Getting outside and going for a walk or a hike is probably more important now than it’s ever been. Going backpacking is a great way to enjoy the outdoors and get some good exercise in while spending quality time with the people you love.
For the most part, backpackers are outside for long periods of time, and often in places where the weather can change very quickly. The tools and other items you keep in your backpack when you go for a nice hike should be things that will nurture your body or protect you in the event of a storm. One of those items should be a rain poncho. For a hiker, rain can turn a really nice walk into a soggy, uncomfortable chore. Rain ponchos keep backpackers dry, though.
What Are Rain Ponchos?
Rain ponchos are pullover tops that you can put on over your clothing to keep them and yourself dry when it starts to rain. They’re made of waterproof materials and are different than raincoats because they’re lighter weight and easy to store in a purse, backpack, or other type of bag. In most cases, you would just keep a poncho with you for times when you’re outside and get caught in the rain.
Uses for Rain Ponchos—Are Ponchos Good For Hiking?
People can use rain ponchos for anything they’re doing outside. Some of the popular places people take ponchos include:
- Theme parks
- Sports games
- Outdoor tourist attractions
- National parks
and yes…hiking trails! Rain ponchos are a great idea for any hiker’s pack. You should always have one with you when you go backpacking.
Do Ponchos Keep You Dry?
The best rain ponchos do keep you dry because they’re made of nylon that’s still lightweight but does a good job at keeping water out. You should look for a rain poncho that’s large enough to give you full coverage for your clothing but not so big that the hole for your head allows a lot of water to seep inside.
The one downside for a rain poncho when it comes to keeping you dry is when the rain comes in with a lot of wind. Mountain hiker rain storms often are accompanied by a lot of wind, so that’s something to consider if you’re going to be doing most of your backpacking in the mountains.
Which Is Better, Poncho Or Raincoat?
For those who are looking for the best rain product for backpacking, a rain poncho is going to be better than a raincoat. Rain ponchos offer better ventilation. When you’re doing something active like hiking, there’s a good chance you’ll get hot and sweat some. You want there to be enough airflow to allow your skin to dry. The best rain ponchos will give you the good airflow you’ll want on your hikes.
Another plus for the rain poncho is it doesn’t cost as much as a raincoat usually does. There are even disposable versions of rain ponchos that won’t cost you more than a buck. You can buy a reusable rain poncho for as low as $10.
Other reasons why rain ponchos are better than raincoats are they’re lighter so you won’t be adding much weight to your pack, they give you more coverage than raincoats because they drape down usually to your knees or lower, and you can even put it on over your backpack.
What Is The Best Rain Poncho?
One of the best rain ponchos on the market is the Frogg Toggs Ultra-Lite Poncho. It’s super light-weight, has snaps on the sides to help keep it in place, has an adjustable hood for added protection, and the material it’s made of is very breathable to help you stay dry and cool. It comes with a storage pouch to keep it protected in your bag, too. All of the materials it’s made from can be recycled, also, as an added bonus.
Who Invented The Rain Poncho?
Before there could be a rain poncho, there had to be a waterproof material to make it out of. That material started with a chemist named Charles Macintosh in the year 1824. He created large rubber sheets that were later used to make wearable garments out of.
Originally, the rubber material was used to make various styles of raincoats. But, in the 1930s, a rubber rain poncho emerged and became quite popular because of how easy it was to put it on and take it off.
Where Can I Buy Rain Ponchos To Protect Me From Hiker Rain?
You may not have noticed before, but you can find some of the best rain ponchos at the stores you shop at all the time. Rain ponchos are sold at some of the best known retailers in the world. You’ll find them in big box stores, discount retailers, outdoor stores, boutique shops, and even home improvement stores. Let’s take a look at some well-known retailers to see if they sell rain ponchos?
Does Home Depot Sell Ponchos?
Home Depot sells a few different versions of a rain poncho. These may not be the best rain ponchos for backpackers who are going to be encountering hiker rain in the mountains or on heavily wooded trails, but they could be good for other kinds of hikes and different activities.
Does Walmart Sell Rain Ponchos?
You can buy everything from packs of disposable rain ponchos to the Frogg Toggs Ultra-Lite Rain Poncho we mentioned earlier at Walmart. They sell a large array of them so you can find the best rain ponchos for meeting your different needs.
Does the Dollar Store Sell Rain Ponchos?
While the Dollar Store does sell ponchos that are great for one-time use, like at a baseball game or something similar, they don’t sell any of the best rain ponchos that will give you good protection against hiker rain storms. Backpackers will likely want to look for a rain poncho somewhere else.
Does Family Dollar Have Rain Ponchos?
Similarly, you can find a rain poncho at Family Dollar, however, just like the Dollar Store, they’re meant for emergency situations where you’re caught by surprise. You won’t find the best rain ponchos for dealing with hiker rain at this retailer.
Does 5 Below Have Ponchos?
5 Below has a better rain poncho for those who will be backpacking in areas where they may encounter some hiker rain storms. One of their best rain ponchos comes in a few different colors and has a tidy little bag to store it in that makes it easy to pack. It’s lightweight, long for good coverage, and is large enough to fit most people.
In the End, the Best Rain Poncho for Backpacking Is…
The one that fits you best while serving your needs for the type of environment you’re going to be backpacking in. You’ll likely want one that is reusable, lightweight with good ventilation, long enough on your arms and body to give you the best coverage, and has snaps or other design features that keep it in place better in the wind. The best rain ponchos will keep you dry wherever you are should the rain start falling, so make sure you include one on your backpacking essentials packing list before heading out on any of your hiking adventures.
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