Is Windstopper Waterproof? 5 Benefits of Gore Infinium Windstopper Fabric

Last Updated on 23/02/2023

Is Windstopper Waterproof

Is windstopper waterproof? In this article, we break down and summarize how waterproof Gore Windstopper fabric is for outdoor clothing. You will learn how Windstopper clothing performs in the rain and how it compares to a Goretex Waterproof.

Windstopper is an ultralight membrane fabric made by W. L. Gore, designed to be windproof, breathable, and water resistant. Unlike a hard shell raincoat, a Windstopper membrane is layered between an outer shell and an inner lining.

Is Windstopper Waterproof?

WIndstopper is described as being water-resistant but not waterproof. You might be surprised to find out that Windstopper membranes can be just as waterproof as Gore-Tex.

The difference is that Windstopper clothing does not typically have taped seams like a waterproof would. Because of this, water can soak through the seams and make you wet.

You can wear Windstopper garments in heavy rain, and they will keep you dry for a short time until they eventually do soak through. But if the Windstopper has taped seams and/or a waterproof face fabric, then it should keep you as dry as any Gore-Tex jacket.

How Waterproof is Gore Wind Stopper Fabric?

Windstopper fabric is available in four different varieties, which range in waterproofing slightly. There is WINDSTOPPER Active, WINDSTOPPER Soft Shell, WINDSTOPPER Technical Fleece, and WINDSTOPPER Insulated Shell.

The most waterproof of them all is the Windstopper Active which is listed as having a HH rating of 30,000 mm, according to Montbell. This must be with sealed seams and with the addition of a Ballistic Airlight nylon shell.

However, any jacket that doesn’t have sealed seams will eventually soak through, so it is hard to give it a rating without an expensive testing machine. The real benefit of Windstopper lies in its breathability.

What is the HH Rating of Windstopper?

The unofficial HH rating for standard Windstopper clothing is around 10,000 mm without taped seams or a DWR face material. For example, the Versalite Jacket from Montbell has a 30,000mm HH rating because of the water-repellant face material, waterproof zips, and all the seams sealed.

waterproof rating of Gore Windstopper

5 Benefits of Windstopper Vs Gore-Tex for Rain Protection

If you want the most waterproof rainwear, then Gore-Tex Pro Shell is what I would recommend. If breathability is more important then Windstopper is far more effective in dealing with sweat from the inside. Here are the pros and cons of Gore-Tex Windstopper fabric vs Gore-Tex waterproof

1. Windstopper is Breathable

The biggest advantage of Windstopper material is that it is incredibly breathable compared to a fully waterproof jacket. This means that when hiking in the rain, you don’t get soaked from the inside from sweat building up.

Many of the most waterproof jackets in the world (like those made from Gore-Tex) suffer from condensation build-up inside. This is because they lack breathability. Windstopper still protects you from wind and rain, but the micropores in the membrane are slightly wider which allows more water vapor to escape.

If you are wearing a waterproof shell over an insulated down jacket, for example, you don’t want moisture to get trapped inside, as the down will lose its loft and suffer from reduced performance. Plus, it is much easier to overheat while wearing a waterproof shell as opposed to a more breathable Windstopper garment.

2. Windstopper is Windproof

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out the main selling point of Windstopper. I mean, it’s in the name…

Windstopper does an excellent job at blocking wind. This makes a massive difference in places where the outdoor temperature might be 30 degrees, but the wind chill is in the minuses. Blocking a cold breeze allows you to wear less insulation underneath and regulate your temperature better when active.

3. Windstopper is Water-Resistant

Windstopper fabric is almost as waterproof as a rain jacket; however, the big difference is that the seams aren’t sealed. This means that moisture can eventually work its way through any stitched seam if it stays wet for long enough.

Windstopper is very similar to the original Gore-Tex (before they added the PU coating). It isn’t quite as durable, which is why it is almost always layered between an outer shell and inner lining material. It is perfect for outdoor pursuits like hiking and cycling.

As I mentioned earlier, Windstoppper can be waterproof up to a 30,000mm hydrostatic head if the seams are sealed, and the face fabric is also waterproof.

Windstopper jacket soft shell waterproof

4. Windstopper is Quiet and Comfortable

All four different types of Windstopper fabric (Active, Soft Shell, Technical Fleece, and Insulated Shell) are quiet and comfortable when worn close to your skin. Unlike a waterproof hardshell, which can often be loud and without an inner lining, a Windstopper is soft and feels more like a fleece.

Noisy jackets often don’t reveal themselves until you are on a hike and wearing your hood. Then it becomes hard to hear anything other than the rustling of the material against your ears.

5. Windstopper is Warmer Than a Hardshell

Because Windstopper is an internal membrane technology that needs a face fabric to attach to and an internal lining, jackets made using it are often warmer than your average hardshell. Even though they can provide slightly better insulation, they still work very well as a mid-layer. And because Windstopper is more breathable, you are less likely to overheat and get damp from sweating.

Can You Make Windstopper Waterproof?

If you are thinking about adding a DWR treatment to a Windstopper jacket, you should follow the advice from Gore-Tex and simply wash your jacket as per the instructions on the jacket label first.

With Windstopper membranes, a mild wash cycle will clean debris from the surface of the membrane as well flush out the pores. This will improve breathability and allow rain to bead straight off instead of soaking through.

If washing the jacket doesn’t help, then you could try using a wash-in reproofer like the Nikwax Tech Wash, which may help. Beware that this may reduce breathability slightly, which is the trade-off you make for gaining some extra waterproofing.

does Gore Windstopper keep you dry

Are Sleeping Bags with GWS Waterproof?

Sleeping bags with a Gore-Tex Windstopper (GWS) shell are highly water resistant but would not survive a submersion if your tent floods at night.

Gore-Tex Windstopper is used on some of the world’s most extreme sleeping bags for four seasons to protect the down insulation inside. While it provides a level of reassurance that your sleeping bag isn’t going to get wet from rain or snow, it also reduces breathability, which can lead to a damp sleeping bag every morning.

Is Windstopper Worth It?

There are some amazing Windstopper products out there, I especially like some of the cycling gear. But it isn’t much different from other waterproof fabrics like Pertex or eVent fabric. If you find a Windstopper product that fits you well, I recommend you buy t. It lasts a long time, is comfortable, and is very practical for hiking in wet weather.

Is Windstopper waterproof enough to keep you dry? In light showers, no problem. In heavy rain, you might get wet after a while, but I think you will be surprised just how waterproof Windstopper is.


We hope this guide helped answer your questions about if Windstopper is waterproof. Let us know your experience in the comments.

Gear Assistant
Gear Assistant

This article has been written and/or edited by Andrew N. 20+ years of hiking, mountaineering, and camping experience, with access to all the latest outdoor gear.

Show all Most Helpful Highest Rating Lowest Rating Add your review
  1. […] shell is made from 30D Gore-Tex WINDSTOPPER fabric that is as waterproof as you can get while retaining breathability. This prevents moisture from getting in but allows it […]

  2. […] GORE-TEX INFINIUM WINDSTOPPER membrane, Stretch-woven polyester face, lofted micro-grid fleece […]

  3. […] outfit. The material is water-resistant, not waterproof, but completely windproof, thanks to the GORE WINDSTOPPER […]

  4. […] GORE Windstopper shell is heavy-duty and very water-repellent to the point where you don’t mind if it rains. […]

Gear Assistant
Shopping cart