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Polycryo poncho?

Posted: Tue May 31, 2016 3:19 pm
by GregD
Does anyone have any experience, or seen any online discussion, of using polycryo (heat shrink window film) for a poncho?

In cooler weather I'm inclined to stick with my Frog Togs rain suit as it also windproof and adds a bit of warmth. But in hot weather I expect that to be no help while backpacking on the trail - I'd be soaked in sweat (and rain stinks less).

My idea is a 5' x 10' piece of heavy duty polycro (about $9) and a handful of plastic snaps where needed. That should cover me and pack, and double as a ground cloth, for about 4 ounces.

Re: Polycro poncho?

Posted: Tue May 31, 2016 3:53 pm
by Scuba
I have one I made out of RBTR SilPoly. It is a tester I made in developing my poncho/pack-cover all in one.

Re: Polycro poncho?

Posted: Tue May 31, 2016 4:03 pm
by GregD
More searching on BPL turned up some threads on this very thing. I think I'll order the stuff and give it a try.

Re: Polycro poncho?

Posted: Tue May 31, 2016 5:23 pm
by sarge
In this climate, anything that is not super breatheable is going to be a problem,I gave up on ponchos and rain suits long ago.

Four years ago I got a Go Lite Umbrella and haven't looked back. Go Lite went out of business a couple years ago, but Six Moon Designs picked up the contract from the German company that was making them and markets them now:

http://www.backcountrygear.com/silver-s ... ArPv8P8HAQ

They do one thing a poncho won't ever do for you: throw shade when you have to walk down a Forest Service road or lumbered out trail in the middle of July and August .

Re: Polycro poncho?

Posted: Tue May 31, 2016 5:52 pm
by GregD
sarge wrote:In this climate, anything that is not super breatheable is going to be a problem,I gave up on ponchos and rain suits long ago.

Four years ago I got a Go Lite Umbrella and haven't looked back. Go Lite went out of business a couple years ago, but Six Moon Designs picked up the contract from the German company that was making them and markets them now:

http://www.backcountrygear.com/silver-s ... ArPv8P8HAQ

They do one thing a poncho won't ever do for you: throw shade when you have to walk down a Forest Service road or lumbered out trail in the middle of July and August .
If the sun and heat are too much for me they are certainly too much for the dogs. Especially with packs. I'm not going out in July or August. I might sneak in a trip in June.

I have an umbrella from Gossamer Gear for all the reasons you mention, but for some trips I'm thinking a poncho would be better.

Re: Polycro poncho?

Posted: Fri Jun 03, 2016 3:30 pm
by GregD
I ordered heavy duty window film. I got it yesterday. It weighed out to about 1.1 oz per square yard, which would be about 6 oz or so for the poncho. It claims to be twice the thickness of the normal duty film so I ordered that and hope for a weight of around 3 ounces or less. This package is enough for two pack-covering ponchos.

I also ordered plastic snaps and a pliers to set them from kamsnaps.com.

"Plan A" is to put a square of Tyvek tape at each snap location since I'm guessing those will be the high stress areas.

Next update in about a week I expect.

Re: Polycro poncho?

Posted: Mon Jun 06, 2016 7:55 pm
by brianb2
I've been using these green painters drop cloths instead of the polycro for building tarp prototypes. In fact, I've used the prototype tarps on many occasions and have had others use them as well. One young guy who I made one of these for has been using his for about 8months. For less than $5 it's a great way to test out new designs and they're sturdy enough to last a while. They're translucent, so they're only going to provide minimal protection from the sun; but will do just fine in the rain.

I know it says biodegradable, but don't worry about them withering away the first time water touches them. Not sure how they would do in proper cold weather. It's still a fun tarp to take out from time to time. Might be useful for your poncho idea. Post some photos if you get something produced. Good luck.

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Trimaco-9-ft ... /203432248

Image

Re: Polycryo poncho?

Posted: Mon Jun 06, 2016 9:28 pm
by BillyBob66
The age old battle of sweat vs rain. I have been on the verge of going umbrella for a while now, especially in hot weather where - as already mentioned- shade could be a benefit. I suppose the polycryo would work about as well as anything else, because no matter how breathable a fabric, I am going to sweat gallons when it is hot, even if wearing a cotton tee shirt.

I guess if it is pouring rain there probably won't be much use for shade, at least until the clouds go away. I some times wonder - considering how much I am going to sweat hiking with a pack in hot weather- if I wouldn't be better off just forgetting about the rain protection? At least if warm/hot temps are guaranteed, even the lows of the day? And maybe concentrating on quick drying and wicking clothes, plus dry cloths available for camp once the tarp is up? Oh, and also making sure the pack's contents are well protected of course.

Not that I have ever taken that approach. I have a sil-nylon Packa which has HUGE pit zips, but I have not yet put it to the test in hot weather. But no matter how much ventilation or breathability, if it is hot I am going to be sweating buckets.

Re: Polycryo poncho?

Posted: Tue Jun 07, 2016 5:45 am
by HammockMom
Tom Hennessy made some "coolie" hats from Reflectix some years back, intended as sun hats. They were given out as promotional items one year at Trail Days. I asked him to make one for me that was slightly larger than his standard. I use it for sun protection, rain protection, a "sit-upon," and cold spot fix in my hammock. It gives enough protection to protect my head and shoulders in light rain, which, with a pack cover, is enough. I haven't been able to get him to make more. They are labor-intensive and just take too much time: look weird but work!

Polycryo poncho?

Posted: Thu Nov 03, 2016 11:25 am
by Mophead
Interested to hear wow this worked for you. I made a very minimal poncho for summer use out of the lighter duty stuff and I am thinking there are better options out there.

I used double sided tape that came with the film to tape a rolled hem around the edges. Created square and triangular patches of tape and film to reinforce the edges of the head hole.

After the necessary reinforcement it was only 0.3oz lighter than a plastic "disposable poncho". And I think the plastic disposable poncho is more durable. Any rip in the window film just wants to continue to tear so easily.