Hiking in your favorite outdoor destination is fun and mentally stimulating until your fun is messed up by the heavy downpour. What then? Should you always check rainfall prediction and abstain from hiking? Of course not!
The best way to enjoy hiking outdoors despite high chances of rainfall is to get yourself the best rain poncho for hiking. There are plenty of these ponchos on the market but only a few are good enough for outdoor adventure.
Based on my personal experience, we’ve handpicked the best waterproof poncho for your next or first hiking trip.
Top 10 Best Waterproof Poncho For Hiking
1. Arcturus Lightweight Ripstop Nylon Poncho
The Arcturus lightweight ripstop nylon poncho weighs only 11oz and packs down into a small bag measuring just 8” x 4”. It’s an extra-large poncho with a long body and large hood, which allows you to wear a cap underneath it. Even if you are over six feet in height, you’ll comfortably wear this poncho.
This multi-use poncho makes a great tarp or shelter. When fully opened up it measures 54” x 96”, and includes steel grommets in each corner for easy tie-down as a shelter. It’s great for backpackers and made from 210T Ripstop Taffeta. It’s praised for its strength with two layers of waterproof coating.
Unique selling point: Super lightweight poncho that packs down into an 8” x 4” bag
2. Frogg Toggs Ultra-Lite Poncho
The Frogg Toggs Ultra-Lite Poncho weighs just 8 ounces without the stuff sack and because the fabric is so thin it packs up to virtually nothing. Designed for all kinds of outdoor use including hiking, the most appealing features of this waterproof poncho are its lightness and packability. Frogg Toggs are perhaps most well known for their fly fishing gear which is notoriously waterproof. It does not offer as generous a cut as others on this top 10 list of the best waterproof ponchos but it will cover your backpack as well as you.
The material is an ultralight nonwoven polypropylene with welded seams for total waterproofing and breathability. The downside to being so thin and lightweight is that it isn’t the most durable waterproof poncho but the fact that it costs less than $10 makes that less of an issue. To add to this point, the material is also recyclable should you need to replace it.
There are snaps down the sides to adjust the fit as well as airflow and there are toggles on the hood to tighten it when the wind or rain picks up. Frogg Toggs Ultra-lite Poncho customer reviews state that it performs very well in humid conditions where waterproof jackets and pants are too hot. It can be used as an emergency rain fly if needs be but if that is your intended use I would opt for something more durable. This is the most lightweight waterproof poncho you can get for hiking which is ideal for emergencies and keeping in your bag.
3. Charles River Men’s Pacific Rain Poncho
This is a sweet 100% polyurethane rain poncho. It has good waterproofing and a slippery exterior which makes it a very comfortable protective garment.
Interestingly enough, this is also a very stylish rain poncho. It features arm openings and side snap closures. It has an adjustable hood and two buttons on the chest which can be opened for extra ventilation or closed for protection against wind and rain.
The drawstrings are also waterproof, which makes the poncho that much better. Unlike other models, the Pacific Rain Poncho by Charles River doesn’t have that traditional extra loose fit. It falls down closer to the body which gives it a nice appeal.
Its durability is good but not high-end. That’s understandable since it’s clearly designed for urban use and not camping in the middle of the forest or hiking on harsh terrain. This rain poncho also comes in six colors, all of which can help you make a fashion statement.
The overall style may just be a deciding factor for those that think ponchos look funny and don’t have the same class as a rain jacket.
4. Mil-Tec Ripstop Wet Weather Poncho
Want to feel like an Army Ranger camping in the woods? Then this poncho is right up your alley.
Its olive color allows you to blend in with most forest surroundings, allowing you to enjoy watching the wildlife while being unobserved.
Next, its feather-light weight (1.4 lbs. packed) means it’s ideal for hikers and backpackers. That’s without taking into account that with some stakes and a cord it can serve as a decent emergency shelter.
Unfortunately, it’s not 100% waterproof and might eventually leak, so if you’re frequently hiking in rainy areas you might want to give this one a pass.
5. LinenLux Rain Poncho Jacket
The LINENLUX Rain Poncho Jacket Coat Hooded for Adults with Pockets is renowned for its versatility as it can be used to escape ugly hiking experiences. The reason behind the versatility of this product is the waterproof fabric and its creative designs. You can use this rain poncho as a rain shelter, backpacking tent, or sleeping bag when you find yourself in damp locations.
One of the best advantages of using this rain poncho is that it can be used as a stretcher to move an individual in case of an injury. When a tent is made, this rain poncho can be utilized as a tarp for the enclosing of the equipment. You can also use it as a storage sack for the preservation of your items.
It is breathable and waterproof, and also renowned for its ability to dry quickly and eco-friendliness. When you are anticipating a sudden downpour, you can arrange it in a backpack. You will fall in love with its loose sleeve, as it also has an extended body suit which conceals the entire body to avoid being drenched in the rain. The rain poncho is created from heat-sealed seams which ensures its durability and makes it water-resistant. You have nothing to be scared of when it rains as you have a decent rain poncho that protects you from heavy rain.
The material used for its production is 100% Polyester Pongee. It has a size of 9.8 inches X 6 inches. Its weight is 9.60 OZ.
6. Terra Hiker Rain Poncho
The Terra Hiker Rain Poncho is a versatile option. It is made from 210 T high-density polyester, making it a waterproof poncho. The seams in place are tested with a caulking treatment for extra durability. The design of this poncho is intended to cover both you and your large backpack while out on the trails. It can also be broken down into a size of 8 x 3 x 2 inches with a weight of 0.68 pounds for lightweight storage.
This item is durable with the use of thickened eyelets on the hem which can be converted into either a mat or sunshade. Avoid water on your face with the hooded component’s elastic rope for a snug fit. This backpacking poncho is best for any outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing, and a casual picnic.
7. Snugpak Patrol Poncho
The Snugpak Patrol Poncho is a great option for larger guys and even fits guys up to 300 lbs. The truth is though… this isn’t really a poncho because it’s got sleeves. It’s more like a big cagoule but that’s no bad thing.
The main negative is that it’s a little overpriced for what it is. The Charles River is better value at a better price.
8. Anyoo Waterproof Poncho
There are a couple of features that make this Anyoo rain poncho stand out from the rest.
These ponchos are unisex and are designed for those who wish to be particularly active and take bike rides in all weather.
With this in mind, this poncho has elasticated thumb loops to stop it being blown up in the wind on rainy bike ride day.
The poncho is reusable and comes in lots of different colours, including plain for the more serious bikers to bright and funky for those who want to bring a little pizazz to their wet bike ride!
There is an attached inside ‘media pocket’ to protect electronics which is super handy – especially if you are traveling with kids – or in my case teenagers.
There are three snap closures on each side of the poncho to create sleeves for ease of movement. This feature proves invaluable if you have a mini emergency situation while traveling and want to open the poncho right out and use it as a mini tarpaulin!
Fully waterproof zip
Be aware that due to this poncho having so much excess materiel, when you ride over 5km an hour the back tends to fly up (think Batman).
9. Totes Women’s Pashmina Shawl Rain Poncho
For a less expensive option that is also pretty nice looking, the Totes Women’s Pashmina Shawl Rain Poncho is a good choice too. It is also made of 100% Polyester and is machine washable, and though it’s not as stylish as the Raincaper, it is more than just a rain poncho in the looks department.
This poncho measures 11.3 x 8.5 x 2.2 inches and weighs 11.2 ounces and is probably the best travel poncho for women of short to medium stature.
This poncho is also reversible with a nice print on one side and a solid color on the other with each acting as lining to the other layer. The material is also treated with a water repellent. It does not open fully in the front, rather you slip it over your head and there are three buttons at the neck to tighten the fit and close up the neck.
The hood is effective and tightens around the face by a drawstring. Side snaps form armholes if you want a more fitted look and prevent the poncho from flapping too much in the wind. If you’re carrying a handbag or backpack underneath, then just unsnap the buttons.
The front of the poncho has a zippered pocket in one of the layers that can be used to store and protect a wallet or smartphone, but when the poncho is not needed it’s the storage pouch for it. You just stuff the rest of the poncho into the inside out pocket and zip it closed. If you’re unsure of how that works, scroll down for an instructional video.
10. BALEAF Light Running Rain Jacket
Many reasons for this poncho to be the best waterproof poncho. There are:
- Enhanced breathability: ventilation system in the back helps keep you cool and dry. hem anti-skid prevent jacket rides up.
- 6 pockets: one back pocket, one chest pocket, two hand pockets and two inner pockets securely store your items like 5.5″ mobile phone.
- Waterproof & lightweight fabric: interior is laminated tpu membrane with 5000mm waterproofing and 3000g/m2/24hr breathability.
- Reflective systym: reflective stripes and a reflective logo design keep you safe during low-light environment.
- Big hood design: the hood prevents rain coming into your eyes while raining days. ideal for cyling, running, hiking, jogging, climbing, camping and other outdoor sports.
How To Choose The Best Waterproof Poncho For You
Before you decide on what style you’re going to go for there are a few things to consider:
Ponchos are usually made of waterproof materials such as PVC, PU coated nylon, breathable laminates Sil-Poly and more.
Some are lightweight and breathable and others are heavier but will keep you warmer.
Check before you buy as you won’t want something too light if you are heading off on a cold hike and alternatively you wont want anything too heavy if you are going to be in warmer climates.
Ponchos are usually affordable and a great option for rainwear.
There are plenty of options on the market which range from cheap, simple throw away options which which you wear once and are perfect for a day out at a theme park or festival to higher quality options for hiking and backpacking.
Uses (Multi-functional etc)
Depending on what you will be wearing your poncho for you may want to consider getting one which has multi-uses which include;-
- Bivvi/ Shelter
- Ground Sheet
- Backpack Cover
- Sleeping Bag Cover
The Future is Poncho
As gear companies push ultralight technology to its limits we’re seeing an increase in multi-functional outdoor equipment. Modern rain ponchos are made from extremely lightweight materials. They’re rain jackets, wind jackets, pack covers, shelters, sunscreen, and picnic blankets all in one.
Who knows what they’ll transform into next. Poncho backpacks? Poncho sleeping bags? Poncho trail-runners? That last one might be stretching the imagination a bit, but the others are real possibilities.