Water Resistant Verses Waterproof

Waterproof and water resistant, to many people they sound the same and are used interchangeably.  Unfortunately for those people, the terms are different, and mistaking them can be costly depending on what you are doing.  The best example would be electronics, something like a watch.

Waterproof means that water, under normal situation, cannot damage your watch.  You can take it out in the rain, take it bathing or even go swimming or snorkeling with a waterproof watch.  The whole unit has been tightly sealed to keep out water.  It might leak if you use it for diving, though might not.  Usually when you buy a waterproof watch (or any waterproof item), the depth to which it is waterproof is listed.  Exceed that limit and the item is no longer waterproof!

Water resistant is a much more liberal term and is most common with watches.  It means it resists water damage in most normal situations, but is not really “proof” against it.  Thus a water resistant watch can be worn in the rain or the shower, but should be removed when swimming or in a bath.  Most water resistant watches are slightly waterproof, but not by much and can be damaged and ruin when actually submerged in water.  The rain (and shower) runs off.

Water resistant could be compared to a rain coat that repels rain, but one will still get slightly wet.  Waterproof is like the sealed diving suit or even a submarine, done properly and no water gets in unless the pressure becomes extreme!  This is a very simple comparison, but well illustrates the differences.

There are also differences in price and care.  A water resistant item is generally much cheaper and easier to care for or service than a waterproof item.  This is because the water resistant item does not have the extra seals and coating of the waterproof item.  Doing something as simple as replacing the power supply, and any electronic will likely need the power supply replaced, is much easier if the seals do not need replacing.  The water resistant watch can have the battery replaced by any jeweler, the waterproof diving watch cannot!

Waterproof and water resistant, they may sound the same and they are similar.  Anything that is waterproof is also water resistant, but it does not work the other way.  Get what you need!