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mPalozzola01
04-26-2017, 10:08
So I'm curious who would recommend one over the other for a long trail/thru hike. Preferably someone who has experience with both. But pros vs cons for each. I am looking for a like weight but versatile option... i feel the poncho is a more versatile option. What do you all think?

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AfterParty
04-26-2017, 10:22
I am a poncho guy. It also closes off one end of my tarp. Acts as a pack cover and liner. Snugpack patrol ponchos have a hoodie pocket and sleeves I like mine

mPalozzola01
04-26-2017, 10:26
Yeah I like the concept of also being able to use it as a ground cover or sit pad etc... and I feel it would keep the pack dryer in one less step then a pack cover. What is your poncho made of and how much does it weigh?

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jimmyjam
04-26-2017, 10:56
Poncho here also. And like above I can use mine to close off the end of my tarp. Pack covers do not work the rain gets in between your back and the pack. You'll sweat a little less with a poncho too. I made mine from silnylon about 7 ozs I believe.

QiWiz
04-26-2017, 11:30
For hiking in the rain, unless it's a very exposed and windy trail, I prefer the Packa combo poncho and pack cover (google if not familiar), with chaps or a rain skirt for legs. Has best ventilation IMO. Only issue with the Packa is when its raining and you have to get the pack off for some reason (like a bathroom break, layer change, setting up camp) you have to take the packa off and put it back on, which can get you pretty wet if its raining hard. Best feature of Packa is [1] no rain down your back and [2] ability to put on and off while walking without stopping to remove pack.

Traffic Jam
04-26-2017, 12:28
After hiking in pouring rain a few weeks ago and my gear getting damp (had a pack cover), I'm considering a DIY poncho. I've tried a pre-made poncho but it was too large and cumbersome.

JJ, do you have written instructions for yours or did you wing it?

AfterParty
04-26-2017, 14:56
Mine the snugpak patrol poncho weighs 12 oz and fits different then most traditional ponchos. The sides are sewn and seam sealed and it has arms. I couldn't find its material its not ripstop no grid pattern. The sleeves have elastic at the wrists. It works great for my style.

Jayne
04-26-2017, 14:57
Well, rain jacket and pants are a more complete coverage and an additional warmth layer if it's cold out (and it doesn't have to be very cold rain to suck the heat out of you) but they are bulkier, heavier, don't cvoer your back pack, and much more expensive. I use a sil-nylon poncho when I'm not worried about cold weather - otherwise I use a rain suit. Also, a poncho doesn't work well if you actually have to go through brush - it just gets caught on everything.

skylark
04-26-2017, 15:04
Hot weather: poncho. Cold weather: rain jacket.

MikekiM
05-25-2017, 16:48
...JJ, do you have written instructions for yours or did you wing it?

+1 on this..

I have a ton of material.. would love to make a decent poncho

Ethesis
05-25-2017, 17:00
So I'm curious who would recommend one over the other for a long trail/thru hike. Preferably someone who has experience with both. But pros vs cons for each. I am looking for a like weight but versatile option... i feel the poncho is a more versatile option. What do you all think?

Sent from my SM-G900T1 using Tapatalk

this is like the question of which shoes.

It really differs person to person.

Ive tried a few ponchos. I really wanted to like them.

Ive used some bad rain jackets.

Currently a rain jacket and kilt/skirt.

You need to find what works for you.

Ive a friend who just wears shorts even in CMT sleet storms.

Some people water proof their pants from the knees down.

Try the alternatives for a few few days of rain hiking each until you hit what works for you.

There are really cheap ponchos. Costco has really cheap rain jackets.

Sometimes cheap is lighter and better.

Tipi Walter
05-25-2017, 17:14
Well, rain jacket and pants are a more complete coverage and an additional warmth layer if it's cold out (and it doesn't have to be very cold rain to suck the heat out of you) but they are bulkier, heavier, don't cvoer your back pack, and much more expensive. I use a sil-nylon poncho when I'm not worried about cold weather - otherwise I use a rain suit. Also, a poncho doesn't work well if you actually have to go through brush - it just gets caught on everything.

This sums it up for me. My rain jacket and pants are survival gear to prevent hypothermia when backpacking in a cold rain---and cold rains happen from May thru September. My rain jacket is not meant to cover my pack---I carry a pack cover for this.

Slo-go'en
05-25-2017, 17:40
My problem with a poncho is I need another person to help me get it over my pack properly. Doing that by yourself is difficult and if it's windy out good luck! Ponchos also don't do well in exposed, windy areas or where the trail is overgrown. Which is a lot of the AT. I really hate hiking with a poncho. If you want to stop and get something out of your pack, it's a real pain in the butt.

But in the summer, I carry a poncho in addition to my rain jacket. During the summer you don't usually hike in the rain all day. The threat is thunderstorms which usually blow by in reasonably short order. Having the poncho to hunker under until the storm blows over is really nice.

Drybones
05-25-2017, 17:43
I've used them both, when I had one i wished I had the other, each has it's pros and cons. A poncho will cover your pack to keep it dry, it's easy to regulate body temperature by opening the poncho up to let air in or closing it to keep the air out, it's a PITA hiking up steep areas when you step on the poncho, it makes a crappie (not the fish) layer, I even used mine as a shelter when I didn't want to set the tent up...BTW, got a little wet when it started raining in the middle of the night. A lightweight shell is a great layer for when it's windy and cold, and it's comfortable....bottom line is they're both okay, I use the shell if it's cold and the poncho in warmer weather. As for the pack cover...forget it, get you a compactor trash bag and a pack that repels water.

martinb
06-22-2017, 11:29
I converted to a poncho after using rain jacket for years and years. Much more versatile than a jacket/pant combo and less sweaty, if it's not clinched down.

nsherry61
06-22-2017, 11:57
I use a Sea-to-Summit Ultrasil poncho. It weighs in about 8 oz. It is my rain-gear, my summer shelter, my ground cloth, my pack cover, my portable tent for eating lunch (or navigating) in the rain, my extra tarp for filling in around another tarp pitched in extreme conditions, my table cloth, my gear mat . . . hmm what else . . .

In disagreement a couple of posts up-thread, I have done quite of bit of bushwhacking with my poncho, expecting it to get damaged and to interfere with my movement, and instead I found it quite effective at both keeping me dry in soaking wet brush and not snagging on things . . . and this was often in western Oregon coastal forests with dense underbrush. Maybe bushwhacking issues are highly material dependent instead of a basic problem with poncho design. That being said, yes, a rain suit is easier to bushwhack in, mostly because you can see your feet better, but is still worked okay with a poncho.

As for getting backpacks on and off, one of the great beauties about using a poncho for me is the ability to take my pack on and off in the rain while keeping both myself and my gear completely dry under it.

And, for what it's worth, I don't have a problem putting my poncho on while walking and wearing my backpack. Others I hike with sometimes do. I think it depends on how your bag is packed (i.e. crap tied onto the outside of the pack interferes with sliding the poncho on) and also on how flexible your arms and shoulders are. I find it a complete non-issue.

Lastly, in windy conditions, a piece of line tied around your waist as a poncho belt enables pretty high functionality in pretty windy conditions, no, not hurricane winds, but pretty windy ridge-lines none the less.

I would say, because of their phenomenal versatility, poncho skills are well worth a significant effort to perfect, so that if it can work for you, you figure out how to make it happen.

cmoulder
06-23-2017, 09:20
Others I hike with sometimes do. I think it depends on how your bag is packed (i.e. crap tied onto the outside of the pack interferes with sliding the poncho on) and also on how flexible your arms and shoulders are. I find it a complete non-issue.

Totally agree — directly proportional to pack size and how much stuff is on the outside.

I have a Zpacks poncho and keep the left side zipped and stow the poncho itself in the left side pocket. It can be deployed within seconds without removing the pack, and then removed and stowed again very quickly. Nice when there are on and off showers all day long.

emilialovve
08-12-2017, 11:43
Pack liner vs. pack cover? Or both?!

MuddyWaters
08-12-2017, 11:51
packliner, and water resistant pack, and rainjacket

and umbrella

works great

no need to wear hood, or zip up jacket all way, leave pit zips wide open, stay cooler

OkeefenokeeJoe
08-12-2017, 18:21
+1 for the Packa. Easy and effective.

OkeefenokeeJoe

Cheyou
08-12-2017, 18:27
Totally agree — directly proportional to pack size and how much stuff is on the outside.

I have a Zpacks poncho and keep the left side zipped and stow the poncho itself in the left side pocket. It can be deployed within seconds without removing the pack, and then removed and stowed again very quickly. Nice when there are on and off showers all day long.[/COLOR]


Would love to get one , but I choke on the $175. Price tag

thom

Hikes in Rain
08-12-2017, 20:47
Poncho here, too. A couple of times while hiking through a multi-day rain (my user name is earned the hard way!), I wished for a pack cover so I could get some water, where the only places to set my pack down was in a puddle. Heck, the whole place was one big puddle!

bigcranky
08-12-2017, 20:53
this is like the question of which shoes.

It really differs person to person.

Ive tried a few ponchos. I really wanted to like them.

Ive used some bad rain jackets.

Currently a rain jacket and kilt/skirt.

You need to find what works for you. \



Yeah, it's really personal and ideally you'd try them both. I tried a poncho several times and just couldn't get it to work for me. I like a good rain shell, a homemade rain kilt, rain mitts for cooler weather, and my Tilley hat. I also use a rain cover for my pack, as well as a cuben pack liner (belt and suspenders for me!)

DownEaster
08-12-2017, 22:30
I haven't found pack covers to be good at much but catching the wind or the occasional branch. And when it's windy, a poncho is just going to make you cold. So I go for a cheap Frogg Toggs rain suit so I don't get cold and wet. The pack has no outside protection, but everything inside is in dry bags which are in turn inside a 3 mil contractor-grade trash bag. If the pack gets soaked, it gets emptied and placed upside-down in my tent vestibule overnight to have a chance to dry out. At least there won't be any standing water in there to start the day.

Ethesis
08-13-2017, 11:47
Yeah, it's really personal and ideally you'd try them both. I tried a poncho several times and just couldn't get it to work for me. I like a good rain shell, a homemade rain kilt, rain mitts for cooler weather, and my Tilley hat. I also use a rain cover for my pack, as well as a cuben pack liner (belt and suspenders for me!)

I love my Tilley hat as well.

I tried two different ponchos and am on my third rain jacket.

But, I think I've found what works for me.

I think that experimenting and testing to see what fits you really helps.

That said, almost anything can let you survive. I could survive in any of what I used. I'm just happier with what I have now.

I also use a pack cover and some dry sacks and they've worked well.

jefals
10-07-2021, 19:27
I had one of those. Didn't think to try it out beforehand.
When out on the trail, wind blowing, starting to rain -- i could not get the poncho over the pack. Gotta be a trick to that, right?

Five Tango
10-07-2021, 19:57
I am a poncho guy. It also closes off one end of my tarp. Acts as a pack cover and liner. Snugpack patrol ponchos have a hoodie pocket and sleeves I like mine

Ditto.I use my Snugpack Patrol Poncho with a rain kilt and gaiters.I wish the sleeves were a little longer though.I also have a DWR wind jacket if I need it in colder weather.In deep summer I would just use the jacket and kilt unless it's pouring(like it was today).Getting the poncho over the pack requires a little knack and maybe some luck but there is almost always someone around to lend a little assistance and I'm not too proud to ask....

Caveat-I think most people over 5 ft 9 inches or so might find the Snugpack Patrol Poncho a bit skimpy but it works great for me.I like the fact that it is not ultralight and flimsy like my silnylon poncho.

Leo L.
10-08-2021, 04:28
I had one of those. Didn't think to try it out beforehand.
When out on the trail, wind blowing, starting to rain -- i could not get the poncho over the pack. Gotta be a trick to that, right?
Usually, I'm carrying both, a rain jacket and a poncho (plus chaps to cover the legs).
For use with the big multiday-hike-pack, I'm using the poncho that includes a hunch to cover the pack. The smaller, tarp-style poncho is for dayhikes only, as it would not cover the big pack sufficiently.
To get the hunch-style poncho working, while the pack is still on the ground I'd cover the hunch over the pack and form a roll out of the head&front part of the poncho, the roll sitting between the brain of the pack and the shoulder straps.
This way I can lift the poncho-covered pack and get into the shoulder&hip straps easily.
Then, the pack correctly fit to my body and all straps closed and tight, I reach back over my head and unroll the rolled-up part of the poncho over my head and down the front.
When hiking in an on-and-off rain (which is very common here) I just shove the front&top part of the poncho back behind my neck, and forward again as needed.

Deadeye
10-08-2021, 12:36
packliner, and water resistant pack, and rainjacket
and umbrella
works great
no need to wear hood, or zip up jacket all way, leave pit zips wide open, stay cooler

Same here, but add a homemade pack cover. Like anything else, practice makes perfect. Wait for some terrible weekend forecast, then go out and spend time in lousy weather until you have it down pat.

Five Tango
10-08-2021, 19:22
This gentleman puts the Snugpack Enhanced Patrol Poncho thru its paces in extreme conditions.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TKVT2O99AKQ

jefals
10-08-2021, 20:09
I had one of those. Didn't think to try it out beforehand.
When out on the trail, wind blowing, starting to rain -- i could not get the poncho over the pack. Gotta be a trick to that, right?

To get the hunch-style poncho working, while the pack is still on the ground I'd cover the hunch over the pack and form a roll out of the head&front part of the poncho, the roll sitting between the brain of the pack and the shoulder straps.
This way I can lift the poncho-covered pack and get into the shoulder&hip straps easily.
Then, the pack correctly fit to my body and all straps closed and tight, I reach back over my head and unroll the rolled-up part of the poncho over my head and down the front.
When hiking in an on-and-off rain (which is very common here) I just shove the front&top part of the poncho back behind my neck, and forward again as needed.

Sounds like it should work. I'll give it a try. Thanks!

Chaz
10-18-2021, 12:22
Several years ago I made myself a "Parcho" from the pattern on the Quest Outfitters website. Similar idea to the Packa, but where the Packa is more jacket like, the Parcho is more like a poncho.

I like it, and it works well for me.

Five Tango
10-18-2021, 16:57
Usually, I'm carrying both, a rain jacket and a poncho (plus chaps to cover the legs).
For use with the big multiday-hike-pack, I'm using the poncho that includes a hunch to cover the pack. The smaller, tarp-style poncho is for dayhikes only, as it would not cover the big pack sufficiently.
To get the hunch-style poncho working, while the pack is still on the ground I'd cover the hunch over the pack and form a roll out of the head&front part of the poncho, the roll sitting between the brain of the pack and the shoulder straps.
This way I can lift the poncho-covered pack and get into the shoulder&hip straps easily.
Then, the pack correctly fit to my body and all straps closed and tight, I reach back over my head and unroll the rolled-up part of the poncho over my head and down the front.
When hiking in an on-and-off rain (which is very common here) I just shove the front&top part of the poncho back behind my neck, and forward again as needed.

I tried this today with my Snugpack Enhanced Patrol Poncho-It Works! Note,I have not tried it in real world windy conditions but my basement trial panned out successfully.

Note: I still use a very light weight pack cover and a doubled pack liner as I really don't want wet gear.

nsherry61
10-18-2021, 19:18
. . . I still use a very light weight pack cover and a doubled pack liner as I really don't want wet gear.
Obviously, we all pack our fears. Along those lines however, one simply cannot keep their gear from getting wet if you are backpacking in the rain. At some point you are carrying wet gear, whether it is your shelter that you packed away after a rain, or your rain gear or wet socks packed away after a rain event, or a sleeping bag with some condensation in it from a cold night of sleeping, even in a dry tent.

Dry is relative. Trying to keep all your gear dry is a loosing proposition. Managing the moisture in your gear of primary importance.

Keeping the outside of your pack super dry, doesn't keep your wet gear inside the pack from getting everything else wet.

Ponchos do an amazing job of keeping your whole pack dry if you use them right. I think pretty much everyone would agree that keeping your puffy insulation dry is important and keeping it in a "pack liner" is probably the best way to manage that, especially if you pack is otherwise protected by a poncho. But, A double pack liner? Do you not trust your first one? Doesn't it make sense to change it to one you can trust? And why a pack cover under a poncho? All a pack cover will do is hold whatever moisture is in your pack inside your pack, and you don't really want that.

Good luck and have fun out there!

Five Tango
10-19-2021, 07:08
I carry an open cell foam pad on the back of my pack and use the pack cover to make sure it stays as dry as possible.The extra liner weight is negligible.The poncho hanging over the pack is a great idea but is not necessarily fool proof.True,you can't out engineer damp air but you can out engineer water.

Kittyslayer
10-19-2021, 12:47
When hiking in an on-and-off rain (which is very common here) I just shove the front&top part of the poncho back behind my neck, and forward again as needed.

The above approach works well. Especially in a really light, intermittent rain.

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FŽanor
10-20-2021, 11:44
dont know about all this craziness but the frogg toggs Ultra-Lite2 Poncho is great! $15 @walmart! :sun