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Camp Inn (Cerf Bros. Bag Co.) Ultra Light Poncho

in Clothing - Raingear

Average Rating
4.00 / 5 (1 reviews)

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Heather Pisani-Kristl
( P-K )

San Diego
Camp Inn (Cerf Bros. Bag Co.) Ultra Light Poncho on 08/23/2007 06:36:38 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

Pros: multiple sizes available; price is comparable to other silnylon ponchos; construction is durable; rustproof heavy plastic snaps; available in blue, red or camo.

Cons: weighs more than advertised; additional features led to excessive seam-sealing (by consumer).

I purchased the 52" x 84" version of this poncho through for $53 with shipping. The smaller size appealed to me, because I'm under 5' tall and longer ponchos (such as Equinox and GoLite) create a tripping hazard. The available sizes and weights listed on the packaging are as follows:
42" x 72" 4.8 oz.
52" x 84" 5.5 oz. (large)
64" x 90" 6.8 oz.
56" x 96" 7.0 oz.
However, my size large poncho weighed 7.25 oz., not the 5.5 that was advertised! I am still saving weight over standard coated nylon ponchos, so I can't complain too much. But curiouser still, the label on the poncho reads "polyester" while the label on the packaging is "nylon" (I can't tell the difference). If I were Cerf Bros., I'd try for a little more truth in advertising. The hood height is adjustable with shockcord and a cordlock; in my opinion, a bit of velcro might have been lighter and would eliminate some of the extensive seam-sealing that I had to do along the top of the hood. In contrast to the care given the hood adjustment, the hood drawcord was a synthetic shoelace-like material without a cordlock or keeper knots, making it difficult to keep in place. When I tested this poncho in 45 MPH gusts atop South Twin Mt. in New Hampshire, the untied drawcord blew away without my knowing. On the upside, I didn't need the drawcord because the hood adjustment was so versatile. Poncho-tarp enthusiasts: with 4 corner-loops, there are not enough guyout points on this poncho to make it useful.
So, why did I give this a 4? Well, it kept me dry in wind-driven rain and hypothermic conditions. With the choice of sizes, I got a poncho that would cover me enough without being hazardous, but would also cover my 40L pack and keep both of us dry. The weight is reasonable and the fabric is very durable, resisting my scrambling over wet granite ledges and falling (inadvertently) into trailside shrubbery. It stuffs into its own front kangaroo pocket, creating good pillow material at night and also providing a pouch for snacks and gloves while wearing it. I wouldn't hesitate to purchase this for a child or a smaller adult, adding a cordlock to the hood drawcord and paying close attention to sealing the multiple hood seams.

Price comparison from GearBuyer: Equinox Poncho - Kid's priced at: $29.95 - $35.95
Shop Camp Inn, GoLite products at GearBuyer

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