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.
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.