Forum Index » GEAR » Breathable windshirt vs Frogg Toggs poncho? & as an aside, Zpacks fanny pack


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just Justin Whitson
(ArcturusBear) - M
Breathable windshirt vs Frogg Toggs poncho? & as an aside, Zpacks fanny pack on 02/13/2013 23:35:40 MST Print View

So i've been wondering which would be more advantageous and efficient, wearing a windshirt or just switching over completely to a Frogg Toggs type poncho, since the latter will be as about breathable as many, if not all, windshirts. That way, you would also have the serious rain gear at the same time, for definitely much lighter than a combo rain jacket and windshirt.

Durability would seem to be the main issue with using the F.T. poncho, but i haven't gotten to the point yet wherein i do serious 'bushwacking' adventures and so i'm not too worried about that. I do see that maybe it might be a good idea to sew (or tyvek tape?) some more sturdy material onto the areas where the shoulder straps will go on, since if you're using it more often that will be the main wear area. I have some extra Pertex Equilibrium fabric that might work for that (i would treat it with Nikwax first).


Am i missing anything important?


Hey, btw, i have my first ever Cuben fabric item (and likely my last unless i win the lotto)! I got a fanny pack from Zpacks. Looks and feels well made and very sturdy/durable.

Ben Crocker
(alexdrewreed) - M

Locale: Kentucky
no n3d to reinforce poncho on 02/14/2013 06:19:53 MST Print View

Poncho goes on top of your pack. The shoulder straps will have no abrasion on poncho. You don't need to reinforce. The poncho won't really be great as a windshirt though in my opinion because it wont keep much of the wind off of you.

just Justin Whitson
(ArcturusBear) - M
usually on 02/14/2013 11:24:19 MST Print View

Hi Ben, i've read, and i believe it was here somewhere, that the Frogg Togg ponchos aren't quite big enough to go over the pack like a lot of other ponchos. That's not a big deal for me either way, since i will be using a weird external frame pack that will hold barely any water at all, and my stuff will be kept dry by a combo of a light silnylon stuff sack and a trashbag.

I do have a Silynylon poncho already, which does fit over a pack, but i don't like how it doesn't breath--yeah, it's not horrible since you have the flapping and air circulation, but i really like the idea of an already fairly breathable WPB fabric and poncho, which would be ultra breathable.

Btw, i'm not sure i understand quite your latter point, as the silynon poncho does a pretty good job of keeping most of the wind off me and a little extra since it's longer than shirts and jackets (and i often wear shorts down to the high 30's). I don't see why the Frogg Toggs poncho should be much different. Besides, a little wind convection can be and usually is a good thing in my mind (unless you're dealing with extremes, which i probably won't be).

Edited by ArcturusBear on 02/14/2013 11:29:52 MST.

Randy Martin
(randalmartin) - F

Locale: Colorado
Poncho and Windshirt are two separate pieces on 02/14/2013 11:58:05 MST Print View

I don't see how you can have a legit Poncho that functions very well as a windshirt. One the points of a poncho is that they are airy and relatively open (not a good property for a windshirt). You need both items.

Ross Bleakney
(rossbleakney) - MLife

Locale: Cascades
Re: Poncho and Windshirt are two separate pieces on 02/14/2013 13:37:16 MST Print View

For the most part, a windshirt is an unnecessary item. I don't always carry one. Basically, a rain jacket (or poncho) can serve as wind protection as well as rain protection. A puffy jacket also serves as wind protection.

Even though it isn't a necessity, a good windshirt is a really nice, lightweight comfort item. I can think of a few reasons why:

1) Provides a nice "middle range" amount of warmth. You can get by with a base layer, a puffy jacket and rain gear. I think in general this is the lightest system you can have. But you will often find times when a puffy jacket is too warm; a base layer is too cold; and a rain jacket is too clammy. A windshirt is great for these times (so is a fleece layer, but it weighs a lot more).

2) Doesn't flop around like a poncho. That is the one weakness I see with your system. You should be able to tie down a poncho, but it may be a bit of a hassle.

3) Bug protection. I use my 02 rain jacket as bug protection, but when I don't mind adding the 3 ounces, I use a wind shirt instead. It breathes better.

If you don't plan on using clothing for bug protection, than that shouldn't matter. Your tolerance for the "middle range" is up to you.

Basically, as long the poncho is strong enough to flap around in the wind, you should be safe with your system. Unfortunately, that would be one of my concerns with a Propore poncho. I really like my O2 jacket, but I know it won't flap in the wind very much. On the other hand, I could easily see a Propore poncho really getting flapped and then being damaged. I guess it depends a lot on how you able to secure it and how much wind you can reasonably be expected to encounter. You could always test it in the back of a pickup or on a ferry (the latter being a lot safer).

just Justin Whitson
(ArcturusBear) - M
Re: Re: Poncho and Windshirt are two separate pieces on 02/14/2013 23:19:31 MST Print View

Hi Randy and Ross,

This seems to be a relative issue, and depends a bit on context (sort of like you seemed to refer to Ross). I live in and primarily hike in VA. There isn't usually much in the way of extremes here, whether wind, cold, rain, etc (the exception may be heat as it can be pretty darn muggy and hot at times). If i lived or hiked in CO for example, i might more fully agree with Randy.

Re: ponchos in general, if it for some reason did become too uncomfortably windy, or what not, i would probably tie some cord around the poncho at places to keep it less flappy. I always bring a bit extra dyneema type cord, since it is so lightweight and handy.

But i'm not against bringing a separate wind-shirt.. i don't consider or call myself a "ultra lighter", and since i'm on a definite budget i can't afford a lot of the gear that is popular on here. I did find a Nike wind-shirt without sleeves or a hood for 7 dollars new which only weighed like 2.4 oz, but after putting sleeves and a hood on it (Pertex Equilibrium fabric i got for 6.99 a yard), it weighs 5.4 oz., which is still not much in my book and i wouldn't be adverse to bringing it and a poncho, but i just don't think i would really need both. Next week i'm doing a 4 day solo hike in the Shenandoah area and hopefully i can go from the the southern most part to the northern most part (about a hundred miles).

For other folks who hike in more extreme environments (even like Mt. Washington and the White Mountains, which i occasionally go to), it might be a good idea to have both dedicated and separate windshirt and rain gear.

just Justin Whitson
(ArcturusBear) - M
Re: no n3d to reinforce poncho on 02/14/2013 23:22:21 MST Print View

Btw Ben, this is the post wherein i read that the Frogg Toggs poncho wasn't large enough to fit over a pack.

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=47177

Don Amundson
(amrowinc) - M

Locale: Southern California
Frogg Toggs Poncho on 02/14/2013 23:44:10 MST Print View

I have to agree that a poncho doesn't really work to replace a wind shirt. Regarding the Frogg Toggs poncho, there are two different ones. One is there emergency poncho that is very light weight "breathable" and inexpensive. It is small and won't fit over your pack, at least not mine. Their standard poncho does fit over your pack, is made from the same material as their Dri Ducks, weighs in at around 9oz and costs a bit more. I have both and carry one or the other to fit the conditions I expect to hike in.

michael levi
(M.L) - F

Locale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
montbell tachyon on 02/14/2013 23:51:18 MST Print View

When you can get a windshirt for 2.4 ounces there is little reason not to bring it. On windy days it can provide a ton of warmth with just a baselayer.

just Justin Whitson
(ArcturusBear) - M
Re: Frogg Toggs Poncho on 02/15/2013 00:01:13 MST Print View

Hi Don,

Yeah, i had recently bought the emergency F.T.'s poncho on ebay for 7 dollars (haven't received it yet though). I wasn't aware they made another, more heavy duty one.

Well, there is nothing like experience to convince or teach someone something. For my upcoming semi short trip (4 days), i'm just going to bring the F.T's "emergency" poncho and see how it goes. Hopefully i get some wind and rain to test it out.

just Justin Whitson
(ArcturusBear) - M
Re: montbell tachyon on 02/15/2013 00:05:36 MST Print View

Hi Michael, I can't afford said item... I'm already having a hard enough time justifying my recent purchases to my wife. Oh ye tempters LOL.

But yes, my cheap, modified windshirt now weighs 5.4 oz with the added long sleeves and hood :(

just Justin Whitson
(ArcturusBear) - M
Re: Re: Frogg Toggs Poncho on 02/15/2013 20:26:32 MST Print View

So I got the Frogg Toggs Emergency poncho in the mail today, and was a bit surprised how basic it is--doesn't have a hood cinch, nor does it have buttons on the side like most ponchos i've seen, but then again it's only like 2.3 oz i think. I guess i will have to throw some cord around no matter what and tie a Farrimond friction hitch or something similar.


The material is VERY thin, and packs down pretty small, definitely not durable.

Edited by ArcturusBear on 08/26/2013 21:28:38 MDT.

Don Amundson
(amrowinc) - M

Locale: Southern California
FT Emergency Poncho on 02/15/2013 20:38:09 MST Print View

I added some stick on velcro 3/4" rounds to mine to keep it under control in mild wind. Seems to work.

just Justin Whitson
(ArcturusBear) - M
Re: FT Emergency Poncho on 02/15/2013 20:54:29 MST Print View

That's a good idea Don, i will try it out. Thank you.