Unlike other rainwear, where you get just as wet from sweating as you would from the rain, the poncho allows your body to breathe. Just like an Inuit parka (Ok, another piece of perfectly designed clothing), the more you move, the more it helps you vent.
But what other piece of clothing can you take off, unfold, and hang to make a mini-tent or shelter from the rain and sun? What other piece of raingear can cover both you and your backpack?! Is there any piece of clothing more versatile than the poncho?
After years of searching, I finally managed to find a quality poncho. I like it so much, I've been inspired to write an ode (something I haven't done in a while) to the poncho. Here it is...
An Ode to the Poncho
A genius that I'll never meet
Was likely walking down the street
Drenched head to foot in pouring rain
And wishing that (s)he could attain
A method to stay dry and warm
And comf'ter'ble amidst the storm.
And what should our geen-yus espy,
but a square of fabric laid nearby.
The fabric shed the water well.
(S)he thought, "Hey this could make a shell!"
The plan's one flaw (s)he could forsee.
"If I'm beneath, I cannot see!"
(S)he cut a hole then, for a head,
And sewed a hood on with some thread.
(S)he donned the garment, took a walk,
All the way around the block.
The sun came out, its rays quite strong.
(S)he grabbed a stick and leather thong,
And used it all to make a tent.
It didn't even cost a cent.
Years went by, and folks got hip.
With style and function they'd equip.
You don't see many any more,
They're hard to find now, in the store.
Most brilliant clothes are just for show.
But what's more brilliant than the ol' poncho?