When people think of ponchos, they may think of either the flimsy plastic bag-like material that you buy at sports events when there’s an unexpected downpour, or what amounts to a blanket with a hole for your head worn by the ultra hip set. But ponchos don’t have to lack style just for function or vice versa. They can be super practical as rain gear, yet super cool, too! That’s what I found out when I became a brand ambassador for The People’s Poncho. So The People's Poncho sent me a deeply discounted one (translation: free!) to test out and use and here's what I think!
What It Is:
Sure, it’s a rain poncho, but it’s an awesomely upgraded version of a traditional rain poncho! It’s got snaps to make “sleeves”. It’s also got straps to put your hands through when riding your bicycle so that when your hands are on the handlebars, your poncho doesn’t fly up and hit you in the face.
What I Really Think:
I love it! It’s incredibly practical. For example, it has a pocket with a waterproof zipper in the front for your phone, your keys, etc. The material is super sturdy, yet lightweight.. Like I mentioned, you can even make “sleeves”.
We got so many compliments on our travel– no kidding! As we were getting off the plane in the Faroe Islands, it was raining, so we threw on our ponchos over our jackets and backpacks. People stopped us and said, “That’s a great idea! I wish I had one.” On our cycling tour in Scotland, the tour company owner was our guide and he was interested in them for his cycle tours.
They’re also very packable. They come with their own pouch! So you can simply throw it in the 8 ½ inch x 6 inch pouch when you’re done with it! There are even instructions on The People's Poncho website on how to fold it!
It’s one size fits all. At 5’1” (about 155cm), it consumes me a bit, and the hood flops into my eyes, but the good thing is that you can tighten the hood so it doesn’t blind you. My husband is almost a foot taller than me and it fits him just fine.
What It’s Best For:
A lot of stuff! We used ours on our trip through Iceland, Scotland and Faroe Islands – three places known for rainy weather. It was particularly useful as we carried our backpacks around because we could slip the ponchos over our heads, covering our backpacks, and everything stayed dry.
Like I mentioned, we donned them on our bike tour in Scotland. I was concerned that any extra poncho material might get caught in my wheels because I’m so short, but not so. It was fine. I slipped my hands through the straps which kept my poncho covering my handlebars so my legs didn’t get wet and my poncho didn’t fly up and whack me in the face.
I also wear mine to walk to work on rainy days. I can put a coat or jacket on under it, toss my work bag over my shoulder and put on my poncho. I stay totally dry.
I’m thinking they might even be great on a rainy dive boat on the way back to land after a dive, but since you can’t wash them, I wonder if they might end up smelling a bit like the ocean.
What It Isn’t Good For:
Keeping you warm. The poncho is rain gear, so it’s not meant to be worn in place of a coat. If you’re in colder, wet weather, you can easily wear a coat underneath.
How It Wears:
So far, so good. The material is really high quality and they are easy to clean with a damp soapy cloth. I have a bright yellow poncho and I use it frequently. After several months of using it for traveling and walking to work, it still looks great (and I’m not particularly gentle with mine).
You can’t throw it in the washer. The People’s Poncho website even specifically says to wipe it down with warm soapy water.
Yeah, it’s expensive at $66 (excluding shipping, as it’s coming from the UK) but like I mentioned, the material is very high quality and I use it a lot. For me, it’s worth the expense (but I recognize that mine was complimentary as part of my position as a brand ambassador).
I’m really happy with my poncho. And while it’s a bit pricey if you’re only buying it for a trip, it’s really quite utilitarian for everyday use.