It could not have been better timing! We have been given the opportunity to try out a People’s Poncho. This is one item of clothing regarded as essential for many who ride their bicycle regularly.
The People’s Poncho arrived nicely folded in its little pouch. The advantage is that it fits over your everyday clothes, takes little space and adds almost no weight at all. The material feels soft to the touch and seems thick enough to sustain strong winds. Branding is left to a minimum with the reflective logo at the top of the front pocket. The trim also has a reflective edge which gives the poncho a neat finish. There are two elastic straps on the front to fit over the the handle bar for extra lap protection, but it is by no means mandatory when in use.
These ponchos come in one size and at first sight, I was a bit worried about the hood which seems far too big. However, it is fully adjustable with two cords on either side and once pulled down, the hood was reduced to a suitable size to offer the protection it was meant to give. A visor cap is fitted in the hood and this is a nice feature to have especially if you wear glasses.
It wasn’t long before I could take it out to test during a ride. It was easy to take out of the pouch, quickly deployed it and pulled over. If you have never worn a poncho before, it takes a bit of practice to feel comfortable in it. Surprisingly, not having any sleeves feels a bit weird at first. You could use the popper buttons to close it at a number of places if you choose to do so, however it would probably be best suited that way when worn off the bike.
When cycling I found it comfortable but a bit cumbersome at first when signalling. However, after some practice, it was fine. The hood kept sliding down perhaps because I had it over a jacket which already had a hood. I also found impossible to secure the hood in a way that would let me see properly when turning my head and looking over my shoulder before changing lane or overtaking. I guess this downside is a common feature to any hoods, not only ponchos. So I kept the hood off, wearing my regular cap instead. Some ponchos have transparent sides to alleviate this particular problem but I haven’t tried them so I am not sure how efficient they would be. There are four colours available (Blue, Yellow, Black and Camouflage).
Overall, this is a well made product which is comfortable to wear and practical to have. It is a discreet piece of kit that offers the protection needed when required without cramping your style!