Best cycling ponchos

We all know how unpredictable the weather is in Britain. So whether you're already doing the school run by bike, or you're curious to give cycling a try, the inevitable downpours can make it a daunting task. That's where the best cycling ponchos can help.

A poncho, or rain cape, can be really handy because you can wear it over your normal clothes. It packs down nice and small, so you can tuck it away in a bag or pocket when you don’t need it. Ponchos also great for cycling because, unlike waterproof cycling jackets, they drape across your handlebars, so they keep your legs dry as you pedal. Rather than investing in a jacket and over-trousers, a poncho can kill two birds with one stone.

Cycling in the rain is not a problem, but keeping dry is nice, especially when it’s cold. A cycling poncho is one of those handy things to have in your bag to be prepared for cycling in all weathers, all year round.

Cargo bike festival - capes

Why are ponchos a good choice for cycling?

Rain ponchos or capes can offer protection from the rain but also from wind chill and most of them come with hi-viz and reflective details.

A poncho designed for cycling usually features some clever details like a longer front to cover your legs while cycling and sometimes loops for your fingers to make sure it stays in place while riding.

Waterproof ponchos for cycling can be a good value solution to keeping dry because they don’t just keep your upper body dry, but most (or all) of your legs too, without having to invest in a waterproof coat and over-trousers.

To help you decide which of the best cycling ponchos is right for you, we've rounded up our favourites below, and you'll also find some handy buying advice underneath to help you make an informed decision.

Once you've chosen your poncho, why not take a look at our guide to the best kids waterproof cycling jackets?

What to look for when buying a cycling poncho

Have a think about what you’re looking for in a bike poncho; are you looking for a stylish, fashionable piece of clothing that you can pop over your normal clothes or are you looking for a poncho that just does the job of keeping you dry?

Most bike ponchos come with a hood that fits under or over a helmet. Being able to see around you is very important when cycling and especially when it rains, so look out for hoods that are adjustable.

If you’re going to be cycling in the early mornings or evenings, all through winter, you may want to opt for a poncho with hi-viz details and reflective features. 

You’re probably not going to be using your poncho everyday, so also think about how the poncho is stored when not in use. A stuff sack is very handy (although can easily get lost!) and an even better option is a poncho that packs up into its own pocket.

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Best cycling ponchos


B'Twin City Bike Rain Poncho 100

Best for: Value for money
From £24.99
Colours: Green, Black
Sizes: XS/S, M/L, XL/2XL, 3XL/4XL
Waterproof resistance: 2,000mm

This is B'Twin’s budget waterproof bike poncho and it comes with sealed seams and a hood that is adjustable to allow for a broad field of vision which can go either under or on your helmet if you wear one.

Out of all of the ponchos we've listed here, this one is the most budget-friendly, and even at this price point offers a decent waterproof rating, hood and elastic bands to attach it to your hands and thighs to keep your arms and legs dry.

This poncho doesn’t come with any reflective details, but is roomy enough to be worn with a rucksack underneath.

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B'Twin Daytime/Night-time Visibility Rain Poncho 560

Best for: All-day/night use
Colours: Green/Black
Sizes: XS/S, M/L, XL/2XL
Waterproof resistance: 5,000mm

B'Twin’s more premium cycling poncho has sleeves, which is quite unusual for a poncho but looks very useful. This colour is the most visible one with a hi-viz top and reflective detail all around the poncho and sleeves, which can be seen from all angles.

It has a higher waterproof rating than the cheaper 100 poncho listed above, and can be packed up into its front pocket.

This option is great for use in the day as well as night because of the hi-viz top and reflective band all around the waist and arms.

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B’Twin Night Visibility City Bike Rain Poncho 540

Best for: Matching with your style
Price: £39.99
Colour: Grey, Brown/Black, Grey/Black, Red/Black
Sizes: XS/S, M/L, XL/2XL
Waterproof resistance: 5,000mm

The B'Twin 540 waterproof poncho is the same as its hi-viz sibling but in more elegant colourways.

With the addition of bright colours at the top alongside the reflective details all around the cape, it also offers 360-degree visibility.

This is by far the most stylish option from B'Twin because you can choose one of the four elegant colourways to match with your own clothing.

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Tucano Urbano Cycling Poncho

Best for: Pairing with a rucksack
Colours: Blue, Fluro Yellow, Brown
Sizes: Small, Large, Small PLUS, Large PLUS
Waterproof resistance: 5,000mm

The Tucano Urbano waterproof bike poncho comes in four colours: two very visible ones and two in more subtle colourways. Reflective details on this poncho look especially good and there are air vents to keep you cool.

This poncho offers a lot of value for money, and is the best one for wearing with a rucksack - just make sure you order the PLUS size.

The Tucano bike poncho can be packed into a stuff sack that features a Velcro tab to attach it to your bike.

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Best ponchos for cycling - People's Poncho 3.0 navy

People's Poncho 3.0

Best for: Heavy rain
Price: £76.00
Colour: Navy, Camouflage, Yellow, Red, Black
Sizes: One size fits all
Waterproof resistance: 10,000mm

This poncho is lightweight at 460g, but is able to withstand a heavy downpour. It is made from a breathable technical fabric and is the only poncho listed here that has a waistband (to avoid the back of the poncho blowing up).

Out of all the ponchos we've listed, this one has the highest waterproof rating and therefore the best one if you think you'll be cycling in heavy rain.

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Cape Creary bike poncho

Best for: If you don't need a hood
Price: from £59.99
Colour: Black, Navy, Grey
Sizes: XS/S, M/L, XL/2XL
Waterproof resistance: Unpublished

We tried these beautiful bike ponchos out for ourselves when Cycle Sprog’s Karen and Saskia had the pleasure to meet the maker, Jerome, at the London Cargo Bike Festival in 2023.

This waterproof poncho has some clever reflective detailing on which you can’t see until it gets dark. When it’s dark each cape has its own reflective pattern showing when a light shines on you.

This is the best poncho if you are looking for something stylish without a hood. The collar can turned up to offer more protection from wind and rain.

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Waterproof resistance ratings explained

Not every type of waterproof fabric can withstand the same amount of rain. For most waterproof products you’ll find a waterproof rating in the product description as a multiple of 1,000mm. 

Waterproof fabrics are tested in a so-called Hydrostatic Head test where the fabric is put under a sealed tube of water. The rating in millimetres refers to the number of millimetres of water the fabric is able to withstand in the tube, over 24 hours, without it seeping through. The higher the rating, the better the waterproofing.

Washing a waterproof product will reduce the waterproof rating, unless a waterproofing product is used. 

Sometimes the term ‘Poray’ is used to rate waterproof fabric and this rating refers to the waterproof resistance rating and breathability rating combined.

Ponchos listed in this article are made of fabrics varying in waterproof rating between 2,000mm and 10,000mm. 

Any fabric within this range will offer you plenty of protection from an average rain shower on a short journey, but don’t expect the lower-rated options to keep you dry if you’re going on a day-long cycle trip.

How to choose from the best cycling ponchos

Still struggling to choose? We answer some commonly asked questions to help you narrow down your options and pick the best poncho for your needs.


Can you cycle in a rain poncho?

Absolutely! A poncho is loose-fitting, which means plenty of room to move your legs to pedal. Because of the loose design, a poncho also offers plenty of ventilation.

All ponchos for cycling listed here offer loops for your fingers or studs to ensure that the poncho stays in place when you put your hands on the handlebars.

Having the poncho over your hands on the handlebars will help with keeping your legs dry underneath, unless there's horizontal rain!

Is a poncho better than a waterproof jacket for cycling?

Both come with their pros and cons. Here's why you might prefer a poncho:

  • easier to put on over your normal clothes
  • lightweight and packs away small
  • no need for waterproof overtrousers
  • good ventilation

Whereas if you prefer these things, a waterproof jacket might be a better choice for you:

  • invest in a more expensive all-round waterproof jacket
  • pair jacket with waterproof overtrousers
  • wear a waterproof jacket all the time to be prepared for all weathers

What should I wear when cycling in the rain?

For cycling in the rain, these are the key things you should consider wearing to protect yourself and your clothing from the elements.

  • Poncho
  • Jacket
  • Over-trousers

Also consider mudguards, waterproof panniers, a rucksack cover and a helmet cover.

What are the disadvantages of a poncho?

We think ponchos are pretty great, which is why we've listed the best ponchos for cycling above.

However they're definitely not for everyone. Here are some of the reasons you might not want to use a poncho:

  • ponchos are not great for heavy rain
  • a poncho might flap if it's windy
  • when it's cold you will probably be warmer in a coat

If you've found this post useful please share it on social media. If you follow us on Facebook we'll be able to keep you up to date on cycling with kids, year round. If you have time do also check out our Winter Cycling Podcast!


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