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Raincoat-Poncho

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Silvester

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino del Salvador (2014)
Camino Primitivo (2014)
Camino Muxia (2014)
Camino Fisterra (2014)
I can't agree strongly enough about the utility of the umbrella!!! GoLight makes a version (ChromeDome, ~8 oz, ~$20USD) and I swear by it. It is made specifically for backpacking and uses carbon-fiber stays. The entire thing can flip inside out without worry about damage, and there are no fragile or complex joints to worry about.

Along with a 4 oz superlight windjacket with DWR treatment, an umbrella/windjacket combo offers the greatest range for temperature and conditions of any system I've come across thus far, at the lowest weight and at a fraction of the cost of a GoreTex/eVent jacket.
Anyone used the Snow Peak folding umbrella? Actually, the idea of using an umbrella is pretty novel for me as I'm used to winds stronger than 50kph most days and an umbrella can only flip inside out so many times. My last folding umbrella lasted a few years in Auckland and one use in Wellington NZ. And I guess pacer pole enthusiasts need another arm.
 

evanlow

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
After 11 Caminos, want to Ruta de la Lana next...
My earliest Caminos with poncho, then it changes to rain coats, and now my preference is an umbrella.
Snap the backpack's front clip over the stem of the umbrella and you can even walk handsfree.
 

J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2016, 2022
We currently have Trespass Qikpak rain jackets which we use for back country hiking here in Idaho. They weigh very little and come in a little bag. have interior and exterior pockets. I have hiked in the freezing rain in mine for several hours after an aborted high mountain lake fishing trip. (Frankly hiking in the rain is a bummer no matter what kind of rain garment you have.) If I use a trash bag as a pack liner will our rain jackets be enough? Hate to buy something else if this will be adequate.

Has anyone used a Snugpak patrol pancho on the Camino (see demo below)? This seems like overkill, however, I do want to be prepared. I liked the looks of this one because it has sleeves, thumb holes, and pockets.

 
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t2andreo

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2022
The main issue with the Snugpak poncho is that it is available only in olive or black. Both colors will not create a contrast between you and an oncoming driver. However, Snugpak makes a quality product. If you have a way to get it from the UK, I recommend you compare pricing, including shipping to your home. Sometimes you can save money. One very good UK source for hiking gear, including the Snugpak line of products is www.outdoorgb.com. They DO ship to the US or Canada.

I usually recommend that folks go with the brightest color they can find, or white if they can get it. This will be relatively safer when walking against oncoming traffic, as does occur on many Camino routes. You are trying to create enough contrast so a driver cannot miss seeing you as he/she approaches you.

I tried to order a bright lime green Sea to Summit brand sil-nylon poncho but had to settle for a vivid sky blue as lime was out of stock. Ironically on overcast, cloudy, rainy or snowy days, the blue creates the contrast one needs to be seen.

This said, were I to do it again, I would opt for the same poncho. It is now available in the same bright Lime Green, Light Blue AND a NEW color, bright Orange. I would likely opt for the orange one, but my blue one from last spring is fine. So I will stick with that.

I hope this helps.
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2022 CF
I am thinking... All this equipment can add up to so much. I bought a poncho from Lidl and I used it for 2 caminos and still chose to take it on my walk to Jerusalem. It isn't pretty but it works.
Bear in mind that if it rains very heavily, if you walk for 8 hours in bad rain, you will get wet whatever you wear. But it does shelter you from the worst of it, protects your backpack and I even used it as a groundsheet under my tent.
I think it cost under £10.
 

J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2016, 2022
I am thinking... All this equipment can add up to so much.

Yes, I totally agree. We do a lot of backcountry hiking/camping here so I am painfully aware of the weight and the cost of anything well-made and/or ultra-light. We are already what I consider "gear junkies" and just wondering if I need to add a well-made and expensive pancho to our growing closet of hiking/camping gear? Will I be more or less miserable with a good rain jacket (that I already own) and my stuff in plastic bags in my pack (as I do on wilderness hikes) or do I need to get a pancho? If I get one, I could of course try it out here first and leave it at home if it does not meet my standards. I'd be out the money I spent for two of them and they would be in the closet until the next gear "swap meet" or something. This forum seems pretty mixed on jacket vs pancho. I have hiked in both rain and snowstorms with a good jacket and was pretty miserable after a few hours. Would a pancho lessen my misery? Both my spouse and I used to be in the military so we are not put off by a little rain, but as we have gotten older comfort is a much greater priority.
 

J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2016, 2022
The main issue with the Snugpak poncho is that it is available only in olive or black. Both colors will not create a contrast between you and an oncoming driver. However, Snugpak makes a quality product. If you have a way to get it from the UK, I recommend you compare pricing, including shipping to your home. Sometimes you can save money. One very good UK source for hiking gear, including the Snugpak line of products is www.outdoorgb.com. They DO ship to the US or Canada.

I usually recommend that folks go with the brightest color they can find, or white if they can get it. This will be relatively safer when walking against oncoming traffic, as does occur on many Camino routes. You are trying to create enough contrast so a driver cannot miss seeing you as he/she approaches you.

I tried to order a bright lime green Sea to Summit brand sil-nylon poncho but had to settle for a vivid sky blue as lime was out of stock. Ironically on overcast, cloudy, rainy or snowy days, the blue creates the contrast one needs to be seen.

This said, were I to do it again, I would opt for the same poncho. It is now available in the same bright Lime Green, Light Blue AND a NEW color, bright Orange. I would likely opt for the orange one, but my blue one from last spring is fine. So I will stick with that.

I hope this helps.
I can get the Snugpak pancho from Amazon for $40 right now. Sea to Summit's pancho is $89 right now. Looks like it is half the weight of the Snugpak so that accounts for why it is twice as much (this is ultralight hiking humor/math) ;-) I do see the point in the colors. Wondering if reflective tape could be used as an additional precaution?
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2022 CF
My advice is... For what it's worth... Don' t buy anything more. I have no idea when you are doing the Camino but I think what you have will be fine! The Camino frances is nothing as wild as New Zealand :)
 
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t2andreo

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2022
All Camino gear that you take should be both what you actually need, and intend to use. Taking anything you will not use is just carrying dead weight, and should be avoided. Similarly, each item needs to be either multi-functional and as light as you can afford. An ounce or few grams here and there DOES eventually add up to a heavy pack load.

TIP: If you are walking with a companion, consider splitting some items, like first aid supplies or other stuff that can be shared use items. This can reduce individual loads. Why carry two of everything, when one of something will do for the both of you. Just a thought.

My advice is to test pack, based on what you have, and proceed from there. Everything that goes in the pack needs to be judged. Will I really use this, or am I taking it just in case? After two Caminos, I am STILL packing too much. Packing for a Camino is still far more of an art than a science. The forum gives you the chance to cut to the proverbial bottom line without making many of the same poor choices or oopsies as other pilgrims have done.

However, you WILL need protection from rain and likely snow, as late as the end of May, especially at altitudes over about 700 meters. Rain falls year-round. As a general matter, the closer you get to the ocean, the more it rains. On both my Camino Frances pilgrimages in April-May 2013 and 2014, I experienced more than 20 days or rain and / or snow out of 35 / 34 days that I walked from St. Jean Pied de Port to Santiago.

You will also experience morning temperatures in the low to mid 30s (F) or single digits (C). Combine that with blowing snow or rain, and you have an interesting walking day ahead of you. Plan accordingly.

Also, use the search function above to find useful information about any items you are considering bringing. Virtually EVERY question has been asked before, at least once or a dozen times.

I hope this helps.
 

J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2016, 2022
All Camino gear that you take should be both what you actually need, and intend to use. Taking anything you will not use is just carrying dead weight, and should be avoided. Similarly, each item needs to be either multi-functional and as light as you can afford. An ounce or few grams here and there DOES eventually add up to a heavy pack load.

TIP: If you are walking with a companion, consider splitting some items, like first aid supplies or other stuff that can be shared use items. This can reduce individual loads. Why carry two of everything, when one of something will do for the both of you. Just a thought.

My advice is to test pack, based on what you have, and proceed from there. Everything that goes in the pack needs to be judged. Will I really use this, or am I taking it just in case? After two Caminos, I am STILL packing too much. Packing for a Camino is still far more of an art than a science. The forum gives you the chance to cut to the proverbial bottom line without making many of the same poor choices or oopsies as other pilgrims have done.

However, you WILL need protection from rain and likely snow, as late as the end of May, especially at altitudes over about 700 meters. Rain falls year-round. As a general matter, the closer you get to the ocean, the more it rains. On both my Camino Frances pilgrimages in April-May 2013 and 2014, I experienced more than 20 days or rain and / or snow out of 35 / 34 days that I walked from St. Jean Pied de Port to Santiago.

You will also experience morning temperatures in the low to mid 30s (F) or single digits (C). Combine that with blowing snow or rain, and you have an interesting walking day ahead of you. Plan accordingly.

Also, use the search function above to find useful information about any items you are considering bringing. Virtually EVERY question has been asked before, at least once or a dozen times.

I hope this helps.
Thanks for the guidance.
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Time 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:
I think the Ferrino is great - but it is about €63 and the ALTUS is €53. I have ordered a Bluefield from Amazon that is €15.99 Worth a try!
It claims to be 100% waterproof.
Materials: 210T terylene taped seam seal.
Large volume of backpack cover
Olive button design prevents the backpack fell off.
Drawstring hood and zipped neck. 100% waterproof and easy to wear and take off.
Hem olive button prevent the wind raising the raincoat.
Portable cylindrical shape package with strap and sling for easy storage.
High quality, compact, lightweight, fashion and easy to carry.
Dimension for package: approx 10 x 16cm/ 3.9x 6.3".
Weight :approx 280g.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00KSVHPKO/?tag=casaivar02-20
 
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sillydoll

Veteran Member
Time 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:
I'm not sure if all outdoor stores stock them. You could look at Decathalon for the Quechua rain poncho which is the same style as the ALTUS.
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
A "Tourigrino" trip once Covid has passed, so 2023
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

Took one of these on the Portuguese over the last three weeks, 30+ degrees temperature so didn't need it BUT when it rains in Galicia boy does it rain so no regrets!
 

smj6

Siempre hay que ver el positivo
Time of past OR future Camino
Oct/Nov 2016 (Via Podensis/ Frances)
Oct 2018 (Via Francigena stage)
Anyone know if the Quechua/ Altus (or similar) poncho fits over an Aarn backpack (i.e. with the mini bags in the front)?
Regards
Suzanne :)
 
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Kitsambler

Jakobsweg Junkie
Time of past OR future Camino
Le Puy 2010-11, Prague 2012, Nuremberg 2013, Einsiedeln 2015, Geneva 2017-19
I'm very unhappy with the Ferrino Trekker hiking raincoat, after it soaked through on the Swiss walk this year. But I'm sold on the general design of these things, same as the Altus. Being in the US, I'm looking for something that's available here. Looking at the Packa, I see it's a good bit shorter - hip length rather than knee length. Do people wear rain pants to keep the lower half dry?
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
Sorry if I missed this in the thread or elsewhere on the forum, but has anyone identified a US source for the Altus Atmospheric?
Centre La Tienda in Montreal sells them. They may be willing to ship to the US.
 

JillGat

la tierra encantada
Time of past OR future Camino
2018
It's odd to me that, with all the high tec gear and clothing available in the US, we can't get something like the Altus poncho. We used to call this kind of thing a cagoule, I think. There are a couple of ponchos with sleeves options, but they are either too short or don't have a full zipper. I've looked at Packa (expensive), Snugpak (not a full zip), Decathalon Quechua (not sure that's in the US) and Ferrino (not waterproof, according to one poster). And most only come in dark/dull colors that aren't too visible to motorists.
 

spursfan

Veteran Member
The main trouble with the old cagoule was that the inside pretty soon got wet

I typically walk in May or September so hope to avoid too much rain - I tend to go with a heavier Gore-Tex pac-lite or a lighter Berghaus

I'm counting on any intensive rain not lasting too long (say no more than a couple of hours) - so will have a spare set of walking clothes - if all else fails, take cover and wait for rain to stop
 

zzotte

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2012 Camino Frances, 2014 Lourdes to SDC, 2016 Camino del Norte
My problem with ponchos is that lets say that you are alone, and it's a nice day and then out of no were rain starts by the time I get the thing over the pack I'm soaked, so I opt for a light rain coat and an umbrella it works like a charm :)

Zzotte
 
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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I'm very unhappy with the Ferrino Trekker hiking raincoat, after it soaked through on the Swiss walk this year. But I'm sold on the general design of these things, same as the Altus. Being in the US, I'm looking for something that's available here. Looking at the Packa, I see it's a good bit shorter - hip length rather than knee length. Do people wear rain pants to keep the lower half dry?

Hi, Kitsambler, do you know for a fact that it leaked? Because my bet is that it was your sweat. I also bought one of these, love the design (not the weight), but found that as soon as I walk in it, I start to sweat. SYates explained to me that that was because the metallic lining in there is designed to provide protection against hypothermia, which isn't something we're likely to be worried about in the summer time. So not only does the Ferrino retain body heat, it reflects it back to you! I know the Packa doesn't have metallic lining, is just a plain nylon, but I walked years ago with two very unhappy users of the Packa. That was when the inventor was still making them by hand, so maybe the switch to a factory has changed things, but they also sweat a tremendous amount in it. One friend left hers in the albergue in Santander and bought an Altus (the old heavy kind). Though she had sweat tremendously in the Packa, it wasn't a problem in the Altus.

I wouldn't recommend the Altus Atmospheric, the new Altus product, though, not because of any personal experience (so this is hearsay, I know), but because my favorite sporting goods store in Madrid, Barrabes, has stopped carrying it because they think it's junky. I found the same thing to be true in a high end sporting store in Santiago last summer as well.
 
D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
I have both an Altus and a Packa. The Packa has huge underarm zippers to control the perspiration problem. Both have the same condensation problem. The Packa is lighter, so I am sticking with it. Any non-permeable poncho will have the condensation problem, but the feel of the wet fabric may be different. The nylon of the Packa is preferable to me!;)
 

Kitsambler

Jakobsweg Junkie
Time of past OR future Camino
Le Puy 2010-11, Prague 2012, Nuremberg 2013, Einsiedeln 2015, Geneva 2017-19
...do you know for a fact that it leaked? Because my bet is that it was your sweat.
Definitely not a sweat thing (been there, I know that phenomenon quite well, but this was a much cooler day, the rain started earlier in the day, and the fabric was entirely wet on the outside). This was definitely a soak-through due to rain.

So if people are unhappy with the Altus, the Trekker, and the Packa, what does work?
 

AllenTC2

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
(Spring of the year I retire....sometime between 2023-2027)
Hey all! I have ZERO experience with the Camino (though I have endured crappy weather in Germany from 88-92) nor do I have any high-speed, low-drag civilian issue ponchos/raincoats. That said, I am researching for gear for my camino and found this alternative available in the US (at least).

Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil NanoTarp-Poncho

It's pricey, at almost $100USD, and it's not a jacket like the Altus S3, but it doubles as a tarp/shelter, which might come in handy if you want some shade. It's also really light, 7 oz/199g.
 
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MTtoCamino

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Francis SJPdP to Finnestere April(2014)
I am a believer in Event rain coat & pants, breaths very well & I can live very comfy in down pours. Very expensive REI But you can buy it online from England & have it shipped for 30% less karimor.com. I have used it in the backcountry & on my Camino in April 2014. After 2 years I simply washed followed instructions of Mfg good as new.
Keith
 

Frank66

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
May/June 2016 Camino Frances
September (2017) First stage of Camino Portugués
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.
Hi, I am planning on walking the Camino alone ( I realise that I won't really won't be alone as I am starting from SJ on 4th May!) and the getting a poncho on and off without assistance is swaying me towards a waterproof jacket/waterproof trousers instead. Is this good logic?
Regards,
Frank
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
@Frank66 no - not good logic - to put on and take off rain jacket and pants you have to remove your pack each time, getting wet in the process. Heat buildup is a problem too - necessitating frequent changes. A poncho can hang over your pack and be pulled on and off as needed.
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Time 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:
I love my ALTUS. As a jacket can also double up as another layer when it is cool but not wet, this year I bought an XXL Quecha rain jacket (240g) from Decathlon and it fits over me and my pack. It cost €14.99 and matching rain pants (225g) cost the same. So for the same weight but at a 2/3 of the price, I have another waterproof option.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
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 love my ALTUS. As a jacket can also double up as another layer when it is cool but not wet, this year I bought an XXL Quecha rain jacket (240g) from Decathlon and it fits over me and my pack. It cost €14.99 and matching rain pants (225g) cost the same. So for the same weight but at a 2/3 of the price, I have another waterproof option.

Sil, I loved my old ALTUS too. Unfortunately I gave it to a friend, then bought a new ALTUS, which isn't as good.

Michel at Barrabes just wrote me this morning that they are carrying the Ferrino R Cloak Poncho and also one called the Tatonka.

Any more feedback on either of these?
The info on the Tatonka says it is water-resistant, not waterproof. Has anyone here tried it?

Sil, I looked at the Quecha jacket - it doesn't go over a pack - I'm assuming that's why you bought an XXL.
How did it work for you?
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
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
Hi, I am planning on walking the Camino alone ( I realise that I won't really won't be alone as I am starting from SJ on 4th May!) and the getting a poncho on and off without assistance is swaying me towards a waterproof jacket/waterproof trousers instead. Is this good logic?
Regards,
Frank
Frank, when it's rainy weather, I don't bother taking off my ALTUS at all. I simply slip my arms out and it hangs quite comfortably over my pack. I've never lost it. Then if the rain starts, I just slip my arms back in and continue on...

To me, a rain coat would be more of a problem. If I got hot and there was no rain, I'd have to stop, take off my pack, take off the jacket, stow it. Then if it started raining again, stop, get it out, put it on. Naw... I love the ALTUS, even the new one . . .
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2022 CF
For those in Europe, if you have a Lidl near you, check when/if they stock a 'trekking poncho'. I bought mine a few years ago and it has been absolutely perfect for over 6000 km. It was also very cheap so worth looking into if you're on a budget. Even doubled up as an extra ground sheet when camping. Makes me look like Frodo Baggins though apparently :D but who cares?
Buen camino.
 
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koilife

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF '13; CF/Salvador/Ingles '16; Portugues '22
Has anyone tried Frog Togs?
I used to get them for my boys. My experience was that their life span (the Frogg Toggs, not the boys) was as low as their price (the boys are actually quite expensive), so it was a race to see whether the boys outgrew them before they destroyed them.

If you care well for them, they'll probably stand the test of time better, but they're still low end on breathability, a bit too clammy, etc.

Just my two cents.
 

Nanumea

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances April 2016
Would it be easier and/or cheaper to buy the Altus poncho in advance online or just before the beginning of the Camino in St. Jean?
 

SYates

Camino Fossil AD 1999, now living in Santiago de C
Time of past OR future Camino
First: Camino Francés 1999
...
Last: Santiago - Muxia 2019

Now: http://egeria.house/
Would it be easier and/or cheaper to buy the Altus poncho in advance online or just before the beginning of the Camino in St. Jean?
I would rely on the shops in SJPdP stocking an Altus poncho in the size and color you want. Buen Camino, SY
 

Melensdad

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2016 SJPdP to Santiago, Finisterre. Hadrian's Way, 2015. Sections of the AT + National & State Park trails.
Coming from a background of remote wilderness hiking and not Camino style multi-day hikes my view of rain gear seems to be very different than what I have just finished reading.

First off any fabric will eventually soak through, no matter how good. The best (expensive) will take a long time and a lot of rain to soak through AND they will also breathe to a modest extent.
Plastic type sheets are the exception to soak through but you perspire from lack of airflow.

My view on Ponchos is that they are convenient, simple, over the pack solutions that can work wonderfully but they are basically a version of a plastic sheet or a low-end water-repellent fabric. Neither breathe very well but because they have wide open bottoms that is a modest issue in the short term and only becomes an issue with all day wear. Lack of breathability is troublesome in weather when its prone to get condensation build up from body sweat.

I've never seen an Altus but my wife does own a Ferrino poncho. She also owns traditional high end rain gear and I've never seen her use the Ferrino poncho!

To put this into perspective, the Ferrigno costs about $68 on Amazon.
My rain jacket is a Marmot "Artemis" rain jacket and it cost about $250.

While any fabric can soak through, I've never been in a situation where the Marmot Artemis ever got close to being saturated. It also is a breathable fabric, at least as breathable as is possible for a water proof fabric to be. They claim it is 140% better than the best prior technologies. Can't say if that is true or not but in 18 months of use it is by far the best rain jacket I've ever worn. It doubles as a wind breaker on cool windy days and is good looking enough that I wear it as a casual jacket in the spring/fall too. For winter use it is useable as a snow-shell over layers for skiing or winter hikes. So unlike the hiking ponchos its able to be utilized during many seasons.

There are a LOT of choices in rain gear. The "Marmot Artemis" is probably not even considered 'state of the art' in terms of fabric technology anymore as it is a 2 year old design.

My point is, consider spending more money, getting something you can use all year for many years, and is actually comfortable to wear. I'm not saying a poncho is a bad choice, but if you get a poncho then consider getting one of the higher end ponchos that are more functional. You often get what you pay for. This is especially true with rain gear.
 
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If I use a trash bag as a pack liner will our rain jackets be enough?

As always, it is courses for horses.

Having always lived near hills made for tramping I have always had a rain jacket. It was a point of honour to use it only when the rain was both torrential and more horizontal than vertical. Or above the tree line on the open tops in the winter months with really strong wind. The problem, then as now, is heat retention when using a rain jacket.

However like you I will be in the European summer in mid 2016. While it might rain for the most part there will be little wind or cold during the day when on the way.

I've opted for a purpose built poncho to cover both me and the pack. It resides in an outer pocket on my pack. And using the mantra propounded by SYates it doubles as a ground sheet for the tent for two intended trips in the UK later in 2016. It comes in at around 170 grams. This is lighter than the lightest durable parka I could find locally. Although the same supplier (zPacks.com) offer a rain jacket at 160 grams for US $ 275: about 6 times the cost of the local product.

And the poncho, being generous, has built in air conditioning.
 

smj6

Siempre hay que ver el positivo
Time of past OR future Camino
Oct/Nov 2016 (Via Podensis/ Frances)
Oct 2018 (Via Francigena stage)
To all Aarn backpackers out there: since these bags don't need a waterproof cover (if I've understood correctl), I presume a poncho is not needed. However, if you wear a regular rain jacket then: this could be a drag getting it on/off (need to remove pack); one could get too hot inside the jacket; when the straps of the pack get wet, the moisture could wick to other parts of the pack....
To poncho or not to poncho - that is the question :p
Suzanne :)
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
@smj6 Suzanne, the Aarn packs are fitted with internal dry bags. The outside of the pack gets wet but everything inside stays dry. I prefer a poncho raincoat style (an Altus) because it is easy to pull off and on without having to remove the pack, and there is more air flow. The side benefit is that the Aarn pack also stays dry on the outside, as well as the inside.

If I could buy an Altus made out of breathable fabric, with pit zips and a two-way front opening I'd be a happy chappy. The closest to that is the Packa, but it is much too tight and short for my liking.
 
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sabbott

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (SJPP to Ponferrada) 2016
Camino Invierno 2016
I started my packing list with a good rain coat and rain pants, but after reading the forum posts about the disadvantages of rain coats I am taking a Packa and (probably) rain pants. The Packa is made by a hiker, and thoughtfully designed, with vents and fairly breathable material. http://www.thepacka.com. As with all my other gear, I'll give you a review based on reality rather than theories after my walk!
 

smj6

Siempre hay que ver el positivo
Time of past OR future Camino
Oct/Nov 2016 (Via Podensis/ Frances)
Oct 2018 (Via Francigena stage)
@smj6 Suzanne, the Aarn packs are fitted with internal dry bags. The outside of the pack gets wet but everything inside stays dry. I prefer a poncho raincoat style (an Altus) because it is easy to pull off and on without having to remove the pack, and there is more air flow. The side benefit is that the Aarn pack also stays dry on the outside, as well as the inside.

If I could buy an Altus made out of breathable fabric, with pit zips and a two-way front opening I'd be a happy chappy. The closest to that is the Packa, but it is much too tight and short for my liking.
Txs Kanga, I had an idea that you used a poncho (& it seems the best solution) but just wanted to check.
Suzanne:)
 
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H.A.Bud

horizonseeker
Time of past OR future Camino
June 3-July 7, 2016
In my opinion, the raincoat is much useful than a poncho that will be uncomfortable and the wind will blow it anytime. Combine raincoat with a waterproof cover for your rucksack
and you will do much better.
 
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jhamsuy

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2017
Has anyone had experience with Bluefield Lightweight Backpack ponchos sold on Amazon in the US? Supposedly similar to Altus, only lighter?
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
In my opinion, the raincoat is much useful than a poncho that will be uncomfortable and the wind will blow it anytime. Combine raincoat with a waterproof cover for your rucksack
and you will do much better.

The Altus is a raincoat with room for a backpack. It is really incorrect to call it a poncho. It is a coat - with proper side seams and fitted sleeves, as well as a full zippered opening down the front.
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
Has anyone had experience with Bluefield Lightweight Backpack ponchos sold on Amazon in the US? Supposedly similar to Altus, only lighter?

No, not the same, it does not have a zipped opening down the front. Plus the sleeves don't have cuffs to keep out the rain. How waterproof is terylene ? Worth a try, nothing to lose for the price.
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
A "Tourigrino" trip once Covid has passed, so 2023
Interesting but, like Kanga says, a diferent approach to the Altus.

You'll get wet inside of both but at least the Altus can be unzipped to vent.

I checked it out on Amazon and at the bottom, where it says " Customers who bought this item also bought" there were no less than 7 CdS guide books!

To misquote Paul Revere "The Americans are Coming!"

As an aside I also noticed these http://tinyurl.com/y75rtovk little silicon clip ons for a hot mug so you won't burn your lips . . . what ever happend to blowing on your tea?
 
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Jomas

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
VF many times. Monaco-Lindau '15. Assisi-Pietralcina '17. CF '18.
Ciao.
I thought about bringing me a simple raincoat. The backpack with his canvas. The problem of bathing shoes and socks I would like to solve it (when it starts to rain) wearing a pair of sporty sandals open. Can it be a valid solution? I do not love poncho ...
 

J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2016, 2022
Ciao.
I thought about bringing me a simple raincoat. The backpack with his canvas. The problem of bathing shoes and socks I would like to solve it (when it starts to rain) wearing a pair of sporty sandals open. Can it be a valid solution? I do not love poncho ...

Hi Jomas,
After all our planning we carried our rain jackets and rain pants for 45 days on the CF. We put on the jackets one time for exactly 10 minutes. It never rained another time. I would not have lightened my pack by leaving rain gear behind, because I know of others that walked in nothing but rain and mud day after day. Sporty sandals would seem OK if it were not cold and you were fine with getting your feet muddy, but I would probably rather have more protection and support especially in the mud.
 

Jomas

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
VF many times. Monaco-Lindau '15. Assisi-Pietralcina '17. CF '18.
Hi Jomas,
Sporty sandals would seem OK if it were not cold and you were fine with getting your feet muddy, but I would probably rather have more protection and support especially in the mud.

Hi J Willhaus and thanks!
ah, I understand from you that there might be mud on the path ... that might be a problem. For the rest yes, I will walk in May / June 2018 ... so I should not suffer the cold. But anyway, I will wear my sandals only when it rains, it will be my second pair of footwear on the way.
 

John Kenealy

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
28.09.2017 completed 20.10.2017 - Camino Frances
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
I convinced myself that the Poncho was the way to go having read up on forums regarding the pro's and con's. But I struggled to source an Altus S3 atmospheric Poncho in the U.K. So decided to get one in Pamplona from Caminoteca close to the Cathedral for around €48. I took with me my Patagonia goretex jacket that I have used for years cycling and a pair of berghaus paclite trousers which are superb. With a view to sending them home having got my hands on the Poncho.Problem with goretex is when it gets seriously wet it can take an age to dry. Not so the Paclite.
I only saw cobalt blue skies until I reached Galicia, then finally, a very wet start.
On went the Altus S3. Although it initially kept the water off me surprisingly, my arms were soon quite wet, I also found it difficult to put on and take off with my Bergen on.
Water was leaking through the Velcro wrists, I was using my trekking poles,and when I took it off the Poncho was very wet inside. The hood drove me crazy as it was forever falling over my face,Unimpressed, I never used it again. I had more rainy days in Galicia and the Jacket/Paclite combination were great. If I did it again, It's a Berghaus Paclite Jacket and Trousers combo with a waterproof Bergen cover. Water runs off Paclite material, it's high quality, very lightweight and compact. Although I can see the attraction of the S3 the quality of it doesn't come close to a Paclite which have proper glued seams. Each to his own..
 

Gwyn

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
SJPdP to Burgos 2018
SJPdP to Santiago 2019
Hi,
The actual web site is http://www.altus.es
Type 'poncho' in the search page
Click on poncho atmospheric
On the extreme right hand side of the page is the British Flag.
Hope this helps.

Here is the URL again: http://www.altus.es/default.aspx?info=00022D
Hi
I bought this poncho in April and it was fantastic. Had snow on Napoleon Way and five days of heavy rain and floods. Could not fault it at all. Walking companion had normal poncho with waterproof pouch for mobile phone. In Pamplona he had to replace expensive iPhone! Every time we stopped he had to strip off and get dry clothes on due to condensation. However the other day I went for a walk in the rain so got it out of the bag and got wet! Seems the plastic on the inside of poncho is coming away from the outer layer. It then splits letting in the rain. Devastating as I thought it was the best thing that I had ever bought for hiking in the wet. Has anyone else had this problem?. I shall however buy a new one in Pamplona when I set out again next April from St Jean and hope it lasts to Santiago . Can't buy them here in Oz otherwise I would have taken it back for replacement. Five days is not good enough!
 
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trecile

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
PAST - Francés, Norte, Salvador, Portuguese
Hi
I bought this poncho in April and it was fantastic. Had snow on Napoleon Way and five days of heavy rain and floods. Could not fault it at all. Walking companion had normal poncho with waterproof pouch for mobile phone. In Pamplona he had to replace expensive iPhone! Every time we stopped he had to strip off and get dry clothes on due to condensation. However the other day I went for a walk in the rain so got it out of the bag and got wet! Seems the plastic on the inside of poncho is coming away from the outer layer. It then splits letting in the rain. Devastating as I thought it was the best thing that I had ever bought for hiking in the wet. Has anyone else had this problem?. I shall however buy a new one in Pamplona when I set out again next April from St Jean and hope it lasts to Santiago . Can't buy them here in Oz otherwise I would have taken it back for replacement. Five days is not good enough!
You can buy an Altus at the pilgrim store in St Jean. You can even reserve one in advance! http://www.boutique-du-pelerin.com/en/
 

Gwyn

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
SJPdP to Burgos 2018
SJPdP to Santiago 2019
Thanks
However will purchase one at Caminoteca in Pamplona as I had such good service from them before. Apart from faulty poncho. Also it was cheaper than what I saw in St Jean. Staying in Pamplona to get over flight from Oz for a couple of nights!
Gwyn
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
A "Tourigrino" trip once Covid has passed, so 2023
Hi
I bought this poncho in April and it was fantastic. Had snow on Napoleon Way and five days of heavy rain and floods. Could not fault it at all. Walking companion had normal poncho with waterproof pouch for mobile phone. In Pamplona he had to replace expensive iPhone! Every time we stopped he had to strip off and get dry clothes on due to condensation. However the other day I went for a walk in the rain so got it out of the bag and got wet! Seems the plastic on the inside of poncho is coming away from the outer layer. It then splits letting in the rain. Devastating as I thought it was the best thing that I had ever bought for hiking in the wet. Has anyone else had this problem?. I shall however buy a new one in Pamplona when I set out again next April from St Jean and hope it lasts to Santiago . Can't buy them here in Oz otherwise I would have taken it back for replacement. Five days is not good enough!
I had something similar happen to a lightweight jacket made from the same sort of material. The inner skin, which is supposed to be the layer that prevents rain coming through started to delaminate. I took it back to the shop where they said this can happen if the garment isn't thoroughly dried inside and out before being packed away and then stored somewhere warm.

Their advice was to hang the wet garment until completely dry and not to store it in the waterproof sack provided. They replaced it and I now use a mesh bag for storage similar to the one the Altus comes in. The jacket is probably 5 years old now and I've had no problems.

Have you considered the very much cheaper IKEA poncho a lot of people on here have raved about?

Also, how did you stay dry in an Altus? The last time I used mine was on the Ingles back in June and I was as wet inside as out!
 

Gwyn

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
SJPdP to Burgos 2018
SJPdP to Santiago 2019
I had something similar happen to a lightweight jacket made from the same sort of material. The inner skin, which is supposed to be the layer that prevents rain coming through started to delaminate. I took it back to the shop where they said this can happen if the garment isn't thoroughly dried inside and out before being packed away and then stored somewhere warm.

Their advice was to hang the wet garment until completely dry and not to store it in the waterproof sack provided. They replaced it and I now use a mesh bag for storage similar to the one the Altus comes in. The jacket is probably 5 years old now and I've had no problems.

Have you considered the very much cheaper IKEA poncho a lot of people on here have raved about?

Also, how did you stay dry in an Altus? The last time I used mine was on the Ingles back in June and I was as wet inside as out!
Hi Jeff
Thanks for your reply.
Firstly some good news.
I contacted Caminoteca in Pamplona and Istvan told me to bring the poncho back to him and he would replace it for me.
Hopefully next April will not be so wet.
As for not getting wet I think that as I wore it over a fleece jacket , the fleece somehow acted as a buffer between me and the poncho thus reducing the condensation. Anyhow I was amazed at the lack of condensation . Highly recommend them. Think they are really great.
Can also recommend Caminoteca in Pamplona if anyone needs anything. They were only too pleased to help in any way when I was there in April.
Regards
Gwyn.
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
A "Tourigrino" trip once Covid has passed, so 2023
Hi Jeff
Thanks for your reply.
Firstly some good news.
I contacted Caminoteca in Pamplona and Istvan told me to bring the poncho back to him and he would replace it for me.
Hopefully next April will not be so wet.
As for not getting wet I think that as I wore it over a fleece jacket , the fleece somehow acted as a buffer between me and the poncho thus reducing the condensation. Anyhow I was amazed at the lack of condensation . Highly recommend them. Think they are really great.
Can also recommend Caminoteca in Pamplona if anyone needs anything. They were only too pleased to help in any way when I was there in April.
Regards
Gwyn.
I second that - for such a small shop Caminoteca has quite a range of goods. If you haven't visited there physically you can on line here.
Look at the photos with the 1540818111485.png in the corner and you can have a look around the shop.

Oh look, there's Gwyn's Altus sitting on the shelf, waiting for her him: ;)

1540817827475.png
 
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Gwyn

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
SJPdP to Burgos 2018
SJPdP to Santiago 2019
I second that - for such a small shop Caminoteca has quite a range of goods. If you haven't visited there physically you can on line here.
Look at the photos with the View attachment 48204 in the corner and you can have a look around the shop.

Oh look, there's Gwyn's Altus sitting on the shelf, waiting for her:

View attachment 48203
Hi Jeff
Just to let you know. Gwyn is an old Celtic male name. Gwynneth is the female version. Although some ladies do shorten it to just Gwyn sometimes. An easy enough mistake that I have endured all my life. Quite enjoy it sometimes.
Gwyn
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
A "Tourigrino" trip once Covid has passed, so 2023
Hi Jeff
Just to let you know. Gwyn is an old Celtic male name. Gwynneth is the female version. Although some ladies do shorten it to just Gwyn sometimes. An easy enough mistake that I have endured all my life. Quite enjoy it sometimes.
Gwyn
Lo siento hombre! Should have realised - I know a Welsh joke about a lass called Gwynnie - far too rude for here though :)

Jeffrey/Jeff/Geoff/Geoffrey/Jeffery . . . take your pick!
 
Time of past OR future Camino
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how did you stay dry in an Altus?

When walking my upper body has a wool top.

When starting before sun rise I also used a light weight jacket over the top as well as my altus poncho strapped on the top of my pack.

As a weight saving exercise I have retired the light weight jacket and now use the full length over the pack Altus poncho for those early twilight starts. No rain, some wind, just cool - 5 - 10 Celsius. Not fully zipped up.

As air and body temp rise (up to 1 hour for me), I re-stow the Altus on top of the pack.
 
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