Oct 17, 2008 at 7:39 pm #1231579
I am considering getting a ponch tarp and read that sleeping without a bivy sack in the rain is asking for trouble. what experiences do people have with this. Also I have looked at the pictures of the golite poncho tarp and compared it to the Mountain laurel design. The MDL ponch from the picture when worn it does not drap lower on the legs. The picture on the golite site shows their product being bunched around the models feet. This makes me want to choose the MDL. Is this just marketing.Oct 18, 2008 at 1:34 am #1454967
@dealtoyoLocale: Mt Hood
Double postOct 18, 2008 at 1:36 am #1454968
@dealtoyoLocale: Mt Hood
The Six Moon Designs Gatewood Cape has better protection for those who don't use a bivy sack. This might be the ticket for you. Backpackinglight reviewed this shelter, you might want to check it out.Oct 18, 2008 at 4:59 am #1454971
I've got a SMD Gatewood Cape and have used it to wild camp remotely and relatively high up in Scotland, in wet and windy weather, and found it sturdy and reliable. I used the Serenity Net Tent, and no bivvy. I was dry and really pleased with the combination. the only problem I have had was that the tent pole sank a few inches in the soft wet ground, significantly reducing the internal area, so I now stand it on a rock or in a bottle cap. So this combination would, in my opinion, be fine without a bivvy.Oct 18, 2008 at 6:12 am #1454974
@jshorttLocale: North Carolina
Zoli, I am not sure why the MLD tarp looks so short in the picture…it says it is a 9' long poncho which is about equal to the golite. One thing to note is that the golite poncho tarp has velcro patches to shortern the back flap or extend it. The extension is for use when wearing a pack so the poncho is not short in the back. Below is a picture of me using my golite poncho tarp for reference. I am 5' 9.5" tall and the back panel is extended. I am wearing a golite ion (1500 cu in pack) which is small so the back panel extends down just a bit too far. I have purchased an integral designs poncho tarp that has the head hole centered. I haven't used it yet but I think it will be easier for me to walk when I'm using a small pack. I personally think the golite poncho is one of the best values around, but the MLD poncho tarp would probably best the "best" poncho tarp with respect to performance. The ID silponcho is in between the 2 (mix of price + performance).Oct 18, 2008 at 6:37 am #1454978Oct 18, 2008 at 9:06 am #1454986
Peter, you say "….remotely and relatively high up in Scotland, in wet and windy weather,….". How did it work as rainwear? I have always assumed that a poncho was not suited to U.K. conditions – above treeline and windy. Was I wrong?Oct 18, 2008 at 1:19 pm #1455017
Ah, well I must say I wouldn't even try it as rainwear this trip! It was very windy and just not the right gear if I wanted to stay dry; also we move fairly quickly and under a tarp I'd have lost a lot of fluids! I have it because it's a pretty sturdy tent and at 18oz there's not much out there that's as light and as flexible (in that the tent is modular). So it's not a poncho at all to me! So I think that you are right.Oct 18, 2008 at 1:50 pm #1455020
Thanks Peter.Oct 18, 2008 at 1:55 pm #1455023
@markhurdLocale: South Texas
I've used the Gatewood Cape as a cape and a shelter.
As a cape in light to no wind (< 7 mph) and steady rain it worked well. Some dampness inside due to condensation, but managable especially give the level of heavy activity I was engaged in. I wore Dry Duck pants just due to the generally sloppy conditions.
As a shelter it was great. No bivy in heavy rain all night and some occasional 10-15 mph gusty winds and was still dry in the morning.
Don't know how the cape would handle in high winds, but then all poncho type rain gear would have problems. Also the cape is closed all the way around except for the zipper in front so one is a little less exposed to rain blowing in from the sides like in a poncho.
-MarkOct 19, 2008 at 3:32 pm #1455171
I call it the 'Year of the Poncho'. I spent approximately 112 nights in the wilderness that year. It was an experiment of sorts. Without the bivy I would have drowned many times. By the way the golite is 8' 8''. If you want to keep it simple I would suggest the golite because it is cheaper and the effect will be the same as more a costly one. Or if you want similar weight ( a little heavier) try the gatewood cape. A friend uses the cape and it is really nice. I use a homemade dwr top, pu coated bottom bivy with my golite -pitched in a 1/2 pyramid. This works well for three seasons. I used an OR advanced bivy in conjunction with the golite poncho during the winter of my 'Year of the Poncho'. During the deep winter a better bivy was a real plus and added weight– but it worked really good. I did not always use a bivy, but I always carried one. I am now using an 8×8 for three season and an oragami 2UL in winter- bugnet bivy in warm weather, none in winter.Oct 22, 2008 at 8:49 pm #1455794
@tarasbulbaLocale: Rocky Mountains
Zoli, I'm another Gatewood convert. I'd been considering one for a long time and finally broke down and got it mid-summer. The first time out it rained for 10 hours straight that night and kept me dry and snug as a bug. Since then I've also used it in snow, and that worked out well also because it has guy out points midway up to pull the sides out so as not to collapse. As raingear it works as well as can be expected, in fact, the condensation was about the same as my gore-tex jacket. This was one of the better investments I've made! Happy trails!
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