This is one of my most Favorite pieces of Gear EVER!
Known as a Woobie Blanket by some, a Poncho Liner by others; it is a highly versatile piece of kit that can be used year round as a blanket, a sleeping bag, a pillow, a liner and so much more.
The Value of this Blanket, is incredible!
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What it is :
This is a US Military poncho liner, which is a form of blanket that is also informally known as a woobie.
It was designed to be used alone or with a US Military Poncho as an insulating layer. When used alone, it can be a blanket, a sleeping bag, and a protective cover.
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Variants To Be Aware Of :
When it comes to these liners, you are going to find one of 3 variants out there;
- Military Surplus - official products used by soldiers
Reproductions - companies who make an identical copy of the original design - they may make this in colors and camp patterns that weren’t originally offered but the design is virtually the same.
- Styled Liners - This is where a company takes the basics of the liner and have made serious alterations to them. They may call it improved, call it a tactical poncho liner and so on. These products are merely based upon the original liner…..they are “styled.”
Cost : A good condition Woobie is going to run around $40. If you are purchasing military surplus, make sure to confirm condition as these have been used all around the world and it’s easy to get one that is in rough condition. Ask the seller questions and ask to see pictures if buying used.
Designed to be intentionally thin for lightweight, no-bulk packing.
How Does it Attach to a Poncho?
Using the tie cords at the corners, they are tied through the grommets on the ponchos.
Colors : Woodland, Digital Camo & others.
Measurements : 87” x 64”
Weight : 2lbs
Materials : Quilted nylon with a polyester filling. It is attached to the poncho by means of integral lengths of material which are looped through the poncho's eyelets.
History and Versions :
The poncho liner has been around for a long time and there are a number of military versions.
Poncho liners were first used by the U.S. military in the Vietnam War. They gained the nickname "woobie" later; that term is conjectured to have derived from the name for a child's security blanket in the 1983 movie Mr. Mom.
From what I have read, the US Poncho Liner was first fielded in 1962 to special forces troops in Vietnam. It consists of two layers of quilted nylon encasing a polyester batting. There were tie-cords on the corners and side that could be tied through matching grommets on rain ponchos. They measured 62 x 82 inches. The intent was to field an item which was lighter & faster drying than the standard-issue Army Wool Blanket, which had essentially been rendered obsolete in the wet and tropical environment of Vietnam.
The first ones were Olive Drab on both sides & the earliest models featured squared corners.
Until the USMC produced their own Digital Woodland Pattern, most poncho liners were produced with the same pattern on both sides. The Marines decided to field one with Woodland Pattern on one side & a solid Coyote Color on the other.
Most recently, there have been models produced & issued in the Army's Universal Combat Pattern, the USAF's Environmental Camouflage Pattern, and Multicam/Scorpion II/etc. Also, some models have a zipper that goes around the edges.
I continue to love the Woobie Blanket, it’s a great piece of kit that I use on & off all year around. In the summer on hot nights I will use it all by itself instead of a sleeping bag and it works great! I can stay comfortable with regular clothing down to 50f.
In the colder months, I will use them to layer in my sleeping bag for additional warmth. I’ll bring it along with me just in case I need extra warmth & I’ll even use it as a pillow.
Speaking of cold conditions, a Woobie by itself is not enough of an insulation layer to keep you warm. It’s a VERY thin blanket; it’s not the same as a wool blanket, a quilt or a sleeping bag.
For the money, a Woobie is impossible to beat as it is highly versatile and is so favorably viewed around the world for a reason.
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