Best Rain Poncho for Backpacking | Ultimate Buyer Guide With 6 Top Pick

best rain poncho for backpacking

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Last Updated on October 20, 2020 by Michael J. Branco

Undoubtedly hiking in your destination remains fun and stimulating until the heavy rain comes in your way to destroy your joy. Don’t abstain from hiking because of the rain forecast. Most hikers, backpackers, campers, and travellers neither love heavy backpacks nor bad weather. Bad weather combined with a heavy backpack resulted in a tiresome and frustrating trip on the road. Because of this reason, rain ponchos become a perfect necessity in your backpack. They are lightweight, beautiful, and take equal to no space. You can take them out quickly to secure yourself against rain and windy storms. You will fail to enjoy rainfall if you have not managed the best rain poncho for backpacking. It is possible get a variety of rain ponchos on the market, but few are of the quality to suit your adventure.

Whenever you are hiking or backpacking, be sure you have enough preparation for each climatic condition. You require preparing for rain as well; for this, you need the best rain poncho that will protect you perfectly against the downpour. Be happy and carry on as you have scheduled.

A rain poncho is an essential accessory. It is compact, lightweight, and has an appropriate size to cover you, and easy to put on and take off. In this, you protect yourself from feeling light because of the negligible weight of the poncho.   

Let’s get into the essentials and practical details about rain poncho for backpacking.

Table of Contents

What is Rain Poncho?

Its origin is the Andes region of South America. The word ‘poncho’ is used for garments prepared with woollen fabric. This word has been contemporarily used for the outer layer giving protection from the rain.  

Poncho is a large waterproof sheet, having a hole at the top to put on from the head. It protects the body from shoulders to the most upper part of the legs. Nowadays, it comes with insulation of hood to keep the head dry. A poncho for rain usually has a zipper closure with adjustable features to customize its fitting and uses it in a versatile manner.   

Best Rain Poncho for Backpacking

Why take a Poncho with you on the Trails?

The use of rain poncho has many reasons, helping in the wild. It is recognized as an essential back up during the bad weather.  

Some of its advantages are mentioned below.

Loose Fitting: Because of its looseness, it doesn’t become a hurdle in breathing, particularly while hiking. The inclusion of zipping enhances ventilation and breathability.  

Affordability: Most ponchos are too cheap to have any negative impact on the budget.

Added protection: Contrary to the rain jacket, Poncho covers most parts of the lower body and minimizes the legs’ chances of getting wet.  

Versatility: As previously mentioned a poncho is a large sheet and may be used as a shelter if you need waterproofing.

Lightweight and compact: only it is necessary for your practical use. It is much lighter than a rain jacket and occupies much less space.

Choose a rain poncho when:

  • You need something lightweight and easily packable. 
  • Above everything, you value breathability.
  • You are not expecting much rain or storm during your schedule.
  • You want to protect your lower body.
  • Your hiking is away from the trees on the trail.
  • You want something to double as a tarp in an emergency.
  • These are some of the ways you can use raincoat ponchos in a versatile manner.
best rain poncho amazon

How to Choose the Best Rain Poncho for Backpacking?

Rain ponchos are rain guards. A rain poncho is used to protect your backpack from water; it is made of waterproof materials; your items are safe in your backpack if you have covered your backpack with a rain poncho.

Material

There are different kinds of materials used to make a rain poncho; few materials are mentioned below.

PVC

PVC is used to make a layer on its own; it is made waterproof through layering. PVC has a high capability of waterproofing, and it is repaired cheaply and easily.

Silicon

These are commonly used to make rain ponchos. Silicon ponchos are made from silicon coated polyester and provide a waterproof surface and keep it dry. These ponchos are the most durable material to make a rain poncho.

Cubin Fiber

Cubin fiber ponchos are the most expensive ponchos as they are very easy to use and lightweight. These ponchos are made up of different fibers; that is why they have many characteristics, like waterproof, reliable, and airproof.

PU-Coated Nylon

PU-coated nylon has extreme, waterproof characteristics; it is mostly used to make water-resistant tents; it helps the water roll off the surface. PU-coated nylon is best for the winter season, not so good for the summer season; it does not have a sound ventilation system.

Purpose of Use

Before buying a rain poncho, you should know well about when, how, and where to use it? If you are traveling or hiking with a backpack, you need to secure your items from rain. You need a high-quality rain poncho that will work no matter how much it is raining, making sure that you carry it the whole day easily.

Sizes

Rain poncho comes in different sizes, but it is usually larger than jackets in sizes, so there should be no worries about its sizing. It covers more areas of your body than jackets and makes it easy for you to travel. A rain poncho should not hang in front. Rather than it should hang more in the back, this is how it will protect your backpack from rain.

Price

Price of rain ponchos are different from each other; just like other protective garments, different manufacturers charge different prices concerning their quality and service.

Weight

If you are confused between heavyweight and lightweight rain poncho, you should consider the following points.

Heavy Weight Rain Poncho

Rain ponchos are not very heavy; even the rain poncho with thicker material would not extend 2lbs.

Lightweight Rain Poncho

Rain ponchos are made up of fragile material; they are to protect your backpack from light showers.

Comparison Table for Best Rain Poncho for Backpacking

Photo
Best Pick
Women Rain Poncho Hooded Outdoor Rain Coat with Pockets...
Best Pick
Hagon PRO Disposable Rain Ponchos for Adults (5 Pack)...
FROGG TOGGS Men's Ultra-Lite2 Waterproof Breathable...
Charles River Apparel mens Pacific Rain Poncho
Snugpak Patrol Poncho, Waterproof, One Size,...
Adventure World Globotrekker Lightweight Backpack...
Title
Jacket Coat Hooded for Adults with Pockets
Hagon PRO Disposable Rain Ponchos
FROGG TOGGS Ultra-Lite2 Waterproof Beathable Rain Poncho
Charles River Apparel mens Pacific Rain Poncho
Snugpak Patrol Poncho
Adventure World Globotrekker Lightweight Backpack Poncho
Material
Polyester
Polyester
Other fabrics
Other fabrics
Paratex dry fabrics
210 T Terylene fabric
Weight
0.75 pounds
0.14 Pounds
0.58 pounds
1.00 pounds
0.842 pounds
0.77 pounds
Colors
40 variations
3 variations
4 variations
6 variations
3 variations
6 variations
Weather Protection
Waterproof
Waterproof
Waterproof
Waterproof
Waterproof
Waterproof
Zip Styling
Sturdy zipper
Not Specific
Not Specific
Full zip
Not specific
Full zip
Best Pick
Photo
Women Rain Poncho Hooded Outdoor Rain Coat with Pockets...
Title
Jacket Coat Hooded for Adults with Pockets
Material
Polyester
Weight
0.75 pounds
Colors
40 variations
Weather Protection
Waterproof
Zip Styling
Sturdy zipper
Details
Best Pick
Photo
Hagon PRO Disposable Rain Ponchos for Adults (5 Pack)...
Title
Hagon PRO Disposable Rain Ponchos
Material
Polyester
Weight
0.14 Pounds
Colors
3 variations
Weather Protection
Waterproof
Zip Styling
Not Specific
Details
Photo
FROGG TOGGS Men's Ultra-Lite2 Waterproof Breathable...
Title
FROGG TOGGS Ultra-Lite2 Waterproof Beathable Rain Poncho
Material
Other fabrics
Weight
0.58 pounds
Colors
4 variations
Weather Protection
Waterproof
Zip Styling
Not Specific
Details
Photo
Charles River Apparel mens Pacific Rain Poncho
Title
Charles River Apparel mens Pacific Rain Poncho
Material
Other fabrics
Weight
1.00 pounds
Colors
6 variations
Weather Protection
Waterproof
Zip Styling
Full zip
Details
Photo
Snugpak Patrol Poncho, Waterproof, One Size,...
Title
Snugpak Patrol Poncho
Material
Paratex dry fabrics
Weight
0.842 pounds
Colors
3 variations
Weather Protection
Waterproof
Zip Styling
Not specific
Details
Photo
Adventure World Globotrekker Lightweight Backpack...
Title
Adventure World Globotrekker Lightweight Backpack Poncho
Material
210 T Terylene fabric
Weight
0.77 pounds
Colors
6 variations
Weather Protection
Waterproof
Zip Styling
Full zip
Details

Product Reviews of 6 Best Rain Poncho for Backpacking

01- Rain Poncho Jacket Coat Hooded for Adults with Pockets

best rain poncho for backpacking

Features

  • Polyester fabric
  • Zippered pockets for protection of your items
  • Waterproof backing
  • Ultra-Lightweight
  • Breathable
  • Adjustable hood
  • Sturdy zipper
  • Different colour patterns
  • Quick-drying
  • Heat-sealed seams

Description

A rain poncho is used to protect you from cold weather conditions; it keeps you warm and dry during rain. This rain poncho is designed with many features to provide you comfort and ease during rain. It is ultra-lightweight, and it comes with zippered closure, so your items are safe. It has all the features to keep you dry in cold weather conditions and an adjustable hood. You can adjust it according to your need. It does not take too long to dry as it is made from a light material. You can easily breathe in this rain poncho. It is lightweight and breathable.

Pros
  • It has a zippered closure
  • You can adjust the hood according to your requirement
  • It is very lightweight, 0.75 pounds
  • It comes in 40 different colors
  • It is made from quick-drying material.
  • It is made up of breathable fabric; you can easily breathe while wearing it.
  • It has durable and long-lasting zippers.
Cons
  • It has very few pockets and would have been better with more pockets.
  • A bit expensive than other rain ponchos

Best used for

These rain ponchos are best for women as it has a small length and it also has a large variety of colors.

Not so good for

It is not so good for long term traveling as it cannot face heavy rain. It is made up of light quality material.

Summary

This rain poncho is ideal for planning a one-day trip; it has all the features to provide comfort and ease. This rain poncho is highly recommended due to its features and quality.

02- Hagon PRO Disposable Rain Ponchos

best rain poncho for backpacking

Features

  • Lightweight, easy to carry in a backpack, and comfortable to wear
  • Made up of Polyester
  • Durable and convenient
  • 0.035 mm thick PE plastic, thicker than any other rain poncho
  • Warmth, thick material keeps your body warm
  • Strong, high-quality material
  • It is a large-sized poncho that fits almost everyone, with adult poncho size of 50″ x 40″ and kids’ poncho size of 40″ x 30″.
  • Very breathable and won’t create a sauna effect. 
  • It has a compact pack size of 6″ x 4″.
  • Big enough to wear even with a backpack on.

Description

Hagon Pro Disposable Rain Poncho is an ideal rain poncho with many different features. This rain poncho is designed for adults, and it’s highly recommended. You can carry this very easily wherever you want. It is lightweight and made with thick fabric, so your body remains warm during rain. It is reliable you can wear it to concerts, hiking, trekking, and sports. The size is of this rain poncho is good; it almost fit for anyone. You can enjoy your trip without any facing any trouble from rain.

Pros
  • It is compact and easy to carry.
  • It is made of thick material.
  • Size is excellent to even wear with a backpack on.
  • It comes at a low price.
  • It is 100% waterproof.
  • It is made with highly durable material.
  • It is breathable and won’t cause excess sweating.
Cons
  • The hood is very tight
  • No sleeves or closure

Best suited for

It is best for concerts, hiking, trekking, and long-term traveling.

Not so good for

It is not so good for short people, ideal for taller people.

Summary

Hagon Pro Disposable Rain Ponchos is more extensive, thicker, and durable than any other rain poncho. It is compact and lightweight. You can wear it with a backpack on. 

03- FROGG TOGGS Ultra-Lite2 Waterproof Breathable Rain Poncho

best rain poncho for backpacking

Features

  • Adjustable hood with cord locks to adjust it according to you.
  • Breathable fit; you do not sweat while breathing.
  • Side snaps for extra safety
  • Made up of 100% polypropylene
  • Lightweight, so you can carry it easily
  • Wind-Resistant
  • It comes with a stuff sack.
  • Made for heavy rain and storms.
  • The poncho features an integrated, adjustable hood with cord locks.
  • It is best suited for hiking, camping, fishing, hunting, and watching games while raining. 

Description

FROGG TOGGS Ultra-Lite2 Waterproof Breathable Rain Poncho is an ideal rain poncho for rain emergencies. It is a high-quality material made with 100% polypropylene. It is designed with many different features as you can wear it during heavy rain and storms, keeping your body dry. The fitting of this rain poncho is exceptional. It fits you in such a way that you do not sweat when you breathe.

Pros
  • Extremely lightweight to carry and wear
  • Easily foldable
  • Completely waterproof
  • Breathable as it is made from nonwoven polypropylene material
  • Easily fits in a backpack
  • Durable and comfortable
  • Fits almost everyone
Cons
  • Feels flimsy
  • Side snaps quality is very cheap

Best used for

It is best for unfriendly weather changes like heavy rain and storms.

Not so good for

It is not suitable for people with short heights. It is a very loose fit for short people.

Summary

FROGG TOGGS Ultra-Lite2 Waterproof Breathable Rain Poncho is best for long-term travelling. It is designed for emergency weather conditions, surprising showers, and heavy storms. The rain poncho does not make you feel uncomfortable or sweaty. It keeps you warm and dry. The attached hood is adjustable for everyone. It is easy to carry in a backpack and comfortable to wear.

04- Charles River Apparel Pacific Rain Poncho

best rain poncho for hot weather

Features

  • Imported
  • It is made up of good quality material, 100% polyurethane
  • Easily washable, you can wash it with your hands easily
  • Waterproof
  • Its seams are heat-sealed for a sturdy finish.
  • It comes with side snaps for a snug fit.
  • The sleeves have an elastic closure
  • Snap placket
  • Great elasticity helps it to be fit for everyone
  • It has a breathable feel without making you sweat inside it.

Description

Charles River Apparel Pacific Rain poncho is designed for both windy and rainy weather. It keeps you dry and warm underneath. This rain poncho has many different features like an adjustable hood with a snap neck. There is a closure for sleeves and arms. It fits easily in your backpack, does not take much space, so it is easy to wear and carry this rain poncho. You can use this rain poncho in almost every weather condition. It is made up of strong fabric.

Pros
  • It has a carrying pouch
  • Easy to carry
  • Comfortable to wear
  • Waterproof
  • Ultra-lightweight
  • Dries fast
  • Snap placket zippers
Cons
  • The button on the arm often unlatch when you wear it
  • Sometimes it gets sweaty

Best suited for

This rain poncho is best for long trips as it is designed for an unexpected and heavy rainy/windy weather.

Not so good for

You cannot wear it and ride a bike when it’s raining. It is not long enough.

Summary

Charles River Apparel Pacific Rain Poncho is highly recommended. It is ideal for unexpected and heavy rainstorms. The material used in this rain poncho dries very fast, not instantly but quickly compared to other rain ponchos. It is a good quality product, comfortable to wear on /off, breathable, and it keeps your body warm.

05- Snugpak Patrol Poncho

rain ponchos

Features

  • Imported, Made in the USA.
  • Hook and loop closure
  • Easily washable
  • Lightweight
  • 100% waterproof
  • Durable
  • Adjustable hood
  • Breathable
  • Velcro map pocket on chest
  • Comfortable to wear

Description

Snugpak patrol poncho is an imported rain poncho made in the USA. It’s a beneficial rain poncho one could have; it has many features that can match your requirement. This is highly durable, and is polyurethane coating make it water repellant. It can be washed easily with hands and dries very quickly. Moreover, it is easy and to wear, ultra-lightweight and easily fit in your backpack. It keeps your body dry and warm, fits easily to everyone, and it does not only cover your body, but it can also cover your backpack if you are carrying it along. It has an adjustable hood; you can adjust it according to your desire. 

Pros
  • It can be easily washable
  • It has a lightweight
  • This is comfortable in shape.
  • It has a chest pocket
  • It has a water-resistant
  • This has thumb loops
  • It’s Pack as small
Cons
  • The airflow could have been much better
  • Material is very thin

Best used for

It is ideal for hiking, trekking, and camping as it is designed for unexpected and heavy rainstorms.

Not so good for

It is not ideal for daily use. For everyday use, you should look for another rain poncho.

Summary

This rain poncho is highly recommended as it has many different features. It is made up of good high-quality material that keeps your body warm and dry and easily fits in your pack and comfortable to wear. It covers you to the knees without any open side seam to allow water to enter, and it also has sleeves to protect your arms.

06- Adventure World Globotrekker Lightweight Backpack Poncho 

ponchos with hoods

Features

  • This provides maximum safety from wind and rain to you and your bag pack 
  • It is waterproof with a wood and zipper closure 
  • You can button its back for use without a backpack offering versatile service.
  • It has a lightweight of 0.775ounces.
  • Its high quality is backed by a 100% money-back guarantee
  • It provides maximum Comfortable
  • Its 210T terylene fabric is highly durable  
  • It is completely Adjustable with a drawstring hood, zipper front, and adjustable button back.
  • Made up of tear-resistant fabric
  • It is compact to pack or hook up with a carabineer.

Description 

Adventure World Globotrekker Lightweight Backpack Poncho is designed to provide high protection and safety. This rain poncho does not only cover your body, but it also covers your backpack. It has a versatile pattern, ultra-light, comfortable to wear on/off. It provides high comfort and keeps your body warm and dry throughout the rain. This high-quality poncho and 100% waterproof and does not allow water any entry underneath. 

Pros
  • Maximum comfort
  • Easy to wear
  • Reliable
  • It can also cover a big backpack
  • Hood along with a peak to ensure that the water is kept off your face
  • It can be used while riding a bicycle
  • Easy to carry, and it can easily turn into a mini storage bag
Cons
  • The hood cannot fit for everyone
  • You have no access to your backpack when you are wearing this rain poncho

Best used for

It is suitable for hiking, trekking as it can also cover a big backpack underneath. 

Not so good for

Not ideal for tall people.

Summary

Adventure World Globotrekker Lightweight Backpack Poncho provides two in one protection. It covers your backpack along with your body and keeps your gears safe and protected. It keeps your body warm and dry and provides high comfort. It’s a durable and reliable product highly recommended for trekking and hiking. It is easy to wear and carry as it is incredibly lightweight; it does not take much space in your backpack, easily fit in your pack.

Buyers Guide for Best Rain Poncho for Backpacking

Material

Manufacturing material for rain ponchos varies, and it reflects in their price. We find for materials that are commonly used in making rain ponchos: 

Silicon

Silicon ponchos are produced from polyester or nylon coated with silicon. This coating not only keeps you dry but also enhances its life.

PVC

It may be used as a sole material or as a layer coating. Because of its stiffness, they are not so famous. Apart from this negative reason, they are perfect, waterproof, and also repairable easily. Duct tape, which is also called carton tape somewhere, is used to repair its tears. For this quality and low price, they are vastly used and available in abundance everywhere.

PU-coated Nylon

These rain ponchos are specific for cold climates. Nylon is famous for its strength and long life; when polyurethane coating is applied to it, it is entirely waterproof. Pu is also used in most camping tents. Poor ventilation makes it worse than pro; it also troubles in summer.

Cubin fibre 

Cubin fibre ponchos are much famous because of their weight and waterproofing. It combines various fibers with plastic nylon that adds strength and makes it very useful for windproofing, waterproofing. Its durability is an extra positive property.

Main Use        

You must be clear where, when, and why you wish to use the best rain poncho. If it’s just a backup from a rain Jacket, then you need not anything else. A light hooded poncho is a wise selection. Best rain poncho for hot weather will be breathable, and the heavy-duty waterproof poncho is best suited when you expect strong winds and rain. Ponchos with hoods help keep your head dry.    

If you require a poncho to be used as a trap, you need to find one of your required sizes and not forget to look at the strength. You cannot use every poncho for making a shade—waterproof ponchos or slightly thicker, offering better protection from rain and wind. 

Sizing      

Its sizing is not universal as in the case of garments & shoes etc. A medium-sized poncho may be useful to a tall person. So you need to be careful about its size as per your requirements.

It is essential to clarify that you must be careful in selecting that your selected rain poncho covers you as much as you need, and if you wish to shield your best poncho, then the poncho has an extra space at its back. Suppose your rain poncho is big enough in the end that means that your equipment will remain protected when it is down pouring. So many poncho manufacturers list the usefulness of their poncho. That list will help you in your decision making. You may find kids poncho in the same variety; adult ponchos are one size that fits all as the rain ponchos are a loose upper, so the variation in the user’s size is not a matter. 

Rain ponchos for women are relatively smaller than men’s rain poncho. 

Price 

It is not surprising that you may get rain ponchos in any budget as ponchos are prepared for various materials that reflect in its price. Each manufacturer determines its cost as per their business policy. 

This is important to remember that always a high price does not mean high quality. Brands simply charge more price applying aggressive marketing techniques. On the other side, the cost of material used in preparing may be the reason for price determination. 

At Least you should be aware that ponchos are not useful in harsh climatic conditions and rough outdoor terrain. Therefore it is not wise to expect something extra and beyond.

The weight of the poncho mostly depends upon selection. We are giving below a few useful things that will play a significant role in your choice.

Ponchos for Rain are Light

To keep your mobile in your activities, rain ponchos are designed to protect you against light rain and showers. So it is needless to choose a thicker poncho to hinder your mobility as you know that thicker ponchos are heavier, and you have to refer from extra weight in your back poncho.

rain ponchos

Even heavy-duty ponchos are much lighter than rain jackets

Military-style ponchos may seem sturdiest, but they rarely exceed one kg weight.

You must be careful about the strength, coverage, and durability at the top more than any concern about the weight of the best rain poncho.

For backpacking, you need a compact and lightweight rain gear that is durable and waterproof. You do not want your rain poncho to be too flimsy or too thick. It should be thick enough to withstand wind and rain without being too suffocating. Your rain poncho should be breathable to let the airflow across your body so that you don’t sweat excessively inside it. Our list of rain ponchos contains the best rain poncho Amazon has to offer. 

raincoat ponchos

Advantages of a Rain Poncho

  • A rain poncho covers your body along with a backpack, it protects your body some inches down from your waist, and some rain ponchos even cover your knees
  • A loose fit rain poncho is good and better than a jacket; it helps in ventilation through your neck and shoulders.

Here are a few questions you should ask yourself when choosing a rain poncho.

Does it fit well?

You should not worry, if it fits you or not, a loose fit rain poncho is good; it provides ventilation through the neck and shoulders. You can move freely in an open fitting rain poncho.

Is it for men, women, or unisex?

It is up to you to pick a rain poncho for your gender. Rain poncho, designed especially for a particular gender, will provide more comfort.

What is it made from?

Rain ponchos are made up of different waterproof materials, material that does not allow water to stick on the surface and roll it off the surface; it is vital to check if your rain ponchos will fulfill your need or not.

ponchos with hoods

What outdoor activity are you taking part in?

It is imperative to know that different materials in different rain ponchos are used for various purposes. If you are just going out to enjoy a simple spot, you can take any rain poncho, but if you are planning big to go for an adventure or hiking, you should look for a high quality rain poncho that will make your trip easy for you.

Do you like the design?

If you like stylish rain ponchos, you can quickly look for it as there are many different designs, patterns, and colors in rain ponchos. They are durable and long-lasting, and their prices vary with the quality of the material used.

Does it have a hood?

Yes, the rain poncho also comes with a hood, so why not look for a better option? A rain poncho with a hood is a tremendous advantage as It will cover your entire head along with the body.

Read More: Best Family Tents for Bad Weather

What Advantages Does a Poncho have to Offer while Camping?

Although taking a raincoat seems a good option, a poncho is selected for many good reasons.

Convenient

When one is in the cold and finds their fingers unable to handle the zip efficiently, a poncho does not matter. Ponchos are produced/invented, keeping accessibility in mind. This can be taken on and off without spending a few moments. They may be used in multiple ways as a windbreaker, tarp, and water catcher in need.

Flexible

Some high-quality ponchos are fitted with zippers to be bundled up in cold, wet seasons. A raincoat hinders your movement. That is not the case with a poncho. A poncho is capable of keeping your protector and dry while you are at outdoor recreation.

Water resistance

Usually, a chemical is applied on the poncho surface, making it waterproof or water-resistant without making it heavy. A raincoat does not cover as much part of your body as covered by a poncho that relatively keeps you dry.

Breathable and lightweight

In hiking, proper clothing is necessary. In a raincoat, one may be sweating, which makes the individual uncomfortable. Backpacking ponchos provide adequate ventilation and allow you to feel free.

waterproof ponchos

What are the Differences Between Poncho and Raincoat?

Poncho is a sheet-like plastic covering like a tarp with a hood. A poncho keeps you breathable and dry while you are outdoors. Additionally, it protects you from chilling weather. Commonly, a poncho may be used as ground cover, pillow, backpack cover, an insulating blanket with other uses.

By contrast, rain jackets are designed sometimes with a hood fitted to protect you. They have specific inner pockets, front pockets with zippers, and maybe a removable hood. As for performance and design, it is similar to a windbreaker but sturdier. Some of the rain jackets come with removable liners.

There are so many arguments for poncho and rain jackets in the group of hikers, trail runners, backpackers, and anglers; all have their answers. Simply, to make an appropriate approach, you should study the weather, your activities scheduled, and the space in your backpack.

As explained, ponchos are easily storable and lightweight.

Poncho protects intermittent showers, drizzle, downpours, and errant river waves. Moreover, a poncho covers most of your body. Because of its lightweight and small volume, it is easy to carry in your backpack as nothing is detachable in a poncho, so you are fear-free of missing the detachable part. 

For long trips and overnight cycling, rain jackets are beneficial, but ponchos win the argument in daily use. Poncho requires a little space, may be used as ground cover, and gives you extra insulation with a blanket. You may even use a poncho as a tarp temporarily to provide you a shape. 

Simply put, backpackers, survivalists, and minimalists will prefer rain pouches over rain jackets because of their multipurpose use. Rain ponchos can be utilized in several different ways. They are compact and lightweight, as well as waterproof and sturdy. This is why smart backpackers prefer poncho for rain instead of rain jackets. 

What Other Features do the Best Rain Poncho for Backpacking have?

Here are some of the most popular ones that you might want to look out for when choosing your rain poncho for hiking:

Storage Bag/Pouch  

Extremely useful for keeping your rain poncho protected, neat, and tidy when not in use. The smaller the storage pouch, the less space your poncho will take up in your backpack.

Drawstring

Drawstrings are extremely useful on ponchos, allowing you to put them on quickly, then to adjust for a customized fit. Extremely popular around hoods, some long models may also feature drawstrings that adjust the hemline.

Pockets  

Pockets can be handy on a poncho, saving you from exposing your inner layers while trying to reach for your map, compass, or other items on the go. An easily accessible poncho pocket will enable you to access the small things you need without risking wetting the rest of your gear or your clothing.

Zipper

Zippers are trendy. However, waterproof zippers tend to be rather expensive and often slide less easily than regular ones. While a zipper on your poncho sounds good in theory, they seldom work well in practice unless waterproof storm guards protect them.

Side Snaps

The fit of complete, tarp-style ponchos can vastly be improved by using several side snaps. These keep your poncho in place around your arms and upper body without reducing your freedom of movement or the versatility of your poncho’s design.

What Other Crafty uses does the Best Rain Poncho for Backpacking have?

Shelter 

When you are out on the trail, you may need to create a shelter at quite odd places due to an emergency or a night sleep arrangement. Your waterproof ponchos can work like a tarp shelter combined with tracking poles for an overnight stay. Setting up a shelter with your poncho can be quick and easy. Similarly, you can take off such a temporary shelter fast and easy to move towards your next destination.        

Sunshade 

At times you will find no trees or any form of shade to rest and recreate when you are out hiking. You can use your best rain poncho for hot weather as a shade against the sun in such instances. Whether you want to take a break, have a meal, or just protect yourself from the UV rays, your poncho can act as a sunscreen for you.      

Groundsheet 

A heavy-duty waterproof poncho can protect you from the ground elements, especially when the atmosphere is damp. When you are backpacking, every ounce of weight matters in your backpack. Your poncho can be a lifesaver in lightweight trips.       

Waterproof Dressing 

Wounds are inevitable when you’re backpacking. You can dress your wanes with your first aid kit and then use a piece of your poncho for the rain to make the dressing waterproof. 

Carryall 

If your backpack is not sufficient to carry your load and you find yourself having more stuff to carry in the middle of a hike, you can create a makeshift carryall from your raincoat ponchos.      

Bucket 

A heavy-duty waterproof poncho can act as a bucket when you need to carry water to short distances.   

How to Care for Your New Rain Poncho?

The best way to clean your poncho is to wash it with cold to mildly warm water via a hand wash or on the washing machine’s delicate cycle. You can add similar garments to the laundry with the poncho, but it should not be too soiled. Ensure all the velcro loops and hooks on the poncho are fully closed before you put it in the washing machine, so there is no piling or friction during the wash.

With time, your rain gear can lose its resistance against water, letting the water seep through its fabric surface. You can clean the poncho and make it waterproof again by following some simple tips.  

ponchos with hoods

Tips To Clean Your Rain Poncho

PRE-WASH Care

Remove extra dirt: Cleat the dirt from the poncho surface before putting it in the wash. Dirt attracts water and covers the coating that repels water, so your poncho starts absorbing water. 

Close all zippers and empty all pockets: Before you place your poncho into the wash, make sure to close all the zippers and Velcro straps as well as loosen all the elastic tensions. Empty all pockets so that you don’t lose anything in the washing process.

Machine Wash

Read the washing care label: All good ponchos come with a washing care label by the manufacturers to guide the users with the best washing practices. Read it and follow it.

Most ponchos dry fast, so there is no need to tumble dry after wash. Just hang it in the air and let it dry on its own. 

Frequently Asked Questions for Best Rain Poncho for Backpacking

What is the best rain gear for backpacking?

A rain poncho is lightweight and compact and can prove to be an ideal rain gear when you are backpacking. It is breathable and waterproof, and big enough to wear with a backpack on. 

Are ponchos suitable for hiking?

For hiking, you need your outfit to be lightweight and comfortable. The same goes for your rain gear while hiking. Ponchos do not weigh you down or hinder you from hiking on the trail. As a rain gear, ponchos are great for hiking.

What do you wear under a poncho?

You can wear any well-fitting clothes under a poncho. Ideally, a nice fitted shirt or top paired with skinny jeans or trousers work best with a poncho. You can pair plain shirts with printed ponchos and printed shirts with simple designs for a better sense of fashion.  

Wearing loose clothes under a poncho can get messy and make it difficult for you to walk. Avoid loose dressing under a poncho.

What is rain ponchos made of?

The majority of rain ponchos are made of plastic fabric. People often point out that ponchos look like plastic bags, and there’s absolute truth to that. That said, the plastic used for manufacturing ponchos is lighter, breathable, and doesn’t suffocate you. You will find ponchos made with polyester, nylon, and mixed fabrics with a water-resistant material.

What is the difference between a poncho and a Ruana?

Both rain ponchos and ruana are made of a sheet with a hole for the head on the top. The main difference between poncho and ruana is that a ruana has a slit on its front from the neck to the hem, whereas a poncho has a zippered closure. You will often find a ruana being sold in the market as a poncho, or a blanket poncho or kimono.   

Is it weird to wear a poncho?

No, for rainy weather, a poncho is often a necessity. These days ponchos come in so many stylish colors and patterns that they even look like fashion statements.

Some fashion-conscious people think of ponchos as weird looking for looking like a shopping bag over your dress, but the truth is you can find stylish and colorful ponchos if you want to. 

How do you make a waterproof poncho?

Ponchos made with polyester are waterproof as polyester has water-resistant properties. Ponchos made with nylon and other fiber are coated with polyurethane or other chemicals to give it a water-resistant surface. 

What’s another name for poncho?

You can call it a cloak or a cape and even a raincoat if you wish. It’s a piece of waterproof fabric that keeps you protected from the rain.

A ruana is slightly different from a poncho, but it is often marketed as a poncho as well. 

Who can benefit from a rain poncho, and how?

People who expect slight rain on their commute or hike trail can benefit from a poncho by wearing it while going out. Ponchos are good for kids and adults in different sizes. They are usually made in unisex designs, so both men and women can use them. There are also rain ponchos for women and men’s rain poncho available in the market. Most ponchos can be worn with a backpack on. Backpackers and hikers can benefit from the lightweight and breathable properties of a poncho.

Is rain poncho better than a rain jacket?

For slight rain and when you want something lightweight to stay dry in wet weather, a rain poncho is a great choice. For heavy rains, your gear needs to be heavy-duty, and a rain jacket can keep you better protected. 

Why don’t I buy a rain jacket instead?

Because rain ponchos are lightweight and compact and they provide coverage until your lower body, this is why they are a better option than a rain jacket. You can use a poncho in several different ways like a ground cover, a 

When you don’t need a poncho?

If the weather is dry throughout your trip, there is no need to take a poncho with you.  

Our Recommendation for Best Rain Poncho for Backpacking

After reading this full detailed guide now you know what are the best rain poncho for backpacking. Yet if you ask for our recommendation we will say go for Charles River Apparel mens Pacific Rain Poncho. The product is made out of waterproof polyurethane that’s bonded to a knit backing. With all these substances being heat-sealed, the poncho is made with durability being the secret. This polyester fabric liner supplies a fantastic deal of warmth. Even the drawstrings and snaps located in the neck and hood regions deliver additional protection from the rain and wind. One feature that sets the product apart from others is that the distinct side snaps located under the arms to get an additional level of warmth.

Charles River Apparel mens Pacific Rain Poncho
  • Waterproof with heat-sealed seams
  • High quality, multi-use poncho made from waterproof new englander polyurethane bonded to a knit backing
  • Features heat-sealed seams and hood with snap neck and drawstrings for added wind/rain protection
  • Side snap closure under arms
  • Conveniently packs into a matching storage pouch

Final Words

This was a roundup on the best rain poncho for backpacking. If you have read this guide, you now have the complete knowledge of how to buy the best one. It is most important to know your purpose before investing in a raincoat poncho. This helps in selecting the right one that is most suited for your specific needs.

If you are short on time and can’t make your mind comparing one model from another, just choose from one of the rain ponchos we have reviewed. One of them is going to suit your specific needs. 

             

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Last update on 2020-11-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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