What is a good rain Poncho with full sleeves to cover backapck, shoulder straps and hiker at the same time? Or is an umeraella better for protecting shoulder straps. Thank You
An AT thru-hiker had this same question years back and invented the Packa.
I am not connected to this company in any way. I use one as I section hike the AT, and this year it has seen some intense rain and win. Works wonderfully. Serves as a pack cover if rain is just threatening but not yet arrived, you can leave the arms flapping and use the hood (which has a brim), wear the whole thing open, closed, half-zipped using two-way zipper, use the huge pit zips to help moderate heat. . . .
I use an REI backpacker's poncho. It's longer in the back (enough to drag on the ground, so it folds up with snaps so you can use it without a pack). Inexpensive, tough, and big enough to cover pack and me to (I think) mid-calf. Not blaze orange, though, and I don't recall if that was an option. Some reflective tape might work, but a blaze orange "blob" would certainly stand out!
IMO forget the poncho, going to sweat and get wet anyway, plus they blow around (getting you wet) and are extremely hard to position by yourself.
Don't think of it as staying dry, think of it as rain management and staying comfortable, i.e. staying warm and avoiding hypothermia (I wrote a long article about this in my hiking blog), You carry only 2 sets of clothes, 1 for walking and 1 for around camp. If you get wet, you change in your tent to dry clothes, and put back on the wet ones in the morning, they will warm up/dry when you start walking again. If you are getting wet and getting cold, then don your rain jacket. The jacket is to keep you warm, not dry because you're going to soak it from the inside from sweat as you walk anyway. If it's cold enough, maybe you won't sweat and your layer will stay dry (a bit)
REI memer since 1979/retired engineer