Going out on a hike, and suddenly a heavy downpour reaches you. The nearest shelter is far from where you are, and you only have trees around you. In this situation, a military poncho can save you.
Military ponchos are known to be heavy-duty and multi-functional, able to withstand whatever nature has to offer. In a survival situation, you always need something that can turn into a waterproof emergency shelter to keep you warm, dry, and safe.
Here are our top 7 picks of the best military ponchos in the market.
Top 7 Best Military Ponchos Reviewed
- Foxelli Hooded Rain Poncho – Best Overall
- Arcturus Lightweight Ripstop Nylon Poncho – Best Value
- Huncho Hunting Rain Poncho – Editor’s Choice
- Mil-Tec Wet Weather Poncho
- GloryFire Technical Soft-Shell Tactical Poncho
- Terra Hiker Waterproof Rain Poncho
- SaphiRose 3-in-1 Rain Poncho
#1. Foxelli Hooded Rain Poncho – Best Overall
- Length: 95 inches
- Width: 55 inches
- Weight: 0.7 pounds
Foxelli prides on the quality of their products, and it shows in the people’s reception of it online. As a company specializing in outdoor accessories and equipment, their Hooded Rain Poncho holds up to the high-quality pride the company stands for.
Made with a durable 210T high density and tear-resistant PU3000MM coated polyester, the reusable ponchos are made to last. It is made to be extra-large, designed to fit a 50-liter backpack, and still get your entire body covered with Velcro fasteners on the cuffs to keep you secure.
As a military poncho should function, it can be used in many different ways: for temporary shelter as a tent or rain tarp, a sunshade, a sleeping bag cover, or as a ground mat (or a picnic mat, according to Foxelli’s description).
Want to showcase your personality with the poncho? Foxelli offers a variety of colors and designs that also comes with a matching carry bag.
A good feature of this poncho is its adjustable hood with an added visor. The hood is equipped with a drawstring for you to adjust, and the visor prevents most of the rainwater from splashing onto your face.
With its pride in its high-quality products, many users express their satisfaction with the poncho online. Ranging from music festival-goers to frequent trekkers, most are satisfied with its overall performance.
While little issues like some designs were not as waterproof as the other poncho designs are present, the consensus agrees that Foxelli delivers with their durable, high-quality military ponchos.
|Comes with carrying bag||Some designs are not as waterproof as others|
|Large and lightweight|
#2. Arcturus Lightweight Ripstop Nylon Poncho – Best Value
- Length: 48 to 96 inches
- Width: 54 inches
- Weight: 0.7 pounds
If you are a survivalist and love frequenting the great outdoors, the Arcturus Ripstop Nylon Poncho may be the best choice for you.
It is the definition of ultra-lightweight, weighing only 0.7 pounds. It can fit into the 8-inch by 4-inch bag that comes with it, making it super compact it saves you a lot of space considering all the other accessories and equipment you will be carrying.
When encountering a heavy downpour, you can comfortably wear the poncho’s large hood, even when wearing a baseball cap. It also comes with an adjustable drawstring if you prefer the hood to be snug. People nearing the 6-foot tall range won’t have to worry, as the 48-inch long poncho can protect you past your knees until at most half of your calf.
Even if it is light and compact, its 210T Ripstop Taffeta Nylon makes it heavy duty and durable. Plus, two coats of tactical waterproof polyurethane reinforce the poncho, ensuring that it is completely waterproof.
As with great military ponchos, this one is versatile. It can open to 96 inches in length, providing a large room when using it as a ground cloth or lean-to emergency shelter. Four steel grommets on each corner, so you can attach it on branches or other things using a paracord.
The lightweight military poncho got overwhelmingly positive reviews online, most especially users who are more than 6 feet tall. They were happy with the poncho overall, as it mostly covers them, including their backpack, and they stay mostly dry since the poncho reaches the middle of their calves.
You can choose from many different colors of the product, and it is unisex so that anybody can fit well into it.
|Versatile for lean-to emergency shelters||Not fit for children|
|Ultra-lightweight and compact|
|Good for tall users|
#3. Huncho Hunting Rain Poncho – Editor’s Choice
- Length: 86 inches
- Width: 55 inches
- Weight: 0.7 pounds
Out of all the ponchos on the list, the Huncho Poncho seems to be a more heavy-duty military poncho that is functional with actual weapons if you are into hunting. It is weapons-compatible, with a waterproof pass-through rear zipper—which also acts as a ventilation zipper—designed to give you easy access to your stowed weapon or backpack but still keep you dry.
The Huncho Poncho advertises itself as the only breathable, ventilated poncho on the market, featuring front and back ventilation zips to keep your body cool.
One of the other ventilation zippers in the front also serves as a hidden pocket where you can keep your devices and maps dry. It also includes an external chest pocket where you can stow your binoculars and other equipment of the same size.
What makes it more compatible for hunting is the large hood with an extendable zipper and a built-in visor. This gives you more space to move your head without the poncho getting in the way too much. If you like to fill your chest pockets with equipment, extra padding is added around the neck for increased comfort.
The hunting poncho is made with waterproof 5000MM rating high quality 210T Ripstop taffeta, reinforced with two polyurethane coating layers. The high-quality material minimizes tears when you get snagged from sitting or lying down. Zippers are seam-sealed and with double-layered lining for the six eyelets at the hem for multi-functional use.
Four snap buttons on each side of the poncho are double-sided, allowing multiple ponchos to be connected into a large mat or large temporary/emergency shelter.
For storage, it comes in a cylindrical cardboard container with a compact 8-inch carry bag to stow your poncho.
With its expensive price, many users are doubtful whether the poncho is worth it. But with its special features and high-quality material, most are happy with the product.
Some have encountered issues, with tall people not fitting in the poncho nicely and several quality issues with the carry bag. The carry bag seems to fall apart when users try to stow their poncho away.
But other than that, most of the hunting military poncho’s features work as advertised. Many people are pleased with the ventilation zippers and accessibility that they could not get with other ponchos.
|Lightweight and compact||Carry bag is not as high-quality|
|Specialized for hunting||Too short for tall people|
|Ventilation zippers||Expensive price|
- Length: 84 inches
- Width: 56 inches
- Weight: 1.7 pounds
Mil-Tec offers a wide range of functional military clothing and outdoor equipment since 1995. They have everything from headwear, footwear, vests, and so much more, including a line of wet weather sets, like ponchos.
Their wet weather poncho is made of ripstop fabric, a special weave that runs through the material, making it sturdier but still lightweight. This also makes it lighter than most military ponchos but still has the same functionality.
Its waterproof material is not rubberized, so it keeps you dry without having to sweat as much because of the trapped humid air. It is a one-size-fits-most poncho, with a length of 84 inches that will cover your entire body plus backpack.
Aside from its use as a poncho, it can be used for more temporary shelter options. It has eyelets on the hem where you can use a paracord to attach it to a tree and use it as a tarp. You can also attach it to other ponchos to make it a bigger tarp or shelter. It can also be used as a sleeping bag cover.
It comes with a pouch where you can store your poncho safely in your backpack. The military poncho is approximately 9 inches long and 7 inches wide when folded. It is not big and bulky, so you won’t have to worry about losing carrying space.
Most users online are very satisfied with the product. Many enjoyed its multi-functional feature, sometimes using their ponchos as tents because of its wide size. Photographers who have used the poncho find it perfectly compact and is no hassle to carry around when on a nature hike.
Some have encountered some issues as it can sometimes slip some water through and get you a little wet on the legs if you are a taller person. Some women users also find the poncho more fitted for men.
It is also the heaviest poncho on the list, but 1.7 pounds is still sustainable to carry on both your backpack and shoulders.
Overall, many find the Wet Weather Ripstop Poncho the best budget-friendly choice that is durable.
|Multi-functional||Taller people can get a bit wet|
|Budget-friendly||More fitted for men|
- Size: one-size-fits-all
If you are looking for a high-quality, military-grade poncho, GloryFire’s Soft-Shell Poncho can give you just that. It features a waterproof 10,000MM rating with breathable soft-shell fabric made with 84% polyester and 16% spandex. The definition of heavy-duty can withstand heavy rain and hours of outdoor activity without getting rips or tears.
Its hood is specially designed, with double waterproof brims that allow rainwater to slip off easily and not cling to the poncho. At the neck, the hood opens to reveal an adjustable drawstring and zipper. You can safely secure the outer layer back with Velcro.
It can be used as a makeshift tent with snap buttons on the sides and grommets at the hem. It can also be used as a sleeping bag or a ground mat.
It also features what they call “hook-and-loop fasteners” on the chest pocket, shoulder, back of the head, and back. They look like Velcro patches from afar, but it can be used for displaying IDs or patches.
The chest pocket does not only function as a pocket; it also functions as the poncho’s own storage bag.
With its features and high-quality material, it places itself as the most expensive poncho on the list. But users online don’t seem to mind the price since the heavy-duty poncho does the job for them by keeping them comfortably waterproof.
Most users find the poncho long-lasting, with its incredibly durable material that can withstand heavy downpour whether being used as a poncho or a makeshift tent.
It may be a bit frustrating if you want to know the poncho’s exact size since GloryFire does not seem to be clear with it on its advertising materials. But it is a one-size-fits-all, and many users ranging from 5 feet to 6 feet tall comment that the poncho fits them perfectly.
|Pocket doubles as a storage bag||Not clear with the exact size|
|Completely waterproof||Expensive price|
- Length: 43.3 inches
- Width: 55.1 inches
- Weight: 0.68 pounds
High at the front, low at the back. The Terra Hiker Rain Poncho’s design can be distinguished by that style alone. This design was made to accommodate your backpack without sacrificing the protection of your back from the rain. It can accommodate a large capacity pack of up to 60 or 80 liters, depending on the design you choose.
You can find Velcro on both cuffs in case you need extra rain protection for your body. It also features a large hood you can comfortably wear with a baseball cap on, plus a drawstring to adjust.
Ensuring military-grade protection, the ripstop poncho is made from 210T high-density polyester fabric that is PU 3000MM waterproof that also dries quickly.
As should all military ponchos, the Terra Hiker also has a 3-in-1 function; when you are enjoying the great outdoors and heavy rain starts to pour, you can also use it as a ground mat for picnics, hiking, fishing, and more. With its 3-layer thickened eyelets on the hem, it can also stand as a tent.
It comes in four colors: Army Green, Dark Blue, Black, and Orange. The first two colors both feature Velcro cuffs and can cover backpacks up to 60 liters. The Black and Orange colors are bigger, allowing a capacity of up to 80 liters. The two colors also feature a built-in front pocket.
For outdoor enthusiasts on a budget, this poncho does the job well in protecting them from rain. Some think that it won’t stand against heavy rain, though. Its lightweight and compact feature stand out among the users.
With only two different sizes available, users on the short side may find it too large. It does not come with a cover case, which can be challenging when you need to store it back again in your backpack or car after soaking it in the rain.
Aside from those two issues, the positive reviews towards the Terra Hiker poncho overwhelm the minor issues.
|Comes in four different colors||May not be suitable for heavy rain|
|Provided space for a backpack||May be too large for short people|
|Multi-functional||Does not come with a cover case|
- Sizes: Small to Extra Large
- Weight: 0.62 pounds
When it comes to colorful ponchos, SaphiRose is your go-to. You can choose from a wide variety of designs and colors of their products, ranging from solid colors to galaxy prints.
While the designs catch your eye and showcase your personality, its waterproof 190T high-density polyester fabrics combined with PU 3000MM materials make the rain poncho eco-friendly and quick drying. Strong waterproof backing with heat sealed seams keeps you and your belongings dry.
It also includes six snap buttons, three on each sleeve, which allow you to adjust your poncho as you please if you want it more fitted to your body. It features a big front pocket to store your small valuables like your phone quickly.
As the name suggests, a 3-in-1 poncho serves as a ground mat or a tent trap. It includes three-layer thickened eyelets on the hem, making it a versatile emergency shelter. Storage-wise, it comes with a bag to store.
Users online are satisfied with the product. While SaphiRose’s official website advertises it only to men, it is still usable to women. Many women users are delighted in using the product—with one sharing her experience about her vacation in Iceland, where she recounts the poncho being a perfect fit for her body, including her backpack.
The only issue with it is the size, as most users usually ordered sizes larger than themselves.
If you are on a budget and would settle for any poncho on the market, the SaphiRose 3-in-1 is a good pick, as it is durable, lightweight, and very compact. It also has features that make your cheap spend more than worth it.
|Wide variety of designs||Sizes are bigger than usual|
Budget-friendly, lightweight, durable, and multi-functional. With glowing reviews online, the Foxelli Hooded Rain Poncho makes our top pick for the best military poncho.
Foxelli specializes in outdoor accessories and equipment, and its Hooded Rain Poncho proves to be one of their top-quality outdoor accessories. The materials may be the same for other ponchos on the list, but its added visor on the hood makes it better than the rest since it ensures a dry face for the user, in case they do not own a baseball cap.
It is also a great emergency raincoat for people who do not frequently go on nature hikes. The wide variety of designs with a matching carry bag makes it more appealing to the average person.
HOW TO CHOOSE YOUR PONCHO – BUYER’S GUIDE
Military ponchos have more uses than just being your ordinary raincoat to keep you warm and dry. With extra features revealing multiple uses, you need to ensure that the military poncho you purchase is of the best quality.
Military ponchos are made to withstand harsh environments. The material should not easily tear when you use it out in the wilderness.
The most common fabric used is ripstop nylon, which uses a special reinforcing technique during weaving, making them resistant to tearing and ripping. Other common durable fabrics include PVC, polyester, polyethylene, and PU-coated nylon.
These may make the ponchos a bit expensive than ordinary ponchos, but since it is built to be reused and for emergency shelters, an investment like this will be worth it.
Size and Fit
Most military ponchos are one-size-fits-all, but some do offer different sizes. It’s important to determine the size that will best fit your build and height. It should fully cover you up without it being too long—it is recommended that ponchos should not reach past your shins to prevent you from slowing down or tripping.
Ponchos are usually loose-fitting with Velcro patches or snap buttons at the sides to keep you secure, but it should not feel too baggy on you. In short, find a loose size and reach mid-calf, and it should not restrict your movement.
Design and color may be fun to choose, but you might want a poncho that blends in with the environment if you frequent going on the wilderness. This serves as a safety precaution to keep you concealed and avoid harm.
However, bright-colored ponchos may be useful when it comes to emergencies. If you get lost or stuck in someplace and need someone to find you immediately, a bright- or neon-colored poncho will save your life.
OTHER USES FOR YOUR MILITARY PONCHO
If you get stuck in the middle of nowhere and need a quick rest stop—most especially if it begins to rain—military ponchos are the best to use. From the article, you would know that this kind of poncho is transformable to rain tarps and tents, giving you temporary shelter.
Aside from a quick emergency tent or shelter, here are other survival uses your military poncho can do.
If you are on a hiking trip with your friends and one of them gets badly injured that they cannot walk on their own, you can transform your military poncho into a stretcher.
All you need are four thick branches and a paracord or rope. Put the branches together to build the frame using the rope or paracord. Then, tightly wrap your poncho on the frame, using the snap buttons or Velcro patches to seal it in place.
Water Container/Carry Bag
Military ponchos are usually waterproof, keeping the water out and keeping you dry. This also makes it great for keeping water in, making it a good water container.
Fold your poncho in half and secure it using the Velcro patches or snap buttons. Insert your paracord or rope in the eyelets or grommets at the hem of your poncho. Pulling the paracord on one end can bunch your poncho up into a big bag.
Take it to the nearest water source, collect water, and easily carry it back to your campsite!
This also makes it a good carry bag if you need more gear that won’t fit your backpack.
If there is no water source nearby, the best way you can get water is from the sky: rain.
There are two ways you can make it into a rainwater collector. One way needs four branches and rocks. Stake the branches into the ground to stretch your poncho, with the hood facing the ground. Place the rocks in the hood to ensure that the rainwater has a steady flow into your water container.
The other way may be the easiest one, and all you need to do is dig a hole in the ground and lay your poncho onto it.
If you or your friend got a gash on the leg or arm and it is raining hard, you will need to keep that bandage dry.
If you are willing to shave off a little bit of your poncho, it is best to cut a strip of it and wrap it around the normal bandage.
It is best to be prepared for what nature has to offer when enjoying the great outdoors. You will never know when it will rain or when you get lost and need a quick break but still protected from the elements.
A military poncho can save you from harsh environments, keeping you safe with its waterproof quality and multi-functional purpose. The Foxelli Hooded Rain Poncho is a budget-friendly option that does not sacrifice quality, ensuring you the protection you need.
Military ponchos are usually more expensive than ordinary ponchos. But with its additional features, durability, and multiple uses that can aid survival, investing in these can save your life.
FAQs (FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS)
Is rain poncho better than a rain jacket or rain suit?
It depends on what you need, but when it comes to outdoor survival and versatility, a military rain poncho is better.
Rain suits and jackets may keep you drier since it is closer to your body, and it does not restrict too much of your movement. However, it does not help much with packing space and ventilation. You are sure to sweat a lot in rain suits, and when a heavy rain comes, you cannot make it into a temporary shelter, unlike the poncho. They also won’t keep your backpack dry, either.
What is the difference between waterproof and water-resistant?
Water-resistant means that the fabric or cloth can resist water to some degree, but enough water can still soak through. Waterproof means that the fabric or cloth is guaranteed to repel water and keep you dry.
What are taped seams?
Taped seams are usually used on waterproof clothing. The tape is melted over the stitching, meaning that the stitching is fully covered and ensures that water will not seep through the seams.