Poncho or what?

Old retired guy. No whitewater stuff. No big waves. But, what if it starts to pour?? I’m not looking for the “traditional” kayak skirt.

So, is a big “poncho” a usable idea?


Without a skirt, either a poncho or full body rain gear will direct much of the rain into your cockpit. A rain parka and pants will keep your body relatively dry. Ponchos have a lot of excess fabric that can be difficult to deal with.

In cold water situations this can be life threatening. In warm water, not such a big deal.

Skirt or get wet
At least in a downpour

Poncho …
Ok, I was thinking of making a “skirt like part” out of the bottom of the poncho to keep the water out of the kayak. You know, a light bungie cord around the bottom.

Just thoughts.

I enjoy sewing and have already made some stuff for our kayaks.

a real poncho?
or a Montgomery Wards poncho?


The quote is "Sears"
And for the benefit of the original poster, it’s from a song by Frank Zappa.

storm cag
What you want may be a storm cag (cagoule). Kokatat and others make these. These are handy fitting over you and the spray skirt, tightened around the coaming. When I need mine I find it very handy.

That’s what I was going to suggest - a storm cag will fit over you while you’re wearing a pfd. You shouldn’t have to take off a pfd to put on rain gear.

OPer has Loon and something else rec
I have the Kokata storm cag, and while it is sized generously I don’t think it has the size to manage those cockpits.

My wife and I use splash jackets
they come with hoods.

Naturally you’ll still get water in the cockpit but who cares in the warm weather.

In the colder weather, we use them with light weight rain pants and or a skirt

jack L

storm cag (cagoule)

That is exactly what I was thinking about - thanks!!!


Call kokatat for diameter
If the price doesn’t back you off. They are great but we’re designed with smaller sea kayak cockpits in mind, not rec boat cockpits.

People who do Greenland paddling often make their own and customize the size. Info likely available online.

You said you enjoyed making things,

– Last Updated: Jun-21-16 11:05 PM EST –

so maybe the article on page 28 of the "Masik" might be helpful.


Ah crap
It’s been too long since I listened.


– Last Updated: Jun-22-16 10:00 AM EST –

yak poncho is prob the best route. Adding material for your cockpit size is possible as a splice between Kokatat's fabric. Visit Seattle Fabrics.

Keep in mind swimming in a poncho is not the best stroke. Getting caught n a snag wearing a poncho....

A quality gortex jacket swims better but costs the same n is only useable in colder weather. The vast air space a poncho design allows around your torso air conditioned release of body temperatures and moisture'

A jacket overheats.

A middle ground solution is a gore tex spray skirt prob DIY from the cockpit size, a broad brim waterproof hat or the standard OR Research goretex model with a short poncho like shoulder covering with high collar.

wearing a nylon shirt with polyester T's or crew under the short shoulder poncho may dampen you but would not induce chilling.

I am going to be Making one
That is fantastic. I want to sew one if those things.

The pattern in that newsletter will really help. I want to make one for a huge cockpit and a normal sized guy to fit over my PFD.

Anyone with personal experience here? Anyone want to share pattern ideas.

This group is great! Thank you all.

A poncho is a terrible idea on the water. They flap in the wind, get in the way and provide resistance like a sail. If you get wet they are bad to swim in.

It’s the original “Eskimo skirt” -kind of a waterproof hoody attached to your cockpit…!

Rain or shine it’ll keep you dry as you


-Frank in Miami

Is that a Mexican Poncho?
Or is that a Sears poncho?

I carry a couple cheap $1.00 ponchos in my gear bag and wear them over my PFD if it starts to pour while I’m out in the canoe. They don’t restrict your arms and they cover my legs while I’m sitting. I personally think they are great and prefer them to my high zoot (and stupidly expensive) rain gear. I have never had to treat them to restore their water resistance and they are so cheap that I can toss them away guilt free if they get too ripped up.

If I’m in the bow my son whines about not being able to see through it and when I/m in the stern no one seems to care.

I would not use these in kayaks but for canoeing absolutely…