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Originally designed for swimmers, this multi-use waterproof poncho is reasonably priced, and made with a focus on durability and sustainability.

Watery is a young company that naturally tries to have its finger on the pulse of production values demanded by outdoorsy customers. If they they succeed in this endeavor is the question we tested.

The short answer is yes and no, respectively. That said, it is not without its shortcomings. But this Watery poncho is a compact (ie packable) changing robe and jacket that wicks away moisture, providing good warmth for post swimming during the spring or fall.

Read our full review and see if the Watery Waterproof Poncho is the right waterproof poncho for you.

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4.5

Reasons to buy:

  • check-mark
    Made partly with recycled materials, making it more earth-friendly than most of its peers
  • check-mark
    Extremely lightweight and compact, allowing for easy storage
  • check-mark
    Inner microfiber lining soaks up moisture quite well
  • check-mark
    Reasonably durable for the price
  • check-mark
    The combination of microfiber and polyester makes the poncho quite breathable, which adds to comfort
  • check-mark
    Pockets are sizable enough for storing essentials like wallets, cell phones, small journals, and other valuables
  • check-mark
    Zipper opening makes it easy to put on and take off
  • check-mark
    Makes for a great changing robe
  • check-mark
    Comes with a free PVC bag, which can be used for storing other essentials along with the poncho

Reasons NOT to buy:

  • check-markNot as thick and therefore less warm than other options
  • check-markComes in only two sizes (M and L), which makes it unideal for people with smaller or significantly larger builds.
  • check-markThere's not a lot of variety when it comes to color, either.

Where to buy:

Watery Waterproof Poncho Product Image

Watery Waterproof Poncho

Overview

While not as robustly built compared to other waterproof ponchos in the market (especially its higher-priced counterparts), the Watery Waterproof Poncho is definitely not a flimsy knockoff of ponchos produced by bigger companies.

Its price makes it a very competitive product that will deliver comfort and convenience to make water sports more pleasant. With the idea of encouraging swimmers, paddle boarders or kayakers to just get out there, this is the type of apparel that succeeds when a budget constrains some choices.

Not as plush or waterproof as the Gill Aqua Parka, for example, its 30% cheaper price tag,  nonetheless, means that it competes on value.

It’s well-designed (as far as waterproof ponchos go) and ethically inspired in its production. That said, whether it’s the right waterproof poncho for you is a different question entirely.

Watery Waterproof Poncho Overview

Features

Made with Watery’s Aqua Fleece material, the Watery Waterproof Poncho’s exterior is composed of 55% recycled polyester, and 45% virgin polyester. The poncho’s inner lining is composed of 100% virgin microfiber.

The Aqua Fleece is designed to be lightweight, quick-drying (both inside and outside), waterproof, and windproof (we’ll delve more into each of these attributes in a bit).

The Waterproof Poncho comes with handy zippered pockets (two exterior side pockets, and one smaller, inner pocket) for essentials, a zipper opening for easy on-off use, and a standard draw-string adjustable hood.

The poncho comes with a free, partly-recycled PVC bag that you can use to store the poncho in.

It also comes in two sizes and three simple colors, in keeping with Watery’s philosophy of focusing on utility rather than keeping up with fashion trends.

Watery Waterproof Poncho Features Zippers

Durability

For its price, the Waterproof Poncho is well above average when it comes to durability.

While its thin Aqua Fleece construction won’t win any awards for being tough and rugged, the poncho does hold up well under normal use.  Its YKK zippers are highly durable, and shouldn’t need to be replaced every so often, and its hood’s drawstring closure is made with sturdy materials as well.

It should last many an outdoor swim with regular gentle cleaning and proper storage.

That said, it’s important to keep in mind that the Waterproof Poncho is designed specifically for water sports, and not for activities that entail the poncho getting overly stretched or dragged through particularly rough surfaces.

Watery Waterproof Poncho Ykk Zippers

Waterproofing and Breathability

While there’s a certain stigma when it comes to recycled materials (which, in most cases, is justified) when it comes to its waterproofing, the Waterproof Poncho does do its name justice.

While Watery hasn’t published an official thread count for the Waterproof Poncho, the poncho’s mixed polyester exterior has enough water resistance to protect you from drizzle and rain.

Moreover, you won’t have to worry about your essentials getting wet during an extended camping trip if you keep them in any of the poncho’s zippered pockets.

That said, if you want something specifically for heavy rainfall you’re going to need something else.

The poncho’s mixed polyester exterior also provides decent breathability as well as a bit of stretch. While it doesn’t necessarily feel like a second skin, it’s breathable enough to ensure comfort during long periods of wear.

Watery Waterproof Poncho Mixed Polyester Exterior

Insulation and Absorbency

While the Waterproof Poncho does give some degree of insulation after swims, its thin Aqua Fleece material definitely won’t keep you warm under extreme weather conditions (for instance, before and after winter swims).

It offers a decent amount of wind resistance, but it’s not quite as windproof as some of the thicker ponchos on the market. The previously mentioned Aqua Parka and Red Original’s Long Sleeve Robe are two options with superior warmth and wind protection.

That said, the Waterproof Poncho does make up for this with its highly absorbent microfiber lining.

The poncho’s inner lining does a great job of drying you up even when you’re soaking wet. Plus, the poncho’s polyester exterior allows for water vapor to easily escape your skin.

All in all, while the Waterproof Poncho is not a good substitute for a jacket, it is a great substitute for a towel.

Watery Waterproof Poncho Wind Resistance Nicolai Tested By Nicolai

Weight and Fit

While a lot can be said about its exterior’s waterproofing and its inner lining’s absorbency, the Waterproof Poncho’s weight is arguably its best quality.

At approximately 300 grams, the Waterproof Poncho is among the lightest in its segment. This allows for ease of movement, and is a great choice for water sports enthusiasts who are always on the go.

As for its fit, the Waterproof Poncho has a regular to sleek fit that should fit most body types and still be long enough to change clothes in. However, it does only come in two sizes, M and L, which bigger-framed people might find difficult to use as a changing robe.

watery-waterproof-poncho-weight-and-fit

Usability

We’ve used this poncho in frigid weather following scuba dives, after paddle boarding and swimming. It fits nicely over a wetsuit and has pockets that welcomes your grateful hands.

It’s also a more than serviceable poncho for virtually any adventure/activity that doesn’t veer towards the extreme, such as: camping trips where you expect some rainfall, general city use–when you have to walk or bike to and from your workplace and you don’t want to get wet, and/or hiking during a particularly windy day.

Watery Waterproof Poncho Nicolai Testing Poncho

Packability

Another area where Watery Waterproof Poncho excels is its packability. It’s extremely lightweight, and its Aqua Fleece material is thin enough that the poncho can be easily rolled up and stuffed in a bike pannier, or even in a small compartment in your hiking backpack.

This makes the Watery Waterproof Poncho a versatile outdoor companion for newbies and experienced enthusiasts alike.

watery-waterproof-poncho-packability

Value

At around $120, the Watery Waterproof Poncho offers serious value for money, especially for water sport enthusiasts looking for a compact and durable poncho fit for a wide variety of water activities.

While it’s not the most advanced poncho in the market, nor the warmest, it’s not devoid of its virtues either. So unless you’re an extreme adventurer looking to go on winter swims or camping trips during particularly cold months, the Watery Waterproof Poncho does pretty much everything you’d expect from a waterproof poncho.

Conclusion

All in all, there aren’t a lot of flaws in the Watery Waterproof Poncho.

While Watery is a fairly new player in the wet gear market, their focus on durability and sustainability makes the Waterproof Poncho a great option for water sport enthusiasts who are looking for a durable, affordable, and earth-friendly alternative to the ponchos being churned out by bigger companies.

Whether you’re an experienced scuba diver/kayaker/swimmer or a newbie, it’s definitely worth considering if you’re in the market for somethi

Related Reviews

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4.5

Reasons to buy:

  • check-mark
    Made partly with recycled materials, making it more earth-friendly than most of its peers
  • check-mark
    Extremely lightweight and compact, allowing for easy storage
  • check-mark
    Inner microfiber lining soaks up moisture quite well
  • check-mark
    Reasonably durable for the price
  • check-mark
    The combination of microfiber and polyester makes the poncho quite breathable, which adds to comfort
  • check-mark
    Pockets are sizable enough for storing essentials like wallets, cell phones, small journals, and other valuables
  • check-mark
    Zipper opening makes it easy to put on and take off
  • check-mark
    Makes for a great changing robe
  • check-mark
    Comes with a free PVC bag, which can be used for storing other essentials along with the poncho

Reasons NOT to buy:

  • check-markNot as thick and therefore less warm than other options
  • check-markComes in only two sizes (M and L), which makes it unideal for people with smaller or significantly larger builds.
  • check-markThere's not a lot of variety when it comes to color, either.
FAQ

Frequently asked questions about Watery Waterproof Poncho

Is a parka the same as a rain poncho?

Yes and no. A parka is a hooded jacket running at least a two-thirds length. Parkas make ideal winter jackets or changing robes for this reason. They usually have some pockets too, if not many more features. A rain poncho is the same length, but doesn’t have many features. They are like waterproof jackets that have hoods and are merely longer.

Do ponchos keep you warm?

There are a variety of waterproof ponchos that offer varying degrees of warmth. Rain ponchos are usually made with thin waterproof materials that, while providing a decent amount of water resistance, aren’t really designed for keeping you warm.

The Watery Waterproof Poncho reviewed above will keep you warm for outdoor swims during normal days, but isn’t designed for activities such as winter swims.

If you want something that provides more warmth, your best bet is to go for waterproof poncho-blanket hybrids, or waterproof ponchos with more sophisticated inner linings, such as the Aqua Parka.

What makes a good poncho?

This really depends on what you’re looking for, or what you intend to use a poncho for. Generally, a great poncho is lightweight yet durable, waterproof and windproof, roomy enough for you to change in, and keeps you warm while still being breathable.

Obviously, you’d be hard-pressed to find a poncho that has all these traits without spending a significant amount of money, so what you should be looking for is a poncho that fulfills your needs and fits your budget.

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