With the winters finally giving way to the summer heat, monsoons are not far away. Though I prefer my monsoons to be either like a lazy morning watching the downpour from my window with a Hemingway novel over a cup of steaming hot coffee or getting wet in the rains with a bunch of over enthusiastic kids, but it’s not always that we can enjoy the way we want. You would have to go to your workplace during the rains and it’s so true that your travels should not be restricted due to them. In fact some places give you the best experiences during the monsoons. Rains add that extra finesse to their natural beauty and ponchos come handy when you are hiking in the rains. It’s always important to add the rain poncho to your travelling essentials even if you are not expecting the rains.
There are a few places where a rain poncho scores over other equipments that protect you from the natural showers. Firstly they are lightweight and are easy to carry. They do not occupy additional space in your travel kit and the extra light weight is important when you are hiking. Secondly it’s easy to put it on and will save you the time in case of a sudden downpour. They are windproof and helps in keeping you warm when there’s a chilling breeze accompanying the rains. The rain poncho not only protects you from the rains but protects your backpack along with you. The seamless design of rain ponchos saves the occasional leakage of rain and provides adequate ventilation. They may not be as protective as jackets and pants, but they have a lot of emergency hacks. Ponchos can be used as tents to provide immediate rain shelter or to protect your hiking gear from rains. They can be used as floor tarps so that your sleeping bag is not directly exposed to the ground moisture. They can be used to carry your travel gear or can be extremely useful if a member is hurt and you have to carry him around. The rain poncho can be easily used as a stretcher in such a case. It can also be used to carry water around and a bright colored poncho acts as a signal for help in case you need one. Thus you can well guess why I prefer a rain poncho over raincoats and umbrellas.
While making a list of the best rain ponchos of 2018, we have to consider a few factors that differentiate a great poncho from an average one. The quality of material i.e. how well water-proof the material is, the effective length of the poncho, the weight of the poncho, its durability and the extra features in its design that adds to its utility.
Best Rain poncho 2018
The Charles River Apparel is well known for the quality, style and value of its products. The pacific poncho from this brand is one of the best rain ponchos available in the market. This highly durable rain poncho is made of New-Englander polyurethane that’s bonded to knit backing to provide maximum strength and protection. The seams are heat sealed to prevent leakage even in extreme conditions. It has a hood with drawstrings attached to it for fastening and a snap placket at the neck for additional protection. The under arm snaps are very useful against torrential rains and wind. This rain poncho weighs around a pound and is not as lightweight as some of its competitors but its effectiveness and durability scores over the others and so you wouldn’t mind that extra weight. The poncho measures 52”*80” will generally cover up to the knees of a 5’8” man. It is available in 17 colors and some of them are extremely bright and vibrant if you are looking for one. The rain poncho comes with a storage pouch so that you can easily slip your poncho into it when not in use.
- Extremely durable material
- Large size
- Hood fastening drawstrings
- Snaps under arms
- Snaps at neck
- Color availability
- Hood may be large for small head sizes
- The odor of polyurethane can be disturbing but can be easily got rid of if you dry it in fresh air.
The name says it all. This best rain poncho from Frogg Toggs is of extreme light weight and is one of the best rain ponchos for lengthy hikes. The breathability of this product is worth mentioning though you may feel a little odd on first use due to its design. But on prolonged use you will get accustomed to it and will get addicted to its use. This moderately durable poncho is made of polypropylene and measures 40” in length and approximately 54” in width. It can cover you along with your backpack easily. The seams are sealed using a patented welding technology. It has a hood that fits almost all head sizes attached with drawstrings to fasten them tightly. The rain poncho is not as durable as its competitors who use a more rubbery and thicker material. There are under arm side buttons which help you to take it off easily. The poncho comes in a sack for easy packing and is available in three colors viz. blue, dark green and khaki.
- Feather weight
- High Ventilation suitable for long hikes.
- Hood with drawstrings
- Stuff sack
- Affordable price
- The thin polypropylene can snag or tear off easily. It’s not very durable.
- Only three color variants without any vibrant variations.
If you are aware of the odd fit of a poncho and want to avoid its use due to its design, this rain poncho from Totes will solve your problem. The Totes Unisex Rain poncho has a unique design and one of the coolest looking raingears available. The Totes Rain poncho comes at an affordable price and you can choose from a wide array of colors. The poncho comes as a single product or in a pack of two. It is made of waterproof EVA (ethylene vinyl acetate). But you need to be extremely careful about the vendor from whom you are buying it as duplicate substitutes of EVA are readily available in the market and are not worth investing in. It has two snap buttons on each side for easy put on and take off. This 59”*38” poncho fits snugly into a 5.75”*8.5” mesh bag and occupies very little space in your backpack.
- Compact and affordable
- Convenient and cool design
- Meshy storage pouch
- No drawstrings in hood
- Reasonably durable
- Duplicates available in market. So you need to buy one from a reliable seller only.
The Snugpack Patrol rain poncho is one of the most spacious ponchos available and will easily accommodate an average person with a huge backpack. This rain poncho has a unique design in that it has sleeves with cuffs that are sealed with elastic. The poncho also has a drawstring fastened hood. It also has a Velcro attached map pocket with a storm flap on the chest. You can easily secure your phone or maps or wallet in this pouch without the fear of them getting wet. The rain pocket adds an extra utility feature to this best rain poncho. The Snugpack Patrol Poncho is made of a highly waterproof Paratex material. This makes it completely waterproof and windproof allowing adequate room for ventilation and breathing. The Snugpack Patrol Poncho comes at a price but it’s worth investing in this. It does not have grommet holes or snaps and so does not have multi-purpose use especially if you are thinking of using it as a tent or emergency shelter. It comes with a storage pouch which measures 3”*8” and has a drawstring seal. The pouch can be easily hung from your backpack side and can be used as a contour pillow.
- Large spacious poncho with sleeves
- Made of Paratex Dry material
- Pocket with storm flap
- Not for multi-purpose use
This is a truly long poncho that can be considered to be of military standards. This best rain poncho which measures 78” *57” can be used for all those emergency purposes that have been mentioned in this article while introducing the poncho to you. This one is for hikers who take it to a professional and serious level. It is a must have for people who are camping, hiking, backpacking, kayaking. This multipurpose rain poncho is highly durable made of heavy duty rip stop polyester material which is strong and waterproof. It has two snaps on each side and a zipper on the neckline to adjust the opening for the head. This is an extremely important feature as in some rain ponchos putting the head into the opening can be a difficult job. The hood has drawstrings to fasten it. The hood has an additional overhang that prevents the rain from hitting the forehead as well as trickling down the hood. The Jteng poncho is also equipped with grommets on the hem so that you can easily run a string down them and use it for various purposes. It comes with a zipper storage bag and is a little more expensive than the ones that are readily available in the market but you get the product worth its price.
- Large and spacious
- Multipurpose emergency usage
- Neck Zipper
- Extremely durable
- Not ideal for everyone.
The Mil-Tech Men’s Rain Poncho is not your usual light weight rain gear for occasional walks. It is one of the top notch heavy-duty, multi-purpose gear used by hikers. The rain poncho is made of 100% waterproof poly-vinyl coated ripstop material. The ripstop is attributed to the special weave, originally designed for military use, that runs through the material. The material is durable and can withstand occasional snags. The eyelets at the hem of the rain poncho with strings attached to it, gives it the various utilities that can come handy in a long trek or hike. With measurements of 56”*45” it can cover you along with your backpack easily and can be easily folded into a 7”*10” pouch that comes along with the poncho. It has a hood stitched to its neck and a waterproof seal attached to it. Like all other best rain ponchos it has side poppers and an additional waist belt to fasten it around the waist.
- Highly durable and waterproof
- Waist belt
- Multipurpose use
- Available in one color only
- Not lightweight
Another multi-purpose rain poncho in our list, the terra hiker rain poncho is made of durable 210T high density polyester fabric and the seams go through a caulking treatment to prevent leakage. The rain poncho is PU3000mm waterproof. It measures around 87”*57” that can cover a 6’ tall person up to the knees along with his/her backpack and can be easily packed into a 10”*3” pouch with drawstrings and weighs around 0.58lbs. The sides are sealed with Velcro which increases its effectiveness even when there is a wind and the rain poncho also has a hood with drawstrings. There are thickened eyelets that give the terra hike rain poncho additional utilities. You can use it as a poncho, a ground tarp, a stretcher or as an emergency shelter.
- Durable and waterproof
- Velcro sealed sides
- Multipurpose use
- Non adjustable head opening
This is one of the most stylist and cool-looking rain ponchos in our list. It is available in 5 solid colors viz. black, navy, gold, red and royal and has a nice fall with definite evenly spaced pleats that makes it look nice on you. The Stormtech pcx-1 measures 37”*50” which can easily cover a 5’7” person up to the knees and is made of thick and durable Nylon taffeta material with Durable Water Resistant (DWR) coating. The best rain poncho has snap buttons on the sides and an adjustable hood that can fit into almost any head size. The hood has drawstrings but with no cord-stoppers attached to it. The grommets make it a multi-purpose rain poncho useful during emergencies and otherwise. The Stormtech Pcx-1 aerolite rain poncho is not cheap but it’s definitely worth its price.
- Stylist poncho
- Durable and watertight
- Storage bag
- No cord-stoppers in the drawstring attached to the hood
This is an easy rain poncho to deal with. It is a cross between a rain jacket and a poncho. This has arms with elastic fastened cuffs and is extremely convenient if you are doing outdoor activities like cycling and trail running. Made from a 100% rip-stop polyester material it is uniquely sturdy and will give you maximum protection from the rains. It is lightweight, well-aerated and hence can be used all the year round. Apart from the standard features of a poncho it has an additional zipped up front pocket that can be used for safekeeping of phones and valuables during use and when not in use, the rain poncho can be folded into this pocket for storage. The rain poncho does not come out crumpled during the next use. The hood with drawstrings can fit into any head.
- Has elastic cuffed arms
- Sturdy and waterproof
- Zip pocket
- Moderately aerated
Made from 210T Rip-stop Tafetta and coated with two layers of waterproof polyurethane coating, the Arcturus Camo Poncho is highly durable and gives you complete protection even from heavy down pours. It measures 54”*48” and can fit an average 5’7” person easily. It has a large hood with a large enough hood opening and drawstrings to fasten it to the neck. The hood is so large that you can even wear a scarf or a hoodie under the rain poncho. It has grommets that give it multi-purpose utility. It can be used as a ground tarp or as an emergency shelter. It comes with a compact pouch where you can fold in your rain poncho easily and carry it anywhere without much of a hassle. The best rain poncho along with the pouch measures 8”*4” and weighs around 11oz.
- Standard size durable and water proof
- Large hood with large hood opening
- Multipurpose use
- Storage pouch
So with this we do come to the end of our list of the best ten rain ponchos in 2018. You can choose from any of them according to your physical stature, the activities that you are going to participate in and the amount that you are willing to spend on the best rain poncho.