Is A Wool Coat Waterproof?

by Sienna Fantozzi

Coat season is almost upon us, and even though we're enjoying the fall weather right now, things are about to turn ugly real fast. There's nothing worse than going outside and getting stuck in a rain/snow storm, and even though reaching for wool might be your go-to to keep you warm, it's probably important to know: Is a wool coat waterproof?

Not only do you not want to ruin your coat by getting it wet and end up having to spend the money on a new one (Fact: winter coats do not come cheap), but more importantly, when the weather turns 50 shades of disgusting, you want to make sure YOU are nice, protected, and dry. That, of course, means you want to reach for the proper coat, which, depending on the severity of the storm, may or may not be wool. Wool coats are water resistant, but not waterproof. And there is definitely a fine line between those two definitions.

So what does that even mean? Let me break it down for you.

Water resistant

Wool-Blend Coat, $60, H&M

Water resistant means the fabric repels water; water will seep through the fabric far more slowly than other materials like cotton, and wool can hold up to 20 percent of it's weight in water before you will end up wet.


O'Neill Venus Jacket, $138, 6 PM

Waterproof means that the fabric doesn't soak up water at all. It could be completely submerged and you would still stay dry. The jacket above is not a wool jacket, but it's completely waterproof and is made out of a synthetic fabric that looks somewhat wool-like.

Basically, if you get caught in a sudden rain shower, it's lightly drizzling, or you just have to run out for a couple minutes, you'll be fine in wool. If it's a torrential downpour, or you need to be outside in the rain/snow for a long time, you risk the water seeping through if it gets wet enough. For those times, you're better off wearing a truly waterproof coat.