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Integral Designs Silponcho

in Clothing - Raingear

Average Rating
4.50 / 5 (6 reviews)

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Glenn Roberts
( garkjr )

Southwestern Ohio
Integral Designs Silponcho on 10/16/2005 13:44:52 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I've been using this for a year or so now, in the Midwest forests, and have really come to like it. It's lightweight silnylon, ventilates well, and provides plenty of rain protection. Best of all, it doesn't flap around or get caught on every passing branch or rock. Why? Because of it's belt.

The only design difference between this poncho and any other poncho is that this one has a drawcord that goes around the bottom of the back, and can be tied off in front. This prevents the flapping and, depending on how tightly you secure it, can do a pretty good job holding in some heat on a chilly fall day (though I usually prefer a silnylon windbreaker for this.) This feature also gives you the functionality of a "backpacker extension poncho" without the weight of that extension panel in back. It lets you secure the poncho around your pack just like a packcover. You'd think that this would expose the back of your shorts and legs to rain, but somehow it doesn't.

Lightweight, protective, versatile, takes about 10 seconds to deploy - if it just made you invisible, ID would have re-invented J.R.R. Tolien's elven cloak!

Dane Burke
( Dane )

Western Washington
ID silponcho rules! on 04/07/2006 23:19:30 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

This poncho/tarp works flawlessy in both configurations. The poncho mode does not affect it's use as a tarp...except you won't get a pretty ridgeline in an A-frame pitch (hood spoils it, causes wrinkles). But I never pitch it that way anyway, instead I prefer an A-frame/lean-to hybrid using the hood as a pull out for extra interior volume. I can get beautiful, tight, wrinkle-less pitches this way with excellent rain coverage.

I cut out the bungee cord thing to save weight...instead I bring up both of the rear corners and tie a simple knot with them which rests on my stomach. Works great. I also use a carabiner (double duty bear bagging clip) to hold the two front corners together behind me, so I have my pack tightly covered, legs fully covered, and very little wind flapping.

For the first few weeks of owning the poncho I found a new configuration to wear it in nearly everytime I put it on...very fun to experiment with.

This is THE poncho-tarp. Highest recommendations.

b d
( bdavis )

Mt. Lassen - Shasta, N. Cal.
Learning to use it, starting to like it a lot. on 12/01/2006 22:12:15 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

What I first wrote:

This piece of gear is a real love and hate thing. It weighs too much but its great if I use it as a tarp, not as a poncho. All I want in a poncho is the rain and snow or moisture protection.

Updated review:

Looking back, what a foolish sounding statement that is after spending only a few weeks studying and learning about how to use a poncho/tarp and what they are for. Now I know it is my lack of experience with this tarp/poncho or any tarp or poncho that was giving me problems. The tarp bivvy combination really got me interested in taking my poncho out and learning how it works.

For example, I now know the hood will actually fit over my rain hat, which spreads the hood, keeps it off my face, allows me to control the face opening and makes it 100% better comfortable and easy to see out of.

By putting a slip belt around the waist I found I could adjust the extra material at the waist so that the arms moved freely but the tarp stayed next to my body. That got rid of the grossest of the flopping around and noisy part. I learned it is a matter of learning how to use the gear that makes the difference in how I view it -- not knowing I hate it, knowing I love it.

Now I am learning how to use it comfortably and easily. It just stopped the snow dead when I took it out for a test run this afternoon. Next, I have to perfect my tarp pitching skills.

I have also used it as a groundcloth and it works well and has no holes in it, so it is sturdy.

For durability, versatility, weather proofing when needed, and shelter it has to be a 5 not a 4 now that I am learning how to use it.

Edited by bdavis on 12/15/2006 15:34:08 MST.

bclady bclady
( bclady )
not for short people on 04/27/2007 19:00:48 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 2 / 5

I hiked the West Coast Trail and ditched my heavier rain gear in favor of the poncho. (The weather forecast was accurate and the trip sunny and hot) My last day was a downpour. My inexperience probably didn't help but I wasn't too impressed with the protection. I five feet so the poncho was riding down over my knees and really got in the way of being able to see where I was going. The trail is riddled with roots so it made the day a challenge. Hiking with poles left my arms exposed and my sleeves got soaked. I can say the Montbell Synthetic jacket does work though. I will keep it as a back up however.

Edited by bclady on 04/27/2007 19:02:21 MDT.

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John Haley
( Quoddy )

New York/Vermont Border
Works as Advetised on 08/31/2007 16:06:37 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I just retured from a thru hike of the Long Trail where I had the chance to really check the cape out. I used it in conditions varying from light rain to torrential thunderstorms and it did an excellent job in keeping both me and my pack dry. At just 5oz it was an excellent dual purpose item. Keeping cool while hiking was also a key factor.... plenty of ventilation.

Edited by Quoddy on 08/31/2007 16:09:23 MDT.

andrew mitchell
( brocc7 )
great multipupose on 05/11/2012 23:17:18 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I always carry my poncho, neoair, and a silk sheet in my travel backpack: I can use it in rain and emergency sleeping as in airports twice, as well as light weight ventilated rain gear when hiking. I once used it as a bivy in a thunderstorm in the Rockies so well that a marmot came 1 foot away to check it out. It also make a strong groundcloth

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