Waterproof vs. Breathable Vehicle Covers

Having a waterproof cover isn’t as great as it sounds, especially when it comes to protecting your vehicle. Learn the differences between a waterproof cover, and why going with a water-resistant and breathable one is best.
Can any cover be truly waterproof?
Short answer: Not really.

A 100% waterproof car cover would have to block all moisture from passing through the material at the seams, hems, vents, pockets, and anywhere else. In other words, a waterproof cover should act as an impenetrable barrier between external moisture and your vehicle. Water droplets are tiny, and can make their way into just about anything. Covers promoted as being waterproof are typically constructed from inexpensive nylon, PVC, or polyethylene. While a “waterproof” car cover may save you money in the short term, it can cause serious damage to your vehicle.
Waterproof Covers
Think about the difference between shirts designed for exercising versus a shirt you would wear to work. Exercise shirts wick your sweat away, keeping you cool and dry. Other shirts tend to trap the moisture in, making you feel clammy and uncomfortable when it's hot and humid out. When it comes to vehicle covers, “water-resistant” ones are the work-out shirts and “waterproof” ones are the regular shirts.
Water-Resistant Vehicle Covers
Water-resistant covers will keep most moisture off of your vehicle, but some droplets (like dew) may still get through. Condensation will form between your cover and your vehicle when the temperature of your car is cooler than the air. When warm, humid air passes over or through the cover, moisture is released onto the cold surface of your vehicle. If this water is unable to evaporate, then it can cause corrosion and other vehicle damage. However, most water-resistant covers are breathable and include air vents, so trapped moisture can quickly evaporate.
Breathable Vehicle Covers
Breathable car covers allow trapped moisture and condensation to evaporate quickly through the cover, shortening the amount of time your vehicle is wet. This prevents paint damage and rust formation on your vehicle.

The materials “waterproof” covers are made of are typically not breathable. Even if these covers include vents, they will not be as effective as water-resistant, breathable materials. No fabric or special top-coating will completely prevent water from getting through. We recommend choosing a water-resistant vehicle cover that will block moisture while still allowing breathability.

Learn more about the importance of breathable vehicle covers.
Coverstore Vehicle Covers
All of our covers are water-resistant, and the majority include breathable mesh vents. To find the vehicle material that is right for you, use our Vehicle Material Comparison Chart to compare our different collections.

For powersports (golf carts, ATVs, motorcycles, bicycles, mobility scooters, and jet skis), our RainBlock collection has the highest water-resistance rating.

For cars, trucks, and SUVs, we recommend our WeatherTite Prime or WeatherTite Max collections. These both offer exceptional water-resistance, as well as great protection from UV-rays and wind.

Our contour-fit covers are designed to fit a variety of vehicle makes, models, and years. Simply choose your vehicle style on our Vehicle Covers page and then enter your year, make, model, and submodel to find the perfect-fitting cover.

No matter what climate you live in, your vehicle is bound to come in contact with rain, snow, or humidity. Investing in a water-resistant cover will ensure your vehicle stays protected for years.
Vehicle & Powersports Covers
Additional Resources
Explore the articles below to find out more about our covers.