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The "Parcho" - rain gear for DIYers

trecile

Camino Addict
Past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
@C clearly suggested that there might be enough interest for a separate thread on this piece of DIY rain gear.

I first learned about the Parcho here on the forum from @Pong. The designer named it Parcho for Parka/Poncho. It's similar to the popular Altus in that it has a full front zip and long sleeves. However the sleeves are quite different - they are triangle shaped, and roomy, so there is more airflow than a normally shaped sleeve would give you. You can also easily pull your arms out of the sleeves and into the interior of the Parcho to adjust your pack, get something out of your waist pockets, etc.

You make the Parcho to fit your size with your pack. Mine came in at 7.2 ounces.

It can be made from a kit from Quest Outfitters, or you can purchase the pattern separately and buy the components elsewhere. Here's the PDF of the instructions.

I've made two so far, one for myself, and one for a friend. I'm working on a new one with a couple of small modifications and I'm trying out a slightly lighter weight fabric that I bought from RipstopbytheRoll. When I'm finished with it I'll share here how it is compared to my original silpoly Parcho. One of the modifications is something that I changed on my original Parcho after my first two Caminos - I changed the zipper to one that opens from top or bottom. That way I can open it up much more to provide better airflow when it's not raining hard. I'm also going to add a couple of loops with velcro or snaps that my backpack shoulder straps can go through so that I can have it sort of hanging on the back of my backpack on those days that the rain is intermittent I can quickly take it off and on.

The fabric is tricky to sew. I have found that putting a piece of tissue paper or removable fabric stabilizer under it as I'm running it through my sewing machine helps maintain an even stitch.

Here's a couple of pictures of me wearing it over my 36 liter backpack. As you can see, the whole arm, and even hands are covered.

(click on the pictures to enlarge)

parcho.jpg parcho sleeves.jpg
 
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C clearly

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Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Most years since 2012. Hoping now for 2022.
Thanks for that description and photos! I had previously abandoned this idea because the shipping costs to Canada are a bit off-putting, and I've always relied on jackets, but I am considering it again. I have a few questions...
  1. Are those photos of the silnylon fabric (looks like teal green) that is provided in the kit?
  2. Your suggestion to use 2-way zippers makes sense. Quest does carry 2-way zippers as well, but you have suggested a different one - is that because it is waterproof? Is that (Amazon link) a zipper that you have actually used?
  3. How did you find the hood fitting? Some hoods seem to work so much better than others!
  4. Does it really fold/roll up to the size of a "hot dog roll"?
  5. Is it fair to conclude that, without backpack, it is not a great substitute for a stylish rain jacket in the city?;)
 

AJGuillaume

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trecile

Camino Addict
Past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Trying to find materials in Australia, I found this:


Is that similar to what you purchased, @trecile ?
I don't think that is waterproof ripstop nylon. The silnylon is ripstop nylon that is impregnated with silicon to make it water proof. I would look for some Australian Make Your Own Gear (MYOG) online groups to find where it can be purchased. Backpacking Light has a MYOG section, and I know that there are MYOG Reddit groups.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Are those photos of the silnylon fabric (looks like teal green) that is provided in the kit?
Yes, you can choose from a number of colors.

Your suggestion to use 2-way zippers makes sense. Quest does carry 2-way zippers as well, but you have suggested a different one - is that because it is waterproof? Is that (Amazon link) a zipper that you have actually used?

The kit came with a waterproof zipper, but like I said, after my 2nd Camino I replaced it with the two way waterproof zipper. The one that I linked to is the one that I actually used.

How did you find the hood fitting? Some hoods seem to work so much better than others!

That's something that I'm going to change. I want the face opening to be a little bit bigger. There's a drawstring to cinch it down.

Does it really fold/roll up to the size of a "hot dog roll"?
Depends on how big your hot dog is. 😄
When it's in it's stuff sack it's definitely bigger than a hot dog roll, but I can squeeze it down to close to that size.

Is it fair to conclude that, without backpack, it is not a great substitute for a stylish rain jacket in the city?;)

I think that would be a fair conclusion 😎

To the last question @jenny@zen is correct. 😅
 
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trecile

Camino Addict
Past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
If you look at the PDF file @trecile attached to post #1, the list of items in the kit includes silicon sealant. I was also wondering how easy it is to get a nicely sealed (but not too stiff) seam. I haven't done much seam sealing.
Actually, the seam sealant is not included in the kit that Quest Outfitters sells, you need to buy that separately. The sealant is thinned with mineral spirits and brushed on. It doesn't get stiff.
 
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NavyBlue

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Le Puy and Camino Frances. Via Francigena. Tro-Breiz in progress.
Hi,

For answering some questions :
DSC00298.JPG

(Both measures are metric)
Let's say a short/wide hot dog ? Or some BigM..c ?
Not fully compressed in its bag.

The silnylon is here :

DSC00299.JPG

The ripstop pattern is rather discrete. Same one on the bag (1st picture).

The sealant is a no brainer : some domestic or automotive transparent silicone sealant, in odorless white spirit. Spread it over the seams, erractic pin holes etc. with a paint brush. That's all.

Further comments here : https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/poncho-quandry-—-altus-frogg-toggs-vaude-or-something-else.72004/post-967560

I kept the original one way zipper : my parcho is either closed, semi-open above or open. When open, either worn with the sleeves and hanging down, or on the backpack, with the sleeves tucked in the shoulder straps.

Note that the pattern included in the .pdf doesn't include the one for the hood (which is the - somewhat - tricky part).

The hood can be completely adjusted : one peripheric string, one axial velcro behind your head (and optional : "chin adjusters" I have not sewn).
 

NavyBlue

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Le Puy and Camino Frances. Via Francigena. Tro-Breiz in progress.
Thanks for your additional experience. Do you "like" the product in use?
Sure. I copy my comments from the earlier thread, for easier reading :

I have sewn one for me and one for my wife. Both of us are really happy with it :

- half the weight of the Ferrino Trekker we used before : less weight in the pack, and less sticky when worn.

- "batman" sleeves with lot of space, i.e. more natural ventilation, without armpit zippers

- fully waterproof (silnylon)

- you get a pattern you can adjust to your preferences : overall length (can shelter a Macabi skirt :)) sleeves...

Silnylon is not really easy to sew (slips like a wet soap bar...). But you can manage with a basic sewing machine and a bit of patience.

FWIW : before sewing, I made a test version with a plastic sheet and tape :)
 

JillGat

la tierra encantada
Past OR future Camino
2018
I want one!
@C clearly suggested that there might be enough interest for a separate thread on this piece of DIY rain gear.

I first learned about the Parcho here on the forum from @Pong. The designer named it Parcho for Parka/Poncho. It's similar to the popular Altus in that it has a full front zip and long sleeves. However the sleeves are quite different - they are triangle shaped, and roomy, so there is more airflow than a normally shaped sleeve would give you. You can also easily pull your arms out of the sleeves and into the interior of the Parcho to adjust your pack, get something out of your waist pockets, etc.

You make the Parcho to fit your size with your pack. Mine came in at 7.2 ounces.

It can be made from a kit from Quest Outfitters, or you can purchase the pattern separately and buy the components elsewhere. Here's the PDF of the instructions.

I've made two so far, one for myself, and one for a friend. I'm working on a new one with a couple of small modifications and I'm trying out a slightly lighter weight fabric that I bought from RipstopbytheRoll. When I'm finished with it I'll share here how it is compared to my original silpoly Parcho. One of the modifications is something that I changed on my original Parcho after my first two Caminos - I changed the zipper to one that opens from top or bottom. That way I can open it up much more to provide better airflow when it's not raining hard. I'm also going to add a couple of loops with velcro or snaps that my backpack shoulder straps can go through so that I can have it sort of hanging on the back of my backpack on those days that the rain is intermittent I can quickly take it off and on.

The fabric is tricky to sew. I have found that putting a piece of tissue paper or removable fabric stabilizer under it as I'm running it through my sewing machine helps maintain an even stitch.

Here's a couple of pictures of me wearing it over my 36 liter backpack. As you can see, the whole arm, and even hands are covered.

(click on the pictures to enlarge)

View attachment 111815 View attachment 111816
 
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C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Most years since 2012. Hoping now for 2022.
I have always preferred a jacket and rain pants. I think I might still take some sort of light wind breaker and even rain pants. Although I use a jacket that has long sleeves that can cover my hands, my hands and sleeve bottoms always get wet and cold. What attracts me most about the Parcho is the ability to fiddle in my pockets, under shelter. Also, I like the one piece shoulder and backpack coverage.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I have always preferred a jacket and rain pants. I think I might still take some sort of light wind breaker and even rain pants. Although I use a jacket that has long sleeves that can cover my hands, my hands and sleeve bottoms always get wet and cold. What attracts me most about the Parcho is the ability to fiddle in my pockets, under shelter. Also, I like the one piece shoulder and backpack coverage.
It can also be used as a portable dressing room, and can provide cover for "calls of nature" on the trail. 😉
 
Past OR future Camino
2018
Thank you all for this very informative thread.

On my 2018 Camino I wore a 'breathable' Goretex rain jacket and pants. The jacket kept me warm in chilly mornings from SJPP to Finisterre but it kept me as drenching wet inside whenever there was rain. A fellow pilgrim from Negreira to Finisterre had a giant poncho and tied it around her waist. The poncho was long enough in the back to come down low enough to not drip into her boots, and she stayed dried during the deluge to while I was drenched and freezing.

I have purchased 3 ponchos the past 3 years and all have failed miserably during walks in our rain. Since the summer, I have been toying with idea of making a dual function poncho-rain fly out of Tyvek. The material is breathable, tough and I remember in the 80s, I was given a Tyvek jacket that was very light and durable. Speaking of fashion, won't it be a loud statement with the big blue Tyvek that can be seen from 100m away? They do make wrap without the Dupont Tyvek logo so that is the material I will be testing.

Has anyone tried using Tyvek for their poncho or rain clothes? Thanks!
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Thank you all for this very informative thread.

On my 2018 Camino I wore a 'breathable' Goretex rain jacket and pants. The jacket kept me warm in chilly mornings from SJPP to Finisterre but it kept me as drenching wet inside whenever there was rain. A fellow pilgrim from Negreira to Finisterre had a giant poncho and tied it around her waist. The poncho was long enough in the back to come down low enough to not drip into her boots, and she stayed dried during the deluge to while I was drenched and freezing.

I have purchased 3 ponchos the past 3 years and all have failed miserably during walks in our rain. Since the summer, I have been toying with idea of making a dual function poncho-rain fly out of Tyvek. The material is breathable, tough and I remember in the 80s, I was given a Tyvek jacket that was very light and durable. Speaking of fashion, won't it be a loud statement with the big blue Tyvek that can be seen from 100m away? They do make wrap without the Dupont Tyvek logo so that is the material I will be testing.

Has anyone tried using Tyvek for their poncho or rain clothes? Thanks!
Check out the forums on Backpacking Light.


There are also several threads about the Parcho there.

 
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Walton

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2016 Sjpp to Sdc. 2018 Lisbon to Sdc to Finisterre. Next up hopefully VDP or Del Norte.
@C clearly suggested that there might be enough interest for a separate thread on this piece of DIY rain gear.



Here's a couple of pictures of me wearing it over my 36 liter backpack. As you can see, the whole arm, and even hands are covered.

Hi Trecile

I love your creation - well done!

I recon that given the colour shown in your fashion photographs, your parcho might be quite difficult for car and truck drivers to see in rain, mist and fog.

May I suggest adding a strip or two of hi-viz tape on both the front and back of your parcho?

I don't think you need to necessarily "glow in the dark" 🤣 although that could be handy for early morning alburgue departures - but, just something to improve your visability and therefore safety.

Thanks for sharing your creation!
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I recon that given the colour shown in your fashion photographs, your parcho might be quite difficult for car and truck drivers to see in rain, mist and fog.
That's something that I didn't take into account for my first one. The Parcho that I'm currently working on is going to be orange!
May I suggest adding a strip or two of hi-viz tape on both the front and back of your parcho?
Good idea!
 
Past OR future Camino
2018
Check out the forums on Backpacking Light.


There are also several threads about the Parcho there.

Thanks @trecile for the link to Backpacking Light. I have Tim Evans' site bookmarked to follow (I did read though his clothes, gear and FAQ as I need to reduce my next trip's load to 7 or 8kg. Am interested is all his trips.)
 
Past OR future Camino
2019
@C clearly suggested that there might be enough interest for a separate thread on this piece of DIY rain gear.

I first learned about the Parcho here on the forum from @Pong. The designer named it Parcho for Parka/Poncho. It's similar to the popular Altus in that it has a full front zip and long sleeves. However the sleeves are quite different - they are triangle shaped, and roomy, so there is more airflow than a normally shaped sleeve would give you. You can also easily pull your arms out of the sleeves and into the interior of the Parcho to adjust your pack, get something out of your waist pockets, etc.

You make the Parcho to fit your size with your pack. Mine came in at 7.2 ounces.

It can be made from a kit from Quest Outfitters, or you can purchase the pattern separately and buy the components elsewhere. Here's the PDF of the instructions.

I've made two so far, one for myself, and one for a friend. I'm working on a new one with a couple of small modifications and I'm trying out a slightly lighter weight fabric that I bought from RipstopbytheRoll. When I'm finished with it I'll share here how it is compared to my original silpoly Parcho. One of the modifications is something that I changed on my original Parcho after my first two Caminos - I changed the zipper to one that opens from top or bottom. That way I can open it up much more to provide better airflow when it's not raining hard. I'm also going to add a couple of loops with velcro or snaps that my backpack shoulder straps can go through so that I can have it sort of hanging on the back of my backpack on those days that the rain is intermittent I can quickly take it off and on.

The fabric is tricky to sew. I have found that putting a piece of tissue paper or removable fabric stabilizer under it as I'm running it through my sewing machine helps maintain an even stitch.

Here's a couple of pictures of me wearing it over my 36 liter backpack. As you can see, the whole arm, and even hands are covered.

(click on the pictures to enlarge)

View attachment 111815 View attachment 111816
On the Camino now and have seen many impressive styles. We are lucky to have have had very little rain, my little coat has been enough🚶🏼‍♀️
 
Past OR future Camino
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
I've no sewing or silnylon experience but I'll post this video about glueing silnylon instead of sewing for you to comment on.

youtube video id: _5yGxdJveZk
 
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I should have pointed out that the YouTuber was making a tarp tent that would be getting a lot of stresses that a poncho wouldn't. Does the Parcho have any of those T seams that are weak and need sewing in addition to glueing? Has anyone used that type of glue?
 

NavyBlue

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Le Puy and Camino Frances. Via Francigena. Tro-Breiz in progress.
Hi,

A smart alternative for straight seams.

Yes, the Parcho has some "T" seams (refer to the .pdf), but no place with concentrated stresses.

Note that the hood has to be sewn around a curve, which is probably difficult to glue. Some Velcro as well.
 

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