If you want to stay dry then a poncho is a great idea. It will give you brilliant waterproof coverage but they can be a little difficult to wear with a backpack. Here we look at what you should consider when wearing one to stay both fry and comfortable.
How To Wear a Backpack With a Poncho
There are many ponchos out there that are able to go over yourself and your backpack. Others have enough breathability to wear your backpack over them but there are a few key things to consider.
Over or under
The biggest thing that you need to deliberate is if you are going to wear your poncho over or under your backpack. There are advantages and disadvantages to both of them and we’ll look at it in further detail here.
Over your backpack
One thing many people love to do is simply wear their poncho over their backpack. With some ponchos, this is simply not possible. They won’t be able to stretch enough and will leave your back exposed. That being said, most of them are capable of this.
Some ponchos come with a cord to tie around your waist when it’s windy. A feature such as this can prevent it from covering a backpack. On the opposite of that, there are also ponchos available that have been specifically made from going over a backpack.
The advantages of this are clear as the poncho will not only give your body protection but also your backpack and all of its contents. As soon as the rain stops, you can enjoy the comfort of everything still being dry and pack away your poncho for next time.
A problem can occur if you have a poncho which isn’t particularly long. It may stop short around the bottom of your backpack and your legs can end up becoming wet if you don’t have waterproof pants.
Finally, access to your backpack can also be an issue. If you need something from your backpack then you’d need to take off your poncho before taking off your backpack. If it’s still raining when you do this then you could get very wet.
Under your backpack
Wearing a poncho with your backpack over the top can be an easier way of carrying it. It feels more natural and the poncho is going to be able to cover more of your body. There are a few downsides and things you need to bear in mind.
One common negative of ponchos is that they lack breathability which can make you sweat. This can be even worse when you’re using a backpack, as it will be pressed against your skin. Some ponchos are more breathable than others with higher quality fabrics. There are also those with vents to allow greater airflow.
The other consideration for your backpack is that it will be left exposed if it’s outside of your poncho. You don’t want all your gear to get wet. If you are wearing your backpack on the outside then you should be looking at a backpack that has a high level of water resistance and also breathable padding.
There are some great ponchos out there that look great and have more functionality. The right poncho should feel as comfortable as wearing a rain jacket. This makes wearing one underneath your backpack more appealing, as long as your backpack has enough rain protection.
Choosing the right poncho
Many problems come from choosing the wrong poncho. Here we see what you should be looking for.
Size – If you’re going to be wearing your poncho over your backpack then you need to get one that is going to be large enough. Whichever way you’re wearing it, ensure that you’re getting the right level of protection.
Materials – There can be a wide range of different materials used for ponchos and some are a lot better than others. If you’re wearing a backpack then one of the key features you want to look for is breathability so that you don’t sweat too much.
Build quality – With the demands required for backpacking, it’s important to get a poncho with good build quality. There is a range of excellent options available which are made for backpacking and have a high level of quality.
Extra features – There are a few extra features to look out for which can be useful such as a storage bag, drawstrings, pockets and zippers. If you’re carrying a backpack then you want these features to complement how you plan on carrying it.
Frequently Asked Questions
How should I wear a poncho with a backpack?
As we’ve seen here, there are upsides and downsides to each option. For most people, the best way would be the one that makes you the most comfortable. Whatever way you choose, make sure that you’re fully protected from the elements.
Do ponchos work?
Ponchos are a highly effective way of protecting yourself against a sudden downpour of heavy rain. They work perfectly but there are many misconceptions but to the use of cheaper and disposable models.
Backpacking ponchos are highly durable and will allow you to remain not only dry but also comfortable.
What poncho should I get?
The right poncho for you is going to depend on what type of features you’re going to need for your circumstances. If you want to wear it over your backpack then you want to buy one which is big enough to do so.
If you want to wear a backpack over your poncho then you’ll need one which has plenty of ventilation with a breathable material.
What is the best poncho?
There are many great ponchos out there that come in a wide range of different colors. They will allow the rain to run off you and onto the ground in even the worst conditions.
The best poncho should be waterproof and have a high level of build quality while also allowing the air to circulate and allowing you to remain comfortable.
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