Review: Thermarest Honcho Poncho with Cocona 37.5

I wore the Honcho Poncho while fishing for small mouth bass on Island Lake in Minnesota. The Honcho Poncho is this kind of weird looking water resistant blanket-poncho thing made with Cocona 37.5. My buddies were completely soaking wet, even Hansi, our awesome guide and photographer who was wearing a ski shell from Black Diamond. I mean it was comin down – like it would let up for a second and be like – just kidding, then dump on us for another half hour. We honestly probably shouldn’t have even been out there, my other buddy was shivering from hypothermia and the waves were a bit higher than what most would consider safe. But hey, I stayed bone dry so I’m not complaining.

Durability
I can’t say too much about the durability of this product because I only wore it once but from what I could tell, it was stitched together as well as any other sleeping bag. Which that’s a good point to make here that the construction of the garment was more like a sleeping bag than an actual jacket – the seams were patterned in a way that pretty a-typical from your traditional shoulder, sleeves, sides, etc. I did have one thread that was noticeably coming loose but I don’t think that’s a good indication of build quality. For now, I’ll give the benefit of the doubt since according to other reviews, the product is well built.

Aesthetics
Personally, I thought this garment was hideous. But as time went on, and my friends got wetter and wetter, I gained an appreciation for the way that the garment looked which was dry and warm. That said, unless it was raining again, I probably wouldn’t wear this in public despite how cold the night got. I don’t think I could do it. I’m just not that sure of myself. I’d have to have an excuse to wear it again – you know – that type of thing.

Functionality
Well – you can fish in it which makes it somewhat functional in my books. I will say that that sleeves were a little baggy so when trying to haul, my slack line would kind of get caught and pile up under my armpit. Whatever though – I’m not a great caster anyway. If anything it probably just kept me from hooking myself on a failed double haul so maybe it’s a good thing. Four for functionality.

Value
If you think of it like a sleeping bag and a jacket, then $130 is a steal. Thing is – it’s not actually either so it’s kind of one of those pieces of gear that’s nice to have, but not super necessary, if that makes sense. Now if you’re regularly in a situation where you’ll be in a boat while it’s raining then yes, absolutely, I’d highly recommend this piece as being a great value (much better than the shell that my friend was wearing). Otherwise, you just have to ask yourself if it’s worth a buck thirty for this hybrid product that isn’t actually sure what it is.

Overall, the Honcho Poncho saved my day and kind of made my friends jealous, which is great because I wasn’t catching enough fish to make them jealous.

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Yoon Kim

Yoon is a freelance journalist who writes for SNEWS, The Outdoor Retailer Daily, Retailing Today, Gear Junkie, and many more. He writes mostly on outdoor topics including business, gear, event coverage and interviews with outdoor athletes. Yoon is an Insanely Big Mountain.

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