I'm having Ron Bell make me a poncho, and need some input on a design alteration I'm thinking of asking him to make. I never use my poncho as a tarp, and as a result the snaps are useless to me (I've never unsnapped them on any poncho I've owned.) So, I'm thinking of having him simply leave an arm opening from the shoulder to where the first set of snaps would be, then simply sew it shut from there on. It seems like it would save him some work, and would possibly save half an ounce or ounce by eliminating the hem and snaps. It would certainly make the side more waterproof - but I'm worried that it would reduce ventilation. (Also note: this is replacing an ID Silponcho, so I've always had a waistcord cinched more or less tightly around my waist.) If you're having trouble picturing the end result, think "Orson Welles Caguole."
Rather than look foolish to Ron by asking him directly, I decided to look foolish to everyone at once - kind of cut-out-the-middleman approach. (Actually, I didn't know if he'd ever had anyone else request this, so before I did I wanted to collect some opinions as to whether it was a good idea.)
I'd really like your input - and remember, I never have and never will use my poncho as a shelter.