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The Packa

AJGuillaume

Pèlerin du monde
Camino(s) past & future
Via Gebennensis (2018)
Via Podiensis (2018)
Voie Nive Bidassoa (2018)
Camino Del Norte (2018)
Good morning/Good evening,
I am thinking of buying The Packa (http://www.thepacka.com/) for my upcoming walk on the Caminho Português.
I would love to hear from forum members here who have bought one.
What is your feedback?
Also, what fabric option did you choose? I like the 15d silicone coated nylon (silnylon) because it is lighter, but I have heard it can "mist" through during a heavy downpour. And I would otherwise get the 30d sil/pu coated nylon because it comes in red, which would give me greater visibility.
Thank you for all your suggestions/comments/recommendations!
Buen Camino, Bom Caminho, Bon Chemin!
 
D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
I have had one for years, and I like it. The only drawback is that it is a bit short. Mine predates fabric choice, so it made from whatever fabric they were using originally. Moisture does condense inside, but the armpit zippers give better ventilation than similar products. Note that the different sizes are (or were) for pack size, not body size. Using it with my Aarn pack, it is tight around the balance pockets.
 

OxFyrd

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese 2018, voie d'Arles 2019 (Arles -Santiago)
Scheduled : Le Puy-Bilbao - Primitivo
Hi, just an another poncho, but so expensive ....
and, Furthermore, the Packa cannot be worn as intended (i.e. over the backpack and backpack straps) ; See
rgds
 

AJGuillaume

Pèlerin du monde
Camino(s) past & future
Via Gebennensis (2018)
Via Podiensis (2018)
Voie Nive Bidassoa (2018)
Camino Del Norte (2018)
Hi, just an another poncho, but so expensive ....
and, Furthermore, the Packa cannot be worn as intended (i.e. over the backpack and backpack straps) ; See
rgds
I agree it is expensive, I just like the concept, and as I already have a poncho that flaps in the wind like a bat's wings, I was looking for an alternative.
Now as for the comment it cannot be worn as intended, to be fair, I'll quote the entire sentence from the reference:
the Packa cannot be worn as intended (i.e. over the backpack and backpack straps) if sharp or oversized objects are attached to the exterior of the backpack, such as a trekking pole, ice axe, or snowshoes.
Well I certainly won't be attaching trekking poles, let alone an ice axe or snowshoes on my backpack when waking in Portugal ;), and I have a 44L backpack, so I reckon it can be worn as intended.
 

OxFyrd

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese 2018, voie d'Arles 2019 (Arles -Santiago)
Scheduled : Le Puy-Bilbao - Primitivo
I agree it is expensive, I just like the concept, and as I already have a poncho that flaps in the wind like a bat's wings, I was looking for an alternative.
Now as for the comment it cannot be worn as intended, to be fair, I'll quote the entire sentence from the reference:
the Packa cannot be worn as intended (i.e. over the backpack and backpack straps) if sharp or oversized objects are attached to the exterior of the backpack, such as a trekking pole, ice axe, or snowshoes.
Well I certainly won't be attaching trekking poles, let alone an ice axe or snowshoes on my backpack when waking in Portugal ;), and I have a 44L backpack, so I reckon it can be worn as intended.
 

OxFyrd

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese 2018, voie d'Arles 2019 (Arles -Santiago)
Scheduled : Le Puy-Bilbao - Primitivo
You seem to be already convinced. If we go into the technique, it seems reasonable to adapt the rain system to the conditions anticipated. For Portugal, frequent rains ( but rarely a storm we can stay at the inn / Albergue). The poncho is therefore a good solution but again not the parka, too much on the heavy side.
On the other hand, if you want to use your rain solution elsewhere, for an another trip, save $$ or perhaps minimize your environmental impact, this is no longer the right solution. Poncho is terribly lacking in flexibility. You need in bzd weather à True Rain jacket. Have a look to the Brits, have a look on how they handle light Rain showers... See you on the camino
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances May 2017
it worked great for me.
BTW, there is a sale of sorts now at:
 

JanelMcB

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF (2018)
Good morning/Good evening,
I am thinking of buying The Packa (http://www.thepacka.com/) for my upcoming walk on the Caminho Português.
I would love to hear from forum members here who have bought one.
What is your feedback?
Also, what fabric option did you choose? I like the 15d silicone coated nylon (silnylon) because it is lighter, but I have heard it can "mist" through during a heavy downpour. And I would otherwise get the 30d sil/pu coated nylon because it comes in red, which would give me greater visibility.
Thank you for all your suggestions/comments/recommendations!
Buen Camino, Bom Caminho, Bon Chemin!
I purchased THE PACKA for my 2018 Camino. Wasn't sure which was the best option, so I called the fellow who designed and invented it. Took his advice. No complaints. Kept me warm on top of the mountain when it was windy and cold. Kept me dry during four days of drizzling rain in Santiago. The real beauty of this garment is the ability to put it on and take it off without removing your pack. That, alone, made it worth the cost. I secured it in a stuff sac that I attached to the outside of my pack. If I needed it, I reached for the sac without removing my pack. The garment tends to run a bit on the large size, so I ordered a small (F, 5'4", 140#, Osprey Lumina S 60L pack) and it was perfect. The garment is plenty light weight. I never experienced heavy rain during my walk, so I cannot speak to that, but I can't imagine how anyone could be disappointed in this product. I do not recall sweating while wearing it. I think it is the perfect choice. The dual two-way zipper works well. The pit zips are there if you choose to use them. The tail is about 8" longer than the front and sides of the jacket. All of the seams are sealed. The part of the jacket that fits over your pack is a different material from the rest of the jacket and seems impervious to water. There is one large pocket on the right side. To keep the weight light, the inner side of that pocket is mesh. Tension cords at the hood, wrists, and along the bottom of the jacket allow for as snug a fit as you care to have. The jacket fabic covers the front and pocket sippers.
 

OzAnnie

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
'CP, Frances,Norte,Salv/prim;Le puy, Inglés, CDM, Invierno, Fin/Mux, Vdlp 2019>Táb/ Prt Levante 2020
Hi @AJGuillaume
I was about to buy one today .. I’m near Sydney and heading off in 3 weeks.
However the shipping cost put me off.
I think I’ll wait until my next trip to USA and get it over there.
If you know another source ., I’d appreciate it.
Annie

I copied this from the packa site today

US shipping is $8.00 and international shipping is $38.00 for one.
US shipping for two Packas is $10.00 and $42.50 international
 
Camino(s) past & future
2013 Camino Frances SJPP / 2014 Camino Portugues / 2015 Camino Ingles / 2015 Hospitalero Training
2016 (fall) Camino Sanabre / Hospitalero?
Good morning/Good evening,
I am thinking of buying The Packa (http://www.thepacka.com/) for my upcoming walk on the Caminho Português.
I would love to hear from forum members here who have bought one.
What is your feedback?
Also, what fabric option did you choose? I like the 15d silicone coated nylon (silnylon) because it is lighter, but I have heard it can "mist" through during a heavy downpour. And I would otherwise get the 30d sil/pu coated nylon because it comes in red, which would give me greater visibility.
Thank you for all your suggestions/comments/recommendations!
Buen Camino, Bom Caminho, Bon Chemin!
Everyone has their method, mine is to use waterproof stuff sacks of different colors. The contents stay dry rather than risk the whole pack.
 

kmrice

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago - Fisterra 2008
St. Jean Pied de Port - Santiago 2013
We used ponchos for a Camino in 2008; in gale force winds in Finnesterre they were a complete disaster. Bought Packas for the CF in 2013 and have loved them ever since. Goes on pretty easily, and if you are expecting rain, or are between showers, you can come out of the jacket and leave the Packa mounted on your pack, where it is easy to put on but out of the way. The pit zips are fantastic; they really ventilate well. Ours predate a fabric choice, so I cannot comment on that. If I were to get a new one I'd get one in Cuben (Dyneema) fabric if they still make them. Mine is seems a bit short in back but from an earlier comment I suspect they are now a bit longer. We've never had any issue wearing them over our packs and straps; we don't carry ice axes or snow shoes and use our poles rather than strapping them to our packs.The Packa has been a fantastic solution for us over 3,000 miles of trekking over the past 5 years and I can't recommend them highly enough.
 

markf_syd

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2014, Portuguese 2017, Podiensis 2019
For my 3rd Camino I purchased a Packa (30d sil in blue). I got the medium as I am 178cm male and carried a 40 litre pack (not full without any sharp objects).

Yes it is on the expensive side especially when you add US$38 delivery to Sydney, Australia. However, It was absolutely great for all the reasons stated above. I want to mention two in particular.
(1) Because I sweat easily, I was particularly taken by the huge two-way armpit zippers to make it flexible for warm or cold conditions.
(2) The other winning feature for me was the absolute ease of putting on/off which is especially good when the weather varies a lot on the same day.

I’m doing my 4th Camino this year and will definitely be taking it.

Good luck with your choice for your Camino.
 

AJGuillaume

Pèlerin du monde
Camino(s) past & future
Via Gebennensis (2018)
Via Podiensis (2018)
Voie Nive Bidassoa (2018)
Camino Del Norte (2018)
Hi @AJGuillaume
I was about to buy one today .. I’m near Sydney and heading off in 3 weeks.
However the shipping cost put me off.
I think I’ll wait until my next trip to USA and get it over there.
If you know another source ., I’d appreciate it.
Annie

I copied this from the packa site today

US shipping is $8.00 and international shipping is $38.00 for one.
US shipping for two Packas is $10.00 and $42.50 international
Hello Annie,
The shipping costs are high, indeed! As has been written in this thread, it is a very expensive option.
From what I understand, you can only get it from the manufacturer in the USA.
We're heading off in 9 weeks from Melbourne.
Buen Camino!
Andrew
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
Those freight costs from the US to Australia are the pits! And not being able to easily return something makes it difficult. I have tried a prototype of the Packa but the one I tried was too short for me, and a bit too tight fitting. So I'm sticking with my old oversize Altus.
 

AJGuillaume

Pèlerin du monde
Camino(s) past & future
Via Gebennensis (2018)
Via Podiensis (2018)
Voie Nive Bidassoa (2018)
Camino Del Norte (2018)
Those freight costs from the US to Australia are the pits! And not being able to easily return something makes it difficult. I have tried a prototype of the Packa but the one I tried was too short for me, and a bit too tight fitting. So I'm sticking with my old oversize Altus.
Hello @Kanga ,
The cost and not being able to try something on before buying are two things that are holding me back.
Glad to hear you like your Altus. (I have another thread about it). I have seen it for sale in SJPdP, and as we are doing one week of volunteering there before we walk, we're thinking of trying it on there.
Thank you!
Buen Camino!
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
I can't say I really love my Altus @AJGuillaume - its a hideous kaki colour and huge and I look like a turtle in it! The newer ones come in rather more attractive colours and I think they are lighter in weight.

Pit zips would make them better.
 

Jim Stinson

ibrew4u
Camino(s) past & future
5/2015 CF
4/2017 CF
5/2019 CF fr Astorga
9/2019 CF fr Astorga
Got one for myself and one for the Spousal Unit. Hers is a bit loose around the pack, but I just tuck it in and she looks great.
Mine fits in the original pack cover pouch on my pack, so takes up no extra room.
Offers full coverage of the pack and the body, and though it is a little short in my opinion, our lower legs never got wet because of it. On pre-Packa Caminos I experiences sideways rain that would have soaked the legs, but only rain pant could have prevented that.
The pack covering portion has shock cord that snugs around the pack, so light to moderate winds are not too bad. Heavy winds suck no matter what you’re wearing.
The biggest plus for the Packa is ease of deployment. There are those days when it starts to rain, then stops. Then starts again, then stops. Usually timed for me taking my rain jacket on or off.
The Packa, when worn as a pack cover, quickly deploys into a poncho without interrupting your stride. When the rain abates, unzip and come out of the sleeves and hood. Or you can open the generous pit zips and bring your arms out. Any number of ventilating options are available without having to stop and remove and stow the poncho.
My biggest trouble was getting the Spousal Unit to take hers off. She dubbed it her “Bubble” and just stayed in it with her little face poking out of the hood.
If and when I wear mine out or poke an ice axe thru it, I’ll get another.
 

luvtraveling

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013)
Camino Portuguese (2017)
I bought a Packa for my Camino Portugues in 2017. I loved it. It was easy to put on, I put it over my backpack on days when rain was expected. Between showers, I pulled my arms out of the sleeves and through the pit zip openings. This allowed me to stay comfortable yet was still easy to put back on.
I know mine is a small, but I don't remember which fabric I bought. I'm thinking I bought the lightest weight. It's green in color, I would have preferred red, but didn't have a choice. I hated walking in my rain jacket and pants on my first camino but never once dreaded rainy days on the Portugues due to the Packa. I always recommend the Packa whenever anyone asks.
 

Kevin Malinak

-kevin-
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, St Jean PdP, March 18 (2018)
I got one for my 2018 early spring CF. I am extremely pleased with it, especially that you can put it on your pack as if it's just a pack cover, then when it starts raining, put it on without even stopping walking. Then take off the jacket part while still walking (put/flip it back onto the pack till it starts raining again, then if/when it starts raining again, reach back and put it on again)
It is VERY well ventilated!!!
To me I would buy it again if I lost it. Blessings!
 

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