If you're serious about survival in the wild then a military poncho is essential, it's compact and light and it can keep you, your clothes, and your gear dry even in a tropical downpour.
Because if you've ever been caught in torrential rain whilst out in the wild you'll know that at best it's not fun and at worst it can be life threatening.
Especially if the rain continues for extended periods or you have to bunk down for the night in the cold whilst wet after a long day of rucking.
So what is the best military poncho?
My research shows these are the best military ponchos on the market below...
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These Are The Top Military Poncho Picks
OUR TOP PICK
The USGI Industries Military Spec Poncho is suitable for wear in a multitude of settings providing protection against extreme weather conditions.
Made using high-density ripstop polyester with a polyurethane fabric coating, this is a durable poncho that has been made to withstand the elements.
It is also water-resistant which is going to be useful on occasions where you are faced with an unexpected downpour.
Along with the poncho and liner you are also provided with a convenient carry bag.
When folded the poncho can be stored inside this sack for convenient portability.
It is also compatible with larger backpacks protecting your belongings from the weather too.
Designed with an adjustable drawstring hood, you can secure this poncho to a comfortable fit ensuring that it offers maximum protection against the elements.
Aside from this, the poncho also features an adjustable waist drawstring to cater to different individuals.
Featuring 8 heavy-duty metal grommets this poncho can also double up as a shelter, canopy or blanket, etc when required.
- The specifications of this poncho are based upon gear that is used in the US military.
- This poncho is backpack compatible protecting your belongings from damage.
- The adjustable drawstring allows you to secure the poncho to a comfortable fit.
- This poncho is lightweight and compact for easy storage and portability.
- It’s high quality and the material is rip-resistant for long-lasting durability.
- The fabric used to make this poncho is rather thin.
Designed using ripstop nylon material, the M- Tac Military Poncho offers enhanced durability and protection against outdoor conditions.
Not only is it suitable for wear as a poncho but it also comes in useful for many other purposes including a shelter, blanket, or sleeping bag.
Measuring 83 x 57 inches, this poncho is spacious enough to cover a full size backpack ensuring that your belongings are protected against the elements.
The fabric used to make this poncho is also wear-resistant and lightweight and it comes equipped with a carry sack for convenient transportation.
Along the outer section of this poncho, there are several metal grommets and a cord that allow you to set the poncho up as a temporary shelter if necessary.
Designed with a head you are sufficiently protected from the rain and this can also be secured in place via the drawstring.
- This poncho is rainproof and waterproof for long-lasting durability.
- Retailing at an affordable price, this poncho is great value for money.
- It is spacious enough to double up as a temporary shelter if needed.
- This poncho is lightweight and comes with a carry sack for convenient portability.
- It is big enough to protect a full size backpack from the elements.
- Despite being advertised as waterproof this poncho is prone to gathering water.
The Arcturus Lightweight Ripstop Nylon Poncho offers protection against the outdoor environment.
The poncho itself is lightweight and comes with a convenient carry bag for storage in between uses.
Aside from military wear, it is suitable for wear in a range of other settings including hiking and backpacking.
Made using ripstop taffeta nylon with two layers of waterproof coating this is a heavy-duty poncho that is going to keep you dry if you are confronted with an unexpected downpour.
Although this product is effective when worn as a poncho, it can also be used as a shelter or a tent.
As this poncho is extra large in length it is likely to fit most individuals covering the majority of your body from the outdoors.
The large hood provides enhanced comfort and the drawstrings allow you to tighten or loosen the hood when you choose.
- Available in a variety of colors there is an impressive selection to choose from.
- This is a great option for those who are on tighter budgets courtesy of the affordable price tag.
- The larger size accommodates a range of individuals and also makes it spacious enough when used as a shelter.
- The nylon is heavy-duty and waterproof for enhanced protection against the elements.
- Equipped with a carry bag, the poncho can be conveniently stored when it isn’t in use.
- Although the hood is advertised as large in size some would suggest that it is smaller than expected.
Suitable for use as a rain poncho, shelter, blanket, or tarp, the ACT FIRE Military Army Tactical Poncho serves multiple purposes.
As an extra-large poncho, it is going to prove effective in protecting you from the weather and is ideal for catering to a range of individuals.
Weighing a minimal 14oz this poncho can be easily transported when it is not in use.
Folding down to a compact size it can fit inside your backpack for convenient portability.
The addition of steel grommets which can be found in the corners of the poncho allows it to be used as a shelter etc when required.
Impressively, this poncho has been made using grade materials that are waterproof and abrasion-resistant.
This accounts for enhanced durability ensuring that the poncho is going to be suitable for long-lasting use.
Aside from this, the material is also breathable which is going to make it much more comfortable to wear over prolonged periods.
- This poncho is backed with a 5 year warranty so you are provided with support should you experience any issues.
- As a lightweight poncho, it can be folded to a compact size for convenient portability.
- Sturdily and durably designed it is likely to see you through many uses.
- The large size ensures that your backpack and belongings are protected too.
- This poncho is available in two different color options.
- Although this poncho claims to be waterproof it is prone to becoming a little saturated so these elements could be improved.
Best Military Poncho Buyer’s Guide
Finding the best military poncho can seem like a challenge but our top pick in this post is a good choice.
There are many factors to consider such as the quality and durability to ensure that it is going to deliver long-lasting use.
Below we have identified our top tips for purchasing the best poncho and some features that make a military poncho worthy of your purchase.
Opting for a waterproof poncho is paramount as it’s intended to protect you should you be confronted with an unexpected downpour.
It isn’t going to be hugely useful if it fails to offer the maximum protection against this weather.
You will find that some ponchos claim to be waterproof however when used in these conditions they fail to offer the protection expected and instead become saturated with water.
It is important to pay close attention to the reviews regarding how effective this poncho is when subject to a heavy downpour as this will provide you with a clearer understanding before making your purchase.
The majority of military ponchos serve multiple purposes.
Not only can they be worn as a poncho to protect your body from the weather, if needed they can also be used as a temporary shelter, a tarp, or a blanket, etc.
Opting for a poncho with this versatility is preferable as you never know when you may find yourself seeking emergency protection from the weather.
Most ponchos will feature grommets that allow you to secure the poncho in place when used to serve any of the above purposes.
A durably designed poncho is preferable as this ensures that it is going to deliver long-lasting use.
You don’t want to invest in a military poncho only to find that it deteriorates in quality shortly after use.
Your poncho should be made using heavy-duty rip-stop materials that not only are waterproof but are resistant to abrasions too.
This ensures that when the poncho is worn frequently, it can withstand adverse weather conditions without becoming damaged.
It also needs to be durable if it is intended to be used as a shelter, blanket, or groundsheet.
If it is likely to be placed directly onto the ground it could come into contact with uneven surfaces that may cause it to rip.
A poncho made using ripstop material is going to prevent this from becoming an issue.
Ideally, your poncho should be windproof too because when used as a shelter in harsh weather conditions it should maintain its quality without becoming easily damaged and torn as a result.
The grommets that can be found in the corners of the poncho should also be made using steel or another strong material as this is going to make them much more resistant to damage.
You can't go wrong with this top rated Poncho here.
Storing the Poncho
As you browse through the selection of military ponchos available on the market, you will find that many come with additional carry bags.
This allows for easy and convenient storage and transportation in between uses.
As you embark upon your task in the outdoors you may not require constant wear of the poncho so a carry bag is preferable in allowing you to store it when needed.
A lightweight poncho that can be conveniently folded to a compact size is going to be beneficial in making the task of storing it inside a carry bag much easier.
Larger ponchos are ideal for catering to individuals who are taller as it is still going to provide them with sufficient protection against the outdoor weather.
A larger poncho is also going to allow you to move around freely without retracting you in any way. Furthermore, a larger poncho is also going to be much more spacious when used as a temporary shelter.
It is necessary to consider the size of the poncho before making your purchase.
While a larger poncho can be beneficial for many reasons, others may prefer one that is smaller and shorter in length as this eliminates the risk of the poncho becoming an obstruction as you walk.
The hoods of many ponchos are designed with an adjustable drawstring that allows you to tighten or loosen the hood to a comfortable fit.
If you find yourself outdoors in wet and windy conditions, it may be beneficial to tighten the hood so that it remains on your head securely.
Likewise, the waist section of ponchos also tends to feature an adjustable drawstring which allows you to alter the fit to suit your comfort preferences.
Most military ponchos are made using nylon with a waterproof coating.
Nylon is a great material that is strong and highly resistant to abrasions. You can be sure that a poncho made using this material is going to be very strong and robust.
Whilst the color may not be an important factor for some, for others, it can be influential upon the product that they purchase.
Many brands offer their ponchos in a range of colors which allows you to select your preferred option.
A poncho that is military-grade is expected to be particularly strong and effective in providing maximum protection against the rain and harsh weather.
You would expect all ponchos deemed to military standard to possess qualities that make them strong and effective in serving their purpose.
However, this is not always the case. Some can be a little weak and flimsy, essentially not what you would expect from a military standard poncho.
Before making your purchase it is worth assessing the reviews surrounding your product of choice as this will provide you with a greater understanding in regards to the quality and the practicality of your poncho.
And our top pick is military spec construction based on technology used by the US military, it's also disabled veteran owned and donates to veteran charities.
It is important to consider the quality of your product before making your purchase.
Although there are many affordable options available, ensuring that you don’t compromise on the quality for the price is crucial.
Those that are made using weaker materials are likely to become damaged at a faster pace.
While you may not wish to spend a considerable amount on your poncho, those that are constructed using high-quality materials are likely to see you through many more uses making it a much more worthwhile investment.
We have included a variety in our guide above each retailing at different price points to highlight the available options.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between a poncho and a poncho liner?
A poncho liner also nicknamed as ‘woobie’ is intended to be attached to a poncho.
It is purposed to add a layer of warmth but it can also be used as a blanket. The poncho is a garment that is worn but can also be used to provide shelter and cover when required.
I hope this guide has helped you find the best military poncho for your needs.
Why is the US military poncho liner known as a woobie?
Because soldiers are as attached to them as Kenny was in the Michael Keaton movie Mr. Mom. The blanket's name was Woobie (the Woobie). (Source)