Are waterproof coats breathable?

Waterproof coats are a great accessory for equestrian sport, allowing you to keep going even when the great British weather lets you down. One of the biggest things to watch out for when buying a waterproof coat is its breathability – whether it allows fresh air to access the skin.

The human body constantly produces moisture – low levels of sweat which evaporates as soon as it comes into contact with fresh air. The easiest way to waterproof fabric is to use some kind of plastic or wax coating to prevent the water from soaking into the fabric. This blocks the microscopic holes in fabric through which the skin breathes. waterproof coats made in this way aren’t breathable, and so skin soon becomes sweaty and clammy with all that moisture unable to escape. This can make wearing them for even short periods of time pretty uncomfortable. But nowadays scientists have developed a whole range of high-tech fabrics which are both waterproof and breathable.

These fabrics allow air to circulate freely around between the coat and skin, evaporating the liquid and leaving the wearer cool and comfortable, while keeping you dry in even the heaviest of rain storms. Of course, waterproof coats made with high-tech breathable fabrics tend to be more expensive than their more basic counterparts, but a good waterproof should be considered a sound investment. That’s not to say it’s necessary to spend a fortune – between the high end and the low there is a good range of reasonably priced, pleasantly breathable options to keep you comfortable and dry, meaning you don’t have to cut short your ride when the clouds start gathering.

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