View Full Version : Poncho-Question

09-26-2008, 23:45

09-26-2008, 23:52
rain jackets get you wet with condensation as well.

09-27-2008, 08:43
I use an Integral Designs Silcoat (http://www.integraldesigns.com/product_detail.cfm?id=824&CFID=7378347&CFTOKEN=43005992&mainproducttypeid=1)Cape (http://www.integraldesigns.com/product_detail.cfm?id=824&CFID=7378347&CFTOKEN=43005992&mainproducttypeid=1). It keeps me and my pack completely dry and allows for plenty of ventilation. I've been using it for the past few years and doubt that I'll find anything better.

09-27-2008, 09:11
I have an old 20 year old nylon poncho/tarp with a simple hood and snaps and gromets that is not oversized so it is pretty light at 8-9 pounds. Starting to leak a little as a tarp but breathes better as a poncho now. I just got a new poncho tarp at L.L.Bean for $30. It has better snaps and loops and is somewhat larger and more waterproof and should make a better tarp but I haven't tried it yet as a rain poncho. It is 12-13 oz, so the same weight of material per square yard, just bigger.

The main thing is the materials you wear underneath, and your tolerance for damp skin. If you wear a good combination of wool and silk or synthethics and you don't mind getting a little damp or even wet now and then and hiking until you dry out then just about anything will work. For me, poncho/tarps are only for heavy rain. For light drizzle I just put my wind layer over my sweater and hike on. In summer I don't even do that. I just wear the light wool sweater and hike right on through, even in heavy rain, unless I get cold. Even in cooler weather damp clothes are not a problem as long as there isn't a lot of water exchange. I used to sail in cold water all the time in wool sweaters and nylon anoraks and pants, before we had wet suits and dry suits. As long as you limit the cold/warm water exchange you can hike of paddle or sail all day. If there is the potential for freezing temperatures, or exposure to high winds in near freezing temperatures, then you need some way of drying out when you eventually stop. I limit the wool I wear to 1 layer and keep it on so my body can dry it out. Silk and synthetics can be wrung out. In winter heavy wool might require a small fire, but wool is the best thing to wear around fires anyway. So wool and small fires go well together. If a small open fire isn't an option for you then you might limit your wool to a thinner layer, but I think a mix of wool and silk/synthetics is still best. Down clothing is really only called for in dry alpine or arctic conditions in my opinion. I can get cold enough for down, but have enough wool and fleece for the wetter near freezing stuff that it is enough for the dry subzero stuff, as long as I can manage the dampness.

I guess I am saying condensation isn't an issue for me. I'm prepared to be wet.

09-27-2008, 09:57
A poncho works better than any rainsuit when it is warm. If it is warm enough to hike in shorts, it is warm enough for a poncho. I have an Integral Designs silnylon poncho (10 oz.) that covers me and my GG Vapor Trail, no pack cover needed with the poncho. You need to add a little mini carabiner to fasten the rear corners of the poncho around your waist to keep it from flapping and to keep the pack covered.

09-27-2008, 23:19
I just bring the back corners of my poncho up to the front and tuck them into my pack hipbelt. Keeps the wind from blowing the rain through the sides and soaking the pack. A bungee cord or spare tent guyline will work also.

I have a Mountain Laurel Designs standard poncho (no longer made). It has a round hole for the hood instead of the ridgeline hood on the new ones. It is 9.5 feet long and 5 feet wide and has way too many tie out loops on it (something like 16). I like it in temps below 50 degrees. Above that, I'd just as soon get wet. If it's warm and windy, I'll wear a windshirt over my polyester shirt. They both dry quickly.

09-27-2008, 23:29
Dont bring a dollar store poncho. I hear frogg toggs ponchos are real nice, and only 12 bucks

09-27-2008, 23:35