Are you an outdoor recreational enthusiast? Are you a survivalist seeking to build your tool kit? If so, a survival poncho is a must-have. Whether you are going off the grid, building your survival tool kit or simply preparing for camping, scouting or out on a hiking expedition, a survivalist poncho should be on the top of your list of essentials.
There are tons to choose from and not all of them are made the same. So in the effort of making this process a bit easier for you, we’ve compiled a list of the top five best survival ponchos out on the market today.
In a Rush? The Winner after 19 hours of testing is:
1 Terra Hiker Waterproof Rain Poncho
The Terra Hiker Waterproof Rain Poncho is 3 in 1 outdoor, multi-use rain poncho perfect for outdoor recreational enthusiasts. It’s waterproof, compact, yet roomy accommodating backpacks up to 60 liters. With 3-layer thickened eyelets, it ensures the utmost durability.
3 in 1, Multi-Use
Measuring in at 55.1 inches wide and 43.3 inches long, the Terra Hiker Waterproof Rain Poncho can function as a raincoat, picnic or fishing mat, tarp, and even a tent!
3-Layer Thickened Eyelets
A seamless poncho thickened with 3 layers of eyelets, the Terra Hiker Waterproof Rain Poncho has enhanced durability. The eyelets on the hem are for fastening to tent stakes, converting the poncho to a pop-up tent.
Cost and Value
With its durable and versatile design, as well as its additional functions, the Terra Hiker Waterproof Rain Poncho shows itself to be of wonderful quality, the perfect addition for your next outdoor recreation.
2 Arcturus Rain Ponchos for Adults
The Arcturus Ponchos for Adults is a hiker’s or survivalist’s best friend. Functioning as a poncho, tarp, backpacking tent, and emergency shelter, the Arcturus Rain Ponchos for Adults is the poncho outdoor expeditions. Its materials are strong, waterproof yet lightweight.
Tarp or Shelter
Measuring at 54 inches wide and 48 inches long (4.5ft x 8ft), the Arcturus Rain Ponchos for Adults also functions as a tarp or shelter. It comes pre-installed with steel grommets in all 4 corners for an easy tie-down.
Two Layers of Waterproof Coating
Made from 210T Ripstop Taffeta and coated with 2 layers of waterproof polyurethane coating, the Arcturus Rain Ponchos for Adults is both strong and waterproof. Rest assured, this is one strong poncho.
Cost and Value
Because of its multi-use and functions, the Arcturus Rain Ponchos for Adults is a poncho worth including for your next outdoor expedition. Not only does this poncho serve a multitude of purposes, but it is also waterproof and made of strong, durable material.
3 Soviet Russian Army WWII Raincoat Poncho
The Soviet Russian Army WWII Type Soldier Field Canvas cloak tent Raincoat Poncho can at first seem like a novelty item, however, it is a fully functioning quality poncho. With eyelets on both ends, it serves as a tarp or shelter.
Designed with Eyelets
With its novelty design, the Soviet Russian Army WWII Type Soldier Field Canvas cloak tent Raincoat Poncho can function as a full, decent sized tent for its users.
Durable and Reliable
The Soviet Russian Army WWII Type Soldier Field Canvas cloak tent Raincoat Poncho is both durable and reliable for those willing to add a few tweaks here and there.
Cost and Value
For its novelty design and multipurpose use, the Soviet Russian Army WWII Type Soldier Field Canvas cloak tent Raincoat Poncho is a great addition for your next expedition.
4 Fire Force #8740 Nylon Poncho Military Style Rain Poncho
The Fire Force #8740 Nylon Poncho functions as a military-style poncho, best suited for emergency situations. It is waterproof and features 3 sets of snaps and 4 eyelets at each of its corners and 2 at the center, serving the purpose of creating a tarp, tent or shelter.
3 Sets of Snaps
The Fire Force #8740 Nylon Poncho has 3 sets of solid brass snaps on each side of the poncho. This function is to snap the poncho back into place after deployment as a tarp or shelter.
4 Eyelets at Corners, 2 at Center
Perhaps one of the best features of the Fire Force #8740 Nylon Poncho is its 6 eyelets. With 4 eyelets at each of its corners and 2 at the center, this creates a sturdy and secure tarp or shelter, preventing sagging.
Cost and Value
The Fire Force #8740 Nylon Poncho a well-designed poncho. It is best to add along in your survival tool kit, stored in your car, backpack or garage for emergency situations.
5 Waterproof Hooded Ripstop Wet Festival Rain Poncho
Designed with the same material used in many fabrics and applications by the military, the Waterproof Hooded Ripstop West Festival Rain Poncho won’t let you down. The ripstop nylon weave is incredibly lightweight, yet also strong both rip-resistant and waterproof.
Perfect for hunting or hiking expeditions, the unique ripstop weave allows for the nylon material to be lighter without losing its strength. Rest assured you’re getting a rip-resistant, waterproof poncho.
Just like the previous two ponchos on this list, the Waterproof Hooded Ripstop West Festival Rain Poncho is also a multi-use, multi-purpose poncho. With eyelets on the hem, the poncho functions also as a shelter or tarp.
Cost and Value
The design and material quality of the Waterproof Hooded Ripstop West Festival Rain Poncho are of a great standard. This particular poncho is perfect for hunting or camping expeditions.
Portability is a key factor in determining which survival poncho is best suited for your needs. Both outdoor recreation enthusiasts and survivalists alike know that having a portable poncho is an essential tool for outdoor recreation or survival tool kits.
There are differing opinions in regards to defining portability and this should be taken into consideration when purchasing a poncho. Because of this, it’s important to consider where you’ll be storing the poncho as well as when you’ll be using the poncho.
Water Resistance is another vital factor to consider when purchasing a survival poncho. Having a defective poncho can defeat the purpose of purchasing this product. It is important to purchase a poncho that is waterproof or at the very least, water-resistant.
Given the ever-changing weather conditions we experience in our day to day lives, a chance of light to heavy rains is bound to happen on a hiking, hunting or camping expedition. In a worst-case scenario where you find yourself in need of dry shelter, you need a reliable, water-resistant poncho to come to your aid to keep you from being exposed to the elements.
A quality poncho should always be manufactured with top-grade materials. This concerns the eyelets, hood and poncho itself. You want to find a poncho made with durable materials that won’t rip overtime and is water-resistant.
An “industry standard” poncho is made of ripstop, nylon or polyester material for durability and is coated with a waterproof coating such as polyurethane. Ensure that the hood also is made of quality material as this hood serves the very purpose to block out rain.
Having a versatile poncho is by far essential. In regards to versatility, the poncho should serve a multitude of purposes for outdoor recreation or activities. Check to see that it says multipurpose or multiuse.
Every poncho should come pre-equipped with eyelets or grommets on all ends to serve as shelter and a tarp. These eyelets should be made with steel or brass material. The best ponchos ensure a layer of thickening around the eyelets to avoid possible rips and tears.
Regardless of the type of poncho (be it military-style or a regular outdoor activity poncho), the last thing you need is to purchase a cheaply made ponchos that rips upon immediate usage. Alongside versatility, materials, and water resistance, durability is an incredibly important factor to consider.
A cheaply made poncho means that they will lack a durable design. The materials used to determine both the water-resistance and durability. Ensure your poncho of choice is made of strong material. Don’t be too quick in choosing your next poncho. Take time to access the type of material used in production to ensure that the poncho of your choosing is durable.
Originally created for the US military due to its high strength to low weight attribute, ripstop material or fabrics is a term you’ll see often in choosing a poncho. In short, ripstop fabrics are woven fabrics often made of nylon. They are woven using a special technique of yards interwoven in a criss-cross pattern to reinforce resistance, avoiding any chance of tearing or ripping. Ripstop fabric is very lightweight. It is used widely in the rainwear industry for its performance.
Other Ways to Use Your Poncho
There are a multitude of ways to use your poncho. Not only do they serve as raincoats, shelters, tents and tarps, when creative, their versatility is about endless. If you’re in need of “extra hands”, your poncho can serve as a sack or bag. A survival poncho can too be used to collect rainwater if you find yourself out or low on your emergency water supply. Survival ponchos too function as windbreakers, keeping away from the wind while preserving your body’s heat. On the opposite end, a poncho can also serve as a cold compress if in an environment with cold water, ice or snow, gather the cold water, ice or snow into the poncho and tightly secure it before placing it on the body. Furthermore, if you find yourself with an exposed wound while out on an expedition, a poncho can function as a wound wrap. Simply secure the poncho or a piece of the poncho around the wound. Survival ponchos too can function as extra shelter for your gear if needed to keep them exposed from a chance drizzle or downpour.
Other Factors to Consider
This one may sound like a no-brainer, but a breathable survival poncho is another factor you may want to put into consideration. Not every poncho is made of breathable material. Materials/fabrics like ripstop nylon are known to be breathable due to their woven design, however, materials like polyester are not as breathable, they are nonabsorbent meaning your skin must do the “evaporation” process for you.
Keep in mind the type of material used for the fabric of the poncho and understand the different types of materials/fabrics. If you are perhaps a sweater person, this could be a make or break factor for you.
Always purchase a high-quality, grade-A material poncho whether it is a military-style or regular outdoor poncho. You are always guaranteed to get your money’s worth when choosing quality. Cheaply made ponchos or knockoffs (be wary some online vendors try to pass off their knock-offs as the real deal) are not durable, most likely not waterproof or resistant , thus highly ineffective. They guaranteed to disintegrate at some point.
We should always keep in mind that ponchos aren’t made the same or of similar standard. Keep this in mind when purchasing your chosen poncho. It is not worth taking the risk of purchasing a cheaply made survival rain poncho with defective eyelets/grommets or weak rip prone fabrics. This defeats the purpose of having a poncho.
Having an effective poncho is by far essential. In regards to effectiveness, this is defined by the quality of fabric, eyelets/grommets, type of waterproof coating as well as the hood of the poncho.
Choose a poncho that is made of high-density fabric, waterproof tested, seam-sealed with a layered thickening around its eyelets/grommets. Again, the best fabrics are ripstop nylon, taffeta or high-density polyester. The coating should have at least two layers of waterproof polyurethane or a silicone-based seam sealer. This will ensure that you’ve purchased an effective survival poncho.
The size of the poncho is only an important factor to put into consideration if you happen to be smaller or larger than most adults. Normally, survival ponchos tend to be about 55 inches wide and 43 inches long. However, this does vary. Military-style ponchos can be a bit larger, about 85 inches long and 56 inches wide. This is for them to be used as a larger source of shelter.
Put this into consideration when determining which is the best poncho for your needs. Are you in need of a military-style poncho or will a regular outdoor recreation poncho suffice? Keep this in mind before making your purchase.
At the end of the day, you need a survival poncho made of quality material, water-resistant, durable yet portable, versatile and breathable in order for you to get the most value out of your survival poncho.
These factors or criteria each come together to ensure that the poncho is effective. You can’t have one without the other, that said, make sure whatever poncho you intend on purchasing, checks off these important criteria.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is a survival poncho?
A: Ponchos are not worn for their aesthetics, they are however used for their practicality in regards to survival. Ponchos are tools for survival. They function as waterproof raincoats and are versatile, functioning as emergency shelters, tents or tarps.
Q: Why do you need a survival poncho?
A: Survival ponchos not only function as raincoats, but they can also be used as a source of shelter to keep you from the elements if in a situation without proper shelter, a tarp or tent.
Q: How can I build a shelter with a survival poncho?
A: With a piece of rope or something or similar function, a few stakes and your poncho, you can build a variety of shelters to keep you dry in a rainstorm. The type of shelter you build depends on the type of protection you need. People normally build tarps or makeshift tents.
Q: Can you use your poncho to collect rainwater?
A: In fact, yes! Before the start of the downpour or drizzle, whatever it may be, lay your poncho in a hole or dig up a small hole if there is not one. You need to create a basin. As the rain pours, your poncho will collect the clean water for you to drink after the storm.
Q: Is ripstop nylon breathable?
A: Ripstop nylon is a strong fabric with a 8-10lb tear strength. It is water repellent and breathable due to its interwoven criss-cross threads, weaving the threads together to create a strong fabric that is tear-resistant. Since ripstop nylon is uncoated, it is a breathable fabric.
Q: Is polyester comfortable?
A: Polyester is a synthetic material. Because of this, it is one of the least comfortable fabrics to wear. Polyester isn’t exactly breathable either. Some find that when wearing polyester, they can feel sweaty or feel a sense of humidity. This is because the moisture absorption of polyester is very low.