November 20, 2015 8:16 PM MST - Subscription purchasing, account maintenance, forum profile maintenance, new account registration, and forum posting have been disabled
as we prepare our databases for the final migration to our new server next week. Stay tuned here for more details.
Subscribe Contribute Advertise Facebook Twitter Instagram Forums Newsletter
Poncho Tarps List
Display Avatars Sort By:
George Matthews
(gmatthews) - MLife
Poncho Tarps List on 08/20/2007 19:40:28 MDT Print View

I've been reading about poncho tarps. I could not find a Gear Guide for this area on BLP.

Are these most of the UL choices?

Campmor Ultralite 7 oz $40
GoLite Ultralite 10 oz $50
Integral Designs 10 oz $75
Six Moons Gatewood 11 oz $110
MLD Silnylon Pro 8.6 oz $155

Daniel Goldenberg
(DanG) - M
Poncho tarps on 08/20/2007 19:58:26 MDT Print View

A few more:

Backpacking light
Sea To Summit

Doug Johnson
(djohnson) - MLife

Locale: Washington State
Re: Poncho Tarps List on 08/20/2007 20:17:18 MDT Print View

Mountain Laurel Designs Spectralite is the lightest (4.0 oz) and the most expensive ($170)

The Bozeman Mountain Works ponchos are sweet but unfortunately have been out of stock for some time...

Brett .
(Brett1234) - F

Locale: CA
Poncho Tarps List on 08/20/2007 20:24:49 MDT Print View

Sierra Designs Hurricane Poncho, 10oz, $29.

(And correction, the Campmor is $45 and 8.5 oz!) And miracle of miracles, made in the USA!?

Edited by Brett1234 on 08/20/2007 20:27:37 MDT.

Ryan Faulkner
(ryanf) - F

Locale: Mid atlantic, No. Cal
Re: Poncho Tarps List on 08/20/2007 20:28:53 MDT Print View

before purchasing a campmor poncho, be aware that It does not have ridgeline tie outs.

if you dont plan on ever seting it up in an A-frame, this wont be a problem.

just something to be aware of..

Brett .
(Brett1234) - F

Locale: CA
Ryan, re Poncho Tarps List on 08/20/2007 22:32:03 MDT Print View

Ryan, The Golite is shown pitched without ridgeline tieouts also; can't tell, does it have them? Thanks...

Daniel, thanks, I emailed Golite but had not gotten an answer yet. So, Golite it is. I want to have at least the option of this shelter for day-hikes.

Edited by Brett1234 on 08/21/2007 01:07:23 MDT.

Daniel Goldenberg
(DanG) - M
Golite Poncho tarp on 08/20/2007 22:42:29 MDT Print View

Hi Brett,
I've got a Golite poncho tarp. Yes, it does have ridge line tieouts, plus tieouts at the corners and in the middle of the sides (8 total).

I pack mine, along with a Montbell breeze dry tech bivy in my dayhike kit for emergency overnight shelter/raingear.

Brett .
(Brett1234) - F

Locale: CA
Tarp System wt.= 1P tent? on 08/21/2007 02:25:32 MDT Print View

Thanks Daniel.

New Tarp issue:
I am frequntly tempted by tarp camping for solo trips, but the weight of the tarp System seems similar to the lightest 1P free standing tents. For example, I want the Golite poncho, but a 1P suspended bug net is more than 1 lb!
That totals 10oz(tarp), 18 for the net and 9 for a LW bivy= 37 oz.

Number to beat is a free standing BD OneShot at 1.04kg (37oz) for tent and poles. Is there a two-person tarp system less than 21oz per person; comparable to the two person BD HiLight (1.18kg (42oz) total)

Any tarp owners out there who can tell me the weight of their System?
Tarp-Poncho +
Bivy sack +
Ground Sheet(optional if you have a bivy sack?) +
Mosquito netting
= ?

The intent is to be prepared if bugs and rain occur. No need to include guyouts or stakes since that weight is common to a tent.

Im not trying to justify sticking with a tent; I really want to go lighter if there is a full-conditions combo which allows it.

Edit: Jim, thanks, and you are right, the poncho would take the place of at least my 10 oz DIAD jacket as well. I look into a smaller bug net for just the upper portion of the bag.

Edited by Brett1234 on 08/21/2007 04:41:02 MDT.

Jim Colten
(jcolten) - M

Locale: MN
Re: Tarp System wt.= 1P tent? on 08/21/2007 03:44:25 MDT Print View


To start with, a poncho tarp can be dual use. If it suffices as raingear for you (does for me) then you might want to add dedicated raingear wt. to your tent weight in this comparison.

But ignoring that:
10oz ID poncho-tarp
6.2oz MLD superlight bivy (8 week wait)
1.5oz Gossamergear polycryo ground sheet (I'll skip this)
3oz Gossamergear bug canopy (I'll skip this, the bivy includes bug netting)
20.7oz total

Disclaimer: I don't use that combo but hope to be using similar this fall (MYOG bivy)

Edited by jcolten on 08/21/2007 03:51:45 MDT.

George Matthews
(gmatthews) - MLife
poncho tarp variables on 08/21/2007 05:10:31 MDT Print View

I have the Precip jacket + pants for raingear
at 12 oz + 7 oz = 19 oz. This 19 oz would go away in my case.

I have the BLP Vapr bivy 6.5 oz (includes bug netting).

I'm thinking the bivy + UL poncho tarp will be a big net loss in weight for me.

Brian UL

Locale: New England
Re: Tarp System wt.= 1P tent? on 08/21/2007 06:35:29 MDT Print View

Here is my sytem,
although I dont use a poncho tarp:
- MLD Monk (spinnaker): 7 oz. w/ stuff sack and guylines but sans stakes.
- TI Goat basic bivy sz. L : 8.5 oz. w/ homemade spinnaker stuff sack.
if you want to compare to poncho tarps also add XL Dropstoppers : 6.5 oz or rainsheild XL : 6 oz.
Dropstoppers also replaces wind shirt.

So, thats 15.5 oz for total protection from wind, rain and bugs or 22 oz. - 21.5 oz. if you include rain gear
There are lighter bivys if you will spend the $.
I also got a TT Contrail this spring and have mostly used that all season to try it out its weight is 24.5 oz. not a "whole" lot more than my bivy/tarp but you got to remember the versatility of the bivy/tarp system, you can set it up in places that would be a pain if not impossible with any kind of tent/tarptent, the bivy adds some warmth and you can set up either just bivy or tarp if conditions allow.

George Matthews
(gmatthews) - MLife
Re: poncho tarp variables on 08/21/2007 07:03:16 MDT Print View

I started with tent (61 oz, or 3 lb 13 oz) + precips (19 oz)

Next step, got Equinox 8x10 (14 oz) + precips (19 oz)
Note: only used this in Smoky staying at shelters
(was a backup if shelter full, but never had to use it)

No. 3, this year got the Contrail (24 oz) + precips (19 oz)
Really like it and it has inspired me to try tarp/bivy

No. 4 saw that the BLP Vapr Bivy (6.5 oz) was back in stock. I figured that they would go fast. And they did. Now I'm searching for a roof for when it's required. My thoughts are that a poncho tarp will give me an opportunity to drop the precips 19 oz and go less than the Contrail (24 oz). It'd be nice to even weigh less than the Equinox (14 oz).

Edited by gmatthews on 08/21/2007 07:29:17 MDT.

Phil Barton
(flyfast) - MLife

Locale: Oklahoma
Re: Poncho Tarps List on 08/21/2007 07:10:09 MDT Print View

Brett, here's two systems that I use depending on the season and destination:
TarpTent Squall with rear pole & stakes 33 oz
(use hiking pole for front pole)
Go-Lite Reed & Squall 15 oz
Total 48 oz

Poncho tarp option:
MLD Silnylon Pro Poncho 10.0 oz
Equinox bivy 6.5
Stakes & guylines 3.0
Gossamer Gear Polycryo ground cloth (maybe) 1.3
Total 20.8 oz

The stakes and guy line do matter. A tarp requires more stakes to pitch than does the TT.

If the weather is cooler and bugs are not a problem I'll go with the poncho tarp. If I need rain pants, I add back Go-Lite Reed for 5.0 oz (XL). For mosquitoes only I'd probably add a head net if needed. That's around 1 oz. I'm typically more concerned with ticks and will endure the heavier weight shelter if bug protection is needed.

The TarpTent is an excellent shelter. But it is only single use. If I don't need that level of protection the poncho/bivy combo is more flexible and lighter.

Edited by flyfast on 08/21/2007 07:14:01 MDT.

Joshua Mitchell
(jdmitch) - F

Locale: Kansas
Re: Re: Poncho Tarps List on 08/21/2007 08:03:46 MDT Print View

Tyvek Poncho (Goodling Outdoors) -

Ryan Gardner
(splproductions) - F - M

Locale: Salt Lake City, UT
Contrail vs. tarp setup on 08/21/2007 08:10:15 MDT Print View

For those who have had more experience using tarps and tarptents than I have, which would fair better in strong winds? A tarp, or a product like the Contrail? I've never used any of Henry's tents - how do they do in the wind?

George Matthews
(gmatthews) - MLife
poncho tarp / bivy on 08/21/2007 08:10:38 MDT Print View

Interesting. If I find the right poncho tarp for my bivy, then my "heavier" gear becomes:

shoes (23.8) Terroc 330
poles (21 oz) [Leki Makalu - working on this]
quilt (20 oz) No Sniveller

After I lighten up on my poles, then I don't see any more big opportunities. Of course, I know I can tweak the miscellaneous things that all add up.

Brett .
(Brett1234) - F

Locale: CA
Poncho Tarps List on 08/21/2007 08:15:34 MDT Print View

Jim, George, Brian, Phil, thanks for relaying your knowledge. I learned that choosing a bivy with attached bug netting is preferable.. for now I'm stuck with my Montbell goretex wide/long bivy at 9oz. I will try to find a light external net.

Phil, that Pro is one expensive poncho! I ordered the Golite poncho in blue after reading all this, and I will pair that with a Gossamer Gear ground sheet, the MB bivy, and the net.

This will be for solo trips only; with the swarms of mosquitoes, biting black flies, black ants, leeches dropping from trees, ticks, lice, oreo sized spiders, snake sized earthworms, etc, here in Japan there is no way my GF would sleep outside a zipped tent. And it's tough for me to work up the courage to try it also!

George Matthews
(gmatthews) - MLife
Re: Re: Re: Poncho Tarps List on 08/21/2007 08:27:50 MDT Print View

Hi Joshua

I went by a construction site where I saw them putting up Tyvek and asked them if I could have some scraps. They gave me a leftover roll that was about 30 ft or so. I cut three ground cloths from it. I'd read a tip recommending that it could be tossed in the washing machine to soften it up. I did that and it did the job. From what I understand, it is not really waterproof. Looks like the site you listed treats it to make it waterproof. Right now I feel like it's a good ground cloth, but I'm uncertain about using it for a poncho + tarp.

Have you tried it in rain?

George Matthews
(gmatthews) - MLife
Re: Poncho Tarps List on 08/21/2007 08:32:57 MDT Print View

Hi Brett

<<< with the swarms of mosquitoes, biting black flies, black ants, leeches dropping from trees, ticks, lice, oreo sized spiders, snake sized earthworms, etc >>>>>

LOL - not mention periodic gozilla visits

The Golite is a good price and looks like it has been tested well. I might go with it, too.

Steve .
(pappekak) - F

Locale: Tralfamadore
Re: Tarp System wt.= 1P tent? on 08/21/2007 08:44:38 MDT Print View

Brett, here is my setup:

Shelter + Ground Sheet
SMD Gatewood Cape (modified): 11.5 oz
Ground Cloth (36" x 84" x 2mm painter's drop cloth): 3.4 oz
total: 14.9 oz

Guyline + Stakes
Stuff sack for stakes & guylines: .1 oz
5 x AirCore Pro Dyneema Guyline with Cam-Lock Tensioners: .5 oz
5 x BPL Lazr Hi-Vis Titanium Stakes: 1.1 oz
1 x BPL Lazr Hi-Vis Titanium Nail: .3 oz
total: 2 oz

Bug Protection
BPL Ultralight Cap: 1.6 oz
BPL Ultralight Headnet: .33 oz
total: 1.93 oz

Shelter Total: 18.83 oz*
* weight excludes trekking pole for shelter