View Full Version : ZPacks CloudKilt

01-08-2011, 21:53
Well, I finally broke down and got a kilt...but not a full time hiking kilt, but rather a UL rain Kilt. I plan to use it for all but hiking in the dead of winter. 1.8 oz and fits in my fist. Plus it can be a multiuse item (especially for tarp users). So, anyway, check out my video on my blog:

ZPacks CloudKilt (http://stick13.wordpress.com/2011/01/08/zpacks-cloudkilt/)

01-08-2011, 22:15
I picked one up a few weeks back. Looks promising. Waiting on the matching CloudCape.

01-09-2011, 00:40
stick or south. how has the kilt performed while hiking? sometimes i have to take some high steps. any obstruction of your gait as you walk wearing that?

01-09-2011, 00:44
What do you guys know about the CloudCape? Would that be appropriate to wear when I achieve superultralight status?

01-09-2011, 01:09
No, the CloudKilt does not obstruct your gait. Since it only velcroes at the top, the bottom is left open which allows you to take high steps and fairly long strides. However, since the cuben fiber does not stretch it can get just a little restricting with extremely large strides, however at this point it is not something I am worried about. I did try to connect the bottom together using a carabiner but it seriously obstructed my stride and there is no way I would leave it like that. So, this does leave your back side open to the elements a bit though.

An alternative would be the ULA rain kilt. It looks to actually widen as it goes down so it may offer even more freedom to move around. Plus it is sil so it will actually stretch a little in the rain. Half the price as the ZPacks but also twice the weight.

As for the CloudCape, all I know about that is that it is "coming soon."

01-09-2011, 02:18
Interesting peice of gear. I take it this is not the type of kilt one hike's with instead of wearing pants and/or shorts?


01-09-2011, 02:18
Interesting peice of gear. I take it this is not the type of kilt one hike's with instead of wearing pants and/or shorts?


01-09-2011, 12:19
SNSP... you would only wear this without pants/shorts/real kilt unless you are comfortable hiking naked.

If someone wants to experiment with this, you can give it a try using a some cheap plastic and glueing on some velco (the self adhersing backs on the velco I tried weren't strong enough) or by cutting off the bottom of a cinch-up trash bag, and then replacing the plastic cinch with a light piece of elastic.


01-09-2011, 12:30
thanks for the info stick. please keep this thread updated as you get use out of it...

01-09-2011, 12:42
Haha...well I am not using it as a full time hiking kilt...But if it came down to it, I don't see why it couldn't be...However, according to the website it can be used during laundry time...but yeah, keep your legs crossed...

I have some silnylon laying around and I think I may try making another one that is more specific to me. I am not sure that I would use Velcro though but rather just sew an elastic waistline and have it to taper out as it goes down so that it can be sewn all the way around with no flap in the back. (Essentially a garbage bag with the bottom cut out.) :)

01-09-2011, 13:18
How is this different from the ULA rain skirt? I use that in warm weather and love it.

01-09-2011, 13:23
Essentially they are the same thing. ZPacks is lighter since it uses cuben. And I am not sure about the ULA rain skirt, but the CloudKilt can be completely opened up to use as a smaller ground cloth and even attached to the end of a tarp as a beak.

Like I said though, I am probably going to make a DIY rains skirt with some extra sil I have laying around.

Raul Perez
01-09-2011, 15:22

Just man up and get a kilt too :)

I have the ula rain wrap they appear to be the same thing. The only difference is the fabric used.


01-10-2011, 03:49
Calling that a "kilt" is like calling a Suzuki 4x4 a Jeep or a Tarp Tent a Coleman. While I like its simplisity it's no kilt and nor should it be refered to as one.

01-10-2011, 16:22
I like it better than "skirt"... :)

01-10-2011, 16:41
Calling that a "kilt" is like calling a Suzuki 4x4 a Jeep or a Tarp Tent a Coleman. While I like its simplisity it's no kilt and nor should it be refered to as one.

Suzuki, Jeep, Tarp Tent and Coleman are brand names. Suzuki and Jeep are motorized vehicles. A Tarp Tent is a tent and Coleman is just a brand name. CloudKilt is a model name and is by no means a traditional Scottish kilt but it is a "kilt" a rain kilt.

The name "kilt" is applied to a range of garments:
The traditional garment, either in its historical form, or in the modern adaptation now usual in Scotland (see History of the kilt), usually in a tartan pattern
The kilts worn by Irish pipe bands are based on the traditional Scottish garment but in a single (solid) colour[1]
Variants of the Scottish kilt adopted in other Celtic nations, such as the Welsh cilt and the Cornish cilt
Other skirt-like garments designed for men, but more or less different in structure from the Scottish kilt, including contemporary kilts
Certain types of pleated wrapover skirt worn as school uniform by girls.

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the noun derives from a verb to kilt, originally meaning "to gird up; to tuck up (the skirts) round the body", itself of Scandinavian origin.

01-10-2011, 17:09
Maybe ULA got it tight when the called theirs a "Rain Wrap"... :D

Raul Perez
01-10-2011, 17:23
I hate when threads turn into a battle of definition of words. Who CARES! I'm more interested in the functionality of the item. Keep us updated on how it works out in inclement weather Stick! Congrats on your UL purchase.

01-10-2011, 20:48
Will do...as soon as I get to use it...I typically find my rain gear doesn't come out very much... but it will be nice only carrying 1.8 oz rather than 12 oz...

And if you think this thread is off kilter you should see my other one on another site...it is actually quite funny IMO...


01-10-2011, 21:12
Stick - what will you do for rain coverage at the point where the Cloudkilt ends to your feet? Just let your lower legs get wet or use gaiters?


01-10-2011, 22:11
At the moment I will just let my feet get wet which is another reason that I will not be using them in places like the Smokies in winter. I am planning on trying out some trail runners sometime this year since my weight is down to what it is now. Of course these will not be anything lined and mostly mesh. This will allow my shoes to dry out somewhat quickly and of course I always have at least 1 extra pair of socks, sometimes 2 + a pair to sleep in depending on length of trip.

The length is one thing that I went back and forth with. To be honest, if it would have been offered longer I would have gotten it. And I am sure I could have asked Joe to make it a little longer and he would have...However, here the ULA Rain Wrap has it beat because it is offered in 34" from them.

01-10-2011, 22:18
Stick, I'm with you on just letting my feet get wet. I have never carried rain pants in three season trips so I will actually be drier with the kilt.

01-11-2011, 18:44

My mistake, the CloudKilt is actually designed by Thom at TrailLite Design's.


Thom has designed the CloudKilt and then outsourced the kilt to Joe at ZPacks for actual manufacturing and selling. So if you want to buy one you go through ZPacks.com.

Also, this is where the idea for the CloudCape is coming from, TrailLite Designs. I know that some has asked about how far along this is or when it will be offered. According to the TrailLIte Designs website: (Status: 2nd prototype completed / fit and field testing Winter 2011).

Read all about the CloudCape and even see a picture here:


Just wanted to clear that up...thanks.

01-11-2011, 18:50
I think I'll like the CloudCape, especially if they'll (optionally) make it in breathable cuben.

I like the cuben bag liner too. I do have a cuben fiber quilt, but I want to transition to a more conventional down quilt this year. The cuben quilt is great, but I sweat too much at night and the constant moisture causes me to wreak horribly after one night. The cuben liner would mostly be for when the temperatures really drop for an extended period and I can't afford to compromise my insulation.

01-11-2011, 19:13
Other than the CloudKilt I only have a Zpacks rain Cover for my Circuit which is made of Cuben Fiber, but it is a much lighter cuben than the CloudKilt. I would really like to try a cuben tarp, but that will have to wait...

01-11-2011, 19:22
I have one of Joe's cuben fiber tarps for my Nano-7 hammock. Complete set-up; hammcok, suspension, tree huggers, tarp, ridgeline, guylines and stakes are less than 16 oz. I am able to pitch the tarp in tent mode with ends closed for complete protection. I also have one of Joe's original backpacks of silnylon (6.5 oz). The tarp has held up well on several trips now and a number of high winds and rains tests in my backyard.

01-11-2011, 19:53
that's nuts southmark. what a great weight for shelter...

01-11-2011, 20:38
Very cool SouthMark.

01-11-2011, 21:05
Well I did not originate this set up. Sgt Rock came up with this set up first. I fashioned mine after his. His goal was to create a sul sub 5 lb pack using a hammock. His hammock system weighed 13 oz.

01-11-2011, 23:02
I couldn't imagine a sub 5 lb pack...

Earlier I was looking at Thom from TrailLite Designs UL Summer Gear list which is posted over on BPL. Carried is 4.14 and skin out is 7.1... amazing...

Here is his list:

01-11-2011, 23:35
stoveless. i'll pass... and really that's like a hot summer list...

01-12-2011, 08:48
Grant over at Gossamer Gear has made several trips with a 3 lb base weight. His gear lists are available on the site and includes stove. My summer gear list is under 6 lbs including stove.

01-12-2011, 09:15
You mean Glen? His gear list isn't bad, but he's awfully generous with what he's going to carry on him (outside pack). Either way, that list isn't appropriate for a thru hiker. It was definitely appropriate for the short hike mentioned at the top of the page. That place at that date is dry and hot. I hear shelters fill up awfully fast when the weather is foul. I'd want a bigger tarp and a bivy to stay dry. A 3/8" thick pad is awfully thin to sleep on for several consecutive months. Insulation would be needed for at least part of the hike, and I'd carry rain gear the whole time. Other than that, most of the rest is nice.

01-12-2011, 11:23
You are right. I meant Glen and nothing was mentioned about a thru hiker but Joe at Zpacks did the AT with 8 lb base, the PCT with 5 lb base and the CDT with 6 lb base. Going light is not difficult once you get past your fears and develop the necessary skills. After all Grandma Gatewood hiked the AT with nothing more than a homemade denim duffle bag over her shoulder with a wool blanket, a plastic shower curtain and misc supplies. She seldom carried more than 15 lbs including food and water.

01-12-2011, 16:58
Yeah...I like my stove too. Currently my 3 season weight is just under 13.5 pounds. I am planing on replacing some of it which will drop between 1 & 3 pounds more. It really depends on my shelter, I like the light weight and pretty much full coverage of a MLD SoloMid (more so in Cuben) but like the same idea with floor and full bug proofing with the Sublite Sil Tarptent...

However, I feel like I am getting in my sweet spot. I am really enjoying the lighter weight of my gear but also I don't mind having a few comfort items and taking a weight penalty (such as my PILLOW... :)) I am not sure I will ever be under 5 pounds, but I wouldn't mind getting pretty close to it, at least for the hot months...