All about raincoats

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A child wearing a yellow raincoat with hood

A raincoat or slicker is a waterproof or water-resistant coat worn to protect the body from rain. The term rain jacket is sometimes used to refer to raincoats that are waist length. A rain jacket may be combined with a pair of rain pants to make a rain suit.

Modern raincoats are often constructed of breathable, waterproof fabrics such as Gore-Tex or Tyvek and coated nylons. These fabrics allow some air to pass through, allowing the garment to 'breathe' so that sweat vapour can escape. The amount of pouring rain a raincoat can handle is sometimes measured in the unit millimetres, water gauge.


The raincoat was invented in Scotland in 1824. The K-way was created in 1965 in Paris by Léon Duhamel.


Important styles of raincoat include:

  • Anorak, derived from traditional Inuit designs
  • Cagoule, also Cagoul, Kagoule, Kagool
  • Driza-Bone, Australian oiled cotton
  • Gannex
  • Inverness cape
  • Mackintosh, rubberised cloth
  • Poncho
  • Sou'wester
  • Trench coat, derived from traditional raincoat
  • Waxed jacket

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