A waterproof jacket ensures that the upper body stays dry on rainy days. However, anyone who regularly rides their bikes knows that their legs also need to be protected while riding – for example with a weatherproof rain poncho.

In contrast to a classic rain jacket, the rain poncho is knitted quite simply: It is a thin, waterproof cape with a hood. It may not be a fashionable eye-catcher, but that’s not the case when riding a bike. Rather, the cape serves the purpose of keeping the body as dry as possible when it rains. Or storm. To make this possible, a rain poncho is generously sized – and often only available in a unisex size (for adults). As a result, it not only covers the upper body and legs on the bike, but also offers space for a backpack underneath. Nevertheless, you should not buy indiscriminately, but make your purchase decision carefully. We have summarized why this is so for you.

The most important purchase criteria for rain ponchos

If you want to buy a bicycle rain poncho, you should pay attention to the following (purchase) criteria in advance:

From cheap to expensive: rain ponchos in comparison

1. Lowland Outdoor cycling rain poncho

With a water column of 7000 millimeters, this bicycle rain poncho is guaranteed to be waterproof. Made from nylon, this model has taped seams and has been cut to protect not only your torso and legs from the rain, but also your arms – by slipping the material over the handlebars. The integrated hood including cord stopper also offers (according to the manufacturer) enough space for a bicycle helmet.

2. Btwin City 100 bike rain poncho

Although the seams on this Decathlon model are said to be 100 percent waterproof, the bicycle rain poncho only keeps its wearer dry for two hours, according to the manufacturer. This makes it more suitable for short rides through a shower than for long bike rides. The City 100 model, which is available in three different sizes (for adults), is also cheaper to buy and also offers space for a helmet.

3. Windowed Bike Rain Poncho by Awha

This waterproof bicycle rain poncho with viewing window and hood is available in two sizes and two colours. It consists of 100 percent polyester fabric (with PU coating) and has a water column of 4000 millimeters. The model can be easily stowed away in the supplied neck pouch and is therefore ready for use at any time. The all-round reflective strip for more visibility in the dark is also particularly practical here.

Water column: what is it and how do you interpret it?

Rainwear manufacturers can label them as waterproof, water-resistant, or water-repellent. But what is the difference and when does a poncho really keep the body dry? In fact, only waterproof rain ponchos do not let a drop through, while waterproof and water-repellent clothing protects against moisture for a short period of time. If you get caught in a shower, you will most likely get wet. In addition, there is the water column. It indicates how long the material does not let moisture through. This so-called water resistance is given in millimeters – in other words, fabric is considered waterproof from a value of 1300. In plain language this means: The higher the number, the more waterproof the rain poncho is for the bike. However, since it is not mandatory information for the manufacturer, you can also use other reference points, such as the material, as a guide. If the rain poncho is made of PVC, for example, the water column can be up to 3000 millimeters.

Proper care and cleaning of the rain poncho: this is how it works

Even if the materials are very hard-wearing, you should always follow the manufacturer’s care instructions. You can find out whether and how hot a rain poncho can be washed from the sewn-in label. It is best to use an ecological special detergent for functional clothing, and it is also advisable to treat the material with an impregnation spray after each wash to maintain the water resistance. In any case, do not use a dryer and let the poncho dry in the air, but not in direct sunlight.

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