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It’s ironic that you need to keep hydrated while on a trek, cycle ride, motorcycle ride, water sport activity, expedition etc., but at the same time keep your body and your belongings/equipment protected from any external water penetration; so that they are ready for use and you don’t fall prey to any high altitude and cold sicknesses. To avoid this it is important to be aware of the difference between the terms Waterproof and Water Resistant and select your gear accordingly. It is important to be aware of exactly to what degree your gear can protect you from rain, dew, shower or any water body during your adventure.

Water Proof vs. Water Resistant: What’s the Difference?

It’s ironic that you need to keep hydrated while on a trek, cycle ride, motorcycle ride, water sport activity, expedition etc., but at the same time keep your body and your belongings / equipment protected from any external water penetration; so that they are ready for use and you don’t fall prey to any high altitude and cold sicknesses. To avoid this it is important to be aware of the difference between the terms ‘Waterproof’ and ‘Water Resistant’ and select your gear accordingly. It is important to be aware of exactly to what degree your gear can protect you from rain, dew, shower or any water body during your adventure.

Waterproof and water resistant – the moment you start shopping for monsoons, you’ll stumble across these two terms, be it electronics, rainwear, jackets, gloves, luggage, backpacks, sleeping bags, tents, watches or footwear.

Do they mean the same thing? Which one’s better? What’s the difference?

We at OTG are questioned about this difference quite often by our customers. We hope this blog clears the air for all readers and adventure enthusiasts, so that they can decide on the appropriate waterproof or water resistant gear for their use, according to their need in the outdoors.

Let’s look at the exact definitions.

Waterproof: Completely impervious to or impenetrable by water. That means the water cannot seep in through the stitches and zippers as well.

Water Resistant: Able to resist the penetration of water to a certain extent depending on the intensity of water droplets or shower.

In short, waterproof gear means no water can seep in, no matter what. On the other hand, water resistant gear will stop water to a certain extent, beyond which water will pass through.

But that’s really vague, isn’t it? You need to know the exact degree beyond which a particular piece of water resistant gear will fail, and you need to know this BEFORE making the purchase decision. You don’t want to find yourself in the middle of nowhere with gear that you bought to keep you or your stuff dry, falling short of the task.

Two different types of globally accepted rating scales are used for this purpose:

Ingress Protection Scale (IP Code): The IP code follows an international standard called IEC 60529 – Degrees of Protection Provided by Enclosures and it was developed by a technical committee of the International Electrotechnical Commission.

  • The IP Code classifies and rates the degrees of protection provided against the intrusion of solid objects, dust, accidental contact and water.
  • The scale takes into account three types of variables; the angle at which water hits the product being tested, the minimum duration for which the test must be conducted and the speed or force with which water hits the product.
  • The IP code is typically used for electronics, drybags, protective cases, etc.
  • The scale is measured from zero to eight, with IPX0 meaning no protection from water and IPX8 meaning protection against continual underwater immersion.

When buying gear that is certified under the IP code, you should look for the exact IP specification code on the packaging. Here’s what each of the codes in the IP system means in short.

The IP code follows an international standard called IEC 60529

 

Among the brands available on OutdoorTravelGear.com, Aquapac products are IP rated. The Packdivider DrySacks, Trailproof bags, Toccoa, Noatak and Stormproof bags from Aquapac have waterproofing rating of IPX6 , which indicates that these bags protect against powerful water jets / heavy seas / temporary flooding. These are great for heavy rains, but are not submersible. On the other hand, the Aquapac Whanganui cases have waterproofing rating of IPX8. This means that these are designed to not just keep out the rain but can also be submersed up to 30FT/10M under water for 30 minutes without any water ingress.

 

Hydrostatic Head:

  • Hydrostatic Head scale measures the degree to which a piece of gear can hold back water
  • Process: A patch of the material being tested is clamped at the bottom end of a clear transparent tube. The tube is then filled slowly with water. The idea is to see how high the column of water can get before the material lets water drip through.
  • The HH scale is typically used for fabric, tents, clothes, etc.
  • The scale is measured in thousands of mm. For eg., a Hydrostatic Head rating of 5000mm means that the column of water was 5 metres (5000mm) tall before the material leaked. The higher this number, the more protection a material provides against water.

(Source: bit.ly/GearWeAreHHRating)

1) Hydrostatic Head scale measures the degree to which a piece of gear can hold back water

 

In practicality, where you have water being pushed by wind and gravity against your gear, you will need a measurement of around 1000mm to resist light showers. Heavy rain and wind will create more pressure on your gear and it will require a higher rating of around 5000mm.

For really heavy-duty use, look for gear with a rating of about 10000mm. Gear with this level of rating should survive against water being pushed through by something physical, like a person or vegetation rubbing on it in the wind.

HH Rated Gear on OutdoorTravelGear.com

The Quechua Arpenaz 2 Tent has 2000mm PU-coated Polyester which means that the material can withstand pressure exerted up to 2 metres (2000mm) column of water without allowing any leakage.

The Quechua Rain Cut Jacket available with www.outdoortravelgear.com has an HH rating of 2000 mm.

Some brands may not quote the waterproofing standards for their products, but may advise you on the water resistance / waterproofing levels of the gear. It makes good sense to defer to the brand’s advise and use the gear accordingly.

For e.g. a number of brands selling motorcycle luggage in India provide rain covers for their luggage that are water resistant. Dirtsack offers the Gypsy with ‘water retardant’ fabric that wards off light showers coupled with an external rain cover making the bag resistant to showers. Dirtsack also offers the Frogman series of bags made from heavy duty PVC material that are 100% waterproof dustproof and rainproof.

The Hurricane Rain Overtrousers from Mototech are technical rain pants with fully seam sealed tapes and Hipora fabric which is waterproof and breathable. Mototech also offers the Hurricane Rain Jacket as a water proofing solution sold along with Contour Air Riding Jacket as one unit.

So what’s the moral of the story? Now that you know the difference, the next time you want to buy gear that is waterproof or water resistant, find out what it exactly means for that product and see if the product is specifically rated under any of the two scales we saw above.

Don’t let the rains keep you home. Go ahead. GET OUT!

www.OutdoorTravelGear.com
# OutdoorTravelGear #GetOut

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Keep Your Stuff Dry With Aquapac Waterproof Bags and Cases

It’s not only your skin and hair that need care during the messy monsoon but so do your backpacks. Commuting in the rain can cause a mess of you and your bag. Not to forget the accessories and your vital electronic gadgets that cost you a fortune. Most of the time we buy the wrong backpack and spend a small fortune and most of these backpacks don’t even survive the rains.

Aquapac not only protects your gear against water but other elements like dust and sand and moisture. Aquapac products are made from 100% PVC-free material, mostly plastics which make them rustproof and surprisingly lightweight. These materials include TPU, ABS, nylon and polypropylene which are light and easily accessible.

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Aquapac gives us a fully-featured backpack which comes in 15L, 25L and 35L capacity and is ideal to commute, trek, camp or tour anywhere. The backpack also comes with an external mesh pocket to hold a 2L water bottle.

The bag is large enough to cart your laptop, camera, a small meal and a pair of clothes. The bag’s inbuilt partition allows one to store wet and dry clothing separately, hence the name Wet & Dry. Each strap of the bag comes with a lash tab which can be easily anchored almost anywhere. Aquapac supplies tested products which meet international waterproofing standards of up to 5metres under water. With a five year guarantee exclusive to animal attacks the bags can function at temperatures down to -40C.

Some additional features which no other bag except Aquapac offers, are as follows:
• Key pocket: The backpack comes with a key pocket so that you don’t have to dig inside the pack.
• Internal pockets in yellow: This helps to see the bottom of the bag easily.
• Reflective logo print: This helps you to be seen at night with reflective ink
• TPU-coated fabric with taped seams: Keep it in the rain for days and water won’t seep in through the seams
• Roll-seal: The roll seal is fantastically designed and can provide quick access to your belongings with ease, preventing water seepage.
• Removable back support/seat: This back support is removable and when wet can be dried and installed back without a struggle. Also the back support can be used to sit on anywhere in the wilderness.
• Sternum and waist straps: When you’re on the move the backpack securely remains in place. Moreover the waist straps can be removed if you don’t need them.
• External mesh-pockets: These pockets can be used to keep anything that’s the size of a bottle.
• Integral light-lash: you can add a light to your back which could come handy.

Now that we have found a solution for your bag and equipment, what about your mobile phone? It might stay safe in the backpack, but it would be a pain to halt and undo your bag to attend phones calls, take pictures etc. Aquapac also manufactures cases for handheld devices that prove to be lifesavers.

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The Aquapac mini and large cases are named after the Whanganui River in the North Island of New Zealand. They can be used to store mobile phones, Ipads, tablets, first aid and other travel essentials. These cases are ideal to protect your phone from dust, sand and water, moisture.

With these cases you won’t hesitate to remove your costly smartphone in the middle of a river jiggling to balance with butter fingers. You can simply slide your phone in one of these cases and use it without worrying about the weather. The Aquapac Mini Whanganui can fit your iPhone, blackberries, android phones and even your small gps units.

Besides the mini Aquapac also builds large Whanganui which offers more room to store and completely submersible. The case comes with an adjustable shoulder strap or which can be worn around your neck for added safety. The high frequency welded seams makes the case floats on water if you happen to drop. Whanganui are made from Polyurethane (PU) – 100% recyclable, thinner. This material stays flexible when it’s chilly, easier to operate equipment inside the cases. The clear material allows you to see everything that’s inside. The Aquapac comes along with ‘aquaclip’ which holds the bag together. It also consists of a spring loaded slider in the centre to adjust the length of the space available to put your stuff.

So there it is then. Equip yourself with the Aquapac waterproof backpack and phone case, and step out there with the confidence that your stuff is going to stay completely dry.

To see the complete range of Aquapac products available with Outdoor Travel Gear, visit http://www.outdoortravelgear.com/brand/aquapac

If you’ve used Aquapac products,we’d love to know your experience, in the comments below. Also, don’t hesitate to write in with your questions or enquiries.

http://www.OutdoorTravelGear.com

#OutdoorTravelGear #OTGadventure #OTGvelo #OTGmoto #GetOut