These capes are thin and lightweight. Easy to wear anywhere, small and light to keep one in your pack at all times in case of a sudden downpour.
It is beautifully relaxing to sit in the rain inside your cosy cape and listen to the raindrops as they fall onto the fabric, form little puddles and then roll off.
Cagoules are long pullover garments with a short front zip or no zip. Modern hiking or cycling capes with long sleeves have replaced cagoules to some extend. They have a wider cut than cagoules to fit over bicycle handlebars or cover a backpack.
I know when hiking, I’ll always get wet, always from rain, often when swimming. I deal with it. The gear in my backpack is all in ziplocks or other waterproof packaging to keep the necessities dry. The backpack has drain holes for when I have to go through water.
I usually swim in my hiking clothes, too lazy to get changed at every water hole. My hiking cape is easy to swim in. It feels great in the water. When I come out, I shake the water off and I'm good to go on with my hike.
I have several rain capes and ponchos that keep me fairly dry in manageable rain. If it goes beyond that, the cape leaks and my clothes get wet. It keeps me warm, but not dry.
Sometimes when it is warm, I just surrender, take the cape off, and hike in the rain, getting soaked to the skin in my clothes.
Usually I wear synthetics that wick and dry quickly.