The Difference Between Waterproof and Water-Resistant Devices

The next time you're caught in a torrential rainstorm with your two-way radio, the difference between waterproof and water-resistant will suddenly become very important. Take a few moments to read this important guide to distinguishing one from the other when purchasing any electronic device.

If you look up the words, water-resistant is defined as "resisting though not entirely preventing the penetration of water," whereas the definition of waterproof is "impervious to water." That's a big difference. What seems like a small issue could mean the difference between a fully functional walkie-talkie when you need it or a malfunctioning or even dead device.

If your radio is labeled as being water-resistant, that means that it's designed and manufactured in such a way that it's difficult for water to get inside and damage the electronics. It might be coated with a substance that improves the chances of damage if the device gets hit with a little water. The amount of water that a "water-resistant" radio could withstand might include a light rain shower or an accidental quick dip under a running faucet.

A truly "waterproof" radio means in theory that the device is completely unaffected by water and does not allow any water to pass through (as in watertight). Currently, there is no industry standard required for a company to label their electronic device as "waterproof." All that exists is the Ingress Protection Rating scale (IP Code), which assigns a rating of 0-8 as to the amount of water that device can withstand without harmful effects, with 8 equal to "continuous immersion."

At Tech Wholesale, many of our two-way radios meet the stringent test methods of Military Standards 810 C, D, E, F and G, for resistance against vibration, shock, dust, extreme temperatures and yes, rain. The 800-page "Department of Defense Test Method Standard - Environmental Engineering Considerations and Laboratory Tests" document that outlines MIL-STD-810G is exceptionally exhaustive and covers all aspects of the standard.

The following radio models meet these exacting requirements: Motorola DLR Digital Radios, Motorola DTR Digital Radios, Motorola RM Radios, Motorola RDX Business Radios, the Motorola RMM2050, Kenwood TK-2400V4P, Kenwood TK-2400V16P, Kenwood TK-3400U4P, Kenwood TK-3400U16P, Kenwood TK-2402V16P and Kenwood TK-3402U16P.