I’ve been surfing for a while now, and one of the most awkward moments was having to change out of my wetsuit.
Changing from my surfing gear had always been a cringe-worthy parking lot ritual.
I was fond of using nothing but the doors of my truck, and a towel. But regardless of how quick and discreet I tried to be, that moment was painfully awkward.
There wasn’t really a secluded location to change clothes, and exposing my bits under a towel was the best I could do. I only hope I didn’t inflict any permanent trauma upon anyone 😊
But that changed when my better half gifted me a changing poncho.
As a female surfer, I couldn’t feel happier and safer because there were a lot of parking bay prowlers waiting to get a peek at my bits.
Even better, I didn’t have to pull some serious MacGyver shit or try to be a contortionist while struggling to get out of a wetsuit while getting the seat wet in the process, trying to change with a towel.
Of course, I know there’re some traditionalists out there who think wearing a towel poncho is kooky, but the big question is, “why?”
My towel works fine should probably be the dumbest answer ever.
See, you don’t get to hang out with a towel while driving or on the beach as you wait for your homies to get out.
Plus, a towel won’t protect you from the biting cold after the cold-water surf sessions.
And this is why a surf poncho will always win.
Now, if you’re interested in some of the best surf ponchos in the market, stick around. I’ll share some of my favorite picks that you’re going to love.
Table of Contents
The Best Surf Ponchos For The Money
#1 Sun Cube Surf Poncho - EDITOR'S CHOICE
For a changing poncho called a cube, it’s easy to think it would look boxy and embarrassing.
But our first pick of the best surf ponchos, the Cube Poncho, is far from that.
It’s a chic and incredible surf poncho to wear. While it’s nothing you’d run Starbucks in, it’s not dorky either, and I don’t feel out of place wearing the towel poncho.
But the greatest benefit of this surf gear, at least in my opinion, is the choice of materials.
Sun Cube Surf changing poncho is made out of thick microfiber polyester.
The material feels like a plush hooded towel; it’s soft and doesn’t cling to my body as the thin silky fabrics would.
Even better, the material is soft. See, I was iffy about the soft microfiber material because it can sometimes feel like shammy cloth. But not with this surf robe.
It feels like a terry robe, inside out.
It’s a great cover-up and thick, so it absorbs the drips and lets me sit on my fabric van seats without soaking them in wetness.
The material is also long-lasting, and even after laundering it a few times already, I’ve not experienced shrinkage or thread loosening.
Cube Surfer Poncho is also a must-gear if you frequent outdoor and love water sports.
It’s the ultimate personal changing room, offering a spacious and discreet environment to change from your wet clothes.
The changing robe has saved me from the struggles that come with putting underwear over wet feet and damp legs without flashing or exposing my body.
On top of that, it’s quite spacious and has enough room to peel off my bathing suit and change clothes. Nobody wants to see that.
I’m quite a huge lad, 6’, and with a big belly. Yet, the changing robe offers maximum protection and covers me discreetly. It falls a good 6” below my knee.
There’s also plenty of awesome extras that have made the experience much more pleasant.
For example, the thoughtful design with an oversized hood is handy for protecting my wet hair and head from the elements.
A nice large kangaroo front pocket with a nice amount of depth is also nice for holding my keys, wallet, and phones without the risk of dropping them. The pocket also keeps my hands warm.
There’s also a hanging loop in the back for hanging the changing robe.
After use, I also love how the changing towel folds effortlessly for easy storage or transport.
Overall, the Sun Cube Surf Poncho seems like a great pick, and check on all the boxes for the best surf-changing ponchos.
The only thing I would request was a pretty salmon color. The only feminine color is baby blue, but it looks more “bedroomy” to me.
Otherwise, everything is awesome.
#2 Cor Surf Poncho Changing Towel Robe -- Most Versatile Surf Poncho
I got the Cor Surf Towel Robe because I ick and worry about my body and clothes touching anything. It’s also such an issue to dress when I’m still dripping with water or wet and have no place for slipping my clothes easily.
The Cor Surfer poncho takes away all my problems and does much more.
It’s a towel and cover-up in one.
I can use the changing robe as a hooded towel to dry myself and then slip it on after changing and walk back to camp or at the beach for sunbathing.
The choice of material is also well-made, thick enough, and fade-resistant.
Microfiber makes the changing process pleasant because it doesn’t stick or cling to the skin as other materials do or bomb waves surf poncho does.
Plus, it’s soft to the touch and feels like terry cloth.
Plus, it’s one of the long-lasting materials I’ve come across. It doesn’t bleed even after laundry or get pale. I love how it’s getting softer by the day after I break it.
The greatest benefit, though, is how well Cor Surf makes pulling off a wetsuit effortless without the accidental flashing of innocent bystanders.
Remember, I’m a 6’0 lady with a big chest and belly, covering me nicely. It goes past my knees, so it’ll work well for most adults.
And the best part is the arm openings aren’t too wide to make me feel exposed but still wide enough to allow me to change in and out of a bra. Nice for female surfers.
Finally, this hooded changing towel comes with a front kangaroo pocket to keep my hands warm during the cold-water surfing sessions. But more importantly, the front pocket is great for holding my undies while I change.
#3 Vulken Hooded Surf Poncho – Budget Hooded Surf Poncho
For the price of admission, I didn’t think much about the Vulken Surf Poncho.
It’s an inexpensive purchase that has turned out to be much more than I had expected. I’m more than happy with this surf gear!
Out of the box, I was impressed by the choice of material.
The microfiber used on this changing robe is the epitome of quality; soft and comfy.
It’s also thick enough to keep me warm, especially in the windy & chilly conditions, yet lightweight enough for portability.
I’ve been using my Vulken Surf Poncho for several months now, and I can tell you the towel comes much thicker and better quality than I expected for the price.
The plush microfiber material dries my body quickly, so I no longer have to struggle with the cold. It’s also extremely useful in chilly conditions as it keeps me warm when walking from the car to the pool.
Plus, it’s highly absorbent, so I can just dry myself by simply wearing it. And the best part is I no longer have to worry about wetting my car seats.
Changing on the Vulken Hooded Poncho is also a breeze. It keeps the elements out while changing and out of view from the wandering eyes of the public.
I find it effortless to move inside it to get changed, especially if there’s little privacy in changing rooms.
Fit is also awesome, and I suggest you go by the suppliers sizing chart. You won’t be disappointed.
It’s designed with plenty of width and length to allow a quicker and more effortless change.
The holes can also be made larger by opening a snap for a larger arm or letting your elbows out when changing inside. Convenient.
And after you’re done with the changing, you simply fold and roll the towel up and stuff it into its hood for easy transport and storage.
Overall, the Vulken Hooded Poncho is a nice buy, especially for the budget. It’s an inexpensive option, but it’ll exceed your expectations.
#4 Winthome Changing Robe -- Best Value Surf Poncho
I love this towel poncho because it has saved me from the need to fumble with a towel after getting out of the water.
I was dragging in a wet towel and wet clothing, and it was just a mess.
However, the Winthome Towel makes the process of taking off much of the bathing suit and leaving it outside for quick drying without all the mess that comes with a towel.
It’s so effective that it allows me to dry even without setting my foot in my car completely.
The changing robe is also chic, and I’m happy it doesn’t come with an ugly logo that most surf ponchos come with.
I choose the Winthome Robe because it’s challenging to find a surf poncho with long sleeves. The available short sleeves aren’t effective at offering a nice cover and will give a free show of your boobs to on-lookers if you’re not careful when changing.
However, the Winthome Robe has a nice long sleeve and keeps my body from the prying eyes of the on-lookers and bystanders.
In addition, it has a nice microfiber material. The material is more like a car shammy and not terry cloth. I didn’t like it at first, but the material became softer after a few washes and breaking into it.
It’s super-absorbent, and I occasionally throw it on my kids when they get back in boat from surfing. It wicks away all the dripping water and wetness like a towel.
I’m also entirely protected from the cold and wind in it. It’s quite thick, which helps keep me warm, even after my cold-water surfing sessions.
The fabric is also plush and comfy to wear.
But as I mentioned earlier, it may take a bit to get used to compared to the regular towel material. But once you break into it, you’ll be looking forward to having the robe on you.
While Winthome Robe is warm and comfy, it also makes changing on the parking lot or the boat possible without showing everyone more than they bargained for.
It’s like a personal changing room, offering a convenient way to get out of my wet things and stay warm without flashing everyone.
I can now change quicker than when I had a microfiber towel. It gives me privacy and safety, even in public.
Winthome Changing poncho is also larger than the general surf changing poncho. It fits me nicely and will cover even the fat guys.
Plus, there’re a wide range of sizes to select from, so you can never miss a changing robe for you.
The only markdown with the Winthome Robe would be size and thickness.
Winthome Poncho isn’t compact and will take as much space as a thick beach towel.
It’s pretty thick and heavyweight, so not a practical travel solution. However, it’s great for local excursions. I keep it in the back of my truck since it gobbles up most of the space in a duffel beach bag.
#5 Lost & Leisure Surf Ponch -- Most Stylish Turkish Towel Poncho
Lost & Leisure Surfing Poncho is probably one of the chicest surf-changing ponchos you’ll ever come around.
I got this poncho because of its aesthetics. It looks pretty darn and has the perfect design to complement my surfing style.
The Leisure Surfing Poncho also looks exactly as it is in the picture, dark grey with white stripes, so no raw deal.
Looks aside, the Leisure Surf towel poncho is an awesome pick because of the choice of material.
The natural hand-loomed cotton material is the softest you can ever get for a surf poncho. It feels nice, doesn’t cling, and generally feels plush.
Cotton is also highly absorbent, so I’ve no problem using the poncho as my towel. And with a subtle waffle weave, it wipes and absorbs all the water in my skin, leaving me dry and moist.
Plus, the fabric is lovely and gets better with every laundry.
Durability should also be one less thing to worry about with the Leisure Surf Poncho. It’s handstitched, so no threads are fraying as most machine-made surf-changing ponchos do.
Lost & Leisure Surf Poncho has nice coverage too. It provides a nice shield, and you don’t have to worry about being revealing.
It keeps you from flashing and saves you from embarrassing moments in public.
The robe has also turned out to be quite multi-functional and the perfect leisurewear.
When I’m not changing at the beach, I can wear the robe at home, perfect for days when I simply need to cover up. I’m fond of using the lightweight robe in summer after showering.
Sizing is also nice and fits well, even for the large adults.
It comes in two sizes; the small and the larger.
The large poncho is meant to be used by anyone taller than 5’6′, so it’ll accommodate most adults. On the other hand, the smaller size offers a slim fit, ideal for kids and teens.
If you choose the right size, you’d be impressed by the perfect length that falls just below your knees!
I totally love the Lost & Leisure Poncho, and it’s great to lie on and only take a small space in my duffel surfing gear bag. It’s lightweight, too, so you’ll barely notice its presence.
My only suggestion is the neckline should be a little bigger- a couple of inches would make it much easier to slip on and off over my head.
Best Surf Ponchos Buying Guide
Preferences for hooded towels vary from person to person.
However, there’re several critical elements to consider when selecting the right surfer ponchos for your next surf session.
And in the section below, I’ll share what to look for or rather what makes good surfing ponchos.
Coldwater female surfers will appreciate something they can throw on their bodies after a chilly surf.
A warm surf poncho can be handy surf apparel to keep your body toasty after a cold surf session.
Hooded towels are usually used for changing wetsuits and wet clothes. Simply put, they double as a robe, so you want them to cover your body.
The ideal surf-changing poncho shouldn’t allow you to flash your body to everyone in the parking lot.
Personally, the ideal surf poncho should at least cover up to mid-thighs.
My ideal surf poncho should also double as a beach towel, and therefore, it’s nice if it can absorb water.
Ideally, the best surf poncho should have a material similar to a towel to help with the absorbency.
Surf ponchos are available in a range of materials.
Common fabrics for surf ponchos include terry cloth, thin cotton, and microfiber.
I’m a fan-favorite of terry cloth because it retains warmth, has great absorbency, and is comfortable to use.
But if you travel a lot, consider microfiber because it’s ultra-light. But it doesn’t dry quickly as terry cloth and won’t keep you as warm.
Consider the thin or Turkish cotton fabric if you’re into style and aesthetics.
They’re not as warm as the other options and only ideal for the warm sunny days when you simply want something to cover up with.
While we’ve learned that coverage is crucial, the fit is also important.
Consider the size of the surf poncho.
The perfect poncho should provide enough space to change underneath the hooded towel, but it shouldn’t be too big to feel clumsy or bulky to use.
But, I would rather have a big poncho than a small and restrictive option that doesn’t cover your body sufficiently.
Ideally, the perfect surf poncho should provide enough room to reach your arms, both from inside and outside; it should also offer a nice coverage of your backside, even when bending over.
Waterproof surf ponchos are great to have because you can wear them in any weather condition.
It’s particularly a handy option for those who love the outdoors and going for adventures like camping.
As with regular beach towels, surf-changing ponchos with a quick dry time is better for outdoor use.
The material on the surf poncho shouldn’t stay wet. Otherwise, it’ll make you get a cold.
Surf ponchos made out of microfiber have a quick dry time and are quite lightweight.
Consider the extra features that a surf poncho comes with.
For example, the best surf ponchos have a front pocket for storing your precious items.
I prefer hooded towels with a drawstring hood and front pocket.
Style is certainly not essential for function, but having a cool-looking poncho is nice.
It’s an important element for style-conscious paddlers.
And the good thing is the coolest surf ponchos come in a range of styles, fun prints, and so much more. You can always find something that sets you apart.
Best Surf Poncho Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: Why do I need a surf poncho?
A: A surf poncho makes changing from a wetsuit easier and more convenient.
Plus, the best surf ponchos will also help keep you warm and comfortable to wear.
Q: What size do I need for a surf poncho?
A: Though surf ponchos come in a range of sizes, you should be too fussy with the sizing. An oversized poncho will still work great.
Wrap Up: Our Choice
Our winner for the best wetsuit changing poncho is the Cube surf poncho towel.
It’s an awesome piece of creation that has exceeded my expectations.
The Sun Cube poncho is made out microfiber material, so it feels quite plush, absorbent, and nice to wear.
But more importantly, it has nice coverage, and large hood so it offers a discreet way for you to change without exposing or lashing out at bystanders.
It also comes with front pockets to keep your warm.
I would recommend it.