I’ve been looking to replace my surplus poncho liner with something new. I saw some of these Dragoon Unlimited poncho liners that have an added zipper which piqued my interest as I would be using it as a sleeping bag mostly anyways. So I reached out to them and ordered one. After talking with them I ordered the Multicam one, They refer to it as the “Improved Trooper Woobie OCP.”
A quick aside, they have three liners, one in Multicam which they call the Trooper, one in Rhodesian Brushstroke they call Fireforce and one in M81 Woodland the call Reforger. So if I switch between the names you’ll know what I mean.
Besides the patterns there is a difference in the material. The multicam liner is made with polyester versus the nylon of the traditional liners. Using polyester gives the liner some added wind and water resistance as well as increased warmth. The catch is that the material is not quite as soft as the traditional nylon. If you haven’t use a poncho liner before it has a sort of silky or satin feel to the material, the polyester feels more like a typical sleeping bag. The other two liners that Dragoon sells are made with the traditional nylon so you can have your choice.
I think that’s enough background so let’s run down some of the aspects and features of the Multicam Trooper Woobie.
- More durable, more resistance to tearing
- Water resistant
- Wind resistance
- Zipper around 3 sides to make it into a sleeping bag. It is a double zipper so you can open up the bottom for ventilation as well.
- Longer and thicker ties
- Warmer (although I don’t have a way to measure)
- Head hole (closed with a zipper when not used)
- Rectangle cut vs slight trapezoidal of GI
- Comes with a pillow
- Comes with a stuff sack.
As I mentioned above the liner has improved water and wind resistance. It isn’t waterproof but it would do fine in a light rain or mist. I tested it out with a hose and it does do a noticeably better job than the surplus liner. If you wanted to increase the resistance you could try adding a spray on treatment I suppose but that seems excessive and unnecessary. The polyester does have a noticeably more durable feel to it as well so I think you would be pretty safe from rips or wear.
The main feature that caught my eye was the zipper. When I’ve used the my old one in the past I end up out of it even if the ends are tied. So that’s the most valuable to me. In this vein the liner is cut in an even rectangle instead of the sort of trapezoid shape of the GI one. The corners are the same length so you still have essentially the same amount of room but now it is straight across when folded. The larger and longer ties are nice but the weave does feel a little loose so may be prone to snagging and pulling. The head hole is an interesting feature that I could see being useful for wearing the liner like a poncho or serape when it’s cold for extra warmth. Two little bonus’ I like are the pillow and stuff sack. The pillow was actually larger than I expected and the stuff sack is just handy in general and helps keeps it clean and packable.
Dragoon Unlimited has a website but it is mainly an Amazon store. And that is where you will be able to purchase their items if you are interested. The liners run about $60 and I got mine in about 2 days. As you would expect for that price point they are made in China, that’s fine for me but I know that can make a difference to some buyers. Just don’t forget that being Berry compliant means at least double the price. And the cheaper ones out there won’t have the added features discussed.
Some things I would change or view as improvements would be to change the ties for a tighter weave. The extra size and length is welcome but the loose weave seems prone to snag and pull. And maybe add some solid colors to widen the customer base appeal. Additionally I feel that Dragoon Unlimited would do themselves a favor if they explained the added strengths of the Multicam “Trooper Woobie” in it’s listing in more detail. There is a picture of the water beading off the material but I feel a description like the one I got when I contacted them would be beneficial. Also the white balance seems off in the photos, looks yellowy, when in person it matches all the other Multicam Items I’ve seen. So essentially no real cons, just sales pitch ideas mostly.
Overall I’m pretty happy with the poncho liner and give it a solid recommendation. Don’t forget to check out the water test and field test articles as well.