At USIA, one of our chief mottoes is, “Dry For Life.” We stand by that motto by manufacturing some of the industry’s most reliable and durable waterproof gear. But what exactly does ‘waterproof’ mean? Different manufacturers have different definitions, and that can cause a lot of confusion among consumers who just want the best gear at the best price.

To help you find the correct type of waterproof gear for your particular needs, we have streamlined and coded our rating system for maximum simplicity so you can get a quick and trustworthy idea of how our products match up to the level of water-tightness with other manufacturers. You can find these rating icons together with each product in the USIA Store. These ratings are in no way a guarantee from USIA. Instead, they take into account the numerous manufacturer claims and exhibit them in one common system. Class F is the least waterproof and Class A is the most. Without further ado, here is our waterproof class rating system:

Class FWater resistant to rain or splash applications. The product could be infiltrated by moisture if subjected to prolonged water exposure, heavy top-down watering, dynamic water pressure applications, or submersion. This is what we call basically water repellent.

Class EWaterproof in top-down watering applications. The product could be infiltrated by moisture in forceful water pressure applications, water injected from odd angles, or submersion. We call this water resistant.

Class DTight Waterproofing so it floats or can handle rapid submersion. The product could be infiltrated by water during incidents of prolonged submersion, submersion in water deeper than 3 feet, or incidents of high water pressure. This class is termed Non-pressurized Waterproof.

Class CWaterproof and submersible to at least 3 feet, but no more than 12 (max depth limits fluctuates by maker). Class C is the first class we consider as truly submersible. Appropriate for water sports such as waterskiing, paddling, swimming, and snorkeling where excessive depths are not the norm. The product could be infiltrated by moisture if submersion greater than maker’s suggested depth rating, continuous submersion more than 24 hours, or extreme water pressure situations where seals could be compromised.

Class BWaterproof and submersible to depths greater than 12 feet (sometimes up to 100 feet – fluctuates by maker). Appropriate for any water sport of less depth than the maker’s maximum depth rating. Normal uses include scuba diving, snorkeling, search & rescue, and white water rafting. The product could be infiltrated by water in depths greater than the maker’s recommended depth rating or any physical force that could endanger the water-tight seal.

Class AWaterproof and submersible to depths greater than 132 feet. Suitable for any underwater operations including scuba diving, technical scuba diving. Normal uses include commercial scuba diving, search & rescue diving, and deep sea military activities. The product will not be permeated by water in depths greater than 132 feet. USIA Class A products are all fitted with a minimum of oral inflator or inflate & exhaust valve set.