View Full Version : the Packa (rain jacket/packcover combo)

Hammock Hanger
2003-02-20, 02:05
First let me say that I'm just way to lazy to do the "offical" type
of report. I love the guidelines that Sgt Rock has set-up and do find those in depth reports very helful. However, after years of minute details I now find myself quite lazy. So take this hikers opinion for whatever you think it is worth. As for my background, I've hiked a lot with and without a rain jacket...

The Packa is a rainjacket/packcover combo, it is made of silnylon and weighs in at around 12 ounces.

I ordered and rec'd the NEW medium size. I am a "less" then small person and it was plenty big. (Is that a politically correct way to state that you are a large person w/o calling yourself FAT?? :D )

I was very pleased with the UNRESTRICTED feel when the jacket was on. Since the jacket goes OVER the straps vs under that confined kind of feel does not exist. This also meant that I could slip it off and on at a whim. I could either let the arms hang down or tuck them up under the pack cover. In reverse when the day started out grey but not yet raining I could cover the pack and when the rain began to fall I could very easily pull out the arms and slip into the jacket without taking off the pack. The pit zips are real vents, to say they are large and useful not just for looks. Again since the jacket is free flowing and not tucked under the straps I was very please to find I DID NOT get the body heat induced rainstorm inside the jacket. At one point I was actually hiking in a silnylon jacket with a fleece and a shirt on under it, in FL, without drowning in my own fluids. This says mounds to me. It would have to be tremedously cold to get me to have tried that in my other jacket.

It had nice adjustable velcro tabs on the sleeves. Drawstring hood, with stand up visor. This newer model is longer which was very nice. When hiking it was long enough to cover my skirt so the rain was really only exposed from my knees down. There is even a extra 6" on the back tail so that when you sit it works like a sit-upon and your butt doesn't get wet. There is another drawstring at the bottom.

I give this product high marks for it's comfort and inside climate
control. For the length and light weight.

Unfortunately with ever up there is a down (just like the trail...)

The concept is a great one except if you choose to take a "PACKS OFF" break you have to take the jacket off. Then you must decide what needs the Packa more your or the pack. Now you can take off the jacket, slip a small piece of a trash bag over your pack and put back on the jacket. Unfortunately as I have said I'm lazy. So I took my breaks when it wasn't really pouring and left the Packa on the pack and I dealt with a little drizzle. (I don't mealt that easily.)

Second problem would be for those that like to roll up their sleeping mats and attach them to their packs crosswise. This would be a tough to impossible feat with the medium size. Would probably be doable with the large. I don't think there would be a problem if the mat was attached to the pack lengthwise. Here I luck out as I carry very little attached to the outside of my pack. We did do some barefoot hiking and I had to get a little technical on where my boots were hung to make sure that the pack cover fit over the pack. This was, however, only when I was using it as a pack cover only. Once you have it on it drapes over just about anything.

So as with just about any piece of equipment there are pros and cons. Then weigh in the results for what suits YOU best. For me the comfort of having no rain inside the suit with the ease of wearing or not wearing it far outweighed the cons.

I was very pleased with the product and did not feel like I had made another investment that would end up in the "used item for sale bin".:D

Let me also say that Ed the inventor of the Packa was very helpful and plesant to work with. He was timely in returning emails, etc.

PS: I rec'd a suprise in my package, a pair of silnylon mittens. I
get extremely cold hand and found them wonderful in the cold morning are to wear. This way my fuzzy fleece mittens stayed dry to sleep in.

Hope this "opinion" was helpful to those that have been thinking
about the product. Feel free to email me with specific questions.

Pictures can be found on my journal site: www.trailjournals.com/hammockhanger Florida Trail.

Sue/Hammock Hanger