Best Rain Ponchos for Hiking While It’s Raining

rain poncho

There’s nothing quite like the fresh outdoors. Camping and hiking are 2 of the most exciting activities. Trees, plants, and fresh air can be exhilarating. But only if you have the right gear.

This is why you should always pack a rain poncho in your hiking pack. Yet it’s frustrating picking from the many choices on the market.

So we searched online for the best rain poncho for hiking. We found the top 5.

Top Rain Ponchos for Outdoor Activities

These ponchos will prevent putting your plans on hold for bad weather.

They’re versatile, they’re functional, and the best part is you can take them anywhere.

One of the main features of this 70 x 60-inch rain poncho is that the back is much longer. This makes it enough to cover even the largest of backpacks. It remains close to your body to prevent water inflow while keeping you warm.

It’s made from Paratex Dry material which is 100% completely waterproof. Yet the material can be a bit lacking when it comes to breathability. It comes in 3 basic dark colors and isn’t gender-specific.

In the front, you’ll find a pocket covered with a storm flap. You can place your wallet, phone, as well as other items you want close by. But the sleeves prevent it from opening up and turning into a sheet or tarp.

This poncho comes with real sleeves, not just armholes. The cuffs at the wrist have elastic to provide extra protection.

The hood comes with a drawstring that closes around your face while keeping it visible. The poncho comes with a 4 x 8-inch pouch for safe storage. It weighs only 14 ounces. This makes it easy to tie on your backpack, pack with your hiking gear, and even use it as a comfortable pillow.

PROS

  • Its large size helps protect you and your gear
  • Lightweight and can be easily squeezed into its small storage pouch
  • Has sleeves with elastic cuffs
  • Comes with a front pocket with a Velcro strip
  • Exclusive Paratex Dry material is waterproof yet keeps you snug and warm

CONS

  • It’s too long in the back if you’re not carrying a backpack
  • Price is a bit high

The Charles River poncho is one of the best available on the market. It’s made from high-quality New England polyurethane for an outer layer. On the inside, there’s a comfortable knit layer. These two layers make sure you stay warm, dry, and protected from the wind.

The seams are heat-sealed as extra insurance against water getting in. It’s lightweight and can be easily folded into its storage pouch or your hiking gear. There are snap closures on the neck and sides for quickly getting into or out of the poncho. These snaps allow you to open up the poncho completely flat and use it as a tarp.

The hood comes with pull tabs to close around your face while keeping it exposed. There are two buttons on the neck area to adjust the size of the hood because it can be slightly large for some heads.

This poncho comes in an array of 6 different colors and weighs 16 ounces. It can only be hand-washed. Then leave it to dry somewhere well-ventilated.

It’s important to mention that when you first open up the poncho, you’ll smell a distinct chemical odor. This can be removed by unfolding the poncho and letting it air out.

PROS

  • Available in more than 15 colors
  • Made from eco-friendly material
  • Lightweight
  • Folds easily into a user-friendly pouch
  • Large size when opened (52 x 80 inches)
  • Hood comes with tightening straps
  • Snaps shut at the neck and sides

CONS

  • The smell can be a bit overwhelming
  • Generic sized hood may be too big for some

One of the best things about the SaphiRose 55 x 47.5-inch rain poncho is how versatile it can be. It can be used as a poncho, tent, mat, tarp, canopy, and more. Its large size makes it great for wearing it over large backpacks.

It’s made from eco-friendly high-quality polyester. This material is completely waterproof, yet comfortable to wear and breathable.

The seams on this poncho have been heat-sealed to protect against water coming in. There are also button fasteners as an extra safety precaution.

Another great feature is its front pocket for storing your phone and other valuables. It opens and closes with a large, durable zipper. The adjustable hood comes with drawstrings to protect your head from the rain and wind.

You can choose from an assortment of colors and styles to suit both men and women. Its 10.9 ounces make it light to carry while being portable. It’s compact while providing ample protection from all types of weather. It comes with a storage pouch for easy transport and safekeeping.

PROS

  • Its large size makes it versatile and practical
  • Lightweight and compact
  • Has a front pocket to hold valuables
  • The material is breathable yet durable
  • Easy to adjust the size for a perfect fit

CONS

  • Some users complained of the material being too thin and completely waterproof
  • Doesn’t come with wrist straps

Anyoo provides you with a durable, waterproof rain poncho that will keep you and your backpack dry and protected. It’s made from high-quality, eco-friendly polyester that keeps you warm, yet without being too stuffy. The nylon is resistant to rips, tears, and abrasion.

The adjustable hood has drawstrings to close in and protect your head against wind and rain. It has an overhang to shield your face from the rain.

This poncho has eyelets on the hem edges so you can easily use it as a tarp, tent, or lay it flat on the ground like a mat. It also has hook and loop fasteners. They can turn the poncho into a sleeping bag, or create ‘sleeves’ while you’re wearing it for easy mobility.

It comes in a variety of colors to suit your needs and fashion style. It’s not gender-specific. The poncho is lightweight, weighing approximately 9 ounces. It comes with a portable drawstring bag for easy transport and storage.

PROS

  • Has hem eyelets for easy use as a tent or tarp
  • Comes with hook and loop fasteners for using as a sleeping bag or making sleeves
  • Its large size makes it great for protecting your backpack
  • Lightweight and compact
  • Comes in many colors

CONS

  • Material isn’t as durable as other brands
  • Some users have reported snap fasteners easily breaking off

Frogg Toggs is well-known for its reliability. This 36 x 54-inch poncho is a popular favorite among users because it’s versatile and lightweight. It’s made with bilaminate polypropylene. This material is 100% waterproof, yet breathable and light at the same time.

The seams are heat-sealed to protect against water inflow, wind, and the cold. There are snap closures on the sides to make it easier to get into and out of. These snaps also allow it to open up flat.

The adjustable hood has both drawstrings and pull-tabs to provide you with a comfortable, secure fit. This poncho, and its storage pouch, weigh only 8.8 ounces. This feature makes it easy to carry around and fold up into its storage pouch. It comes in only 4 dark colors but isn’t gender-specific.

PROS

  • The size of the hood can be adjusted for a perfect fit
  • Comes with side snaps for practicality and versatility
  • The material keeps you well-ventilated
  • It weighs lighter than most ponchos on the market
  • The price is affordable

CONS

  • Material is prone to rips and tears
  • Comes in only 4 color choices

The Benefits of Having Rain Poncho

  • Their length is perfect for protecting almost all of your body from getting wet.
  • They weigh next to nothing, making them easy to carry around.
  • They contain adjustable hoods with drawstrings to protect your head from the rain.
  • A good number of ponchos come with handy features that boost their functionality.
  • They’re designed so you can quickly put it on and take it off without any hassles.
  • They can be used as tents, mats, tarps, hammocks, and a lot more.
  • They provide more ventilation and breathability than rain jackets.

Choosing the Best Rain Ponchos for Hiking

A rain poncho could be one of your best investments. It packs easily into your bag, it weighs almost nothing, yet it saves you and your gear from sudden downpours.

It’s important you stay away from cheap rain ponchos that are only good for one use. They don’t do a very good job of keeping you dry and warm when the rain starts pouring.

Material

It’s true that all ponchos are designed with waterproof material. The main types of materials used to make ponchos are:

Polyester

Polyester is a synthetic fabric makes ponchos ideal for easy transport. They’re lightweight, yet durable. They’re also resistant to tears, stretching, and wrinkling. It also dries quickly while retaining its shape.

Polyethylene

Polyethylene is a common type of plastic polyethylene. It’s not as durable as other types of materials, but it’s better for the environment.

Breathable laminates

Breathable laminates are great because they prevent moisture from accumulating inside the poncho. It’s made from layers of fabric and plastic to keep you warm, dry, and well-ventilated.

Paratex dry

This fabric is made with a hydrophilic polyurethane layer. This ensures no water can get into your poncho. Paratex dry is durable, breathable, and reliable in all kinds of weather.

The best type of material is breathable to prevent sweat and odor build-up. When the material is light and airy, you feel more comfortable. Also, don’t forget to check out the hood. Make sure the drawstrings are working. Some hoods also come with an overhang.

While that may be true, it’s not just the type of material that makes a poncho waterproof or not.

There are other things you have to consider when buying a poncho. For example, heat-sealed seams provide extra waterproof protection than regular seams. There are also closures, such as Velcro, snaps, and buttons, that can either help prevent water inflow or act as a tiny opening that lets in water.

Size

Ponchos are usually one-size-fits-all. Sometimes the drawstrings in the hood and the snap fasteners on the sides make for a better fit. But, they’re meant to be loose-fitting.

Another feature is its length. Some ponchos reach below the knees, and some are only waist-high. The longer the poncho, the more coverage you’ll have for you and your gear against the rain.

Also, check to see if your poncho is gender-specific or unisex. This could also make a difference when it comes to the size and length of the poncho.

Weight

Finding a lightweight, yet durable, a poncho can be tricky. There are ponchos that are heavy or bulky. They add extra weight which isn’t practical when you’re going on a hike.

On the other hand, if the weight of the poncho is too light, then it’s probably made from low-quality material which can easily rip or tear. Delicate, extremely lightweight materials don’t make good ponchos.

Extra Features

Protecting you and your gear from the rain and wind is an important feature of all ponchos. But it can be fun knowing there are other clever features that come with your poncho to make it a little more practical.

For example, many ponchos have grommets, hem eyelets, and hook and loop fasteners. These features help turn ponchos into tents, tarps, stretchers, and even sleeping bags. You can also find snap closures on the sides of ponchos for easy opening and closing.

The hood comes with its own set of nifty accessories. There are drawstrings and overhangs to keep you warm and dry. Some ponchos have front pockets with flaps or zippers to keep valuable items dry.

Price

The price of a poncho depends on the material it’s made from. The higher the price, the more durable the material. This means it will last longer and provide you with more protection. This is your best option if you’re an avid adventurer who goes hiking on a regular basis.

However, if you’re not planning on using your poncho that much, then it’d be wiser to choose one with a lower price tag. They’ll get the job done without ruining your budget.

Washing your Poncho

Taking care of your poncho will keep it functioning properly and ensure it lasts longer. As soon as you buy your poncho, it has to be washed and dried thoroughly. You can wash it in the washing machine set to a delicate cycle. Use cold water and a mild detergent. This helps protect the seams and stitching. Make sure all Velcro straps, snaps, and buttons are closed and fastened.

You can also hand wash it if you prefer. Leave it to dry air in a well-ventilated area.

Once it’s dry, you can use a waterproofing wash or spray. This is a great investment that preserves and maintains your poncho. You can use the spray and leave it to dry. If you’re going to use the wash, toss your poncho in the washing machine. Add the waterproof wash as you would a regular detergent, and set the machine to a gentle cycle. Leave to air dry.

Conclusion

Once you find a quality poncho you’ll wonder how you ever managed to live without it. They’re functional, versatile, and don’t take up too much space. After reading our review, we know you’ve already picked your top choice for the best rain ponchos.

Our number one pick is the Snugpak Patrol Poncho. It’s the most expensive on our list, but for good reason. It’s made from the exclusive Paratex Dry fabric which is breathable and lightweight. It’s durable to handle tugs and pulls without rips or tears. Besides being a reliable poncho, it can be used as an emergency shelter from the rain.

If you’re looking for a poncho that’s just as dependable but with a lower price tag, why not go with the FROGG TOGGS Ultra-Lite2 Waterproof Breathable Poncho? It’s light and compact and has many uses besides being a poncho. It’s made from laminate which is waterproof yet breathable which makes it easy to wear. This material is resistant to rain, wind, tears, and snags. Its heat-sealed seams and side snap features provide extra protection and functionality.