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Mountain SuperUltraLight Backpacking – Going SUL in the Mountains with Adequate Shelter, Insulation, and Rain Protection. Part 2B: Selecting the Lightest, Most Functional Gear - Rainwear, Insulation, Headwear, Handwear, and Footwear
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Richard DeLong
(Legkohod) - MLife

Locale: Eastern Europe / Caucasus
proper poncho for inclement conditions on 05/23/2013 07:04:03 MDT Print View

Yes, that's precisely the sort of poncho I have, based on the Roger Caffin's article of some years back: full-length sleaves, drawcord around the bottom, covers pack fully, front zip with velcro, and seam sealed. I wouldn't consider a poncho without these features.

Here's the link to that article, once more: MYOG mountain poncho

Roger, you need to set up a little cottage industry to produce those ponchos!:) or set up some sort of agreement with an existing producer. Everyone should have one of those:)

Edited by Legkohod on 05/23/2013 07:12:40 MDT.

Wim Depondt
(wim_depondt) - F - MLife

Locale: The low countries
nuance on 05/23/2013 11:49:48 MDT Print View

granted, I used a the golite poncho/tarp (sleeveless).

Richard DeLong
(Legkohod) - MLife

Locale: Eastern Europe / Caucasus
ponchos again on 05/23/2013 14:13:23 MDT Print View

Wim, I've used the Golite poncho too. The difference in functionality between that and the mountain rain poncho is very substantial... In the Golite, you have ends flapping about in the wind and you have to hold onto the lower parts with your hands, you often can't see your feet well, and your sides and arms are likely to get wet. The mountain rain poncho is a totally different experience.

Ian B.

Locale: PNW
Re: What about ponchos? on 05/23/2013 15:19:18 MDT Print View

"I have tried different raingear system and am a convert to the 200g mountain poncho described on this site."

I probably missed it in the article but you say it's only 200g? That's pretty impressive compared to Packa's advertised 13oz (368g). Any issues besides a hunchback when wearing it without the pack?

Edit: Re read the article and yup, I missed the very conspicuously posted weight.

Edited by IDBLOOM on 05/23/2013 15:22:51 MDT.

Richard DeLong
(Legkohod) - MLife

Locale: Eastern Europe / Caucasus
poncho weight on 05/23/2013 15:32:20 MDT Print View

Yes, 200g for my version of it. I rarely wear it without a pack. It's floppy in the back without one and the arm holes drift forward further down the arms. It's certain okay though.

Daniel Fish

Locale: PDX
... on 05/23/2013 21:30:40 MDT Print View


Edited by on 06/08/2013 19:06:52 MDT.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: insulation on the move on 05/23/2013 23:30:50 MDT Print View

Down pants are good for hiking - if it's -20 F and 60 MPH winds

Normal hiking you'll get sweaty

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: Mind your own business
Re: insulation on the move on 05/24/2013 06:46:44 MDT Print View


In winter I carry Synthetic trousers (Patagonia Micro puffs or Arcteryx Atom Lts) and a Synthetic Hoody (Arcteryx Atom Sv or Kappa) and a down hoody (Stoic Hadron or Gooses Feet Parka) depending on the expected lowest temperatures (last winter camp was -13f)

The system adds a bit of weight over carrying one upper body items but if I end up wearing the synthetic kit while moving it will dry out faster down than and I still have he down piece as a booster.

I am thinking of adding a pair of Gooses Feet down shorts for under the Micro puffs for crazy cold camping.

Edited by stephenm on 05/24/2013 06:47:22 MDT.

peter vacco

Locale: no. california
Re: Re: Insulating pants on 05/24/2013 17:02:54 MDT Print View

you can make dany leg pj's out of a powerstretch top by shoving one leg into each arm. the amrs are plenty long enough to cover the feet too. very toasty.

powerstretch was for over a decade my fabric of choice. then they inveted e-vent, and sheep.
with now the no need to not wear a parka when it's wet, and the merino being better (by far) over a much wider range of temps and uses, i am now at a point where the last time i carried a pwrstch top, i could find no combination of weather in which to comfortably wear it.

thusly, i discovered that trick using it for nite nite bottoms.

Ross Bleakney
(rossbleakney) - MLife

Locale: Cascades
Re: Mountain SuperUltraLight Backpacking ... Rainwear, Insulation, Headwear, Handwear, and Footwear on 05/26/2013 23:42:21 MDT Print View

Great article. I personally think this is a great article for anyone who is interested in ultralight hiking, not just super-ultralight. There are tips here that apply to anyone who is a trying to keep their backpack weight low, regardless of what their base weight it.

There are two surprising pieces of information here for me. The first is the emphasis on down insulation for an insulating jacket. Obviously the gear should vary for the expected conditions. But I find that a synthetic puffy jacket is just right for most of my hiking. It rarely gets below freezing in the day for me (in the summer), whether is it precipitating or not. Once I get moving, then a puffy jacket is just fine. My puffy is a BPL Cocoon Pullover, which is about 8 ounces. It has no baffles, so there is less stitching than a down jacket. It won't last as long, but so far has held up just fine. The nice thing is that will be just as warm at the beginning of a trip as will on the last day, even if I have been walking uphill through fog the entire time.

I think a warmer jacket would be overkill, and drive me to use something in between (like a windshirt) which would add a couple ounces to my system. The advantage, of course, is that I could get by with less insulation in my sleeping bag, but I think that is probably a wash (if my jacket is a bit warmer but my sleeping bag has less insulation than I'm not sure I would come out ahead).

The most interesting part of this article, though are the ideas about rain gear. I use my raingear as bug protection, so breathability is very important to me. Conventional wisdom was that Propose (O2, etc.) was very breathable, very waterproof, very light but extremely fragile. Event was more breathable, but a lot heavier. Some laminate jackets (including some failed products) were lighter than Propore, a lot more durable (which really isn't saying much) but really poor when it came to breathability. Then there are windshirts, which breath well, are reasonably durable, very lightweight, but not very waterproof (to the point where using them as your only rain gear might be dangerous).

Some of these jackets sound really promising (and might replace my Propore) but I would love to see the numbers on them. Are they better than Propore when it comes to breathability or being waterproof? If they are even close than it might be worth it just to save a little weight and get the added durability.

Daniel Fish

Locale: PDX
... on 05/27/2013 18:24:31 MDT Print View


Edited by on 06/08/2013 19:04:17 MDT.