The Best Raincoat Material: 13 Materials for the Perfect Coat in Any Weather

It’s raining and pouring, and you need to buy a raincoat. Many different materials can be used for coats, and each one has its own set of pros and cons. But which material should you choose?

The best raincoat material includes nylon, polyester, PVC, Gore-Tex, etc.

This blog post will discuss 13 of the best materials for raincoats and explain why they are so great. We’ll also give you a few tips on choosing the perfect coat for your needs!

About Raincoat Material

raincoat kid
A girl wearing a raincoat and umbrella. Credit: canva

Why do I need a raincoat?

A raincoat is a waterproof or water-resistant coat worn to protect the body from rain. The primary purpose of a raincoat is to keep the body dry during rainy weather.

What is a raincoat made of?

Raincoats are made of water-resistant or waterproof materials. These materials can include synthetic fabrics such as nylon, polyester, PVC; natural fabrics such as wool and cotton; or rubber.

Even if the fundamental material is not waterproof, like cotton, it will often be treated with a water-resistant coating.

The name “slicker” comes from the shiny nylon used in raincoats. The term “slicker” refers to shiny nylon, which is a popular water-repellent fabric. High-end rainwear generally uses conventional coat fabrics such as cotton and wool, while textiles like silk and leather are less often seen.

Vinyl and plastics are commonly used for children’s raincoats.

How do I choose the right raincoat?

When choosing a raincoat, you should consider the material, the length, the fit, and the style. You will also want to make sure that your coat is waterproof and breathable.

Waterproof Vs. Water Repellent Vs. Water-Resistant

Considering the functionality of the raincoats, there are three types of them – water-resistant, waterproof, and water repellent raincoats.

Waterproof fabric

Waterproof means the rainproof fabric is entirely impervious to water. The finish closes all pores on the material, and the fabric is wholly rainproof because it is immune to water.

Waterproof raincoats keep you dry no matter how heavy rain or water falls on you. These coats are ideal for the outdoor enthusiast and a must-have item for anybody who spends time on a yacht.

However, do not wear waterproof jackets during hot weather since they will smell foul.

Water-repellent fabric

Water repellent means the fabric has been treated with a coating that repels water but is not necessarily waterproof.

The fabric has a unique finish on the surface, a tight weave, or one with special sprays that cause the water droplets to roll off the surface. When the finish is gone, the water repellency is also gone.

Precipitation beads up and rolls off when a jacket’s outer fabric is “water repellent,” precipitation beads up and rolls off.

Water-resistant fabric

Water-resistant means the fabric can resist the water, but it’s not entirely waterproof. Though it may resist water, the water-resistant fabric is the least effective of these three.

The fabric is treated so that it resists water to an extent. A chemical coating is applied on the surface. So, if you are standing in the rain for some time under some of these fabrics, eventually, water will get through.

Now that you know the difference, you can choose the right one based on your needs.

What makes a raincoat waterproof?

The solution is in the fabric. You want them to be made of a material that will not allow water to enter and get to you.

A waterproof raincoat is made of a tightly woven fabric that has been coated with a water-repellent or waterproofing solution. This substance prevents water from entering the material and keeps you dry.

To wear hats, trench coats, shoes, tote bags, windbreakers, and other outerwear in all weather conditions while still looking good, you want them to be made of a waterproof material that prevents you from getting drenched in the rain and preserves your appearance.

When you’re buying a rain jacket or any outerwear, you’ll often come across the initials DWR, which stand for durable water repellent.

13 Best Raincoat Material

pvc raincoat
PVC raincoat. Credit: canva

Today, there are many different materials used for raincoats.

What is the best material for a raincoat?

Choosing the best fabric for raincoats for you is a matter of preference and intended use. For example, some people prefer the look of a wool raincoat, while others might prefer the lightweight feel of nylon.

It also depends on what you want to do with the raincoats. For example, a water-resistant raincoat will be enough if you need a raincoat for light showers.

But if you’re looking for a coat to wear in heavy rains or during outdoor activities like hiking, you’ll need a waterproof or water repellent raincoat.

What type of fabric is waterproof?

Waterproof materials that are usually used for raincoats are:

PVC raincoat material (plastic)

PVC is a type of plastic used to make a variety of products, including raincoats. It is a durable material that can last for many years.

Rubber raincoat material (Neoprene)

Rubber is a waterproof material that is often used for raincoats. It is a thick, durable material that can protect you from the heaviest rains.

This artificial material is the material used to make wet suits.

Gore-Tex fabrics

Gore-Tex is a waterproof, breathable fabric often used in outdoor clothing. It is windproof and water-resistant, making it a good choice for a raincoat.


Vinyl is a type of PVC that is softer and more flexible. It is often used to make transparent raincoats to see what you are wearing underneath.


Polyester microfibers are synthetic materials that can have a special waterproof coating, making them perfect for raincoats.

This fabric is commonly used for outdoor materials and sports jackets.

Polyurethane Laminate (PUL)

PUL is a polyester fabric with a plastic backing coated with a light waterproof /water-resistant finish.

It is a very durable material that can also be a blend of polyester and cotton. It is completely waterproof and breathable.

TPU (Thermoplastic polyurethane)

TPU stands for Thermoplastic polyurethane. It is a synthetic material that is durable and flexible. It is often used in sportswear and outdoor clothing because it is waterproof and windproof.

Water-resistant materials

nylon raincoat
Nylon raincoat. Credit: canva

Water-resistant materials that are usually used for raincoats are:

Nylon raincoat material

Nylon is a lightweight, synthetic fabric often used in sportswear and outerwear. It is water-resistant and quick-drying, making it a good choice for a raincoat.

Polyester raincoat material

Polyester is a synthetic fabric that is made from petroleum. It is water-resistant and quick-drying, making it a good choice for a raincoat.

Laminated cotton/poplin

Laminated cotton is a type of cotton fabric that has been treated with a waterproof coating. It is breathable and durable, making it a good choice for a raincoat.

This laminated fabric is an alternative to PUL material as it is of the same concept. But it is more environmentally friendly as the fabric side is a natural fabric.

Waxed cotton (canvas)

Waxed cotton is a type of cotton fabric that has been treated with wax to make it waterproof. It is a heavy-duty fabric that is often used in outerwear.


wool raincoat
Wool raincoat. Credit: canva

Wool is natural water resistance (not waterproof), and its status as a natural fabric makes it unique. You may enhance its water resistance by coating it with lanolin.

Wool is a durable fabric found in some raincoats, particularly military, vintage and high-fashion garments.

Water-repellent fabrics

Shiny raincoat material (Shiny nylon)

Shiny nylon is a type of nylon fabric that has a glossy finish. It is often used in sportswear and outerwear. It is water-resistant and quick-drying, making it a good choice for a raincoat.

Different Types of Raincoats

Raincoats were designed to keep you dry. However, the need to stay dry is different.

Some raincoats are made to be a substitute for an umbrella, while others are built for people who want to look good and remain hydrated at the same time.

Emergency Raincoats

Emergency raincoats are usually made from a lightweight, waterproof material. They are designed to be worn in an emergency when you need to keep dry quickly.

They are often brightly colored so you can be easily seen.

Fashion Raincoats

Fashion raincoats are designed to keep you dry and look good simultaneously. They are often made from waterproof material such as Gore-Tex or vinyl.

They come in a variety of styles, from trench coats to parkas.

Sport Raincoats

Sport raincoats are designed to keep you dry and comfortable while active. They are often made from a waterproof, breathable material such as Gore-Tex or microfiber.

They come in a variety of styles, from jackets to pants.

Now that you know the different types of raincoat materials, you can choose the perfect one!


What material is a raincoat made of?

A raincoat can be made of various materials, including nylon, polyester, PVC, and Gore-Tex.

What is the best material for a raincoat?

The best material for a raincoat depends on your needs. If you need a light, emergency raincoat, you might want to choose an ultralight material such as nylon. If you need a heavy-duty raincoat, you might want to choose a material such as waxed cotton.

What is a waterproof fabric called?

Waterproof fabric is often called Gore-Tex or PVC. It is a synthetic material used to make raincoats, tents, and other waterproof items.

Which raincoat is best, PVC or polyester?

There is no definitive answer to this question as it depends on your needs. Choose the material that best suits your needs. PVC is a synthetic material that is waterproof and durable, while polyester is a synthetic material that is water-resistant and quick-drying.

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