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  1. #1
    Senior Member TFC Rick's Avatar
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    Rain suit vs. poncho?

    I assume this is more personal preference than anything else, but is one better than the other? Obviously the poncho can also be used as a quilt protector or a door for the tarp as well.

    Are people using both?
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  2. #2
    Moderator raiffnuke's Avatar
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    I use a poncho with my zipper mod for 3 season hiking. In the winter I use a rain suit as it doubles as a shell to block the wind, keep me dry, and trap in a bunch of heat.

  3. #3

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    What he said - it depends on what the weather is. Some times one wants to vent and sometimes get warm. Also depends a bit on what else is going on. Walking is one thing, paddling another.

  4. #4
    MacEntyre's Avatar
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    I have never found a good answer to this question... poncho is perfect when caught in a sudden, torrential downpour, quick to deploy and covers both you and your pack. But a Packa is perfect for hiking in intermittent rain. Ponchos are relatively inexpensive.

    - MacEntyre ...wants a Packa!
    "We must, indeed, all hang together or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately." - Ben Franklin
    www.MollyMacGear.com

  5. #5
    Senior Member Catavarie's Avatar
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    I like a cape, its quick to deploy and covers pack as well. It vents good for summer and buttoned up can trap warm around your body. Would love to find one in cuben.
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  6. #6
    I think the concept of staying dry in the rain is a myth. If you keep the rain out, you keep the sweat in and end up wet in a different way.

    I use a poncho with cord on the back corners, tied around my waist, to hold the rear in place over my Pack. I end up with wet arms and legs.
    grinder

  7. #7
    Senior Member BEAS's Avatar
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    I wore a poncho on one of my 10 hikes. It rained 7.5 (solid 7.5 days) days of that hike. The weather was terrible, cold, windy, snowy, sleeting, and obviously wet.
    The only positive I had would be it kept my gear dry more than a pack cover. I had to make a belt out of chord to keep the poncho down in the wind and it was tough to keep in place. This was a Golite by the way. I was very displeased.

    Since then I have left the poncho at home and wear the rain jacket. I would use a poncho on the warm weather or on day hikes and thats it.

    The Packa could be a doable option for me but don't want to spend the money.
    BEAS
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  8. #8
    Prefers life at 12 MPH. FLRider's Avatar
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    For hiking on trails in FL weather, poncho. Definitely a poncho. Breathes better (which means that you have more control over heat management in warmer temps, which is really what rain gear is for over longer periods) and covers your pack. Can be dual-purposed for torrential rain cover for your hammock as either an undercover or a Grizz beak. Can be dual-purposed as part of a Garlington Insulator for weight savings over an underquilt or pad.

    For hiking in cold, wet, windy weather? I'd probably prefer a rain suit, though I've yet to spend significant time in those conditions. The ability to use your rain suit to keep you warm(er) in such crappy conditions is probably its biggest selling point. That and its lesser tendency to flop around (though this can be fixed with proper poncho design or a bit of cordage and ingenuity with a poncho) makes it a better choice in such weather.



    Quote Originally Posted by MacEntyre View Post
    I have never found a good answer to this question... poncho is perfect when caught in a sudden, torrential downpour, quick to deploy and covers both you and your pack. But a Packa is perfect for hiking in intermittent rain. Ponchos are relatively inexpensive.

    - MacEntyre ...wants a Packa!
    I know this is probably a silly question, but is there any space between the top of your shoulder straps and the top of the backboard on your pack? I've used the "put the poncho on and then lift the front over your shoulders to stay up at your neck" trick to keep my pack dry and myself cool in intermittent rain before. As long as I'm not moving through thick brush, it seems to work pretty well and makes the poncho instantly deployable over my front if the rain picks up quickly.

    If there isn't any space between the tops of your straps and the top of the board, ignore the above: it doesn't work too well with packs shorter than your torso, since the poncho tends to slide off without that "shelf" area.

    Hope it helps!
    "Just prepare what you can and enjoy the rest."
    --Floridahanger

  9. #9
    steveflinn's Avatar
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    Poncho is fine with light rain for a short time, or under canopy, or if it's warm.

    But if it's gonna come in sideways at me or I need heat then I slip on the Frogg Toggs DriDucks Ultra-Lite2 Rain Suit.

    Usually I'm able to guess ahead of the hike what it'll be like out but sometimes I'll carry both.

    We get a lot of blowing fog and rain out here, so the focus shifts from keeping dry to protecting the pack dry and staying warm. I prefer just to hike wet in the rain if I can, and keep the wind off me to prevent hypothermia (which can be iffy, as hard experience has shown me).

  10. #10
    MAD777's Avatar
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    Grinder nailed it! Your either going to get wet from rain or from sweat with a rain jacket. Poncho (tailored to cover your pack) all the way!
    Mike
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