Getting out of your cycling clothing quickly is an essential part of feeling good and keeping yourself healthy after a ride. Sometimes, finding a place to do that can be tricky. If you’re tired of wiggling in your front seat to work your cycling clothing off to change, or hunting for a public restroom hiding in the back of the park, there is a solution, and it comes from a surprising place: surfing. Surfing changing ponchos like the Volcom X Packable Beach Poncho let you change in plain sight.
This collaboration from Volcom and Matador was designed for getting out of your wetsuit or bathing suit near the beach, but it works just as well for peeling off your cycling bibs or shorts at the local trailhead, park or bike path. The idea is simple, pull the large boxy poncho over yourself, pull your dirty clothes off, kick them out of the bottom, and pull your clean clothes on underneath the poncho. You can finally change in the parking lot without trying to hide behind a car door or risking any sort of mishap. It’s a supremely easy, clever and effective way to get in clean clothes and on your way.
While the surf inspiration comes from Volcom, Matador has long been making lightweight gear perfect for travel, which makes it supremely easy to toss into your cycling bag. It weighs just 10 ounces and packs into its own pocket, squishing down to the size of your over-the-ear headphone case. The poncho also doubles as a towel so you can dry off any rain, sweat or water—the material will absorb more than twice its weight in water.
There are other ponchos on the market, but this one has a few clever features we love. The drawstring hoodie and button collar make it comfy and easy to take on and off, but the real genius is in the kangaroo pocket front. It makes the poncho look like a normal hoodie, but inside there is a hidden pass through to the interior of the poncho. This lets you reach through the middle of the poncho to grab your bib and pull it down rather than trying to push your shorts down from the outside or reaching up and under to try to grab them from the bottom. This is particularly useful when you are putting your clean clothes on. It makes it easier to pull them on without accidentally pulling the poncho up prematurely with them.
This surf changing poncho is one we make sure to keep in our cycling bag if we are traveling from our home to ride. Easy to use and super portable, it solves a problem almost all of us who ride regularly have faced.