A North Storm waterproof backpack splashing in the water.


Ever wonder what IP ratings mean when you see waterproof gear? 

In this blog post, we'll be discussing the IP waterproof rating system. 

And what to look out for so you don't buy something that ‘claims’ to be waterproof when in actual fact it is only ‘water resistant’.

Read on to learn more.


IP - ‘Ingress Protection’ a standard used to rate the level of protection that an enclosure provides against ingress of dust and water.  

"Ingress" refers to anything that enters the enclosure / in this case, we're talking about dust, water, sand etc entering into water resistant bags or waterproof bags. 

"Protection" refers to the ability of the enclosure (water resistant bags or waterproof bags) to keep these things from entering. 

The IP rating system has six different categories, each with increasing levels of protection. 


IP64 Waterproof rating 1 - Water resistant against light rain or minor splash applications. 

The product could be permeated (soak through, seep through, saturate, leach through) in any of the following circumstances: prolonged exposure to water, excessive or heavy downpour of water, contact by forceful or pressurised water situations or submersion.

IP65 Waterproof rating 2 - Waterproof to foul weather and spray water. The product could be permeated in any of the following circumstances: forceful or pressurised water situations, water produced from odd angles (Max. 60o to the vertical) or submersion.

IP66 Waterproof rating 3 - Waterproof and protected against splash water coming in from all directions: Can handle a quick submersion and has the ability to float. The product could be permeated in any of the following circumstances: prolonged submersion, submersions greater than 3 feet in depth and forceful or high pressurised water situations.

IP67 Waterproof rating 4 - Protected against penetration of water immersion: duration 30 minutes / submersible to depth of 1 metre / 3 feet. The product could be permeated in any of the following circumstances: where submersion has occurred greater than the manufacturers recommendations (depth rating), extreme / high pressurised water situations where seals could be compromised or damaged. Commonly used in underwater sports such as swimming and snorkelling.

IP68 Waterproof rating 5 - Submersible to depths of up to 6 metres / 19 feet: duration 60 minutes. The product could be permeated in any of the following circumstances: where submersion has occurred greater than the manufacturers recommendations (depth rating) or high force that compromises the water-tight seal. 



Water Resistant Bags: Waterproof Rating Class: 1 – IP64

Water resistant bags are specially made to resist water penetration in light rain situations only. 

They are made of tightly woven fabric that prevents water from seeping in, but only for so long or limited time. 

After prolonged exposure to moisture or out in the rain your gear will certainly get wet.

Definitely in short periods of time in heavy rain or high seas, you can 100% expect your gear to get soaked! 

Don't be fooled as these bags are not waterproof.

Here are some do’s and don’ts when using water resistant bags.

Don’t: Use a water resistant bag in heavy rain or high seas.

Your gear will most likely get soaked! 

Don’t: Use a water resistant bag if you know you’ll be walking in the rain for an extended period of time.

Water will eventually penetrate the fabric and soak your belongings.

Don’t: Use a water resistant bag if you’re carrying electronics such as phones or laptops.

Water will get in and can damage these devices beyond repair.

Overall water resistant bags are a great option for light exposure to water only.

However, in situations with prolonged or high moisture, it is best to opt for a waterproof bag instead. 

Waterproof bags are made with materials that prevent water from penetrating. 

This will ensure that your belongings stay dry no matter what Mother Nature throws your way! 

Read on to find out more about Waterproof Bags.  


Waterproof Rating Class: 2 – IP65

Class 2 waterproof bags are one step above water resistant. 

These bags are waterproof in certain situations.  

However, depending on the force or direction of the water, it could still be permeated by water. 

In addition, this classification of waterproof bag do not have the ability to be submersed.

Waterproof Rating Class:3 – IP66 (North Storm® waterproof bags rating)

Class 3 waterproof bags will provide you with protection from water. 

Correctly sealed they will easily float if dropped in the water and can withstand a quick submersion. 

Overall, waterproof bags are suitable for boating, kayaking, where there is a chance of heavy rain, high seas or capsizing.

In general, waterproof bags are usually made from materials such as PVC or TPU making the fabric impervious to water applications. 

Waterproof bags made of PVC or TPU fabrics are typically constructed with heat welded seams. 

Therefore contain no needle holes. No holes = no leaks. 

Waterproof bags sealed using a roll top closure system work best. 

The roll top closure set up allows you to secure the opening by rolling up to 3 or 4 times to create that waterproof seal.

In conclusion, this is where we come in.

At North Storm®, we understand that the great outdoors should be enjoyed without worry or stress. 

That's why we've designed our bags to have a Class 3: IP66 waterproof rating. 

So whether you get caught in a huge downpour and end up hiking in the rain or boating on a when the bag accidentally goes overboard.

You can rest assured knowing that your belongings are safe and dry inside your North Storm® bag.

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