What is the difference between PU and PVC rainwear?

May. 13, 2024

Rainwear serves as a crucial protective gear during wet weather conditions, keeping individuals dry and comfortable. Among the plethora of rainwear options available, PU (Polyurethane) and PVC (Polyvinyl chloride) are two commonly used materials. Understanding the disparities between PU and PVC rainwear can assist in making informed choices based on preferences and needs.

PU rainwear

Material Composition

PU rainwear is crafted from polyurethane, a synthetic material known for its durability, flexibility, and water-resistant properties. On the other hand, PVC rainwear is made from polyvinyl chloride, a type of plastic renowned for its waterproof characteristics. While both materials offer water resistance, they differ in composition and performance.

Flexibility and Comfort

One of the primary distinctions between PU and PVC rainwear lies in their flexibility and comfort. PU rainwear tends to be softer and more flexible compared to PVC rainwear. This flexibility allows for greater freedom of movement, making PU rainwear a preferred choice for activities requiring agility, such as hiking or cycling. Additionally, PU rainwear is often more breathable than PVC counterparts, enhancing overall comfort during prolonged wear.

Durability and Longevity

In terms of durability, PVC rainwear holds an edge over PU rainwear. PVC material is inherently stronger and more resistant to abrasion, tear, and puncture compared to PU. This attribute makes PVC rainwear an ideal option for individuals engaging in rugged outdoor activities or working in demanding environments where durability is paramount. However, it's important to note that PVC rainwear may experience stiffness over time, especially in cold temperatures, which can affect comfort and flexibility.

Environmental Considerations

When evaluating PU and PVC rainwear, it's crucial to consider their environmental impact. PVC is known for its environmental concerns, particularly during manufacturing and disposal. The production of PVC involves the release of toxic chemicals, and PVC products do not biodegrade easily, posing challenges for disposal and recycling. On the other hand, PU rainwear is often considered more environmentally friendly, as some PU materials are recyclable and less harmful during production. However, it's essential to opt for PU rainwear produced using eco-friendly processes to minimize environmental footprint.

Maintenance and Care

Proper maintenance and care play a significant role in extending the lifespan of PU and PVC rainwear. Both materials are relatively easy to clean and maintain. PU rainwear can typically be wiped clean with a damp cloth or hand-washed using mild detergent. PVC rainwear may require similar care but can withstand more rigorous cleaning methods, including machine washing. However, it's advisable to follow manufacturer guidelines for optimal maintenance and to avoid harsh chemicals that may degrade the material.


In conclusion, the choice between PU and PVC rainwear depends on various factors, including flexibility, durability, environmental considerations, and personal preferences. PU rainwear offers greater flexibility and comfort, making it suitable for everyday wear and activities requiring mobility. On the other hand, PVC rainwear excels in durability and is preferred for rugged outdoor use. Environmental concerns also influence the decision-making process, with PU generally considered more eco-friendly compared to PVC. Ultimately, selecting the right rainwear involves balancing these factors to meet individual needs and preferences.

For more information on PU and PVC rainwear options, please contact us to connect with a reputable supplier.