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ZPacks Poncho/Groundsheet
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Brian Lindahl
(lindahlb) - MLife

Locale: Colorado Rockies
ZPacks Poncho/Groundsheet on 05/11/2013 13:19:29 MDT Print View

Been reading about this product, and have been thinking about giving it a go. I've read everything that BPL member Nick Gatel has said about this product. Has anyone else used this product? What are your thoughts on it?

Also, for Nick, or anyone else:
1) How do you take off or put on your backpack while wearing the poncho?
2) Can you carry a 20" wide rolled CCF pad on top of your pack with the poncho deployed? Or is the portion that covers your backpack not wide enough for this?

Edited by lindahlb on 05/11/2013 13:47:41 MDT.

alan york
(alanyork9) - MLife

Locale: PIEDMONT N.C.
Re: ZPacks Poncho/Groundsheet on 05/11/2013 15:55:03 MDT Print View

I love mine! I've always hated gortexish products.Too hot when they wet out.Every one I've had has been expensive trash,except in Winter conditions.
When it looks like rain I store my poncho in my side water bottle pocket.Easy to deploy on the move.When the rain stops or slows, I unzip the sides and neck and tuck the entire front into the neck hole or my sternum strap.My pack is still covered but I'm well vented in front.Or just pull it on and off like a bag.

As a ground cloth I put a 1/8'' pad under it for protection from sharps. I like the way the sides bathtub up when pulled out to reduce drafts.I sewed a loop to all 4 corners of my Solomid which works great.I get 6-12'' tall sides as a bath tub floor.

Ask Joe about using it over the rolled up pad.He has always been great to work with.Every time he gets back from his big trips he has come up with more cool products!

The poncho is one of my favorite gear pcs.

Brian Lindahl
(lindahlb) - MLife

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: Re: ZPacks Poncho/Groundsheet on 05/11/2013 17:52:43 MDT Print View

Would you feel comfortable owning one and using it regularly (1.0oz/sqyd version) without the 1/8" pad underneath? (honestly)

Edited by lindahlb on 05/11/2013 18:38:29 MDT.

Michael Ray
(topshot) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Re: ZPacks Poncho/Groundsheet on 05/11/2013 20:20:29 MDT Print View

I noted that balls and sunshine are using them on the cdt so you might email him.

Darren M.
(dmacdaddy)

Locale: West
Poncho on 05/12/2013 11:06:16 MDT Print View

I have one and really like it as well. I do not put a pad underneath it and have just been diligent in choosing camp sites. I don't feel that it is too thin at all and if a tear occurs...that is why I carry duct tape :) I use mine with the hexamid twin tent. I always have it over my pack when hiking, to double as a pack liner. My pack is quite small (Mumer Hyperlight) so I have no problem keeping it over the pack. I'm not sure about using it over the top with a 20" pad--but it depends on the overall size of your pack of course.

It is quite roomy and I do like the dual application of it. If I take it vs. my WB rain gear (jacket and pants) and not needing my other cuben ground sheet, I save just over a pound in weight. I enjoy fishing at lakes and find that for longer use while being active, that the poncho is a bit of a compromise vs. a jacket/pant combo. All in all, I find it's a worthy addition to loose weight and the quality and design is top notch.

Brian Lindahl
(lindahlb) - MLife

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: Poncho on 05/12/2013 12:05:29 MDT Print View

My pack is a MLD Newt, though I'm contemplating a zPacks Zero small in the near future (a few customizations would be nice).

> find that for longer use while being active, that the poncho is a
> bit of a compromise vs. a jacket/pant combo

Can you be a bit more specific?

Edited by lindahlb on 05/12/2013 12:06:56 MDT.

alan york
(alanyork9) - MLife

Locale: PIEDMONT N.C.
Re: Re: Re: ZPacks Poncho/Groundsheet on 05/12/2013 12:46:31 MDT Print View

I would use it unprotected in most East coast sites/ duff,dirt,grass.The rocky sites might puncture it as it would puncture any ground cloth.I find that with an 1/8'' pad under,then poncho,then Neoair,then me,I get less migration.I tend to roll alot and my 1/8'' pad stays put this way.I always have a thin pad to protect my Neoair and for using around the fire or as I do dinner.

The Cuben is just like a plastic bag when it gets wet,it absorbs no water...just shake it dry.Most other raingear seems clammy after use.Since the poncho covers you and the pack and has large underarm air flow,lots of fresh air circulates and the poncho has little contact with the hiker.

Edited by alanyork9 on 05/12/2013 13:42:38 MDT.

Darren M.
(dmacdaddy)

Locale: West
Poncho on 05/12/2013 13:27:52 MDT Print View

Hey Brian,

As far as my comment about a compromise; what I mean is that an actual jacket is much more comfortable when trying to actually do something, i.e. fishing, gathering wood, building houses :) etc. As I mentioned, when I'm fishing for trout in a high mountain lake or stream with spinning or Tenkara gear, the poncho just becomes a pain. Noisy and a bit impliable are the best ways to describe it. For just hiking and basic tasks a poncho is fine.
This is not so much a criticism of the zPacks poncho, as it is for ponchos in general. Cuben fiber just adds to the lack of softness to the material. If you have ever used a poncho, and are fine with it, then it will be a breeze and the functionality and utility of the poncho/groundsheet is excellent.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: ZPacks Poncho/Groundsheet on 05/12/2013 13:53:44 MDT Print View

1) How do you take off or put on your backpack while wearing the poncho?

2) Can you carry a 20" wide rolled CCF pad on top of your pack with the poncho deployed? Or is the portion that covers your backpack not wide enough for this?

------------------------------------

1) With a small pack, just unzip one side of the poncho and slip your pack off. Quick and easy.

2) Carry the rolled pad vertical or insert in the pack if possible.


Regarding use as a groundsheet. Over time, any poncho is going to develop pin holes. So the question might be; do you really need a groundsheet? A water proof foam pad should suffice. Last weekend my gear was a 1/8" foam pad under a small NeoAir xLite under a quilt. I simply folded up the pad and carried in my Zero small. I only use it as a groundsheet when conditions warrant it.

The zPack poncho/groundsheet is much smaller than any poncho I have ever used. It actually does not cover all of my thigh, and it easy to hike or do chores in. In cold rain and skirt helps. My primary rain gear for all my backpacking life has been a poncho... and contrary to most, I don't understand how you can stand sweating in a rain jacket.

Brian Lindahl
(lindahlb) - MLife

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: Re: ZPacks Poncho/Groundsheet on 05/13/2013 09:58:13 MDT Print View

> Over time, any poncho is going to develop pin holes.

Do you mean groundsheet? I can't imagine how a poncho would get pinholes. Most of the time, I'd be camping on alpine tundra - so soft, lumpy grass. As such, I'd imagine that I'll be easily able to avoid pinholes most of the time, no?

> do you really need a groundsheet? A water proof foam pad should suffice.

If there's moisture on the ground, I can't imagine how I'd be able to completely avoid getting my bag, especially when used as a quilt, at least a little bit wet, with only a 20" wide pad underneath? Often times, our afternoons start with a thunderstorm in the mountains. The ground may or may not have dried off by the time I set up camp. The soft (and lumpy) tundra grass is often a little damp.

Brian Lindahl
(lindahlb) - MLife

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: ZPacks Poncho/Groundsheet on 05/15/2013 00:31:28 MDT Print View

Any more thoughts? Answers to my ?'s?

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: ZPacks Poncho/Groundsheet on 05/15/2013 00:48:46 MDT Print View

Brian,

My comments about pinholes applies to using it as a groundsheet. Time will tell if your environment would be friendly to the groundsheet.

Thaddaeus Wharton
(Thadjw) - MLife
RE: on 05/16/2013 08:32:14 MDT Print View

Love my zpacks poncho/groundsheet ... I use it with zpacks rain pants and its a great light combo. Pants work for warmth too. Poncho is a little slick as a groundsheet if it is not a totally flat site. I'm a pct section hiker and rarely get rain so haven't used it much over 50L pack while hiking. It would be possible but look a bit hunchbacky (no prob of course). I'm thinking about not taking zpacks tent groundsheet and using poncho for all occurrences on trail and feel pretty good it will suffice.