My Cart

Waterproof Shells

H2No® Performance Standard is Patagonia’s benchmark for waterproofness, breathability and durability, which ensures a high level of long-term performance backed by our Ironclad Guarantee. H2No Performance Standard products undergo the most rigorous testing in the industry. Killer Wash is Patagonia’s proprietary wet flex test that simulates years of use in drenching conditions. The H2No Performance Standard for waterproof shell garments is 20,000 MM before, and 10,000 MM after our Killer Wash test (per JIS L 1092 B). We also send our ambassadors and testers into the field to punish these garments in every possible condition to expose any potential weakness in materials or construction. We reject any garment that does not pass our tests, regardless of technology or fabric supplier. Whether it’s a bomber 3-layer alpine shell or a pared-down rainwear piece, the same rules apply.

2-layer H2No® Performance Standard shell fabrics are completely waterproof, windproof and breathable. They utilize an internal mesh or a wicking, hanging-fabric liner for increased durability and next-to-skin comfort.

2.5-layer H2No® Performance Standard shell fabrics are waterproof, windproof, breathable and highly packable. They combine a water-repellent shell fabric with a waterproof barrier and a raised pattern on the inside, instead of the interior scrim used in 3-layer fabrics. The raised pattern makes 2.5-layer fabric light and compressible, while still protecting the waterproof barrier.

3-layer H2No® Performance Standard fabrics are waterproof and breathable by virtue of an advanced combination of elements: a water-repellent shell fabric, a waterproof barrier and an interior scrim fabric. This fabric package is completely waterproof, windproof, breathable and highly durable.

Testing and Development
“We reject 93% of the fabrics we evaluate because they don’t perform to our standards. The remaining 7% we subject to further rigorous testing and analysis during product development – and from each production lot – to make sure those standards are continuously met.”
–Randy Harward, Director of Quality

No lab method simulates Mother Nature perfectly, but we find them to be quite useful in helping to develop and compare the performance characteristics of fabrics. In our “fab lab” at Patagonia, we use highly controlled tests to simulate actual-use. To test a fabric’s waterproofness, we simulate light rain, prolonged rain and then force water through the face of a fabric. We test breathability by measuring a fabric’s Moisture Vapor Transmission Rate (MVTR). And we test durability by subjecting fabrics to a “Killer Wash,” during which a modified washing machine gives fabric a severe and continuous thrashing for 24 hours to simulate years of use and abuse. After the Killer Wash, we test the fabric for water permeability, adhering to a standard almost twice that of the U.S. Military.

That’s not all. We also have a dedicated group of sport ambassadors and field testers with different outdoor backgrounds, who put Patagonia prototypes through their paces in the conditions for which they were built. Only a handful of prototypes we test ever make it into the product line. The idea here is that we endure some misery in the field so you don’t have to.

H2No Testing

H2No® Our Waterproof/Breathable Testing Standard

From the PCT to MVTR
For a brief history of waterproof barriers and more information on measuring Moisture Vapor Transfer Rates, visit our company blog and read "From the PCT to MVTR" by Patagonia customer service guru Old School.