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The Rain Gear Debate and Poncho Choice....

Year of past OR future Camino
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
As our Camino nears, the assembly of our gear is getting more serious.

We made the decision so long ago (18 months), we have been training with the gear we originally bought, but soon knowing that some would need relacing or upgrading.

The packs were the main thing. We got a great 'deal' from Kathmandu, but soon realised that they don't sell 'serious' gear, at least in terms of packs. More family walk type stuff really. So we'll be getting a couple of Ospreys for Christmas and use those for our final 3 months of training.

But on to rain gear.

The initial purchase of goretex type rain jackets from Kathmandu was a good one. Very light and very effective. Not wet inside at all, being breathable. We got them heavily discounted, which is just as good, because I now find most other stores are cheaper, on almost everything...

The jackets got a good testing in Tasmania recently walking in the pouring rain. They were great. Perfect in fact.

What we were missing still, were rain pants to go with them. Those at Kathmandu were just too heavy. but by chance in Hobart we found a Black Mountain store that had just what we needed. Lightweight rain pants (200g) in Goretex, breathable and with full leg zips. And they worked really well! No inner dampness at all, and very comfortable.

As many have pointed out though, the issue with rain jackets and using a pack cover, is that the pack straps get wet and moisture wicks onto the pack. Ours did.... Not that bad, but enough to think about another layer...

So I think we'll go the 'belt and braces' approach and in heavy rain, throw a very light poncho on top of everything. We are trying to travel as light as possible and are currently at 8 kg for me and 3.2 kg for my wife. (she is very small...and so not a pack horse)

In researching ponchos we came up with a short list of three.

The Altus
The Packa
and the groundsheet version from Z Pack

We were really set on the Packa, but have been told by the suppliers that a) they won't work on someone as short as 155 cm (5'2") because it will just be too long. And also won't work well with small packs. Pat = 20L and me 33L. What a bummer!

I'm still seeing if we can get a couple custom made, but maybe others have tried them with small packs and can provide feedback?

So we are down to a choice of two. And taking account that we will be wearing rain jackets and pants, we really just need something very light to stop the pack straps and hence pack getting wet.

I'm tending towards the one from z packs. It's light at 144g. Though it's designed as a groundsheet really and so I'm concerned there may be rather a lot of fabric that might 'drown' Pat at 155 cm tall and 50 kg....

I know the Altus is a trusted favourite at 300g but if we can go lighter we will. And I'm also concerned more, about being able to get the right version of the Altus online.... Don't want to chance getting one on arrival.... I know they are stocked in SJPdP, but with all the debate on the different versions we'll likely end up with one that doesn't do the job properly.

Without wishing to be a total control freak, I would just prefer to arrive with all the gear we need, tried and tested. So we can relax, switch off and just walk..........

So any feedback on the Packa for shorter people and small packs would be great, or indeed alternatives...
 
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Mark Lee

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Rain jackets, pants and ponchos as well?
I only brought a Columbia breathable rain jacket. No rain pants as I wore shorts everyday, and they were the type that were synthetic and dried quickly. I had a rain cover for my pack, and also a waterproof, plastic bag that I kept all my stuff in inside the pack. Nothing got wet inside the pack on any of the days I got rained on while walking the Camino. Never had an issue with pack straps getting wet causing moisture to wick into the pack.
I did spray down the rain cover and pack with a water repellent before I started the Camino, and that helped quite a bit I believe, but I am a big advocate of the waterproof bag inside the pack to keep your stuff in. Mine was nothing fancy. Just a thick, heavy duty plastic garbage bag with a drawstring at the opening. When not in use it stayed rolled up in one of the pockets on the pack. It was weight and size negligible. In fact I brought two in case I needed another one as an emergency, field expedient pack cover or poncho (not very dignified wearing one but work in a pinch). They are quite handy.
 

colinPeter

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
SJPP-SDC (2009) Somport-Jaca, Burgos-SDC, Cee-Muxia (2012) Le Puy - Aumont-Aubrac (2014) SJPP-SDC (Oct 2015)
Hola Robo,
As mentioned Gortex top, pants & pack cover plus extra rain gear is a bit of overkill.
However, being a bit of a belts & braces man myself, I'd suggest the Sea to Summit Ultral-Sil poncho (282g).
We used Altus's last time (Ultra-Sil the time before), but I don't think you'd need that with the gear you have, we might take our Ultra-Sil's next year (still undecided).
Poncho's can be a pain to use in high winds, but if it's your pack straps you're concerned about, that shouldn't matter, also your arms get wet, particularly if you use poles, that said they are much cooler than say, a full Altus.
Still, as you've probably noticed on the forum, rain gear is a very personal choice but at 280gms & with the gear you have the Ultra-Sil will certainly do what you want.
Buen Camino
Colin
 
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Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
As a thought:- the Zpack is lightest and if it is a groundsheet type then you should be able to try it on over your packs, cut off any excess and re-hem it. Anything to keep dry and the weight down :)
 

colinPeter

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
SJPP-SDC (2009) Somport-Jaca, Burgos-SDC, Cee-Muxia (2012) Le Puy - Aumont-Aubrac (2014) SJPP-SDC (Oct 2015)
I like the look of the zippered front of the Zpack (easy for on/off), also the ability to "gather it" with what appears to be a belt of sorts (good for when it's blowing a gale).
 
Year of past OR future Camino
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
As a thought:- the Zpack is lightest and if it is a groundsheet type then you should be able to try it on over your packs, cut off any excess and re-hem it. Anything to keep dry and the weight down :)

Great idea Tia. Hadn't really thought of 'tailoring' them. Doh! :oops:
 

nidarosa

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Inglés 2009+2017, Francés 2012+2018, Astorga-Santiago repeatedly
I bought one of those Sea to Summit poncho tarps in an attempt to save weight compared to a full fat Altus, and I have to say I am not impressed. Now I'm a tall girl by anyone's standards but it is huge, as it has to be in order to work as a tarp, and in wind it just flapped everywhere. I tried opening the hipbelt on my pack, threading it out between the poppers on the poncho and clipping it shut again to act as a half belt, but too much wind and rain came in through the sides. I tried a belt, but that meant that I got less airflow up top while the two bottom pieces flapped away and rode up so they never protected my knees from the rain. I have one to sell though if you are interested :D as I bought a lightweight Altus in Sarria ...
 
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John Morritt
Year of past OR future Camino
(2013)-SJPP to SdC
(2014)-SJPP to Burgos
(2015)-Burgos to Leon
(2016)- Leon to Finesterre
I have no commercial interest in this product but the point that "breathable rain gear" requires good air circulation underneath to be effective, caught my attention.
This short video is worth a look.
 

nidarosa

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Inglés 2009+2017, Francés 2012+2018, Astorga-Santiago repeatedly
Also in intermittent showers this kind of coat - a poncho with a zip front opening like the Packa, Ferrino or Altus - can be opened up between downpours without taking it on and off. Air circulation inside the coat is essential otherwise you'll be as wet on the inside as it is on the outside and you might as well save even more weight by going without!
 
D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
In June it likely will be hot. Rain pants and a rain jacket will be unbearably hot once the rain has stopped. Spanish rain has a way of starting and stopping. To remove rain pants you usually need to remove boots. Finding a place to do that while keeping socks dry is difficult. I gave up on my rain suit, a breathable Tyvek Frogg Togg, after getting into and out of the pants three times in an hour. You likely will be walking in shorts, so you may not be keeping anything dry except skin. You have tested the rain jacket in a downpour, but it will behave differently in high heat and high humidity. It will not breathe the way you may have come to expect. All rain gear tends to be wet inside from condensed perspiration whether it is a poncho or a jacket. The PackA has zippers in the armpits that improve circulation. Both the PackA and the Altus can be quickly removed. Just let it hang from the pack as a bit of protection between showers. Put it on when the rain leaves you wetter than perspiration will. You do not miss a stride removing it or putting it on, so it is perfect for most of the rain you will encounter in June. The PackA is better for short persons. I find that mine is shorter than I would like, but I wear gaiters in rainy conditions, so the absence of another foot of material is not material. The sizing for PackA is the size of the pack it can contain, not the wearers size, so buy accordingly. It has an elastic strap that tightens around the pack, so it will fit virtually any pack up to its limiting size. The elastic holds the poncho in place on the pack in virtually all wind conditions. I have had it blown off once in winds where I could barely keep my balance!

In June a wind shirt or light windbreaker is all you will need for warmth. A solid rain jacket may be too hot to use in the drizzly, humid evenings. I have a hooded Victorinox nylon jacket that weighs only ounces, and stuffs into one of its pockets to become a clip-on pouch that can hang from my belt. I would recommend any similar jacket. Mine fits over a small string backpack that I carry around town, so it keeps me and my pack dry.

http://www.sierratradingpost.com/vi...o-wind-jacket-for-men~p~1061j/?ItemCode=1061J
 
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s. brown

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Le Puy 2015
As our Camino nears, the assembly of our gear is getting more serious.

We made the decision so long ago (18 months), we have been training with the gear we originally bought, but soon knowing that some would need relacing or upgrading.

The packs were the main thing. We got a great 'deal' from Kathmandu, but soon realised that they don't sell 'serious' gear, at least in terms of packs. More family walk type stuff really. So we'll be getting a couple of Ospreys for Christmas and use those for our final 3 months of training.

But on to rain gear.

The initial purchase of goretex type rain jackets from Kathmandu was a good one. Very light and very effective. Not wet inside at all, being breathable. We got them heavily discounted, which is just as good, because I now find most other stores are cheaper, on almost everything...

The jackets got a good testing in Tasmania recently walking in the pouring rain. They were great. Perfect in fact.

What we were missing still, were rain pants to go with them. Those at Kathmandu were just too heavy. but by chance in Hobart we found a Black Mountain store that had just what we needed. Lightweight rain pants (200g) in Goretex, breathable and with full leg zips. And they worked really well! No inner dampness at all, and very comfortable.

As many have pointed out though, the issue with rain jackets and using a pack cover, is that the pack straps get wet and moisture wicks onto the pack. Ours did.... Not that bad, but enough to think about another layer...

So I think we'll go the 'belt and braces' approach and in heavy rain, throw a very light poncho on top of everything. We are trying to travel as light as possible and are currently at 8 kg for me and 3.2 kg for my wife. (she is very small...and so not a pack horse)

In researching ponchos we came up with a short list of three.

The Altus
The Packa
and the groundsheet version from Z Pack

We were really set on the Packa, but have been told by the suppliers that a) they won't work on someone as short as 155 cm (5'2") because it will just be too long. And also won't work well with small packs. Pat = 20L and me 33L. What a bummer!

I'm still seeing if we can get a couple custom made, but maybe others have tried them with small packs and can provide feedback?

So we are down to a choice of two. And taking account that we will be wearing rain jackets and pants, we really just need something very light to stop the pack straps and hence pack getting wet.

I'm tending towards the one from z packs. It's light at 144g. Though it's designed as a groundsheet really and so I'm concerned there may be rather a lot of fabric that might 'drown' Pat at 155 cm tall and 50 kg....

I know the Altus is a trusted favourite at 300g but if we can go lighter we will. And I'm also concerned more, about being able to get the right version of the Altus online.... Don't want to chance getting one on arrival.... I know they are stocked in SJPdP, but with all the debate on the different versions we'll likely end up with one that doesn't do the job properly.

Without wishing to be a total control freak, I would just prefer to arrive with all the gear we need, tried and tested. So we can relax, switch off and just walk..........

So any feedback on the Packa for shorter people and small packs would be great, or indeed alternatives...
I have yet to walk the camino, so my advice can be taken with a grain of salt. I have, however, read the great blog, "A good walk unspoiled. John and Robin's road to Santiago." It was written this past summer (just Google it). They walked from Le Puy to Santiago and they seemed to have very expensive, well-researched equipment and clothes. John repeatedly writes about how pleased they were with their hiking umbrellas over their other rain gear. The umbrellas were inexpensive. (Somehow they seem to attach to the backpack, which leaves the hands free; they used walking poles). Now I am going to step into faux pas territory by making the assumption that Robin is small because in the photos Robin appears to be Asian. In any event, they loved these umbrellas.
 
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Mark Lee

Guest
I have no commercial interest in this product but the point that "breathable rain gear" requires good air circulation underneath to be effective, caught my attention.
This short video is worth a look.
Dang, that's pretty freaking cool. I like the looks of it.
 

kmrice

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Santiago - Fisterra 2008
St. Jean Pied de Port - Santiago 2013
Dang, that's pretty freaking cool. I like the looks of it.
We used Packas walking the Camino Frances in 2013 with great success. Kept the rain out. The very long "pit vents" keep condensation to a minimum. Easy to take off the jacket and leave the Packa hanging from the pack, ready to put back on when the next shower starts. We found them to be perfect for Galacia. Used them on the 200 mile Camino di Assisi; only had a couple of days of rain but they worked great when needed.

I believe they will customize, but a small worked well for my wife (5'3") and a medium worked well for me 5'7").

Karl
 
M

Mark Lee

Guest
I was very fortunate on my first Camino as I did not experience one drop of rain the entire walk from SJPdP to Santiago. Every day was beautiful, warm and dry. This was during mid July through mid August of 2013. It was even more fortunate for me because I had no rain gear at all in my kit and didn't even have a rain cover for my pack.
I knew that in all likelihood I would not be that lucky on my second Camino last summer so I did bring rain gear (jacket and waterproof bags), and did end up experiencing some rainy days. One very rainy day out of O'Cebreiro.
You pretty much know which days you will be rained on and on those days, and even days where it looked like there was even the slightest possibility, I made sure all my stuff was secured in a waterproof bag in the pack, and I attached the rain cover and kept the jacket handy in an outside pocket.
I've had all of my kit get soaked before previously on backpacking and camping trips and when I was in the military while in the field. It sucks and it seems you never get it all dry again, ha ha.
 

Patch

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
St Jean to Santiago and Porto to Santiago
Hi,
Just thought I would add my tuppence - having walked in both Tasmania and the Camino.
The Camino is a walk in the park compared to anything you will find in Tasmania and would suggest that a cheap plastic Pancho is more then adaquate, espically if you are walking in the summer months. If it really does rain hard i would suggest you sit it out in a cafe of as their must be one every few kilometres in most places. When I did my Camino I met a large number of people (young and old) carrying huge packs that had resulted in damage to feet, tendons, back etc. Suggest anyone reading to give what they are carrying every serious consideration.
 
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colinPeter

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
SJPP-SDC (2009) Somport-Jaca, Burgos-SDC, Cee-Muxia (2012) Le Puy - Aumont-Aubrac (2014) SJPP-SDC (Oct 2015)
The weather you encounter is a big factor in what works and what doesn't.
I haven't walked in the summer but the spring 2009 (not much rain) the Ultra-Sil Poncho was good but not perfect (wind blows them around, arms get wet), we also had rain pants that year, (Falcon is right they can be a pain to put on and off).
Spring 2012 we took Altus raincoats (days of torrential rain), they were good but not perfect (bit hot but Falcon is correct again, Altus's hang easily on the back of your pack as you walk).
Patch's comment about the cheap plastic poncho is true, you will see many pilgrims with a 50 cent ponchos, who seem to survive just fine. (Though people I've seen walking for days on "busted" limbs would probably take issue with the suggestion that the camino being a "walk in the park", not to mention those who die along the way...)
There is probably no perfect solution unless you don't care about weight, but unless your gear is being transported, weight is a bigger issue than having every option covered.
Buen Camino
Colin
 

saltwaterpearl

Here kitty, kitty.....
So any feedback on the Packa for shorter people and small packs would be great, or indeed alternatives...

I'm not sure what information you were given by Packa? I am 5' 2" also, and my Packa fits fine. I do carry a 45L pack though - I can see how the pack cover portion of the Packa would be pretty loose with a 20L pack. When I hike with just a daypack, I don't use my Packa. I may wear a water-resistant wind shirt and I use a trekking umbrella. The minimal gear I carry is in ziplocks inside my daypack.

What you describe in your OP really is overkill. It sounds like you are trying to avoid any part of you ever getting wet, and that is not a realistic goal when hiking. The goal is to keep your core dry - and warm enough to avoid hypothermia. Also, to keep your gear dry. It is OK if your arms and legs get wet.

Expensive gore-tex jackets advertised as "breathable" fail to be breathable under pack straps, especially in warm, humid summer weather. You will get wet from condensation. Also, they don't protect your gear. Your pack straps will get wet (which some people are fine with... I'm not one of them, since a water-soaked pack is heavier.) You have to have both a pack cover and internal dry bags to keep your gear dry when rain wicks in through the back.

Rain pants can make sense for winter hiking, for warmth and dry legs. But they are sweaty and inconvenient for warm weather and intermittent rain.

Throw a poncho on top of all this just to protect your pack straps, and you've created your own personal sauna. You'll be as wet or wetter than a tarp-poncho wearer on a windy day.

The Packa, the Ferrino Trekker and the Altus are not ponchos. They are hybrid rain gear. One of those is all you need for body and gear rain protection.

They will keep your core and arms dry, but go over your pack and straps, and are full zip (and arms can be pushed up) for better ventilation. (The Packa even has long pit zips.)

The "jacket" portion of these items can be conveniently removed entirely while you walk when the rain drizzles or intermittently stops, leaving your pack still protected. On days like this, I may use the Packa as just a pack cover, and employ my umbrella for body coverage as necessary.

The Altus and Ferrino are longer for more leg protection. I don't mind the shortness of my Packa though. I don't care if my legs get wet. My hiking pants or my Macabi skirt sluff off water, and are quick-dry even if they do get soaked.

On my upcoming camino, I will carry my Packa, my water-resistant windshirt and my trekking umbrella. This gives maximum versatility for walking with or without (evenings & rest days) a backpack. I also get sun protection with my umbrella. These 3 items weigh a total of less than 20 oz (570 grams) all together.
 

cher99840

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2013, 2017 Camino Frances SJPP-Santiago
2015 St. Olav's Way Oslo-Trondheim
2017 VdlP Seville-Merida
I have a question for those of you who carry an umbrella in the rain. Does it do anything to keep your shoes dry? I love my Altus because my pack and everything in it stays dry. I too wear it just over my pack until I feel like I want to put my arms into the sleeves. I really don't care if I get wet or if my clothes get wet, but I do care about my shoes getting wet because they just don't seem to dry overnight. Last year the water ran right down my legs and into my shoes. I had gaiters, but they did nothing for me. Wet shoes was my only complaint. I escaped blisters, but man did I baby those tootsies.
 

Magwood

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
See signature line for links to daily posts to blogs from many caminos
Have a look at the blog of another forum contributor, Magwood. On the link below, scroll down to #12 to see her clever customized backpack rain cover for use over a rain jacket.
http://magwood.me/2014/06/28/assessment-of-clothes-and-walking-gear-2014/

Thanks for the mention @C clearly. I had planned to post a photo of my shoulder cape earlier today, but got distracted. It worked really well for me when it rained most days from Porto to Santiago. No seepage through my rain jacket as the pack straps were covered - and no overheating due to multiple layers. I shall be using it again!
image.jpg
 

colinPeter

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
SJPP-SDC (2009) Somport-Jaca, Burgos-SDC, Cee-Muxia (2012) Le Puy - Aumont-Aubrac (2014) SJPP-SDC (Oct 2015)
.....my shoulder cape ....
The cape looks brilliant.
With no poncho/raincoat did your Berghaus Jacket keep you dry in heavy rain?
Colin
 
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Magwood

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
See signature line for links to daily posts to blogs from many caminos
The cape looks brilliant.
With no poncho/raincoat did your Berghaus Jacket keep you dry in heavy rain?
Colin

Yes, @colinPeter I stayed dry in some fairly heavy downpours. And because it is comfortable I didn't need to stop and remove it between showers - I just unfastened the velcro and tucked the shoulder pieces under the pack straps. I also made holes in my jacket pockets so that I could thread my waist straps inside. It all worked rather well.
 
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Mark Lee

Guest
I have a question for those of you who carry an umbrella in the rain. Does it do anything to keep your shoes dry? I love my Altus because my pack and everything in it stays dry. I too wear it just over my pack until I feel like I want to put my arms into the sleeves. I really don't care if I get wet or if my clothes get wet, but I do care about my shoes getting wet because they just don't seem to dry overnight. Last year the water ran right down my legs and into my shoes. I had gaiters, but they did nothing for me. Wet shoes was my only complaint. I escaped blisters, but man did I baby those tootsies.
Do't think there's much you can do to keep your shoes dry in the rain. They're gonna get wet. Best thing to do is have shoes that are lightweight and dry quickly. Stay away from anything all leather I suppose.
 

saltwaterpearl

Here kitty, kitty.....
I have a question for those of you who carry an umbrella in the rain. Does it do anything to keep your shoes dry? I love my Altus because my pack and everything in it stays dry. I too wear it just over my pack until I feel like I want to put my arms into the sleeves. I really don't care if I get wet or if my clothes get wet, but I do care about my shoes getting wet because they just don't seem to dry overnight. Last year the water ran right down my legs and into my shoes. I had gaiters, but they did nothing for me. Wet shoes was my only complaint. I escaped blisters, but man did I baby those tootsies.

No, my shoes get wet. I hike in mesh-top trail runners (Brookes Cascadia 9) and hiking sandals (Teva Terra-Fi), and I don't get blisters. (And my footwear dries fairly efficiently.)

Wet feet do not automatically cause blisters. Blisters are the result of hot, humid feet (a common problem with boot-wearers, especially waterproof boots), ill-fitting footwear, heavy packload, and walking at a pace/distance beyond one's comfort level.

Hiking in sandals with an umbrella is very liberating.
 

Patch

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
St Jean to Santiago and Porto to Santiago
Colin, I wasn't making light of peoples efforts in walking the Camino. But I do think that people do over egg it and this results in packs that are to big and all the resultant problems.
When walking in Tasmania you need mountain quality tents, sleeping bags that work down to minus 10 C, thermals, days worth of fuel and food, compass, map. In addition the paths range thigh deep mud to very steep with bouldes littereing them that need some serious scrambling, unpredictable weather with torrential rain - snow- high winds all in the same day
When i did the Camino the path was pretty good and I needed no specialised equipment at all (not even a map or compass) and the weather was great. Hence my comment of a walk in the park to our Tasmanian friends.
 

Saramago

Pat
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances - Spring (2014)
Frances- Spring (2015)
Great idea Tia. Hadn't really thought of 'tailoring' them. Doh! :oops:
I wouldn't rehem with a needle and thread - that's poking holes in your poncho. You can get hemming tape that works well in sewing stores that you iron on but you have to follow the directions carefully so you don't burn the poncho with the iron. The Altus can't be hemmed up - the zipper goes all the way down to the end of the coat.
 
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kmrice

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Santiago - Fisterra 2008
St. Jean Pied de Port - Santiago 2013
a cheap plastic Pancho is more then adaquate, espically if you are walking in the summer months.
Worst mistake I ever made hiking or back packing was thinking a cheap plastic poncho was of any use at all.

My first Camino related walk was from Muxia to Santiago in July about 8 years ago. While preparing, I saw that cheap plastic ponchos were really light and really cheap, so I bought 10 of them for me, my wife, and my two sons, thinking we'd have plenty of spares if anything went wrong, and save a whole lot of weight. BIG MISTAKE.

A storm with driving wind and very cold rain hit outside Muxia. The ponchos lasted something like 15 seconds before they were torn to shreds. We were all soaked in a minute or two and very cold. Rescued by a lovely family who took us in, fed us, warmed us up, and drove us to the nearest hotel. But for their kindness, we would have been in serious danger of hypothermia.

Take a Packa (my choice), another rain jacket/pack cover combination, or a separate rain jacket and pack cover, but take serious rain gear. Walking the complete Frances in 2013 we saw little rain outside of Galicia, but in Galicia it can, and certain did, rain a lot, and the rain was very cold.

My standard Packa weighs about 325 gr; the best 325 gr in my kit! There are even lighter versions made out of lighter nylon and Cuban.

Karl
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
I encountered lots of rain and mud during my first Camino, SJPdP to SDC. I used a rain jacket and a rain cover for my backpack. Tech pants dried quickly after the rain - I sent my gaiters home early on because I didn't need them and I didn't want the weight. Many people used ponchos and I saw almost all of them struggling to get them on and off when caught in showers while walking - the wind, my friends, the wind. I carried my jacket tied around my waist and my rain cover on my pack when I started out on overcast mornings so I never had to worry about putting the cover on my pack in the rain. See my profile photo. Yes, I'm wearing a fleece too. And this was in late May.
Good luck, buen Camino!
 
Year of past OR future Camino
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
I have no commercial interest in this product but the point that "breathable rain gear" requires good air circulation underneath to be effective, caught my attention.
This short video is worth a look.

I agree, they look great, but sadly as I posted above, will not work on small people or small packs. According to the supplier...
 
Year of past OR future Camino
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
Take a Packa (my choice), another rain jacket/pack cover combination, or a separate rain jacket and pack cover, but take serious rain gear. Walking the complete Frances in 2013 we saw little rain outside of Galicia, but in Galicia it can, and certain did, rain a lot, and the rain was very cold.

Would love to take one, but as pointed out by the suppliers, they don't work with small packs on small people....

Unless anyone of 5' 2" carrying a 20 L pack can attest otherwise...
 

kmrice

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Santiago - Fisterra 2008
St. Jean Pied de Port - Santiago 2013
I agree, they look great, but sadly as I posted above, will not work on small people or small packs. According to the supplier...
Worked great for me at 5'7" and my wife at 5'3'; I think they would have worked pretty well if we had been a little taller. The issue may be how concerned you are about getting your lower legs wet; we weren't too concerned about that as we had rain pants if we needed them.

The manufacturer has his telephone number available at the site; he was helpful when I called for help deciding what size I needed.

Karl
 
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saltwaterpearl

Here kitty, kitty.....
The manufacturer has his telephone number available at the site; he was helpful when I called for help deciding what size I needed.

Agreed, Eddie is great - quick to respond and very helpful via email too.

FYI - He has a special deal happening right now, for anyone interested in a Packa. He has 20d Packas available for the same price as the base-rate 33d ($125 incl shipping)! The 20d only weighs 9.5 oz (medium).
 

Gil A

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2013 Camino Frances
2014 Camino Frances
2015 Camino Portugues
2017 Camino Portugues
We walked in March this year. We still found some cold weather and snow in the mountains. We wore rain jackets as windbreakers for the cold with light fleece under. For the rain we also used cheap coleman ponchos ($10 at Walmart), they weight only 6 oz. They worked reasonably well except for a storm in the Castilian plateau where we had 80kpm (50 mph) winds with rain and hail (nothing would have worked that day).
By the way, we are seniors, my wife is 5'3" and her pack was 35 litres and was just under 7 kg, mine was 40 lt. at around 7.5 kg before water or food. In reality we ended walking with packs at around 10kg each. Somehow we made it from Roncesvalles to Santiago in 41 days.
P.S. We did get our pant legs wet more than once but we did not have to carry heavier rain gear.
 

WldWil

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2015 SJPDP - Halfway
2016 Fromista - The other half
Hi @Magwood,

I do not want to change the focus of this thread, but would you have a picture of your SDMSC laid out flat? Especially the shoulder pieces. Would you stay with the fastener system of velcro as well?

I am an outdoor rainsuit type guy for many years and was thinking of modifying a poncho to compliment it, but this looks much better.

Thanks
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
Hi @Magwood,

I do not want to change the focus of this thread, but would you have a picture of your SDMSC laid out flat? Especially the shoulder pieces. Would you stay with the fastener system of velcro as well?

I am an outdoor rainsuit type guy for many years and was thinking of modifying a poncho to compliment it, but this looks much better.

Thanks

I was going to ask the same thing ;)

Sounds like a winner. I think we need a 'pattern' to work from :)
 

GettingThere

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Roncesvalles-SdC Apr-Jun 2015
Roncesvalles-Sarria Sep-Oct 2017
C. Frances sections Apr-Jun 2019
I've just taken delivery of a Ferrino Trekker rain coat - ordered from Amazon in size L/XL. For some strange reason that size but not the S/M one was able to be shipped outside the US - couldn't work out the difference, all the seller details seemed identical. Anyway - I haven't tried it out yet but so far so good - it's large on me but not excessively so, and with thicker clothes and a pack to fill out the "hump" at the back I think it will be just right. It is definitely a coat and not a poncho, with similar features to my rain jacket - sleeves have velcro to keep them close to the wrist, there's a good hood and a full length zip. The coat falls to about mid-calf on me, and there are domes on the back which snap closed when not wearing a pack, so you can use it without. Seams are all sealed. I was hesitating about ordering after reading some mixed reviews in this older thread, but decided to order it as an experiment - I was heading the overkill route and thinking of a rain jacket/trousers/poncho combo, which would have created problems in terms of weight and space. If the Ferrino works (and I'll test it in rain soon), it will save a lot of both. It rolls up small into its own pouch, and weighs about 450g.

A slightly bizarre aspect to this story - when the box arrived from Amazon the address label had the product description "Arms and ammunition"!! Amazed it wasn't opened by Customs, then slightly bothered that it wasn't opened by Customs (where do our taxes go, etc!) since they previously opened my order of t-shirt and underwear from REI (eeuw, I know - straight into the washing machine). No doubt x-rays would have been enough to show it was only a roll of fabric - but what a strange description! I think it has somehow been put on their website in that category (not that I think they sell a lot of arms....).

Assuming I don't get arrested in the near future, I'll do some testing in the rain which is forecast (hardly need a forecast - it's Auckland - we get rain....) and post my findings!

[EDIT: I'll be walking with my mother who is about 5'2" and slim - I've ordered a S/M size Ferrino from Amazon France (as that size won't ship from the US for some reason) and she'll test that. If it's way too big we'll rethink the solution for her, but she tried on my L/XL and it only came to her ankles so she may be ok in the S/M]
 
Last edited:
Year of past OR future Camino
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
I like the look of the zippered front of the Zpack (easy for on/off), also the ability to "gather it" with what appears to be a belt of sorts (good for when it's blowing a gale).

They look quite good don't they?

But how on earth do you put the thing on when it starts Raining o_O

I can imagine it would be like Quasimodo trying to pull on a straight jacket..........

Do you take off the pack first?
 
Year of past OR future Camino
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
I think Magwood's 'Shoulder Cape' is the winner in my eyes!

Now I just need to find someone handy with a needle and thread to 'build' it :)

Any chance you might be taking some orders? ;)
 
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