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Tough Off Trail Rain Cape
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Larry Dyer
(veriest1) - F

Locale: Texas
Tough Off Trail Rain Cape on 11/05/2010 04:24:14 MDT Print View

First off I'm not really worried about weight on this project. However I'd still like to use the lightest suitable material.

What I am looking for is the best material to build a bomb proof poncho/cape out of. 70d Ripstop with a urethane coating looks promising. The normal environment will be the East Texas Piney Woods.

I'll be using this off trail and I'm worried about my sil-nylon cape ripping. I plan to fashion some way to tie it off tight around my waist.

I like this idea because it's cheap and a dri-ducks jacket just wouldn't work. Neither would I want to risk destroying a more expensive jacket here. This poncho will have to stand up to serious abuse and just keep going. Think original Toyota Land Cruiser.

So what material would you use? Am I completely crazy for trying to use poncho tarp off trail?

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Re: Tough Off Trail Rain Cape on 11/05/2010 06:43:03 MDT Print View

Are there really thorny shrubs in that environment you will be moving through? If so I'd wear a leather jacket and camp when it rains. ;-)

Dustin Short
(upalachango) - MLife
Re: Re: Tough Off Trail Rain Cape on 11/05/2010 09:44:31 MDT Print View

If you're going off trail, are we looking at cross country travel, or a lot of bushwhacking through thorny scrub? If the latter, the very design of a poncho/cape with it's billowing sides will get caught on all sorts of branches and be a pain to wear, regardless of durability issues.

If you want the most bomber material, Dyneema X gridstop material (a la thru-hiker) should be near indestructable. But it's rather heavy at 4oz/sqyd. There's cuben fiber in the 1.2-1.5oz/sqyd with heavy mylar coating to help against punchter and even a 2.5oz/sqyd with extra spectra. But I'd say your 70d silnylon will probably hold up well and be the cheapest solution.

Chris Lucas
(ChemE) - F

Locale: SC
How About 3 Mil Mylar? on 11/05/2010 10:11:23 MDT Print View

There is no call for spectra if puncture is the main concern. Mylar at decent thicknesses is incredibly difficult to puncture. As others have said, I would make sure the side flaps are sealed up tightly perhaps even with a zipper and flap to direct thorns up and over the zipper. Just thinking out loud here.

Larry Dyer
(veriest1) - F

Locale: Texas
thorns on 11/05/2010 10:48:44 MDT Print View

Those are some great ideas guys. I'll definately be pondering the zippers. I'd worry about some of the light fabrics if they ever did puncture since it'd still have to act as shelter. While it might not happen that seems a little dangerous and gets me back to worrying which is the problem i have with the silnylon.

There's not really any thorns once your undert he canopy here. the ones that are easily avoided. Or I'll just wait it out.

It mostly needs to slide off scragly branches and the like. There isn't any thing I've seen around here that would act like a shank on it that can't be avoided.

The 70d cordura stuff I was looking at is advertised at about 4.5 ounces a yard. As long as I come in under the weight and with more or similiar functionality to a cheap surplus poncho I'll be happy. I don't want to drive price much over that either. About 50 dollars sounds reasonable.

The cordura seems promising because I could possibly pull triple use out of it as rain gear, hunting blind, and shelter with the right pattern.

Oh, and I'm 6'2" so I'm currently planning on a 5x8.5 size. It'd be nice to have an extra 6 inches to stretch out under compared to my current sil-cape. I'm not married to this idea though and may cut it down to ID cuben poncho or slightly larger dimensions if the weight savings will be at all signifigant. As far as shelter goes another idea might be to cut weight with a cuben vestibule thingy that could be added on.

David Olsen

Locale: Steptoe Butte
30d sil had higher tear strength on 11/05/2010 12:20:37 MDT Print View

The sil 30d type66 has a higher tear strength than the 70d type6 urethane.