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Poncho vs. Rain Coat & Pants in May?

adri_5

New Member
Hello all,

With less than a month to go, I am still undecided on rain gear for my walk during May. Judging from what I've read, I will definitely be rained upon :) That's dandy - but what do you experienced walkers have to say in regards to the efficiency of a poncho vs. a rain coat and waterproof pants? I'll be layering underneath with long johns, t-shirts and a fleece. The simplicity of a poncho as opposed to two separate pieces of clothing is rather appealing. I'd like to stay as warm and dry as possible (* possible* being the key word of course), and am unsure as to the best way to achieve this.

Thoughts? Expert opinions?

Many thanks in advance!

- Adriana
 
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colinPeter

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
SJPP-SDC (2009) Somport-Jaca, Burgos-SDC, Cee-Muxia (2012) Le Puy - Aumont-Aubrac (2014) SJPP-SDC (Oct 2015)
Hi Adriana,
Can't tell you from experience, as we're starting Camino #1 in a few days.
However, Sea to Summit also do a lightweight Sil SN240 Tarp-Poncho 320gms (Not the cheaper nylon version), prossibly light enough to also take a light wind/rain jacket also.
If you go with the rain pants option, I suggest you get ones which full side zips ,this is for ease of access and most importantly venting (airflow). For example, Marmott make a very light weight rain pant, the cheaper version has no side zips, the more expensive does.
Decisions decisions...
Buen Camino
Col
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
Adriana - you could buy an ALTUS raincoat-poncho when you get to Spain. It is a long raincoat with a hump to cover the backpack as well as you. With its long sleeves, air vents on the chest, hood with a peak - it is a perfect combination of coat and poncho. You might need gaiters for the lower part of your trousers but you won't need rain pants as well.
 

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CaroleH

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
VdlP 2006, Portugues 2007;Madrid 2009, Finisterre 2009; Sur and VdlP 2011,2013; Manchego and Madrid 2014; VdlP (parts) 2016; Hospitalero plan 2017.
sillydoll said:
Adriana - you could buy an ALTUS raincoat-poncho when you get to Spain. It is a long raincoat with a hump to cover the backpack as well as you. With its long sleeves, air vents on the chest, hood with a peak - it is a perfect combination of coat and poncho. You might need gaiters for the lower part of your trousers but you won't need rain pants as well.
Hello Sillydoll,

Like the look of this raincoat/poncho combo. Our current ponchos have been just OK for 2 caminos in hot, dry weather, but our luck may change and they wont cope with lots of rain. Could you help me with 1) it's weight and 2) where to buy in Spain, please. Will be in Madrid before walking. Would appreciate any help.
Thanks in advance
Carole (Australia)
 
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sillydoll

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
You can also get it from Barabes.com for 24 euro. (Type in poncho in the search section)
It weighs about 450g and is well worth the weight.
 

BobM

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
V Frances; V Podensis; V Francigena; V Portugues; V Francigena del Sud; Jakobsweg. Jaffa - Jerusalem
I used a poncho that came down well below the knees. I also wore shorts, not trousers (I walked in May/June). That's relevant because in steady rain, water will drip down the poncho and onto your legs. That's no big deal with shorts, but might be a hassle wearing trousers.

I liked the poncho because it was very light and could be carried in a pocket and donned quickly when rain came. It was also voluminous enough to cover the backpack.

One minor irritant was that the wet poncho clung to the legs and had to be shaken free occasionally to stop too much water running into the shoes. Shoes will get wet anyway, and it is no big deal. All the albergues have heaps of newspaper to stuff them with for drying. Newspaper overnight is amazingly effective for drying shoes.

However, having seen the pic of the ALTUS jacket, that looks like a great alternative.

I also took light plastic trousers and jacket, mainly as a wind break to keep warm when crossing high passes.

I wore the jacket one day when the rain was heavy for some hours and penetrated the poncho. However, the plastic jacket did not breathe and I soon became wet (and smelly!) anyway from sweating under the jacket.

Re ponchos (and all rain gear for that matter), look for gear that has the fewest leak points such as seams that are stitched but not waterproofed. Complicated, insulated jackets with pockets, flaps and assorted attachments may also leak.

Hope that helps. I have posted other stuff on the forum re equipment in the past. Search on "bobm" and you will find it.

Bob M
 

BobM

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
V Frances; V Podensis; V Francigena; V Portugues; V Francigena del Sud; Jakobsweg. Jaffa - Jerusalem
A couple of other points I forgot to mention in my earlier posting re ponchos.

I carried my daily bread in plastic bags hooked to the outside of my pack (no room inside). Once or twice I also hung socks on my pack to dry. A poncho is more convenient than a jacket to cover all these "hangers on", so to speak.

I also carried a plastic garbage bag in my pack, but used it only once. I woke up to steady rain one morning and since it did not ease off, I put all the contents of my pack into the garbage bag as extra insurance against leakage into my pack.

One of the most enjoyable experiences of all is having a good, warm shower after a wet day and changing into nice, dry clothes.

Bob M
 

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