The types of raincoats available today vary widely. A cheap plastic rain poncho may be a valuable asset when camping, while an elegant trench style raincoat can be perfect for wearing to the office. Raincoats are available in many lengths, colors, styles and weights. They are a popular outerwear garment in rainy weather for both adults and children.
Children's raincoats are often brightly colored and may feature cartoon characters or animal designs. They may have snaps or a zipper fastener. Some children's rain jackets are longer with rolled up or cuffed sleeves to allow them to still be worn as a child grows a size or two. Rain wear made for adults is typically made in solid colors, but the selections may include pastels and brights as well as neutrals.
Rubber or plastic raincoats let water drip down and away from clothing, while cloth varieties are treated with a waterproofing material to keep rain from soaking into the coat. Plastic, or polyurethane, rain gear is often less expensive than fabric coats, but it often causes the body to sweat more easily. Some plastic raincoat styles have vented areas with zippers, such as mesh underarm sections. Cotton-lined plastic raincoats tend to be more comfortable than unlined varieties.
An anorak or parka type of raincoat is a winter-weight coat with a waterproof finish. Rain anoraks have hoods and may feature a drawstring waist. These heavy raincoats are worn in climates with colder rainy weather. Lightweight outerwear such as a trench style raincoat is suitable for milder temperatures.
The trench coat is a popular type of raincoat, as it can be worn with casual or dress wear. It's traditionally made of gabardine fabric, which is sturdy and dense. The trench coat was worn in the military before it became a fashionable outerwear style. Trench coats have a wide collar, neat-looking buttons and a self-tie belt. Both short and long versions of the trench raincoat are available in men's and women's sizes.
Shorter raincoats are usually preferred by active outdoor workers, such as people in construction, since longer coats don't typically allow as much freedom of movement. Longer raincoat styles block wind better as they cover the legs. Reversible raincoats have a different color or pattern on the outside and inside. They allow the wearer to wear either side showing outward as the fasteners are designed to work on both sides.