In an upcoming blog post, we will outline in more detail various factors that go into making waterproof/breathable winter jackets and pants and the importance of a waterproof/breathable membrane. One key feature for waterproofing kids outdoor gear is what is called seam taping and, like the membrane, there are different levels of quality to look for to keep your kids warm and, in this case, dry.
What is Seam Tape?
Seam taping (also called seam sealing) is the application of a strip of waterproof tape over the seams created where different panels of fabric are sewn together. Each stitch in a seam creates a small puncture that is a point of weakness for moisture to enter and when the seam tape is heat-bonded over the seam, it covers up (seals) those tiny punctures.
What is Fully Seam-Sealed vs Critically Seam-Sealed?
A jacket or pant that is fully seam-sealed is exactly what is sounds like. Every seam and every stitch is sealed with seam tape. This is typical on high-quality rain gear but is less common on winter sports gear due to the added cost of the tape and cost of labor to apply it in the manufacturing process.
Critically seam-sealed garments do not have seam tape on every seam, only on the "most critical" ones to prevent most moisture from getting in. This typically means around the head, neck, and shoulders of a jacket, for example. Critically taped garments exist because it is expensive to fully seam seal and, for a dry day, for a kid who doesn’t fall in the snow, or for short outings, it can be sufficient.
Fully Seam-Sealed Waterproof Jackets & Pants by SHRED DOG
At SHRED DOG, we believe there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad (or insufficient gear). It is our mission to help kids get outside and stay outside, regardless of the conditions. And we have first-hand experience with kids that ski all day and then come home to play in the snow until dinner. So to keep them warm and dry no matter what, we fully seam-seal all SHRED DOG hardshells and pants. Because of our Direct-2-You pricing, we are able to make that investment in premium construction and still price our outerwear at less than comparable brands that just use critical seam sealing.