Things to Consider Before Buying a Rain Poncho for Hiking
Although needless to reiterate, there are plenty of ponchos on the market. Given this overwhelming and enormous number of military ponchos on the market, you may feel lost. To avoid this, consider the factors below:
Perhaps the single most important feature of rain ponchos is water resistance. This gauges how efficient the gear is to withstand heavy downpours.
Note the difference between water resistant and waterproof. Basically, a water-resistant fabric is coated with a water repellent material but it degrades over time. A waterproof fabric, on the other hand, is sewn with a waterproof material and it permanently resists water penetration unless torn.
Important to note is how the poncho is constructed. If it has seams, they must be waterproof to ensure that no water penetrates. Some come with welded constructions which is a good advantage.
Backpacking rain gear come in different materials, which also serve as a cost factor. These materials also play a significant role in water resistance, breathability, and comfort. The materials mentioned below are the common ones.
Polyurethane coated nylon – PU coated nylon is affordable and waterproof. It is also notably durable and wear resistance. The outer layer is nylon and the inside a polyurethane. But, this material choice may feel clammy in hotter days.
PVC – PVC is remarkably a cheaper material and also cheaper to maintain or repair with duct tape. Ponchos using PVC often use it as a standalone layering material.
Cuben Fiber – this is a combination of fibres and plastic mylar. The good part is that it is lightweight, it could be an ideal choice for minimalists. However, get ready to pop out an exorbitant price for this material although it’s worth it.
Sil-poly and Sil-Nylon – with these materials, a polyester or nylon is saturated with silicone to provide the most durable and waterproof heavy duty rain poncho. Quite frankly, this is one of the most affordable materials. One would think they are expensive since various materials are used.
Breathable laminates – these ones are also waterproof, and are actually made from nylon exteriors combined with layers. As in the name, these fabrics are highly breathable so they let in enough air circulation, especially beneficial in summer days.
Comfort is also an important factor to consider. Ponchos, unlike rain jackets, do not conform to your body and become tricky to measure comfort. Nevertheless, size still matters. Essentially, all ponchos are wide open at the arms and bottom, and often cover mid-thighs.
Take note of the exact dimensions before buying even though it can be tricky when buying online to measure sizes. It should not be too big or too constricting.
To add on, consider the hood. It should be adjustable to comfortably fit your head.
Almost all ponchos are versatile; however, it depends on extra features such as eyelets where you can where you can fit stakes to build tents. Ponchos can be used as a sunshade, shelter, floor tarp or rain fly in emergency situations.
What I like about ponchos is how they protect your hiking gear whether you ride a bike or walking.
Extra features set these ponchos apart. These include the zippered pockets where you can store small items to protect them from the rain.
Conclusion: What Is The Best Rain Poncho for Hiking?
We’ve come to the end of our review and buyer’s guide of the best rain poncho for hiking. I hope you’ve found it useful.
The [amazon link=”B07539S9G3″ title=”Anyoo Waterproof Military Poncho” /] is the ultimate winner among others. While it may not be the best in comfort, it ticks the other boxes. Water resistance is on par with its 210 T high density fabric material. Also, it is lightweight and packs small.
Hiking with this poncho will not cause you any pain. Its durability is a great deal. If you are looking for the best value for money, I reckon this poncho is a great option.
One important point though: do not be deceived by the price because it does not always reflect the quality of the poncho. Pay more attention on the features we have highlighted in this buyer’s guide.