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Poncho

2020 Camino Guides
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances April 2020
I'm looking for a recommendation for a poncho. I found out that my new awesome rain jacket and backpack cover are not going to work. We have been having heavy rain here and the backpack cover does not do an adequate job of keeping my backpack dry.

Last week I went to REI and I talked to a lady who had finished the Camino last fall. She recommended an REI women's poncho. She assured me she had worn it and it was fabulous. It was one size. This women was tiny and petite. I'm not. I questioned her about the size, I should have tried it on, LOL. When I opened it up, on a rainy hike a few days later, it barely covered my backpack.

I'm 5'8" and not petite, lol. I would like to hear your recommendations if you please. Thanks in advance.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06

davebugg

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2017)
Frances(2018)
Ingles(2019)
Aragones(2020)
Portuguese(2020)
I'm looking for a recommendation for a poncho. I found out that my new awesome rain jacket and backpack cover are not going to work. We have been having heavy rain here and the backpack cover does not do an adequate job of keeping my backpack dry.

Last week I went to REI and I talked to a lady who had finished the Camino last fall. She recommended an REI women's poncho. She assured me she had worn it and it was fabulous. It was one size. This women was tiny and petite. I'm not. I questioned her about the size, I should have tried it on, LOL. When I opened it up, on a rainy hike a few days later, it barely covered my backpack.

I'm 5'8" and not petite, lol. I would like to hear your recommendations if you please. Thanks in advance.
The Frogg Toggs Ultalite poncho is made from breathable material and performs very well. Jill and both used them on Camino Ingles, every day with frequent rains. I now use this $15.00 poncho instead of my Zpacks poncho, which was 10x the Frogg Toggs cost.
 
Camino(s) past & future
September/October 2019

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I never heard of a women's poncho.
I hadn't either, but apparently REI does have one.


REI doesn't really have much to offer in the way of ponchos for backpackers.

Decathlon is now an option in the US. They have a couple of Altus-like backpacker ponchos with sleeves.


And I'll throw in my pitch for the "Parcho" for those who sew. Full front zip and sleeves. You make it to fit your size. Mine weighs 7.2 ounces.
The kit is available from Quest Outfitters

 

Walkerooni

Member
Camino(s) past & future
C. Frances SJPdP to Santiago (June-ish 2018)
I have a Stormtech poncho and took it on last Camino. Loved it. Super light weight at 65 grams. Can unfurl it and have it over you and your pack in a few seconds.
 
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Roaming_Wombat

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances April 2020

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portuguese 2018
Camino Ingles, Caminos Muxia and Finisterre 2019
The Frogg Toggs Ultalite poncho is made from breathable material and performs very well. Jill and both used them on Camino Ingles, every day with frequent rains. I now use this $15.00 poncho instead of my Zpacks poncho, which was 10x the Frogg Toggs cost.
How do you manage when it's windy? Doesn't it blow around and lift up? Do your legs get wet? They certainly look easier to put on and off when it's showery 🤔
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Another option is the Packa. They are pretty spendy, but right now they have some mislabeled Packas on sale.
Only $65 including shipping in the US.

 

nidarosa

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Inglés 2009+2017, Francés 2012+2018, Astorga-Santiago repeatedly
The Ferrino Hiker poncho is also good, but has no front zip. Beware the Trekker version which has a silvery lining, it reflects heat and turns into a pilgrim cookbag!
 

davebugg

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2017)
Frances(2018)
Ingles(2019)
Aragones(2020)
Portuguese(2020)
How do you manage when it's windy? Doesn't it blow around and lift up? Do your legs get wet? They certainly look easier to put on and off when it's showery 🤔
With all the ponchos I've used in during the last 3000 mile of backpacking and Caminos, including the Pacific Crest Trail and Colorado Trail thru-hikes, I've never had much of a problem. Using a tie provides the flexibility to adjust for windy conditions. Below, I talk about one method to modify a poncho.

Unless the temperatures dip below 30 F, I hike in running shorts. The bit of lower leg that might be exposed to rain is no big deal. . I ignore it because skin easily dries :) If the day is too cold, or if the rain especially chilly, then I quickly put on a rain kilt/skirt, which I keep in the same pocket as the poncho. It keeps good ventilation and it is much quicker than pants to put on.

This is a previous post I wrote about ponchos and their ease of use, including the technique I adapted for its deployment.

Adding ties to a poncho

Here is one very easy method IF you want to keep a tie off attached to the poncho.

Materials:

Two lengths of cord ( I prefer a 1.2 mm Dyneema tent cord) REI, Amazon, Zpacks, etc


1578777850164.png


Tape or self adhesive fabric to reinforce a small hole. (Tenacious Tape is great for this application)


1578777550705.png



With the poncho on, find your waist.

At the back edge of the poncho, on both your right and left sides, place a mark. If needed, have a helper make the mark. I just reach back an grab the edge myself.

With the poncho removed, at each mark, take a piece of of Tenacious Tape (duct tape, etc), about 2" in length or a bit longer, and wrap the tape so that it sandwiches over the top and bottom sides of the edge and then extends at least 3/4" from the edge of the poncho.

Next, make a tiny incision in the material through the tape. Keep the incision at least 1/2 from the edge of the poncho.

The amount of cord for each side of the poncho will depend on how much girth one has. You need two lengths of cord. . one for each side of the poncho. Thread a length of cord through the incisions you made and tie it off using a square knot.

You will now have two thin, dangling lengths of cord hanging from the waist height of your poncho.

When needed due to wind, grab each length of cord, bringing them to the front of your poncho. Tie the ends together like a shoelace.

You can apply as little or as much tension as you wish, but do not over-tighten, as this will stress the poncho fabric unnecessarily. Now you can button up as much or as little of the sides of the poncho as you wish, adjusting for desired airflow.

When not needed, gather up the dangly cord into a bundle (do this for each side) like an extension cord. You will not notice it as you walk, but it is easily released if needed.

It takes all of 5 minutes to add the modification, and seconds to deploy when the weather calls for it.

If you would rather carry a separate cord or rope or bungee to use as a belt around the poncho, those work too. Of course you need to make sure it is easily reached if you decide you need it.
 

OzAnnie

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
'Portuguese,Frances,Norte,Salvador/primitivo,Le puy, Inglés, CDM, Invierno, Fin/Mux, VDLP spring19
The Frogg Toggs Ultalite poncho is made from breathable material and performs very well. Jill and both used them on Camino Ingles, every day with frequent rains. I now use this $15.00 poncho instead of my Zpacks poncho, which was 10x the Frogg Toggs cost.
Hi Dave @davebugg
I’m reading your comments and hoping you and your wife found the Froggs Toggs Ultralite poncho completely ‘Waterproof” ? I opened the link and although it mostly refers to it as ‘waterproof ‘. Towards the end of the link - the poncho is described as ‘water resistant ‘. Did it keep you dry ?

I was also looking at the packa poncho but the international freight charges were too much for me .

I also have a ‘tarp ‘ ultra sil poncho by ‘sea to summit’ that was a pain in gusty conditions. The wind got under the poncho and forced the snaps apart.
I also started my caminos with an Altus poncho which I haven’t worn for a few years as it was not keeping me dry. I bought a bottle of nikwax to re-proof rain jackets, ponchos etc. I’m going to see if I can make it waterproof again by treating it.

The Froggs toggs link gave me hope of a cheap poncho and looks light and easy to use.
This is copied from your link above. Would that be a typo? ‘Water resistant ‘


Description
The Frogg Toggs Ultra-Lite2 Waterproof Breathable Poncho is packable and water-resistant. The poncho features an integrated, adjustable hood with cord locks. Side snaps are also included on the poncho to allow for a secure but breathable fit. A stuff sack is provided with purchase for easy toting. Perfect for hiking, camping, fishing, hunting, watching the game on a rainy day and any other outdoor activity.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
Woah! That poncho weighs a ton! Well not a ton, but it's super heavy!
No more than the Altus. And a good poncho is worth it’s weight in gold. Believe me you don’t want some flimsy thing that’s just gonna blow around. Plus it can be used for an extra blanket if it’s cold in an albergue. In fact I slept under nothing but my Altus poncho when one of my walkers forgot her sleeping bag and I was toasty warm. That and the fact that it can just hang off the back of your pack and it’s so simple to get on and off makes the Altus my first choice forever.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
Another option is the Packa. They are pretty spendy, but right now they have some mislabeled Packas on sale.
Only $65 including shipping in the US.

The Packa would be my second choice. Looks like a great poncho
 
Camino(s) past & future
Cam Frances SJPDP to Santiago ('17): Finisterre ('17); Muxia ('17): Camino Portuguese ('19)
I'm looking for a recommendation for a poncho. I found out that my new awesome rain jacket and backpack cover are not going to work. We have been having heavy rain here and the backpack cover does not do an adequate job of keeping my backpack dry.

Last week I went to REI and I talked to a lady who had finished the Camino last fall. She recommended an REI women's poncho. She assured me she had worn it and it was fabulous. It was one size. This women was tiny and petite. I'm not. I questioned her about the size, I should have tried it on, LOL. When I opened it up, on a rainy hike a few days later, it barely covered my backpack.

I'm 5'8" and not petite, lol. I would like to hear your recommendations if you please. Thanks in advance.
A1DA4DDE-C176-4A31-BE2A-FB03B7A61872.png
Got this off Amazon . Ordered and USED the bright orange poncho. Loved it. Kept me dry along with pack and there’s a toggle at the back hem that you can draw between your legs to hook into to the front hem Loop so the poncho stays in place. The orange color also made me visible to traffic!A1DA4DDE-C176-4A31-BE2A-FB03B7A61872.png
 

mmmmartin

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santander-SdC bici '14
Plata bici '17
1/2 Plata bici '18
Frances a pie '18
(Porto a pie '19)
Another vote for the Altus, used in Galician snow, heavy rain, high winds, the best of the bunch. Not perfect, but the best I've used or seen. Available on the Camino in many places. In the wind it's warm and windproof, keeps rucksack dry, easy to put on and off. Recommended. Not cheap but you get what you pay for.
 

haikutaxi

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portugués (May 2012)
Coastal Camino Portugués (October 2013)
Camino Inglés (planning for ?)
I used an Altus on two quite rainy and windy Camino's and it was great. Because of the full zip front it's easy to slip off when the sun comes out. I leave it over the pack and tuck in the excess it so it's easy to get back on when necessary. Altus has sleeves so your arms stay dry and warm. ❤
 

ranthr

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C Frances 2005, 2007
Le Puy en Velay -SdC 2009
Via de la Plata 2011
gr 653 from Oloron to Puente la Reina 2012
Gr65 from le Puy to Figeac 2013
Irun to Santander 2013
Porto to SdC 2014
Astorga to SdC 2015
Altus with zip and arms! Easy to get on in the wind when you walk alone. Easy to get off, leave it hanging on your backpack to dry.
 

TinaB

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
From Leon to Santiago
Whole of Camino
Planning on walking in September 2019
I'm looking for a recommendation for a poncho. I found out that my new awesome rain jacket and backpack cover are not going to work. We have been having heavy rain here and the backpack cover does not do an adequate job of keeping my backpack dry.

Last week I went to REI and I talked to a lady who had finished the Camino last fall. She recommended an REI women's poncho. She assured me she had worn it and it was fabulous. It was one size. This women was tiny and petite. I'm not. I questioned her about the size, I should have tried it on, LOL. When I opened it up, on a rainy hike a few days later, it barely covered my backpack.

I'm 5'8" and not petite, lol. I would like to hear your recommendations if you please. Thanks in advance.
Which ever you get make sure it has sleeves and a ‘hump’ so it goes over you and your rucksack. Then you can cope with wind and rain and no flapping or wet arms. Buen Camino
 

davebugg

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2017)
Frances(2018)
Ingles(2019)
Aragones(2020)
Portuguese(2020)
Hi Dave @davebugg
I’m reading your comments and hoping you and your wife found the Froggs Toggs Ultralite poncho completely ‘Waterproof” ? I opened the link and although it mostly refers to it as ‘waterproof ‘. Towards the end of the link - the poncho is described as ‘water resistant ‘. Did it keep you dry ?

I was also looking at the packa poncho but the international freight charges were too much for me .

I also have a ‘tarp ‘ ultra sil poncho by ‘sea to summit’ that was a pain in gusty conditions. The wind got under the poncho and forced the snaps apart.
I also started my caminos with an Altus poncho which I haven’t worn for a few years as it was not keeping me dry. I bought a bottle of nikwax to re-proof rain jackets, ponchos etc. I’m going to see if I can make it waterproof again by treating it.

The Froggs toggs link gave me hope of a cheap poncho and looks light and easy to use.
This is copied from your link above. Would that be a typo? ‘Water resistant ‘


Description
The Frogg Toggs Ultra-Lite2 Waterproof Breathable Poncho is packable and water-resistant. The poncho features an integrated, adjustable hood with cord locks. Side snaps are also included on the poncho to allow for a secure but breathable fit. A stuff sack is provided with purchase for easy toting. Perfect for hiking, camping, fishing, hunting, watching the game on a rainy day and any other outdoor activity.
When working at reviving your Altus, given the age, think about first using the nikwax wash to remove any soaps, dirt or other residue. Then use the waterproofing DWR product. I find that allowing a thorough dry time for an application, I see better results for older gear if I double the number of applications.

The Frogg Toggs is not water resistant, the material of the FT is both waterproof and breathable, so that use of 'water resistant' is weird. :)

Both Jill and I, and our backpacks stayed dry. On two days of the Ingles, there was a fairly hard wind, and we stayed dry during those conditions as well. I've used ponchos while backpacking for a number of years now. Using the Frogg Toggs specifically, I have used it for the mileage equivalent of two Camino Frances. It performs very well.

I am puzzled by comments about traditional ponchos like the Frogg Toggs or the zPacks or the US military issue, etc being unwieldy or unusable in winds, because when worn correctly and properly configured to use when it is windy, it is every bit as controllable as the rain-jacket/poncho hybrids, like an Altus-style.

Having used both the hybrids and the traditional, my preference toward the traditional stems from my preference to NOT have long, non-breathable sleeves, and also the weight and compactness. I find that while both hybrids and traditional both are much easier to deploy than rain jackets, a traditional poncho is slightly easier and takes less manipulation to put on, or to remove and to store in a side pocket of my backpack.

Caution: Personal Preference Process of Purchase Story Ahead. Your mileage may vary.

While I was working with Jill to get her prepared and outfitted for Camino Ingles last October, I had her try out both my Altus and my Frogg Toggs during the months or pre-Camino prep and planning. In our high hilly terrain where we live, high winds are a common part of life, and heavy breezes are the norm with intermittent calms. Jill had a a perfect situation for deciding which style or rain-gear she preferred to use, Jacket, or Poncho, or Hybrid.

Jill rejected the rain jacket/pants option after using it on a 15 mile walk during intermittent rain in moderate temperatures. I had her use the most highly breathable and lightweight jackets available (Zpacks). She did not like how hot and condensation-wet she got.

But most of all, she became irritated by the process of putting on and then taking of the rain gear. In the intermittent rain during that 5.5 hour walk, she did not like the need to repeatedly stop and remove her pack in order to put the jacket on, and then the same process to take it off (sometimes the pants, too)

And she became really cranky at me, as she watched me grab my poncho from its side pocket and slip it on in a matter of 15 seconds, with just a slight pause, while were walking.

For slip-on rain-gear, the choice was not as straight forward for her. At first she seemed to prefer the hybrid, but then found that, like me, she did not like long sleeves and the length. While the longer length was a fixable size issue, and the sleeves could be trimmed down and modified, Jill simply found she preferred the traditional poncho better.
 

rabtacoma

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Leon to Santiago October 2019
I had the REI poncho but the first time I used it in a trial rain storm the seams let the rain through after about two hours. So I returned it and bought the Frog Toggs.
Frogg Toggs kept me and my pack dry but it did blow around on the camino so we also used a light weight rope (our clothes line) to tie down. Since then I have sewn extra velco on the poncho as the snaps do not hold in the wind. It wasn't ideal but it did keep me relatively dry. If you are using poles though your arms get wet and after a few hours of Biblical rains the moisture crawls up your arms. Basically our one really wet, windy day on the Camino in late October after five hours of down pour every fancy waterproof item we had eventually gave up the ghost.
 

OzAnnie

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
'Portuguese,Frances,Norte,Salvador/primitivo,Le puy, Inglés, CDM, Invierno, Fin/Mux, VDLP spring19
I had the REI poncho but the first time I used it in a trial rain storm the seams let the rain through after about two hours. So I returned it and bought the Frog Toggs.
Frogg Toggs kept me and my pack dry but it did blow around on the camino so we also used a light weight rope (our clothes line) to tie down. Since then I have sewn extra velco on the poncho as the snaps do not hold in the wind. It wasn't ideal but it did keep me relatively dry. If you are using poles though your arms get wet and after a few hours of Biblical rains the moisture crawls up your arms. Basically our one really wet, windy day on the Camino in late October after five hours of down pour every fancy waterproof item we had eventually gave up the ghost.
Your description of ‘blowing in the wind’ with continually holding onto the poncho and snaps coming apart is equivalent to my Sea to summit ultra sil tarp poncho experience. Trying to get it on in the wind took me ages (at the time alone ).
I hadn’t thought of being prepared with twine - for a belt tie. So that’s a good tip for that sort of poncho.
Later, explaining the popping snaps to Tom Andreotti who had same type. He had overcome the snaps popping by making them permanent with ‘super glue’ . We would probably never want to use it as a tarp.
Pic shows me walking like this for a long time trying to hug the crazy poncho to me to keep the noise down. Flap flap flap.

6D3825C0-3AA8-4A13-B829-3ADC88EDEA0E.jpeg
 
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davebugg

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2017)
Frances(2018)
Ingles(2019)
Aragones(2020)
Portuguese(2020)
Later, explaining the popping snaps to Tom Andreotti who had same type. He had overcome to snaps popping by ‘super glue’ . We would probably never want to use it as a tarp
Snaps should hold snug. However, rather than super-gluing snaps, one could add sections of velcro between the snaps. That will hold things together by taking some tension off of the snaps, while still preserving the ability to open and close the poncho as needed. :)
 

OzAnnie

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
'Portuguese,Frances,Norte,Salvador/primitivo,Le puy, Inglés, CDM, Invierno, Fin/Mux, VDLP spring19
When working at reviving your Altus, given the age, think about first using the nikwax wash to remove any soaps, dirt or other residue. Then use the waterproofing DWR product. I find that allowing a thorough dry time for an application, I see better results for older gear if I double the number of applications.

The Frogg Toggs is not water resistant, the material of the FT is both waterproof and breathable, so that use of 'water resistant' is weird. :)

Both Jill and I, and our backpacks stayed dry. On two days of the Ingles, there was a fairly hard wind, and we stayed dry during those conditions as well. I've used ponchos while backpacking for a number of years now. Using the Frogg Toggs specifically, I have used it for the mileage equivalent of two Camino Frances. It performs very well.

I am puzzled by comments about traditional ponchos like the Frogg Toggs or the zPacks or the US military issue, etc being unwieldy or unusable in winds, because when worn correctly and properly configured to use when it is windy, it is every bit as controllable as the rain-jacket/poncho hybrids, like an Altus-style.

Having used both the hybrids and the traditional, my preference toward the traditional stems from my preference to NOT have long, non-breathable sleeves, and also the weight and compactness. I find that while both hybrids and traditional both are much easier to deploy than rain jackets, a traditional poncho is slightly easier and takes less manipulation to put on, or to remove and to store in a side pocket of my backpack.

Caution: Personal Preference Process of Purchase Story Ahead. Your mileage may vary.

While I was working with Jill to get her prepared and outfitted for Camino Ingles last October, I had her try out both my Altus and my Frogg Toggs during the months or pre-Camino prep and planning. In our high hilly terrain where we live, high winds are a common part of life, and heavy breezes are the norm with intermittent calms. Jill had a a perfect situation for deciding which style or rain-gear she preferred to use, Jacket, or Poncho, or Hybrid.

Jill rejected the rain jacket/pants option after using it on a 15 mile walk during intermittent rain in moderate temperatures. I had her use the most highly breathable and lightweight jackets available (Zpacks). She did not like how hot and condensation-wet she got.

But most of all, she became irritated by the process of putting on and then taking of the rain gear. In the intermittent rain during that 5.5 hour walk, she did not like the need to repeatedly stop and remove her pack in order to put the jacket on, and then the same process to take it off (sometimes the pants, too)

And she became really cranky at me, as she watched me grab my poncho from its side pocket and slip it on in a matter of 15 seconds, with just a slight pause, while were walking.

For slip-on rain-gear, the choice was not as straight forward for her. At first she seemed to prefer the hybrid, but then found that, like me, she did not like long sleeves and the length. While the longer length was a fixable size issue, and the sleeves could be trimmed down and modified, Jill simply found she preferred the traditional poncho better.
Thanks for your detail Dave.
Great to get your wife’s perspective.

I gather Jill liking the traditional poncho meant ? Which one?

Sounds like the Frogg toggs is waterproof from the replies but crazy in the wind like the sea to summit. However there is less of it (Frogg Toggs) material I mean. The ties would control it I think.

Thanks for your advice on re-proofing the Altus poncho.
I did buy the nikwax wash in Sydney last Saturday. It was a hefty AU$35 and I had thought Re-proofing was a ‘choice’ between washing it in or the spray on. The spray was same price, so would mean aud$70 if I treated it with the wash mix and the spray after. . I’m thinking the frogg Toggs maybe be much cheaper in this instance. I have other gear I’ll use the nikwax on tho - so not wasted.
I’ve just ordered a Frogg Toggs poncho online and it will be sent from USA. But order was with Amazon com.au
Total price including shipping and gst is only AUD$27. (Lol - less than the nikwax wash).
It may not arrive by date they give 24-29feb though (I leave on March 1).. so I will prepare(re-proof) one of my existing ponchos -( thanks for the velcro idea with snaps. ).
I will still have the one being sent for my next camino (whenever that may be ).

Thanks Dave
Annie
 
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Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
The Frogg Toggs Ultalite poncho is made from breathable material and performs very well. Jill and both used them on Camino Ingles, every day with frequent rains. I now use this $15.00 poncho instead of my Zpacks poncho, which was 10x the Frogg Toggs cost.
I'm also a lover of Frogg Togg's Ultralites, of both the Poncho and rain suit, and have often sung their praises on the forum. For those who are concerned about the ponchos flapping in the wind, tie a piece of bungee type cord around your waist. The price is awesome and even wearing the rainsuit have never felt wet or hot and sweaty.
 

AlwynWellington

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
please see signature
I stand by the ALTUS poncho
My husband and I really liked the Altus poncho
Another vote for the Altus
Which ever you get make sure it has sleeves and a ‘hump’ so it goes over you and your rucksack
And there were other favourable Altus mentions.

My rain/wind outer wear journey started in 2012 with local tradition.
This was a parka - a single layer water/wind proof jacket with a hood and ending up between hips and knees. This didn't keep dry the lower level of my almost knee length shorts. But this was training walks and I was home at the end of the day, so no damage done. It did not cover my pack. A pack cover was 150 to 200 grams.

In 2015 I progressed to a zPacks ground sheet (for my tent) that doubled as a poncho. Seldom needed . When used it also did not keep the lower reaches of my shorts (now a walking kilt) dry. On one occassion, with a wind, feelings of hypothermia set in. It was very light = good. However it was extremely difficult to put on in any above a light wind. While light weight it was a tad bulky.

In 2016 I acquired an Altus coat (poncho). At 330 grams it is significantly lighter than the Triwonder. It extends below my knee (my height = 1730 mm).

It is now an itegral part of my gear and has three uses:
1) rain protection from head to below knees
2) wind protection
3) another layer on colder days
4) another blanket when needed at night (feet tucked into the hood)

If this or a similar model is available I suggest you consider it.

And @Jeanne from Washington, to you I say kia kaha (take care, be strong, get going)
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
How do you manage when it's windy? Doesn't it blow around and lift up? Do your legs get wet? They certainly look easier to put on and off when it's showery 🤔
Tie a bunge type cord around your waist in high wind. All true ponchos have the same issue no matter the brand.
 

davebugg

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2017)
Frances(2018)
Ingles(2019)
Aragones(2020)
Portuguese(2020)
Thanks for your detail Dave.
Great to get your wife’s perspective.

I gather Jill liking the traditional poncho meant ? Which one?

Sounds like the Frogg toggs is waterproof from the replies but crazy in the wind like the sea to summit. However there is less of it (Frogg Toggs) material I mean. The ties would control it I think.
Traditional poncho refers to the normal poncho instead of a hybrid poncho-raincoat. Frogg Toggs is an example of a 'traditional' poncho. :)

The traditional poncho she used was the Frogg Toggs. The other candidate was the Zpacks, but she preferred the Frogg Toggs a bit more.

The normal use for a poncho, when wind is present, is to add cord or a tie near to the waist. That is why oftentimes I will ask, if someone mentions that a poncho was out of control in wind, what method was employed when it was used in the wind?
 

JillGat

la tierra encantada
Camino(s) past & future
C. Frances SJPP - Finisterre - Muxia (May 2016)
C. Frances (Sept 2017)
Camino Portugues (June 2019)
How do you manage when it's windy? Doesn't it blow around and lift up? Do your legs get wet? They certainly look easier to put on and off when it's showery 🤔
While walking the Portugues Litoral route last spring, I was caught in a storm with strong winds (Depresion Miguel). Usually I bring a rain jacket, but I took a poncho this time. It was a ridiculous failure. It would blow straight up over my head and was impossible for me to get on and off. I was hopeful that a poncho, with better ventilation, would be a good compromise, but - at least that time - I couldn't get it to work.
 

Margreet

WalkingtheWalk
Camino(s) past & future
October, 2018 starting at O Cebreiro
I'm looking for a recommendation for a poncho. I found out that my new awesome rain jacket and backpack cover are not going to work. We have been having heavy rain here and the backpack cover does not do an adequate job of keeping my backpack dry.

Last week I went to REI and I talked to a lady who had finished the Camino last fall. She recommended an REI women's poncho. She assured me she had worn it and it was fabulous. It was one size. This women was tiny and petite. I'm not. I questioned her about the size, I should have tried it on, LOL. When I opened it up, on a rainy hike a few days later, it barely covered my backpack.

I'm 5'8" and not petite, lol. I would like to hear your recommendations if you please. Thanks in advance.
 

Margreet

WalkingtheWalk
Camino(s) past & future
October, 2018 starting at O Cebreiro
I am also 5'8". I bought a "ponchetta" while in Sarria, Spain (Oct 2018). VERY lightweight and totally water and windproof. Basically a jacket as wide as a poncho. Two sleeves, a full zipper at the front as well as Velcro fasteners. Definitely closed on the sides. Cape and extra plastic for the backpack. "Cape de Pluie" No pit zips or pockets. In the picture I just slipped it off over my backpack by unzipping and taking my arms out of the sleeves: https://flic.kr/p/2hm9b1X
 
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trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I am also 5'8". I bought a "ponchetta" while in Sarria, Spain (Oct 2018). VERY lightweight and totally water and windproof. Basically a jacket as wide as a poncho. Two sleeves, a full zipper at the front as well as Velcro fasteners. Definitely closed on the sides. Cape and extra plastic for the backpack. "Cape de Pluie" No pit zips or pockets. In the picture I just slipped it off over my backpack by unzipping and taking my arms out of the sleeves: https://flic.kr/p/2hm9b1X
Where did you buy it, and what brand is it?
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I bought it in Sarria in Spain. I am trying to find the exact version of the "Cape de Pluie" (make: elementerre) on the internet, but so far no luck. This is the closest I can find: https://www.decathlon.ca/fr/manteau...tre-montagne-forclaz-75-litres-p-m-rouge.html
I found it. They sell it at Caminoteca. But it looks like they only have it in black.

 
Camino(s) past & future
2015 entire CF, Porto and CF again in Feb 2020
Contrary to most posts here: I stopped using a poncho years ago - high winds, soaked pants & sleeves (using poles) . Even with custom strings, tabs, etc. a pain in the arse! my method: I first put a plastic garbage bag in my pack, then have colored stuff sacks for everything AND a tight raincover over the pack. never had anything get wet. I also have a pair of light rain pants - super waterproof that go with waterproof gaiters. Easy to zip open jacket if i start sweating, very easy to take waterproof pants off over the shoes.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I stopped using a poncho years ago - high winds, soaked pants & sleeves
Using the hybrid type of raincoat/poncho like the one I posted above solves the wind and sleeves problem. Rain pants or kilt can be added.
 
Camino(s) past & future
April / May (2016) CF
I used an Altus poncho, but have mixed feelings about it. While it kept the rain from soaking me from the outside, it did not breathe and did not have any ventilation flaps, so I found myself damp from sweating. And it was a very cool year when I walked. Very cold some days, so perhaps it was a problem of putting it on over several layers. I thought it would be nice if the sleeves didn't have elastic at the wrist as even that could provide a bit of airflow.
 

Cicada

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances St Jean -Santiago April -June 2017
Portugues September 2018
I'm looking for a recommendation for a poncho. I found out that my new awesome rain jacket and backpack cover are not going to work. We have been having heavy rain here and the backpack cover does not do an adequate job of keeping my backpack dry.

Last week I went to REI and I talked to a lady who had finished the Camino last fall. She recommended an REI women's poncho. She assured me she had worn it and it was fabulous. It was one size. This women was tiny and petite. I'm not. I questioned her about the size, I should have tried it on, LOL. When I opened it up, on a rainy hike a few days later, it barely covered my backpack.

I'm 5'8" and not petite, lol. I would like to hear your recommendations if you please. Thanks in advance.
I have an Altus which I swear by! But a couple of weeks ago during the very heavy rain that we had in Sydney i wore an Ikea 11 buck poncho and surprise surprise it kept me perfectly dry!
Buen camino
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
I used an Altus poncho, but have mixed feelings about it. While it kept the rain from soaking me from the outside, it did not breathe and did not have any ventilation flaps, so I found myself damp from sweating. And it was a very cool year when I walked. Very cold some days, so perhaps it was a problem of putting it on over several layers. I thought it would be nice if the sleeves didn't have elastic at the wrist as even that could provide a bit of airflow.
I solve this issue by leaving it unzipped down to my waist.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I think it is VERY cheap if you buy it in Europe. Otherwise you will have to pay import duty.
I have some friends who will be starting from Pamplona at the end of April. I think that I'll recommend that they wait until they get to Pamplona to buy their rain gear at Caminoteca.
I just wish that it came in another color, since black isn't very visible on rainy days.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
There are many types of reflective tape sold on Amazon. My friend added some to her low visibility rain gear and it worked well.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Planning stage for 2020
I had the REI poncho but the first time I used it in a trial rain storm the seams let the rain through after about two hours. So I returned it and bought the Frog Toggs.
Frogg Toggs kept me and my pack dry but it did blow around on the camino so we also used a light weight rope (our clothes line) to tie down. Since then I have sewn extra velco on the poncho as the snaps do not hold in the wind. It wasn't ideal but it did keep me relatively dry. If you are using poles though your arms get wet and after a few hours of Biblical rains the moisture crawls up your arms. Basically our one really wet, windy day on the Camino in late October after five hours of down pour every fancy waterproof item we had eventually gave up the ghost.
I like the idea of the Velcro and will see about it for my poncho. Thanks!
 

Margreet

WalkingtheWalk
Camino(s) past & future
October, 2018 starting at O Cebreiro
I have some friends who will be starting from Pamplona at the end of April. I think that I'll recommend that they wait until they get to Pamplona to buy their rain gear at Caminoteca.
I just wish that it came in another color, since black isn't very visible on rainy days.
Maybe they can still find the red one for you. Internet doesn't always have everything that is available locally. Buen Camino!!
 

Bella2017

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2014,2015,2016.
March 2017 Oct 2018 Camino ingles june 2019 cancelled Camino Portuguese Oct 2019
My Altus poncho is fantastic I bought it from this forum. It is perfect for Galician rain and good in the uk also. I wore it today as we still have stormy weather here.
 

mmmmartin

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santander-SdC bici '14
Plata bici '17
1/2 Plata bici '18
Frances a pie '18
(Porto a pie '19)
Have said this before but the Altus is very good. I was wearing swimming shorts in October and November 2018 when we had snow. The poncho I'd bought in the UK was far too short and I was extremely cold in the gentleman's parts. This made it hard to concentrate on route finding.

So in Sarria I bought an Altus. Problem solved. OK, on the Portugues the following April it was a bit sweaty inside on a warm day but that's a problem I can cope with.

Best €50 I ever spent. You can get them all along the Camino. Although I'd recommend trying to buy one that is sort of your size. Mine is three sizes too big cos that's what they had in the shop in Sarria. The arms are long enough to dangle over the walking poles. The thing touches my ankles as I walk.

It's brilliant. I wouldn't contemplate a Camino without it.
 

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