Difference between Waterproof and Water Resistant

Key Difference: The word ‘waterproof’ refers to a product’s ability to repel water from it. For example a bag that is waterproof it would not allow water to seep into the bag, keeping the contents of the bag water free. Water resistant is basically that it will repel water or protect against water but only under certain circumstances. The specific circumstances will be mentioned on the product that is being purchased.

The terms ‘waterproof’ and ‘water resistant’ are thrown out by many companies claiming that their products can sustain x amount of water submergence or can sustain water completely, etc. Although many companies throw the words waterproof and water resistant casually, in reality these words mean different things completely. The meanings of these words also change when they are used for different products, such as clothing, electronics, etc.

The word ‘waterproof’ refers to a product’s ability to repel water from it. For example a bag that is waterproof it would not allow water to seep into the bag, keeping the contents of the bag water free. Now, waterproof means that it allows absolutely no water into the product. Waterproof is also listed with the amount of pressure the bag, fabric or electronic can sustain. For example, certain high atmospheric pressures can cause the seams to pull apart or can cause the water to seep in. However, true waterproof products boast sustaining high amounts of atmospheric pressure.

Water resistant is basically that it will repel water or protect against water but only under certain circumstances. The specific circumstances will be mentioned on the product that is being purchased. Water resistance does not guarantee that the product will not ruin if it is in the conditions that are not mentioned. This means that the product will not be able to sustain high atmospheric pressures and may not be able to be completely submerged under water. For example: water resistance watches can be worn under rain, not in the pool or for going scuba diving. Water resistant bags will be able to take rain slight water spill, but the owner won’t be able to dunk the bag in a bucket of water.

This is the major difference between water resistant and water proof. Water proof states that in no condition will the product become wet or damaged if submerged under water, while water resistant states that the product will not be damaged if it is exposed to water or liquid under certain conditions. Water proofing or resistance can be done using many methods such as oil, water repellent products, Ultrasonic Welding to stitch fabrics, casing of the product properly, etc. Certain fabrics or technology is used to ensure that the fabric can repel water.

Water proofing and water resistance is measured differently when it comes to different things. When we are talking about materials such as fabric, tents, clothes, etc. waterproof is measured using a Hydrostatic Head scale. In terms of watches, only the proper scuba diving watches can be tagged as water proof, with others being marked as water resistance with mentioned conditions. In terms of electronics such as phones, cameras, etc. water resistance is measures on a Ingress Protection Scale, which measures from 0-8, with IPX0 meaning no protection and IPX 8 meaning protection against continual water submersion in under water conditions.

Image Courtesy: letsgodigital.org, supthemag.com

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