Waterproof promotional items make great customer gifts, but the lingo gets a little confusing. What’s the difference between water resistant and waterproof? Is splash proof even a thing?
Don’t wait to figure it out AFTER your five year old tosses your brand new bluetooth speaker into the pool. We did the research and we’re sharing the scoop so you can make smart buying choices for your business.
Generally speaking, waterproof offers a lot more protection from water damage than water resistant. Yes, some companies do use the term splash resistant, too. It basically means protection from minor splashing. (So if you’re concerned about someone pointing a hose pipe at your speaker, I’d go for the waterproof option.)
When it comes to electronics specifically, you might see an IP rating in the item description. The IP system rates protection on a scale of 0-8. Specifically, this refers to “Ingress Protection”, or the intrusion of dust, water, etc. into the working parts of the item. The higher the number, the better. For example, an IPX-7 rating means protection against water immersion for 30 minutes at a depth of up to 1 meter.
Most companies classify items with a rating of IPX-4 or lower as water resistant or splash proof. IPX-5 and up would be considered waterproof, although you wouldn’t want to submerge anything less than an IPX-7.
When it comes to real life product testing, I can report that these ratings hold true most of the time. Someone called me once to say that their water resistant speaker (rated IPX-4) fell into the toilet and no longer worked. I was not surprised. That said, I took the same type of speaker to the pool and it worked just fine even after getting a few good splashes.
So there you have it…if you’re concerned about water protection, go for the higher IP rating! (Just a tip: If you have trouble searching by IP rating, ask your sales rep and we can send you more information.)
What waterproof promotional items make sense for my business?
Our most popular waterproof items fall into three categories: bags, speakers, and flashlights. We highlighted a few of our favorites below.
Bags: Whether you’re headed to the beach, taking customers on a fishing trip, or working in disaster relief, waterproof bags keep your most important stuff safe from accidental water damage. (These can also be useful around snow, too!)
Speakers: Who doesn’t love good music or a juicy episode of your favorite podcast at the pool, or on the boat, or let’s be honest, even the shower? Just keep in mind the IP ratings as described above.
Flashlights: “You can never offend someone with an umbrella or a flashlight” or so says one of our favorite vendor reps, Jim Maddox. We laugh because we’ve heard him say it so many times, but that doesn’t make it any less true. Everyone likes a good flashlight, and a waterproof one really takes that to a new level.
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