Mar 6, 2006 at 10:54 am #1217962
I’ve posted an inital impressions review of the Gatewood Cape in the Reader Reviews Section.Mar 6, 2006 at 12:08 pm #1351936
Michael MartinBPL Member
@mikemartinLocale: North Idaho
Thanks for posting the review, Wade!
One question for you….
You mentioned “arm slits”. Could you describe those further, please? Do the arms stick out through a slit? Or, does the cape drape over the arms? Or, is there a sleeve of some kind? Any photos?
-MikeMar 6, 2006 at 12:20 pm #1351938
>>”You mentioned “arm slits”. Could you describe those further, please? “
Part way down between the shoulder and waist height of the sides of the cape are slits – one on each side. The slits lay flat and close when your arms aren’t in them.
Slits are a little low for a short person, but still seem usable.
>>”Do the arms stick out through a slit?”
Yes. Arms stick out through slits.
>>”Or, does the cape drape over the arms?”
Cape doesn’t have to drape over the arms like the ID silcape does. You can extend the arms through the slits with as much of the arm protruding as you desire. So, you have two options: 1) extend only your hand and wrists, and maybe a portion of your forearms through the slits. In this case, the cape drapes over your arms, but drapes more neatly and controlled than the ID silcape does, and you still have plenty of coverage on your sides and back., or, 2) extend your arms through up to or above your elbow joints. In which case, you have no sleeves for rain protection (unless you’re wearing wind/rain jacket also), and in which case the cape doesn’t drape to the degree that it does when the arms protrude less through the slits.
>>”Or, is there a sleeve of some kind?””
BTW, cape is very long and for a short person gaiters will be sufficient to provide full body rain protection.Mar 6, 2006 at 1:08 pm #1351940
John S.BPL Member
Two things come to mind:
1. Pic of trekking pole setting into hood looks complicated and potentially unstable.
2. Last pic showing sloping of walls…the way silnylon sags in a rain worries about that being on yo head in the middle of the night.
Just observations on issues that I would want to know how others deal with on further use.Mar 6, 2006 at 1:11 pm #1351941
>>”Two things come to mind:
1. Pic of trekking pole setting into hood looks complicated and potentially unstable.”
Trekking pole can be inverted with the tip up going through an included grommet. The trekking pole handle will be on the ground in this case. This is very similar to pitching some tarps which have colored pullouts with grommets on the ridgeline to accept the tip of a trekking pole. In this case, it might be wise to keep, or obtain, the plastic tip cover to go over the carbide tip of the trekking pole to protect the silnylon hood from the carbide tip.
>>”2. Last pic showing sloping of walls…the way silnylon sags in a rain worries about that being on yo head in the middle of the night.”
There are additional guyouts on some sides that can be utilized to somewhat ameliorate the situation that you astutely envision as possibly occurring particularly in rainy conditions.Mar 6, 2006 at 2:13 pm #1351944
I need update the instructions on usage. When sitting in front of the computer it’s not always easy to distinguish between what seems obvious to me and what’s confusing to the user. I didn’t even think about instructions on configuring the cape to be worn.
The two stake loops on either side fold up under the cape and are held by the grosgrain with snaps. The snaps on this model are a bit larger than I want. In this case, making sure we’ve got the right snaps and dies for the particular snap setting machine we’ve got proved to be a major pain. I’ll be looking at different and lighter alternatives in later versions.
1) Pic of trekking pole setting into hood looks complicated and potentially unstable.
When setting up the cape for shelter, (as Paul mentioned) the tip of your pole is centered in a grommet in the harness. This locks the pole into place and it won’t move. Since the pole harness is set in the center of the hood, it’s not likely the silnylon in the hood will rub against the pole tip and cause a hole.
2) Last pic showing sloping of walls…the way silnylon sags in a rain worries about that being on yo head in the middle of the night.
The walls running out from the pole tip to anchors can be set pretty rigid. Also I recommend you create some extensions with the extra guyline material provided. This allows you to raise the edge of the canopy several inches off the ground for increased ventilation.
In addition the main guyline can be re-tensioned from within the shelter in order to adjust for slack without leaving your shelter.
RonMar 6, 2006 at 2:14 pm #1351945
My experience is with a home made shaped-tarp of the same general configuration as the Cape when used for shelter, but I didn’t realise that I could have made it a cape as well.
Paul says “Trekking pole can be inverted with the tip up going through an included grommet. The trekking pole handle will be on the ground in this case”. The trouble with doing this when pitched on grass with the pole anything but 90% to the ground is that the bottom of the pole slips sideways during the night. This lets the structure sag. Having the handle at the top and the spike sticking into the ground prevents this.
DavidMar 6, 2006 at 2:23 pm #1351946
Yes, I totally hear you on the “distinguish” thing. I design software for a living and do alot of user-testing for this reason.
As to the trek pole, I should be clear that the pole I use has a tripod mount on the top – so I set that into the harness. It isn’t just the handle there, which would be totally unstable. The tripod holds the harness pretty good and since I don’t want it in the dirt, it gets to go end up.
As to asks:
1.Some instructions on intended usage in cape mode would be dandy.
2. I’m still unlcear as to how the main harness guyline works so any comments would help. Pictures even better.
Thanks for an interesting product. I’m really looking forward to getting it out and seeing how it works.Mar 6, 2006 at 3:04 pm #1351950
Michael MartinBPL Member
@mikemartinLocale: North Idaho
Thanks everyone for the responses.
A couple more questions…
In Wade’s photos it looks like the panels might be cut to caternary curves. Are they?
In shelter mode, is it long enough to cover a 6’2″ tall hiker without head and/or toes touching the ends?
-MikeMar 6, 2006 at 3:08 pm #1351951
I’m 5’8″ and found that it was just about the right size for me.
Personally, I’d hate to be any taller or I’d find myself staring at silnylon and hitting it with my feet.
But YMMV.Mar 6, 2006 at 8:02 pm #1351968
Dale WambaughBPL Member
@dwambaughLocale: Pacific Northwest
My order arrived today. It’s dark so I’m not going to set it up in the back yard, but all looks good.
As to the garment end of things, it suits me fine. The hood is a good fit. I like to wear a hat (Tilley T-5) and the hood will tuck down into a makeshift collar. I’ve done this with ponchos before, just lowering the hood and snugging the drawstring up a bit. You can pull it up in the back as you might with a jacket collar to keep the breeze off the back of your neck.
The length is good for me. I’m 5’10” and long-waisted (30″ inseam) and it hits me a few inches below the knees. As Wade said, it will be a nice combo with some long gaiters. I would be hauling rain pants with any other combination and the weight savings is more than enough to afford taking the pants with.
The arm slits are located well for me and I can see using trekking poles, although just walking with cape on would be dry and comfy with your arms tucked inside. It does hang naturally. It will work well on rest stops, sitting on a pad and draping the cape around you.
When using poles, the cape will move some with the arm movment, but not radically.
I would use toggles rather than the snaps to hold the side up for the cape mode– I doubt if they would come loose and the toggles would be simple in the manufacturing process and actual use.
You can un-zip the front (it’s like a huge pants fly) to get to your pack straps, etc and to ventilate. I don’t think it will be much different than a poncho for ventilation. The sides aren’t as clean and straight as a poncho’s, although it won’t make much difference in use– it’s just an artifact of the multi-use design. The newness of the fabric adds to the lumpiness too. I think it will handle better in the wind and won’t be any more prone to catching brush.
The color-coded web assembly to bridge the head hole is a work of art. I can see that I could jury-rig one from line if I lost it in the field. I think I could tie up something useable in a few minutes. The front guy line just goes right out the hood opening. It’s easy enough to snug the hood down and I can see it will be great for ventilation in good weather. I’m wondering if the hood could be propped open with a twig to catch a breeze, like a Dorade vent on a sailboat.
And the design is made to use with the pole tip-up and handle down. That suits me fine as it doesn’t poke holes in the ground cloth. The Walrus Trekker tarp had an arrangment to use poles handle up– it was a massive wad of Velcro straps to form a pocket around the pole handle. Believe me, the grommet-and-tip arrangment is much easier to work with. If you are really sweating the pole sliding on the handle, you could make a small depression for the handle to sit it.
The self-stowing pocket is cool. It begs to be used as a map pocket on the trail and your glasses and a granola bar could live there too– its big. Same deal at night– glasses and flashlight in a known spot.
It looks like I’m going to be sealing the seams this week and I’m going to add some small zipper pulls.
All in all, it is what I expected and I feel like I got my money’s worth. I am much more confident about taking off in rainy weather with this rig than I would with a plain poncho/tarp.
When I first saw this design, I made a plan to use it as my warm weather kit, with DWR wind pants or convertible pants. It drops my pack weight by 4 ounces on the shelter side and 12 ounces on the rain coat (Marmot Precip), for a full pound off my pack. I’m teaming it with six of the BMW Ti tent stakes.Mar 7, 2006 at 8:58 am #1351988
@cbertLocale: N. California
would the fit be as good/better, or do you think I’d be tripping over the cape when I walk?Mar 7, 2006 at 9:05 am #1351991
Cary, you’ve got a few on me and when the sides are secured up (as they are supposed to be when wearing it as a cape), it’s not close to dragging on the ground, though it is below the knee a ways – so I can leave the rain pants at home and just use shortie gaiters (or half- or full- lenght gaiters if I desired).
If you need me to actually measure how many inches, post back and let me know.Mar 7, 2006 at 9:07 am #1351992
Dale WambaughBPL Member
@dwambaughLocale: Pacific Northwest
Something that I came to realize after trying it on last night is that I will have a pack on too.
I’ll have my daughter put a pack on and then the cape– she’s about 5’5″. I don’t think you would have a problem though. I’m 5’10” and it hits me about four fingers below the knees without a pack on. There are enough tent stake loops on the bottom that you could tuck it up about any way you like.
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