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Raincoat-Poncho

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
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#1
I have always preferred using a rain jacket and trousers to a poncho. In Late August we set off from Roncesvalles in torrential rain. The rain ran down my back, between jacket and pack cover, it poured down my trouser legs into my boots and I ended up drenched. We bought a 'raincoat-poncho' which is a combination of poncho and raincoat. It is a long rain coat with sealed seams, ventilation flaps in the front which zips up and has velcro stays; long sleeves with velcro to tighten around wrists, a snug hood with a peak and an adjustable 'hunchback' at the back to accommodate a backpack. It really was the answer in the rain. Better than a regular poncho which can blow up in the wind and which wide open sleeves don't keep your long sleeves dry. With a pair of short gaiters to keep trouser bottoms dry, it is all you need to keep dry without sweating up.
It was made in Spain and cost 28 euro. You can see it here: http://www.altus.es/default.aspx?info=00022D or order online at http://www.barrabes.com
 

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JohnnieWalker

Nunca se camina solo
Donating Member
#2
Sil,

Thanks for this. I walk a lot on my own and I've always thought for winter walking a poncho wouldn't be as effective as a rain suit, although I was very impressed with the poncho I used in the Spting. I know you can't do a demo for us but in your view how easy is it for someone on their own to put it on with out help? Does the rucksack go inside or outside? - if you know what I mean! And do you think it would be good for general winter use?

Regards

John
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
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#3
Hello John,
Putting on the rain-poncho is just like putting on a raincoat. You can wear it as a regular raincoat (without a rucksack) or, by undoing three poppers, put it on over your rucksack. The great thing about it is that it zips up in front - just like a regular raincoat - and you can tighten the sleeves at the wrist by fastening the velcro ties. It is really lightweight and we wore ours when we were in civvies when it rained in Santo Domingo de Silos - so I think it would be great for general use at any time of the year.
 

egbert

Roland of Gilead
Camino(s) past & future
French,Portuguese
#4
Hello Sil,
I tried using the url to get info on the raincoat but it wont work.
Can you check and let me know if it is correct?
Regards.........Egbert. 8)
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
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#5

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sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
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#8
Gooie more Muis!
I'm not sure, but it would be useful to know.
Here is their email address: yumaltus@yumaltus.com
Perhaps you could find out and let the forum know.
Drukkies!
Sil
 

egbert

Roland of Gilead
Camino(s) past & future
French,Portuguese
#9
Hello Sil,
I bought one online from barrabes.com yesterday.
Euro 24 plus postage.
Regards from a Sunny N Ireland.
Egbert. 8)
 

egbert

Roland of Gilead
Camino(s) past & future
French,Portuguese
#10
Hello Sil,
I ordered the raincoat yesterday about 11am.It arrived this afternoon,delivered by DHL Express.
Pretty good service.
Regards............Egbert. :D
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
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#11
Pshew - that was quick service!
Isn't it a great raincoat? So easy to wear with a backpack.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Donating Member
#12
I have been looking for one of these things ever since I saw a Swiss pilgrim wearing one back in 2002. My walking partner found one at a store in Santander this summer on the Camino del Norte, but they only had one in stock and she was more in need than I.

Does anyone have suggestions for where those of us located in the US could find one of these ponchos? I've had trouble trying to order some things from the EU, and the shipping charges that are usually quoted are astronomical anyway.

And would those of you who have used one comment on its waterproof-ness? Also, I didn't see that it was gore-tex, so I'm wondering whether it has breathability "issues."

Many thanks, and welcome back, Sil. Many of us thoroughly enjoyed following your blog across the Camino.

Laurie
 

Janeh

Active Member
#13
welcome back Sil. I am interested in your opinion about the following rain coat I was going to order:

http://www.thepacka.com/index.html

It is a lot more expensive than the one you're recommending - is it similar, do you think yours would be the same -especially the ventilation issue. I don't want to spend money on something where I could get a cheaper one that is just as good. thanks for checking that out for us here in advance, Jane :? :)
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
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#14
Hello Jane,
I had a look at the pictures of the Packa and although it is difficult to rate a product you can't try out,
it looks like an excellent product. My only concern would be that it is quite short - almost like an anorak rather than a raincoat. The Altus product reaches my ankles (but then I am a shorty) and in very heavy rain one might only need short gaiters to keep completely dry.
The Altus jacket is very light - no rubber or gortex - and it has ventilation flaps on the chest area. It looks like and can be worn as an ordinary raincoat but has the 'humpback' section at the back that can be used when wearing a rucksack.
 
#15
egbert said:
Hello Sil,
I ordered the raincoat yesterday about 11am.It arrived this afternoon,delivered by DHL Express.
Pretty good service.
Regards............Egbert. :D
Ordered ours today - wonder how long we'll have to wait?? :roll:
 

Janeh

Active Member
#16
thanks Sil for checking out the packa for me. I get very sweaty when I walk in a normal rain jacket. Does the Altus keep you from getting too sweaty - I know you said there are vents in the front, was this enough? Do you sweat a lot or not, so were you a good 'demonstrator" :) Also, thinking of the weight issue, could you get by without gaiters - after all it's only your legs and shoes that would be getting wet. Or is that vital that they stay dry too. I'd appreciate your learned experience on this. many thanks Jane
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
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#17
Hi Jane,
I always get a bit steamy under a rain jacket but didn't with this raincoat. The armholes are very wide, like a poncho but with a sleeve in it. Even the small size is quite voluminous with lots of room inside, especially when you have it over the backpack as well.
I didn't have gaiters but some people like to carry them to ensure that their trousers don't get wet. They are useful in muddy conditions.
 

Janeh

Active Member
#18
thanks Sil for that! I think know I will seriously consider yours as an alternative to the Packa. Hopefully they post to Australia! :) Jane.
 
#19
Hi Jane of Adelaide from Tony of Perth.

If you decide on the Spanish poncho and they DO post Down Under, could you let us know please? I'd be interested in getting one.

I'm looking at an alternative, a 750 gram long bushwalking jacket made by the New Zealand company Oringi. Nice bit of kit ... but it costs $275 (Aust)!

Cheers, Tony
 
#20
Heya,
Great find sil- just bought one aswell- after walking the camino in May this year I was looking for an alternative to a heavy shell jacket and this looks like it will work a treat for my 2nd in February next year!!
Cheers,
Rich
 

windeatt

Active Member
#21
Many, many thanks to Sil and Egbert

For telling us about this raincoat/poncho and where to find it. Mine has just arrived and it looks good. I am sure it wil be more effective than the ones we used this summer and which leaked miserably. Here we are in them: http://www.suzielda.com/camino/viewphot ... =AC73C1758

However, despite the rain getting everywhere else - even into our vests - our rucksack innards didn't get wet - they were really super waterproof, see: http://www.suzielda.com/camino/viewphot ... =AC75C1824

I have weighed it and it comes about at just over 400 grams - this is a little heavy for me (a lightweight freak) but then it does look very efficient and worth the extra weight.

Thanks again,

Windy
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
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#23
Hi there,
My Altus is a S/M (small/medium) and it is huge on me! The sleeves are raglan so that the arm-hole starts somewhere about waist level. I am 5ft 2.5" tall and weigh around 56kg (± 124lbs).
 

JohnnieWalker

Nunca se camina solo
Donating Member
#24
Funnily enough a few weeks ago on the Route Napoleon I met a wee woman who had walked from Nantes and was wearing one of these - she thought it was fabulous and said they were readily available in France.
 

Arn

Moderator
Staff member
Donating Member
#25
The last key piece of equipment I need is the poncho.

I've checked both REI and Campmor here in the US. Both the REI and Campmor ponchos are similar to the Altus version mentioned above, with the Key (and I do mean KEY) difference being that the US ponchos apparently don't have ventilation at the arm pits. The Campmor poncho is currently on sale for about $26.00. Price as I've said before should not be the issue. Ventilation may be the deciding factor for me. Here are the sites (type in poncho):

http://www.campmor.com

http://www.rei.com

Arn
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
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#26
The ALTUS does not have ventilation under the arms - there are ventilation flaps on both sides of the chest.

The Campmor poncho looks the same as the Altus but it does not seem to open all the way down the front. It says 'opening at neck' (which might mean just a short opening to get it over your head). The ALTUS opens all the way and also has velcro down the front.

I couldn't find a long poncho with long sleeves on the Rei website. The only poncho's and/or raincoats that I found were short with shorter sleeves.
 

Arn

Moderator
Staff member
Donating Member
#27
Sil,

I agree the Campmor does come closest to the Altus. I believe it's going to be the Altus, for the ventilation capability at the chest and ability to vent somewhat in the front. A definite plus with the full open front!

Thx
Arn
 

vinotinto

Active Member
#28
sillydoll said:
The great thing about it is that it zips up in front - just like a regular raincoat - and you can tighten the sleeves at the wrist by fastening the velcro ties
The front zipper is a great feature, as I discovered after I bought my zip-up poncho at a French outdoor store in Bayonne.

1) It's easier to put on a zippered poncho over you & your pack - just swing it around like a cape. Easier to take it off as well.

2) Speaking of cape, when things warm up, or you are encountering intermittent rain, you can remove your arms from the sleeves and leave the poncho attached around your neck (provided there's a velcro tab or snap at the neck). It feels just like an old-style pilgrim cloak, which is great fun because it lends itself to a sense of adventure (also has kind of a Lord-of-the-Rings Hobbit-on-a-quest feel).

3) you can also leave your arms in the sleeves and unzip the front for ventilation.

In short, the zip-up poncho provides a lot more wearing options and ease of use than the pull-over style, IMHO... :arrow:
 

Arn

Moderator
Staff member
Donating Member
#29
So....Vinotinto,

With these Hobbit remarks, are you saying I'd be able to track you because of you unnaturally large feet?

Swinging in the breeze...I'm sure.

But, a good suggestion non the less.

Hey, what about my comment on the restaurant in the cave?
Arn
 

vinotinto

Active Member
#30
Arn said:
With these Hobbit remarks, are you saying I'd be able to track you because of you unnaturally large feet?

Hey, what about my comment on the restaurant in the cave?
Yep - my flat, hairy feet are a sight to behold, that's for sure...eeww. :shock:

As for the cave restaurant - check my response on the Spirits thread, complete with website to really make you wish 08 was here & now... :arrow:
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
#32
Sil - this is brilliant. You may remember from last year debates that I prefer the poncho, down-side being that the bottom edge really flies around in the wind and you can't open the front for that extra cooling. I saw a couple wearing these a while ago (in a City) and have been unable to locate their source - and now you have, perfect!

Thanks
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
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#33
Hello David,
I do remember - and I was 100% on the rain suit side of the debate. But, this is neither jacket nor poncho (nice to have a 3rd option) and I have changed my mind in favour of these raincoat-cum-ponchos.
Abrazos,
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
#34
have been unable to buy one yet. I went to the Altus.es site - couldn't work out how to buy online so I emailed them (in English and Spanish) but no reply. That other site Barrabus (free Barrabus etc etc) only seems to stock bright red ones .. anyone know how I can get an xl in that slate colour? (I'm in UK).
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
#36
Thanks, tried that but it came up with no listings. I'm specifically looking for the zip front long poncho raincoat sold by Altus as their 'Poncho Atmospheric' ..
but thanks
 

jeff001

Active Member
#37
I don't know why the ebay link doesn't work for you because I just tried it again - "the packa" with the quotation marks. Try this: http://www.thepacka.com/ It looks very similar to the Altus but is actually more like a pack cover with a buillt in poncho. When not in use the poncho rolls up into a pocket in the rain cover. Full zip front, drawstring around the bottom, large pit zips plus it only weighs 11 oz.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
#38
Thanks - didn't appear on Ebay as I list on .co.uk and worldwide items appear but only if they ship outside their country.
I went to .com and found it - I'm afraid the Packa is nothing like the Altus Atmospheric, but thanks anyway. I do have a poncho but want the Altus poncho raincoat.
 
N

nathanael

Guest
#39
I am interested in getting suggestions on rucksacks, what do you recommend and where to purchase.

Thanks everyone you are all so helpful.

niel
 
#41
Ponchos are a nuisance, albeit a necessary one at times. An Australian I met, a Camino veteran, advised me to purchase a light umbrella (telescopic type) which proved very useful and convenient except in torrential rain and wind - of which there was virtually none in the glorious May of 2005.
Patrick
 

Arn

Moderator
Staff member
Donating Member
#42
Niel, as with boots...your pack is a very personal thing!

Two major styles...internal and external. Internal fit close to the body, provide great stability and can be hot. Your gear is "packed" for the most part inside and therefore, with the exception of zippered area...you take everything out to get what's inside.

External...the main pack is attached to a pack frame that keeps the pack off direct contact with your back...providing air circulation and therefore is cooler. Your gear is arranged in the many pockets and larger chambers making it easy to get at.

I used an external on the AT...it was great, especially when it was hot, but on knife edge path ways, I couldn't control the pack shifting and putting me off balance. Since I have no binocular vision...a minor mis-step is disastrous. One time I slipped and broke three ribs...another time, I fell 30 feet, slit open my left forearm to the bone and had a slight concussion.

On My Camno, I will be taking a military 3-day pack. It's sort of an internal, has three compartments...one large, one medium and a smaller pocket. It has attachment straps on the side (for my chair...VT) and (jacket/fleece). It's also Molle configured so I can attach external things; such as: a vino flask, extra water bottle, etc. The entire pack weight less than 1 lb and will carry everything I need (or want).

I like the Altus Poncho...initially for the ventilation and full length. I also like the Packa...it has arm pit vents, but not very long. I''ll have to see.

regards
Arn
 
#44
I bought a very expensive Beghaus PacLite for my walk. It was very ineffective, letting in wherever the rucksack or harness touched, which when you think about it is just about everywhere.

I bought a very cheap poncho in England in an outdoor shop (sorry, no link). It was highly effective, with a number of unexpected benefits:

+ because it's open below, it's cooler to wear in hot, wet weather such as you might get in France or Spain

+it covers you and your rucksack

+you put your rucksack over a jacket, so in showery weather the rucksack is on/off/on. Not so with a poncho - you can rig it so you just push it back on to the top of your rucksack, ready to be pulled forward and over if the rain comes on again.

It's difficult to put on a poncho without help - I provided a lot of entertainment to passers-by trying. I eventually got around this by putting velcro tape on my rucksack and on the inside of the poncho. To put the poncho on I fitted it to the velcro on the rucksack, then put on the rucksack.

In very severe weather I would use both the poncho and waterproof jacket. I was sufficiently fond of the poncho that I once retraced my steps for a mile or so when I realised I'd dropped it.
 

windeatt

Active Member
#45
Yes, I second all Fletcher's comments on Ponchos. Exactly what I found on the camino. But I hadn't thought about the velcro tip - that is really useful. Thanks. Fortunately there were two of us on our walk so we could help each other but one very wet morning out of Figeac we met a poor lady who had been walking for well over an hour without being able to pull her poncho over her rucksack as she had met no-one else that morning. She was pleased to see us.

However, I also have to second the observation of whoever it was from the UK who said they were useless in our high winds . . . mine just got ripped apart recently up on the Pennines . ..
 

Rambler

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
June 2008 Camino Frances with Daughter, 2014 Camino Frances with Son
#46
Arn:
I am not exactly sure which "ponchos" on the Campmor and REI sites you were looking at, but the Altus is more of a jacket or Cagoulle than a real poncho. I could not find any similar here in the US so I ordered mine from barrabes.com and they were shipped here very quickly. I have not tested it out yet, but they look great! The pack cover won me over because I have never gotten a pack cover to work 100% when you are hiking in the rain.
My only question to Sil or others with this is what size gaiters do you use? Low gaiters (<12 inches) seem too short, but the longer ones seem pretty heavy.
I still have to buy these to have for the trip.

Rambler
 

Arn

Moderator
Staff member
Donating Member
#47
Rambler,

Mine arrived last Tue after les than 4 days from ordering. The morning I was going out for a training walk...the sky opened up and I was about to bag it...when up my drive comes a DHL truck...with my Altus Raincoat. I opened it up (got a blue L/XL) unbuttoned the three snaps in the rear and put it easily over my pack. It's not really a poncho in that it hangs like a raincoat. There are vents across the chest and when I felt the temp rise I just opened the front and used the velcro. It was fantastic.

On gaiters, I've used both. My choice on the Camino will be the short Gore-Tex type. For this reason. (1) the Altus hangs down nearly ankle top...so longer gaiters for wet weather won't be an issue (2) I broke my own rule and am changing boots in the middle of the stream. I've decided to go with Merrell low top hiking shoes rather than my heavier (now broken in) boots. The reasoning, I will be carrying a much lighter pack than when on the AT and the differences in elevation isn't all that much, so I'll not need the ankle support as much. I do tend to get pebbles and stones (ouch) when I wear low riders...so short gaiters will help that situation.

Buen Camino

Arn
 
#48
My daughter (in London) ordered ours. She's coming to SA beginning of March and we can't wait for her to get here and have the raincoats (also to see her of course!!). So far this summer we've had more rain than sunshine (so much for "sunny SA").
 

lckgj

Active Member
#49
Re Berghaus Paclite

I saw Fletcher had a bad experience with this raincoat. I nearly bought one despite it being very expensive as it was so very light. However, when the sales assistant heard I was planning to wear it with a backpack he advised me against it. Apparently the fabric is not at all hard wearing and will not stand up to the rubbing of a backpack. Fletchers experience seems to confirm this.

Thought I'd mention this in case anyone else was tempted!

Laura
 
#51
I am quite interested in these Altus ponchos. Can anyone describe the sizing for me? I am a skinny 5'8" female, my husband is 6'1" , also pretty lean. Can seem to see on the website how the sizes go.
Cheers.
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
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#52
They come in S/M and Large. The S/M will do for you and the L for your hubby. I am a 5.2" and 57kg and the S/M is huge on me, but that's OK because even with the backpack underneath it almost reaches my shoes.
My friend Marion is about 5.8" and she also bought the S/M. I am in the red (outside the house Ivar nearly bought) and Marion is in the blue.
The great thing about them is that you put them on over your backpack (the special hump at the back accommodates even a large pack) and you can open them if it gets warm.
When not wearing a backpack you can close the poppers and it won't hang down as they are in these photos. So you have a general use raincoat and a raincoat/poncho for hiking.
 

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sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
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#55
Most people have ordered them through http://www.barrabes.com
Louise said that she tried to order one recently and was told that they are out of stock. You can also buy them in Spain.
 
#56
We must be making a dent in their supply. I asked my cousin in Madrid to get 2 of them for us and they had only one. Apparently they are selling quickly. Hopefully by the time I arrive on monday they will have had more come in.
lillian
 

Rambler

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
June 2008 Camino Frances with Daughter, 2014 Camino Frances with Son
#57
How many of you that used these Altus ponchos used gaiters also? So far, when I have used mine on practice hikes, I have not needed the gaitors, but it has not rained all that hard.
Experience tells me that if you are on a trail, you will get wet from bushes etc. or if the rain is a blowing rain. My poncho comes about mid-calf with my pack on so it is not too long.
Do I carry the gaitors or not?

Rambler
 
#58
windeatt said:
Many, many thanks to Sil and Egbert

For telling us about this raincoat/poncho and where to find it. Mine has just arrived and it looks good. I am sure it wil be more effective than the ones we used this summer and which leaked miserably. Here we are in them: http://www.suzielda.com/camino/viewphot ... =AC73C1758

However, despite the rain getting everywhere else - even into our vests - our rucksack innards didn't get wet - they were really super waterproof, see: http://www.suzielda.com/camino/viewphot ... =AC75C1824

I have weighed it and it comes about at just over 400 grams - this is a little heavy for me (a lightweight freak) but then it does look very efficient and worth the extra weight.

Thanks again,

Windy
How tall are you Windy...I too am trying to gauge whether to order S?M or L/XL
John
 

Rambler

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
June 2008 Camino Frances with Daughter, 2014 Camino Frances with Son
#59
Rambler said:
How many of you that used these Altus ponchos used gaiters also? So far, when I have used mine on practice hikes, I have not needed the gaitors, but it has not rained all that hard.
Experience tells me that if you are on a trail, you will get wet from bushes etc. or if the rain is a blowing rain. My poncho comes about mid-calf with my pack on so it is not too long.
Do I carry the gaitors or not?

Rambler
:?:
Raising this question again.
I know Sil used light gaitors with her Altus poncho.
The rest of you that have used it, would you recommend gaitors or not? It is weight that I prefer to not take if they are not of much value. Getting my pack weight down right now so I can carry a sleeping bag instead of the bag liner given the crowding right now! :wink:

Rambler
 

alipilgrim

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2005), Frances (2007), Madrid/Frances (2011), 1/2 VdP (2012),
#60
I had a ponch on my last Camino, very large ie. Sil's pic of herself in one, and although it kept me and my pack and upper legs dry, my feet and lower legs got soaked so gaiters might be a good idea. My poncho extended down to my lower shins and was fine when standing still but with each forward step the poncho rubbed against my leg and drip, drip, drip down my pants and into/onto my shoes! I had wished at the time I had gaiters....
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
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#62
Not bad for 19 euro - it weighs about the same as the Altus at 460gr. It looks as though it is about knee length.
 

lynnejohn

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2005), VDLP(2007), Madrid(2009), Ingles(2009), Sur (2011), VDLP(2011)-partial, VDLP(2014)
#63
Of course this is the best solution, however we have the old style (flapping around, getting wet, swearing and really getting mad, REALLY frustrating ponchos). So we already know they are really bad and close to useless. So do we dump them and buy these handy-dandy ponchos.... i don't know!!!!

So many decisions.. We used these really useless ponchos for our last two camonos and were never happy with them, so maybe it's time to bite the bullet. Just venting, but please feel free to comment or suggest....

lynne
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
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:
#64
Lynne, I am an Altus raincoat convert!
I have always preferred a rain suit - jacket and trousers - to a poncho, but when we saw a pilgrim walking in her Altus last year we couldn't resist buying one (sent the rain suit on to Santiago).

What I like about the Altus is that it combines a poncho with a raincoat but doesn't flap about or leave your rear end exposed to the rain! You put it on when you already have your backpack on and the 'hunch back' design totally covers you and your pack. or you can wear it without a pack just for extra warmth. It is not made of plastic so you don't steam up inside, it also has air vents on the chest and zips up the front so that you can open if you do get warm; it has a hood with a visor (mine kept falling over my eyes so I used a hair clip to hold it back); has long sleeves with Velcro straps at the wrists so your arms don't get wet and it is long enough to cover up past your knees.
I felt dry, warm and secure in the raincoat. I lent it to my friend John and it has now done the Portuguese, Ingles and Camino Frances routes!
 
#65
I bought the Altus poncho before my Camino and it was great- I literally never got wet! I'm leaving for Machu Picchu in the morning after looking at the rainy forcast, I packed the Altus poncho. I'm sold on them. Good luck and Buen Camino.
 

Anniesantiago

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route. 2018 will be Camino #14.
#66
Then I bought my poncho... Now I´m a Believer! ::::singing loudly!:::::

However, it is an XL... I wish I had a Medium size...and a stuffsack :lol:
 

alipilgrim

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2005), Frances (2007), Madrid/Frances (2011), 1/2 VdP (2012),
#67
I bought an Altus-type poncho in Burgos and the hood also tended to flip down over my eyes so I wore a baseball cap and the bill of the cap kept the hood out of my eyes.
 

Portia1

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2009, Portuguese 2012
(Frances 2016)
#68
Here´s another Altus fan. After walking in the rain for over 8 days (rain in the Pyrenees, Burgos, Castrojeriz and the last five days into Santiago, I appreciate the flexibility of this poncho. You can use it as a poncho/pack cover or snap the snaps and wear it as a raincoat without your pack. I found walking in the rain I would get too hot so I took my arms out of the poncho arms and tied them in front of me, exposing my arms to the weather but not my pack or bellypack. Unfortunately this arrangement also compromised the breathability of the back of my pack but better than a soaked pack. I too found that wearing a cap under the poncho hood kept the bill out of my eyes. The only change I would make is to add a small pocket somewhere but otherwise, this is a great poncho. Two of my walking companions purchased theirs in Burgos.
 

Caminando

Veteran Member
#69
Ponchos are brilliant.

For best prices, for those in Europe that is, look at Lidl. If available, you'll get them from 8 -12euros.
You can find them on ex military websites too.

For US citizens, ex military is probably where you'll find them :shock:
:arrow:
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
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:
#70
Caminado - the ALTUS is not a poncho, it is a raincoat with a hunch back that fits over the backpack. When not using it over your backpack, you can fold the 'hunch' and keep it down with press studs.
It has the best of poncho and coat in that it has raglan sleeves - they start at the waist - with elastic and velcro, and a zip all the way down the front (also with velcro ties) and a hood with a peak.
 

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#71
I have just got Altus atmospheric poncho from http://www.barrabes.com

Have not chance to check it in rain yet but have to state that the service is great (I had a problem with paying paypal because of new browser settings so we have communicated back and forward a few times during few hours canceling orders and creating new once), delivery is extremely fast - I have placed the order on Friday, hour later it was shipped already and I have got the package on Monday.

I was worrying about which size to order... Gosh, the poncho is HUGE. I cannot call myself slim with my 70kg at 164cm but it feels that size S/M it can cover two of me! So it definitively will cover me and my backpack. Also it looks from the description on website that size L/XL mainly differs by length (for those who is over 170cm). May be someone find this info useful :)
 

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Many, various, and continuing.
#72
You may be slim, but I bet you are not slimy.

I recently used my Altus for a groundcloth under my little tent. It would have been too lumpy without a sleeping mat, but it served the purpose just fine. (I can´t find any tent-seam sealer in Spain, alas!)
viva Altus!
Reb.
 
#73
Thanks Rebekah, that is what happens time to time when English is not a native language :roll: That what happens with any not native language, basically... my word usage in German is a constant source of jokes for my colleagues, too... and my Polish colleagues had a good portion of laugh... :)
 

grayland

Moderator
Staff member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Yes
#74
We did not have to use our Altus more than a couple of times in March '09...just luck as others hit serious rain just before us and just after...we must have walked in between.
They are a great raincoat for the Camino.
I do have one problem and that is the pockets do not go through to the inside like most raincoats.
This makes in very inconvenient to access anything in your pockets without unzipping the coat with your pack on...not easy.
 
#75
I'm very interested in purchasing the Altus Atmospheric poncho, but I'm debating if I should hold on until I get into Pamplona and go to El Corte Inglés to buy one or to order it online, which will cost an arm and a leg to ship. But the million dollar question should be, is it worth risking being without a poncho from SJPdP to Pamplona?

¡Buen Camino! :arrow:
 

KiwiNomad06

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy-Santiago(2008) Cluny-Conques+prt CF(2012)
#76
[quote="goonerpilgrim" But the million dollar question should be, is it worth risking being without a poncho from SJPdP to Pamplona?[/quote]
Uummmmm gooner.....you do know you are talking about the mountain crossing of the Pyrenees with no poncho? I was one of the lucky ones: two days crossing the Pyrenees via an overnight in Orisson, and only used my raincoat to sit on and eat lunch. But.... next morning at Roncesvalles was quite a different story. I woke up to hear the rain absolutely hosing down outside, as you might expect in a mountainous region. Some people were simply not prepared for the deluge..... It does know how to rain in that region!
Margaret
 
N

nathanael

Guest
#77
On the raincoat...I purchased mine in Madrid 3 years ago and it's still use able. Size yes they are a bit large I purchased a L and wish I had gotten a M. The L does not fit well and the hood with peek is extremely too big make sure you try it on. One fault I personally found with mine is although it keeps rain out it does make you sweat plus there is dampness on your clothes. In Madrid they have the store where you can go and purchased it go on http://www.barrabes and they will answer you. If anyone has any other suggestion for rain attire would love to hear it cause am a bit not satisfied with mine rain attire.
n.
 

Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
#78
Hi Nathaniel,
We use the Rohan poncho and really like them.They are one size, unisex, side popper fastening and pack flat into their own front pocket. Our one real expense apart from our footwear and well worth it.
A little long for me at 5ft 4ins, but goes over my pack OK and I could always turn the front hem up a fraction if necessary. The front zips up and the hood also has pull cords and a small peak.
Details here - Rohan poncho.
Happy hunting,
Tia Valeria
 

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Kialoa3

Active Member
Donating Member
#79
The Altus sounds like a great solution in warmer weather. Would anyone recommend it for a winter camino? It strikes me that a good waterproof shell and pants, with proper layering, would be better for very cold and wet weather. Also, would it be one or the other or take both? I would think that the weight of winter shell/pants would mean you would always wear them, and not pack them while you wear the poncho. I am looking at the Camino Frances next Dec-Jan.
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
#80
In variable weather, I donned then doffed my rain suit several times, always an aggravation, particularly when it is muddy! With an Altus, you hang it over your back pack, then slip into it without breaking stride when the rain starts. Both the rain suit and the Altus are as wet inside as outside, but the Altus has a bit more circulation. Your legs get wetter with the Altus. Gaiters for your boots are a good solution with either the rain suit or the Altus poncho. I would take only one or the other.
 

Kialoa3

Active Member
Donating Member
#81
Thanks for the input, Falcon, but I am still trying to envision what you would be wearing underneath the Altus for warmth when it is really cold (20-30F), snowy, and windy. Would tech layering and the Altus be sufficient in those conditions? What pants? It seems that an open poncho, in those conditions might get a bit " breezy", even with a front zip. Also,how much variation is there in the weather during the winter months? Am I mistaken to expect to be wearing cold/wet weather gear the entire way in Dec -Jan, and not having to switch in and out of it.
 
#82
KiwiNomad06 said:
Uummmmm gooner.....you do know you are talking about the mountain crossing of the Pyrenees with no poncho? I was one of the lucky ones: two days crossing the Pyrenees via an overnight in Orisson, and only used my raincoat to sit on and eat lunch. But.... next morning at Roncesvalles was quite a different story. I woke up to hear the rain absolutely hosing down outside, as you might expect in a mountainous region. Some people were simply not prepared for the deluge..... It does know how to rain in that region!
Margaret
If I was a wagering man I would bet that crossing the Pyrenees in late April without some sort of rain gear is a bad idea, I was just looking for some "positive reinforcement" to go ahead and not to worry. 8) I did a bit of online research at the El Corte Inglés' website and they do not carry the Altus poncho online. :roll: I went to Barrabes' website and they do indeed carry it, but after shipping and handling the Altus poncho will cost me 72.43 € (28.45 € for the poncho and 43.89 € for the shipping and handling! :shock: ) It makes no sense on buying it if the shipping is more expensive than the product itself... I've been looking around of anyone else carries it, but to no avail... Calling all pilgrims to help this poor soul find his M/L Altus Atmospheric!

¡Buen Camino! :arrow:
 

KiwiNomad06

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy-Santiago(2008) Cluny-Conques+prt CF(2012)
#83
Gooner, I know that many people swear by the Altus, but when you reach the Camino, you will find people have all manner of rainwear!!! I had a good raincoat. Ponchos are virtually never used when walking in the outdoors here in New Zealand, mainly perhaps because it is toooooo windy a lot of the time, so rainwear needs to fit closer to the body.

I had my raincoat and no pack-cover which often surprised some people. :shock: But it was because I had a really good waterproof liner inside the pack, also a NZ response to the prevailing wet conditions we can get in our mountains!

It sounds like getting an Altus is impractical for you: but I imagine you will find some other solution. But truly, in 2008 at the end of April, conditions on the Route Napoleon crossing the Pyrenees were horrendous, and someone died :cry: , so promise me you won't even think about crossing those mountains without good rain wear! And if you come back and tell me it was 30C and you sweltered.... ah well I will have no mercy and will just say, 'C'est la vie!' :D
All the best with your prep!
Margaret
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
#84
The Altus is long, so it goes to mid-shin. Under it I had silk long underwear, polypro convertible pants, and windbreaker pants cover (Sierra Design), with layered tops of polypro T-shirt, polypro long shirt, polypro fleece, windbreaker shirt (GoLite), and quilted jacket (GoLite). Liner socks, wool socks, boots, and gaiters keep the feet warm. April and November weather is all over the place; I have not walked in December-February, but I think the layers would be the same. My second long sleeve shirt would add some insulation. Gloves, face gaiter, and knit cap (I prefer polypro to wool) keep the extremities warm. The Altus hood is usually sufficient to keep rain and wind out and my head warm.
 
#86
Margaret,

Maybe instead of taking the TGV from Paris I should arrive in Madrid, stop by the Barrabes Store and then take the Renfe train to Pamplona... :lol: Just kidding! I know there are plenty of rain gear out there in the marketplace that could do just as good as the Altus, but just the practicality of it all got me hooked to purchase one, just too bad that it is not widely available outside of Spain. As far as the 30ºC weather at the end of April, hmmm I seriously doubt it considering the cold snap the Northern Hemisphere is going through nowadays, but I certainly appreciate your fair weather wishes!

¡Buen Camino! :arrow:

Rafael
 

KiwiNomad06

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy-Santiago(2008) Cluny-Conques+prt CF(2012)
#87
Rafael,
All the best: I love hearing of all your preparations!! And I know I started in France, but I think 'expect anything' weatherwise might still apply in Spain :)

I started walking from Le Puy en Velay on April 14th, and saw snow several times in the first five days- not snow like the snow that is currently enveloping O'Cebreiro, but snow nevertheless... On 20/21st April I crossed the Aubrac Plateau and got saturated. (The day after I crossed, there was more snow for the people on the Plateau.) Yet on 26 April when I was descending to Conques, the temperature did reach the 30s, as it did the day after while I had a Conques rest day..... until at evening vespers a huge thunderstorm arrived and dramatically cleared the air!

So I reckon..... expect anything :shock:
Margaret
 
#89
Lemonkid said:
These poncho tips are gold! Looking into ordering my Altus now..
Me too ! :D
and I couldn't help noticing that a great number of the Google Earth pictures one can see when "following" the Camino online (which I did this weekend in order to give my husband an outlook of our route) featured pilgrims who were wearing blue, strikingly Altus-like things :lol:
 
#90
FrenchGwen said:
Lemonkid said:
These poncho tips are gold! Looking into ordering my Altus now..
Me too ! :D
and I couldn't help noticing that a great number of the Google Earth pictures one can see when "following" the Camino online (which I did this weekend in order to give my husband an outlook of our route) featured pilgrims who were wearing blue, strikingly Altus-like things :lol:
Well if people are worried, they should look at the website carefully - check out the Barrabes international site. For example I'm a Canadian living in China. Getting stuff shipped to China is a real pain, so I purchased the Altus (on the English website) using my Canadian credit card and I'm having it shipped to my friend in Paris so I can pick it up pre-Camino. If people are really interested in getting one, it seems like you should be able to get it to you under most circumstances, if I'm able to get ahold of one in my unusual situation.
 

skilsaw

Veteran Member
#91
If purchasing and shipping an altus poncho is an issue for pilgrims from America or Canada,
Try the two meccas of out door gear in North America.

Recreational Equipment Incorporated in the USA http://www.rei.com/

And Mountain Equipment Incorporated in Canada http://www.mec.ca/Main/home.jsp;jsessio ... 5407881403

MEC has a poncho for sure, and my first poncho came from REI 41 years ago, before we had MEC in Canada.

David, Victoria, Canada
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
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:
#92
David, the ALTUS is not really a poncho, it is a raincoat with a built-in hunchback to accommodate the backpack.
There is a similar product at Rei but it is not quite the same and doesn't have the zip open front or sealed seams.
 
#93
I have looked on-line at both the Altus poncho and the packa. I then discovered the snugpak poncho and was surprised that the forum has very little mention of it, especially since it seems to be a British product. It has sleeves and a zipper half way down the chest and is longer in back to cover the pack. The sides are sewn closed from sleeve cuff to hem. Does anyone have any experience with them? I am doing the camino frances in October and wondering if it would be a good alternative to the Altus. It is available in the USA so the shipping costs would be much less. Thanks for your advise.
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
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:
#94
Hi Cindy,
I think the SnugPak has been discussed here before. The only difference is that it doesn't open all the way down the front - it is more poncho than raincoat - and it is a bit more expensive selling at between 35 euro and 45 euro. It weighs a little less at 400g (the ALTUS weighs 450g)
You could take a cheap poncho to Spain and buy an ALTUS at any outdoor shop when you get there for around 25 euro.
 

LTfit

Veteran Member
Donating Member
#95
So much discussion on types of rain gear. But I keep wondering if I need either a light-weight fleece or even raincoat or poncho as I am starting my walk in July and only going as far as Leon :?: Or would it be smarter to just have a cover for my pack :?:
Cheers,
LTfit
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
#96
There were only 4 days total with rain in Burgos in the last three years; four days out of 123 days. Temperatures were between warm and very hot.
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
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:
#97
Peter Robins weather page shows a rainfall stat for Pamplona to Leon in July. It seems that each town had between 4 and 5 days of rain last July. You could have a cover for your pack - or a cheap poncho to keep you dry. (The ALTUS does both with its unique 'hunchback' design.)

Day of rain:
Pamplona 5
Logroño 4
Burgos 4
León 4
 

Anniesantiago

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route. 2018 will be Camino #14.
#98
I'm with Sill in chiming a vote for the Altus. You can order them online, I think.

Mine kept me so warm and dry in very chilly November weather in Santiago... it covered my pack, meaning you don't need to carry a pack cover, and it shielded my body from the wind and rain. I wore a billed cap under the hood so I could see better, and I just fell in love with this poncho/raingear. Always before I had taken raincoat and pants, because I get cold when my hips get cold.

The other use for the Altus that I found was as a blanket... it keeps the chill completely off of you. If you're just taking a liner and you find it chilly, you can spread the Altus over your liner and you'll stay toasty warm.

You can also use it as a picnic blanket or even as a complete shelter if you get caught in a big old storm. I love that thing.

It really is versatile.

The Altus ROCKS in my opinion, in wind and rain... and I'll never walk without it again.
 

Josefine

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés Primitivo Aragonés/Francés, Portugues Fisterra/Muxia Norte San Salvador Via Gebennesis
#99
Maybe a stupid question ...but what about your legs? In summer it could be ok to walk with shorts and you don't mind your legs getting wet but in spring/autumn when it's colder?! As far as I can see the Altus only goes down to your knees....
Annie, you wrote "mine kept me so warm and dry in very chilly November weather in Santiago" so what kind of trouser did you wear?
 

Anniesantiago

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route. 2018 will be Camino #14.
Well, I'm short so my Altus went to my ankles practically.

But I did carry lightweight rain pants that I got at REI... they worked great on cold windy days also!
 

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