The 4 Best Backpacking Rain Poncho for Campers and Hikers

Don’t we just love the outdoors? For me, it’s definitely the crisp air and the scenery that keep me going. However, there are times when the weather gets me. When it starts to rain, it could be disappointing. Luckily, backpacking rain ponchos are a thing now! Here’s my top list:

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S. No​​​​

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Product Name

Score

1

via amazon.com

JTENG Rain Poncho 

94
/100

2

via amazon.com

Terra Hiker Rain Poncho

92
/100

3

via amazon.com

Sara Glove Adult 10 Mil Reusable Rain Ponchos

90
/100

4

via amazon.com

Charles River Apparel Pacific Poncho

96
/100

Top List: Best Backpacking Rain Poncho

JTENG Rain Poncho Waterproof

via amazon.com

I love hiking on long trails and camping overnight, but chances are I’m going to experience rain, so an all-around rain poncho is what I bring during such trips. The JTENG Rain Poncho is waterproof, so I’m guaranteed to have a dry time while I’m outside. In terms of durability and price, it’s definitely my pick since the hems are well-stitched and made out of Ripstop, and it’s all just for a fair price.

If you think that the JTENG only works as a raincoat, then you’re wrong. The exciting part is that you can unclasp its buttons and use it as an outdoor mat too. As a person who loves to picnic, this feature is certainly convenient especially when the ground is wet from the rain; plus, I can even spread it out and hang it on a rope to make a tent, making it one of my best rain poncho picks of all time. 

Pros

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    It’s light and manageable
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    It’s made out of durable Ripstop
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    You can use it as an outdoor mat or tent as well
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    It comes in three colors: Maple, Green, and Camo

Cons

  • The clasps could get loose over time
  • Forearms could get wet when you extend them

Terra Hiker Rain Poncho

via amazon.com

The second on my list is the Terra Hiker Rain Poncho. Mostly, because it’s lightweight, I use this for casual walks or during light hiking trips with my friends. Although the material is light, it still works well during a heavy downpour. It also has extra space at the back so that you can bring your backpacks and camping materials without them getting soaked in the rain.

So far, the Terra Hiker is not only great for hiking but for outdoor activities like picnics and camping too. Sometimes, when we have a barbeque cookout, I personally use this as an additional mat since its highly resistant to moist and durable enough to sit on over jagged rocks on the ground.

Pros

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    Multi-colored: Blue, Dark Blue, Green, and Orange
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    It’s lightweight and portable
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    Extra back room

Cons

  • Condensation occurs during heavy rain
  • Your sides could get wet by the rain when it’s windy
  • The coat moves and will need to be adjusted from time to time

Sara Glove Adult 10 Mil Reusable Rain Ponchos (Sold in Packs of 1, 6, 12, & 48)

via amazon.com

If you want an affordable raincoat, the Sara Glove rain poncho is one of the cheapest rain gear that I know of. You can even buy this in bulks. So, personally, this is the coat I bring when I go out with a group of friends while we’re camping. Though the quality is not at it’s very best compared to the expensive ones, because it’s very affordable, I worry less as I can purchase as many as I want anyway.

This makes it excellent for group camping because I can share around a pack with my friends. For single usage, you can also opt to buy only one. What I like about this aside from its price is that it comes with a sealable pouch for convenience, making it easier to carry around wherever I go.

Pros

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    It comes with a handy pouch for convenient handling
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    Thick and durable material
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    Affordable and comes in bulks

Cons

  • Head opening is small
  • Snaps can break easily

Charles River Apparel Pacific Poncho

via amazon.com

I have a Charles River coat that was given by my friend. Though I’m not a direct user, I still commend it for its stylishness and its wide array of colors to choose from. Aside from this, I also love how it’s made from waterproof fibers. It has a heat-sealed seam feature and a hood with drawstrings and snap necks for extra protection. Lastly, I like that I can hand-wash it when needed, so you can reuse this as much as you like.

I love the quality and feature of this raincoat. However, it’s leaning more on the expensive side though I won’t hesitate to buy one. Personally, if you want a long-lasting rain poncho, this one is worth it despite the price.

Pros

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    It has a wide array of color choices
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    It’s light and easily slides when worn
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    It has drawstrings and a heat-sealed seam feature for wind and rain protection

Cons

  • It’s expensive
  • It has a bulkier package

Advantages of Using a Rain Poncho when Hiking and Camping

There are a number of reasons why a rain poncho is more ideal than your typical jacket or umbrella. If you’re not a regular user, here are some of the benefits when you’re using a rain poncho when hiking or camping:

  • Flexible

As an outdoor enthusiast, I tend to pick products that have a lot of usages. For me, rain ponchos have that flexibility and practicality. Aside from using it as cover, you can also use it as a mat, a tent, and even a hammock.

  • Convenient

Because you’re hiking and camping outdoors, you’ll definitely need your hands to hold other important things as often as possible. You don’t get this freedom when you’re bringing an umbrella or when you’re fussing over your soaked jacket. So, it’s a convenient gear when you’re out in the woods.

  • Water-resistant

You’re far from being soaked when wearing a rain poncho. Plus, its pockets and hoods are designed to keep the water out, so you can definitely bring your gadgets or other important stuff without worrying that they’ll get wet.

  • Breathable and Lightweight

Rain ponchos are made to be lightweight. Wearing one means that you’ll be able to move without struggles and feel like you’re not wearing anything at all.

What to Look for in a Rain Poncho?

When I purchase my raincoats, I always follow a checklist. You can have your own ways of picking a raincoat, but this works for me:

Material

First of all, I inspect the material being used. It doesn’t matter what type of material it is made of as long as it’s breathable and lightweight to use. Since I always camp out, it’s important that my gears are manageable for convenience.

Resistance

For this, I opt for the all-in-one kind of rain poncho. I go for the ones that are waterproof and windproof. As long as it’ll last long since I usually camp for days, then I go with it.

Durability

Make sure that you check out all of the seams, zippers, clasps, Velcro, and strings on your rain poncho. Those that are strongly sewn and attached on the coat is what you should consider. One way of determining this is by lightly tugging them, and if they don’t loosen up too quickly, get them.

Features

As a practical outdoor enthusiast, rain ponchos should have multiple usages and features. Things to consider are zippers, hoods, pockets, drawstrings, vents, and a storage bag for packing. The more features there are, the better it is for you.

Design

Lastly, take note of the design though I don’t really pay much attention to this. Now, you can already choose from a variety of colors and designs. Just pick out what you prefer but still consider the outdoor activity you’re joining in.

Tips to Care for your Rain Poncho

Taking care of your rain poncho isn’t that complicated. In fact, because I constantly hike, I always end up cleaning it as often as I plan to. Despite this, I don’t mind. Here are some of the ways I clean and take care of my raincoat:

Follow the Coat Label

Most of the time, a label with cleaning instructions are placed at the back of the coat. If you want it to last long, follow it.

Air Dry

If it isn’t forbidden by its manufacturer, you can simply air dry your coats. Sometimes, I wipe off the excess water with a tissue or cloth especially when it’s dripping or when I’m in a hurry to fold it for storage.

Wash it

You don’t have to wash it every after use. However, if you’re noticing grim, oil, or mud, you can hand wash or toss it in your washing machine. But, keep in mind that you’re not using your regular detergent. Instead, opt for Nikwax; I personally use this for washing since it strips off dirt without ruining the material. Once done, dry it before you store it in the bag.

Conclusion

Though I like all of the rain ponchos mentioned, there can only be one that I prefer above all else. I pick the JTENG Rain Poncho. The Ripstop is durable enough to handle my constant outdoor activities whether it’s raining or not. It’s waterproof and does not blow easily by the wind, making it a reliable gear when you’re into extreme hiking or camping under extreme weather conditions. As for the durability, I’ve been using this for months now, and it still hasn’t been damaged greatly. There are also a lot of features and usages, so it passes on my practicality checklist. Lastly, though the colors aren’t that varied, I still prefer a simple design with mellow colors. Overall, the JTENG coat is my pick when it comes to quality, durability, and price.

Lauren Reese
 

I'm Laura. I have a huge passion for hiking and camping. Lying under the star beside the tent and camping fire with my team is the ultimate nature getaway to me. I wish to share my experience during the adventure with you through this blog. Feel free to read my stories and leave some comments if you like.

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