"A poncho tarp might be a little spartan for me yet"!!
Message received and understood. ;-)
I've gone from traditional A frame tents, to hammocks, to tarp & bivy combinations and finally to my current hybrid LightHeart Gear Solo tent. But just recently there has been a flurry of posts on threads about poncho tarps again. This led me to do a Modify Your Own Gear project on a Magellan PU coated nylon poncho / tarp that I purchased from Academy Sports over 4 years ago.
Mine is basically a 5' x 7' flat tarp with a hole in the middle where the hood is located. The actual dimensions are 4'6" x 7'4" so I understand "spartan".
Even though it is a steam bath when worn in anything but cold weather and the coverage as a tarp is very small I just recently added some grosgrain tie outs to the front and rear center points to facilitate an A frame pitch. I also replaced the very thick and "heavy" cord lock and drawstring of the hood with lighter substitutes.
I find this piece of gear hard to part with even though it has seen very little use. ;-?
Just looking at your pictures I'd say the Modified A Frame pitch would be the most weather worthy. The A Frame would be my next choice followed by the 1/2 Pyramid pitch.
Your poncho tarp is a bit longer than mine. That fact alone would make the room underneath greater in different configurations. Coverage and comfort come into play here. The question is how tall are you and how much coverage do you want.
When I was using a tarp I had to remind myself of location, location, location! Tarps in general require one to take advantage of natural windbreaks and avoid low lying areas if possible.
The only lighter option that I know of is cowboy camping. Now that is spartan IMO.
Enjoy your poncho / tarp.
Thanks for your post.