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Gear Review

3 5

Good, bad, and ugly

I've used this several times... most recently on a three day trip in GSMNP with rain/snow.

o Very lightweight.
o Multipurpose.
o Should be excellent as a tarp / emergency shelter. I've set it up several times and several different ways for practice, but I haven't actually used it as a shelter yet.
o Works OK as a poncho, with some caveats. (See notes below.)

o The hood tends to come down too far on my forehead, partially blocking my vision. If I add a ballcap underneath or my Tilly hat (or headlamp when night hiking) on top, I can compensate, but that defeats the purpose.
o I received a color I like, but it seems like this is sold in such a way that stores are not able to offer a choice of colors. Either offer it in only one color and take your lumps, or offer the buyer a choice.
o As others have noted, this should have a built-in silnylon waist strap for cinching the whole thing up higher when hiking with little or no pack and/or very windy conditions.

o The snaps are extremely weak and pop open with the slightest tug. While hiking I have often found the poncho entirely unsnapped on one or both sides. Sil nylon is pretty strong, so surely better snaps would work... better? Seriously, this is a major flaw. I'll probably add high quality velcro between the snaps to compensate, but then I'll lose some of the venting.
o I'm not sure why the stuff sack is designed as it is. Do I really want a choice of whether to stuff it into the smaller or larger volume?

This has a lot of potential and I love the idea, but it needs more finesse.

Responded on

I would put holes in the Velcro and put short pieces where the snaps are. The snaps should be pretty secure with the added adhesion of the Velcro. Plus you wouldn't sacrifice venting.