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 make sure you never put your plans on hold for bad weather.
They’re versatile, they’re functional, and the best part is you can take them anywhere.
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 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 Poncho 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.
It’s true that all ponchos are designed with waterproof material. The main types of materials used to make ponchos are:
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 poncho for hiking.
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.