Best Poncho/Shelter Design

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    Kyle Purcell


    Locale: North Texas

    I have been looking for a poncho to either make or buy that gives plenty of coverage, is light, and I would also like for it to have room to double as a pack cover (triple as a pack cover if you count it being shelter also). All ideas will be helpful, and I look forward to hearing everyone's insights.

    Thanks all,

    Peter McDonough


    Locale: Above the Divided Line sells the gatewood cape, which would be perfect for your needs.

    Paul Tree


    Locale: Wowwww
    P. P.


    Locale: PNW

    I have the GoLite poncho/tarp and really like it.

    Jaiden .


    campmor has one too. look for the "extension" one. I have never seen one.

    Rick Dreher
    BPL Member


    Locale: Northernish California

    I have one; it's actually an Equinox.

    Thomas Knighton


    Locale: Southwest GA

    I've got a Gatewood Cape, and they're awesome. All the advantages of a poncho/tarp, but with more overall protection (though less ventilation), all in an 11 ounce package. Got to love that :D


    Gene Kinney


    Locale: Southwest

    I have and like the Sea to Summit PonchoTarp. It weighs 11.5oz without the little stuff sack that comes with it.
    I actually stuff the thing in the hipbelt of my Mariposa Plus pack.
    It does great triple duty as an emergency shelter (A-frame), pack cover and rain poncho.
    I have yet to use as a primary shelter in a lean-to pitch but I will try it out next year in the summer.
    I always hated the clammy feeling of a rain jacket. And the ponchoTarp with its open sides with button snaps I don't get that feeling.
    Only downside is the weight of course. I would like to make my own someday with half the weight.

    Ryan Faulkner
    BPL Member


    the Six moon designs gatewood cape looks like an excellent shelter, full coverage shelter and packcover/raingear, but I have not bought one, because I like having multiple pitching options.
    my recomendations would be either the Integral designs sil poncho, or the golite poncho tarp. both companies make excellent products. The golite is a little longer, and narrower.

    David Wills


    most any poncho 8 ft or more will work for a shelter/pack cover. I made a copy of the MLD pro poncho, and it provides better pack coverage than regular ponchos because it is wider in the back. it also works better as a shelter than regular ponchos because it gives you more room at the head and tapers to the foot. I would highly recommend it as the best poncho.

    Steve .


    Locale: Tralfamadore

    I am partial to the Six Moon Designs Gatewood Cape. The nice thing about the cape is there is no need for a bivy in inclement weather. Pitch all the way to the ground and you are set.


    Andrew :-)


    Locale: Sydney, Australia.

    Has BPL ever done a group test of ponchotarps?
    You know, get a few people and do an overnighter in less than perfect weather using ponchotarp systems. I would be interested in a thorough back-to-back test of these products in real (wet windy bush) conditions.

    Ron Moak



    You can see a real world comparison on this website at The Poncho Tarp: Techniques and Gear Systems for Inclement Conditions .

    I think this one does require membership to read.


    Andrew :-)


    Locale: Sydney, Australia.

    This is a great help – I looked in the wrong place.

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