You’re ready to upgrade to a poncho, but you don’t want to look like colorful Sonoran folk art. Unless you live in the desert, then a traditional style woven poncho is probably the wrong choice. Plus, they’re beautiful but tend to draw attention. Luckily, there are a ton of advantages to picking the right poncho for your survival gear cache. So long as you have the right liner for your new overwear, you’ll stay dry and warm.
Ponchos are Better Than Raincoats & Jackets
Although it’s a matter of option and circumstance, I find a great poncho with a better liner is often superior to a raincoat or a jacket. Realistically, poncho liners are just more versatile. While a poncho alone might not do the trick, the combination is advantageous.
I recommend adding a sturdy fabric tie belt so you can cinch the poncho and liner for warmth as needed. However, even without you’ll find it keeps you plenty warm while staying ventilated. Moreover, a poncho and liner are typically easier to fix for those with limited skills at hand stitching.
The best part about using a poncho-liner combo is that you can put them over your backpack, belt pouches, and other gear. Bowhunters will discover that their weapons stay dry as well when draped inside a poncho. Keeping moisture and cold out of your equipment is often tricky, and covers only go so far, but an oversized poncho and woobie will get you where you’re going and keep everything inside cozy.
Additional Poncho Advantages
Sure, you can layer a poncho and liner over a jacket and other gear, but there’s more to it. Because you can choose your length and fit, there’s never a question of outgrowing your covering. Plus, you can use it as an emergency blanket or extra cover when you stop to rest at night, which is helpful in cold weather.
Finally, your poncho and liner are incredibly portable. You can toss them on and go wherever you need to travel without worrying about too much-added weight. Better still, you never have to worry about where to pack it because you can wrap a poncho, the liner, or both around your bug-out-bag as a cover if the weather is too warm.
The Great Poncho Liner “Woobie” Mystery
Affectionately known as “woobies,” by even the most hardened soldiers, the humble poncho liner has been a staple of US military troops since the Vietnam War. In the 1960s, forces were dealing with warm, wet days and cold nights in the jungle environment of Vietnam, which led to the “liner, wet weather, poncho.”
The original woobies were probably those made from surplus camo parachute material from WWII. However, there may have been plain green versions prior. Since many poncho liners were three-color camouflage pattern even though troops were mostly issued green uniforms, the humble woobie likely helped save lives. By changing the shape and breaking up their outline, camo poncho liners probably made soldiers harder to spot in the jungle.
Additionally, the woobie keeps soldiers warm, and thus it is one of the best-beloved pieces of equipment ever issued. So why do they call it a “woobie?” Sadly, no one knows. One theory holds that it’s a short version of ‘would be’ because without it, you ‘would be’ cold. Regardless of what you call it, a woobie or a poncho liner, you need one.
Top Five Best Poncho Liners
Picking the right poncho liner can make all the difference between being dry and toasty, or wet and miserable. No one wants to slog through an emergency scenario with fifteen extra pounds of cold water weight on their shoulders. Luckily, I’m here to help you find some superb options with this top five list. After scouring the plethora of available offerings, I narrowed it down to just five of the best choices for any weather or situation.
1. US Military All-Weather Poncho Liner
The original and still the best, the US Military All Weather Poncho Liner from Amazon is no longer made from recycled overstock parachutes. However, choosing a genuine military woobie to keep you warm means supporting a long tradition of excellence. Plus, you’ll blend in with the trees better when you’re backpacking.
Just as the soldiers wear them, these woobies are three color forest camo that is made in the USA. You can feel great about supporting your country and helping provide jobs at the same time. Opting for the original is often the best way to be sure you’re getting a high-quality product, and you’ll be happy to have a liner that has been field-tested tens of thousands of times, or more.
The 82″ x 62″ poncho with ties is extremely easy to use, and versatile. Although a US Military All-Weather Poncho Liner is about as low-tech a piece of gear as you can find, the versatility of the nylon and polyester blanket that attaches to your poncho should never be underestimated. If you don’t already ‘get it,’ you’ll soon see how this became the best-loved piece of gear.
To get the original woobie, click here.
2. OD Green Military Woobie
Arguably, the OD Green Military Woobie is more like the original poncho liners than even the forest camo versions that mimic the most popular style from the Vietnam era. Because the exact history and first issue dates are obscured from the record, this simple green woobie could be the oldest style. Although the first spot on this list went to the forest camo version, this variant ties for number one on our list.
Soldiers and retired military personnel will feel the nostalgia when they wrap up in one of these silky feeling nylon covered poncho liners. You can attach yours to a military-style poncho to make a comfy faux sleeping bag, or wrap up in it like a blanket. Either way, you’ll be warm and cozy.
Check the Amazon reviews by clicking here.
3. Sergeant Poncho Liner
Unlike our previous two selections, the Sergeant Poncho Liner is grey-black. You’ll find this is ideal for blending into shadows and moving in the dark. Since it’s often best to wait until the sun goes down when you intend to remain undetected, a darker poncho liner is a smart choice.
You’ll find this made in the same style, and to the same specifications as a standard military poncho liner. Hence the Sergeant Poncho Liner makes a good faux sleeping bag or ground cover just like the original. Additionally, you’ll have a simple drawstring carry bag to pack your Sergeant in your BOV or other gear easily.
Finally, the Sergeant Poncho Liner from Amazon also comes with a hundred-percent lifetime warranty. Sergeant is an all American company that prides itself on high-quality products and customer satisfaction. You probably won’t ever have an issue with this woobie, but if you do, the outstanding customer service from this company will surprise you pleasantly.
Get your Sergeant Poncho Liner delivered when you order here.
4. Digital Camo Military Poncho
When you’re looking to blend in differently, then selecting the Digital Camo Military Poncho may help. Modern humans spend a lot of time staring at screens, and our eyes are used to blending out anything pixelated. Hence, digital camo exists to trick the modern mind. Likewise, digital images blend smoothly in the human eye, which makes then effective.
At just two pounds, the Digital Camo Military Poncho is about a half-pound heavier than it’s companions. That means more warmth for you. Moreover, the ripstop material is sturdy and durable. With the included carry bag, you’ll be able to pack efficiently and stay on the go while keeping a very low profile in many different environments.
Learn more about the Digital Camo Military Poncho from Amazon here.
5. Huncho Poncho Liner
I always like to end on a high note, so the Huncho Poncho Liner had to make the list. The chief complaint that most people have about traditional poncho liners is that they wrap and attach inside a poncho, but they don’t have a head hole. Huncho solved that by adding the one small feature everyone wanted. Now you can drape your poncho liner just like the poncho itself using the zippered opening.
This clever black poncho liner works well for hunters. The edges are made with orange fabric for high visibility. Sometimes you need to blend in perfectly, but there are also serious advantages to wearing a color that hunters don’t automatically shoot at. Moreover, at eighty-six by fifty-five, the Huncho Poncho Liner is a little larger than most, giving you more to work with when it’s cold. Especially if you’re tall, this can make a huge difference.
Pick up your Huncho Poncho Liner by clicking here.
Regardless of which woobie you use, staying warm and dry with a poncho and liner is an underused survival skill. Versatile tools and wardrobe items are always the best options in a bad situation. Like a swiss army knife, your poncho-liner combo can do more than any jacket.
Like so many incredibly useful pieces of gear, the right poncho liner makes everything more accessible and more comfortable. When lives are on the line, a little extra boost can help you keep your wits about you. Staying healthy through the worst of times isn’t easy, but you can help yourself along with a woobie.
You never know when you’ll need an extra blanket, backpack cover, or just a dry place to sit. If you choose a large enough option, you can even drape your poncho liner over a hammock and use it as a demi-tent.