There are some items I’ve had so long that I don’t even remember when I bought them. My Contigo coffee mug comes immediately to mind. It seems to have always been there, is an item I still use and is a much a part of my kit at this point as a pack or a favorite pair of shoes.
And another of these items? A surplus poncho liner. (aka a “woobie.”)
Overall, the poncho liner is a handy item to have in gear kit for various activities.
A few key details about the poncho liner:
- A poncho liner is a dirtbagger favorite as it costs only about $25 used.
- Good to about low to mid-50s F and weighs 22oz. (As with most surplus goods, there is going to be differences depending on the contractor, year made, the material used, etc.)
- Not the lightest or most efficient vs. other better-made synthetic quilts, but a budget-friendly option especially for occasional use.
Why would you use a poncho liner?
- An inexpensive underquilt for hammock use.
- A summer-weight quilt for backpacking in hot and humid areas.
- You are augmenting your three-season quilt or sleeping bag for winter use. Be it backpacking or base camping. With proper site selection, the appropriate pad(s), and some informed choices in clothing, you can drop into the lower single digits. A synthetic overquilt with a down sleeping bag or quilt is an increasingly popular option for winter use.
- All-Purpose item for dispersed car camps. Throw on your camp chair and use as underquilt and wrap around you for a little extra warmth in camp as one example.
Overall? As mentioned, there are lighter and more efficient options than the surplus poncho liner. But at $25, the price is excellent for occasional use or if you want one piece of gear that fills a few different roles well in your gear toolkit. A few occasional applications in different roles add up to a good amount of use. At least for me.
Where to get? A real military surplus store or online resources such as Amazon.