Outdoor life brings a lot of excitement, but it certainly isn’t without its problems. For example, when you are surfing, there is a lot of messing around when trying to get in and out of your wetsuit. Not only can it be freezing, depending on the weather, but there is also the issue of privacy. Short of attempting to change in your car, which can be a nightmare, a surf poncho is a viable solution.
However, with the market strewn with options, it can be tricky to find the best surf poncho. After considering various factors, we have sourced some of the best surf ponchos that are great for anyone who wants to spend time in the water and not have to face a drama afterwards.
OUR TOP PICK
What Is A Surf Poncho?
If you have ever felt the pain of trying to get changed on the beach after an afternoon of surfing, kayaking or even Wild Swimming, you will probably be familiar with the lack of privacy and that cold sea breeze. But this doesn’t need to be a problem, since a surf poncho is effectively a towel that you can wear.
Once you have dried off, there is enough room in the poncho to take off your wetsuit or swimmers and put on fresh, dry clothes, without having to show your body off to the rest of the beach.
Sometimes, when you get out of the water, you are too cold to think about doing much else, but a surf poncho is typically made from thick, warm material that helps you to feel normal again. Even once you’re dry, wearing the surf poncho on the drive home can give you a great degree of warmth and comfort.
The Top 10 Best Surf Ponchos
It takes nothing more than a quick Google search to see that there are thousands of surf ponchos on the market. Some are great and some are, well, not so great. Without having first tested the quality, it can be difficult for surfers and water lovers to know whether a poncho will be worth the investment. But we have put several to the test and believe that these are ten of the best!
OUR TOP PICK
The SRF DRY poncho is a machine washable garment that comes in a choice of three colours. When you exit the water this quick drying material will get rid of water, keeping you warm and dry. Furthermore, with a weight of 950g, this is a thick and cosy towel that is ideal for use in colder climates.
The poncho features a handy full front zip that allows you to easily get fully changed and plenty of room inside to maintain your privacy. With its lengthy design, the poncho is ideal for people up to 6’3”. This poncho also has a handy hood, an inside media pocket perfect for storing your phone and two large side pockets.
Great for taller people
Choice of colours
Thick material keeps you warm
Full front zip for easy on and off
Mid-length sleeves free up your hands and arms
The Editors Choice and the premium choice, If you are looking for a surf poncho that is great for travelling then this is an excellent choice. It is incredibly lightweight but super-effective. It is quick drying so you won’t have a weighty towel to carry in your bag and comes in a wide range of bright colours.
This is a microfibre towel that dries up to 4 times quicker than its competitors.Being made 85% Polyester and 15% Polyamide. They claim to absorb up to seven times its weight in water. A nice touch is having a hood with 100% cotton lining for keeping hair dry.
I took mine for a spin recently and it is a really great surf poncho with a pouch at the front with a zip to store your phone and the pockets on the side have access holes to inside so you can easily get changed under the towel! A decent size to get changed in and cosy to wrap up quickly too. Comes in a range of colours and patterns.
Highly absorbent, can absorb upto 7 times it's own weight
Not the Cheapest
Choice of medium or large size
Cotton Lined Hood
Access holes in pockets and zip pouch at front
We love this poncho as it is made from 100% recycled 50D Ripstop fabric laminated with 2500 mm waterproofness on the inside and the Teflon EcoElite™ coating on the outside. Not only is it sustainable it is very high quality too, super soft lining and fully waterproof on the outside. Plenty of room to change underneath after a long swim and also packs down into it's pocket to create a very handy pillow when your not using it as a surf poncho.
Not as light as some others
Selection of sizes
Huge choice of colour and patterns
Packs down to a pillow
One of the first things to catch your eye about this surf poncho is the stylish design. In black and grey with a catchy slogan, you won’t have to compromise your style. What’s more, the large size and hood make this an extremely comfortable poncho that fits people up to 6’5”.
The poncho is a microfibre material that is quick drying and soft on the skin. It is incredibly thick yet remains lightweight for easy carrying.
May not be warm enough for cold weather
Check out our Best Waterproof Changing Robes article
The choice of colours that this poncho comes in means that there will be something to fit any style. But much more than being easy on the eye, the Lunah changing robe boasts incredible absorption making it ideal for drying off after a day in the water.
It will dry quickly and is lightweight so it can be carried in your bag without taking up masses of room. What’s more, with its generous size, it is suitable for most people.
Lots of colours
Some problems with durability
Lightweight and easy to carry
Fits most people
Soft on the skin
For people who love to make a statement on the beach, this beautiful floral surf poncho is just the ticket. However, if flowers aren’t your thing, the robe comes in a multitude of other designs. This makes it a great choice for younger people and teens.
This is a very lightweight poncho weighing just 1lb making it perfect for people who are on multi-day adventures and don’t need bulky gear weighing them down. It has a good level of absorption and is wonderfully soft on the skin.
Neck is tight
Size is relatively small
This one-size-fits-all surf poncho boasts a stunning royal blue design and a wealth of features that make it perfect for outdoor water activities. This is a microfiber robe so it is extremely soft and absorbent. Furthermore, it is machine washable so you don’t need to worry that cleaning will be a challenge.
The surf poncho is fast-drying making it perfect for popping in your bag when you are done. What’s more, it features a wind-proof design so you won’t feel the chill when you are getting changed.
Windproof for warmth
Soft on the skin
Large size suitable for most adults
This super warm robe comes in a choice of sizes meaning that regardless of your height you can still benefit. Furthermore, there is a fantastic range of colours to choose from. The poncho features super thick material that is excellent for keeping you warm, even on windy days.
This is a quick drying poncho that can be machine washed when it is time to refresh it. It is much thicker than some of the other options on the market making it ideal for use in even cooler conditions. However, we should point out that this design means that the poncho is slightly heavier.
Super thick for cold days
Choice of colours
Suitable for people of all heights thanks to medium and extra large sizes
Just by looking at this poncho you can see that it is of an extremely high quality. It is super soft and cosy meaning that it gives you the luxurious edge when on the beach. Furthermore, it comes in a choice of purple or grey so you can show off your style.
The poncho has an excellent level of absorbency and is perfect for use in colder conditions even when it is windy thanks to its quick drying design. What’s more, with its extra long length, you won’t have to worry about having your privacy compromised when you are changing.
Choice of colours
Heavy when wet
BEST FOR COLD DAYS
This oversized change robe you can't officially call a poncho as such but if you are planning on surfing or swimming on colder days this is a great option to be able to throw it on, get dry and get changed while keeping warm in this windproof waterproof robe. Featuring long sleeves for extra warmth, multiple pockets including an A4 size one where you can store your cloths! Handy.
Lot's of pockets
Choice of colours
It isn’t just us adults that want to get in on the surfing action so if you are hitting the beach with the little ones, it is just as important to find a warm poncho for them too. This is a great option since it comes in a range of choices to match your child’s personality.
The poncho is made from a terry cotton material making it super soft on the skin and incredibly warm. No longer will you have a screaming child because it’s too cold to get changed on the beach. What’s more, thanks to the absorbent nature of this material, drying is quick and easy.
It comes in a range of sizes to suit children of all ages and when you’re done, it folds up to a compact size so you don’t end up overloading your bag.
What To Look For In A Surf Poncho
When choosing a surf poncho, there are a few things that you should consider before making a final decision. You might think that any old poncho will be up to the challenge, but you’d be surprised at the difference between options. Before making your purchase, be sure to keep the following things in mind.
- Make sure that you choose a poncho that fits you. This is especially important if you are tall. Most ponchos come in a choice of sizes and height details will be given with these. If the poncho is too short, you won’t be able to maintain the level of privacy you are looking for.
- The material of the poncho should be thick enough to keep you warm, especially if you expect there to be a breeze; which there normally is by the water. Furthermore, the materials should be soft and not irritate the skin as well as being quick drying and absorbent.
- If you are packing your beach bag, you want to save as much space as possible so it is important to look for a poncho that will fold to a compact size. In addition to this, you should ensure that the poncho is lightweight and doesn’t feel heavy when it is wet.
- Something machine washable will be much easier to clean. Furthermore, you should make sure that any stitching is secure and won’t come apart the first time you show it to the washing machine.
A surf poncho is excellent for those chilly days when getting out of the water means meeting with a chilly breeze. What’s more, they offer a great degree of privacy while you get changed and be the difference between a quick, modest change and revealing yourself to onlookers!
With so many surf ponchos to choose from, it can feel a little overwhelming but our top picks of ten of the best give you an insight into what quality products are available.