What is a Vinyl Raincoat?

Lori Kilchermann

A vinyl raincoat is an article of clothing that is worn over a person's wardrobe during inclement weather. The raincoat protects the wearer from becoming wet from rain. The vinyl raincoat is considered more comfortable than its predecessor, the rubber raincoat. The vinyl raincoat comes in assorted colors and styles and can be matched to other articles of outerwear, such as boots, hats and gloves.

Vinyl raincoats are lightweight.
Vinyl raincoats are lightweight.

Prior to the vinyl raincoat, the choices for wet weather protection consisted of heavy rubber garments and oil skin canvas drovers. The rubber coats were fine at protecting the wearer from the elements; however, but they were heavy, hot and in most cases were only offered in black or yellow. The rubber items were held closed by large metal buckles in most cases and they were not at all comfortable to wear. Oil skin canvas works well to repel rain, but it can stain the clothing worn underneath and its smell is not particularly appealing.

The vinyl raincoat is lightweight, comfortable to wear and is not particularly warm to the wearer. In some styles of coat, the arm pits are vented, as is the area in the back across the shoulders. This allows the garment to breathe and also functions to let the humidity of the body escape the coat. The vinyl raincoat is well suited to protecting the wearer from the rain and elements and does so with a hint of style. Some vinyl raincoats are available with a lining, which adds warmth.

While noted for its color options, the vinyl raincoat is also available in a clear version. This clear material is often preferred for law enforcement and crossing guards. The clear vinyl allows the wearer's uniform to be seen through the raincoat. The clear material is also popular for sports teams, cheer leading squads and sports fans of all types. This type of see-through garment was never available in a rubber coat.

The polyvinyl chloride, or PVC as it is commonly called, has allowed the vinyl raincoat to rise to the top as the preferred wet-weather garment of choice. It is a long-lasting material that is not prone to deterioration like its rubber predecessor. The light weight allows the vinyl coats to be carried easily once the wet weather has given way to bright sunshine. It can also be folded into a relatively small size to be stored away until it is once again needed. This makes the vinyl raincoat perfect for backpackers and campers alike.

You might also Like

Readers Also Love

Discussion Comments


If you are a good sewer you can make your own vinyl raincoats quite inexpensively. Plus, if you make your own you have a much better selection of material for the project.

I find that while online stores do carry a pretty good range of vinyl raincoats that they all still tend to look quite similar. I really prefer to have a unique touch added to everything I wear. If it is handmade, all the better.

Vinyl is sold in a lot of fabric stores and you can also find patterns that are made for working with such a unique material. If your local store doesn't have what you need I have found auction sites online to offer the best deals.


If you need to get a vinyl raincoat and are concerned about how fashionable it will look you're in luck! There are oodles of stores online that sell trendy vinyl raincoats in excellent cuts that will actually flatter your outfit instead of looking like you slipped on a plastic bag.

I think that the vinyl raincoats that are tailored to look like trench coats are a great style and you can even get them in cute patterns like polka dots or stripes.

Now that vinyl raincoats have become popular I really believe that stores will continue to make them more attractive to purchasers.


I work outside at a supermarket retrieving carts and putting them where they belong. The company makes us wear clear vinyl raincoats so that customers can see our uniforms and recognize that we are employees in case they need help unloading their groceries, as they often do on rainy days when no one wants to be out there.


@Oceana - If a raincoat is vented, then it will either feature a removable waterproof lining or zippers. You can either zip up or insert the lining when you go out, and you can remove the lining or unzip it while you are sitting in that cold office. That way, you still get to wear a coat, but your skin gets to breathe.

I have a vented vinyl raincoat, and this is exactly what I do on warm, rainy summer days. I argue with my coworkers often about the thermostat, as I prefer a warmer environment than they do. My raincoat keeps me warm and dry.


If the back of the raincoat is vented, then doesn't your back get wet? That would be an uncomfortable way to spend the rest of your day, especially for people like me who work in an office with hot-natured people who keep the air conditioning hard at work.


@MalakAslan - I agree, very cute! Much better than the black vinyl raincoat.


I have always loved the yellow raincoat slickers that you sometimes see on young children. I enjoy seeing pictures with them in their yellow slickers and yellow rubber boots splashing in the rain.

Not only are the cute, but I think it is a great color for safety since it is so visible.


Women's vinyl raincoats also come in colored transparencies. They are fun to wear and inexpensive so you can buy them in several different colors to coordinate with your wardrobe.

Post your comments
Forgot password?