Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Waterproof vs. water resistant

I went to buy a knapsack a few months ago. (The following conversation is not verbatim.) Me: Is this waterproof? Sales Guy (SG): It's water resistant. Me: What does that mean? SG: It will resist water. Me: So that means it's waterproof? SG: No, it's not waterproof, it's water resistant. It will prevent water from getting through but in heavy rains water may get through. I bought the knapsack figuring that I wouldn't be holding it in heavy rain anyway. The knapsack is great for keeping stuff, it's light, well-designed. Except that the bag does soak up water nicely, even if there's a drizzle. What's inside isn't water-resistant, so it ends up getting wet. I looked up water-resistant on Merriam Webster. They pointed me to water repellent, and I quote: treated with a finish that is resistant but not impervious to penetration by water. This reminds me of the book 'A Walk In The Woods'. Bill Bryson talks about how he went to purchase a backpack for a hiking trip and he had to purchase a special waterproof cover for the backpack. Where did the company think people were going to hike? Inside? And what's next? Water-resistant raincoats? Next time I read the word resistant somewhere, I'll know what to do.


At 9:34 AM, Blogger Jnarin said...

I can relate to that. I keep buyign backpacks/knapsacks every now and then, and at times, friends of mine take it from me (and don't return it). Anyway, I don't mind that. Pretty recently, I bought a back pack that is Water resistant (the light drizzle thing), but what I really loved was the rain cover for the bag that neatly folds into the underside, thereby acting as a cushion too. :-)

At 1:20 PM, Blogger Suchi said...

When we went to buy a tent, we had a choice of 2-person, 3-person and similar to choose from. The sales guy, more honest than most, explained that we should buy the 3-person if we wanted a tent for two!

At 1:18 PM, Anonymous Percy said...

Three is the new two--maybe that should be the slogan of the tent company. I guess the justification would be that two really small people (children, dwarves) would fit into the two person tent.

At 5:17 AM, Anonymous John S. Rhodes said...

Great post. The language used is merely for marketing and sales. Very disrespectful of users.


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