In the past I have written about the many uses of the poncho. Ponchos are an Excellent Multi Use Piece of Equipment.Today I want to discuss the poncho liner or woobie.
The poncho liner is a piece of field gear originating in the United States military and intended to provide warmth in mild temperatures when used as a field expedient sleeping bag. It can be attached to the standard issue poncho by means of ties which are fastened to the poncho’s eyelets. The poncho liner consists of two layers of quilted nylon encasing a polyester loft filling.
The originals poncho liners had olive drab on one side and camouflage on the other; currently they are available in several patterns including woodland, MARPAT and Universal Camouflage Pattern.
The poncho liners have generally been popular with the troops. Because of its lightweight and compact size, it is easy to carry. In temperatures above 45° F, I have found it keeps me warm. You can attach it to the poncho and wrap yourself up in it in rainy or damp weather, but I prefer to use the poncho to make a shelter and then wrap myself in the liner.
There are civilian knock offs on the market, some of the better ones like the Wiggy’s and the Kifaru Woobie, may be an improvement over the military issue one. Some of them have better insulation and are slightly larger than the military issue one. The size of some of the commercial ones preclude them being used as a liner to the issue poncho, since they are larger.
The issue poncho liner does not have a hole for your head so you can’t wear it under the poncho. Some of the commercial ones do, some even have zippers.
I have not tried the various commercial versions, but I have used the issue one and consider it an excellent must have piece of equipment.