The OneTigris Tentsformer Poncho was the best military and survival poncho. It is very waterproof, made from durable ripstop fabric, and the most versatile. The price will also not break the bank.
This review will be about the best military poncho that can also be used for survival. I am a tactical enthusiast who is well versed in survival. I do a lot of research on the product that I review and have a strict set of criteria that the products need to meet.
In total, I have delved into over 21 ponchos and could only find seven that was good enough for my readers.
The ponchos that I covered were well suited for being waterproof, durable and some even used mylar for heat retention. Some of the ponchos can even be converted into a small shelter if need be. Here are some of the products that I have reviewed:
Best Military And Survival Ponchos
- OneTigris Tentsformer Poncho (Editors Choice)
- Arcturus Poncho (Budget-Friendly)
- GLORYFIRE Tactical Poncho (Best Waterproof Poncho)
- PREPARED4X Mylar Poncho (Best Emergency Poncho)
- USGI Industries Military Style Poncho (Best Camo Variety)
Let’s start with the first product.
#1 OneTigris Tentsformer Poncho (Editors Choice)
- Size: Universal
- Weight: 22.5 oz
This poncho from OneTigris is the best survival poncho that can convert into a small tent or shelter. You can also connect two of these ponchos together for an even larger shelter. It is also durable and made from ripstop fabric.
It is made from 75D Ripstop Nylon, durable material with some waterproof capabilities. The fabric is also coated with a PU Waterproof Coating to make it even more waterproof. Its waterproof rating is also 1500mm, which is good enough to withstand heavy rainfall.
It has a hoodie that can be adjusted with the help of two drawstrings. Now your head will stay warm and dry. It has a zipper in the middle, enabling you to put it on or take it off quickly. This zipper can also be used to attach an additional poncho to it, which will give you a larger shelter.
The poncho has a velcro patch on each shoulder, which enables you to add your own patches. It is also a decent size, which is 102” from side to side and 45” wide. It is also high enough for most people. Along with the poncho, you will get six tent pegs with three guylines. These additional tools can be used to set up your tent/shelter. You also get a carrying bag, which makes it easier to travel. It only comes in the color brown.
#2 Arcturus Poncho (Budget-Friendly)
- Size: Universal
- Weight: 11 oz
If you are on a tight budget, but you still want a decent military poncho, then this one from Arcturus is for you. It is made from 210 tex ripstop nylon, which is a durable and waterproof material. It is also coated with two layers of waterproof polyurethane to make it even more waterproof. It also helps to protect the fabric.
The poncho is about 54″ wide and 48″ long, making it suitable for most people. It also comes with an adjustable hood that uses a drawstring. The hood protects your head and helps to keep it dry. It has grommets at the corners, which will allow you to make a shelter out of it.
It is also comfortable to wear with the help of the side snaps. The snaps will play a role in closing the sides of the poncho. The product also comes with a carry bag, which makes it ideal for traveling. It also comes in the colors black, olive green, and Realtree Edge. If you love to hunt and want a poncho with a camo color, then the Realtree Edge color scheme will work fine.
#3 GLORYFIRE Tactical Poncho (Best Waterproof Poncho)
- Size: Universal
This poncho from Gloryfire is one of the most waterproof ponchos that you will find anywhere online. It has a whopping waterproof rating of 10000mm, which is on the higher end of the spectrum. It also makes use of taped seams to prevent water from leaking through.
It is also made from a polyester and spandex combination, which gives it the durability and flexibility that any military or survival poncho needs. The hoodie is also very adjustable. It uses several components such as a zipper below the chin, a drawstring, and velcro. With the help of the hoodie, your head will stay warm and dry during a heavy rainstorm.
This poncho does not come with a carrying bag but can be stuffed into its own front pocket. The pocket can also be shut with the help of velcro. If you have emblems requiring velcro, you can use the velcro patches to create your own unique military poncho.
The gloryfire tactical poncho can also be used to create a shelter. It has grommets at the corners, allowing you to pin it to the ground with tent stakes. This product only comes in color black.
Cons: It might be too heavy for some people.
#4 PREPARED4X Mylar Poncho (Best Emergency Poncho)
- Size: Universal
- Weight: 12 oz
What stood out for me regarding this poncho from PREPARED4X is that it uses reflective mylar as the material. This material is also used for emergency blankets. It provides good insulation and can retain up to 90% of your body heat. This poncho is best suited for survival and emergencies.
You can also customize the poncho so that the reflective inside is showcased on the outside. This customization will allow the poncho to reflect heat and also make it easier to spot for rescue. The fabric is also relatively thick and is 24 microns.
It comes in packs of four, and you also have several color options to choose from. You can choose between green, grey camo and blaze orange.
Cons: This poncho is not that durable and might be less reusable. It also not adjustable.
#5 USGI Industries Military Style Poncho (Best Camo Variety)
- Size: Universal
- Weight: 18 oz
If you cannot get enough of camo ponchos, then this poncho is for you. It has several color options to choose from, and the camo patterns include Woodland, Marpat, and OCP Multicam. It also has coyote and OD Green.
The poncho is made from high-density Rip-Stop polyester, which is a material that is tear-resistant and durable. It is also coated with polyurethane, which makes it even more waterproof and more robust.
It has a waterproof rating of 3000mm, which will keep you dry and warm during heavy rainfall. It is also 59” wide by 86” long, making it possible to cover your backpack. The Heavy-duty grommets will also allow you to use them for other purposes, including a shelter, picnic mat, and more.
It has a hoodie with an adjustable drawstring, which will keep your head warm and dry. It has side snaps that will connect both sides of the poncho. This feature is useful to keep the poncho in place. This product also comes with a stuff sack.
#6 Snugpak Patrol Poncho (Best Sleeved Poncho)
- Size: Universal
- Weight: 13 oz
If you like to wear a poncho that is almost like a rain jacket, this one might be best suited for the job. Some people want to lift their arms without worrying about water streaming in, which is where this type of poncho comes in. This poncho is made from nylon, which also has waterproof properties. Nylon is also a durable material that will not tear.
A polyurethane coating was also added to make it even more useful. The coating helps to protect the material and to make it more waterproof. It also makes use of taped seams, which prevents water from leaking through it. It has an adjustable hoodie that will help to keep your head warm and dry.
It is not a very big poncho and is 52.7” from arm to arm and 63.4” front to back. The sleeves also have thumb loops, which will keep them in place. This poncho has a large frontal cargo pocket that can be closed with the help of velcro. This waterproof pocket is useful if you want to keep your gear dry. It also comes with an extra bag in which to store the poncho.
Cons: This poncho is not versatile as it cannot transform into a small shelter, etc.
#7 Onewind Rain Poncho
- Size: Universal
- Weight: 9 oz
This poncho from Onewind is also a good candidate that will offer excellent waterproofing capabilities. The material it uses is nylon, which is infused with silicon, which helps to seal the fibers’ spaces, making it more waterproof. It has a waterproof rating of around 3000mm, which is very good.
It is also reasonably big with a size of 89″ X 56″. Big sizes are handy if you want to use the poncho for other purposes. It has a hoodie that makes use of an adjustable cord. This hoodie can be adjusted and pulled tight around the chin area, preventing water from leaking through.
The poncho can also be tightened on the sides with the help of velcro. This feature is useful if you do not want the wind to blow the poncho over your head. It has nylon loops at the corner, which is similar to grommets in function. This feature will allow you to set up the poncho as a small shelter or tent. It comes in blue and olive green.
How To Choose The Best Poncho – Buying Guide
This section will go over some of the essential criteria in choosing the best possible poncho for survival or military use.
Military ponchos that can be used for survival need to be waterproof and durable. You also need to make sure that the material will not tear that easily. You will need to choose materials that will fit these criteria.
Below are some of the materials used:
- Nylon: This is a synthetic material that is very strong and is also waterproof. It has abrasion resistance and can be easily dyed. It also does not absorb moisture making it waterproof.
- Polyester: Polyester has very similar properties to that of nylon. It is also a synthetic material that is rugged. It does not stretch or shrink in size. It is hydrophobic, which gives it some waterproof capabilities.
- Spandex: This material should never be used alone when making the fabric of a poncho. It must be combined with another material such as nylon or polyester. It is very flexible but not that durable. This material only makes the fabric more stretchable.
There was no extensive range of materials used because nylon and polyester are probably the best materials for this job.
The primary purpose of a poncho is to keep you dry, which is why you want it to be waterproof. There are several things you can do to make a poncho waterproof. You can start by using a material that is waterproof itself. For instance, nylon and polyester are very good at keeping you dry.
You can also coat the fabric with polyurethane or infuse the material with silicon. Both of these methods will make it more waterproof and durable. You should also make sure that the seams used to connect the fabric are waterproof. You can do this by taping it or treating it with heat.
Almost all of the ponchos will comes with a hoodie that can be adjusted and that will keep your head dry. For most waterproof clothing, there will be a rating that is measured in mm. It can range from 0mm up to more than 10000mm. To get the rating, you need to do a Hydrostatic Head Test. The video below will explain it in more detail.
The higher the number, the more pressure of water it will be able to resist. For ponchos, I would recommend nothing less than 1500mm. The best waterproof poncho was the GLORYFIRE Tactical Poncho, which has a waterproof rating of 10000mm.
Size & Coverage
When choosing a poncho, you need to make sure that it is big enough to cover your entire body (including your head). All of the ponchos will come in once, which can also be called universal. Get one that is big enough to cover your entire body but not too big so that you trip over the poncho.
Some large ponchos are less mobile, and it is here where I would recommend a poncho that comes with sleeves. The Snugpak Patrol Poncho comes with sleeves making it more mobile.
Weight & Portability
You do not want to wear a poncho that is too heavy. It is also important to note that most ponchos will come with a carrying bag where the weight will be a more significant issue. For ponchos, I would not recommend anything heavier than 50 oz. The heaviest poncho in this list was just over 22 oz.
Color & Camo
My suggestions will be limited regarding the color you choose because it will depend on your own preference and taste. There were many options available, but I ensured that all of the ponchos could fit into the tactical/survival theme.
Some ponchos like the USGI Industries Military Style Poncho have a wide range of colors and have some pretty decent camo style themes available.
Durability and Ripstop
Ponchos need to be made from a material that is not only waterproof but also durable. You also never know the situation or location you find yourself in where the poncho might take a beating. You need to choose a material such as nylon or polyester that is durable and ripstop.
Some ponchos will also be covered with a polyurethane layer, which makes them even more durable.
If you are in a survival situation where you might need to set up a shelter quickly, you are in luck. Most of the ponchos had either grommets or nylon loops at the corners, which will allow you to modify their use.
Some ponchos, such as the OneTigris Tentsformer Poncho, can be combined with another one to make an even bigger shelter. In the next section, I will go over some of the other uses for a poncho.
Other Poncho Uses
Ponchos have multiple uses that might just save your life. In this section, I will go over some of them.
Convert to shelter
Some ponchos will already come with some tent stakes that can pin it to the ground. This feature is made possible with the help of the grommets located on each side. The video below will showcase how to set up a shelter.
If you do not have tent stakes, you can always use sticks, which can also do the job.
Water container or carrier
Most ponchos will be waterproof, which will enable you to use them to contain water. If you are next to a lake and do not have a large water container, you can use your poncho to carry the water to your base of operation.
Depending on your location, you will not always have access to fresh drinkable water. Sometimes you need to rely on rainwater to survive. If you have a poncho with you, then you can use its waterproof abilities to catch rainwater.
With these ponchos, you can catch a lot of rainwater.
If something happened to your backpack or you have more useful stuff to carry with you, you can also use a poncho as a carrying bag. Just be careful not to put too much strain on the fabric and prevent storing any sharp objects which might cut holes in the poncho.
Most ponchos are made from very tough material, but you do not want to intentionally damage something that might save your life.
If you have some drawstring, you can use it to tie the poncho between two trees in such a way where it will act as a divider for privacy or to block the wind.
The large surface area of a poncho makes it possible to use as a floor mat with the help of the grommets at each corner. Just open up the poncho over the floor and pin it with tent stakes or sticks.
If you are lucky enough to have a tent already, then you can pull the poncho over the tent for extra protection against rain and the sun.
Q: What is a survival/military poncho?
This type of poncho differs from your casual poncho in different ways. It is a poncho that is waterproof and also durable. Most importantly, it needs to be flexible enough to serve multiple functions that might save your life. For some people, the color and camo patterns are essential.
Q: Why do you need a survival poncho?
You never know when you might find yourself in a situation where you need to survive for a while with limited resources. The best survivors in the world know how to utilize all of their belonging and the surroundings to their benefit. Survival ponchos have multiple uses that can save your life.
Q: Waterproof vs. water-resistance?
For ponchos, you need something more waterproof than water-resistant. When an item is water-resistant, then it has some level of water protection but not entirely. Waterproofing offers complete protection against water.
Q: Rain Ponchos vs. Rain Jackets?
The best one to use will depend heavily on your situation. For hiking and backpacking, I would recommend a rain poncho. Ponchos offer the best protection against heavy rainfall and have multiple uses. Rain jackets should only be used in local areas (such as the city) where you might require more mobility.
Q: What size to choose?
You should choose a poncho that will be big enough to cover your head and backpack if you intend to go outdoors. It should also not be too big as you might trip over it. You should never give away too much mobility when wearing a huge poncho.
Q: How to deal with wind?
One of the most significant issues with ponchos is that the wind tends to blow them over your head. Some ponchos come with side snaps, which will give them more stability. You can also tie a rope around your waist if it is a big issue for you.
Q: Can you use a poncho for a tent or shelter?
The answer is yes. You can create your own little tent/shelter with a poncho. Ponchos are big enough to make a sizable shelter. Most ponchos will also come with grommets on each corner, useful for pinning them to the ground.
Q: What is taped seam?
A seam is used to connect to pieces of fabric together. This can be an issue as water tend to leak through the stitches. You can prevent this by using a taped seam instead. The seams are taped with strong glue, which will prevent water from leaking through.
If you want the best military or survival poncho, then you need to look at several factors. You need to consider waterproofing, durability and that it can also be used for other things as well. The poncho from OneTigris was an excellent candidate and is also my #1 recommendation.
It is made from nylon, which is durable and is a ripstop material. It also uses a PU waterproof coating, which makes it waterproof. It can also be transformed and attached to another poncho to make a decent shelter.
There were many to choose from, and I hope you could find a match.