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First issued to American troops in the Vietnam era, the "liner, wet weather, poncho," or "poncho liner," or (later informally dubbed) the "woobie," it has been beloved by the American military ever since as "the best piece of equipment the Army ever issued". It's the soldier's security blanket — his baby blankie— sometimes literally, because they have always had a way of not being returned and finding their way into soldier's homes after their deployment was over. Kids and wives would then claim it as their own. Ask a soldier about his woobie and watch him get sentimental before your eyes.

Even dogs dig them...


Nothing more than two layers of nylon over a polyester filling it is, by virtue of some mysterious secret black magic made in a way that is durable, light, and compact, and that also keeps you much warmer than you would think judging just by its flimsiness. A heavy wool barracks blanket this most definitely is not. Of course, it's even warmer if your battle buddy is sharing it with you snuggled up to you in a high altitude cold night spoon-fest. (A word of advice earned from personal experience: pick a buddy that doesn't snore.)


Its main advantage is that it is much lighter and more compact than a sleeping bag. It can fit in a patrol pack or bug-out-bag if you need to "travel light freeze at night". Except your wobble will do its job and keep you from literally freezing unless it gets very cold indeed. I've used them in temperatures as low as the high-thirties Fahrenheit and I did not get cold. I should say, though, that I'm freakishly warm blooded and I will be that guy in a T-shirt running around on a frosty cold day (at least for a while) when everyone else is turning blue: so your mileage may vary. Conventional wisdom is that its serviceable down about forty degrees Fahrenheit and any colder than that you'll need a sleeping bag. Again, opinions vary.

I no longer have my GI issue wobbie, but I found another that is even better than the one I used to have.


The standard weight Kifaru Woobie weighs 21 ounces (there is a thicker/heavier double weight version) . It is larger than the old GI issue poncho liner, measuring 66x84 inches. This is long enough to adequately cover a very tall person: I'm 6'5" and my feet stay covered. The ripstop nylon shell is durable, like the original, and you'll find the expected paranoid loops in the corners for securing it as needed. The Kifaru comes in a variety of colors and patterns: I opted for Multicam on one side and Coyote Brown on the other but you can order yours as you like. One useful feature of the Kifaru is the permanently attached stuff sack: all you have to do is stuff it in its sack and go.

Or, if you're a really tight packer you can get Kifaru's compression sack. When cinched tight in the compression sack the wobble takes up half the room it does in its standard stuff sack.

I've used the Kifaru Woobie at home and out in the field. I'm pleased with it. Consider it for your own use as an alternative to a sleeping bag in temperate weather. It's bug out bag friendly.

Woobie – Kifaru Intl. Online Store
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I have two GI poncho liners that followed me home so to speak... ;)
They still get used for camping or in the jeep for just in case.

The two together in a Gore Tex Bivy sack make for an excellent light weight sleeping bag.

Much like Stomper after 8 years in the Army as well , I have never heard the term "wobbie"
Maye its a new army vs. old army thing? :D
Or a slang term from a certain area or region where some folks served? ....
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8yrs in the Army, never heard it even REMOTELY called a "woble/woobie"... always just called, "poncho liner"... and yes, I spent many a COLD night with one draped over my shoulders. We even used them as uniform "bed spreads" on our bunks when we actually got to sleep in beds. ;)

I always called it a poncho liner too. "Woobie" came into use in the mid-Nineties. There are different theories. One is that you "would be" cold without it. Another is that it came from the '80's movie Mr. Mom where the little kid calls his security blanket a woobie. Did the movie get it from the guys, or the guys get it from the movie...who knows?
Speaking to the sentimental value; I wasn't issued a Cho-liner (what we called them) until I arrived at Bragg in 85; that one is vacuum-packed and put away.

X2 on the value of 2 Cho-liners in a bivvy bag!

Will look into the new version, thanks.
We used to take a poncho liner and a field jacket to this one seamstress, and she would sew the liner into the inside of the jacket. Great for fall/winter field trips.
Air Force called them Woobies. Even managed to change the nomenclature in the supply system as a joke. Took two years for someone to notice.

My late greyhound loved mine. He was good at tucking himself into bed.

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We used to take a poncho liner and a field jacket to this one seamstress, and she would sew the liner into the inside of the jacket. Great for fall/winter field trips.

Great memory; Grafenwoehr Germany, there was a shop on post that would sew them (a wool blanket or a field jacket liner) into a wet weather coat (before Gortex came on line).
That modification was the "cats meow"!
The GI version and the Kifaru version each have paracord loops sewn into the corners for securing your poncho liner in order to line...duh....your poncho (or whatever). Sewing it into your jacket would be more permanent, for sure.
I have one. Its always packed with my gear in a backpack along with a modified Kelty summer bag.... put together, theyre warm enough for autumn and spring camping for not much weight. Combined with the ancient but decently warm Hirsch Weiss Goose down mummy bag..... great for winter.
Edit; an USGI poncho liner
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Kifaru wants $169.00 for theirs, when they can be had for ~ $35.00 elsewhere?

Sorry Kifaru.
If you're handy with a sewing machine and have two, you can get a sheet or two of sleeping bag/clothing insulation like Climashield or Prima-Loft, and sandwich it between the two Poncho Liners to make a very warm quilt. Or you can just slowly undo the seams on the edges and hope you can rip the quilting seams carefully (gotta have the patience of Job) and put in more synthetic insulation.

On the other hand, I've found that the Costco Down Throws from Double Black Diamond made for a very warm under-quilt/ standard quilt for the same bulkiness of the Poncho liner, but there's the small issue of its size being only 50"x60"... so basically 3/4 length quilt.... decent as an add-on to a summer sleeping bag or hung outside a hammock, leaving only the calves to be insulated by a section of closed cell foam.
I've paid $20 each for the 2 Costco down throws, and also for the USGI Poncho Liner....

In wet weather though, the Poncho Liner and synthetic insulation stuff is far better for the weight, but wool beats em hands down for warmth in wet condition.... which I have a few wool blankets....... heavy as hell though.
I have two wool blankets. One Pendleton light/mid weight, and one of unknown manufacture made about 1930 or so.
The latter is VERY tightly woven, large and heavy, but NOTHING keeps you warmer. I inherited that one from Mom.
As a result, I've never needed more than a mid/light weight sleeping bag, even for winter camps.

The Pendleton goes with me in the truck on winter trips, just in case, but the woobie would be lighter and cheaper.
I've got an "Original Witney Wool" blanket, its very similar to the Hudson Bay Point blankets... a 4 point blanket, and a NATO/UK 80% Wool blanket that I think is naval, or hospital type, its white...pretty dang warm but lighter than the Witney Point blanket, and then there's the mystery gray "wool" blend blanket that gets used more often as the floor blanket in a tent on top of pads for insulation.... they're all pretty densely woven and pretty warm, with the Witney Point blanket being the warmest and heaviest of the bunch. I tend to keep the white NATO blanket in my vehicle, simply because its pretty warm and heavy enough for the most part, when paired with poncho liner underneath, it is as toasty as the big Witney Point blanket, which I keep in the apartment for emergency use if the power's out....I sometimes bring it camping for its sheer warmth.

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