5 Best Rain Poncho – Buyer’s Guide

You need to bring a rain poncho with you when you are backpacking. You can't be too careful as the weather is very unpredictable.

Having a rain poncho handy could mean the difference between having your gear and you soaking wet and keeping them safe and dry.

There are a lot of cheap and disposable rain ponchos out there in the market. It can be challenging to choose which one to buy.

Don't fret. We have made a list of the best rain ponchos to date.

Best Rain Poncho

As always, the product we review come from reputable manufacturers. We limit ourselves to one product per brand for variety.

Top 5 Rain Poncho - Quick Comparison Table:

Things to Evaluate Before Buy Rain Poncho

There are a lot of factors to consider when buying a rain poncho for your next backpacking adventure. We list down the elements and break down each one.


  • You should look for rain ponchos made of high-quality, water-resistant materials. The best ones have taped seams that prevent water from leaking inside.
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    Most of them have hoods that provide semi-cover. The hood keeps your head from getting wet and also preserves your vision in poor weather.
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    Some rain ponchos have heated seams. Others have seams what are glued with elastic. All of these methods provide additional waterproofing.
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    Rain ponchos are made with different lengths. Choose the one that fits your style and needs.


  • Another factor to consider when choosing a waterproof poncho is its weight. When backpacking, you don't want to carry too much pressure on you. You want the backpack to be as light as possible with items that are functional but lightweight.
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    Make sure to choose a rain poncho that is both lightweight and durable. The best ones are the ones that balance both metrics.


  • Also, take note of the material and build quality of the rain poncho. Choose the ones that don't get damaged easily as you hike through your trail.
  • We mentioned before that there are a lot of rain ponchos made with cheap materials in the market. Be wary of those. Look for ones that will last for a long time.
  • The best ones are made of ripstop material. They tend to last longer than others thanks to a unique weave that makes them extra durable.


  • Most rain ponchos look the same, but some designs add a small number of features that help your backpacking experience feel great.
  • Some rain ponchos have grommets, elastic pull tabs, and camo colors. Others have front pockets and storm flaps.
  • If you are a fan of these features, you should look into rain ponchos that have them.

Top 5 Rain Poncho


JTENG Rain Poncho

  • The JTENG Rain Poncho is a waterproof raincoat with a semi-cover hood. The hood is sewn together with the poncho.
  • It is perfect for camping, hiking, backpacking, cycling and for attending open area concerts.
  • It is made from the rip-stop polyester material. The material is waterproof, durable and lightweight.
  • The poncho is water resistant with a 3000-mm waterproof index.
  • The raincoat is made for adults and measures 55 inches long and 41 inches wide. It weighs 1.65 pounds.
  • You can find grommet corners on the rain poncho if you want to use it as an emergency shelter. You can also use it as a sleeping bag or act as a blanket when spread out.
  • The JTENG rain poncho is excellent at protecting you and your backpack from light to heavy rains.
  • It is effortless to wear, thanks to its design. It has a neck zipper that you can adjust according to your head size.
  • A storage bag is included with your purchase.

notable features

  • Grommet Corners
  • 100% Rip-Stop Polyester
  • 3000 mm waterproof index Water resistance


  • It is made from ripstop material and is very durable.
  • The waterproofing on it is excellent.
  • The seams are taped on the inside which is great. It prevents leaking over time.
  • There are grommet corners so you can use the poncho as an emergency shelter or any kind of shelter with 1 or 2 of these.
  • It is relatively big and has a lot of space for a full-sized backpack.
  • There is a neck zipper for adjustments.
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    It includes a storage back which is always a plus.


  • It doesn't adequately cover the arms when you extend them. We figured it depends on your arm length though. This could just be limited to our experience.
  • Sometimes water gets into the sides near the armhole.
  • The area around the zipper is not entirely waterproof. Sometimes water seeps through the zipper.


Frogg Toggs Ultra-Lite Poncho

  • The Frogg Toggs Ultra-Lite Poncho measures 40 inches in high and 54 inches wide. It weighs 8 ounces.
  • It fits comfortably with a backpack. It is very large, so you won't have to worry about it being too small.
  • It is made from ultra-light breathable and waterproof polypropylene.
  • It has an adjustable hood with a drawstring, and it snaps down the sides.
  • It is the perfect rain poncho to bring during hikes, camping trips, backpacking adventures and rainy sporting events.
  • You can use it as a blanket. It measures 54.5 inches by 80 inches when laid flat on the ground.
  • Your purchase will include a reusable bag. The poncho itself is recyclable.

notable features

  • Ultra Light Material
  • Recyclable
  • Star


  • It is a great poncho. It does its job of keeping the wearer dry very thoroughly.
  • It is very lightweight and easy to carry.
  • It is large enough to cover the wearer and backpack.
  • You can adjust the airflow via the snap-downs on the side.
  • It comes with a hood which can be tightened with a drawstring.
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    It is very durable.
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    It comes with a bag.


  • The hood can be too big for some people.
  • The snap buttons unsnap easily.


The Mil-Tec Waterproof Rain Poncho

  • Mil-Tec Waterproof Rain Poncho is made from waterproof ripstop nylon material.
  • Ripstop nylon contains a special weave that runs through the material. It keeps the content from easily breaking.
  • It weighs 680 grams and is very lightweight.
  • It measures 84 inches in length and 56 inches in width.
  • Your purchase comes with a carry bag.
  • The Mil-Tec rain poncho has eyelets on the hem in case you need to use it as an emergency shelter. You can also use it as a blanket if you lay it flat on the ground.
  • You can press the stud poppers on the sides so you can use it as a sleeping bag cover.

notable features

  • Stud Poppers
  • Star
    Ripstop Nylon Material
  • Star
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    Include a Carry Bag


  • It is very durable thanks to its ripstop nylon material.
  • It is very long at 6 feet.
  • It comes with a carry bag.
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    It has great waterproofing.
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    We love the eyelets for emergency shelter and tying down.


  • Some of the snaps are undone very easily while walking.
  • It is a bit heavy.


Snugpak Patrol Poncho

  • The Snugpak Patrol Poncho is made of 100% waterproof material, Paratex dry fabric. Paratex (Hydrophobic Polyurethane Coating) Dry is entirely waterproof. It feels like thick plastic when worn.
  • It comes with a pack that measures 3.5 inches x 8 inches.
  • The poncho is about 4 feet wide and 6 feet long.
  • It can be used as an emergency shelter or a pillow if you stuff it into its sack.
  • The rain poncho is relatively large and has no problems covering you and your backpack.
  • It has a hood with a drawstring so you can adjust the fit.
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    The cuffs on the poncho are sealed with elastic to protect from leaks.
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    It features a velcro map pocket with a storm flap. You can store your map, phone, and other small things inside the pocket for easy access.

notable features

  • Velcro Map Pocket
  • Storm Flap
  • Storage Pack
  • Waterproof


  • We love the map pocket with a storm flap. This feature is unique to this rain poncho.
  • It is made from the high-quality waterproof material.
  • It is big enough to cover the wearer and his/her backpack.
  • The rain poncho has sleeves.
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    It is very lightweight and compressible.


  • It can be a bit too long when you are not wearing a backpack.
  • The sleeves can be a bit too short.
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    It is a bit warmer when worn. It might be because of the Paratex Dry.


Charles River Apparel Men's Cyclone EVA Poncho

  • The Charles River Apparel Men's Cyclone EVA Poncho is made from eco-friendly and PVC-free fabric.
  • The materials are 70 percent Ethylene Vinyl Acetate and 30% Polyurethane. They are very lightweight and waterproof.
  • The seams on this poncho are heat-sealed. This helps prevent leaks.
  • You can also find a hood for wind and rain protection.
  • The sides have snap buttons so you can control airflow.
  • It comes with a storage pouch so you can pack it in for easy transport.
  • It measures 39 inches x 48 inches. It weighs 1 pound.

notable features

  • Eco-Friendly and PVC-free material
  • Heat-Sealed Seams
  • Storage Sack


  • It comes with a storage sack.
  • The seams are heat-sealed with is excellent. It adds more water resistance.
  • We like that it is made of eco-friendly material.
  • It is lightweight and large.
  • It is also very durable.


  • The material is thin though like a shower curtain.
  • The studs sometimes do not lock tight.

FAQ's Section

Q: How To Clean a Rain Poncho?


Rain ponchos keep you and your gear dry in light and heavy rains. They can also serve as emergency shelter or blankets.

However, they also need proper care and maintenance for them to last longer and function properly.

Cleaning them mostly involves washing and treatment. We will detail the steps and tips to clean your rain poncho to extend its lifespan.

Before we go into the steps of how to clean them, we are going to talk about how waterproofing works on the poncho so you can properly care for them.

The rain ponchos are made up of breathable but water resistant materials. The material repels large water droplets and prevents them from seeping in. Instead, the water rolls of the material and towards the ground.

The water resistance comes from a repellant applied to the fabric of the rain poncho. It is known as Durable Water Repellent or (DWR) for short.

Not all rain ponchos have breathable materials. For some of them which do, the material allows for water vapor to pass through so sweat can't be accumulated inside your jacket. At the same time, then repel any water coming from the outside.

Over time and with constant use, the DWR coating will slowly degrade and will expose the fabric to the elements.

The rain poncho won't be as effective at repelling water. Some of the water droplets will seep through. You might also feel clammy and wet on the inside.

It will no longer function as it once did and you might need to replace the rain poncho.

There is still a way to restore their function though after they have lost their coating. You can do this by washing and re-treatment.

Washing the rain poncho

  • Before treating the rain poncho, you need to wash it thoroughly to remove any dirt, skin oil, grime, and impurities in the fabric. You don't want to seal them in for good.
  • Check the manufacturers washing instruction on the label or tag. Follow these washing instructions to prevent damage to the rain poncho.
  • We recommend using Nikwax Tech Wash to wash your rain poncho. This wash is great for cleaning waterproof and breathable fabrics. They get rid of the impurities without damaging the fabric.
  • Throw your rain poncho in the washing machine and add the Nikwax Tech Wash. Use cold water and set it to a delicate or gentle cycle. This helps preserve the stitching on the poncho since it won't get bounced around that much.
  • You can rinse the rain poncho again with clean water after it comes out of the washing machine. Make sure no residue is left on the poncho. You can go ahead and throw it in the dryer. Set it to low heat.
  • If you don't have a washing machine, you can wash the poncho by hand using Tech Wash. Follow the steps of rinsing and drying. You can air dry your poncho as the last step.

Reapplying Treatment

  • Once your rain poncho has been cleaned and dried, you are ready to retreat your poncho.
  • You can buy a waterproofing spray or a waterproofing wash.
  • If you go with the spray, spray the rain poncho after you wash it. Let it dry in the air.
  • If you go with the wash, toss the rain poncho in the washing machine with the waterproofing wash. Use a gentle cycle. Dry using medium heat or air dry.


  • Don't wash your rain poncho too often as it will cause more wear or tear to the material.
  • Throw it in the washing machine after several rigorous uses.
  • A great rain poncho is a good investment for backpacking and other outdoor activities. Once you bought the rain poncho, make sure to maintain it properly so you can use it for a long time.

Our Conclusion - The Best Rain Poncho in  2019

Rain ponchos are a must for every backpacking trip. Not only do they protect you from rain, but they can also serve some different functions such as an emergency shelter, sleeping bag cover and a pillow.

We listed and reviewed the best and top rain ponchos in the market. They are all great, but we only get to choose one favorite.

Our favorite among the bunch is the Frogg Toggs Ultra-Lite Poncho. It is the most lightweight of all the rain ponchos we reviewed.

We place a lot of importance on weight. We don't like to carry a hefty backpack so having a perfect rain poncho for so little weight is really great!

In addition to it being lightweight, it is also very durable and offers excellent waterproofing. It comes with an adjustable hood and side snaps. Not to mention it is also huge.

Finally, it comes with a storage sack.

You really can't go wrong with the Frogg Toggs Ultra-Lite Poncho.

We hope that our buying guide and reviews have helped you pick the suitable rain poncho for your style and needs.

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