Difference Between Waterproof and Water Resistant (With Table)

Waterproof materials are designed to prevent the penetration of water. Even if these materials stay in water for a short or longer time, no liquid can pass through.

Waterproof vs Water Resistant

A main difference between Waterproof and Water Resistant is that waterproof completely shields water or any liquid penetration. Water-resistant repels the liquid but if the intensity of the liquid increase, it penetrates.

Waterproof materials are synthetic or natural fabrics. They are covered or overlaid with waterproof material. Materials such as rubber, wax, fluoropolymers, etc. Waterproof materials are used in building structures, electronic devices, clothing, watercraft, and canvas. They are also used in paper packaging such as cartons for liquids.

Water-resistant materials are designed to withstand water penetration to a certain degree. In other terms, water-resistant is a lower level of liquid/water/rain protection.


Comparison Table Between Waterproof and Water Resistant (in Tabular Form)

Parameter of Comparison

Waterproof Materials

Water-Resistant Materials

Suitable for

Waterproof is good for rainy weather and wet snow conditions

Water-resistant is great for rainy weather and snow conditions.


Waterproof does not allow penetration of water at all.

Water-resistant can prevent water to a certain degree

Resistant Level

Waterproof level of resistance is high

The water-resistance level is slightly average. They offer light rain resistance.

Lifestyle and Goals

Waterproof is good if you come from a location with temperamental weather conditions. Either if you actively participate in water-based sports

Water-resistant will offer great protection for your everyday busy lifestyle

Air Permeability

Waterproof materials have zero air permeability

Air permeability in Water-resistant materials is high

Water Vapor Permeability

Water vapor permeability in Waterproof is zero

In water resistance, water vapor permeability is sufficient too high.


Pores in these materials are filled

In water-resistant, pores are partly filled

Resistant to Water Droplets

Waterproof materials are highly resistant to water droplets and wetting

Water-resistant is highly resistant to wetting and water droplets.

Resistant to Water Penetration

They are designed to resist water penetration even under external hydrostatic pressure

Water-resistant materials are highly resistant even under external hydrostatic pressure.

Terminological Class

Waterproof materials are impermeable

Water-resistant materials are Semipermeable


Very low

Comfort is medium to high


What is Waterproof?

As earlier stated, waterproof means no water is capable of passing through the material. No matter how much it gets into contact with water, it is impermeable.

There are two technologies used in waterproof materials. They are inherent waterproof materials or textile materials with waterproofing finishing treatments. These technologies also depend on the structure of waterproof materials.

Materials of this nature remain unaffected with water. They are made to resist any hydrostatic force exerted by moisture in the liquid state. There are several types of waterproofing materials.

Some of the best include PVC waterproofing membrane, Bituminous, Thermoplastic, Polyurethane, and Cementitious coating. Still, waterproof can be used to manufacture indoor and outdoor products.

What is Water Resistant?

Water-resistant materials can withstand penetration of water to a certain degree. The surface of water-resistant is made of water drive material.

Fluoropolymer is the common material used in manufacturing water-resistant. After some time the material starts to wear off and water can easily penetrate.

Water-resistant material prevents damages. They repel the moisture and keep the garment from degrading. This makes them ideal for outdoor activities like tents and awning. Water-resistant is also important in preventing mold and mild growth.



There is a lot of mix surrounding waterproof and water-resistant. At times these terms are used anonymously even by the manufactures.

There is, however, a technical difference. Especially if you have to use the two in severe weather conditions. This is the best way you can distinguish the difference. And you are the best judge.

The downside with the two is that you can’t tell the difference between waterproof and water-resistant by looking at them.

The difference between the two should be a sliding scale and not a defining lane. But brand websites, product specs, and user reviews. They will help you determine which is which.



  1. https://axial.acs.org/2017/12/21/water-resistant-materials/
  2. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/152808379202200103