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RS hide away poncho

Wasn't sure where to post this question - has anyone used the above mentioned poncho. I wanted some feedback before I purchased.

Before buying this - you may want to compare it to ponchos at a camping store - even Wal-Mart camping section. Personally, I am not a fan of ponchos and prefer packable raincoats with hoods. These pack into a small pouch or its own pocket. Check out bass-pro online or REI for ideas. Look at men's coats as well - looser fit - easier for wearing over a sweater or fleece vest.

Posted by
4904 posts

We're not big fans of ponchos period. Much prefer a long rain coat (not short rain jacket) for really wet weather. Most come with hoods, but they seem to block peripheral vision so we use a rainproof hat with a wide brim. Believe we got ours at LL Bean.

Posted by
1417 posts

I bought a clear poncho at a Farm and Fleet type store. Advantage is that it also protected my back pack when it was a downpour and we were leaving one town to move on to another. Disadvantage was that i had not carried it along the afternoon before when the storm first. Moved in.

Posted by
2434 posts

We have used ours a few times - mainly during heavy rain - and we're glad we had them. Our fellow travelers had raincoats and umbrellas and got soaked. They said that they were sorry that didn't have ponchos, too. If it's light rain then you don't need them.

Posted by
5836 posts

I haven't used the specific product in question but have used both ponchos and jackets. Both have advantage but my bias is in favor of jackets.

Ponchos have a number of advantages. Ponchos tend to be cheaper than jackets being less complex and not requiring "breathable waterproof" material. (Ponchos are well vented and don't trap body moisture vapor). Ponchos are typically "one size fits all" and accommodate big (wide) people and can cover packs. (Roller bags are on their own.)

Ponchos are less useful in windy and wind driven rain conditions. The cut of typical ponchos is a geometry like a square rigged sailing ship when you extend your arms outward. The excess material does a lot of flapping in the wind. (You can add a belt around the poncho to reduce flapping). Rain can drive in through the sides of the poncho. If you don't mind flapping, an emergency poncho is a large size plastic garbage bag with a hole for your head.

After a rainstorm you either need a water tight bag to stuff the wet poncho in for storage or you need to wear it until it sort of drip drys before stuffing it into your pack. Wearing your rain jacket while drying has a cooler look.

Posted by
11613 posts

It depends on where you are going and what time of year. I would invest in a good rain jacket or coat if I were spending time in a rainy area.

I always carry a cheap smurf-poncho (blue) and hope I don't have to use it, but it does keep a backpack or messenger bag dry. I prefer a rain jacket but almost never take one because I hate packing something that I may not use.

In some countries, street vendors appear from nowhere at the first sign of rain clouds and will sell a cheap umbrella for €5 or less.

Regarding the RS poncho, it's similar to ones you can find in travel departments or camping stores, you can have a look before you buy.

Posted by
32225 posts


I've used an older version of the RS Ponch and pack it along on every trip. I don't use it often but it's worked well when I have used it. It's light and small, so easy to fit into the pack.

One advantage of the Poncho over a rain jacket is that it provides lots of room, so provides cover for my camera gear too. I can change lenses under the Poncho and everything stays dry.

As someone else mentioned, a Poncho is a bit of a problem if it's windy but I manage.

I also usually pack along a RS Umbrella and that's also been really useful at times.

Posted by
3899 posts

Thank you everyone for taking the time to answer. Not that it is such a big decision, but it looks like a yes for the poncho. I like the idea it can cover my bag too. So sorry Edgar that I decided not to make one, but I prefer to wear brighter colors in the summer while I travel. I might try the black for the winters here in NY (wink, wink).

Posted by
630 posts

Continental, I have that raincoat and I really like it. I bought it a bit larger so I can wear layers under it. Works great!