Living in Florida, our biggest concern for natural disasters are hurricanes. With hurricanes you have to worry about both wind and water. Last year, in preparation for Hurricane Irma, I knew I may have to be outside during rains to prepare my property for the hurricane. I have plenty of Gore-Tex® outdoor gear, but it tends to make me overheat when I’m performing any physical exercise other than walking. In my mind, a poncho was going to be a better choice.
It was obvious that a standard, thin plastic emergency poncho was going to be too much trouble in the wind; I’ve worn them at Disney World and Universal Studios and knew that they cling. Also, the bottom lifts in any serious wind, getting the tops of my pants wet and exposing my pockets. I also knew that a thick vinyl poncho, having worn them in the past, would be heavier, stiffer to move in, and make it more difficult to reach my pockets. So I took a look to find something both light—but not so light it would be lifted by wind—and heavy—but not so heavy that it would be stiff. A quick search and I found the Frogg Toggs Leightweight/Packable Poncho which looked like it would fit my needs.
Frogg Toggs Lightweight/Packable Poncho: The Details
The poncho comes in its own reusable pouch (approximately 19 cm by 27 cm (7.5 in by 10.5 in)) with the packaging/sales material snapped on. Removing the packaging part, the poncho and pouch weight approximately 240 g (8.5 oz). The poncho alone weighs 220 g (7.8 oz). As a comparison, thin (2 mil) emergency ponchos weigh around 40 g (1.5 oz) for the standard adult size. The poncho is folded nicely into the pouch and is somewhat compressible to reduce room in your backpack, evacuation kit, bug-out bag, or get-home bag.
When removed, the poncho measures 100 cm tall by 136 cm wide (39.5 in tall by 53.5 in) with a hood that is 35.5 cm (14 in) tall, measured flattened from shoulder to peak. The hood has a draw-string to close it around your head and keep it from blowing back in high winds. As expected, when the snaps are all undone and the poncho is opened to its full size, the open poncho measures 200 cm x 136 cm (79 in x 53.5 in).
The material the poncho is made of 100% polyethylene shell with 100% polypropylene lining. It claims to be made of both waterproof and breathable material. Moving the poncho around, it is very quiet when compared to heavy vinyl. It does not cling like thin emergency ponchos, either. The drawstring is nylon or nylon-based, approximately 5mm (3/16 in) in diameter. The plastic toggle spring clasps to lock it in place appear to be ABS and have good tension. Broken clasps should be easy to replace if needed. The sides of the poncho are closed by three (3) plastic snaps on each side (right and left). The snaps open and snap very easily, and I can see where they may open accidentally if pulled on. The good news is that they’re not so tight that you risk tearing the poncho to open the snaps.
A poncho is only as good as it fits and is waterproof. The 100 cm (nearly 40 inches) length fit my average height frame (1.75m or 5’9″) well, and had room for my larger-than-average width. It has plenty of room to also cover a backpack as well, more so with people of average or thinner builds. With regards to the hood, I have a larger head (hat size 7 3/4) and it is large on my head, even allowing me to wear a stocking hat or boonie hat under it. The draw strings allow it to fit well on smaller heads as well. It is adult sized, and is extremely large on my 1.25m (4 foot) tall younger son. It is a bit warm when worn for a period of time, but not as hot as a PVC poncho; I do believe the breathable claim.
In a pinch, the poncho can be opened up fully and used as ground cover (probably not best) or as a lightweight tarp. If you hammock hike or camp, when opened it is large enough to act as a thin waterproof blanket and fall over the sides. Personally, I would have a concern of a wind blowing it off the hammock. A few straps or lengths of paracord would probably work to keep it in place.
Frogg Toggs claims the poncho is washable in cold water, and it may be so, but I have not tried that out.
It’s not a small, emergency poncho, and therefore takes up a bit more room. It won’t fit in any pocket well, even a cargo-shorts pocket unless you remove it from the pouch and roll it up. The weight isn’t bad, but you’re limiting carryability of this poncho to a backpack or equivalent. – 3 out of 5
While it’s definitely more costly than a $3 or less emergency poncho, this is also reusable and much more durable. At under $15, it is much less expensive than Gore-Tex® rain gear and won’t break the bank for durable rain gear for camping or emergency prep. At a $10 price point (the current price here), it’s nearly a steal. – 5 out of 5
Weather is weather. You can’t avoid it. If you live in areas that are prone to rain or hurricanes, this is a must have for the car, boat, bug-out bag, or your emergency prep box. If you’re a camper, hiker, hunter, fisher, or any type of outdoorsman, you need to have emergency rain gear available when needed. This Frogg Toggs poncho meets all the criteria for durable, reliable, emergency rain gear that you’ll need. – 5 out of 5
This poncho will be coming with me on my next hiking trips to the Rockies and the Smokies, and will be ready for heavy rain and hurricanes at home. If you need a lightweight, breathable poncho that won’t break the bank but also won’t break on the first usage, this one should be in your consideration.
Take a look at other EDC/PREPARED reviews such as the Lifeline 30-Piece First Aid Kit and the Gerber Shard everyday carry (EDC) pocket tool. Also, check out the unboxing and review videos here! Bookmark the blog and subscribe to our Youtube channel for updates!
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