• In case you had not seen it, there is a new link in the top menu to the most popular contents on the forum from the last 90 days, 1 year and all the way from the beginning in 2004.
A donation to the forum removes ads for you, and supports Ivar in his work running it


Luggage Transfer Correos

Do I need a pack rain cover if I have a poncho?

2020 Camino Guides


Camino(s) past & future
October 2013
My backpack did not come with a rain cover, but I'm planning on getting an Altus Poncho. Do I need to get a rain cover for my backpack as well? I'd prefer not to have to carry the extra weight, but I don't want to regret not having it.


Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
none (yet)
Fwiw, i am going with poncho and no rain cover although I will test it out and may change my mind before I start:)

Sent from my GT-I8190N using Camino de Santiago Forum mobile app


Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Lots ;0)
The Altus poncho will cover and protect your pack, no problem. Though putting the damn thing on without assistance is challenging, especially in a sudden squall. I had assumed all packs came with built-ins these days and thought that those heavy duty jobs sold as extras were for hard-core rainforest trips & such. I learn a little everyday on this forum.

I usually walk with an umbrella, though I carry an Altus for when the weather is coming sideways, so for me the pack cover is useful in that it sheds the run-off from the 'brolly.



A pack cover is largely redundant if you have a poncho with sleeves like the Altus (I have a Raidlight which is the same basic design). However, do note that if you need to take the pack off for an extended period when it is raining, say to pitch a tent, it will get wet.

For extra rain protection, many people use a pack liner such as a garbage bag, which weighs next to nothing and can double as a carry bag at your destination. Also, some like to use waterproof "packing cells" (Ziploc bags are cheap and light weight) which aside from extra rain protection, makes packing and unpacking simpler.

Yes, trying to don the Altus especially in windy conditions is difficult IF it's put on like a jacket, one arm at a time, as the pack gets in the way. However, there is a very simple, sure-fire way that works every time for me - I store it folded with the zip mostly done up and when I need it, I just pull it over my head like putting on a sweater. I tend to scrunch it up from the bottom and put my arms in the sleeves first; once it's over my head, it's quite easy to pull it down over the pack. This technique works even if your pack sticks out a bit, but best practice first in front of a mirror. By the way, if it's blowing a gale, face INTO the wind otherwise the coat may invert like a blown umbrella!

Like most of this design, my Raidlight is quite voluminous so I can pull my arms out of my sleeves under the coat to access the pack waistbelt pockets and drink bottle pockets without unzipping the coat.

Hope these tips help!


Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012), LePuy (2013), Coastal Portuguese( 2013), Norte (Fall 2014)
The pack cover is so light, I take both. If it looks like rain or if it starts to drizzle, I just put on the pack cover and 9/10 times this keeps my pack dry if a sudden storm comes up or if it is just a very light rain. My altus is reserved for heavier steady rain, because I usually get very hot wearing it and it is a last, but frequently used. resort for keeping me dry.

Book your lodging here

Get e-mail updates from Casa Ivar (Forum + Forum Store content)



Most downloaded Resources

Forum Rules

Forum Rules

Camino Forum Store

Camino Forum Store

Casa Ivar Newsletter

Forum Donation

Forum Donation
For those with no forum account, it is possible to donate here as well. Thank you for your support! Ivar

Follow Casa Ivar on Instagram

When is the best time to walk?

  • January

    Votes: 15 1.3%
  • February

    Votes: 9 0.8%
  • March

    Votes: 49 4.2%
  • April

    Votes: 174 15.0%
  • May

    Votes: 282 24.3%
  • June

    Votes: 85 7.3%
  • July

    Votes: 23 2.0%
  • August

    Votes: 26 2.2%
  • September

    Votes: 331 28.5%
  • October

    Votes: 145 12.5%
  • November

    Votes: 17 1.5%
  • December

    Votes: 6 0.5%