The Hardy Black Poncho is made from three layers of hard-wearing and fully waterproof Japanese polyester. Trimmed with a drawstring hood, and detailed with a waterproof zippered chest pocket, the poncho offers safety enhancing reflective piping, side buttons to aid manoeuvrability, and internal straps to hook onto bicycle handlebars or over hands so legs are protected from the rain if you are riding a bike. The poncho only weighs 0.4kg and comes with a waterproof bag for easy storage.
TELL YOUR FRIENDS If you haven’t tried a poncho yet, you should try this one. The People’s Poncho is one serious stylish poncho that receives way more compliments than stares. Compact and lightweight it’s a great travel companion that you can break out and rely on even in the heaviest of downpours.
The internal straps are great to use when cycling and create a tent effect that’s very effective in protecting your lower half from the wet conditions. This does take some getting used to so I encourage a few laps around the block to practice. Your arms can get lost in the fabric and turn signals become a bit more difficult to do. The internal straps hooked my handlebar at one point and spun me so don’t go making any hand signals too hastily
The poncho is extremely lightweight and folds up to fit in a compact bag. Keeping this in my backpack or pannier took up very little space and weighed so little that I could forget about it until I needed it. Wearing the poncho over your backpack still provides you with good protection from the elements.
WISH LIST A waist band. Being lightweight is a huge plus but when the wind is blowing strong the poncho acts more like a kite. In one instance the back of the poncho blew over my head blinding me and forcing me to hit the brakes suddenly. A scary moment to say the least. A waist band would help prevent this from happening when riding in strong winds.
The hood is quite large so shoulder checking can be difficult. The drawstrings help to improve visibility when pulled tight but it doesn’t eliminate all the blindspots. I would much prefer having a cinch on the back of the hood to pull it tight against my head removing blind spots all together.
IDEAL USER This is great for the stylish upright commuter that enjoys riding at a leisurely pace. Your bike needs fenders as there is no protection from the spray off your wheels. If the idea and inconvenience of wearing rain pants is keeping you from riding your bicycle in the rain this could be the piece of gear you need!
Hardy Black Poncho
SUMMARY On my usual rainy ride you’ll see me in rain pants and a rain jacket, while I stick to this option because it does keep me dry, it is neither stylish or all that convenient. Removing multiple layers when I arrive at my destination can be hassle, especially when your shoes don’t fit through the pant legs. Arriving in the poncho was a different story. Not only did the Japanese Polyester look and feel good it kept me dry on my 30 minute commute during heavy rains. The stylish details and clean look make this a fashionable piece of rain gear that works both on and off the bike. When I got to my destination pulling the poncho over my head couldn’t be easier.
For the right type of cyclist this a great option for those rainy day bicycle rides. If you’re worried about the breathability of the polyester fabric don’t be, the poncho allows for plenty of airflow.I could see myself using this in a number of different instances, outside of cycling, when staying dry is the name of the game. I may have to sew a waistband onto the poncho to keep from flying away.
Sam Cawkell is an everyday cyclist who always waves politely to the people he shares the road with. @vancouver.goods
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