Our People’s Poncho review is here! For years I’ve fondly remembered the poncho being worn by old cycle tourists, usually made of waxed canvas materials which are heavy and take a lot of looking after. Apart from that, there really wasn’t anything on the market. Until People’s Poncho was founded in 2015. Unlike my inspiration, they looked East. Ponchos are a very common sight in Taiwan (and China). I can testify for the usefulness of them after living in Taiwan for three years. Everyone rides a scooter and everyone has a poncho! But they are made of heavy and cheap materials. But that inspiration drove People’s Poncho to create a better, technical, stylish and practical version.
They eventually came up with their poncho you see here. Iona and Johnny Ratcliffe from People’s Poncho explain it like this; One size, different colours to suit different personalities, 100% waterproof poncho made from Japanese polyester, reflective piping to ensure safety at night and a pocket to store your possessions. All in a dinky bag small enough to travel anywhere.
That all sounds great but, is it 100% waterproof and did it work whilst riding a bike? Simple answer is yes, but it does have it’s limitations. The first and foremost aspect, it’s multi-purpose. So many cycling products are not. That alone makes the Poncho a very appealing purchase. Wear it to commute on your bike (which I did), take it hiking, wear it at a festival. An all-round item that can be used cycling is a rare thing indeed.
The fabric is great, being a high quality waterproof polyester from Japan. Oddly you can probably thank these fabrics for the carbon fibre bikes ridden today. Experiments to produce ultra-fine fibers of a continuous filament type were made subsequently, the most promising of which were run in Japan during the 1960s by Dr. Miyoshi Okamoto, a scientist at Toray Industries. Toray Industries produces most of the carbon fibre sheets used in bicycle production around the globe.
It’s waterproofness is not it’s limitation. The recent storm in the U.K. called Doris which sounds friendly enough brought storm force winds and I thought it might be fun to ride to work wearing the poncho. I met it’s limitations and nearly took off like a kite. Most others would have been far more sensible and taken a bus (or stayed at home). That aside, other wet days proved no problems, riding at a fair speed and with a backpack it stayed put. It’s an odd but cosy feeling wearing a poncho on a bike but it keeps you a lot drier than a jacket but you don’t get the ‘boil-in-a-bag’ sensation, which is very welcoming. You do loose some of the freedom of movement a jacket provides though. A neat and needed feature for cycling is the loops stitched on the inside to keep the poncho in place and they do the job perfectly.
Overall I’m really impressed with the People’s Poncho, it’s construction is really high quality and at £55.00 it’s really well priced (a jacket of this quality would cost much more). As a comparison to the waxed canvas ponchos I fondly remembered, well they cost nearly £100 today. I would rather have the People’s Poncho, light, easy to pack and always waterproof.