FirstSpear TV

Old Grouch’s Military Surplus – Poncho

It seems the US military has slowly gotten out of the poncho business which has dried up their availability on the surplus market. Instead, we see import models which don’t quite live up to US-GI quality. Yet, demand remains. Old Grouch’s has found a new manufacturer to offer American made ponchos to their customers. They’ve also made some updates to the design.

The poncho is a multipurpose item that can be used for a wide variety of applications. Not least of which, is as a garment to keep you out of the weather. I don’t know how many nights I’ve slept underneath a poncho hooch, one of the lightest and most versatile shelters I ever used while in the Army. There are so many ways to pitch it. It’s an item that belongs in everyone’s toolbox.

Thanks Thumpy!


30 Responses to “Old Grouch’s Military Surplus – Poncho”

  1. Brett says:

    Kinda wish they had left the drawstring on the waist. I always tie my poncho up when I’m hiking to keep it from ballooning out and catching on foliage.

  2. Old Grouch says:

    Thanks for sharing this! Response to this has been great and soon we will roll out a slightly longer model for tall people (the MILSPEC has been the same length since WWII while the average American has grown several inches taller) and as quality materials becomes available new solid colors and camo patterns.

    • Asinine Name says:

      Any chance of grey?

    • Greg says:

      I know you guys are looking to keep it made in America as possible, but if you’re looking for waterproof materials, maybe you should contact the norwegian company Jerven, they make Jervenbags which are sort of insulated poncho/tarp/wind breaker all in one, and the fabric they use is very waterproof and their mountain camo pattern is fantastic. Perhaps you could get materials from them and do the sewing and assembly in the US.

      • Greg says:

        One bit of clarification, their product is multiple layers, the waterproof exterior with the camo pattern has no insulation in itself, that’s just the one I was suggesting looking into.

    • Pete says:

      Thanks for coming on and responding Old Grouch!
      These look great, I’m actually looking for an MC poncho right now since the Army hasn’t seen fit to issue us new ones. One thing I’m not clear on though:
      These still have a drawstring through the hood though, right? If yes, is the material still long enough to tie off the hood (gooseneck) so as to seal it for poncho raft / hooch use?

  3. SGT Rock says:

    No links for purchase?

    • Thomas 67 says:

      Strange. That item doesn’t have a link to purchase. But if you click on “Ponchos, Tarps & Shelters” just to the left of “home” on the top of the page – they are selling the woodland camouflage version for $73.95. Yikes.

  4. wb says:

    Is the Gen II available in Multicam… you know, so you can space-ship door-gunner operate?

    Ok, but really, can I grab it in multicam?

  5. majrod says:

    The poncho is a great piece of kit but I never liked the post Vietnam ripstop one. Yeah it was lighter but it did a poor job of stopping water. Guys used to give me a hard time for carrying the old OD rubberized one. That was until it poured. I remember my RTO (who I shared the hooch with) telling those soggy detractors, “who’s laughing now?”

    • SSD says:

      Ive never seen a printed old-style poncho. I’m curious if you’ve ever run across one.

      • Jon, OPT says:

        I have had in hand a Marine two sided one from WW2 bought through the UK site called

        Item here,15073

        It was more collectors item than capable of use, in fact it cracked under any casual stress.

        • SSD says:

          As I recall, that material was treated cotton, perhaps bonded to a rubber membrane.

          • Jon, OPT says:

            It was shit on a shingle out of the box, cracked all over. During it’s better years I believe it was as you described. I actually bought it while in a sniper unit that could use whatever camo we wanted. It wasn’t worthy of field use so I sold it to a collector.

      • Terry B. says:


        I seem to remember seeing a picture of an experimental poncho version from around 1960. It had the same mottled green nylon camouflage pattern as was used on some parachutes (and the earliest poncho liners).

        The Marines were still issuing some brown side / green side field gear during that period. Even Army helmet covers were reversible fall / summer for a number of years during and after Vietnam.

        There was a lot of innovation in the post-Korea, pre-Vietnam period that didn’t get beyond initial testing and is now forgotten. Your post on the NBC soldier with the experimental helmet and IR goggles for example.

        Does Natick have a museum of these test items somewhere? That would be a place I’d love to spend time in.


        • SSD says:

          Natick does not, except in Rich Landry’s shop. He’s got a lot of historical load carriage. The Quartermaster Museum at Ft Lee has some stuff.

      • majrod says:

        Nope just solid green.

        Not cool but extremely effective and when you attached the poncho liner made for a very warm field expedient comforter.

        As you likely know, the old poncho was heavier but made exponentially better ponchos hooches on comparison to the ripstop ones that leaked as soon as you touched them.

  6. Hobbs says:

    Wow, these look great! You guys really put a lot of thought and effort into it. Well done. When the Multicam comes out, this is definitely going into my kit bag.

  7. Jon, OPT says:

    Grouch, you guys are bringing it the way it should be brought, I will be in contact with you shortly about some things I am working on. Stick with the basics, when the complex fails they are the fall back plan and always work. Good to see someone doing this. Also a definite +1 for the drawstring feature, better to have the capability and not need. most don’t use it, but I have at least once back when I was in the Infantry.

  8. Jian Hong says:

    I like the poncho way better than the issued reversible tarp, in fact I only bring the poncho with me on deployments and leave the worthless tarp back in the rear. My poncho has served me well in Iraq and Afghanistan and I will pick up this improved poncho eventually as a replacement as my USGI one still has plenty of life left.

  9. Jon Meyer says:

    I am waiting for the Multicam version. Is the Multicam liner actually made in the U.S.? There are a lot of fakes out there using an NSN# from a completely different item and from a contractor that does not exist.

  10. cimg says:

    Try Tyvek instead of ripstop nylon