is coated with a finish such as DWR that is resistant but not impervious to penetration by water. Water-resistant fabrics will often bead up rainwater, forming drops on the surface.  Water-resistant fabrics will provide protection from limited precipitation, but may not stand up to, say, belly-deep submersion in a mud puddle.  Though water can saturate the fabric with harsh exposure, a water-resistant treatment will prevent moisture from seeping through the fabric.

Because dogs get wet and dirty, Ruff Wear adds a water-resistant coating to many of our products; leaving room for a few garments that are both waterproof and waterproof-breathable.  The breadth of our line lets you decide exactly how much water you want to keep out.

Product Waterproof with Breathable Membrane Water-Resistant Completely Waterproof
Cloud Chaser™ soft shell
K-9 Overcoat™
Sun Shower™ rain jacket
Track Jacket™
Approach Pack™
Palisades Pack™
SingleTrak Pack™
Highlands Bed™
Quencher™ Bowl
Bivy Bowl™


  1. […] your pooch all the way around his body and insulates him from cold, wet, inclement weather. The waterproof, windproof, breathable three-layer soft-shell upper fabric has four-way stretch and a zippered […]

  2. Hello, everything is going nicely here and ofcourse every
    one is sharing data, that’s genuinely good, keep up writing.

  3. It’s really a great and useful piece of information.

    I’m glad that you just shared this helpful information with us.
    Please keep us informed like this. Thanks for sharing.

  4. lynne c. · ·

    looking for outdoor furniture covers, does it make a big difference if it is water resistant or waterproof. I need the cushions to stay dry.

  5. Cool but not truw


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