Sep 1, 2006 at 11:32 am #1219476
@ledcactusyahoo-comLocale: Cascades / Olympics (WET)
I am thinking pretty seriously about purchasing a Golite poncho/tarp to replace my tarptent. I am wondering if anyone has any information on how wet my down bag (mountain hardwear phantom 32) is actually going to have to get to compromise its warmth. I’ve heard lots of bad things about wet down, and synthetic insulation being superior in wet weather, but I’m not planning on swimming in the bag. I’ll probably also be using a Tyvek ground cloth, is that a reasonable choice? (I live in WA state) and plan on backpacking around here (Olympics)Sep 1, 2006 at 1:08 pm #1362200
I had a similar idea myself – except slightly heavier. I just saw the Gatewood Cape poncho/tarp on the site and thought I might try a cape+pole+Oware bivy combination as shelter. Not superlight, but still approximately 500 grams (17-18oz) lighter than my current 1.3kg Lightwave double-wall tent.
I was thinking it should give good protection from the outside against a wet sleeping bag (but probably less ventilation) compared to a tarp.
Has anyone seen/tried the GW Cape? If so, how durable does it seem regarding fabric weight and stitching?Sep 1, 2006 at 4:41 pm #1362211
@mlarsonLocale: Southeast USA
Nikolas, you might want to see the recently completed reviews of the Gatewood Cape at Backpackgeartest.org.
From my experience, I think the materials and workmanship for the cape are on par with other ultralight products made of silnylon. No surprises, no disappointments.
-MarkSep 1, 2006 at 5:48 pm #1362217
Dondo .BPL Member
@dondoLocale: Colorado Rockies
I had a conversation with Golite’s Coup earlier this year. He told me that he used the Golite poncho/tarp as shelter and raingear along with a down bag (Golite Feather?)with 1/2 a space blanket on his thru-hike of the Colorado Trail. You could tell he was passionate about poncho/tarping.
The Golite poncho/tarp is made from tougher silnylon than the tarptents. It seems very sturdy. Mine weighs 10.5 oz. on my scale. So far, I haven’t had the guts to use it as my only raingear and shelter in the Colorado high country. My concern is that the winds around here can get pretty intense and can shift pretty quickly. Last September, at treeline, wind-driven rain shifted on me 180 degrees in the middle of the night. Even though the rain was now coming from the front of my Virga 2, I was still protected. I’m not sure if I would have gotten much sleep if I had used the Golite tarp. Ron Moak’s Gatewood Cape may be a better choice, since you would be protected no matter which way the wind is blowing, without having to add a bivy.
I’ve only used kite-weight Tyvek, so can’t comment on the Housewrap. Kite Tyvek is definitely NOT waterproof.
Down going flat is not just an old wives tale. On one trip, a down bag lost a lot of loft just from the ambient moisture it picked up from the air.Sep 1, 2006 at 8:21 pm #1362221
Douglas FrickBPL Member
>I’ll probably also be using a Tyvek ground cloth, is that a reasonable choice?
I highly recommend the GossamerGear Polycryo ground sheet. It’s tough, completely waterproof, and is light (1.3-1.5 oz.) compared to Tyvek (about 5.5 oz.).
>I just saw the Gatewood Cape poncho/tarp on the site and thought I might try a cape+pole+Oware bivy combination as shelter.
You won’t need to use a bivy with the Cape. If it’s cold, windy or rainy, just stake it down to the ground. Then there isn’t any exposure around the back and sides, and several inches of gap (for ventilation) on the vestibule, which is several feet from the sleeping area. It might get some condensation (mine hasn’t yet) but that can be wiped down. I tied an overhand knot in the middle of the 6″ stake-out loops and use the 3″ loop length rather than staking it completely down when I want it closer to the ground. Otherwise, the 6″ stake-out loops allow it to be quite a ways off the ground and provide plenty of ventilation, while still keeping non-blown rain out. You can prop the hood open (I clip the front of the hood to the front guy line) and get a real chimney-effect going.
>Has anyone seen/tried the GW Cape? If so, how durable does it seem regarding fabric weight and stitching?
I’ve found mine to be very sturdy. In shelter mode I really stretch it out taut, and when hiking the other day I snagged it at least a half-dozen times on unyielding broken branches while crossing downed trees, and it just slipped off without any damage. I should be more careful, but so far it’s showing no sign of my abuse.
>On one trip, a down bag lost a lot of loft just from the ambient moisture it picked up from the air.
That’s a good thing to keep in mind in the Olympics. It might not get very cold, but surviving a week of drizzle is going to require careful attention to keeping a down bag dry both in the shelter and in the pack.Sep 2, 2006 at 3:28 am #1362228
Mark & Douglas – thanks. Think I’ll try this one out.
How long a pole do you need for the cape?Sep 2, 2006 at 4:48 am #1362229
@mlarsonLocale: Southeast USA
“How long a pole do you need for the cape?”
Using a 42in/105cm carbon fiber Tarptent pole will let me stake it directly to the ground.
Using my 47in/120cm Gossamer Gear Lightrek trekking pole with some guylines will let me have 4-6in of clearance above the ground.
I usually just take the trekking pole.
-MarkSep 6, 2006 at 8:43 pm #1362545
The longer you’re out using your bag, and the higher the humidity – no matter that it is NOT raining, not drizzling, etc – will cause your bag to lose loft. Your body’s transpiration will also saturate the bag from the inside, unless you use a VaporBarrierLiner. Should you use a bivy bag or already have a waterproof/breathable outer shell, considerably more moisture will remain in the feathers, which is why a VBL is important during long cold trips. The main thing is keep all of this in mind, get your system together and go out and get some experience.
NHSep 13, 2006 at 1:25 pm #1362964
> On one trip, a down bag lost a lot of
> loft just from the ambient moisture it
> picked up from the air
> Your body’s transpiration will also
> saturate the bag from the inside,
> unless you use a VaporBarrierLiner.
True. My favourites are 2-3 day trips; I should be OK there.
I will try the cape. Will be bringing a bivy to begin with – I usually get one night per trip where I’d prefer a tent over a tarp. Should I feel I don’t need it, I’d still want it for leaky hut roofs – have been close to getting a wet bag there!
The question is then should I get the BMW bivy or the Oware one? I must confess to not being worried worry about the weight difference and I lie still enough not to worry about the strength either, so the only issue will be getting the best compromise of breathability vs. water resistance.
Having tried my pertex sleeping bags and a Montane pertex windshirt, I am leaning towards the Oware bivy for a bit more water resistance. But I have no experience with bivys – do any bivy/tarp campers here have an opinion/idea whether the Oware bivy is.. shall I broadly call it “breathable enough”?
> The main thing is keep all of this in
> mind, get your system together and go
> out and get some experience.
I’d prefer that and have simply done so with some things – unfortunately these bivys cost approx. $200!
Thanks again for comments!Sep 13, 2006 at 2:47 pm #1362967
@pivvayLocale: Rocky Mountains
My Montbell UL Bivy is 6.3oz in a regular and “breathable enough” for me. It’s also only $110. Might be an option to consider?Sep 13, 2006 at 3:04 pm #1362971
Dondo .BPL Member
@dondoLocale: Colorado Rockies
>unfortunately these bivys cost approx. $200!
Here are some more affordable choices:Sep 13, 2006 at 5:23 pm #1362976
Nathan VBPL Member
@junkLocale: The Great Lake State
I have the titanium goat bivy, and it has worked well under a tarp so far for me, and it’s quite a bit cheaper than the other ones mentioned.Sep 13, 2006 at 5:51 pm #1362978
Light SocalBPL Member
I’ve got an Oware Epic Bivy for sale if your interested. It’s brand new with stuff sack. Here’s a link to pictures and more info:
I’ve had the MLD soul bivy as well, the main difference is that the zipper on it goes around down to your hip, whereas the Oware is the standard chest zip. The Oware is also much roomier and larger than the MLD.
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