When researching the best car cover to buy shoppers are faced with two terms that may seem to be synonymous, but they are not. The term outdoor means that the product can withstand light weather, whereas waterproof means the product is capable of resisting most levels of moisture. This article explains the difference between the many different types of fabrics used to make car covers. With more than twenty different fabric names in common use, it is not only difficult to remember what is what, but it also can be challenging to determine what is best for your particular situation. The products made by two factories, Cover craft (CC) and Covering (CK), will be used to highlight the differences between outdoor covers and those that are waterproof. There are others, but these are the premium factories in the USA. Plus, both factories use a similar rating system (1 to 5 points) to help consumers rate the appropriateness of each fabric to a specific condition.
For the sake of clarity, an outdoor fabric is one that is suitable for light weather conditions, but not for heavy or extended periods of precipitation. Here, too, you will find fabrics that have many different qualities. For example, the Tigard (CK) material is a 3-layer fabric that’s okay for light use. It’s great for a vehicle that you might have tucked away under a carport, but definitely not made for an automobile parked on the street or in the driveway getting full exposure.
By contrast, the Silver guard (CK) material is a UV tolerant material that’s perfect for everyday on the street or in the driveway, because the fabric can withstand constant exposure to the sun. This makes it ideal for use in warm, sunny climates, but again, not for long periods of exposure to precipitation. The Umbrella (CC) fabric offers similar qualities.
Cover craft’s Block-It fabric is a step up from Silver guard and Umbrella in its ability to handle wet weather. It’s a 4-layer polypropylene construction that’s capable of handling all weather conditions, but it’s not 100% waterproof outdoor covers. The trade-off is the level of breath-ability it provides. It’s a great solution for anyone that needs both indoor and outdoor protection. Plus, the 4-layers of thickness allow it to absorb parking lot abuse so you don’t get door dings, nicks and scratches. To be truly waterproof, a cover needs to offer excellent all-weather protection. That includes extended periods of rain, snow or icing. Perhaps the most well-known fabric for this type of climate condition is Noah (CC).
The Noah fabric is produced by Kimberly-Clark. One of the original developments for wet weather use, the material weighs only 4.45 ounces per square yard, making it super easy to fold and store. It’s a multi-layer system with a barrier fabric that prevents water penetration. At the same time, it breathes, allowing trapped moisture to evaporate. If you need all-weather protection, this needs to be a serious consideration.
Competing head-to-head with Noah is Stormproof (CK). It’s a microfiber technology system that uses microscopic, synthetic yarns. Unlike many of the cheaper products on the market, Stormproof is uncoated and untreated. Where the treated fabrics will begin to fail after just one or two seasons, the microfiber material will continue to resist water and other exterior conditions naturally for years. What’s more, it’s one of the softest car covers around. Before you make your final selection, be sure to check off all of the boxes. There’s a big difference between outdoor and waterproof. Make sure you get the right material for your climate and use conditions.