two dogs wearing raincoats with owner in yellow raincoat and boots

Raincoat 101: Different Types and Some Interesting Facts

If you live in a rainy place as I do, raincoats are a part of our closet. It’s essential to keep us dry when we go outside, especially when an umbrella is not enough to combat the rain.

With that, here are some interesting facts about raincoats, including their different types:

The Origins of the Raincoat

Hundreds of years ago, Amazonian natives employed a rudimentary but successful way of waterproofing their garments. Rubber was used to cover the goods in order to make them waterproof. When Europeans arrived in the 1500s, they noted waterproofing and started experimenting with creating their own waterproof clothing. In 1748, Francois Fresneau invented a waterproofing cloth. Others improvised on his concept. In 1821, G. Fox of London created the first raincoat. Fox’s Aquatic was the name given to it.

Despite its clever moniker, the original raincoat didn’t do a great job of keeping the rain out. Early raincoat producers employed rubber, much like the Native Americans. The difficulty was that in cold temperatures, the rubber turned hard and stiff. The garments became sticky in the hot heat. These issues were resolved by a guy called Macintosh.

Columbia Women's Outdry Ex Mackintosh Jacket, Black Heather, Medium

In 1823, Macintosh developed a method for waterproofing cloth that included sandwiching a coating of molded rubber among two pieces of fabric that had been treated with a specific solvent. But it was an American who put the finishing touches on this technique. Charles Goodyear, a Philadelphia native, was his name. He discovered how to vulcanize rubber, which makes it more flexible and simpler to work with. Finally, someone combined the cloth of Macintosh with the vulcanized rubber of Goodyear to make the modern raincoat.

More waterproof materials followed, as well as industrial advances. There are a variety of raincoats to choose from now.

Types of Raincoat

Raincoats are currently available in a wide range of designs and materials. Which kind is the most appropriate for you… Which kind will keep you dry, and which will keep you wet?

two women wearing trench coats in desert

Thomas Burberry designed the all-weather trench coat for WWI troops. They were constructed from fine gabardine cotton which had been treated chemically to resist rain. Raincoats were a popular fashion option after the war. Trench coats feature a collar and large lapels, as well as a double row of buttons along the front and a fabric belt to compress the waist. Trench coats are at least mid-length, and they may be considerably longer.

FROGG TOGGS Standard Ultra-Lite2 Poncho, Dark Green, One Size

Ponchos are designed to keep you completely dry, even in the most torrential downpour. This is large, open clothing that you wear over your head. Ponchos are normally hip-length, however, they may reach all the way down to your knees. They’re often built with a hood added.

Opret 2 Pack Portable EVA Raincoats for Adults, Reusable Rain Ponchos with Hoods and Sleeves Lightweight Raincoats, Perfect for Outdoor Activities, Black

Raincoats are generally short, reaching the waist or hips. They may be collared or hooded and include buttons, zippers, or toggles to close them. To keep moisture out, they nearly usually include a zipper or a double closing design.

Types of Weather Protection

Raincoats do not all keep you totally dry. It’s crucial to understand the various forms of weather protection given by various raincoats.

man pulls on hoodie of blue raincoat in the rain

Waterproof raincoats are made to keep water from seeping through the fabric and reaching you. It is the most efficient rain protection.

man waiting in side of the street with clear raincoat and umbrella

Raincoats that are water-resistant may keep you dry in mild rain or for a short amount of time. The water will penetrate the cloth and get you wet if it rains heavily or for an extended period of time.

A unique coating on water-repellent raincoats, which could be designated “DWR” for durable water-repellent, causes water to bead up and roll off the cloth. The terms “water-repellent” and “water-resistant” are not interchangeable.

FROGG TOGGS Men's Standard Classic All-Sport Waterproof Breathable Rain Suit, Stone/Black Pants, Large

Waterproof or water-resistant breathable raincoats are available. “Breathable” simply implies that the material won’t trap your body heat, preventing you from being hot and sweating. It implies that the cloth can keep you cool while also protecting you from the rain.

Windproof coats do not have to be waterproof or water-resistant. Windproof raincoats can’t be pierced by strong gusts of wind.

Features of the Raincoat

child in a blue raincoat walking in a park

Raincoats are designed with a variety of unique characteristics to keep them (and you) dry in the rain. We’ve gone a long way from rubber-coated cloth. Chemically treated textiles and synthetic materials are used to make modern raincoats that repel and withstand water. Any material, such as cotton, wool, vinyl, and plastic, may be used to make raincoats.

Seam taping is a common feature of waterproof raincoats. The seams are taped to seal them and keep water out. Because many water-resistant jackets are also seam-taped, don’t assume every seam-taped coat to be completely waterproof.

Many raincoats include zippers to aid in securing a tight seal against rain. In most cases, the zippers are coated to render them extra water-resistant. Usually, a zipper cover is included, or the coat is made in such a manner that the zipper is concealed by fabric. This keeps water out of the teeth of the zipper.

Depending on the shape and style of the raincoat, it might be light or hefty. Trench coats are generally thick, warm, and insulating. Rain ponchos made of vinyl, on the other hand, are generally quite light and cool. For added warmth, certain raincoats may be insulated.

Why are Raincoats Yellow?

man facing mountain view wearing yellow raincoat

The picture of the yellow raincoat is well-known. It’s most likely what you’ve been imagining. Why, however, are raincoats yellow? A thorough search yielded no precise solution. Yellow, it seems, makes you more noticeable in dark, dismal weather. Yellow raincoats bring brightness when the sun is hidden by the rain. Why not add a splash of color to a dreary, rainy day?

Dressing for the Weather

The fact that it’s pouring outside is terrible enough. Don’t make matters worse by allowing your garments to become wet as well. Get the appropriate raincoat to keep you dry and ready to face the world matter how rainy it gets.

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