View Full Version : Poncho or Rain Suit???

Poppa Yeti
01-15-2016, 16:11
Has anyone had any experience with using a hiking poncho that covers you, your pack, and goes down below the knees?
I've been using a rain jacket and rain pants... but I'm always looking for lighter and better gear. I've got about 450 miles on the AT and 450 miles on the Florida Trail.

BTW water-proof socks work great! I buy mine from a place called "AFP" or something, a yacht racing supply company in Annapolis.

Please let me know.



01-15-2016, 16:35
I've heard ponchos suck in the wind.

When I've used them on day hikes they come in handy at rest breaks because you can cover your shoes/ friend who forgot their poncho, lunch etc.

I'm personally more interested in a rain skirt/kilt. My buddy made his own out of a sheet of plastic and Velcro. He reports it breathes a ton better than hiking pants.

01-15-2016, 17:05
Poncho in warmer months during section hikes on the AT. Rain jacket (Packa) all other times. :)

01-15-2016, 18:52
If your poncho goes below your knees, you will be tripping on it. Ponchos are a bit cooler than a full rain suit, sometimes that is good and sometimes that is bad. I carry both, put on the poncho first and if i get chilled, add the rain suit. Not very common, but works for me.

Harrison Bergeron
01-15-2016, 20:36
Here's my rain kit:

Outdoor Products Packframe Poncho 54" x 91" 12.8oz
Dri Duck Pants in a small ziplock 4.5oz
MLD eVENT Rain Mitts 1.3oz

The total kit weighs 18.6oz and fits entirely inside one of the rain mitts, which I carry in the back pocket of my pack.

I added some straps to the poncho to use as belt for wind, but rarely use them.

I much prefer a poncho. It's more comfortable and keeps my pack much drier. It's easier to get into my pack when I need to, and it's nice to have a portable roof when I do. It also makes a great picnic blanket, and an emergency cover from condensation or leaks in your tent, and an extra blanket on cold nights.

Mine is not one of those huge army-surplus ponchos you see people using sometimes, which I think are actually even lighter. But it seems to be the right size to do the job without getting in the way too much on the trail.

01-16-2016, 15:02
Poncho. It will keep rain from going between your pack and back.

01-16-2016, 15:53
+1 for ponchos (my goto rain-gear year round)
+1 for string (or guy-line) around your waist as needed in windy condnitions

Feral Bill
01-16-2016, 16:37
Ponchos have always worked for me.

01-16-2016, 20:40
I prefer a poncho while walkin, but once in camp prefer a raincoat. I have zero problem bringing both, and have...all extra 11oz.

01-16-2016, 20:41
Poncho also doubles as a place to sit and eat outside of my tent.

01-17-2016, 07:23
FWIW, I have gravitated away from ponchos due to their being somewhat cumbersome and less than warm. In wind they like to flap around, tie a rope around the waist they can sail and the wind can push you off balance. Since the purpose of rain gear is to stay warmer than without it, ponchos score low. Overall, it was the rare rain day that I managed to stay reasonably protected from precipitation and maintain body heat. Now I carry a rain/wind protection jacket that works much better and for sitting outside I use a Z-seat (Thermarest) which not only provides an insulated, water resistant seat, but literally weighs less than the poncho I used to carry.

kayak karl
01-18-2016, 18:36
Packa and rain pants

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