Best Outdoor Gear Waterproof Fabrics

Top Waterproof Fabrics

When confronting the elements, the difference between staying dry and comfortable or getting soaked can come down to your choice of fabric. Waterproof materials are the fortress protecting your gear and attire from rain, snow, and spills. Whether for outdoor apparel, tarps, or camping gear, selecting the right waterproof fabric is essential. This list compiles the cream of the crop, showcasing durability, weather resistance, and versatility to suit all your water-repelling needs.

Fabric TypeBest ForProsCons
9KM DWLIFE Waterproof Nylon FabricColors– Resistant to tearing with a ripstop weave
– Easily handled for custom projects
– Effective waterproof and UV-resistant coatings
– May feel too stiff for some applications
– Not suitable for heavy-duty waterproofing needs
– Color consistency might vary
Ottertex CanvasOutdoor Furniture– Exceptionally durable with PVC backing
– Highly water-resistant
– Versatile for various heavy-duty projects
– Lacks elasticity
– Can be too rigid for some applications
– Requires spot cleaning instead of laundering
Butarfe Faux LeatherUpholstery– Easy to cut and sew
– Cleans easily with a wet cloth
– Resists water, wear, and UV rays
– Wrinkles may take time to settle
– Possible strong initial odor
– Color may not match online representation
OctoRose Upholstery FabricChairs– Thick and robust for heavy use furniture
– Water-resistant
– Warm caramel tone available
– Color may vary slightly
– Sturdiness can be challenging for new upholsterers
– Best suited for certain furniture designs
Rose Flavor Nylon RibstopTablecloths– Easy to sew and handle
– Doesn’t fray, simplifying finishing
– Vibrant color options
– Not as waterproof over time
– Might be too thin for certain applications
– Size may be less than expected with multiple pieces


If you’re planning a DIY project that demands durability and weather resistance, this fabric merits consideration.


  • Resistant to tearing with a ripstop weave
  • Easily handled for custom projects
  • Effective waterproof and UV-resistant coatings


  • May feel too stiff for certain applications
  • Not suitable for heavy-duty waterproofing needs
  • Color consistency might vary between orders

After transforming my back patio into a cozy retreat, the quest for quality materials led me to the 9KM DWLIFE Waterproof Nylon Fabric. The promised ease of cutting and handling proved true. Crafting customized cushion covers and outdoor flags was a smooth process, requiring minimal effort.

The fabric’s lightweight nature, coupled with the ripstop technology, offered peace of mind against wear and tear. Its resilience added to the satisfaction of creating long-lasting outdoor decorations myself. Not to mention, the PU coating came through, delivering impressive water resistance during a surprise spring shower.

However, it’s important to note that while the white fabric did an admirable job warding off water, it may not stand up to torrential rain as more robust materials would. Additionally, the fabric’s rigidity, though providing structure, could be a drawback for those seeking a softer feel for apparel or more flexible applications.

If your pursuits fall within light to moderate outdoor use, the 9KM DWLIFE Fabric makes a strong candidate. Just be aware that while its water-repellent qualities suffice for occasional dampness, you may want to explore heavier options for anything beyond that. And if consistency in color is crucial for your project, consider ordering a bit extra to account for any potential variation.


If you’re seeking durability and waterproof qualities in fabric, you should strongly consider Ottertex Canvas for your next project.


  • Exceptionally durable with PVC backing
  • Highly water-resistant, ideal for outdoor applications
  • Versatile for a variety of heavy-duty projects


  • Lacks elasticity, making it less suitable for projects requiring stretch
  • May be too rigid for some applications
  • Wipe-clean maintenance isn’t as straightforward as a fabric that can be laundered

Having recently covered outdoor furniture, I can report that Ottertex Canvas holds up remarkably against the elements. The fabric’s robustness is immediately apparent, repelling water effectively without any leakage. Crafting a custom-fit boat cover, I was impressed by its resistance to tearing and puncturing, a testament to the 600×600 denier polyester weave.

Working through patio furniture renovations, the fabric’s sturdiness is beneficial. It gives structures a solid, well-protected exterior. However, take note that custom patterns may require extra effort—the fabric’s firm structure sacrifices pliability for resilience. This means that for projects requiring a bit of stretch, you might want to look elsewhere.

Maintenance is refreshingly minimal. Spills or rainfall don’t compromise its waterproof qualities, but you would have to be content with spot cleaning. The fabric’s thickness and waterproof coating make it unsuitable for routine machine washes. It’s also wise to consider the work setting; while an ordinary sewing machine suffices for small repairs, extensive projects benefit from an industrial counterpart.

For those who aim for excellence in their workmanship, Ottertex Canvas emerges as a clear front-runner. Its heavy-duty nature assures long-term satisfaction, making it worth considering for your assortment of waterproof fabric options.

An outdoor adventure with a campfire and a cup of coffee, surrounded by the ultimate guide to outdoor gear and the comfort of waterproof fabrics in the background.

Butarfe Faux Leather

If you’re on the hunt for a versatile vinyl that elevates your DIY upholstery experience, Butarfe’s synthetic leather should be on your radar.


  • Remarkably simple to cut and sew
  • Cleans easily with just a wet cloth
  • Resists water, wear, and UV rays effectively


  • Wrinkles from packaging may require time to settle
  • Can emit an initial strong odor
  • May not perfectly match online color representation

Taking on an upholstery project can often seem daunting, but Butarfe’s faux leather fabric offers a sense of ease that’s almost unmatched. Its ability to withstand water makes it an excellent companion for outdoor ventures or dining furniture prone to the occasional spill. As someone who spends a fair amount of time sewing and crafting, I appreciate materials that don’t fray or fight back.

One of the primary concerns with vinyl is how it handles wear and tear, and Butarfe is on the winning side here. It feels durable, bending to the creative will without showing signs of surrender. While recently working on a set of dining chairs, the material held up to the movement and pressure impressively, leaving no hints of peeling or fading.

Of course, efficiency is key when working on any project, and Butarfe delivers here as well. Cuts were crisp and easy, requiring nothing more than a pair of scissors, and the sewing experience was smooth sailing whether using a machine or hand-stitching. And when life’s little messes come into play, cleanup is a breeze—just a quick wipe down, and it’s as good as new.

Yet, no product is without its faults. Fresh out of the package, the material had some noticeable wrinkles that took a few days to relax—nothing a bit of stretching couldn’t fix. Upon unboxing, there’s a detectable scent that does wear off, but it takes about a day to fully dissipate. Color can also be a wildcard; there’s the potential for a slight variance from what you see online to what lands on your doorstep, which was particularly true when I ordered the beige tone, expecting it to match my existing palette.

Butarfe’s faux leather presents a mix of practical benefits and a few manageable quirks. Whether it’s reviving an old ottoman or creating a statement piece, this faux leather stands up to the task, proving its worth in durability and versatility.

OctoRose Upholstery Fabric– BEST FOR CHAIRS

If you’re on the hunt for durable, stylish fabric that beautifully tackles upholstery projects while resisting moisture, this offering from OctoRose should be on your radar.


  • Exceptionally thick and robust, perfect for heavy use furniture
  • Resistant to water, ideal for homes with pets or children
  • Comes in a rich caramel tone that adds a warm touch to interiors


  • Color may vary slightly, a consideration for color-sensitive projects
  • The sturdiness of the material may challenge those new to upholstery work
  • Works best with certain types of furniture designs

Stepping into my sewing room, I unfurled the latest arrival: OctoRose’s thick, waterproof faux leather fabric. It felt substantial, promising a high level of durability for that antique chair begging for a new lease on life. As a bonus, the caramel hue channeled a cozy and inviting aesthetic.

Cutting the fabric was a bit of a challenge. It required a steady hand due to its substantial weight, but the resulting clean edges convinced me of its premium quality. This fabric didn’t just look good; it was built to last.

Wrapping the material around the chair’s cushion, its water-resistant nature became apparent. Spilled liquids that would typically spell disaster for ordinary materials beaded up, allowing quick cleanup. Transforming dated furniture into statement pieces suddenly seemed less daunting.

Crafting with this fabric seemed like a breeze, its polyester backing sliding smoothly through my sewing machine.The fabric is very forgiving of minor mistakes, making it suited not just for professionals but for DIY enthusiasts ready to elevate their home decor.

Rose Flavor Nylon Ribstop – BEST FOR TABLECLOTHS

If you’re into DIY projects and need a lightweight, easy-to-handle waterproof fabric, this might be a solid pick for you.


  • Easy to sew and handle for a variety of projects
  • Doesn’t fray, simplifying the finishing process
  • Vibrant color that gives a pop to your creations


  • Some users report it’s not as waterproof over time
  • Might be too thin for certain applications
  • The size of the fabric may be less than expected with multiple pieces

For those who enjoy crafting their gear, from outdoor tablecloths to sport kites, the Rose Flavor Nylon Ribstop fabric‘s thin and lightweight properties make it a joy to work with. The ease of cutting to size and sewing without fraying could give your projects a clean, finished look with minimal effort.

Visual appeal is a significant draw for this fabric, particularly if you’re looking to add a splash of color to your outdoor equipment. The fabric’s green hue stands out, offering an elevated aesthetic over more muted alternatives. Whether you’re updating your campsite or crafting vibrant banners, the result is sure to be eye-catching.

However, it’s important to be mindful of durability and waterproof effectiveness, as experiences seem to vary. While the fabric initially holds up against moisture, its resilience may wane with time and use, which could be a drawback for items exposed to the elements regularly. Additionally, its lightweight nature, while beneficial for portability and handling, may not be the best match for all projects, particularly where more robust materials are in order.

The Rose Flavor Nylon Ribstop is a valuable asset for those with a knack for homemade creations where lightweight and workability are key. Just be aware of its limitations and consider them against the demands of your intended projects.

Buying Guide

When you’re in the market for waterproof fabrics, knowing what features to prioritize can ensure you make an informed decision for your specific needs. Below is a guide to help you choose the best waterproof fabric.

Material Type

Waterproof fabrics come in various materials, each with unique characteristics:

  • Polyester: Durable and dries quickly.
  • Nylon: Lightweight and exceptionally tear-resistant.
  • Laminates: Offers a breathable yet waterproof barrier.

Waterproof Ratings

Check the waterproof rating, measured in millimeters (mm), to determine how much water pressure the fabric can withstand before leakage:

Rating (mm)Waterproofness
0 – 1,500Water-resistant/repellent
1,500 – 5,000Waterproof in light rain
5,000 – 10,000Waterproof under moderate pressure
10,000 +Waterproof under high pressure


Breathable fabrics are key for comfort, especially during active use. Breathability is measured in grams (g/m²/24 hrs):

Rating (g)Breathability
0 – 5,000Low breathability
5,000 – 10,000Moderate breathability
10,000 – 20,000High breathability
20,000 +Extremely breathable


Consider the construction of the fabric:

  • Coated: A waterproof layer is applied to the fabric’s surface. Suitable for occasional use.
  • Membrane: A thin membrane is bonded to the fabric, offering better durability and protection.

Seam Taping

Ensure the seams are sealed (taped) to prevent water from seeping through stitch lines.


Evaluate the fabric’s durability by checking the denier count; higher counts generally indicate thicker and sturdier material.

Remember, your choice should align with how you intend to use the fabric. Lightweight materials might be favorable for clothing, while sturdier fabrics are better for gear and tarps. Choose features based on your specific requirements for the best experience with your waterproof fabric.

Frequently Asked Questions

When selecting waterproof fabrics, you’re likely concerned about durability and breathability, performance for specific items like bags, and how different types of outdoor fabrics compare. Dive into these FAQs for insight into making the right choice for your needs.

How do the different waterproof textiles for outerwear compare in terms of durability and breathability?

Different textiles offer a balance between durability and breathability. For example, laminates like Gore-Tex are renowned for their strong waterproof capabilities and breathability but might be less durable than treated fabrics such as waxed cotton, which is water-resistant and extremely durable but less breathable. Hardshell fabrics typically provide the best durability and are accompanied by various levels of breathability, depending on their construction.

Can you provide examples of fabrics suitable for creating water-resistant bags and how they perform?

Fabrics like PVC-coated polyester and nylon are top choices for water-resistant bags due to their robustness against water penetration and environmental wear. Ballistic nylon is particularly resistant to abrasion, while TPU-coated fabrics balance flexibility and water resistance, ideal for instances where your bags might be subject to varying conditions.

In terms of waterproofing, what are the key differences between various outdoor fabric types?

Outdoor fabrics range from highly water-resistant materials, like silicon-coated nylons that are great for lightweight applications, to fully waterproof/breathable fabrics such as eVent and NeoShell, which allow for vapor transmission while blocking water entry. Polyurethane-coated fabrics offer a middle ground with good water resistance and some breathability at a typically lower cost.

Which material is recognized as the highest performing in water resistance tests?

Membrane-based fabrics, like those used in Gore-Tex and eVent, often come out on top in water resistance tests due to their microscopic pore structure that blocks water molecules while allowing water vapor to pass through. These materials are engineered for maximum performance in severe weather conditions.

Are there any fabrics that offer advantages over Gore-Tex for specific applications?

While Gore-Tex is the go-to for many waterproof applications, fabrics like eVent provide higher breathability, which might be preferable in active pursuits that require more vapor transmission. Paramo’s Nikwax Analogy fabric, though not as widely known, offers exceptional water resistance and directs moisture away from the body using a unique combination of water-repellent treatments and cleverly designed textiles.

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