“GI Plus” Ripstop Nylon Poncho Review

Recognize this?

It is the ubiquitous GI Plus Rip-Stop Nylon Poncho sold by Rothco, Out in Style, internet Military Surplus stores and at least one of our own local Army Navy stores.

Price:  $20-$26

Weight: Ours was about 13 oz

Material: 210 Denier Ripstop Nylon

Dimensions: 56 x 90″

This poncho is clearly a step up from the $10 Texsport Hunter Vinyl Poncho. +1 GI Poncho.

The poncho is reasonably well constructed and durable.  Ripstop 210 Denier nylon is lightweight and durable, it’s a good choice for ponchos.  It stands up to brush and tree branches well in our opinion but be reasonable. Like most other textiles you camp with a sharp stick might make a hole in it – it isn’t made of Kevlar.

The drawstrings on the hood are nice and it’s size is certainly adequate.

It has grommets and a few snaps along the sides presumably to attach a poncho liner or snap the sides shut when it rains.  (A word about ponchos for the uninitiated.  They universally do a haphazard job of protecting you from the rain.)

The seams are not taped.

The grommets are not well reinforced and somewhat cheap appearing.  They stood up to our limited testing well but over the long haul we might question their durability.  There are no grommets along the bottom making any use as an emergency shelter more difficult.

For us, it is not waterproof.  We crumpled the front of it briefly with our hands on the inner and outer surface (aka the leak-proof tent test) to imitate routine use then propped it up over rows of paper towels such that the front of the poncho covered the towels.  The sides, hood and back of the poncho were not exposed to water and the towels were one foot off the ground so water could not get at them from below.  The poncho was not touching them. The poncho was sprayed with a hose for 10 minutes.  Although it held up well for a few minutes, ultimately the paper ended up soaking wet and water dripped from the under side of the poncho at one of the seams (again, not taped) and everywhere we touched it with our hands.

Pros: Durable, lightweight, well sized, a step up from cheaper ponchos.

Cons: Somewhat questionable grommets, no grommets along bottom, seams are not taped, and the poncho is not dependably waterproof in our testing.

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