If you are stuck in a downpour when hiking or backpacking, a regular poncho just won’t do! The best backpacking ponchos are designed to keep both you AND your gear dry, with the durability you need for rugged, outdoor use.
In this guide, I’ve put together a list of some of the best ponchos for backpacking that are on the market. I’ve also taken a closer look at the features you need for protection from the rain on your outdoor adventures.
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What To Look For When Buying A Poncho For Backpacking
Here are the main features that all good backpacking ponchos should have in order to keep you snug and dry when you’re out on the trail.
Keeping the rain out is, of course, the main purpose of a backpacking poncho. So you will want to check that the material from which it is made is up to the job!
All the ponchos in this guide repel the rain very effectively. They may not always be the cheapest options around, but the quality of a poncho is reflected very much in the price.
An inferior product is not only less effective at protecting you from the rain but is also likely to be uncomfortable to wear for long periods of time.
A good poncho for backpacking needs to be big enough to cover you AND your pack very comfortably. Check the specifications to make sure that the overall area of the poncho is large enough to do this.
Some products offer the bonus feature of snaps at the back. These allow you to keep the back panel out of the way on days you choose to hike without your pack.
If you’ve ever been caught in the rain and experienced water running down the back of your neck, then you will know that a closely fitting hood is essential!
Look for a poncho with either a drawstring hood or a zippered neck closure that allows you to fit it as closely as possible to the contours of your face.
Some even offer a cap-style bill or peak, which is a nice extra touch that helps keep the rain out of your eyes.
It is also helpful if there are fasteners elsewhere on the poncho. These will cinch it in so that it fits you better, doesn’t flap as much in the wind, and prevents rain from blowing in.
The Top 7 Ponchos For Backpacking
These are the best backpacking ponchos on the market. They will allow you to enjoy your hike or trip with confidence, even in the wettest conditions.
USGI Industries Military Style Poncho
Available in five different colors, this military-spec poncho is 59 inches wide and 86 inches long in total. This means that it is easily big enough to easily fit over a large backpack, keeping both you and your gear dry.
Made from 210T polyurethane coated, high-density rip-stop polyester, its design is based on US military field gear technology. This means that it has an impressive water resistance rating of 3000mm and the fabric is quiet when it moves, so you can approach wildlife without being heard.
We love how this poncho can be adjusted to keep you as dry and snug as possible. The hood has a drawstring so it will fit you securely, and another is included in the waist area, this gives you a further 16 inches of adjustability.
Supplied with its own matching carry bag, this poncho for backpackers features 8 heavy-duty metal grommets that you can use to attach a liner for extra insulation. They also make it easy to use for lots of other purposes – as a sun canopy, for example, or even a tent divider!
Anyoo Waterproof Rain Poncho
These lightweight ponchos for backpackers come in 14 different bright and vibrant colors.
Designed to protect you and your gear from the worst downpours, these models feature a soft, plastic cap-style peak on the hood to help keep the rain off your face. There are also snap closures on the neck opening, so that you get a good fit and keep the water out.
Further adjustments are provided on either side by 6 snap closures that allow you to bring the poncho closer to your body.
The 190T high-density polyester fabric has a PVC coating, giving it a water resistance rating of 3000mm. Not only does it repel water, but it dries quickly too, so you can pack it up as soon as the weather improves and be on your way!
The poncho weighs just 12 ounces and fits easily into its 7″ x 5 1/2″ storage bag, meaning it won’t take up much space in your gear.
Adventure World Globotrekker
Packed in its little 6.3″ x 4″ bag, this poncho takes up very little space. At just over 12 ounces, it’s very lightweight, too!
But open it out and it gives you a large area of protection, 55 inches wide and with more than enough length to comfortably cover you and your backpack. Should you ever wish to use it without a backpack, then the back can be easily buttoned up.
Made from high-quality, ultra waterproof 210T terylene fabric, this is a product that is designed to give you thorough protection from driving rain. The drawstring hood has a built-in bill to protect your eyes and a zipped neck, so you can close it as tightly as you need.
It is available in 7 vibrant, highly visible colors – so you can easily find one to suit your style.
Snugpak Patrol Poncho
The Snugpack Patro Punchos are some of the best backpacking ponchos for serious hikers, these have some outstanding features that make them ideal in poor weather.
Generously cut to cover both you and your backpack, the poncho has an adjustable hood for a snug fit and thumb loops located in the cuffs. These provide some much-needed extra coverage when the weather is very cold.
There is a Velcro map pocket with a storm flap on the chest area and all seams are fully taped, so you won’t need to worry about water seeping in.
The poncho is made from a highly waterproof Paratex Dry fabric, which is exclusive to Snugpak and gives it a rating of 2000mm. Available in three different colors, it comes with its own stuff sack measuring just 8 inches by 4 inches when compressed.
ANTVEE Rain Ponchos
Offering great value for money, these ponchos for backpacking are made from an environmentally friendly Eva material that feels soft to the touch and dries quickly.
These models have everything you need to protect you from the worst of the weather, including welded seams, an adjustable drawstring hood, and fasteners along the sides that make sure they fit properly and your arms stay dry.
Large enough to comfortably cover your backpack, each breathable poncho weighs just 6 ounces and packs down to a small size. It is resistant to tearing and easy to put on in a hurry, thanks to the generous size of the arm holes.
FROGG TOGGS Ultra-Lite2 Poncho
Available in a range of colors, these backpacking ponchos from Frogg Toggs are designed to keep you well protected from the elements during your outdoor adventures.
Each poncho weighs 9 ounces and is made from a very breathable, nonwoven polypropylene that keeps you dry without feeling sweaty and uncomfortable. Whilst the outer layer of this poncho effectively repels the rain, the inner layer feels soft against the skin.
The welded waterproof seams provide an extra level of defense against the rain whilst the side snaps and adjustable hood with cord locks ensure a comfortable fit and stop the poncho from flying around too much in the wind.
A stuff sack is provided to make it easy to carry and the generous size covers both you and your gear with ease.
Outdoor Products Poncho Backpacker
This backpacking poncho is just what you need when bad weather strikes. Easy to throw on as soon as the heavens open, it fits over you and your backpack easily.
But should you need it at any point when you’re without your pack, you can just snap the back panel out of the way! This model is made from water-resistant, urethane-coated nylon taffeta that will keep you snug and dry, with the watertight bound seams ensuring that no rain seeps in at any point.
There are snaps at the sides and wrists to keep the poncho in place and protect you from the worst weather, whilst the full-cut integral hood can be easily adjusted with a drawcord to stop rain from entering.
A versatile piece of kit to add to your hiking gear, this poncho features nylon web-tie cords at the corners. This means you can easily adapt it for use as a tarp or rainfly whenever necessary.
Final Thoughts On Ponchos For Backpackers
There’s nothing worse than experiencing bad weather on a backpacking trip only to discover that it’s not just you that’s wet – it’s your gear, too!
These backpacking ponchos will ensure that experience becomes a thing of the past. They all offer the protection you need to enjoy every moment of your outdoor adventures… whatever the weather has in store!
Need more help with your gear? Read one of the following guides: