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A cagoule (French: [kaɡul]), also spelled cagoul, kagoule or kagool, is the British English term for a long weatherproof raincoat or anorak with a hood.

Cag, short for cagoul, is from the French word for hood, "cagoule". Cag is the British word describing a long, hooded, lightweight and weatherproof jacket or pullover, first introduced in the 1960's.

Marketed as a handy fashion accessory, cagoules became very popular in the United Kingdom during the 1970s. We reckon they are still the most practical outfit for wet and wild water sports.


Cagoules are lightweight (usually without lining) and often come in knee-length form. The fabric is often an Oxford nylon which is waterproofed with polyurethane, and the seams are taped.

As a functional outdoor rain garment, the loose fit styling and proportions allow your small items of personal luggage to be protected, like a rucksack, waist bag and/or camera bag. It is sized to fit over everything, including your pack. In an emergency it can even be used as a bivi shelter.

The hood has one draw cord around the face which reduces water coming in. Another draw cord or velcro strip may go across the back of the head to reduce the overall size of the hood for a better fit. There is a drawcord at the base of the garment, so you can pull it up and tie around the waist for better leg movement.

Some cagoules have a pouch pocket in the chest area. When rolled up, the hood or front pocket doubles as a bag into which the cagoule can be packed.

This is as close to the ultimate in rain protection that you can get. It also provides excellent cover when worn on a boat or the beach. Swimming is easy in a cagoule, as many of our readers have told us.


cagoule smock for swimming and adventure
Short canoeing cags keep you warm in open water and avoid windchill. Best for wet and wild splash sports.
cagoule smock for swimming
Knee length cagoules provide better cover on wet adventures where you often go in and out of the water.
cagoule smock for swimming
Full length cagoules reach to the ankles and provide the best rain cover. They also keep you warm on poolside during swim breaks.

Test Reviews of Cagoules

In this section you'll find tests and reviews of a wide variety of clothes for your watersports.

Product tests are done by keen swimmers and watersports enthusiasts for our readers. We will check out any kit we get our hands on and write a review with links to suppliers.

If you're a manufacturer or supplier, send review samples (size XL) that our team can try during active watersports or outdoor activities. You get publicity on our busy website for the cost of a product sample. Ask us for details (top of page) and we'll get in touch with you.

Full reviews carry a clickable link to the supplier's website so our readers can check out the products we've reviewed. If a supplier provides more than one item, they can get a dedicated section with a company profile.

Affiliate Partnerships

When we come across really good products, we like to share them with our readers who come here to find the best and most original watersports kit. If you run an affiliate program, talk to us.

First Look

When we see interesting new products we write a brief report for our readers, either as part of an article or on a dedicated page. We check them out and try them on if possible. This might happen at a shop, a trade show, or some other event. These are not full reviews, just a first look.

Full Reviews

Whenever we get our hands on a new outfit we do a full review where we test it under realistic conditions, checking it the way people would use it out in the wet and wild. If it is any good we publish a review. These get updated over time after we've used the samples for a while.

First we try the products in a swimmingpool to see how they fit and feel in the water, and how easy it is to swim in these clothes. Comfort and function are most important.

Next we check how it performs during watersports like canoeing, sailing, or surfing, and how good the design is for readers who really enjoy watersports, rather than wear it as a fashion statement.

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