Are ponchos viable during winter where it snows heavily (6")?
They look super comfortable.
I have never tried a poncho but I think there's a reason no one wears ponchos up here in northern countries.
A jacket blocks cold wind and keeps warm air around your body. With a poncho like that in your pic, warm air escape out to the sides.
It could perhaps be viable if you have some really good wool layers underneath, but it still seems like a bad choice to me.
Ponchos were designed to be portable shade. They were open to provide air flow but still keep the body shielded from the heat of the sun. Then, they could be a blanket at night. So, they're better for the desert than for wintery places.
imo they are good
the reason is when you are hiking you get sweaty the sides can be opened up that really helps with ventilation, if you are stopping or cold you simply fold the sides together and tie it with a belt or rope to decrease ventilation.
A wool poncho or cape is very nice and comfy for temporary use. It holds off water for a while, warms well while immobile yet doesn't overheat you while walking. European hunters still like to use them.
Note though that these spend lots of time immobile waiting for game, which means they can use these almost as blankets. Also, wool doesn't dry fast once wet. Not a problem if you go back home in the evening or at least dry it by a fire, not ideal for a tour. (Less of a problem in deep winter since there'll be no rain and you can just shake off the snow)
Wool ponchos were they only thing people had as rain protection before the advent of real waterproof fabrics like oilskin or rubber.
Jacket + waterproof poncho (rubber, pu, heck there's goretex ponchos) is a good idea. Jacket + wool poncho will leave you carrying around a heavy, moist and barely warming poncho. (Actually, if it's deep winter, you probably don't even need real rain protection, just get a proper jacket.
go with a cloak instead. wrap a blanket around your back and head. find a wat yo keep it closed with a belt or someshit. like others said ponchos are good for keeping shade and airflow. not retaining heat.
Ponchos are already LARPy as fuck so you might as well just wear a capote.
I have an alpaca wool poncho. It's super comfy and I Wear it in the back yard during cold autumn days in front of a fire, But it's insufficient for actual cold weather, at least Canadian cold weather.
I wish I could get one of these. Arc'teryx made them for homeless out of their scraps.
Arcteryx have ridiculous quality control, if something is even slightly askew it goes into the trash pile. I bought a bunch of their factory seconds last year which were half off and I still can't tell what was wrong on half of them even though they came with an arrow sticker on the garments indicating what was wrong.
I bought 2 ponchos when I was in holidays in London and I wish I had bought 10. They are amazing. If I'm at home I throw it on over my pjs and it's super cosy. I put it on over clothes with a jacket over and it adds so much heat it's unreal