20k waterproofing…10k breathability…taped seams…what does that even mean? Shopping for your kid’s winter jacket or ski pants you may find yourself stumbling over very technical features and descriptions that seem like a foreign language. Coming from a family of non-skiers with no former introduction to the world snow sports it was all news to me. Now with some hands on experience of my own, I wanted to shed light on this for the other lost, confused soles out there.
Waterproof Rating – usually varies between 5,000mm and 10,000mm and more. Thousands of millimeters of what? 5,000mm means the jacket has been tested and can withstand 5,000 mm of rainfall in a 24 hour period before water permeates. So, the higher this number the more waterproof and the longer your kiddo can run around in the snow without getting wet.
Breathability Rating – this is usually the number right next to Waterproof rating (seen like this most often 5kmm/5kgm). Measured in grams, the snow jacket or pant’s breathability rating is determined by testing how many grams of sweat per 1 square meter can escape a jacket within 24 hours. The higher the number on this one the more breathable it is.
What’s all this talk about seams? When it comes to kids ski pants/jackets I found a lot of mention about seams…taped, critical…it seemed important. There are two types. Fully taped means that all of the stitched seams on the jacket have been taped with waterproof tape to keep the water out. This is the higher quality type of seam sealing. The other type is Critically Taped seams. Critically taped seam sealed means that just some of the seams are taped to protect from snow/moisture. But this usually gets the job done and is a less expensive option. Great unless you plan on being out there in wet/cold weather for super long periods of time.
Insulation – this is measured in grams and lets you know how toasty warm it will keep your kid. Pretty straightforward here, the higher the number the warmer the kids jacket. This number can be anywhere from 30 grams to 800 grams.
While navigating AxlsCloset.com kids ski jackets and pants but sure to look for the product videos. These will contain a lot of the detailed information about insulation, waterproofing, breathability and more you are seeking. Here’s one for your viewing pleasure:
Are there other features of kid jackets and outerwear that you have questions about? Leave your inquiries and comments here for our kids gear expert to answer.