Breathability rating

Breathability rating refers to how much water or moisture is able to pass through the fabric from the inside to the outside.

What the breathability rating number means?

The main ratings

There are different approaches for measuring the breathability of the fabric, the two most common ones are g/m² and RET.

Breathability rating, g/m²

When the breathability of a fabric is measured in g/m², it tells how many grams of moisture vapor can pass through a square meter of the fabric in 24 hours time. In this case, the higher the rating, the more breathable the fabric is. 

  • 5,000 – 10,000g/m²:  Satisfactory breathability It is fine for more static activities, like resort skiing or ice fishing.
  • 10,000 – 15,000g/m²: Moderate breathability level. It is suitable for semi-static activities with a moderate amount of movement in all weather conditions. Have a look at some jackets with such breathability:
    good breathability ratings.
  • 15,000 – 20,000g/m² & above: Good breathability level. It is most suitable for highly dynamic activities. Check out the jackets with this breathability rating: excellent brethability jackets.

Breathability rating, RET

RET stands for Resistance to Evaporating Heat Transfer. The RET rating indicates the resistance of a fabric to water vapor. The RET value measured in m²Pa/W (Pa = water vapor pressure in the air).

RET is the only method that takes into account the aspect of comfort. The lower the RET value, the more breathable the fabric is. As a result, the more comfortable it feels during activities. 

  • RET 0-6: the fabric is extremely breathable. It is comfortable at a higher activity rate.
    Take a look at these 0-6 RET rated jackets: excellent breathability jackets.
  • RET 6 to 13: the fabric is very breathable. It is comfortable at a moderate activity rate. 
    There you go with some of the jackets with such RET values: good breathability ratings.
  • RET 13 to 20: the fabrics are still considered breathable at a satisfactory level, but it is uncomfortable at a high activity rate.
  • RET 20 to 30: slightly breathable. It is moderately comfortable at a low activity rate.
  • RET 30+: not breathable. Uncomfortable.

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