Therm-a-Rest Honcho Poncho Review

9.4
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Do you want a versatile, water resistant and comfy poncho that doubles as a blanket? Thanks to the ingenious efforts of the designing team at Therm-a-Rest you can have one. Honcho Poncho is the name of the product and it will quickly become your BFF at your next camping trip.

Aside from the fact that’s its well made with high-quality materials, it’s versatile at the same time. Extremely versatile. It’s also packable and easily transportable. It can fit in just about any backpack, and it will come in handy when you’re least expecting.

The fact that it’s one-size-fits-all really adds to the versatility. And the earthy tones and non-specific style really makes it unisex. It’s the best option for you when you’re out on the open. And the best protection from highly unpredictable weather conditions.  The Therm-a-Rest Honcho Poncho will keep you warm, protected and dry without limiting your movement. But you can find out more about the product in the review below.

Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros

Versatile

Water resistant

Kangaroo pocket

Packable

Cons

Limited color options

Functional Materials

Therm-a-Rest used three different fabrics in the Honcho Poncho. Brushed polyester taffeta serves as a liner, polyester RipStop provides the shell, and eraLoft insulation keeps you comfortably warm.

Polyester RipStop is a very popular trademarked material. As the name implies, it's designed to reduce ripping despite intense use. RipStop is both lightweight and breathable without sacrificing warmth or waterproofing.

A much thicker polyester taffeta lines the poncho. It's thicker than the RipStop and is only slightly less durable. Taffeta is softer, however. It allows the poncho to serve its purpose while still maintaining a certain level of comfort.

The insulation is what really makes this product stand out, however. Therm-A-Rest used eraLoft, which is a type of hollow-core fiber. This allows it to trap in warmth from the wearer's body. The longer the poncho is worn, the warmer the air inside it will become until it matches the wearer's body heat. It's as if your favorite thermal garment has been turned into a wearable blanket. Talk about custom comfort!

Kangaroo Pouch

Kangaroo pockets are, in general, very handy. Although few people might recognize the name, most people have at least one in their closet. Find your favorite pullover hoody and there's a good chance it's got a kangaroo pouch on it. But Therm-A-Rest took this design element's utility a step further.

The Honcho Poncho has the usual two-point access to its kangaroo pouch. Wearers can slip their hands in from either side to keep them warm and dry. There's even enough room for a handwarmer, should you be so inclined. But the pocket has a second, zippered compartment on top of that. It's a perfect fit for cards, IDs, or any small emergency supplies you might need while out on a hike.

Multiple Uses

The Honcho Poncho is, despite its name, more than a poncho. Therm-A-Rest designed their product so that it keeps you all day and all night. It's the perfect outer layer when you're camping with the family. And once the sun goes down, it lays flat as an added blanket over your sleeping bag! It also functions as a great picnic blanket if you decide to stop mid-hike, which means you're carrying one less item in your pack.

And I don't mean "you can toss it down and sit on it". The Honcho Poncho is a giant rectangle when laid flat. It is, in a very real sense, a wearable blanket.

Portable

Remember that kangaroo pouch I mentioned earlier? Would it shock you to learn that it has yet another function? It turns out that the Honcho Poncho's kangaroo pouch doubles as its own storage container. The entire poncho folds down into the pouch. This reduces the potentially bulky garment into a relatively slim and flat-packed parcel. It will fit easily into most backpacks or suitcases, which makes it wonderfully portable.

Cool Color Options

The Honcho Poncho doesn't come in a wide range of colors. But the colors available are pretty cool. It comes in the usual olive drab of camping equipment. But it also comes in a rust red, tomato red, and a printed version with black and slate colors.

Some customers have lamented the lack of bolder colors, particularly those who wear the Honcho Poncho on the trail. But limited a limited color range is a small price to pay for a product with this kind of functionality.

Easy to Clean

The Honcho Poncho, like many of Therm-A-Rest's products, is very easy to clean. Most customers spot-clean their ponchos. Those with a more active approach to things swear by a cold water wash cycle. It's always best to check the included care instructions, of course. But there shouldn't be any intense hand-washing in your future if you opt for this product.

Comfortable Fit

This is not a small garment. The width of the Honcho Poncho reaches 56 inches (or 142 cm), while the length measures 79 inches (or 200 cm). However, it can fold down to 11 by 17 inches (or 28 by 43 cm). But that doesn't mean it's too bulky for comfort!

Therm-A-Rest included snaps along the sides of the poncho. These snaps allow wearers to essentially create sleeves and bring the edges of the poncho closer to their body. The poncho's hood is also easy to adjust. It has a built-in cinch closure, so you can pull it in snug over your ears or favorite hat and still trap the heat in.

Water Resistance

It's important to remember that the Honcho Poncho is not waterproof, but water resistant. Rain will more or less roll right off the RipStop shell. But the poncho is going to take on water in a serious downpour or if you try and take it for a swim.

There is an upside to this, however. The breathability means it will dry faster when it becomes wet. And, when wash day comes around, the poncho will take on enough water to get a proper cleaning.

Lightweight

The words "wearable blanket" probably conjure up an image of the heavy comforters on your bed back home. Those aren't the sort of blankets you'd want draped around your shoulders while you're running around the woods. The Honcho Poncho is, thankfully, much lighter than most blankets.

Every material used in the poncho's construction was chosen for both its utility and its lightweight nature. It weighs in around a pound and a half (.69 kg) which is the same as most lightweight jackets. That's a far cry lighter than most blankets without sacrificing even a little of the warmth they provide.

Maintenence

The first thing that the company advises on what not do is not to wash it on high temperatures in your standard washing machine. Anything below the 30 degrees Celsius is acceptable as it won’t damage the synthetic materials found on the shell and on the lining. The high temperatures have the potential to damage the insulation too, and it’s best to wash it in cold water.

Secondly, when you do wash it, try not to use very abrasive detergents and soap, and the same can be said about fabric softeners. The abrasive soap can severely damage the insulation that’s inside the model because it’s made from a hollow type of polyester fibers. Try not to tumble dry it and definitely avoid exposing the model to any source of direct heat like a radiator. Never iron the poncho as well, and if you can try to wash it as little as possible. The repeated and frequent wash cycles in the washing machine don’t agree well with the materials used in the making of the item.

Limited Lifetime Warranty

Every product, no matter how well-constructed, breaks down eventually. It's never fun or easy. But it's a lot less painful if the product is covered by some kind of warranty. In the case of the Honcho Poncho, it is a limited lifetime warranty.

A limited lifetime warranty is a fairly handy thing. It covers your product for a lifetime, provided that the product was used in the manner intended. So if you tossed the blanket down over your sleeping bag and your dog ripped a hole in it the next morning, the company should cover a replacement. If you go antagonizing a moose and your poncho pays the price, however, Therm-A-Rest isn't likely to offer a replacement.

Bottom Line

The Honcho Poncho is portable, versatile, and wildly comfortable. It is also, unfortunately, rather expensive. This makes it less than ideal for occasional campers. But if you're the kind of person who spends more time outdoors than in, who loves sleeping in a tent or under the stars, or who feels at home out among the trees, then this poncho is for you.

It's easy to clean and easy to pack which makes it perfect for anyone who likes to travel for their outdoor adventures. It's lightweight and durable, which means it will be there for just about any adventure you can dream up. And with the limited lifetime warranty, you'll know you're covered in more ways than one.