Have you ever had the misfortune of having your product – whether it is a brand new shiny smartphone, a chic headphone, or your survival torchlight – go kaput on you due to exposure to moisture? Perhaps, you’ve had one of your devices get spoilt. If you have had this experience, you would agree with me that it wasn’t a pleasant one and most times those products were marketed as water resistant, nonporous and with all those waterproof marketing terms. We’ll also tell you what the IPX ratings mean.

Ever wondered why some materials get soaked and wet with water easily while others remain dry or you see beads of water on the surface? Or wondered why you stay dry under the rain when you wear your water-resistant clothing?

I believe you must have noticed during the summer months, beads of moisture forming on leaves early in the morning – that is before sunrise – due to dews. Did you stop to think about why the water didn’t soak into the plants? Or what property of the leaves that makes it possible for the water to form those small balls of moisture and roll of the surface?

I am curious also about the behavior of these materials when placed under wet conditions and decided to investigate. The result is this article.

Designed by the United States Military to test the thresholds of all its equipment in a range of diverse conditions and circumstances where it is expected to be deployed (environment) or transported – this test was known as the MIL-STD-810G.

Imagine you’re standing in your favorite mall and looking over some products to buy, imagine you picked up one product after another and each was marked with these: Water-resistant, waterproof, water-repellent and weatherproof – and with no idea of what each term means you get confused, which by the way sounds like the same thing to me too.

To clarify what each of these markings on the products means and give you the confidence to choose the right product that’s perfect for your needs; I’ve pitted water-resistance against waterproof and water-repellent against weather-proof. If you’re ready, let’s dive in and examine what each of these terms means and what it means when a product is marked with either of the terms.