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Outdoor Products Backpacker Poncho

rated 3.5 of 5 stars
photo: Outdoor Products Backpacker Poncho waterproof jacket

A functional multi-use piece of gear that I rarely leave home without—rain or shine.


  • Inexpensive
  • Multi-use
  • Durable


  • Needs seem sealing
  • Needs more snaps
  • Weight compared to ultralight materials

I've owned and used the Outdoor Products Backpackers Poncho for about 5 years. It is functional multi-use piece of gear that I rarely leave home without—rain or shine. Here is why...

The poncho is one size fits all and easily fits me and my 6ft 175lb frame. The great feature is that it fits me even when I have my 44Liter backpack on. When it starts to rain, I just pull it out, toss if over my head and pull it completely over me and my gear. Some people do not like ponchos because they say that they flap around in high winds. This might be true, but I have simply added a shock-cord or para-cord belt which keeps everything tight.

Out of the box the poncho's water resistance is good. However I was not sure if the seam that attaches the hood to the body was sealed. I added some seam sealer and it has not been an issue.

One reason why I prefer a poncho over a full rain suit is breathability. When I'm wearing my backpack and poncho, a cavity is created which allows air to flow around me. I seem to stay well ventilated and dry.

The PU coated material is not wicking. If the material makes contact with your skin, it can feel a bit clammy. I typically hike with a long sleeve wicking shirt, so this is not a problem for me. My shirt wicks the moisture from the surface of my body and I never feel clammy.

I do believe that this poncho adds a few degrees of warm. It is one of the reasons why I carry this poncho even when I'm not expecting rain. It serves as an emergency insulation layer. 

As mentioned previously, the poncho easily layers over me and my gear. It can serve as a rain layer, but also as an abrasion layer. In Texas we have lots of bushes that like to stick and prick you. There have been times when I've used the poncho as a shield against these unfriendly plants. 

There are not many fancy features or functions with this poncho. There is the hood which can be synched tight by a pull string. And there are button to hold the sides closed. There are also tabs at the corners which enable the poncho to be used as tarp. This is what makes this poncho multi-use. I use this poncho as a poncho for rain protect. I use it as a tarp for protection from the rain or sun. And folded or unfolded I lay it on the ground and use it as a sit pad while I'm taking a break or eating a meal. 

It is super easy to deploy and use. At first it might be a little difficult to figure out how to drape it over oneself and one's backpack, but with a little practice it becomes easy. I typically keep it in my large stretchy outer pocket and can pull it out and put it on within 15 seconds while others are struggling to put on their rain suits.

The only cons that I can think of are that compared to a sil-nylon or dyneema poncho this poncho is heavy. Considering that I bought this poncho for a fraction of the price of those other materials, I am happy to carry the extra weight. Also, it would probably be better with some additional snaps near the leg portion. I add some little soft shackles and it seems to do the job.

I must say that I bought this poncho at an REI garage sale for $5, regularly they cost about $30. So this purchase has been one of greatest values for me in terms of quality and price.

I've owned my poncho for over 5 years and have used it to hike countless trails including the John Muir Trail, Camino de Santiago, Ouachita Trail, and Goodwater Trail. It has held up well and I rarely leave home without it. 



Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $5

The Outdoor Products Backpacker Poncho is a durable lightweight poncho that fits nicely into a small pouch. I'd recommend this poncho to any outdoors-man (or woman) that needs a small and light means of keeping dry.


  • Can be used as a tarp
  • Large coverage
  • Lightweight
  • Small
  • Neatly packable
  • Very comfortable


  • Does not keep warm
  • Wind comes from underneath


This photo is not mine, it belongs to Outdoor Products

Outdoor Products Backpacker Poncho

Over the past three years that I’ve owned this backpacker poncho it has served me well from light rain to sudden downpours. It has never disappointed me even though I use it quite vigorously in my excursions.


The poncho is one size fits all. The only problem that I can imagine is that the hood might not fit all, but I think that it should fit almost all heads. The hood can also be closed or tightened using a drawstring.

Rain Stopping

The poncho is completely waterproof, the only issue is when there is a lot of rain and wind and the rain comes in from the side. It is also important to note that the poncho when worn over your rucksack will not only keep the rain off of you, but also your gear.


It is vital to remember before buying this product to remember the difference between a jacket and a poncho, a jacket provides some insulation, a poncho just keeps you dry, you stay warmer if your dry but this poncho without a good jacket or sweatshirt underneath will not help you much with warmth. What I do when it’s cold and raining is, I wear a jacket, a sweatshirt and a hat under my poncho, this means my warm clothes stay dry and I stay warm.

Other uses

I've used my poncho for many uses besides wearing. For example in some of my other reviews I mentioned a camping trip in the Alps where I slept underneath this poncho by setting it up as a lean-to. Another example of a use is using it as a waterproof bag. Use a bit of twine to keep the hood tight and it works quite nicely.

One of my friends and I also found that the hood fits quite nicely over a camera that’s on a tripod. He and I were filming a review on a flint and steel fire starter when it started to rain, so I quickly put my poncho over his camera and we could even continue filming through the hood. If any of you speak German you can take a look at his YouTube channel.


This one does belong to me. This is me the day before I slept under the poncho. This is a good example of how to make a shelter out of this poncho or a tarp, some rocks and some twine.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $27

Seems like good construction. I was impressed when I first pulled it out of its pouch. I recommend it.


  • Fits nice


  • A little tight in the neck

Hey, it’s a poncho. No need for pictures.

I wore it on an hour-long walk in light rain, no backpack. Worked very well. When walking into wind, it did tend to pull tight against my neck. Might not be a problem when wearing it with a pack. Has loops to use it as a tarp and comes with a small, ventilated carry pouch.  

Very happy with it so far. Hope I don’t have to use it too often, and I would recommend it.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $20

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Price Current Retail: $29.99-$39.00
Historic Range: $29.99-$39.00
Reviewers Paid: $5.00-$27.00
Dimensions 54 in x 94 in
Product Details from Outdoor Products »

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