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Test Reviews of Capes and Ponchos

Full Reviews

Poncho tests are done by keen watersports enthusiasts for our readers. Whenever we get our hands on a new poncho or rain cape, we do a full review where we test it under realistic conditions, checking it the way people would use it out in the wet and wild. If it is any good we publish a review.

First Look

Below are brief reports about ponchos or rain capes. We check them out and try them on if possible. This might happen at a shop, a trade show, or some other event. These are not full reviews, just a first look.

Craghoppers Poncho

The Craghoppers Poncho is a classic response to the vexed problem of backpack friendly wet weather wear.

This is a simple solution for enjoying summer showers. Billed as a lightweight summer product and just showerproof it is great for warm countries with monsoon weather, because it breathes and doesn't make you too hot.

Biggest size is Large. It is not too bulky and packs away into it's own pocket or stuff sack. The hood has a generous size, but no drawcord to keep it in place on windy days. With a wide brimmed hat it might work.

It is a bit shorter than most ponchos, more like a long anorak replacement. Designed to offer coverage from head to above the knee, it goes well with Craghoppers' quick-drying cargo pants, ready for wet adventures. Arm openings on the sides let you wear it for swimming.


We really like the lightweight fabric which feels very soft to the touch. Good replacement for anorak or rain jacket. Should be easy to swim in as it is relatively short. AquaDry is said to guarantee waterproof protection from moderate downpours. Being shorter than most ponchos it is just right for getting caught in the rain or a quick dip in the lake.

Sea to Summit Poncho

Due to the lightweight and tiny pack size this poncho fits easily into your backpack.

This poncho is the perfect supplement for your equipment, both for everyday use or for emergencies. The slippery soft mаtеriаƖ helps to pack it away quickly.

With only a few steps this poncho can be converted to a shelter or changing room on the beach.


The Ultra-Sil® Tarp-Poncho is a great old idea brought into the 21st century through the use of revolutionary Ultra-Sil® siliconised Cordura® and clever design.

Ideal for temperate climates, emergency use, group use or ultralight backpacking.

The Ultra-Sil® Tarp-Poncho is not only a tarp or poncho, but a pack cover, tent awning or groundsheet.


Super compact and ultra light. Easily converts from rainwear to shelter. Accommodates large backpack. Waterproof seams, double stitched and tape seam sealed. Ultra-Sil® fabric for maximum durability. Ergonomic, three panel peaked hood. Siliconised outer won’t wet out but shakes dry. Size: 145cm x 280cm

Exped Bivy Poncho

As functional as a Swiss Army Knife the Exped Bivy-Poncho provides full rain and wind protection and doubles as bivy bag or tarp. One size fits all as it can be shortened.

Bivy Poncho UL

The Bivy Poncho UL is the lightweight version, and comes with fully taped seams. Less durable due to the ultralight fabric but comes with 2 year warranty.

The Exped Bivy Poncho UL serves as protection against the wind and rain: it protects you and your backpack. This ultra lightweight poncho is versatile because it turns into a shelter, like a bivy bag or tarp.


The taped seams provide a long-lasting waterproofing. The loose cut allows good ventilation. The ergonomic hood has a protective visor. It is cut so that it fits when you turn your head. The Exped Bivy Poncho UL is adjustable according to its morphology. Possible adjustment through pressure buttons on the edges of the poncho UL. The cord around the waist prevents the poncho from blowing in the wind.

Regatta Pier Poncho

This is a packable overhead hiking rain cape, not really a poncho as it is closed on sides and has long sleeves, more like a long cagoule. This means you can wear it for swimming.

It's very lightweight and packs away into its own front pocket, making it an ideal coat to throw in a bag or in the boot of the car for summer days out. The Pier Poncho is perfect to keep on hand for when you get caught out in unexpected showers.

This poncho cape features a large chest pocket for storing essential items. Other features include an attached adjustable hood and fully taped seams which ensure no water can get through the stitching of the jacket. The poncho is unlined meaning the waterproof seam taping is visible on the inside of the poncho.


  • Waterproof and windproof Hydrafort fabric
  • Taped seams
  • Lightweight and packs into own front pocket
  • Durable water repellent finish
  • Shockcord adjustable attached hood
  • Suitable for swimming and other water sports


This is a hiking rain cape. It comes with a long back. You can sit in a wet place and you're covered. Swimming in this long sleeved rain cape is easy, just like a loose fitting cagoule, making it useful for many water sports.

Poncho Rain Cape Reviews
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