Top 5 Best Rain Ponchos 2023:
- Mil-Tec Festival Rain Poncho
- JTENG Hooded Rain Poncho
- FROGGS TOGGS Ultra-Lite Rain Poncho
- Charles River Apparel Pacific Rain Poncho
- Snugpak Patrol Rain Poncho
If you are an outdoor adventurer and enthusiast and you spend a lot of your time out and about, you know that weather can be highly unpredictable.
Umbrella is always a good thing to have with you, but you need to either hold it in your hands or find enough free space for it in your backpack. It might be rather tricky at times as there are a lot of other things you cannot do without, and most of the time, you do not need the extra load.
There is a lighter and more manageable alternative, though – a rain poncho! It weighs almost nothing and can sometimes pack up so compact that it fits your pocket.
If you want to find out more and be able to buy the best rain poncho for your outdoor adventures, stay tuned!
5 Best Rain Ponchos In 2023: Detailed Reviews
1. Charles River Apparel Pacific Rain Poncho – Two-layered poncho suitable for cold weather
Charles River Apparel Pacific rain poncho is sure to provide comfort and adequate protection when it rains. It comes in one size and measures 52” x 80”. It is best suited for people up to six feet tall as it goes all the way to their knees. It is slightly heavier than most other ponchos on our list.
The Pacific rain poncho is made from two layers – a premium New Englander Polyurethane on the outside and a knit fabric layer on the inside. The outer layer is water and wind-resistant, while the inner layer ensures you are kept warm on a rainy day. It can go over your hiking backpack and protect your gear as well.
There are numerous color options to choose from, so you can always match it to your style. Once you unpack it, you will feel foul chemical smell, but just leave it out in the air, and it will soon disperse. When not in use, this poncho can be packed up in a pouch that comes with it.
Pacific Poncho has a hood with grommets and pulls tabs at the brim so that you can tighten it up around your face. The hood might be a bit large, but luckily, it also has two buttons in the neck area to adjust it to your head. Snap closures under the arm allow for easy undressing too, and water-tight seams guarantee durability.
- Made from two layers of fabric
- The hood features both thinning straps and two snap buttons on the neck
- Snap buttons under the arms
- Numerous color options
- The hood size might be too large for small head-sizes
- The foul smell of chemical emanating from the package
2. Snugpak Patrol Rain Poncho – Premium quality travel-friendly poncho
The Snugpak Patrol rain poncho is specially made to protect you and your backpack while you are out and about. It is almost 57 inches long and 53 inches wide, but it packs up to ultra-compact eight by four inches. It also weighs only 0.8 pounds and is thus travel-friendly and ideal for hiking adventures.
Snugpak Patrol poncho is made with Paratex material, durable waterproof fabric with polyurethane coating. It features an adjustable hood with a drawstring so that you can adjust it for the best possible fit.
There are sleeves with thumb loops located in the cuffs for added protection from water and cold air. The pocket located on the front side of the poncho is concealed and protected with a storm flap and a velcro strap so you can safely use it for your valuables and gadgets.
This poncho comes in two color choices – black and olive, so you might want to look elsewhere if you want a brighter or more vivid color. It comes with a stuck sack, so it doubles as a contour pillow for sleeping. The price is high but in sync with the quality and durability.
- Spacious enough to protect your backpack
- Its cuffs are sealed with elastic
- A concealed and well-protected pocket for your valuables
- Comes with a stuck sack and can be used as a contour pillow
- An adjustable hood
- Made of premium waterproof material
- Limited color options
- High price tag
3. Mil-Tec Festival Rain Poncho – Military-style poncho that will last you for years
The Mil-Tec Festival rain poncho is designed and produced in Germany. It is not only military-styled but also made of military designed material that provides you with premium protection whenever it rains. Besides being 100% waterproof, the ripstop Nylon material is thick and durable as well.
It features strategically positioned snap buttons and grommets that guarantee you and your backpack will remain dry at all times. It is 84 inches long and therefore, not only long enough to cover any size of the bag but also suitable for tall backpackers. Unfortunately, if you are short, the length might represent an issue while you climb.
The stitched draw-cord hood is coated with waterproof tape, and there are snap buttons along each side of the poncho for your best protection from the elements. Six eyelets positioned along the side allow you to use this versatile poncho as a sleeping bag cover, sunshade, rainfly, etc.
It comes with a matching carry pouch and weighs only 650 grams so you can easily pack it up and take it with you. It is a bit bulky when rolled up, though.
- Military designed ripstop Nylon material
- Exceptional durability
- The internal waist belt
- Six eyelets on the side
- Extra-long and thus the best choice for taller individuals
- A carry bag
- Not the best choice for short people as it can interfere with their movement
4. JTENG Hooded Rain Poncho – Multi-practical super water-resistant poncho with 3000 mm waterproof index
Measuring 59” x 55”, JTENG rain poncho is another knee-long poncho suitable for people up to 6 feet tall. It is a reliable military-grade poncho that will protect you when you go hiking or camping. Thanks to grommets located on the hem of this poncho, you can attach a thread and use it as a floor mat, cover or sunshade too, so it is definitely a worthy outdoor companion.
This rain poncho is made from 100% rip-stop polyester that not only looks good but also feels great on your body. The material is highly breathable and thus hinders excessive sweating while you are on the move. It is long and wide enough to cover your backpack too.
The standard-size hood and a zip on the neck of this rain poncho are there to guarantee your head stays dry no matter its size. Moreover, there is an overhang above your forehead for added protection and better visibility during rain. Cuff buttons close the wrists as well.
There are two color options to choose from – green and military-style maple leaf design. You will receive a storage bag to pack up or store this lightweight poncho when you are not wearing it. It is reasonably priced.
- 3000 mm waterproof index
- Big enough to protect your backpack
- A neck zipper to fit every head size
- A practical storage bag
- Made of durable ripstop polyester
- No pockets
5. FROGGS TOGGS Ultra-Lite Rain Poncho – Budget-friendly, ultra-light rain poncho
Frogg Toggs DriDucks Ultra-Lite rain poncho might resemble a Halloween costume, but once you hit the outdoors and face the elements, you will see that it is genuinely a rain poncho of incredible prowess. It is the shortest poncho on our list (36 inches long), so it might not be suitable for very tall individuals, but it is light as a feather (8.8 ounces) and thus ideal for ultralight backpackers. You win some; you lose some!
A high-quality Polypropylene is not only waterproof but also breathable, so you will not be sweating profusely during your usual outdoor activities. Frogg Toggs Ultra-Lite Rain Poncho is wide enough to accommodate your backpack, so your gear will be protected as well.
A hood that features a drawstring with big pull-tabs makes sure your head is adequately concealed and protected. The snap buttons located beneath the arms allow you to put on and take off the poncho stress-free.
The Frogg Toggs Ultra-Lite Rain Poncho is available in carbon black, blue, khaki, and dark green colors to best match your personal style. It comes with a stuff sack for storage. It requires careful handling as it is easily torn, so be cautious while unpacking it. After all, it is by far the cheapest poncho on our list, so you cannot expect it to be the most durable as well.
- Special ventilation features
- A hood with drawstrings
- Stuff sack included in the package
- Low price
- It can be easily torn if not handled with care
How To Find The Best Rain Poncho For Your Adventures
There are a few things you should know about before you get out shopping for a rain poncho, especially if you want to avoid any mistakes. Let’s see what those are:
Of course, the material should be waterproof, lightweight, and breathable. There are a few popular options you can choose from, and they all have their advantages and disadvantages.
This type of fabric is not only waterproof but also breathable. It is a multi-layered fabric that combines different nylon exteriors. The underlying layers are most often a combination of plastics and textiles that allows the excess vapor to pass outwards while remaining 100% watertight on the outside.
Sil-Nylon and Sil-Poly
Both of these materials are affordable and efficient. They are simple, and that is why they are relatively inexpensive. As the name suggests, sil-nylon and sil-poly combine polyester or nylon with silicon to create a durable and waterproof fabric able to withstand the elements.
Namely, these synthetic fabrics are imposed with liquid silicone from both sides. The silicone makes the material much more resistant to wear and tear, but it also traps all the vapors inside, making the fabric unbreathable.
On a brighter note, both sil-nylon and sil-poly can be found in an array of different colors to match your style and preferences. Some variants made from stronger nylon are used for hot-air balloons too.
This material is a sandwich-like combination of fibers and plastic Mylar. As a result, it is not only 100% waterproof but also incredibly lightweight and thus ideal for rain ponchos. Unfortunately, cuben fiber material is quite expensive and prone to puncturing.
PU Coated Nylon
PU Coated Nylon has nylon fabric on the outside and polyurethane on the inside. Polyurethane makes this type of cloth watertight while nylon guarantees high resistance and durability. Ponchos made with PU Coated Nylon are not an ideal choice for humid weather, though, as they may feel somewhat clammy and sticky in such conditions.
Rain ponchos can be made from PVC material, or it can be used as a layering material. PVC ponchos are affordable, efficient, and easily repairable if they get punctured or ripped- all you need is some duct tape.
Besides being water-resistant, the best rain poncho should be windproof as well. When you are camping, your poncho needs to protect you from the elements for at least a few days. If you are an avid outdoorsman and won’t give up your hiking adventures even on a bad weather day, a rain poncho is the only way to avoid being drenched by the rain.
Ponchos come in an array of different designs and colors, so it is sometimes really hard to choose the one you like the most. However, the design does not have to do only with the looks; it also defines when and how you can use your poncho. Therefore, consider the design and how it will fit into your planned outdoor activities. For example, backpackers should consider if a poncho is broad enough to cover their backpack.
As we have already mentioned, some materials are more resistant to usual wear and tear and will thus last longer in harsh outdoor conditions. You should also consider the durability of the zippers, or Velcro straps and check all the clasps, seams, strings on the rain poncho you plan to buy.
Rain Ponchos: To Buy Or Not To Buy?
A rain poncho is not the only option if you want to stay dry out in the rain. You can also rely on umbrellas or raincoats. So, why should a backpacker choose rain poncho?
Let’s discuss all the advantages and disadvantages of rain ponchos and see what prevails…
Reasons To Buy A Rain Poncho
- Water-resistant – many models, offer watertight pockets as well so you can keep your gadgets safe from water damage
- Practical and flexible – with a little bit of imagination, your poncho can serve as a cover, mat, makeshift hammock, or even a tent
- Lightweight and easy to pack, especially in comparison to bulky raincoats
- Easy to repair if it gets torn or punctured
- Most rain ponchos are airy and flowy and thus minimize sweating
- Suitable for summer hiking and camping adventures
- You can throw it over your backpack and protect your gear from the elements
- There is no need to take your bag off when putting on your rain poncho
- Your hands will remain free as there will be no need to hold your umbrella
Reasons Not To Buy A Rain Poncho
- It cannot do much to keep you warm in cold weather, especially in the wintertime
- Even when the material is windproof, it is still rather thin, and the design of the poncho allows for cold air to penetrate underneath it
- Not as durable as raincoats and jackets
- Cloak design can interfere with your movement while you are climbing
- Not all rain ponchos have pockets and when they do the number of pockets is quite limited
- Most ponchos come in one size only
Mil-Tec Festival Rain Poncho might not be the first on our top five review list, but it should be the first on your shopping list. JTENG Hooded Rain Poncho is neck to neck with it as far as price and quality ratio are concerned.
If you are on a tight budget, you won’t regret buying the low-priced FROGGS TOGGS Ultra-Lite Rain Poncho. It is an excellent lightweight option for staying dry while exploring the outdoors.