What's your experience with ponchos?

Discussion in 'Clothing & Footwear' started by Jamess, Apr 29, 2017.

  1. Jamess

    Jamess Section Hiker

    The French and Spanish seem to love them.

    I'm wondering about trying one for summer use.

    Have others tried and how did you get on?

    If you get one that covers your pack too the I guess breathablity is less of an issue?
  2. Gadget

    Gadget Thru Hiker

    Perhaps it's less windy in France and Spain!
    No experience, just sticking my oar in.
  3. edh

    edh Thru Hiker

    Used one in the USA; great....it barely rained. Not such a fan when tried it in the UK. Sold it.
  4. fluffkitten

    fluffkitten Moderator Staff Member

    The biggest hassle is the wind, when its windy ponchos make great kites. You need to cook up some sort of waist belt to stop it billowing and no matter what you'll have wet arms.

    That said I still use ponchos a lot.
  5. Rog Tallbloke

    Rog Tallbloke Thru Hiker

    Can be a pain to get on and fastened in strong wind. I have a 15D silnylon poncho-groundsheet which I carry in addition to a showerproof jacket for when it really hoses it down. A waistbelt is a must.
  6. tom

    tom Thru Hiker

    Gave up on nylon ponchos years ago - they cling when wet and messy in wind. Then I tried the zpacks cuben poncho-groundsheet as a dual use item and this has been my main rain gear for the last 2 years with well over 100 days on trail (not counting day hikes). One of the best pieces of kit I`ve invested in. Cuben is stiff so plenty of air inside which makes it less condensation prone than any “breathable“ jacket I ever owned and wind has not been an issue so far. Quite a few torrential rain hikes - some lasting hours - with no problems so far... Takes a bit of practice to get into in blustery conditions.
  7. MikeinDorset

    MikeinDorset Ultralighter

    I used one regularly in the tropics years ago. Great in pouring rain, but only because the wind was usually more or less non-existent. I can understand why people like to use them in the UK but I personally wouldn't: too much hassle in the wind.
  8. Enzo

    Enzo Thru Hiker

    I had this choice this week. Planned to walk the Ridgeway, 87 miles and intermittent showers predicted. Choice between alpkit wp top and trousers plus 60g polycryo ground sheet (total 520g) or a 200g silnylon poncho/ground sheet. Went with conventional wp. Think poncho would have been fine if less comfortable as a third layer in the mornings. Walked it in 2 days so not critical either way in the end.
  9. Rog Tallbloke

    Rog Tallbloke Thru Hiker

  10. Imperial Dave

    Imperial Dave Section Hiker

    if one was going to try one...recommendations?
  11. Shewie

    Shewie Administrator Staff Member

  12. Imperial Dave

    Imperial Dave Section Hiker

    very nice although slightly pricey
  13. Scottk

    Scottk Trail Blazer

    The one Tom mentions looks good and multipurpose -z packs Cuben groundsheet poncho.
  14. Clare

    Clare Thru Hiker

    Crikey. How many hours a day did you walk?
  15. Diddi

    Diddi Thru Hiker

    Pound shop.
    Imperial Dave likes this.
  16. WilliamC

    WilliamC Thru Hiker

    The Packa is a great concept - being able to leave it attached to the pack and slip it on and off the body is great in changing weather. The hood is rubbish though and definitely needs a cap to make it work. You get a lot of condensation in the sleeves and the complex design makes it a little difficult to dry out thoroughly.
    The Exped Pack Poncho looks a good compromise. There should be one waiting in the UK for me.
  17. WilliamC

    WilliamC Thru Hiker

    This is a cheaper version of the Packa though somewhat heavier. Also, unless it's been changed recently, it's made from a non-breathable fabric yet relies on a dwr to stop the face fabric wetting out.
  18. Enzo

    Enzo Thru Hiker

    Couple of hours Thursday night from 8.40 (6miles), then 5.25 to 9.40 Friday (43 miles) then 6am to 6.40 Saturday 39 miles so 46hrs over three days. Wasn't planning to do it quickly, and took plenty of naps, but if the daylights there its nice to use.
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2018
  19. Imperial Dave

    Imperial Dave Section Hiker

    quite a few variations on a theme it seems. Also needs careful consideration of the uses of said poncho....just a poncho or a multipurpose poncho etc
  20. Robin

    Robin Moderator Staff Member

    They don’t seem to be very practical in wind. If it’s not windy, I’d rather use an umbrella :angelic:
  21. fluffkitten

    fluffkitten Moderator Staff Member

    In this country don't rely on a poncho as both rain gear and shelter, you'll get wet. :)
  22. Imperial Dave

    Imperial Dave Section Hiker

    I was thinking more in line of using it for rainwear and say sleeping bag cover and/or "door" for the main tarp
    fluffkitten likes this.
  23. JimH

    JimH Ultralighter

    I'm looking at fast and light 2 day hike in the next couple of months (southern England, lots of trees), and this thread has got me thinking about using a poncho as both a waterproof and groundsheet or tarp.

    It would be an interesting way to lighten my load, and as I know of no-one else who's walked it, I guess whatever happens I'll have the FKT for the Big Blean Walk :)
  24. Enzo

    Enzo Thru Hiker

    Problem with fkt's in the UK is all the dam ultra runners!
  25. JimH

    JimH Ultralighter

    Yeah, obscure walks are the way to go, I can't imagine 40 (mostly flat) km being much of a target for the average self-respecting ultra runner :)

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