View Full Version : Wanted: Poncho Recommendation

03-26-2005, 11:43
Want a good poncho for rain protection. Want to cover myself and my pack.
Does anyone have recommendtions?

03-26-2005, 11:46
Check out "The Packa" (search for it here or on google)

03-26-2005, 12:25
i have a equinox terrapin sylnylon poncho,it has a 14 inch extension on the back
i will cover you and your pack,it makes a decent tarp to it wiegh 9 oz and $42.00 it is 58x104 in.:cool: neo

03-26-2005, 17:26
Ponchos are not much use in the wind and driving rain. You might consider a rain jacket instead.

DMA, 2000
03-26-2005, 18:20
Yeah, I got some advice:

Don't buy one.

I had one and kept it the whole time, though I knew it was useless on my second day.

As noted above, it kind of sucks in the wind. Water will get in. What is more, think of what will happen when you want to take a break. Either you spend the whole time sitting down with your pack on, or you simply choose who gets wet. And then consider a warm rainy day. You'll want the pack to stay dry, but maybe not want to cover yourself up and get really hot. Too bad.

One good thing about it was that when I sent my tent home and used only my rain fly (held up by trekking poles) for shelter, the poncho made a useful ground cloth...it's good when gear can do double duty.

Get a good pack cover and hooded rain jacket instead. I wish I had. That way, you can set the pack down against the tree when you want to take a break. On a hot rainy day, I just recommend going shirtless and drying off in camp.

SGT Rock
03-26-2005, 18:31
I second the recommendation for a Packa

03-26-2005, 22:41
Depends on the size of your pack, and depends on what you need.

The Packa is probably the best choice. It allows all of the ventilation of a poncho, but you can seal it up like a rainjacket too. I have an Equinox silnylon poncho ~$50 and 7oz. There's no backpack extension, but with my MountainSmith Ghost, there's no real need for it. It's not the best thing for rain in early spring or late autumn as ponchos don't hold off wind or hold in heat too well, but they can serve their niche purpose well.

I use mine to keep rain off of my photography gear. I still carry a rain jacket and pants, but would consider replacing both the rain jacket and poncho with a Packa. I don't know if it's really what I want yet, but that's what I'm currently leaning toward.


03-30-2005, 21:25
Nomad and I used the packa for a 1000 mile hike last year and were very happy with them. You can tighten it up around your wrists, body and pack to minimize wind billowing. Check it out. It has large pit zips to allow you to wear it like a cape if you tend to get hot. Highly recommended by us. Make sure it fits your pack dimensions. You can get it made to order, just takes a bit to get it. We had very wet weather last year and lots of wind and we really were please with the packas.

03-31-2005, 08:43
A poncho is my wife's rain gear of choice. She has a large silnylon one that has a hood and the extension for use over a pack. Also, it has snaps down each side that allows her to vent or unvent, as she describes it. On windy days she wears it with a belt to keep it from blowing around and on cooler days she walks with her arms inside of it. Also, she can take her pack off and on without removing the poncho.

03-31-2005, 10:13
I have used a poncho for many years with good result. On a rainy day I'm pretty much shelter-oriented with regard to rest stops. In this case, the pack can be put in the shelter if I need to roam around packless in the rain.

On the other hand, I usually carry a tarp and an additional small sheat of plastic (about 4'x4' to sit on). If necessary, setting up the tarp takes only a couple of minutes. However, I've only done that once, at a lunch break with an impending thunderstorm.

Adding a belt to the poncho pretty much solves the wind problem, except for extreme conditions.

03-31-2005, 12:39
Check out the Packa. Bought one a month or so ago and found Eddie (the inventor) great to work with. In fact, he and I are still working on a modification to mine that would remove some of the excess fabric (silnylon) so that it fits a bit more tightly over a smaller pack.

AT 2003

04-01-2005, 01:16
Get an umbrella and toss out the poncho! I fought the concept for a long time during a very wet year. When I finally gave in to the umbrella, it was like a whole new hike began! Only problem was figuring out how to rig it so that I could still use my poles (definite necessity to keep me upright). Once I managed to put the sternum strap and my bosom to use, I was cruisin'! I also saw lots of folks who didn't have "umbrella holders" on their top half figure out ways to make the umbrella work too. Just play around with it and see what's best for you. Only downfall is areas w/ lots of overgrowth... the umbrella did get snagged a few times.

Just Jeff
04-01-2005, 08:42
I've used ponchos for years and like them. Just like tarping, it's not as intuitive as it seems...you don't always just want to flop it over you and call it good.

For example, with the old military style, you can wrap the front panel around your body and snap it to itself behind you...pretty much eliminates your body getting wet from blowing wind, and the rear flap still hangs over your pack like a cape. I found the JRB quilt velcros behind you the same way, which eliminates some of the drafts when worn as a poncho.

As mentioned above, tying a piece of cord around you like a belt can help, too.

For hot, humid hikes, it can suck if you can't ventilate. I got a rain jacket because I ended up soaked on a hike in the Blue Ridges. I'm not sure a jacket would have helped keep me dry on THAT day, but it would have been cooler and easier to hike through the brush in, anyway.

Going hoodless helps A LOT with ventilation. I'm gonna make a hoodless poncho and get a rain cap (or just a wide brimmed hat with a "shower cap" rain cover on it so I don't need two hats) and see how that works. The main problem I see is that with a pack on, the water will run off the top of the pack, DOWN towards your neck. Without a hood, I'll need some kind of stiffened collar to divert the water off of my shoulders instead of into the neck hole.

My .02...it's worth trying out. Buy a $7 urethane one from Walmart and go on a few day hikes before you invest the money on a silnylon one.

04-01-2005, 08:48
You might check out Integral Designs Silnylon poncho. This has a nice draw cord that you can cinch up under your pack.



04-01-2005, 10:29
My .02...it's worth trying out. Buy a $7 urethane one from Walmart and go on a few day hikes before you invest the money on a silnylon one.This is what I did last year. The thing got a workout I'll say that. I stayed dry and the pack stayed dry even in some driving rain. The Walmart poncho has since been retired to the trunk of the car for emergency purposes because, well.......it's as heavy as a rock. I'm sticking with a poncho. I either wear a coat and pack cover and the pack gets wet from the uncovered part by my back or wear a poncho and the pack stays dry and I may get a bit wet. I'd rather have dry gear. Integral Designs and Campmor both have a sil-nylon poncho I'm looking at. I'll have to see what the local outfitters offer first.