Raincoats vs Rain Ponchos
It’s the age old debate, Raincoats vs Rain ponchos, which is better? What we can all agree on is there isn’t anything worse than being out about and getting caught short in the rain. Be it when walking to work, exploring the great outdoors or travelling, getting wet is never nice. Both items will protect you from the weather, but each of them will be better in different situations.
Raincoats traditionally are close fitting and built to be functional. The regular cut for a raincoat is to be figure-hugging and to extend down to the user’s waist. There is a raincoat for every budget and occasion. They start for as little as $10 and can cost hundreds of dollars for the premium items. Normally equipped with a hood and ample pockets raincoats have a use in all sorts of situations.
Rain Ponchos have a much looser fit than raincoats and allow more freedom of movement and breathability. Like raincoats, the price and quality ranges tremendously. In recent years there has been a shift from cheap single use ponchos to more sturdy long lasting ones as people consider the environmental impact. Ponchos also tend to have a hood but often much less storage and often do not have zippers but simply pull over the user’s head.
The Raincoat argument:
- Raincoats fit much closer to the user’s body, they tend to keep the user warmer in extreme weather. Raincoats are definitely the item of choice for survival or extreme outdoor situations.
- Raincoats provide the user with a higher level of mobility as they have defined arms instead of ponchos which normally have just cuffs or no arm hole at all.
- The tighter fit of raincoats makes them better in high winds as they are less likely to flap around and catch the wind.
- Most designs of raincoat, have more functional pockets than ponchos which allows for better storage of personal items or snacks.
The Rain Poncho argument:
- Rain Poncho’s are much looser fitting than a raincoat and this allows users to keep backpacks, handbags or any other small items dry as ponchos can be worn over top.
- Because they are looser fitting, ponchos provide better ventilation and are less likely to condensate on the inside from body heat. This makes them popular for activities such as day hiking where the wearer is likely to get warm as the additional ventilation makes it easier to regulate body temperatures.
- Ponchos provide more coverage than the average raincoat as they are normally designed to come down to the mid thigh or sometimes even the knees of the wearer. This means that if you are caught short in the rain for a long period of time that the rain poncho will keep more of you dry for longer.
- They tend to be much more portable as they often come with a convenient carry pouch in which the poncho can be compressed down to a very small size making it ideal for travelling or to keep in the trunk of the car or the desk drawer at work in case the weather suddenly turns.
So what is better?
After much deliberation, we have concluded that there is a constant debate for a reason. Both products are great at serving the purpose of keeping you dry. But the particular activity that you are planning on doing will depend on which product we recommend.
It’s clear that raincoats are superior when it comes to the extreme outdoors or a survival situation as they will keep the user warmer and are closer fitting. We recommend a high quality raincoat for multi-day hikes or environments with very high wind.
Rain ponchos on the other hand are more suitable for day to day wearing. With the added benefits of covering more of your body and being able to keep personal items dry they are a much more versatile piece of clothing.
So to conclude, our recommendation depends on the use case. We recommend rain coats for extreme weather, survival and harsh environments. But we recommend rain ponchos for day to day use such as walking the dog, going to and from work and day hikes.
Hopefully this blog has given you some useful information about which piece of wet weather gear is best going to suit your needs! Stay dry out there!