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Best Fabric for Golf Waterproofs

Whether facing a light downpour or a sideways shower, the fabric of your waterproofs is crucial to keeping you dry. Take a look at our guide on the best materials for staying dry when playing golf without affecting your swing.

09 February 2024 Words by Anniina 5 minute read Best Fabric for Golf Waterproofs

Table of Contents

  1. What Makes A Garment Waterproof?
  2. The 6 Best Waterproof Fabrics for Golf
  3. Best Waterproof Golf Gear
  4. FAQs
  5. Final Thoughts

Come rain or shine, dedicated golfers will still be out on the golf course.

But, your golf umbrella can only keep you dry while walking around - you need good golf rain gear that is light, breathable and will keep you bone dry. There are plenty of waterproof and water-resistant golf jackets and trousers on the market, but have you ever stopped to wonder "What fabrics are these garments made from?"

Join us as we uncover the best fabric for golf waterproofs, so you can be informed the next time you're playing golf in the rain.

What Makes A Garment Waterproof?

When fabric is completely waterproof, it is impenetrable to water. It can repel water, thanks to both the nature of the fabric, as well as protective coatings that are placed on the fabric.

Waterproof fabrics are usually synthetic, although you do get some natural materials that have moisture-wicking properties. These synthetic fabrics are then covered or laminated with specific waterproofing materials, like PVC, wax, silicone elastomer, or polyurethane.

Garments are considered completely waterproof when the seams or zips are also sealed.

Waterproof versus water-repellent versus water-resistant

There are distinct differences between waterproof jackets and those that are water-repellent and water-resistant:

  • Waterproof: Does not allow any water or moisture to pass through. A waterproof jacket will provide you with the best water protection. Waterproof garments are usually made from synthetic fibres or natural materials like wool and cotton.
  • Water-repellent: This kind of fabric still provides good protection from water. The fabric is treated with a coating, which prevents any water from penetrating the fabric. However, water might still penetrate the seams of the clothes. If you're caught in a heavy downpour, water might seep through.
  • Water-resistant: These fabrics offer the least amount of protection from water. Water penetration is prevented to a certain extent, but you'll still get wet if out in the rain for a long time. Water-resistant clothes are made from synthetic fibres and are commonly found in outdoor clothing.

The 6 Best Waterproof Fabrics for Golf

Knowing what makes a golf jacket waterproof is just the first step in selecting the best golf rain gear. You should also be aware of the different waterproof fabrics and their benefits for golfers.

1. Gore-Tex

Gore-Tex is the most popular waterproof fabric used in golf rain gear. This fabric is used in almost all outerwear, from golf rain pants to jackets, shoes and even umbrellas.

Gore-Tex has a breathable membrane, which will keep you comfortable as sweat can evaporate off your skin. However, the outer layer is completely waterproof, even in the most miserable UK rain storms.

One handy accessory to have with you on the golf course is Gore-Tex tape. This tape (also available as patches) can be used to quickly repair any rain gear, should you snag your waterproof trousers on a thorny bush.

2. Polyuretane Laminate (PUL)

PUL consists of polyester that has been treated with a waterproof coating. This fabric is breathable and has a slight stretch. Despite how lightweight it is, it is an incredibly durable material.

PUL is commonly used in household applications, like shower curtains or mattress protectors. However, it can also be used as the fabric in outerwear, like a waterproof golf jacket.

It is not the most comfortable material to wear while hitting the ball; however, it will do a good job of keeping you dry as you walk between holes.

3. Extra-Long-Staple (ELS) Cotton

Golfers with skin sensitivities should stick to natural fibres. ELS cotton is naturally water-resistant and is often used in golf rain gear thanks to its breathability and comfort.

ELS has extra-long cotton fibres, which allow a tighter weave. This tight weave is what prevents water from seeping through the fabric.

What makes ELS cotton great for waterproof golf jackets and jerseys is that it is machine washable, so you can easily clean it after a game. The slight stretch means the garment won't hamper your golf swing, either.

s.WHISPERDRY PRO-LITE Mens Whisperdry Lightweight Waterproof Golf Jacket s.WHISPERDRY AURORA Ladies Concealed Hood Lightweight Waterproof Golf Jacket


4. Polyester

Polyester is a synthetic fabric that has been around for years. This fabric is naturally water-resistant because of the way the fibres are woven together. Once treated with a coating, you'll have a durable, completely waterproof fabric.

Polyester also dries very quickly, making it ideal for a lightweight rain jacket to wear during summer rain storms.

5. Nylon

Nylon, like polyester, is a synthetic fabric with water-repellent properties. Once nylon is treated with protective coatings, it becomes completely waterproof. Thanks to the fabric's affordability and durability, nylon golf gear is a cost-effective solution for rainy days at the golf course.

6. Wool

Wool is another natural fibre that has water-resistant properties. When you think of wool jerseys, you might think of a scratchy, itchy fibre, but we've come a long way in the handling of this fibre.

When wool is boiled in hot water before being used to create garments, the water-resistant properties are enhanced. Wool can also be treated with lanolin to become completely waterproof (although this treatment needs to be done frequently).

You might not get complete waterproof properties from wool, but it will keep you dry in light showers or on misty mornings.

Best Waterproof Golf Gear

If you're looking for the best waterproof golf jackets and trousers, then look no further. Glenmuir has a range of the very best golf rain gear to keep you dry on the golf course. We stock a wide range of jackets and golf rain pants, but of note is our Sunderland of Scotland range.

Technology to keep you dry

We know that not even a heavy rain storm can keep you from the fairways, which is why Glenmuir uses advanced Storm Bloc® technology. Storm Bloc® garments are extensively tested (both the seams and fabric) to ensure waterproof protection.

Sunderland of Scotland's Whisperdry® fabric is some of the best, most durable waterproof fabric there is. Garments made from Whisperdry® have a lifetime waterproof guarantee.

Let's look at the best Sunderland golf gear in greater detail.

Sunderland waterproof golf jackets

When it comes to men's waterproof jackets, you really can't go wrong with the s.WHISPERDRY PRO-LITE. This waterproof jacket is made from a lightweight fabric that will keep you dry and comfortable. The jacket is made from soft-touch polyester, which won't hamper your golf swing. For extra protection from wet weather conditions, the zips are waterproof and can lock.

If you're out playing in winter weather, then the s.VALBERG is sure to keep you warm and dry. This waterproof jacket has a four-way stretch, made from breathable polyester. It comes with an inner storm flap and chin guard which will keep your neck warm when the icy wind starts to blow. Both the main zip and front pocket zip are waterproof, so you don't have to worry about your scorecard getting wet.

Another brilliant option for men is the s.MATTERHORN. This stretchy waterproof jacket is still breathable, ensuring your comfort as you play. The front pockets are lined with fleece, keeping your hands warm in between shots.

s.WHISPERDRY PRO-LITE Mens Whisperdry Lightweight Waterproof Golf Jacket s.VALBERG Mens Zip Front Stretch Back Panelled Waterproof Golf Jacket


Sunderland also has incredibly comfortable waterproof jackets for women.

Of note is the s.WHISPERDRY AURORA. The jacket is made from soft-touch polyester and has a concealable waterproof hood to keep your head dry when the rain comes pouring down. The waist and hem are also adjustable, ensuring a comfortable, snug fit.

The s.KILLY panelled waterproof jacket is a good option if you're surprised by a summer downpour. This gorgeous rain jacket is lightweight and breathable so you won't work up a sweat. But don't let the lightweight fabric fool you - s.KILLY comes with a lifetime waterproof guarantee and will keep you dry in heavy rain.

s.WHISPERDRY AURORA Ladies Concealed Hood Lightweight Waterproof Golf Jacket s.KILLY Ladies Zip Front Lightweight Panelled Waterproof Golf Jacket


Sunderland waterproof golf trousers

Whether you're looking for the ball in the rough or the wind is pumping and the rain is coming in sideways, you'll be glad you've got a durable pair of rain pants with you. Sunderland of Scotland's Men's s.QUEBEC Trousers and ladies' s.MONTANA Trousers are 100% polyester and come with a lifetime waterproof guarantee, just like the other Sunderland waterproof products.

These trousers are lightweight, breathable, and the fleece lining in the zip pockets are a bonus for cold, wet days.


Are waterproof fabrics breathable?

Yes, usually. Waterproof fabrics are treated on the outside to repel water, while the inner layer will allow water vapour (and sweat) to pass through. This means you'll be kept dry but your sweat will be able to evaporate, keeping you comfortable.

How long does waterproof golf gear usually last?

It depends on how often you use it. Some rain jackets and pants have a lifespan of about 3 - 7 years with consistent use. However, it will depend on the brand - Sunderland of Scotland offers a lifetime waterproof guarantee.

How do I care for my waterproof golf clothes?

Most waterproof golf jackets are machine-washable. However, only wash it with relatively clean clothes - don't toss your muddy golf shoes in the machine! Avoid using bleach, fabric softeners and stain removers on your waterproof garments. It is best to air dry your waterproof gear, or you can tumble dry it on a gentle cycle.

My golf shirt is made from Spandex, is it waterproof?

Spandex is a popular golf shirt material, however, it is not waterproof. Although it can be chemically treated and coated to be water-resistant, shirts made from spandex will never be completely waterproof.

Final Thoughts

Nothing puts a dampener on a good round of golf quite as fast as an unexpected rain storm. Fortunately, there are plenty of golf gear you can don when the heavens open.

Most waterproof golf clothes are made from synthetic fabrics, like polyester, that have been treated to be impermeable to moisture. That means you can keep playing golf, even as the world gets soaked around you.

Investing in a good rain jacket and rain pants is definitely worth it, and you won't be disappointed by Sunderland of Scotland's incredible range that even comes with a lifetime waterproof warranty.