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