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

Reader Reviews

Add your own review

GoLite Tarp-Poncho

in Shelters - Tarps & Floorless

Average Rating
3.40 / 5 (5 reviews)

Display Avatars Sort By:
Andrew Skurka
( askurka )
GoLite Tarp-Poncho on 10/26/2005 11:47:29 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

Please see Will's review on this product:

Below are my comments on the review, as well as some additional comments.

1- There is no need for a waist cord, with this tarp-poncho or others. It is MUCH more effective to take the corners of the back half of the poncho and tie them around one's waist. This improves fit (it conforms to the body better, and it won't flare out if it's windy or if the poncho gets snagged by overgrown brush); eliminates feet/legs from getting caught up in hanging back of the poncho when you kick back; protects one's pack better (the back half of the poncho wraps around it nicely); and reduces the possibility that a branch sticking out into the trail could snag the poncho and give you whiplash or tear the fabric, or both.

2- Will is right about the hood cinch cord, and this is easily improved by re-threading the cord loop with 2mm p-cord and refitting it with a cinch lock. This saves a little bit of weight too.

3- You cave save additional weight by removing the Velcro patches (6 total, each about 1.5"x3"), which for a 6' person with a pack are not necessary. For a shorter person, or for someone not wearing a pack, they may be a useful feature. You will need to seal the holes left by the needle with seam sealer. Another way to save some weight is, as mentioned, to remove the extra fabric used in installing the snaps.

4- If a pool of rainwater is collecting in the hood when pitched A-frame style, then you are not pitching it optimally. I suggest either stringing the hood to a tree above, or pulling it off to the side with a 3' guyline and stake.

5- If pitched lean-to style, you can mostly eliminate flapping by increasing the tension along the top length by either hanging something from the top middle stake loop (like a cookpot) or using a 3' guyline to stake it down, which is what I usually do. This latter option improves weather resistance too, because you become less vulnerable from wind and rain from that direction.

6- As far as the extra weight of the fabric, I will only say that I used my tarp-poncho on the entire Colorado Trail and then for 5,000+ miles on the C2C. It never ripped and never lost its waterproofness.

Shop GoLite products at GearBuyer
Andrew Richard
( fairweather8588 )

The Desert
Nice, but not for me on 05/25/2007 17:15:25 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 3 / 5

I bought this on eBay after seeing Andrew's success on the C2C with it, so I figured the strong fabric would be tough enough to withstand the worst that the desert could throw at it.

First off, I love the low weight and versatility of the poncho/tarp concept. It rarely rains in AZ, and I believe this would stand up to a typical desert shower, however I never wore the poncho in rain. It was room enough to wait out an afternoon shower in Colorado in my sleeping bag, with really no space underneath to do anything but lay down flat. This tarp just wasn't for me, the space restictions and wanting to go to a lighter yet bigger spinnaker tarp left me to sell it back on eBay where I first bought it, and I will soon be sewing my own tarp

Edited by fairweather8588 on 05/25/2007 17:16:53 MDT.

B. F.
( thrush )
I like it on 03/22/2009 04:27:50 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I like mine, I slept under it and worn it several times in rainy conditions. Consider using the "extra fabric used in installing the snaps" for binding the poncho arround you with a piece of paracord + cord locker wich works fine for me.

Nikola Sijan
( sijannikola )
Are you serious? on 08/12/2013 00:29:03 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 1 / 5

Golite Poncho Tarp is a bad product.

Whilst the idea of having a tarp, rain protection and cover in one mightlook like a lifesaver to hikers, in practice it comes up short.

In poncho mode its mediocre at best but in must important role as rain shelter it really fails. It is cramped and short with no space for a backpack, so in the end there is no real weight save as you need to bring something to protect your pack against the elements.

Big fail.

Shop GoLite products at GearBuyer
Nathan Lewis
( nlewis )

Central NY state
simple and works on 10/03/2013 18:37:21 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

This is real "minimalist" gear, so no complaining. It is just enough to get by, and no more. It is 7oz for both raingear and shelter -- about 11oz including cord and stakes. If you want that "and I want it to be comfy cozy too!" then you are asking too much.

It is a decent poncho in the rain. Nothing special but functional and light.

As a shelter, it is your basic 5x8 tarp, which is to say it is SMALL. I use it in A-frame pitch with the sides nailed down, stakes through the loops, which means it is VERY LOW AND TIGHT (maybe 20" at centerline) but that is the best way to use it in any kind of heavy rain IMO. You basically have to wriggle into it like a worm, but once inside it is comfy as long as you don't try to turn around or sit up. Don't think of it as a super-small tarp, think of it as a roomy and airy bivy sack. Once you lie still and go to sleep, it is just fine.

The velcro tab system is kludgey IMO. It is done to make the poncho a little longer so it functions as a tarp shelter, and also to give some extra fabric for big packs. I found that it would work with a small UL pack if you offset the side snaps, creating a big fold of fabric around the middle of the back, and you wouldn't have to use the velcro thingies. Like any poncho tarp, it sucks in wind above treeline, but you already knew that.

Edited by nlewis on 10/03/2013 18:42:04 MDT.

Shop And products at GearBuyer

Add your own review