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Rick's "Magic" rain ponchos

We bought rain ponchos from the Travel Center several years ago. We were going on a trip that called for a lot of rain and didn't want to add warmth, just rain protection. We have taken them on several trips now, and have yet to take them out of their pouch. Every time we take them, it does not rain. I does rain when we forget them!

I'm just back from a trip that promised to be rainy from start to finish, and again didn't use them, didn't need them.

I'm convinced Rick has put some special magic in these ponchos!

Posted by
6610 posts

I've had the same experiences with non-RS ponchos, never taken out of their pouches. (I have two, which is really dumb.) So maybe it isn't Rick's magic, just a naturally occurring poncho magic quality. Or artificial intelligence, who knows?

Posted by
9766 posts

Sadly, not all plastic rain ponchos have this magical rain-preventing quality, I can assure you.

My parents brought two on a trip to Scotland seven years ago, and I have very distinct memories of seeing my dad (miserable) in his.

I had begged them to buy hooded raincoats — and then they showed up with these plastic ponchos. Even worse, my mom tried to pin the acquisition on me, saying that I had told them to get the ponchos. Absolutely not, I have a hatred of the things !!!

Posted by
471 posts

Funny Kim! Ponchos may be fine for ballgames…not so much for travel. Sorry to say our rain gear has not been RS’s magic gear….and usually do use our rainjackets…at least they work!! Going next Sept of 2024 to UK. Will take them again. ☔️

Posted by
408 posts

When we went to Scotland in August 2001, I had very thin plastic ponchos for the family. We certainly needed them in Culloden and at the Tatoo. It became a big joke for the family because so many people stopped to ask me where I got them....the Dollar Store, at home.

Posted by
2852 posts

The cheap plastic ponchos are only good for mucking stalls in an Arizona hour-long rain storm.
The red plaid poncho I bought in Sorrento did not scare away the downpour in Trieste. But it kept me and my daypack dry.

Posted by
266 posts

Posted by denisecyoung on 09/18/23 12:11 PM

We were going on a trip that called for a lot of rain and didn't
want to add warmth, just rain protection

Any recommendations for a raincoat that is just rain protection not warmth too? And is long enough to sit on? And doesn't cost $$$?

The $1 - $30 ponchos look good for this. Hands are free.

An umbrella? Ok. But you need a free hand to hold it. Your legs will probably get wet. If sitting, your bottom will get wet. In windy conditions it may turn inside-out. And it is probably heavier than a poncho.

And yes to the OP. Wash your car? Guaranteed rain.

So bring the poncho to ward off the rain!

Posted by
2453 posts

We have the RS ponchos and have used them a few times. We really needed them and glad we had them when touring Plitvice as it poured buckets. It was the only rainy day of our tour.

Posted by
6610 posts

Khansen, I've been looking for the same thing for years. My L.L. Bean Gore-Tex hooded shell parka, which comes almost to my knees, is nearly 20 years old, on its second zipper, and I can't find anything comparable. Lots of jackets but nothing longer. I don't understand why no one sells these -- I'd even go for a non-breathable one now that my hiking days are over.

To be clear re the plastic poncho -- I take it on trips when I don't really expect rain, "just in case." The Bean parka was very useful in Ireland last year and on other trips. I just hope it lasts as long as I do.

Magic ponchos are one thing, to prevent rain in places like winter Mexico. But Bean and Gore Tex and companies like that can't afford to put that magic in their products, or they'd only sell one in a customer's lifetime. ;-)

Posted by
14156 posts

Oh gosh...I'm with Kim on the opinion of ANY poncho. Long ago and far away when I used to hike in FL I did use a poncho then as you just needed rain protection and it didn't really matter if you ended up wet as you certainly were not going to get hypothermic.

For actual travel, I use a waterproof jacket with hood. On my recent trip to Orkney ad Shetland one of the tour members had a poncho and boy, did it get whipped around in the wind. I'm not sure how dry it kept her although she really had it on to cover her day pack. might look at the Columbia waterproof jackets although they might not be as long as you want. I have the Switchback III which is lightweight and just "OK" as a jacket. It's main drawback is that the hood is not adjustable so it kept flopping forward in my face. I didn't look closely when I bought it (at Fred Meyer on sale). If I'd realized it I would have gone with the next price point up which I think is Arcadia. I think I wound up with it costing about $40. The waterproof worked fine. If I take it again I'll take a ball cap to keep it out of my face.