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What is a Poncho Towel?

Mandi R. Hall
Mandi R. Hall

A poncho towel, or towel poncho, is a bath towel structured like a traditional poncho. A poncho is a large fabric sheet, conventionally made of wool, with a hole in the center for the wearer’s head. This type of towel resembles a traditional poncho, though it is made with a soft, absorbent cloth. Both traditional ponchos and poncho towels are meant to keep water away from the body. A towel poncho may worn by children and adults, though it has become a popular child's item in the 21st century.

A poncho towel may be both functional and fashionable. It absorbs or wards off water, sand, and wind. Some of these towels have hoods attached, which can keep the head warm and dry, as well as save a hairdo. Some ponchos may also be fastened at both sides of the body, leaving holes for the arms to protrude.

Woman posing
Woman posing

When worn at the beach, the poncho towel can also protect from sand. Though it can’t be spread out like a regular beach towel, it can also provide some comfort when sat on or bundled up and leaned on. After getting out of the bathtub or shower, a child may be gently dried off and covered with the poncho. The poncho towel, like the regular towel, is meant to absorb liquid.

A children’s poncho towel may be decorated with images of popular characters or creatures. Flowers, frogs, sharks, and cats are popular designs for the children’s towel. In these cases, a hood may be fashioned in the shape of an animal head or flower.

For instance, a lion-themed child’s poncho towel may be yellow with a yellow hood painted or crafted to resemble a lion. Ears and facial features, as well as a mane and a tail, may be added to the towel. While the additions may not be functional, many children will look forward to drying off when dressed like their favorite creature.

Many free online tutorials can help with making a poncho towel at home. Most of them don’t require extraordinary sewing skills. A towel of one’s choice, scissors, double sided tape, yarn, thread, a needle, ribbon, and fabric paint may be materials needed for making a wearable towel at home. An adult may choose to use a regular or oversized towel for his personal poncho towel. For toddlers, a small bath towel, large washcloth, or regular kitchen towel may be used when creating a unique poncho towel.

Discussion Comments


With Halloween quickly approaching, it seems like a good idea for parent's to go through their children's poncho towels, seeing if they have any suitable ones for trick or treating and other Halloween events/parties.

Especially if your child is younger, he/she will not typically care or remember, so there is no sense on spending tons of money for a costume.

Also, even if your child is older, to an age where they care and remember, they need to learn the importance of saving money. If your child insists on getting a pricey costume at a store, he/she should be given some chores/work to do to earn the money for what they want.

Parents who do not have poncho towels can easily make them off of many sewing sites. A parent can sew the costume now and have it for their child's trick-or-treating, but also to use on a daily basis as well.


I have yet to see any adults in a poncho towel, but I have seen quite a few children with one. Children look so adorable in their animal or cartoon-character poncho towels.

The poncho towel seems like an easy and quicker method of drying off, and drying others off, than in a regular towel.

A poncho towel seems like a good thing to put on after a bath or shower, in the comfort of one's own home.

I personally can not picture adults going too many places in public with these poncho towels, at least if they want to stay fashionable.

Sometimes function outweighs fashion though, like when doing many outdoor activities that require protection from wetness.


I love to buy these baby hooded towel ponchos as my personal baby shower gift. To be proper, I buy something on their registry and then throw in the towel as well. A bonus touch? Have the child's name embroidered on the towel.

The only other "towel invention" I can think of that I enjoy as much as seeing a child wrapped up comfortably in a towel that has a duck or other fun creature (its just so darn cute) is the functionality of a towel wrap.

These I saw all the time when I was in college - for good reason.

In dorms you typically had to walk to and from the shower, and you never knew when you might have a "towel malfunction" and have it around your ankles as you are trying to carry all your shower stuff back.

Insert the towel wrap. These towel wraps have velcro or other fastener so that you can wrap it tight without it loosening, thus creating a cure for the potential embarrassment of a towel malfunction.

So another great gift - just for a high school grad not a baby...


I had never used a poncho towel before until I received one as a shower gift before my son was born.

This was a kids hooded bath towel that looked like Winnie the Pooh, complete with a hood. It was very soft and a great thing to dry him off and wrap him up in after his bath.

I don't know if it was the poncho towel or something else, but my son always loved Winnie the Pooh. He was too young to remember wearing it, but I have several pictures of him with it on.


I think a kids poncho towel is a great invention. For whatever reason, my kids love to run around after their bath, and really prefer not to have any clothes on.

My son has a Toy Story poncho towel that also doubles as his cape. As soon as he gets out of the bath tub and puts his poncho towel on, he turns into a super hero.

My daughter also has a poncho towel, but hers is a princess character. She becomes the princess who is running away from the super hero.

For all the screams and giggles I hear as they run around, our poncho towels have brought us a lot of happy times.


@backdraft - Your best option might be to search online for poncho towels. I went to my local bed and bath store, and they had never heard of them. I’ve also never seen any in clothing stores.

I think they are pretty much a novelty. I had never heard of one until my friend stumbled across one at a yard sale.

I went to several thrift stores and yard sales, hoping to find one, but I didn’t. When I searched online, though, I came across several sites that offer them for sale.


The cool thing about poncho towels is that they can double as Halloween costumes. I bought a dog poncho towel for my son, and he gets a lot of use out of it.

The towel is gray, and the hood has floppy ears and whiskers. He likes to put it on and chase our gray dog around the house while barking.

I let him wear it to the costume party at school, and it was a hit. His teacher had never heard of a poncho towel, and she wanted to get one for her daughter once she saw his.

He told me that the other kids kept feeling of his soft costume. He said it was like they were petting him.


My husband and I like to wear homemade poncho towels when we go fishing on misty days. We love to go out in our boat on mornings when fog still hangs in the air, and if we don’t wear some sort of protection, we will be drenched in an hour just from sitting out in it.

The towels aren’t big enough to cover our entire bodies, so we wear waterproof pants and shoes as well. However, they are excellent at keeping our hair and torsos dry. The poncho keeps my sweater from getting damp.

Some of the commercial fishermen in our area saw us with the poncho towels on, and they wanted to know where they could get them. I offered to make them some in exchange for some fish, and now I see them out in their towels all the time.


My daughter has a poncho towel that she absolutely adores. It has dora the explorer and domingo on it. These are her two very favorite cartoon characters.

It started out as just a beach thing. She would wear it on summer days at the beach to keep the sand and sun off her skin. But she soon grew so attached to it that she wears it almost everyday now. We actually have to make deal so that she will wear something else. One hour of poncho time for 3 hours of non poncho time. Its mostly cute but I hope she grows out of this behavior soon.


Wow, I have never heard of poncho towels but these sound great. I am one of those people that loves bathing. I love the water, the smells, the warmth, the low lighting and the clean feeling that you get. I also love getting out of the bath into a warm robe. A poncho towel sounds great for this situation. I could get out of my bath, put one on, and I would be dry in just a few moments. I have never seen one in stores. Do I need to go to a bath store or a clothing store to find one?


If you are looking for a hooded beach towel, a poncho towel might actually be a better choice. Some of them come with hoods and I find that they are a lot more secure, as they cover more of your body.

You can easily make your own poncho towel out of cheap towels if you find that the ones for sale are a bit too expensive. I bought mine but made some toddler towels myself because the kids ones were way over-priced in my opinion. It really is amazing at how much they will try and charge you for something so small. As a tip, if you are going to make your own, use microfiber. It is amazingly absorbent.


I got a set of really cute hooded poncho towels for my kids and they love them. I find it keeps them much warmer than a regular towel and if I am busy with one, the other isn't running around sans-towel.

I used to have some basic kids hooded towels, but I think they were too easy for the kids to lose if they were moving about. The poncho is a lot more secure.

If you are looking for poncho towels you should shop online. There are some great handmade options available on the auction sites. Some of the auction sites will even let you order custom poncho towels so you can choose your own color combination.

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