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The 10 Best Beach and Surf Ponchos [2024]

Amar Hussain's image
Amar Hussain
Amar Hussain's image

Amar Hussain

Senior Content Contributor

817 Published Articles

Countries Visited: 63U.S. States Visited: 9

Amar is an avid traveler and tester of products. He has spent the last 13 years traveling all 7 continents and has put the products to the test on each of them. He has contributed to publications incl...
Edited by: Keri Stooksbury
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Keri Stooksbury

Editor-in-Chief

38 Published Articles 3340 Edited Articles

Countries Visited: 48U.S. States Visited: 28

With years of experience in corporate marketing and as the executive director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Qatar, Keri is now editor-in-chief at UP, overseeing daily content operations and r...

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If you are a regular visitor to the ocean, it goes without saying that beach ponchos are one of your essential pieces of equipment. These useful items can be used for a variety of purposes, from privacy while changing out of your swimsuit to protection from the cold.

They usually come in a single size for men and women, but sometimes they are available in sizes from small to extra-large. Besides size, there’s a range of other aspects to keep in mind when buying a beach poncho. Take a look at these factors below so you can make an informed decision on the right poncho for you.

Things To Consider When Buying a Beach Poncho

Beach poncho
A beach poncho provides privacy while changing and protection from the cold. Image Credit: Amar Hussain

Because your beach poncho will be serving as your portable mini changing room, you will want to focus on details like the material, size, thickness, hood type, and overall coverage it provides.

Material

Beach poncho material
Choose a beach poncho that’s made from cotton. Image Credit: Amar Hussain

Look for high-quality materials to combine wearing comfort and practicality. For instance, the best beach poncho material would certainly be cotton, but you can also go for options made of microfiber and even recycled fabrics.

Combined with a lightweight design, the right material will result in a comfortable poncho.

Thickness

Beach poncho thickness
Choose a thicker poncho to ensure maximum warmth. Image Credit: Amar Hussain

The material’s thickness is an important factor in choosing the best surf poncho. To ensure maximum warmth and comfort in the colder months, you should go for a thicker poncho.

Bottom Line: It doesn’t necessarily follow that a thicker poncho will be a heavier one to wear. On the contrary, most lightweight options are designed with thicker linings for greater comfort and usability.

Sizes

Finding the right size with enough breathing room can make all the difference in a useful surf poncho. While they usually come in a universal size for men and women, there are some exceptions.

Besides one-size-fits-all options, you can sometimes find small, medium, and large sizes. Some brands even offer an extra-large size if you think that would suit you better. Don’t forget to also take length into consideration to give you enough privacy to change comfortably.

Comfort

Beach poncho comfort
Some beach ponchos include a hood for extra comfort. Image Credit: Amar Hussain

Another extremely important aspect is comfort, which comes down to the poncho material’s softness, weight, and absorbency. Once you find a beach poncho comfortable enough, you will never need to own a beach towel again.

It can be used for changing or drying off after surfing and for warmth while chilling on the beach when the sun goes down.

Hot Tip: Alternatives to a beach poncho can be found in our guide to the best beach wraps, sarongs, and cover-ups, as well as our list of the best travel beach towels and blankets!

The 10 Best Beach and Surf Ponchos

With all these important factors in mind, let’s now explore our selection of top picks for beach ponchos. With these options, you will get the most out of your time on the beach, whether you need a place to change clothes or just a handy towel.

These beach ponchos stand out thanks to their wearing comfort, soft materials, and thickness that protects you even in chilly weather.

1. Quick-dry, Microfiber Hooded Poncho

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SUN CUBE Surf Poncho Changing Robe

With Sun Cube’s surf poncho, you will never need to buy another beach towel. It’s one of the softest and warmest surf ponchos out there, and it stands out with 100% microfiber material and a unique handle on the back for carrying convenience.

The absorbency of this changing robe is incredible, and it can easily replace a beach towel. It offers more than enough discretion as a personal changing room with a one-size-fits-all design.

It’s a unisex option that’s highly foldable, making it compact yet thick enough to protect you on colder days.

What We Like

  • Easy carrying with an integrated handle

What We Don’t Like

  • Comes in 1 universal size

2. Jacket-style, Oversized Beach Poncho

Dryrobe Advance Long Sleeve Change Robe

If you need a quality thicker option for a changing robe and surf poncho, Dryrobe is a premium brand that delivers. It’s one of the most protective ponchos on the market, with a reinforced outer liner and a warm fleece-lined interior.

It’s completely waterproof and windproof on the outside, which is an important factor for protection, even in bad weather. With long sleeves, cuff adjusters, and a warm hood, you can stay cozy and enjoy a carefree day of surfing.

With all these features, this poncho can even be used away from the beach in rainy weather or for cold water swimming.

What We Like

  • Fleece-lined interior and windproof exterior

What We Don’t Like

  • Full-length sleeves might not suit everyone

3. Pull-on Changing Towel

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Hiturbo Microfiber Surf Beach Wetsuit Changing Towel

Surfers in pursuit of a great blend of quality and easy cleaning can opt for the Hiturbo microfiber surf poncho. It’s one of the best pull-on options on the market, and it’s easily washed in a washing machine, making it among the most convenient ponchos you can buy.

Being made of 100% microfiber, it’s absorbent and comfy, with a thick layer of material protecting you at all times. The length is 44 inches from shoulder to hem, and it’s a unisex option that should cover most men and women.

It’s easily dried when hanged by its attached lanyard and can be folded into a compact size to be carried in a beach bag.

What We Like

  • Absorbent and thick material

What We Don’t Like

  • Plain design

4. Oversized and Highly Water-absorbent

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Catalonia Store Changing Towel Robe Surf Poncho

One of the best ponchos for surfing or even just walking down the beach and keeping dry is Catalonia’s towel robe. It’s a simple pull-on option with no need for additional care and can be easily machine washed.

It serves as a mobile changing room and absorbs water quickly so you can remain dry at all times. Women will love that the hood is large enough to keep long hair dry as well, so there’s no need to worry about exposing wet hair to the wind.

The 85% microfiber and 15% polyamide blend make for a soft feel against the skin.

What We Like

  • Completely water-absorbent

What We Don’t Like

  • Comes mostly in darker colors

5. Soft and Super Long

Ho Stevie! Thick Cotton Surf Poncho Wetsuit

This unisex surf poncho is one of the most comfortable available, and once you try it, you’re bound to bring it on every beach trip. It’s also perfect for chilling on the beach, thanks to the softness and comfort provided by 100% cotton material.

It’s 47 inches long from top to bottom, which makes it one of the longest surf ponchos out there. The extra coverage makes it easier to change your clothes and is especially helpful if you’re tall. A thick layer of cotton provides great protection against the wind, while the water-absorbent exterior helps you remain dry.

What We Like

  • Longer cotton surf poncho

What We Don’t Like

  • The longer design might not suit all

Hot Tip: Check out our guides to the best swim shortsswim shirts, and rash guards!

6. 2-Tone, Extra-thick Beach Poncho

Vulken Extra Large Thick Hooded Beach Towel

This is one surf poncho that is suitable only for users who require a larger size. It comes in L and XL sizes and offers a thick polyester and microfiber blend for comfort and maximum wind and water protection.

Although it boasts excellent water absorbency, dries fast, and you can wear it quite soon after washing it. Despite the thickness, it’s still a lightweight poncho. Finally, it stands out with an oversize hoodie that’s great for keeping your head and hair warm after being in the water.

What We Like

  • Thick yet lightweight

What We Don’t Like

  • Only comes in L and XL sizes

7. Quick-dry Microfiber Robe With Pockets

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Cor Surf Poncho Changing Towel Robe With Hood

This beach robe is as versatile as it gets, with all sorts of different patterns, sizes, and applications. This microfiber poncho can replace your beach towel and provides a comfortable place to change clothes in privacy.

Moreover, it’s super absorbent, and the small size can even be used for kids. The design is long-lasting and fade-resistant, so you can plan on using this poncho for a long time to come.

The kangaroo pocket further increases the usability of this beach robe as you can carry some of your essentials in it.

What We Like

  • Absorbent microfiber robe with interesting designs

What We Don’t Like

  • Doesn’t have an enlarged hood

8. Uniquely Designed and High Quality

Open Road Goods Store Surf Poncho

One look at this surf poncho, and you will see why it’s one of the top options on our list. It’s designed with quality in mind, as evidenced by the 100% cotton jacquard construction.

The softness and comfort endowed by its material are augmented by the thickness of the body and hood of this poncho. It also comes with several pockets for increased usability.

It’s a machine-washable, heavy cotton poncho that offers maximum protection yet still manages to retain a lightweight quality.

What We Like

  • Thick cotton

What We Don’t Like

  • Only comes in blue and charcoal colors

9. Waterproof Robe for Younger Surfers

CULTHOOD Changing Robe Towel Poncho

Maintaining high flexibility is easy with Culthood’s waterproof robe for adults and younger surfers. The design matches the style of the younger generation splendidly, while the usability features are some of the most impressive on this list.

It has both a kangaroo pocket and a front zipped waterproof pocket, as well as a unique side slit for better mobility. On top of that, you also get a longer back edge and a wider hood for more coverage.

Large armholes further add up to impressive comfort and usability. Also, don’t overlook the thick microfiber fabric, which protects you from the wind and keeps you warm.

What We Like

  • Thick, comfortable microfiber poncho

What We Don’t Like

  • It might be too youthful a design for some

10. Classy Design That’s Perfect as a Gift

Open Road Goods Store Surf Poncho

Fully cotton-made surf ponchos are rare, and the Open Road Goods one makes a splendid option with its blend of comfort and absorbency. It can be machine washed and quickly dried, and the 100% cotton material will feel soft against your skin.

The extra-large hood provides great coverage for your head, and the classy design makes it a great surfer gift. With a large head opening and armholes in addition to a baggy fit, it’s plenty comfortable and provides ample space for changing.

Despite the fit, it won’t leave your skin exposed to the wind on colder days and the design means this poncho even provides decent protection from the rain.

What We Like

  • Unique design and 100% cotton material

What We Don’t Like

  • Only comes in 1 pattern

Final Thoughts

Without a doubt, some of the best options are baggy 100% cotton ponchos like the Open Roads Goods and Ho Stevie! ponchos.

Still, even some microfiber blend materials can provide a truly comfortable experience. It all depends on the size and the features you are looking for in a beach poncho, such as additional pockets, windproof elements, and thicker material for wind protection.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a surf poncho a worthwhile addition to my surfing gear?

Surf ponchos can greatly assist you as a surfer, especially in colder weather or if you need a place to change out of your swimsuit or wetsuit. If you have longer hair, the poncho’s hood will help keep you warm.

What is the best beach poncho material?

The most comfortable surf poncho material is 100% cotton, but many microfiber ponchos also provide comfort and durability.

Is hood size important in a beach poncho?

The hood on a surf poncho is great for covering wet hair after surfing to protect you from cold. An oversize hood is especially useful for drying long hair.

Do surf ponchos come in different sizes?

Most unisex ponchos come in a universal size, but it’s also possible to find options that range from small to large and even extra-large. Don’t be afraid of a large poncho, as the extra space makes changing easier, and high-quality material won’t feel bulky even at a large size.

Amar Hussain's image

About Amar Hussain

Amar is an avid traveler and tester of products. He has spent the last 13 years traveling all 7 continents and has put the products to the test on each of them. He has contributed to publications including Forbes, the Huffington Post, and more.

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