Trekmates – PakPoncho

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SUMMARY: Trekmates' Pak Poncho is much more than those nasty PVC throwaway ponchos you can get at festivals. It's made from tent-like materials, is well finished and will keep off the most horrible rain. A decent hood, hand-exits and a brilliant little pouch make this a decent purchase. It's sweaty though.


Editor's Pros & Cons

Extremely lightweight and easily packed away

PU coated fabric, much like the skin of a tent

Quite durable for a thin poncho


Not very breathable

In-Depth Review

It's starting to drizzle but your favourite band is on stage and you've consumed your own body weight in cider and pot noodles, so the world is a beautiful place. Several hours later when your ears are ringing, your belly is gurgling and your head is pounding it's far less fun being soaked to the skin and having to walk for miles to find your tent in the dark.

And whilst some of our readers might prefer to fashion some rain protection out of a bin-liner and old newspaper, those of us who like to go to festivals with the smallest possible, but most adaptable wardrobes could do with one of these Pak Ponchos from Trekmates.

Weighing in at 275g, which is the same as a can of Red Bull, the Pak Poncho is supplied in its own hard-wearing drawstring pouch. Neatly, Trekmates have sewn some tough webbing onto the pouch so you can easily attach it to a backpack. It also has a mesh bottom so that a wet poncho stuffed back into its pouch can drip merrily. Good thinking that.

You may well be familiar with those £2, gossamer thin PVC ponchos that you can buy as an emergency when its already raining. This is a different beast altogether. It's made from a PU-coated (waterproof) fabric which feels like a thin tent skin. All the stitching is taped so that it won't leak, and there is ample material to cover the broadest shouldered person, or even a backpack from the rain.

A drawstring hood means that you can batten down the hatches against the most fierce of storms, but you don't get a peak, so rain will cascade into your eyes. A generously sized neck allows you to slip the poncho on easily, and open up the front for some ventilation... which you'll need, because like most ponchos this is sweaty!

There's a covered zipper pocket on the chest which would be big enough to take a phone, wallet, banana and camera with no problem. And velcro-closed hand exits mid-way up the poncho mean that you don't need to lift it up to hold your cider. Bonus.

At £25, you'd be forgiven for opting for a cheaper throwaway poncho on impulse, but the Trekmates Pak Poncho offers the festival goer, casual walker or trekker a real alternative to a rain coat. If you need to be as covered as possible, and don't need to climb or raise your arms then a poncho could be a better bet than packing a rain coat.