How do we test our waterproof jackets?
All our waterproof fabrics and prototype garments are rigorously field-tested in a range of environments to ensure that they deliver consistent, ongoing performance in exacting conditions during ‘real’ activities.
In addition, all our prototype garments are tested independently at Leeds University Textile Department Rain Room. The Nikwax Analogy® Waterproof badge on a garment denotes that that garment has shown no water ingress during this stringent testing procedure, independently monitored and reported.
The Rain Room at Leeds University Textile Department (UK) was specially built and donated by Nikwax to enable the assessment of outdoor fabrics and garment designs. The process of testing a garment is as follows:
- Mannequins are clothed in fleece cotton tracksuits and balaclavas. These are absorbent but do not wick easily to aid the detection of water ingress and movement.
- Páramo test garments are then placed over the top.
- The clothed mannequin is positioned under the shower tester with one arm pointing forward and the other slightly downward to mimic a walking position.
- The mannequin and clothing revolve 6 times per minute, for at least 4 hours.
- Heavy rain is simulated, with a range of drop diameters (0.5 to 3.5mm) and an intensity of 15mm per hour.
- This is approximately 5 times the intensity of normal heavy rain in the UK.
The lining used in Páramo Directional Waterproofs is called ‘Analogy Pump Liner®’ – this is a directional liner that transfers liquid water from one face to the other:
- Minimum static water transfer face to face – 300 gms per hour
- Maximum water content after 30 minutes of static draining – 20%
The outer fabric used in Páramo Directional Waterproofs is called ‘Windproof by Nikwax’ with durable water repellency. Windproof by Nikwax comes in a number of different weights optimised for different levels of durability versus ‘packability’. The requirements for our standard, most commonly used windproof are:
- Minimum tear strength – 1500g (warp or weft)
- Maximum air permeability – 2.5 cubic feet per minute
- Minimum spray rating (maximum 100*) – 90
These two fabrics combined = Páramo Directional Waterproof. Therefore, the rain resistance provided by the whole garment:
- Minimum 4 hour resistance to 15mm of rain per hour.
*AATCC test method 22 – 2005