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Poncho Vs. Rain Jacket
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Ross Bleakney
(rossbleakney) - MLife

Locale: Cascades
Re: Poncho Vs. Rain Jacket on 04/11/2007 13:04:08 MDT Print View

I bring a propore jacket and no wind shirt. The jacket does triple duty as a rain jacket, wind shirt and bug shirt. As a wind shirt and bug shirt, it is a bit clammy, but effective. Using a light weight rain jacket in this manner is about as light as you can go while providing decent protection from rain, bugs and wind.

If you bring a wind shirt anyway, then the wind shirt may double as a bug shirt (I asked about this a while ago and most people believe that this is the case). If the chance of rain is low, then you could just throw a light poncho in your pack and get down to about the same weight.

If you don't need a bug shirt, then a poncho could work as both a wind shirt and rain protection. This would be the lightest arrangement I can think of. I wouldn't want to hike in a poncho to protect myself from the wind, but if I'm sitting on top of a peak and the wind is strong, then this could keep me warm. I've often run across this situation while day hiking (feeling warm all day until I sit and eat my lunch at the top of a mountain). The more annoying scenario I can imagine is making breakfast and having to fuss with the messy sleeves of a poncho. But, such is the price of using the lightest rain (and maybe wind) gear around.

Edited by rossbleakney on 04/11/2007 13:09:38 MDT.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Poncho Vs. Rain Jacket on 04/11/2007 13:59:33 MDT Print View

I use a SMD Gatewood Cape, which is more or less a poncho. It weighs 11oz, and covers the weight of shelter, pack rain cover, and raincoat. I wear Marmot Precip bottoms and a Montane windshirt for outer layers with the cape. This is my kit for forested elevations in the Washington Cascades.

If I were hiking the coast in winter conditions, I would opt for a rain parka (Precip) and a double-wall tent. The cape outfit would probably make it, but wind-driven rain is the problem and I'd just put up with the extra weight of jacket and tent.

Robert Burns
( - F

Locale: Cascades / Olympics (WET)
Definetely go with Both on 04/12/2007 12:49:55 MDT Print View

You need both, carry the heaviest, biggest, most waterproof jacket you can find, youll need it. End of story.

Monty Montana
(TarasBulba) - MLife

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Re: Poncho Vs. Rain Jacket on 04/14/2007 15:32:23 MDT Print View

For years, not being able to afford quality WPB rain gear, I relied on a poncho. This was in Montana which experiences a much drier clime than the Pacific NW, and using a poncho was the perfect choice. After moving to the NW, I felt compeled to follow the crowd and go Gore-tex. I never felt so miserable! The steam, the condensation; yikes, I felt I had gotten as wet as if I not been wearing anything! So now I'm back to the old reliable poncho, as I like to feel vetilated while hiking. I've also recently started to pack a small, lightweight umbrella (~ 6 oz) for those occasional short summer showers. The only thing I'd change would be to purchase the Gatewood cape.

Woubeir (from Europe)
(Woubeir) - F - MLife
Re: Poncho Vs. Rain Jacket on 06/26/2007 13:05:07 MDT Print View

An old thread, but I just noticed a few points.

afaik, your DIAD doesn't use Toray Dermizax, which is a membrain, but Toray Entrant DT which is a microporous coating (but probably not consistently enough to get noticable air-permeability.

@David Olsen
eVENT compared to 2-layer GTX XCR: if you look to the RET ratings for these fabrics, you get something like this
3-layer eVENT RET 4
2-layer XCR RET 4 or a bit less
(paclite RET 4)
2-layer eVENT RET 2,7
(GTX pro shell RET as low as 2,5)

I just wonder if these numbers mean anything given the fact that vapor needs to be adsorbed in almost all gtx variations.

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: @Tarptent
How about this? on 06/26/2007 19:29:38 MDT Print View

Since you guys are discussing ponchos...
I am testing this poncho/tent combination. At the moment it is made with PU coated rip-stop nylon, my sample is 877 g (30.94 oz) plus stakes (6) and hiking pole. As you can see the poncho is the fly for the front of the tent. Any comments ?
Luxe pictures here
X rocket

Edited by Franco on 06/26/2007 19:32:19 MDT.

kevin davidson
(kdesign) - F

Locale: Mythical State of Jefferson
What about that? on 06/26/2007 19:37:27 MDT Print View

We know you're not going to give up your beloved Rainbow for this. :-)>

Perhaps if it were made of a lighter fabric. How does it perform as a poncho?

Edited by kdesign on 06/26/2007 19:39:46 MDT.

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: @Tarptent
Poncho/tent on 06/26/2007 21:02:37 MDT Print View

Kevin you are too clever by half. ( not sure what that means, next time I have a Guinness I'll wok that one out)
The poncho thing does not really inspire me ( Montane don't make ponchos) and I really doubt that HS will go down that way, but I am aware that some really like it. Luxe sent me a pair of rain chaps also, they are just over 3 oz. I estimate that the poncho/tent/chaps combo will be just under $150 US. My point is to see if there is a market in the US for this non-ultralight but nevertheless versatile and affordable gear.
Next year, if there is some interest, the range will be made out of silnylon, around 20-30% lighter but a bit more expensive.
This is an opportunity for some of you guys to suggest the design features that you like.
There is some nasty weather out there today so I am about to take my Montane eVents (top and bottom) for a walk.

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: How about this? on 06/27/2007 00:49:34 MDT Print View

Franco, I'm really imprerssed by this design. It's something completely new, and thinking outside the box. And by the looks of it, very weatherworthy. If it was designed with silnylon it would be just what I wanted.

May I ask how the back end is held up? A small pole, I think from the Luxe homepage, right?

Is the shelter available to purchase?

Edited by butuki on 06/27/2007 00:51:01 MDT.

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: @Tarptent
X Rocket on 06/27/2007 01:54:55 MDT Print View

Miguel, the bottom end is propped up by a 14" strut that pops into place as you stake down the back middle guyline.
For the moment the Luxe products are designed for the Chinese market where price is more important than high tech or style. Think SD ClipFlash Light and not Akto.
BTW, they also make mountaineering tents but they look like everybody else's products.
Having said that the material used for the Rocket are more than adequate for 3 season use.
It is not in production as yet but it is due, as stated on their web site, to be ready in September.
Definitely very well protected against strong even wind driven rain, but I would not trust this type of design on an exposed site. Mind you ( I have not tried this as yet) but it could be possibly pitched lower to give it a bit more wind resistance.

Paul Wozniak

Locale: Midwest
Re: X Rocket on 06/27/2007 07:16:13 MDT Print View

Interesting design.

I would wonder how to pitch the setup in a driving rain. It looks like a choice between using the poncho/tarp to protect either your body or the bug screen walls, but not both. What do you think?

kevin davidson
(kdesign) - F

Locale: Mythical State of Jefferson
X-Rocket is all-wet? on 06/27/2007 08:37:53 MDT Print View

That's akin to the very dilemma a poncho tarp user faces. C'est la vie.

Edited by kdesign on 06/27/2007 08:39:03 MDT.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Poncho Vs. Rain Jacket on 06/27/2007 10:00:10 MDT Print View

Hi Verber:

I clicked over to your site -- excellent summary of various wp/b laminates and coatings!

You listed MontBell's Peak Shell jacket in the category of "PU coated jackets". Please note that the jacket uses MB's Breeze Dry Tec laminate -- which according to MontBell does not have any PU coating at all. In fact, similar to eVENT, dispensing with the PU coating is one of MB's major selling points.

Edited by ben2world on 06/27/2007 10:00:58 MDT.

Brian Lewis
(brianle) - F

Locale: Pacific NW
Campmor poncho --- good, but some downsides on 06/27/2007 13:08:53 MDT Print View

I've got one of the normal (not extended) Campmor (aka Equinox Terrapin) ponchos, and on the whole I agree it's a good piece of kit and a good value --- it fits me well, and the design seems to work well in the rain.

Two exceptions to that:

(1) Color. You can't specify color when you order, it's just listed as "various". Mine came in bold blue, which if you use your poncho as any part of your shelter this really doesn't fit well with the concept of stealth camping.

(2) The side snaps. Suckers are so strong on mine that I thought I would tear out fingernails trying to open them to convert poncho into tarp. I got wise and now use something like a butterknife blade, but this is a PITA.

Two posters talked about using a poncho as hammock cover tarp. Measuring my Hennessy backpacker a-sym tarp, the long (~diagonal) length is 122". Few ponchos cover that on the long diagonal. What exactly are you using for poncho on what particular hammocks, please, and how well does it cover in heavy rain? I expect the side coverage would be better, it's the length I'm concerned about; perhaps some sort of end flaps added or something ...

Back on the original topic, note that Mountain Laurel Designs has a couple of nice poncho options now, to add to other choices like the Gatewood cape from Six Moon Designs, Integral Designs ponchos, Poncho Villa from, Warmlite, and of course on this site they sell Bozeman Mountain Works ponchos.

You might also consider the Packa, or making either the Poncho or the "Parcho", at

Brian Lewis

todd h
(funnymoney) - MLife

Locale: SE
Re: Campmor poncho --- good, but some downsides on 06/27/2007 14:28:08 MDT Print View


Sounds like you (mostly)like the Campmor poncho. I'm 6'1" and am looking into a poncho. How tall are you? Is the coverage adequate? How do you cover your arms?

Thanks for your help,

Steve .
(pappekak) - F

Locale: Tralfamadore
Re: Re: Campmor poncho --- good, but some downsides on 06/27/2007 14:42:38 MDT Print View

Just in case you have not read this article on the Equinox Poncho.

"Problems with the Campmor/Equinox Poncho/Shelter in "shelter" mode: Without ridgeline tie-outs at each end of the shelter it's difficult to get a decent pitch. As you can see in the photo, the shelter bunches up between the downward curved ridgeline cord spilling a lot of tension. The end result -a baggy, floppy and unstable pitch."

Edited by pappekak on 06/27/2007 14:44:04 MDT.

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: @Tarptent
Poncho vs Rain jacket on 06/28/2007 05:22:40 MDT Print View

" would wonder how to pitch the setup in a driving rain. It looks like a choice between using the poncho/tarp to protect either your body or the bug screen walls, but not both. What do you think?"
Fair comments. That is why I prefer separate rain gear and shelter and jacket and pants over a poncho, however some like the weight and versatility of the poncho ( and poncho/tarp) obviously having to put up with the occasional wet set up.
I posted (at the risk of hijacking the thread) those pictures to see if anyone thought that there was an advantage in the Luxe system. The way I see it is that you can keep yourself dry apart for the last 30 sec or so ( you only need to attach the poncho to the already positioned stakes) and the inner will have at least the rear dry but of course whatever will get through the front part in those two or three minutes it takes to put it up will wet that area . To keep it light and practical, you could always use one of the very light weight (under 3 oz) wind stopper/rain resistant jackets like the Montbell UL during the set up.
Anyway this was a poncho vs. Jacket thread, so apologies for the intrusion but I did not want to start a new thread at this stage.

Edited by Franco on 06/28/2007 05:52:40 MDT.

Brian Lewis
(brianle) - F

Locale: Pacific NW
Re: Re: Campmor poncho --- good, but some downsides on 06/28/2007 13:06:55 MDT Print View

Hi Todd. I'm 5'10" and find the normal length Campmor poncho to be a great length for me. Coverage of arms: I guess I just accept that a poncho isn't going to cover my arms all the way. If I'm standing still I get coverage, and if I'm moving I'm typically warm enough. There are cord loops that you could hook your thumbs into, but I find that a little too constraining. Maybe if it was pretty cold rain ...

One poncho that I had overlooked is the Golite poncho --- same dimensions as the larger (extension) Campmor/Equinox poncho, about the same weight, not too expensive at $45, and it comes in two colors. One is "sage" (~green), which I find acceptable. I just ordered one today --- I'm looking for something that can fill a variety of roles in different situations, from cooking shelter to tent vestibule extension, hammock tarp, or tarptent. Note that the Golite poncho is also reviewed here on BPL,

Brian Lewis

todd h
(funnymoney) - MLife

Locale: SE
Re: Re: Re: Campmor poncho --- good, but some downsides on 06/28/2007 13:57:04 MDT Print View

Hi Brian,

"I'm looking for something that can fill a variety of roles in different situations, from cooking shelter to tent vestibule extension"

These things are what I was looking for, specifically. Please let us know how YOU like the Golite after using both...My birthday is coming up so I can ask my daughters for the best one!!!!!

Thanks, Todd

Jaiden .
(jaiden) - F
Re: Re: Re: Re: Campmor poncho --- good, but some downsides on 06/28/2007 14:15:41 MDT Print View

I have a golite poncho and a HH, but haven't used either yet. I have read up on tarps for the HH and I think the golite is too short. Even the stock tarp for the HH is longer. Maybe if there is NO chance of rain...
YMMV, let me know if anyone disagrees