The People’s Poncho is actually an alternative to the rain jacket, being a poncho and all, so it is never going to appeal to the hard core roadie or MTBer looking for a snug fit on the bike. But don’t lose interest and stop reading just because I said that, as you might be surprised at just how appealing this poncho is off the bike…
Imagining some products before they arrive, it is impossible to get that excited about them. Anything to do with wet weather is never top of my excitement list. Cycling is rarely as much fun in the rain. It also means I have to get wet to review the product as well, so I wasn’t too excited about a poncho. Definitely not my sort of cycling attire. I kept thinking about who I could give it to for review…
However, upon trying it on, I realised I was wrong to think that this poncho would be so specific so as to not be useful to the likes of me. Here we have a most useful wet weather accessory, one that I have already made good use of before even getting astride a bike. It is The People’s Poncho – and they may just be right.
It is a well made with ‘highest quality Japanese polyester’ (I had no idea if this was good polyester but it sounded like it was and interestingly a quick Google brought me to Toray, the people who make the carbon fibre in your bike frame, so it must be good) forming the outer and the light grey inner is a woven tricot knit liner (a material that has a unique weave, allowing it to be smooth on one side while sporting texture on the other).
Together they form a lightweight, compact and breathable three layer membrane to provide real protection from the wet. I can already vouch for the fact that it works and, because it is a poncho, it works better at protecting more of you than other rain jackets would.
There’s the addition of reflective piping for safety at night and a pocket for your essential bits and bobs. Press studs tailor the fit around both neck and hands. The hood has a useful peak to provide further protection. It all folds up very small and neat and has its own little carry bag so you can keep it near for unexpected downpours.
Importantly it actually looks really good when its on, which I was very surprised about. It really looks good. You could easily wear it out to the pub.
Which brings us on to who would wear it and when…? On the one hand it is almost certainly of value to the people looking to avoid the rain while cycling along, maybe to the shops or in to work. You can imagine it being great for those on Dutch style city bikes, on cargo bikes and shoppers. It even has arm loops on the inside to keep it in place while you speed along. The inspiration came from China, where ponchos and cycling go hand in hand and The People’s Poncho logo has the Chinese symbols for ‘Umbrella’ and ‘Rain’ in it…
But that sort of riding isn’t really me and, if you are an enthusiast, most likely not you either. Would we wear a poncho on any of our bike rides? Though I will have to, in order to test it on a board a bike, it is not really performance wear is it?
Good job then that it is also perfect for those people who call themselves ‘cycling widows’, left minding the kids while their partner races off; or those die hard race fans lining the side of the road; or those loyal mums and dads nervously stood by the finish line. It is ideal for the photographers, the marshals, the commissaires, the line judges, and it is most definitely perfect for cyclocross pit crews – in fact anyone in cyclocross!
It is even ideal for riders pre-race, looking to keep you dry in the car park before the off on a miserable wet rainy day.
In fact anyone partaking or watching cycle sport in foul weather, you need one of these! I’d go as far to say that if you have a loved one who supports you in your sport, by turning up or helping out, you would be flavour of the month if you get them one of these (young riders note that it is Mother’s Day end of this month).
Well, I have just committed the cardinal sin: I have mouthed off about how good it is before a full review has been completed. But the truth is I already love it and it has only just arrived. It’s been reasonably wet here and we are fast approaching April, the month of showers, so bring it on. The people are ready.
A full review is still to follow.
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