Packable rain ponchos vs umbrellas? Umbrellas are rather heavy and they tend to break. Especially if you don’t take a good care of them. If we talk about backpacking and hiking trips, it’s not always easy to do so. Which leads to a fact that it’s simply not practical to take an umbrella on such a trip. Because even if it’s a very compact umbrella, it can break during an extended trip. At the same time a packable rain poncho could be put inside your backpack and under all of your stuff, and nothing will happen to it.
If we compare the price, it’s about the same. Most of the best rain ponchos cost about the same as most of decent travel umbrellas. You can use them for all kind of purposes – backpacking, hiking, sightseeing. And there are few more reasons, why they are cool. But more about that later – now let’s take a look at the list of the best rain ponchos!
Best Rain Ponchos
Most of these ponchos are available in different colors. To read more about every one of them scroll down a bit! For more photos, latest price and user reviews check them out on Amazon – just click on the name or image of the poncho! I have also included a link to Amazon under every review.
|NAME||IMAGE||DIMENSIONS||WEIGHT||PRICE ON AMAZON|
|***- our favorites|
|Charles River Apparel Pacific***||W 52” x L 40”|
(132 x 102 cm)
|Check the price!|
|Totes Rain Poncho||W 59” x L 38”|
(150 x 97 cm)
|Check the price!|
|Frogg Toggs Ultra-Lite Poncho||W 51” x L 39”|
(130 x 99 cm)
|Check the price!|
|JTENG Rain Poncho***||W 57” x L 39”|
(144 x 99 cm)
|Check the price!|
|Arcturus Multi-Use Poncho||W 54” x L 48”|
(137 x 121 cm)
|Check the price!|
|Mil-Tec Men’s Rain Poncho||W 56” x L 45”|
(142.2 x 114.3 cm)
|Check the price!|
|Terra Hiker Rain Poncho||W 57” x L 43.3”|
(145 x 110 cm)
|9.3 oz |
|Check the price!|
|Snugpak Patrol Rain Poncho||12.7 oz|
|Check the price!|
|Charles River Apparel Youth Pacific||W 40.5″ x L 36″|
(103 x 91 cm)
|Check the price!|
|Bison Outfitters Rain Poncho||M and L||Check the price!|
Rain Poncho Basics
First things first, there are two most popular types of ponchos: disposable single-use rain ponchos and multi-use ponchos. The ones I’m talking about today are multi-use ponchos. As already mentioned, you can use these ponchos for all kind of purposes – backpacking, hiking, sightseeing.
Why to Use a Rain Poncho?
- Because of its durability. A packable rain poncho could be stored almost anywhere without you worrying that it might ruin it. For example, inside your bag under all of your clothes. Something that clearly isn’t an option with an umbrella.
- Depending on your height, a rain poncho may even come up to your shin. This way fully protecting you from the elements.
- If you are into hiking, you’ll like the fact, that ponchos usually are roomy enough to cover both you and your backpack.
- Cleaning a rain poncho is super easy. Just rinse it under the tap and leave it to dry somewhere. It’s recommended to dry it after every use.
- Many ponchos come with a storage pouch. Making things even easier.
To buy a rain poncho or rain jacket? If you are looking for the lightest and most compact solution, a rain poncho is what you need. But if you need the best solution for day to day use a good rain jacket will be better choice.
Different Types of Rain Ponchos
- Disposable single-use rain ponchos. Usually very cheap. You can buy these at supermarkets all around the world. And the quality usually matches the price. It’s very low, usually about the same as garbage bag’s. If you are very careful you may manage to use it more than once. However, it definitely isn’t the best choice. More like an emergency rain poncho.
- Multi-use rain ponchos. As the same suggests, these ones you can use more than once. Their quality mostly is way better. You can use one for weeks, months or maybe even years.
- Multi-purpose rain ponchos. Could be used as a rain poncho, emergency shelter and waterproof ground tarp.
- Military rain ponchos. A serious solution for the most adventurous travelers. Heavy duty ponchos, that could be used as a rain poncho, emergency shelter and waterproof ground tarp. Usually significantly heavier than regular multi-use rain ponchos.
Choosing the Rain Poncho
Material. All of the best ponchos are made of waterproof and windproof material. If you are planning to use it for hiking, pay attention to the fact if the material is also rip-stop. So you don’t tear your poncho apart when walking through bushes.
Durability and water-resistance. Few of the factors to pay attention to. Isn’t it too thin? Does it have coating? Is it rip-stop? How waterproof the material is? To understand that – read the product description carefully and check out user reviews. So in the end you know, that this poncho is what you are looking for.
Weight. There are lighter and there are heavier ponchos. If you need a poncho for sightseeing mostly, take the lightest! You’ll have no problems to put in your handbag or small backpack.
If you are an avid hiker the best option for you most probably will not be the lightest. Look for something made of rip-stop nylon and with heavy duty coating. It’s a heavier solution, but it’s also a better solution.
Rain poncho for backpacking? Take the lightest if you are traveling light or take a more durable one, if you think you’ll use it quite often.
Pockets. Most of the rain ponchos don’t have pockets. But there are ones that have waterproof pockets for your valuables and not only. If you need a rain cover with pockets, check out the Bison Outfitters Rain Poncho.
Best Ponchos: Reviews
1. Charles River Apparel Pacific Poncho
The Charles River Pacific Poncho for adults is high-quality, multi-use rain poncho, that is going to last. Perfect for festivals, every-day use, day hikes, kayaking, and dog walkers. It’s one of the best rain ponchos available!
It’s made of supple, lightweight yet strong New Englander waterproof polyurethane. Knit backing is bonded to the back of the material, adding strength and durability.
The poncho features heat-sealed seams, and a hood with a snap neck and drawstrings for extra wind and rain protection. The poncho is closed under the arms with a snap button closure.
It is roomy – it can cover a day pack, or fit over a winter coat. The hood is a good sized – it’s not tiny, and covers the head completely.
Clearly, it’s one-size. So it might be pretty big on a petite person. The poncho will come to your knees if you are around 6 feet tall.
Air-dry it after every use. When you have just received your poncho, you might notice the smell. It should go away after you air it out.
The Charles River Pacific Poncho comes with its own matching pouch.
Available in several colors.
Dimensions: W 52” x L 40” (132 x 102 cm).
Dimensions of the pouch: 11.5” x 9.5” x 1” (29.2 x 24.1 x 2.5 cm).
Weight: 1 lbs (453 grams).Click Here for the Latest Price, More Photos and User Reviews on Amazon!
2. Totes Rain Poncho
The Totes rain poncho is made of waterproof ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA), and feature two snap buttons along the sides. It’s very easy to put on and take off.
The rain poncho is roomy – it can go over a day pack and a winter jacket.
It comes with a zippered storage pouch, which is made of mesh. The mesh bag will keep the rain poncho from getting moldy.
The Totes rain poncho is easy to clean – just wipe it clean with damp cloth.
Note, that this poncho doesn’t have snap buttons at the front and there’s no drawstring for the hood. Also, the head opening seems quite small.
There are several colors to choose from. You can get a 2 pack, as well.
Dimensions: W 59” x L 38” (150 x 97 cm).
Dimensions of the pouch: 9.5” x 7” (24.1 x 17.8 cm).
Weight: 8 oz (227 grams).Click Here for the Latest Price, More Photos and User Reviews on Amazon!
3. Frogg Toggs Ultra-Lite Poncho
It’s made of non-woven waterproof polypropylene with welded waterproof seams. It features side snaps that will keep the poncho in place, and adjustable drawstring hood that will keep you head dry. The poncho is also very lightweight and breathable.
The poncho can be packed in a pouch (included). Thus it won’t take up much space in your backpack or handbag.
The Frogg Toggs rain poncho is completely recyclable. The material is paper-like, and pleasant to the touch.
Unfortunately, this poncho is less durable than other ponchos that are made of rubbery material. If you know that you are going to use the poncho very often and won’t be easy on it look for other, more durable, rain poncho!
Dimensions: W 51” x L 39” (130 x 99 cm).
Dimensions of the pouch: 7” x 10” (17.8 x 25.4 cm).
Weight: 8.8 oz (250 grams).Click Here for the Latest Price, More Photos and User Reviews on Amazon!
4. JTENG Rain Poncho
The JTENG rain poncho is versatile and durable. It can be used for hiking, camping, backpacking, hunting, kayaking, etc. It can serve simultaneously as a rain poncho and a backpack cover, as a shelter, or a waterproof groundsheet. It’s one of the best rain ponchos for the money.
The JTENG rain poncho is made of quality heavy duty rip-stop nylon material, which is strong and waterproof. Just like the other ponchos I have reviewed the JTENG rain poncho has 2 snaps on each side of the poncho, so it will stay on your arms as you will raise them. Unlike the other ponchos, this one features a zipper on a neckline which will allow you to adjust the opening of the head. Some people find regular head opening of the poncho too small.
The hood of the poncho has drawstrings, so the hood will stay on your head even when it’s windy.
The poncho also has corner grommets, so you can use it as a tarp, too. When spread out and laid flat on the ground, it measures around 78” x 57” (198 x 144 cm). Support it with a rope and use as an awning.
The JTENG rain poncho is sturdier, thus thicker and heavier than other rain ponchos I have reviewed.
It will come to your knees if you are around 6 feet tall. It’s roomy enough to accommodate a backpack as well. Note, that then the poncho will be shorter at the back.
The JTENG rain poncho comes with a zippered storage bag.
Dimensions: W 57” x L 39” (144 x 99 cm).
Dimensions of the pouch: 12” x 9” (30.5 x 23 cm).
Weight: 1.8 lbs (800 grams).Click Here for the Latest Price, More Photos and User Reviews on Amazon!
5. Arcturus Multi-Use Poncho
This poncho is generously sized, and longer than other rain ponchos. At 54” (137 cm) wide and 48” (121 cm) long, it is the perfect size for a tall adult. As well as it has a large deep hood with a drawstring and a large head opening. There will be plenty of room around your head, so you can wear a scarf or a hoodie under the poncho.
The poncho rolls away to a fairly small size, and packs in its own compact carry bag. This makes it perfect for backpacking or hiking, as it doesn’t take up much space.
The poncho has metal grommets in the corners, so it can be used as a shelter. It can serve as a ground tarp, as well.
Dimensions: W 54” x L 48” (137 x 121 cm).
Dimensions of the pouch: 8” x 4” (20.3 x 10.15 cm).
Weight: 11 oz (310 grams).Click Here for the Latest Price, More Photos and User Reviews on Amazon!
6. Mil-Tec Men’s Rain Poncho
This poncho has metal grommets in the corners, and comes with tie down cords. So, it’s a multi-purpose rain poncho, just like the Arcturus and JTENG rain ponchos. It can be used as an emergency shelter or a waterproof groundsheet. There are snap buttons along the sides of the poncho.
The Mil-Tec rain poncho is very roomy and can cover your backpack as well.
Please note, that this is not the most lightweight and not the most compact rain poncho! If you are looking for something simple and very lightweight (for instance, just for walks), look for other option. This poncho is semi heavy duty, and is ideal for hiking and camping.
The Mil-Tec rain poncho comes with a drawstring pouch.
Dimensions: W 56” x L 45” (142.2 x 114.3 cm).
Dimensions of the pouch: around 7” x 10” (18 x 25.4 cm).
Weight: 1.4 lbs (640 grams).Click Here for the Latest Price, More Photos and User Reviews on Amazon!
7. Terra Hiker Rain Poncho
To keep the poncho from opening in the wind, it is closed under the arms with a Velcro closure. The poncho has a hood which is secured with a drawstring.
Just like the other ponchos, the Terra Hiker rain poncho is roomy, and can accommodate a backpack, too. It’s versatile – it can be used as a poncho, ground tarp or as an emergency shelter.
The poncho comes with a drawstring pouch.
Dimensions: W 57” x L 43.3” (145 x 110 cm).
Dimensions of the pouch: 10.23” x 3.14” x 1.18” (26 x 8 x 3 cm).
Weight: 9.3 oz (263 grams).Click Here for the Latest Price, More Photos and User Reviews on Amazon!
8. Snugpak Patrol Rain Poncho
This rain poncho has sleeves, and the cuffs are sealed with elastic. There’s a Velcro map pocket with storm flap on the chest. A hood with a drawstring will keep your head warm and dry in the rain and wind.
The poncho is made of Paratex Dry material with fully taped seams. The material is 100% waterproof and completely windproof. At the same time it’s breathable.
This is one of the best ponchos for travel (backpacking) and hiking. However, it’s not the best option for camping, as it’s not multi-purpose. It has no grommet holes and snaps, and it cannot be opened up like a multi-purpose poncho. So, it can’t be used as an emergency shelter or a waterproof groundsheet.
As the Snugpak Patrol is designed to be worn over a backpack, it will be too long in the back when not wearing a backpack.
The rain poncho comes with a storage pouch.
Get the Snugpak insulated poncho liner from Amazon to keep you warm at lower temperatures. It’s made of lightweight water repellent (not waterproof!) micro diamond polyester with anti-bacterial properties.
Dimensions of the pouch: 4” x 8” (10.16 x 20.32 cm)
Weight: 12.7 oz (360 grams).Click Here for the Latest Price, More Photos and User Reviews on Amazon!
9. Charles River Apparel Youth Pacific Poncho
Just like the Charles River Apparel Pacific Poncho I’ve already reviewed but, as the name suggests, smaller in size. You don’t need to be a kid to wear this poncho, though. This rain poncho will be ideal for a petite person, too. It comes up to a shin of a 5’1” tall individual.
It’s made of strong New Englander polyurethane, which is bonded to a knit backing for extra strength. The seams are heat-sealed. The poncho is well made, it is wind and waterproof.
There’s side snap closure under the arms, and a hood which is secured by a drawstring and snap buttons.
The poncho comes with a reusable bag.
Dimensions: W 40.5″ x L 36″ (103 x 91 cm).
Dimensions of the pouch: 10.8” x 9.5” x 1” (27.4 x 24.1 x 2.5 cm).
Weight: 0.8 lbs (363 grams).Click Here for the Latest Price, More Photos and User Reviews on Amazon!
10. Bison Outfitters Rain Poncho
The poncho is waterproof and wind-proof, yet breathable. It has 2 holes under the sleeves and 2 holes at the back. No, they don’t leak, but allow your body to breathe. The poncho is lightweight and quick-drying.
There is a waterproof chest zipped valuables pocket and 2 side pockets for hands. The poncho has a front zipper and a hood with drawstrings. It has actual sleeves instead of just openings.
The Bison Outfitters rain poncho looks more like a windbreaker than a rain poncho.
It’s available in 2 sizes – standard medium and standard large. The poncho comes in a storage pouch.
Size: M and L.Click Here for the Latest Price, More Photos and User Reviews on Amazon!
Note, that none of these rain ponchos mentioned in this article are professional rain gear. If you are, for example, a hunter, you may need to look for another, more professional, solutions.
Author: Una Baufala
Una is a traveler and travel blogger from Latvia. Apart from traveling and exploring new places she loves to read books. And she adores cats. Together with Kaspars they have been traveling – volunteering – working abroad since October 2013. WeAreFromLatvia.com is where she shares her travel experiences.