Wednesday, August 8, 2012
Gear that works: rain capes
After years of experimenting, rain capes have become my favorite rain gear, and specifically military surplus rain capes, because they're rugged and versatile. They haven't caught on in the Americas, but many European armies use them. This one is Hungarian. They call it a "plasch-palatka", which I am told translates as "cloak-tent".
Even better than a poncho, it provides closer coverage and doesn't flap around so much in the wind. It's easier to put on and take off than separate pants and jackets. It may be worn over a pack or under a belt. It's full enough to cover your legs when sitting on a deer stand or canoeing. And unlike a poncho, you can swim in one if you have to, as long as it's mostly unbuttoned or your arms are out of the holes. You can even relieve yourself while wearing one without making a big production out of it.