A cagoule (French: [kaɡul], balaclava), also spelled cagoul, kagoule or kagool, is the British English term for a lightweight (usually without lining), weatherproof raincoat or anorak with a hood, which often comes in knee-length form. The Canadian English equivalent is windbreaker or K-Way.
In some versions, when rolled up, the hood or cross-chest front pocket doubles as a bag into which the shell can be packed.
History and styles
A cagoule which could be rolled up into a very compact package and carried in a bag or pocket was patented by former Royal Marine Noel Bibby and launched in the UK under the brand name Peter Storm in the early 1960s.
Original versions were lightweight and packable with generally an integral hood, elastic or drawstring cuffs, and a fastening at the neck. Usually, the cagoule could not open fully at the front and was pulled on over the head.
Later copied and marketed as a close-fitting cheap fashion accessory, the style became very popular in the United Kingdom during the 1970s.