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review of 'the packa'- rucksack covering raingear

I am constantly in search of the holy grail of rain gear. Long ago I realised that in serious downpours goretex and other 'breathable' gear works at first (long enough for the Great Outdoors review) and then, during eight hour drenchings and muddy use begins to leak and stop breathing. For a long time I went back to wearing outsize police issue raingear- nylon, tough, non-breathable- which matters far less when it is huge and baggy. But add a rucksack and the straps stop circulation and you are back to sweatsville. In a non-windy environment where there isn't much rain- like the Pyrenees- then a poncho works well. But in windy Britain ponchos suck in the high hills.

Enter the Packa. Non-breathable, superlightweight, 100% waterproof- it fits over the rucksack- like a poncho- but that is because it has a rucksack shaped bulge. The rest of it is a normal waterproof with arms (the problem with the poncho is your arms get wet and water leaks in). So, theoretically- a perfect solution.

Well, I've been using one for about three months now. And it is now my only waterproof gear when I walk with a rucksack. There is lots of space inside so even if there is condensation it lodges a distance away without getting me too wet underneath. It's totally waterproof in all conditions so far- which is the whole point of a waterproof after all- and I prefer that anyday to 'breathablity'. It is, in short, a fantastic piece of kit. Check out thepacka.com to find out how to get one.