A rain poncho is a great option to save you from foul weather and aid in an emergency. Ponchos, also called rain capes, are great for any adventure, whether you’re on a multi-day float trip in your kayak, camping, running, or cycling. There are hundreds of ponchos to choose from. We will cover the People’s Poncho model, Black Poncho 3: its features, material, and performance, and compare it to other rain ponchos available on the market.

How well does the Peoples Poncho hold up against heavy rain, high wind, thorns, and waterfalls? This lightweight, packable poncho is durable and holds up remarkably well.

Features and Specifications:


The People’s Poncho has a three-layered membrane fabric consisting of high-quality Japanese polyester that is durable and tough. A 12,000-millimeter TPU coating makes it highly waterproof. A Tricot Knit fabric makes it breathable. It comes with a small waterproof bag, making it easy to pack the poncho into a bag or backpack without getting the rest of your gear wet. Just make sure you take it out to let it dry immediately to avoid mildew.

Durability 10

The Peoples Poncho is durable enough to go through patches of thorned Greenbriar without tearing. I can’t say the same for expensive rain jackets that I have torn through far too many times at work or out in nature. Many other lightweight ponchos have snag and tear issues. I didn’t have to baby the People’s Poncho and could travel through thick woods off-trail through thorny vines without any tears or snags.

Usability 9

It’s easy to throw the Peoples Poncho on over your head for instant protection. As easy as Doctor Strange’s cape. It can quickly be thrown over your backpack in case of sudden rain while backpacking. Lightweight at 460 g (approx. 1 lb.) and easy to pack away. One size fits all: 130 x 97 cm or 51″ x 38″ (not including hood): good ventilation, breathability, and comfort. If needed, it can be used as an emergency shelter. It works well as a protective sheet for your tent or to set your backpack on wet ground with room to spread out your gear at camp.

The People’s Poncho can easily fit over a 60L Backpack

A great feature is the inside handlebar loops for cycling in the rain. The loops go over your bike handlebars to stretch out over your legs without touching the front wheel. It works well for smooth street riding but not so well on mountain bike trails, which you shouldn’t be rutting out in the rain anyways.

Design 10

The People’s Poncho has a great design and holds up in heavy downpours and high winds. The overall design of the People’s Poncho is sleek and fashionable while still holding up to intense outdoor use. Comes in different colors: black, yellow, red, navy, and camouflage. High visibility piping around the edges and bands on the front and back ensure you’ll be seen in the dark of night or a storm.

A single front waterproof zipper pocket can safely store your phone, though it is still advisable to double bag any electronic items. A piece of folded toilet paper in the front pocket during a downpour with Flash Flood Warnings came out completely dry, but if you reach in to get your phone with a wet poncho, something could drip inside, so be smart and safe with your gear.

Many brands of ponchos sacrifice style for lighter weight and tend to look like oversized trash bags. The People’s Poncho is stylish and tough and will keep you dry in most situations.  

Do Not machine wash. Wipe down with light soapy water.

Construction 9 

Plenty of clever construction designs on the People’s Poncho make it stand apart from other ponchos. A snap buckle waistband tightens the poncho to your body in high winds. Two handlebar straps on the inside can wrap over your bike handles for cycling in the rain. Highly reflective strips on the front, back, and all around the edge ensure you will be seen at night and in heavy rain.

The hood has elastic toggles at the front and back for a customizable fit to your head size. Three snaps at the face to tighten everything down in heavy rain. A hat brim can be pulled out from the hood for extra protection, which I always use.

The fully adjustable hood with extra stretch follows your head movement, an essential feature for cycling, kayaking, or crossing the street. Three snaps on either side to create sleeves and a snap buckle waistband when needed in high winds. The Peoples Poncho also has a loop on the back to hang on a coat-hook easily.

I kept instinctively looking for a hand warmer pocket on the inside in cold weather while waiting out the rain. Nit-picking, perhaps, but it would be a great feature to perfect this poncho.

Portability 10

The People’s Poncho comes in a compact bag, making it easy to pack tight. At only 460 grams (1 lb.), it’s lightweight and tough enough to shove in your bag, backpack, or even a large cargo pocket. Quickly unfolds with a flick of the wrist. It takes only seconds to throw it over your head, and you’re ready for inclement weather, hands-free without needing an umbrella.


  • High Visibility reflective bands and piping

  • Cycling Poncho with Handlebar loops for riding a bike

  • Snap buckle waistband, sleeve, and face snaps for high winds

  • Tough, durable, snag-proof

  • Lightweight and easily packable

  • Quick to throw on and large enough to protect your backpack

  • Hat brim hood

  • Stylish design

  • Waterproof front pocket and carrying pouch

  • Great value and versatility


  • You can’t lift arms past ninety degrees without water running down inside.

  • It can take hours to dry out after a heavy rain.

  • It will stick to your body in heavy rain and high humidity, restricting ventilation and breathability.

  • No inside pockets

Our Video of the People’s Poncho Under a Waterfall and in a Lightning Storm

User Reviews

General Positive Feedback

  • Cycling commuters like the handlebar loops, waterproof front pocket, and style.

  • Festival folks and outdoor enthusiasts appreciate the durability, packability, and lightweight.

  • Great for backpacking, camping, kayaking, and cycling

General Negative Feedback

  • The “One-Size-Fits-All” approach works for most, but not for all. It is something to consider if you fall outside the average height and size.

Conclusion and Personal Experience

Once I received the People’s Poncho, I waited for a storm to try it out. Plenty of storms came, some with flash flood warnings and high winds. I was excited to run out into the storm, climb the nearest hill, and meditate in the moment with lightning strikes and rolling thunder.

The People’s poncho can hold up to high winds and heavy rain, provided you tighten the straps, buckle up the waistband, snap the sleeves and neck together, and pull the hat brim hood out. Most of the time, those extra precautions aren’t necessary, and the poncho holds up fine under heavy rain.

The waterproof pocket in front held my camera safely. I tested the only pocket first by placing a piece of folded toilet paper, zipping it up, and going out into a storm. I reached in later with dry hands, and the paper was completely dry. Refer to the earlier disclaimer about still double bagging electronics.

The next test for the People’s Poncho was hiking to waterfalls. After searching for waterfalls I could safely stand under, I took a trip out into nature. In summer heat, the choices were few and far between. Most of them were dried up. I found a couple of decent waterfalls to try out the Peoples Poncho and had fun standing under the downpour. I crawled over sharp rocks on my backside to carefully get down the wet slope and not a scratch on that rain cape. It held up great. Other adventurous folks asked about the poncho when they saw me standing under the falls with a big smile on my face.

In cold weather, you will, of course, want an insulating shirt. On a four-day kayak trip with rain in the spring, the Peoples Poncho held up just fine, and I didn’t need an insulating layer, just my swim trunks. The poncho tends to stick to your body in heavy rains or hot summers with high humidity. An insulating layer is recommended. It took several hours to dry out after heavy rains in high humidity.

Excellent for pressure washing decks or gazebos. Trying to move lumber in the rain with the Peoples Poncho worked well for the durability factor, but as soon as your arms go past ninety degrees, water will come sliding down your arms and can soak you quickly.

Overall, the People’s Poncho is a durable, versatile accessory for getting out into the elements and being able to enjoy the experience. Lightweight, packable, and stylish. Handlebar loops for cycling. Great for backpacking, camping, kayaking, and everyday use to protect yourself and stay dry.