November Rain Poncho review

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November Rain Poncho review

November Rain Poncho review

Rainy season is upon us Brits pretty much throughout the year so we were delighted to be able to give two of our reviewers the chance to try out the stylish Ponchos from November Rain.

Designs straight out of super cool Australia, they say the range is all about combining lifestyle, design and functionality and when mum’s have bags to carry, kids to carry, as well as an ever expanding handbag, school runs and kids outdoor activities, who better to put them through their paces?

 

Lisa’s verdict:

The first thing that struck me when I saw the November Rain Poncho was the size of the bag it folds in to.  It is perfect for putting into a handbag or rucksack for those moments when the weather forecast is wrong.   Being someone who hates changing plans because of the weather, I was really keen to put this to the test, so in it went into my handbag.

A number of so-called waterproof coverings I have bought in the past, are only waterproof for a short while, leaving me cold, wet and annoyed.

School run test 4/5

It wasn’t long before the heavens opened, perfectly timed, for the school run.  I was relieved to be able to pop it on, without having to strip off several layers in order to prize the zip up.  The hood seemed a little large and I did have to adjust it a few times on my dash across the field, as it kept falling into my eyes.  I can however see that a larger hood would come in useful in the winter, as it allows for a hat to be worn too.  I really liked the way I could throw the book bags over my shoulder, knowing they would remain dry underneath the poncho.  The rain did run off the poncho on to my little ones arm as I held his hand, but this was not a concern as he was in his waterproof as well.

Running Festival Test 5/5

I was a little relieved when I looked at the weather report for my 24 hour running festival event and it said it would be dry all weekend.  I decided to pack my November rain poncho anyway and boy was I glad I did.  At 1:30am, whilst sitting in one of my team members caravan, waiting for my next 5 mile lap, I began to hear rain on the roof…this rain got heavier…and heavier.  My lap got closer… and closer.  Out came the poncho.  Not only did it keep my team members dry and sheltered from the rain when they were waiting in the hand over pen, the incoming runner was able to put the poncho over their head to walk back to camp.  We found it much easier to keep the zip done up, as it can be difficult to see the zip in the darkness whilst holding a light saber!  Our team had both male and female participants and it was a perfect fit for everyone.

Style 4.5/5

I really liked the material.  It’s soft, flexible and definitely waterproof.  I chose the Oriental Bird print, which remind me of a Liberty print I had when I was younger.  In places where there are large crowds, it is good to stand out.  Plenty of friends commented on how much they liked it.  It is definitely on trend right now.

Practicality 3.5/5

For size and waterproof ability, this scores top marks.  On my second wear, I noticed that you could use poppers to make sleeve.  This is great for when you need to hold anything, as it stops it from riding up your arm.   My only slight reservations are the size of the hood and the fact my legs tended to get wet in very heavy downfalls.  I love the ease at which you can pack it away again, although this does need to be done on a flat surface really.  I have to say, I probably won’t use the zip.  I didn’t ever find a reason to unzip it, as it is very easy to throw over your head.

Eco & Corporate Responsibility  4/5

Something I look for when purchasing items is how the company handles their responsibility to the planet.  November Rain claim to “print using ecologically sound water less printing methods.”  They also are very upfront in promising to give 10% of their revenue to safe drinking water projects in developing countries.  Two more brownie points.

Value 4/5

The November Rain Poncho cost £49.99, which for the quality, design and seeming durability, is very reasonable.  Although at the higher end of similar products on the market.

Verdict

I really like the November Rain poncho.  It is perfect for taking around with you, without worrying about the thickness of your choice of clothing.  It is amazing for when you are sitting in a chair in the open, as you can cover your legs and make your own mini tent.  It is great for changeovers in running festivals and perfect for the school run.

Thanks to Lisa Ruggles of Ruggles at Leisure for her review.

 

Sally’s verdict:

I have four children aged from 9 down to 9 months. By the time I have enough food, spare clothes, nappies, drinks, suncream, coats etc etc for everyone else, there is rarely any space in my changing bag for anything for me. A lip gloss is pretty much my allocation of space. And as for an umbrella…well I have a pushchair, and a bunch of little hands. I just don’t have a an 8th arm to hold it!

So with no space for a spare coat and no hands for an umbrella, I have become quite used to just getting wet if it rains on a day out. As I say to the kids when I put a brave face on it after an unexpected shower, I am not a witch, I will not melt! But it doesn’t make it any more fun. Nor do I really love rocking the drowned rat look.

So when I got the chance to review the November Rain raincoat poncho, I was actually pretty excited. For its first outing, I took to The Handmade Fair at Ragley Hall on a typical British summer’s day. Looking at the sky when we arrived suggested it would be a lovely day and normally, I doubt I would have bothered to take a coat for me. But because the poncho is so compact, it took up no space in my changing bag so I threw it in just in case. And at lunch time, when the heavens opened and I was so happy I had it.

What’s really brilliant about the design is that it goes on over anything or everything, and including a sleeping baby in her sling who didn’t even flinch when I wrapped us both up keeping us both dry. I also love the colour. I personally believe that black umbrellas should be banned – who needs more doom and gloom on a dreary day! So the range of designs was really refreshing.

Several weeks later, it is now as much of a staple in my changing bag as the lipgloss is. I have used it many times and always feel confident wearing it with whatever outfit I have chosen that morning. I have had a number of compliments on both the pretty colour and the function of it, and from someone who believes that things should absolutely be practical and beautiful, it really is a must have for me. And no more looking like a drowned rat!

Sally Hall is mum to four, founder of Dorothy & Theodore and author of One out of Nine.

 

 

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