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Silnylon Poncho Thoughts
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Nick Garner
(nwgarner) - MLife

Locale: Silicon Valley
Silnylon Poncho Thoughts on 09/06/2010 23:00:30 MDT Print View

I'd like thoughts on this idea that just popped into my head after leaving water on silnylon for 4 hours and seeing it not leak.

I have about 4 yards of silnylon and I'd like to make a poncho. I don't want to make a complicated poncho though. My thought was to:

- Put on my pack
- Drape the nylon over my head until it's mid-thigh
- Mark the crown of my head
- Cut out a hole where my head goes
- Sew the outer edges to stop any fraying
- Sew and reinforce the edges of the hole to ensure it doesn't tear, along with some shock cord to keep it near my neck.
- Maybe put some fasteners below where my arms would come out the sides

Am I crazy or will this work? Should I bother with a hood if I wear a fully brimmed hat?


Edited by nwgarner on 09/06/2010 23:26:48 MDT.

Jim Colten
(jcolten) - M

Locale: MN
Re: Silnylon Poncho Thoughts on 09/07/2010 07:04:27 MDT Print View

I've used a 5x8 ID poncho quite a lot. it works OK except for very very windy conditions. I added short tubes to the sides for 6 inches more arm coverage (I'm 72" from fingertip to fingertip)

You've got the basic idea. For my own needs:
* I'd make it longer than mid-thigh ... like down to the knees
* need a hood? yes ... but your mileage may vary on that, where I hike there's a reasonable chance of extended rain (most of a day)
* If you look long enough you'll find photos of Ryan Jordan in a wide brimmed hat and hoodless poncho, he found that to be at least adequate. His included a short neck tube with a drawstring at the top of the tube, allowing him to sleep under it as a tarp, also makes a better seal at the neck than a plain drawstring hole (you will very likely get pooled water between your pack and neck)
* definitely use fasteners along the edges
* consider guyout loops allowing you multiuse as a tarp

Edited by jcolten on 09/07/2010 07:07:00 MDT.

Nick Garner
(nwgarner) - MLife

Locale: Silicon Valley
My new poncho on 09/12/2010 00:43:46 MDT Print View

Thank you for your ideas, Jim.

Here's my new poncho. I still need to put fasteners under the arms. It's very basic and weighs in at 5.75 ounces. Here's the gist of what I did.

I asked my wife to measure from my adam's apple to knee, 100cm. Then from my first cervical bone to the knee while wearing my backpack, 140cm. I then measured out my silnylon with 100cm in front, 140 in back and the width of my neck divided by two as the center point and marked it.

After cutting the full length of silnylon to about 250cm, I made a + sign with a sharpie in the middleneck point (100(front) + 5(neck) ---- 140(back) + 5(neck)). The east/west axis was 18cm wide and the N/S axis was 24. This was determined by my wife holding a flexible tape measure to my head and guessing, nose to back of head and ear to ear. I then cut the lines of the + sign.

My next step was to double sew the diamond shape in the middle of the poncho, my head hole. I held down the folded back triangles with scotch tape and then sewed around the diamond twice.

Here's some pictures.1



I then inserted some shock cord into the sleeves the triangle sewing made and attached a cord lock.


Here it is cinched:cinched

Here's the full poncho:full

And the weight, 162 grams, 5.75 ounces.weight

As I mentioned, I need some snaps under the arms to keep it closed on the side but otherwise, looks like it'll work for me!


Edited by nwgarner on 09/12/2010 00:49:21 MDT.

Michael Davis
(mad777) - F

Locale: South Florida
Re: Silnylon Poncho Thoughts on 09/27/2010 20:40:30 MDT Print View

I really like the idea of a hoodless poncho with a wide brim hat. The hood can be an advantage in blowing rain but mostly, I just sweat in them.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

Poncho on 09/27/2010 20:56:24 MDT Print View

Nice work. The neck looks good. Why not trim off the extra silnylon triangles and save a few grams? I would also likely finish the edges of the silnylon with a simple fold and 1 or 2 lines of stitching. That will add some protection against a tear starting. You also could add some simple guyout points on the corners (and maybe more) so you can use it as a tarp too. Even if you're not a poncho tarp user, it could be handy to have so that you can set it up near your tent to provide a sheltered cooking/lounge area.

Daniel Schiebel
(Roadrunnr72) - F
New to this and looking for Silnylon on 09/27/2010 21:33:13 MDT Print View

I am new to the idea of using silnylon. Where can it be found at a reasonable price? I have checked Wally in my area and can't find it. I checked Hancock Fabrics, they have a rip stop nylon, but I don't know if it's silnylon. The sales person couldn't help with it. Any help is appreciated.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: New to this and looking for Silnylon on 09/27/2010 21:46:27 MDT Print View

Sil-Nylon is a little too specialized for Wally or Hancock. Try Rockywoods or some of the other online stores.


Nick Garner
(nwgarner) - MLife

Locale: Silicon Valley
Poncho on 09/27/2010 22:21:39 MDT Print View

Thanks Dan,
I did remove those triangles from inside, just after the picture was taken. And, you're right on putting a little stitch down the edges to protect it and the guy out points. This could turn into a handy piece of gear with that.

I bought the Silnylon at Outdoor Wilderness Fabrics.


Dale South
(dsouth) - M

Locale: Southeast
Re: Re: New to this and looking for Silnylon on 09/28/2010 21:03:07 MDT Print View

"Sil-Nylon is a little too specialized for Wally or Hancock. Try Rockywoods or some of the other online stores."

Sil-Nylon is found quite often at Wal-Mart by members over at and usually in their $1.00 a yard bin.

Edited by dsouth on 09/28/2010 21:04:28 MDT.