If you’re going to spend time adventuring in the outdoors, you’re going to have to wear some specialized clothing to help protect you from the elements. And we’re not just talking cargo pants and camo shorts. We’re going to start off by helping you find the best backpacking poncho for rainy weather.
What makes these ponchos so unique and essential for backpacking specifically is that they are waterproof and they work better and last longer than most waterproof coats that you’ll buy. That’s why you want to add them to your outdoor adventure gear as in today.
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Backpacking Poncho Reviews
Keep reading for a comprehensive guide to help you find the best backpacking poncho. We’ll even throw in some helpful tips on what to look for in terms of the style, materials, and features that make up great backpacking ponchos.
1. Adventure World Globotrekker Backpack Poncho
First in our list of the best backpacking poncho picks we have the Adventure World Lightweight Backpack Poncho.
Now, this is one of the largest ponchos on this list but also one of the lightest in weight. It weighs only 0.77 pounds with dimensions of 6.3 x 4 inches and it even comes with a button so that you can fold it up and put it in your pocket when it’s not in use.
It’s constructed from waterproof Terylene material and comes with a drawstring hood to help you adjust the fit to even keep your face dry and cozy.
It also comes with a zip neck feature to help protect you from the elements so that you don’t only stay dry but warm and free from the cold as well.
2. Terra Hiker Waterproof Rain Poncho
The Terra Hiker is the best rain poncho for backpacking, especially if you plan on traversing long distances.
That’s because it’s so big that it can cover your entire body even if you’re wearing a 60 to 80 L large backpack.
It’s durably made with no plastic components on site which means that you can count on it to keep you dry and snug through monsoon weather and you can tackle any type of weather conditions with this poncho.
The poncho is available in two different sizes with the larger ones featuring an in-built pocket for additional storage for smaller items, and you have several color options to choose from, including orange, black, blue, and green.
3. Mil-Tec Ripstop Wet Weather Poncho
This is the best lightweight rain poncho for frequent hikers and backpackers as it weighs only 1.14 pounds when packed.
In terms of features, it comes in a unique olive color which is designed to help you blend in with the environment so that you can make the most of your nature watching time.
And it’s so large in width that you can even use it as a makeshift shelter, provided you have a few stakes and a cord handy.
The only downside with this poncho is that it can leak through in really heavy wind or prolonged inclement weather, but it can handle some showers and a splash here and there.
4. Charles River Apparel Pacific Rain Poncho
This here is the best poncho for rain and the best part is that it’s reasonably priced.
It comes in at dimensions of 52” by 80” making it ideal for the average adult and it’ll definitely keep you dry no matter what your height is.
It’s made from 100% waterproof New Englander polyurethane and according to backpacking poncho reviews, this thing can even withstand raging thunderstorms.
Another great feature worth mentioning is its adjustable sleeves which allow you to determine your level of protection from the elements.
5. Outdoor Products Poncho Backpacker
The Outdoor Products Backpacker Poncho is the best poncho for backpacking because it’s made from watertight urethane coated fabric which is known for its ability to keep water out even in torrential rain.
Despite its durability, this poncho is pretty light but large enough to cover your entire torso and even go over the biggest backpack that you have.
It comes in two colors and you can adjust the fit using the rust-resistant snaps located on the wrists and sides.
Another great thing about this poncho is that it doubles as a rainfly or tarp using the nylon web-tie cords that are included and it’ll fit most adults comfortably with dimensions of 85 x 53 inches.
6. Anyoo Waterproof Rain Poncho
The Anyoo Waterproof Military Rain Poncho is a great unisex option that can be shared between couples, friends, or family members.
It’s made from durable and trusty polyester and comes with a hood to adjust the fit according to your needs.
It’s also available in different colors and has dimensions of 55 x 86 inches, which means it can even go over your backpack. So large and yet it weighs a light 9 ounces.
There are side fasteners to make sure that your sides are dry too and you’ll be glad to know that this poncho can double as a makeshift shelter or groundsheet when need be thanks to the included eyelets.
7. Winis Multifunctional Outdoor Rain Poncho
Next, we have the Winis Multifunctional Rain Cover.
It’s a top backpacking rain poncho for extreme weather conditions because it’s designed to handle up to 3,000mm worth of water pressure without leaking and it’s made from 210T polyester cloth which is tear-resistant as well.
It’s available in two different colors and features grommets that’ll come in handy when you need extra storage space.
It also comes with Velcro straps to offer extra protection from cold coming from the wind, and all of this is available at just a 0.57-pound weight.
8. FROGG TOGGS Waterproof Breathable Poncho
Frogg Toggs’ unisex rain poncho is one of the top ponchos that we’ve seen with as much breathability as it offers. This is humungous, coming at a width of 44 inches and it’s 36 inches in length.
This means that it’s large enough to cover your body and your backpack so that both you and your belongings are kept dry.
It’s also quite lightweight with a ~8 oz. of packed weight. It’s compact enough to even pack into a jacket pocket for easy access when you need it and it won’t take up much space among your other gear.
However, its long length can prove quite a problem for the vertically challenged, and it’s not the best quality available if you’re going into a region that experiences heavy rain all the time. But it will keep you dry if you come across a spot of rain.
How to Get the Best Backpacking Poncho
Alright, now that we’ve explored the best backpacking poncho options with you, it’s time to look at the criteria that we used to come up with this list.
Here’s a checklist of specific features to look for in a rain poncho whether you’re buying it in person or online.
You want to make sure that your rain poncho is actually made from durable material that’s waterproof.
It’s also important to ensure that it’s going to be comfortable and factors that determine this include breathability and being lightweight.
In terms of durability, you want to go beyond just the material that your poncho is made from and actually check for the durability of features like strings, seams, clasps, Velcro, and zippers.
Here we’re referring to the poncho’s ability to handle different weather conditions. Can it keep you from being drenched when experiencing days of unrelenting rainfall? Is it windproof?
It’s even more important to ask yourself these questions to determine your poncho’s level of resistance if you’re a regular outdoorsman and camping enthusiast.
Rain ponchos come in different designs and colors so it depends on your personal preference as well as the types of outdoor activities that you’ll be doing while wearing your poncho.
Most people assume that ponchos are one size fits all but some are available in different sizes. Some ponchos go up to your knees while others can go down to your ankles.
Either way, you should still invest in good quality hiking pants and rain boots if you’re going to hike or backpack in the rain to help you poncho out and make sure that the poncho you purchase is the right size for you as one that’s too big or small can make for an uncomfortable journey.
When it comes to features, there are no hard and fast rules. The most important thing is to ensure that your poncho has all the features that you need for your specific needs and journeys.
As with anything, ponchos are also available at different price points and can go from a couple of dollars to hundreds of dollars.
If you want a waterproof poncho that’s going to last for many years to come then it’s best to invest in something pricier that’s durable and made to last.
Best Materials for Backpacking Ponchos
Here are some of the materials that are used to make the best backpacking ponchos:
These are budget-friendly and accessible materials that are made to make affordable ponchos. They’re made by inundating either nylon or polyester with silicon in order to create a material that is durable and waterproof.
Breathable laminates are known for being breathable as they are waterproof. They’re made from a combination of nylon layers superimposed over layers of other watertight fabrics such as plastics and the like.
Cuben fiber is a type of material that’s made from a combination of plastic mylar and fibers, making for a nice, lightweight yet waterproof poncho.
The only thing is, Cuben fiber doesn’t come cheap so ponchos that are made from it are usually pricey as well and at the same time, it has been known to puncture rather easily.
Sil-Nylon is made by combining nylon and silicon. This synthetic material is typically utilized in a lot of different kinds of outdoor gear and it’s basically a liquid silicone sandwich with thick woven nylon fabric in-between.
Not only does this make for a waterproof fabric but it’s also tear-resistant as well. However, it’s not very breathable and can be uncomfortable.
It makes up for this by coming in various different colors and variants including crisp sil-nylon which is lightweight but noisy to walk around in. Stronger variants are made from 66 nylon which is what you typically find in parachutes and hot air balloons.
PVC material is great for rain ponchos because it’s waterproof despite being affordable.
You can always patch it up with some duct tape and many hikers actually use it as an extra layer over their main rain poncho.
PU Coated Nylon
PU coated nylon is commonly used in rain ponchos because it’s highly durable and water-resistant. The interior is made up of polyurethane while the exterior is all nylon fabric.
The only downside is that PU coated nylon ponchos tend to get sticky and uncomfortable when it gets humid so they’re not ideal for use in summer rain and monsoon season areas.
Benefits of Backpacking Ponchos
Buying the best backpacking poncho comes with the following benefits:
A nice benefit of rain ponchos is that when you’re not wearing them, you can use them for other outdoor applications. A rain poncho doubles as a tent, mat, or even a hammock.
With a rain poncho on, you can face the elements with confidence knowing that even if it rains, you’ll remain dry and comfortable.
Most of the rain ponchos featured on our list even come with pockets and hoods that are also rainproof to help keep your gear dry too.
Wearing a rain poncho means that you get rain protection without having to hold an umbrella with your hands so you’re free to move around and explore your environment without worrying about getting wet.
That’s why it’s great for hiking, climbing, and backpacking.
Most rain ponchos are constructed from materials that aren’t only durable but breathable and lightweight as well so that you can feel nice and comfortable while wearing them.
Well, we’ve come to the end of our exploration of the best backpacking ponchos and we hope you’ve found this guide helpful.
One more tip; if you’re finding it difficult to choose one option from the ones provided above, we highly recommend the Adventure World Globotrekker Backpack Poncho.
What’s so great about this poncho, you ask? It ticks all the boxes of what you’d want from a rain-proof poncho in that it’s durable, lightweight (weighs only 0.77 pounds) and it comes with a peaked hood to protect your face while being large enough to go over even the biggest backpack for comprehensive protection.