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Poncho vs Rain Jacket

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Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances Aug/Sept, 2016
Hospilatero May, 2018
Primativo May, 2018
Hospitalero, 2019
Greetings. This question may have been addressed but I couldn't find it. Does anyone have a recommendation or good reasons why I should take a poncho vs a rain jacket? I am a pretty avid backpacker and have both. I'm in the final stages of preparation now and am excited to leave for Spain next week. I'd appreciate any advice. Thanks all.
 
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Dennis D

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Francés - 2014
Francés - 2015
Francés - 2016
Francés - 2017
Francés - 2018
Francés - 2019
(2020 - ?)
Hello,

There is a lot of discussion regarding these two issues. Some of the more seasoned members will know how to link up previous discussions for you to learn more about this subject that you never knew you always wanted to know. But here is my 2 cents.

I have used the same Packa for the past 3 Caminos. On the first one, I used it twice. On the second one, I used it 4 or 5 five times. Early this year I probably used it for at least 15 days. It rained like crazy. On all 3 of my Caminos, I was there at the same time of year. So figuring out the weather is out of my ones control.

The Packa, or a Parka (Many styles around) covers the back pack and keeps it dry. If you wear a rain coat and use a pack cover during heavy rains then the shoulder straps get wet and eventually the pack will too. I bring a rain coat too. I use it more as a wind breaker but during light rains it is sufficient with a pack cover. By the way, the Packa is expensive but after 3 Caminos, I have got use of its value and cost. Most of the folks purchase an Altus in France or Spain. There are at least half the cost of the Packa. What you don't want is one of those cheap plastic ones that cost a couple of dollars. They won't hold up in the rain.

So now I must warn you. Please be prepared for a lot of discussion. This is one of the popular subjects. After this one, you can ask what kind of footwear to bring along with you. That will keep you busy until you leave for Spain.

Buen Camino
 
Last edited:

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo

Rajy62

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2013, Norte/primitivo 2014, vdlp (2015)
It all depends on your body. I will soak in minutes with any kind of sleeved jackets (even with breathable shells). A sleeveless tarp poncho is my choice for summer. Poncho can cover your pack and 2/3 of your body and have room to continue to use your poles without exposing one's arms....
 

HikeTall

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Haven't walked the Camino yet. But I've hiked all over this beautiful planet and hope to walk the Camino in the near future.
I prefer the rain jacket & the pack cover approach. Others swear by the poncho. I never cared for the poncho, especially in high winds. Flaps around like an out of control sail. The rain jacket I have is the UL Marmot Mica. Only weighs 7oz and packs up into a tiny ball in its own pocket. Super light.
 
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Deleted member 43985

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For an August Camino I would gravitate towards a light tarp poncho since staying warm in the rain wouldn't be an issue as it would for a winter, spring or fall Camino. A tarp poncho still get quite a bit of airflow which could help with soaking from the inside out. Enjoy and Buen Camino!
 

notion900

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
>
There's something depressing and yet ludicrous about a dripping, flapping poncho. I just can't take them seriously. And the ones with the in-built camel's hump just make me crease up.
 

M. McNabb

Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino de Santiago
Hello,

There is a lot of discussion regarding these two issues. Some of the more seasoned members will know how to link up previous discussions for you to learn more about this subject that you never knew you always wanted to know. But here is my 2 cents.

I have used the same Packa for the past 3 Caminos. On the first one, I used it twice. On the second one, I used it 4 or 5 five times. Early this year I probably used it for at least 15 days. It rained like crazy. On all 3 of my Caminos, I was there at the same time of year. So figuring out the weather is out of my ones control.

The Packa, or a Parka (Many styles around) covers the back pack and keeps it dry. If you wear a rain coat and use a pack cover during heavy rains then the shoulder straps get wet and eventually the pack will too. I bring a rain coat too. I use it more as a wind breaker but during light rains it is sufficient with a pack cover. By the way, the Packa is expensive but after 3 Caminos, I have got use of its value and cost. Most of the folks purchase an Altus in France or Spain. There are at least half the cost of the Packa. What you don't want is one of those cheap plastic ones that cost a couple of dollars. They won't hold up in the rain.

So now I must warn you. Please be prepared for a lot of discussion. This is one of the popular subjects. After this one, you can ask what kind of footwear to bring along with you. That will keep you busy until you leave for Spain.

Buen Camino
Yes, footwear, poncho or raincoat, and how do I keep the weight down in backpack????
 

november_moon

Veteran Member
I like a rain jacket for the freedom of movement and not having the poncho flapping around, getting twisted etc. My rain jacket doubled as a windbreaker as well. I did take a couple very lightweight ponchos as well though - sometimes the rain was hard enough that my rain jacket and pack cover wasn't sufficient, so the light poncho was nice to have in addition. And a couple times it was raining, but too warm for the rain jacket, so I just went with the poncho.
 

M. McNabb

Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino de Santiago
I like a rain jacket for the freedom of movement and not having the poncho flapping around, getting twisted etc. My rain jacket doubled as a windbreaker as well. I did take a couple very lightweight ponchos as well though - sometimes the rain was hard enough that my rain jacket and pack cover wasn't sufficient, so the light poncho was nice to have in addition. And a couple times it was raining, but too warm for the rain jacket, so I just went with the poncho.
Thanks for the feedback and another perspective. Sounds like it is a personal choice so whatever I decide, I will find out if it works for me or not.
 
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