Rain Ponchos

Time to ask for some advice from the multitudes: I’m looking for a good poncho for canoeing (I like my old Skanorak for the kayaks.) It should be able do all those regular poncho things, including the occasional use as a tarp. Fitting over a pack would be nice but not mandatory. In a perfect world it would be as light and as breathable as possible. I need to vent (which is why I’m looking for a poncho in the first place), so some sort of zippered or snapped chest flap is important (not just the hole for my head/neck.) I’m not a big fan of Gore-Tex, as I think I produce more heat and vapor than it can “process.” The weather has been so dry in most of Wisconsin that I’ve put this off all summer, but as the fall approaches we will hopefully get more rain. I’d like to stay as dry as possible while spending as much time paddling as I’m able. Thanks in advance for recommendations for or against ponchos you have used.

i rather like ponchos for hiking, but they aren’t really very good or safe for paddling. when sitting they tend to make a puddle in your lap, flap around and expose you to the elements, and get wrapped around you when you need to move the most. additionally, if you have to go swimming they can be a genuine hazard! catching the current, wrapping you up, getting hung on strainers or underwater structure. just can’t recommend them for paddling. i also tend to agree with you re goretex. i personally use a coated nylon rainsuit with decent venting options. yes, you’ll get some condensation, but you’ll stay warm enough in cold conditions if you wear polypro/fleece garments underneath, and try not to let yourself become too overheated by keeping things closed up too tightly in milder conditions. in hot weather just wear quick drying synthetics and enjoy the shower. -harry

Try this one

Try this poncho from Sea to Summit.



I agree with that
I used to use ponchos all the time, as that’s all we ever used when I was a kid in Boy Scouts, but for paddling a canoe, they are a royal pain. Often, the wind kicks up during a rain shower, and with one hand up high and both hands off to one side as in canoe-paddling, the way a poncho catches the wind and ends up in your face, way up one arm, and generally everywhere except where it does you some good, is a thing I won’t put up with anymore. I’ve got enough things to worry about when it’s windy, and being hog-tied by my raingear isn’t an extra handicap that’s any fun.

For venting, I use a rain jacket, but I just snap a few snaps rather than close the zipper. I also wear rain paints and boots, and put up with a bit of trapped body heat and humidity, because it’s better than being soaking wet.

Campmor Ponchos
The best source for nylon ponchos that I know of is campmor.com, though I don’t think they have snap-up hoods. For canoing I’d get the regular kind, rather than the one that is extra long in the back to cover backpacks.

I also find that Goretex gear doesn’t breath enough for me. I much prefer a poncho with all of its issues. If it is windy I simply tie a rope around the waist and that holds it in place while still giving substantial side venting.

You can try E-bay
I agree with the others about hazards of a poncho for paddling. But I like one around camp and some use them as a cover to keep from getting chilled during shore breaks. The military surplus ponchos have a waist cord built in, grommets, and you can snap as many as you want together for a tarp/shelter.

Good Luck


If its not windy,and I’m using a dubble paddle I like a poncho best.The best/cheapest are coated nylon military surplus app.10$ up.Try Creaper than Dirt,Or Sportsmans guide.


Rain ponchos

– Last Updated: Aug-22-07 8:40 PM EST –

Thanks to all of you for your opinions; you gave me just what I had hoped. You'll see in my initial post that I had commented on how dry the summer has been in Wisconsin. Well...the pretty little creek that was a little too dry to paddle two weeks ago is now a roaring torrent, over its banks and a little too danderous to paddle! I think the drought in the southern part of the state may be over...

Equinox sil nylon poncho tarp