Water column: what it means and which level you should buy

You might have seen the term “water column” when shopping for Reima outerwear and wondered what exactly this term means. Read on to find out what water column (water pillar) is and how it can help you choose the right clothes for your kids.

Water column means waterproofness

We test our products to make sure they are suitably waterproof. Through this testing, we’re able to assign a water column value to the product that tells you how well it keeps out water and for how long. Different products have different needs when it comes to waterproofness, which is why our products will come with their own water column value.

We determine the water pillar value by testing

So, how do we determine a product’s water pillar value? We spray water onto the material, and add pressure until it becomes too much for the material to bear. When drops of water seep through, that leaking point is the pressure -- caused by an imaginary column of water -- that the fabric can hold without leaking. We express the thickness of that imaginary water column in millimeters. The higher the number, the more water the product can withstand.

Which water pillar value is right for you?

To make it easier for you to quickly spot products with the right water pillar value, we have a simple system ranging from one water drop all the way up to four water drops.

1 drop - Water pillar value over 3 000 mm Products with one water drop protect against light rain. They’ll keep rain and moisture out for some time, and are perfect for unexpected showers.

2 drops - Water pillar value over 5 000 mm Products with two water drops protect against heavy rain. They’ll keep rain and moisture out for longer periods of time, and are perfect for playing outdoors on rainy days.

3 drops – Water pillar value over 8 000 mm Products with three water drops protect against both heavy rain and higher water pressure. This means they’re perfect for kids who love to spend all day sitting and splashing in rain puddles.

4 drops – Water pillar value over 12 000 mm Products with four water drops are for extreme conditions. They’re perfect for demanding environments in all-day heavy rain.

There you go! With the right outerwear, your kids can safely spend as much time outdoors as they like without the risk of getting cold and wet -- even if they choose to sit smack dab in the middle of the biggest puddle they can find.