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Reviews > Clothing > Jackets > Therm A Rest Honcho Poncho > Test Report by Kara Stanley

November 26, 2017


NAME: Kara Stanley
EMAIL: karguo at yahoo dot com
AGE: 34
LOCATION: Phoenix, Arizona
HEIGHT: 5' 10" (1.80 m)
WEIGHT: 165 lb (74.80 kg)

I have been hiking most of my life and backpacking since 2006. I have hiked mostly on the east coast, doing weekend trips in the Appalachian Mountains. Since moving to Arizona, my hikes have ranged from short desert hikes to overnight backpacking trips in the mountains. Recently I have taken up canyoneering and off-trail hiking/backpacking to spice things up. I currently use a solo non-free standing tent, canister stove, purification tabs, and lightweight trail runners, conditions permitting, to cut down on weight. My hikes are solo and range from an overnight trip to 4-5 nights on the trail.



Photo from the Therm-a-Rest website
Manufacturer: Therm-a-Rest
Year of Manufacture: 2017
Manufacturer's Website:
MSRP: US$129.95
Listed Weight: 1 lbs 12 oz (790 g)
Measured Weight: 1 lbs 10 oz (735 g)
Colors: Lemon Curry (yellow), Poseidon (blue), Olivine (green), Deep Purple (color tested)
Listed Width: 58 in (147 cm)
Measured Width: 57 in (144 cm)
Listed Length: 79 in (200 cm)
Measured Length: same as listed
Size: One Size Fits All
Listed Packed dimension: 16in x 12in (40cm x 30cm)
Measured Packed dimension: 16 in by 8.5 in (40 cm X 22 cm)
Fill: 37.5 Active Partical Polyester,
Shell fabric: Waterproof Breathable 20D Polyester RipStop w/DWR 1000mm Hydrostatic Head / 5000 MVTR
Liner fabric: Brushed 50D Polyester Taffeta,
Country of Origin: China

The attached hangtag mentioned that the poncho is waterproof and breathable, is designed for everything from watching sporting events to ultra-light through hiking, and has 37.5 insulation that "provides micro-climate control for superior temperature regulation and comfort." This information is also listed in French.

Poncho Front
The 37.5 insulation is formulated to keep wearer comfortable by keeting the humidity to 37.5% and the body temperature at 37.5 (in Celsius), which according to Therm-a-Rest's hangtag, are the most comfortable humidiy and temperature for the human body. From the hangtag "37.5 technology uses millions of particles to capture and release moisture vapor - helping you stay in on a personal microclimate of ideal relative humidity and core body temperature." 37.5 is naturally derived with no chemicals, dries up to 5 times faster than similar clothing, and will not wash out.

An attached care tag states that the poncho can be hand washed or machine washed in a large capacity front loading washing machine using mild, non-detergent soap in cold water on gentle with two rinses. To dry, close all zippers and fasten all snaps, then tumble dry in a large front loading drying on low heat.

Do not dry clean, bleach, or iron. Do not store compressed.


The Therm-a-Rest Honcho Poncho (called the poncho for the rest of the test report) came stored in its integrated storage pouch, which also doubles as a huge zip pocket on the front behind the Kangaroo pocket. There is the Therm-a-Rest logo and "Honcho Poncho" in white lettering on the outside of the pouch and there is a silver webbing loop on one end. I like that it has a hanging loop as I sometimes attach things to the outside of my pack. This loop is also a handy way to carry the pouch, so we will see how it holds up over time.

The purple is a nice deep purple color, I like that as it will help to trap heat from the sun on cold mornings as well as (hopefully!) not show dirt. The inside of the poncho, the snaps on the sides, and the draw strings and toggles are all a light grey. The colors all go well together and I like them.


Packed Poncho
Hood and Kangaroo pocket
I tried on the poncho and really liked its length. It hits just above the knees on my 5'10" (170 cm) frame. The "sleeves" are about 3/4 length on me, unless I have my arms crossed in front of me, then they are only elbow length. So far I have found that there are two ways that I can wear the poncho, either with the sides connected to each other (as shown in the Term-a-Rest picture) or with the front edges snapped together behind me and the back edges snapped together in the front. The last option seems like it would be warmer as its wrapping my core in two layers of the poncho fabric. The one drawback is that this does shorten the "sleeves" to about elbow length. Of course, I could just tuck my arms inside the poncho to keep them warm.

I can cover my body with the poncho when using it as a blanket, which is a bonus. I would need to pack a warm hat as there is no hood for my head. I like that this could be used either alone to keep me warm or over my sleeping bag on cold nights. I am planning to take this as my jacket and sleeping bag replacement on one trip. Since I think it's heavy as a jacket at 1 lb 10 oz (742 g), if I could use this as a sleeping bag replacement and a jacket, it would be worth its weight.

I am looking forward to trying this out on an upcoming backpack trip as my back gets very sweaty and I normally wear my jacket backwards over the front of my body so that I do not get it sweaty. I am hoping that I can wear the poncho over my pack to keep me warm without getting it all sweaty. It's still in the 80s F (27+ C), so hopefully it will cool down a bit for a cold test hike. I also think that this will be quick and easy to put on and take off during rest breaks. I like the fact that its waterproof... not sure that I will trust it to be my rain jacket in a down pour, but it's good to know that it shouldn't suck up rain like a sponge.


Overall this seems like a product with great multi-use potential. I'm excited to take it out on the trails.

Cool Things:
* Several uses and ways to wear
* Huge pockets
* Easy to store
* Is Waterproof
* Nice color
* Nice size as a blanket for a taller person
* The micro-climate insulation
* It's Washable

Other thoughts:
* This is pretty heavy for a jacket replacement
* How durable will it be
* Will the carrying loop on the packing pouch hold up

Thank you and Therm-a-Rest for allowing me to be a head honcho on the trails in this poncho!

Check back in 2-ish months to see how this poncho is working out on the trail!

This report was created with the Report Writer Version 1. Copyright 2017. All rights reserved.

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Reviews > Clothing > Jackets > Therm A Rest Honcho Poncho > Test Report by Kara Stanley

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