This review is about MIRA Safety M4 CBRN Military Poncho – a multifunctional poncho. While you can use it as a wet weather poncho, it is much more than this. Before delving into the specifics of the poncho, let’s briefly introduce the company behind this product. MIRA Safety is a small family-owned company that specializes in manufacturing personal protective equipment and self-defense gear for both industry professionals and the general public. The company is known for producing high-quality, professional-grade gear designed for safety and protection. MIRA Safety specializes in producing high-quality, professional-grade gear prioritizing safety and protection. The company has established international partnerships with agencies and law enforcement groups globally.
The M4 CBRN Military Poncho is made from synthetic materials and serves a dual purpose. It can be used as a regular wet weather poncho or as protective gear against chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear threats (CBRN). While we weren’t able to personally assess its effectiveness as CBRN gear, we did thoroughly evaluate its performance as a wet weather poncho.
In the text below, we will try to give you as much relevant information as possible about this rain poncho to assist you in making an informed decision on whether to give it a try or explore other options.
Table of Contents
Quick specs: MIRA Safety M4 CBRN Military Poncho
Weight: 596 g (1 lb 5 oz) for ‘Black’ in size Large
Material: Polyamide (nylon)
Where to get it: MIRA Safety
- Weatherproof design: The taped seams enhance weather resistance, providing protection not only from rain and snow but also from CBRN threats in gas and aerosol/liquid form for over two hours.
- Integrated hood: The full-size hood is spacious and compatible with MIRA Safety gas masks and HAZ-SUIT’s. The hood is drawstring-adjustable (has top-quality YKK cordlock) for better protection from the elements.
- Durable material: Constructed from a robust polyamide material that is puncture and tear-resistant, ensuring durability while remaining flexible and easy to wear.
- Secure fastening: Equipped with high-quality YKK press-stud poppers on the sides for secure fastening and easy closure.
- Military-grade construction: Engineered by the Serbian military; tested, and found to meet all requirements in accordance with the Military Standard of the Republic of Serbia (PKP 6468/07).
- Fits great. The poncho is spacious and comfortable, and it is easy to pair it with one or more layers to add extra insulation in colder weather. It is available in three sizes (Small, Medium, and Large) making it suitable for a wide array of people. The drawstring-adjustable hood ensures a snug and secure fit and is deep and large enough to fit over headwear.
- The construction is robust; seams are taped and do not let water in. Provides good protection from wind and ensures efficient ventilation, aiding in effective thermoregulation. The poncho is a great choice for wet weather in colder conditions.
- Constructed according to military specifications in Serbia, the poncho is durable and resilient and has a shelf life of 15 years. High-quality materials and workmanship are evident in each component – from the tear-resistant fabric to double stitching, press-stud poppers, and the adjusting system.
- Easy to keep and maintain in good condition over time. Requires minimum maintenance.
- The lack of a hood with a reinforced peak does not compromise vision.
- Sleeve cuffs are not sufficiently protected and can get wet. While this is a minor concern while walking in the rain (most of the time, you won’t even notice it), it becomes more noticeable when the precipitation stops.
- In windy weather, the users may find themselves constantly adjusting the poncho as the wind can make it challenging to control or keep in place. The wind may cause the poncho to flap around, i.e. maintaining proper coverage becomes more difficult.
- Hefty price tag, especially if intended for use solely as a wet weather poncho.
- Not suitable for milder weather, especially when the rain stops and the sun comes out. Wearing the poncho in such conditions can lead to discomfort and overheating after just a few minutes.
Women’s Version: Unisex
We’ve tested this military rain poncho throughout the autumn of 2023 in both colder and milder conditions giving us confidence to evaluate its performance and functionality across different environments.
What impressed us the most in this poncho is the sheer size and comfort it offers when walking in the rain. It feels as if is “bombproof” – the top-quality materials and construction make this poncho an excellent choice for outdoor activities in wet weather. While it can easily withstand several hours under the rain and wind, what sets it apart from other designs is its outstanding breathability. This ensures that the user stays dry and cool in less-than-ideal conditions, particularly in colder weather. However, it’s worth noting that using it in milder weather might not be ideal. While it performs well in lower temperatures, in higher temperatures (especially if the sun comes out), it can become too hot.
In the comprehensive review below, you will find more about its pros, cons, features, and characteristics.
Material, construction, and durability
The main material this poncho is crafted from is a special polyamide (nylon) material. It is durable, puncture and tear-resistant, yet flexible enough to be easy to wear.
The classic poncho design is simple yet effective. The overall construction is well-made and seems to be robust thanks to the combination of high-quality nylon fabric and materials as well as double stitching, and taped seams. Each of these contributes to making the construction sturdier. But its robustness should be no surprise as the poncho is a military-grade construction engineered by the Serbian military. It’s designed to offer practical, convenient, and cost-effective protection against a variety of potential threats, ranging from rain and wind to potentially life-threatening situations involving toxic chemicals. The poncho has been tested and meets all the necessary requirements according to the Military Standard of the Republic of Serbia (PKP 6468/07).
The poncho has held up great so far and we can say that the future looks promising. Wearing this feels safe and secure – like wearing a garment that provides complete protection. Having said that, we still don’t know for sure how this wears long term.
Even though the poncho is labeled as “weatherproof” only, it can be worn comfortably for extended periods in rainy and windy conditions. Walking for an hour or two (or more) when the rain is falling steadily is no challenge at all for this garment. Our experience shows that it gives good overall protection from rain and wind. The poncho’s wind-resistant and breathable materials improve its performance in windy conditions. Windy weather can present challenges for poncho users, especially when the garment is wide and spacious. Some common issues include limited mobility, discomfort, difficulty securing the poncho (billowing in the wind), challenges in maintaining proper coverage, ineffective protection, and reduced thermal efficiency.
One thing we find as a minor drawback is the absence of protection for the sleeve cuffs. The result is easily predictable, especially in wet and windy weather – wet sleeve cuffs. While you might not notice it much while walking, once the rain stops or you get inside, you’ll definitely feel the wet cuffs.
Breathability and ventilation
Breathability and ventilation play a key role in maintaining comfort and preventing the buildup of moisture inside the poncho.
Along with its effective protection against water and wind, the M4 CBRN Military poncho also ensures excellent ventilation (for more efficient thermoregulation) and promotes air circulation. The effective ventilation in most conditions helps regulate the temperature inside the poncho. This makes wearing the poncho comfortable for wet and cool-to-cold weather conditions. Note that summer hiking is not recommended unless the temperatures are lower. This is because, like other military and military-style ponchos, this one is heavier than what you would typically wear during the summer months. Even with only a thin layer underneath, it has the potential to lead to heat build-up, making the wearer feel damp and uncomfortable.
Another cool thing we observed about this poncho is that the breathable material enables it to dry quickly. This means that it doesn’t take long for the poncho to dry so you can pack it after use or continue your activities in drier conditions.
Fit, mobility, and comfort
Fortunately, the manufacturer doesn’t rely on the ‘one size fits all/most’ approach, which is common with many designs in the market. They offer three size options in total: ‘Small,’ ‘Medium,’ and ‘Large.’ This means that a significant percentage of men and women will be able to find their size (the poncho is unisex).
The size you see in the pictures in this article is ‘Large’, whereas the color is ‘Black’ (there are two more colors – ‘Navy Blue’ and ‘Serbian Digital Camo’). It fits perfectly the author who is 186 cm (6’1″) tall and weighs approximately 96-98 kg (213-216 lbs) and wears a backpack on his back (see the image above). While the article seems huge at first (indicating that the poncho is likely suitable for taller and heavier individuals), when you put it on, it fits and feels very comfortable. It provides ample space and has numerous advantages with only a few drawbacks. For example, this makes movement easy and unrestricted and helps with venting the body. The only negative thing we noticed is in windy conditions. The excessive material may start to catch with the wind, making walking in areas with strong gusts more precarious. While the feeling might be a bit awkward, this won’t break the entire experience.
With this MIRA Safety poncho, layering is easy. Wearing water-resistant or rain pants and two layers underneath – a lightweight merino/synthetic base layer and a midweight mid-layer – is sufficient to feel cool and comfortable while hiking in temperatures around 0°C-5°C (32°F-41°F). For temperatures higher than 10°C or 50°F, we recommend wearing only a single layer beneath the poncho. Otherwise, it might become too hot, resulting in sweating and a clammy feeling. In milder weather (for temperatures higher than 15°C or so), we would seek a lighter alternative to minimize the chances of excessive sweating while hiking or engaging in other active pursuits. Versatility and preventing overheating are some of the reasons why opting for a rain poncho is preferable to a rain jacket during mild or warm rain conditions.
Weight and packability
We measured the poncho to be 596 g (1 lb 5 oz) for the ‘Black’ variant in size Large – the largest size offered by MIRA Safety for this design. This is no light by any means, but it is comparable to the weight of other solid military and military-style rain ponchos such as the Helikon-Tex U.S. Poncho (487 g or 1 lb 1.2 oz), USGI Industries Military Style Poncho (510 g or 1 lb 1.3 oz) or OneTigris Tentsformer Poncho (640 g or 1 lb 6.6 oz), and it’s lighter than designs like the Mil-Tec Ripstop Wet Weather Poncho (780 g or 1 lb 11.5 oz).
The rugged material and solid construction mean that this wet-weather poncho is not the most packable option. However, we consider it fairly packable since the poncho neatly folds back into its original packaging, requiring not much space in your backpack for storage. We strongly advise you to keep the original packaging.
Similarly to many poncho designs, this one is not exceptionally rich in features. However, it has all the essential features required for a dependable poncho designed to comply with specific regulations and conditions.
Good details placed exactly where they should be are necessary to enhance functionality. Fortunately, this poncho has nearly all the features we’d expect from such a garment.
The water-resistant nylon fabric is combined with taped seams that are 100% waterproof. This not only strengthens vulnerable points, enhancing seam durability and integrity, but also prevents water from penetrating or leaking through these areas. This significantly contributes to the overall effectiveness of the garment in keeping the wearer dry during wet weather.
The hood is large and deep, and is easy to adjust for a better fit and protection against various agents (given its CBRN design), as well as water and wind. The adjusting system consists of a drawstring and cord locks and makes it possible to customize the fit. The well-fitted hood ensures optimal protection against the elements, covering both the head and part of the face.
Although the brim is not rigid and lacks a reinforced peak, it doesn’t hinder vision and allows for clear sight at a distance while moving in light to moderate rain. This is due to the good-sized hood that’s ample enough to fit over headwear, including gas masks. It will fit over most other types of headwear with ease.
YKK press-stud poppers
The high-quality YKK press-stud poppers on the sides assist in fitting it as a rain poncho. The buttons help make adjustments when necessary i.e. can be used as a securing method for further protection against rain and water splashes. They are easy to button and unbutton. The quality of the buttons is easy to see and feel.
Similarly to other military-grade constructions, this one is designed to withstand harsh and extreme conditions making it an excellent choice for severe weather or challenging environments. The MIRA Safety M4 CBRN military poncho has valuable characteristics such as maximum durability, protection, reliability, and versatility in extreme conditions.
The only feature we find lacking is a chest pocket. This poncho comes without a chest pocket for storing and easily accessing small items. While we recognize that this may not be a desirable feature for the primary function of this poncho (CBRN threats), this feature could have added to the overall appeal of the construction for those looking for a premium yet functional wet weather poncho.
Premium gear and gear with special functionality tend to cost a lot and this poncho is no exception. The typical price is around $250, which makes the poncho quite expensive when compared to other prepper or military poncho designs that provide protection against wet weather. Of course, its primary function is serving as a CBRN barrier, and protection against wet weather is its secondary function.
If you’re in search of a CBRN poncho to help you weather the storm, this one appears to be among the best options available in the market today. If you’re in search of a robust, durable, premium poncho suitable for rain, sleet, and snow, this one is an excellent choice. However, if you’re seeking a poncho for your hiking outings and don’t mind discarding it after a couple of uses (or one to keep in your backpack), a cheaper and lighter design might be a more convenient option.
Whether the investment is worthwhile is a decision for you to make. However, one thing is certain: the military-grade construction, practical features, and expected longevity make the MIRA Safety M4 CBRN military poncho a wise long-term investment that will last for years.
Disclaimer: MIRA Safety provided Valentin Shekerov (Camotrek.com) with a sample poncho for this review.
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