Smiling Girl in Blue Ski Jacket with Pink Helmet and Ski Goggles, Lying Half Buried In Snow

How Waterproof And Breathable Does My Kid's Snow Gear Have To Be?

Preparing for the outdoors can always be a bit difficult. Have you ever purchased a coat that you were sure would keep you warm and dry, and despite its appearance and material it just didn’t do the trick? It can be baffling, but often the secret to the disappointment lies in a product’s waterproof, windproof, and breathability rating. Understanding these ratings is crucial to selecting the right product for your purpose. Here’s everything you need to know about waterproof, windproof, and breathability ratings. 

First of all, what are waterproof, windproof, and breathability ratings?

When you’re selecting a jacket, it’s best to be aware of these three features: waterproof, windproof, and breathability. If you’ll be in a harsh climate while skiing or snowboarding, then you’ll want something that can handle high winds and rain, sleet or blizzard conditions. Conversely, if you typically ski in more mild conditions, you won’t require  anything beyond a moderate windproof rating.

Here’s what you should know about each category:


This is often this most frustrating category because it’s difficult for individuals to differentiate between waterproof, water-resistant, and water-repellent. Any water-repellent fabric will cause water to roll off of it when it hits it. Clothing can then be designated as water-resistant (5K) and then waterproof (starting at 10K to 25K) depending on water permeability under pressure.


Windproof ratings are measured by how much 50kmph wind can pass through one square measurement of material in cubic feet per minute (CFM). Windproof is considered to be 1 CFM. Somewhat windproof is considered to be 20 CFM.


Breathability is a key element for athletes as it helps your body regulate naturally through sweat. The key is keeping external water out and then also allowing internal water (your perspiration) out as well. Breathability is designated by not very breathable (5K), moderately breathable (10K), and very breathable (20K).

What should I get for skiing or snowboarding?

You’re likely looking at those numbers, and saying “So, what? What jacket do I buy?” The numbers and ratings can be hard to make sense of, but they indicate exactly how you should be buying for your activity level. For seasonal beginner to advanced skiers and boarders, jackets in the 10K range for waterproof and breathability categories are in the sweet spot.

They’ll be able to withstand a moderate amount of rain while also allowing you to remain in your coat for a prolonged period of time without getting overheated and sweaty. This is especially ideal for kids as they’re some of the most active people on the slopes, but need to stay warm and dry as they move constantly.

What’s even better is that these jackets (10K/10K) are available at an affordable price. They’re in the AUD $150 to 250 range, which is reasonable for a quality ski jacket. If you’re looking for a 30K/30K jacket (more ideal for a mountain hiker, snow chaser or someone who spends an immense amount of time in poor weather), then it’ll come with a heftier price tag because the product ultimately performs better in a more extreme climate.

Do you want to know more about the specifics of waterproof, windproof, and breathability ratings and technology? Check out this guide here . At the end of the day, a 10K/10K rated jacket is perfect to outfit both you and your child on the slopes. It’s made to withstand a moderate amount of rain while keeping you dry and warm. It’s more than sufficient as ski equipment and an awesome way to start out your skiing adventures as a family.

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