Protective clothing against rain and bad weather
EN 343:2003 Protective clothing - Protection against rain
This standard specifies the requirements and test methods for materials and the seams of clothing designed to give protection against precipitation (rain, snow), mist and ground moisture. A separate test has been developed for assessing the rainproofing of complete garments (EN 14360); this test is not included in EN 343.
The contents of this standard
This standard's pictogram is an umbrella placed under two numbers that represent the X and Y values. The X value indicates the waterproofing and the Y value indicates the water vapour permeability (the respective garment's breathability).
This standard falls within the scope of ‘auto-certification’. This means that manufacturers are allowed to certify their own products, which therefore do not need to be approved by a test institute. This is because the only risk to the wearer is that he/she might get wet, which is not life-threatening. If EN 343 is used in combination with other standards (for example, a 4-safety parka that is waterproof), the whole combination of standards is assessed by a test institute.
The X and Y values
The X-value indicates the waterproofness of the item. There are currently four classes: the higher the class, the better the waterproofness. Classes 1, 2 and 3 have remained the same. The difference with class 4, is that it’s even more waterproof and is even tested around the seams, after pretreatment.
The Y-value indicates the breathability of the clothing, which includes every layer. Breathability has different class as well, with them ranging from 1, least breathable, to 4, most breathable. Class 4 was recently added and improves upon the previous third class. The boundaries that define class 2 and 3 have since been revised
The requirements set in this standard
- Models must meet the requirements specified in EN 340
- The tensile strength, tear resistance, shrinkage and seam strength must be within the tolerances specified in the standard
There are no further model requirements for this garment. Obviously, the clothing may not have any openings (e.g. detachable sleeves) that will allow water in during normal use.