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Vaude Poncho Review

LesBrass

Likes Walking
Camino(s) past & future
yes...
#1
What goes around comes around... as they saying goes!

I've spent a few weeks mulling over what my rainproof/coat/warmth solution should be when I walk again in September. I went through the same process in 2014... last year was a short camino and I borrowed an Altus... and this year I want to get it right... if that's possible? I'm not an expert but I thought this might be useful.

2014 - I chose no coat, a Vaude Backpacking Poncho and a North Face Fleece instead of a coat.
The fleece was either too hot or without I was too cool. The Vaude kept me dry, the ventilation was good and kept down sweating but the sleeves were too 'cape-ey' and water could trickle down, it's not as easy to put on as the Altus and I bought the wrong size so it was a bit big.

I did walk in a lot of rain and one day in torrential rain that lasted all day so on reflection the poncho stood up very well and kept me dry.

2015 - I bought a light weight fleece without a zip... the weight was right but I missed the zip! I borrowed an old style Altus. I only every used the Altus for a couple of damp mornings so it didn't have a rain test but it was very easy to put on and I liked it. I dont want to risk the new Altus and I can't borrow this one so I've disregarded the Altus as an option.

2016 - My requirements are waterproof, breathable, light, not hugely expensive and multi-purpose. I've been discounting my old Vaude but having searched and searched for a few days and I've come to the conclusion that actually it did what it was meant to do, and I should keep it. (Actually my husband is having mine and I'm going to buy a smaller one).

  • The Vaude stood up to some punishing stormy weather and kept me dry.

  • I dont like the sleeves but I am going to adapt them with velcro strips so that can close them to stop rain running down my arms and inside. I can loosen this if I need extra ventilation.

  • I bought the wrong size, I didn't realise it's based on height and not clothes size!

  • I like to keep my head uncovered, there are various ways to adapt the hood so that you can wear it up or down... my husband likes it up and covering his ears, I prefer to keep my head uncovered. The Vaude does offer this flexibility.

  • I'll have to practice putting it on... or ask a friendly pilgrim for some help

  • It's not multi-purpose. Mine weighs just over 500gm so not light but it will be my only rain protection/coat. I'll make sure this time I find a lightweight fleece with a full zip.

  • It's £60 so not as cheap as some but cheaper than a lot of the waterproof shells

as20.jpg

As I mentioned I am no expert... and I do look a bit like a pantomime horse in this photo... but I think for me this is the right option. And I hope this little review will help anyone pondering the same questions :rolleyes::D
 

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Camino(s) past & future
Francés, Inglés, Fisterra/Muxia, Baztanés x2, Primitivo, Norte, Portugués & hopefully many more.
#2
Interesting points @LesBrass, thanks for such a detailed review!

I would be interested to know if the smaller size is much shorter. I'm just under 5'2" so it's hard to find a poncho that doesn't trip me up.:) I bought a cheap one on Amazon for the Camino Ingles this year - it was short and worked OK with waterproof trousers, but it wasn't an ideal arrangement.
 
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LesBrass

Likes Walking
Camino(s) past & future
yes...
#3
2016 Vaude

Just a little update to this post. I ordered another Vaude Poncho but this time a S/M... here are my thoughts

  • The size is a lot better. There is still lots and lots of room but it doesn't feel ridiculously big like the last one. I'm 5'9" or 176cm and I wear a UK 18 / US 14 I think... (yikes am I really making that public!!)

  • It has a few adjustments - the sleeves are the biggest improvement. They are more sleeve like, longer and they have a snap popper so they can be open if it's warm/sweaty but closed to prevent rain getting in. I think I may still add a velcro strap to really close it up in a downpour but generally I think the sleeve is a lot better.

  • The poncho folds into it's own front pocket when packed away... when wearing it you have a front pocket

  • It's lighter than my 2014 model. It's 385gms which I'm very happy with. It feels lighter and in some ways less substantial, I'm hoping this is simply an improvement in fabric technology and not a lesser product. The Vaude website still describes this as being ideal in a total downpour... so I am hopeful that it's as good as it was. (*** update - when I compared the old and the new the fabric actually feels the same ***)

  • You can zip away the extra backpack fabric when not wearing a pack. It feels a bit more like a rain poncho like this, rather than a backpack poncho... if, like me, you're thinking about your camino chic, I would wear this without my pack and not feel totally silly

  • I stood under the shower for a few minutes and I stayed totally dry underneath. I'll wait for a downpour and go for a longer walk and see how I get on... but that feels promising

  • I left it to dry on a door frame in a non-heated room and it dried pretty quickly... which is good to know if you're overnight in a cold albergue

  • Whilst I've not worn it for long, at no point did I feel like I'm melting or sweating inside... but I need a proper test to really confirm this.
When I've been out in a downpour I'll update but so far I'm happy with my purchase.

v1.jpg v2.jpg v3.jpg v4.jpg
 
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LesBrass

Likes Walking
Camino(s) past & future
yes...
#4
Interesting points @LesBrass, I would be interested to know if the smaller size is much shorter. I'm just under 5'2" so it's hard to find a poncho that doesn't trip me up.:) I bought a cheap one on Amazon for the Camino Ingles this year - it was short and worked OK with waterproof trousers, but it wasn't an ideal arrangement.
I'm 5'9" so a bit taller! There is a snap popper on the hem, front and back, where you can adjust the length a little. I still think it might be long for you but I wonder if you could make a little adjustment and sew up the hem a bit?
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés, Inglés, Fisterra/Muxia, Baztanés x2, Primitivo, Norte, Portugués & hopefully many more.
#5
Hi @LesBrass, thanks for taking the time to reply! That poncho looks perfect for you. It's probably too big for a shortie like me, although I agree that I could probably alter it in some way. I also noticed that Vaude makes kids' ponchos, so I might check those out too.
 

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#7
Thanks so much for this post, Les. I have an old Altus poncho that a friend who no longer walks caminos has given me. But it's pretty heavy. So I'm interested in the weight more than other things -- you say it's 385 g, but the Vaude website gives two different weights. In the product description they say it's 630 grams, but over on the right side of the same page, they say its boxed weight is .49 k. Both of those numbers are higher than your estimate, so I wonder what's going on. Buen camino, Laurie

http://www.trekkinn.com/outdoor-mou...6MF7foGtVR6EBFb65kGZUhoCyy_w_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds
 

LesBrass

Likes Walking
Camino(s) past & future
yes...
#8
Thanks so much for this post, Les. I have an old Altus poncho that a friend who no longer walks caminos has given me. But it's pretty heavy. So I'm interested in the weight more than other things -- you say it's 385 g, but the Vaude website gives two different weights. In the product description they say it's 630 grams, but over on the right side of the same page, they say its boxed weight is .49 k. Both of those numbers are higher than your estimate, so I wonder what's going on. Buen camino, Laurie
I don't understand the website weights either Laurie - So I got both ponchos out and compared them... the fabrics are actually the same, so I must have remembered wrongly, which is good news.

I've just weighed both on my kitchen scales, which may not be the most accurate? The L/XL weighed 515gm and the S/M 385gm... so neither correspond with the Vaude website?

Hope this helps :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route. 2018 will be Camino #14.
#9

LesBrass

Likes Walking
Camino(s) past & future
yes...
#10
Does this open down the front?
If not, the biggest problem I see is heat and then condensation.
I was sweating like crazy when I reviewed that Bluefield poncho, after 5 minutes.
http://caminosantiago2.blogspot.com/2015/12/review-of-bluefield-poncho.html
I like the ALTUS because I can unzip it and get air.
Hi Annie - I've been sat on the sofa watching the TV whilst wearing my poncho, just to see how hot I get :rolleyes: I have to say I really dont feel at all sweaty or hot in it, even with the woodburner going... but of course I'm just sat and not walking.

In 2014 when I had the huge version of this, I didn't like wearing the hood up as I did feel hot, but I dont remember ever getting that 'boil in the bag' feeeling. Somedays I had the poncho on all day and never felt that sweaty feeling. I do know what you mean though as I've had it with a cheap rain coat that I wear in the garden.

I really loved the Altus that I borrowed for it's coat like qualities and I had just assumed I would buy a new one for my September camino... but the reviews for the new Altus weren't at all good and that put me off a bit.

I'm just going to make a cup of tea... with the poncho on... but then I might take it off for the night :D
 
#11
I don't understand the website weights either Laurie - So I got both ponchos out and compared them... the fabrics are actually the same, so I must have remembered wrongly, which is good news.

I've just weighed both on my kitchen scales, which may not be the most accurate? The L/XL weighed 515gm and the S/M 385gm... so neither correspond with the Vaude website?

Hope this helps :)
Thanks, Les,
I´ve written to Vaude and will let you know if I hear anything back. I can´t remember what my borrowed Altus weighs but I think it´s a good bit heavier.
 

alipilgrim

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2005), Frances (2007), Madrid/Frances (2011), 1/2 VdP (2012),
#12
I just weighed my Altus, out of interest. It's 14.25 oz or 405 grams...
 

LesBrass

Likes Walking
Camino(s) past & future
yes...
#14
Thanks, Les,
I´ve written to Vaude and will let you know if I hear anything back. I can´t remember what my borrowed Altus weighs but I think it´s a good bit heavier.
Hello - I've had a reply from Vaude... I asked why they were lighter and they have said The technologie allows to produce lighter materials which are still as waterproof as before :)
 

auldies

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2016)
#15
Not sure if this is helpful to add to the discussion but thought I would offer it just in case.
This is our first camino so can't speak at all from experience, but based on much research we have ordered these ponchos (new design) which will arrive in Australia towards the end of March.
They weigh only 145g but I think it's one size fits all.
Quite expensive at around $90AUS but hopefully they will work well.
http://www.seatosummit.com.au/products/outdoor/ultra-sil-nano-15d-poncho/
 

LesBrass

Likes Walking
Camino(s) past & future
yes...
#16
Not sure if this is helpful to add to the discussion but thought I would offer it just in case.
This is our first camino so can't speak at all from experience, but based on much research we have ordered these ponchos (new design) which will arrive in Australia towards the end of March.
They weigh only 145g but I think it's one size fits all.
Quite expensive at around $90AUS but hopefully they will work well.
http://www.seatosummit.com.au/products/outdoor/ultra-sil-nano-15d-poncho/
I did look at that one a lot... it's so light and I was very very tempted. I've got a number of ultrasil bags that I use to organise my gear inide my pack and like them a lot too. I think the only reason for me in the end, was knowing that the Vaude worked the last time. If it wasn't for that I think I would have gone with SeatoSummit - I've read some good reviews for it too.

But... If I ever read on here that the Altus is back with good reviews... I'll be buying one to add to my collection!
 

Sr.Bigote

Three Weeks - Three Caminos
Camino(s) past & future
Unknown
#17
What goes around comes around... as they saying goes!

I've spent a few weeks mulling over what my rainproof/coat/warmth solution should be when I walk again in September. I went through the same process in 2014... last year was a short camino and I borrowed an Altus... and this year I want to get it right... if that's possible? I'm not an expert but I thought this might be useful.

2014 - I chose no coat, a Vaude Backpacking Poncho and a North Face Fleece instead of a coat.
The fleece was either too hot or without I was too cool. The Vaude kept me dry, the ventilation was good and kept down sweating but the sleeves were too 'cape-ey' and water could trickle down, it's not as easy to put on as the Altus and I bought the wrong size so it was a bit big.

I did walk in a lot of rain and one day in torrential rain that lasted all day so on reflection the poncho stood up very well and kept me dry.

2015 - I bought a light weight fleece without a zip... the weight was right but I missed the zip! I borrowed an old style Altus. I only every used the Altus for a couple of damp mornings so it didn't have a rain test but it was very easy to put on and I liked it. I dont want to risk the new Altus and I can't borrow this one so I've disregarded the Altus as an option.

2016 - My requirements are waterproof, breathable, light, not hugely expensive and multi-purpose. I've been discounting my old Vaude but having searched and searched for a few days and I've come to the conclusion that actually it did what it was meant to do, and I should keep it. (Actually my husband is having mine and I'm going to buy a smaller one).

  • The Vaude stood up to some punishing stormy weather and kept me dry.

  • I dont like the sleeves but I am going to adapt them with velcro strips so that can close them to stop rain running down my arms and inside. I can loosen this if I need extra ventilation.

  • I bought the wrong size, I didn't realise it's based on height and not clothes size!

  • I like to keep my head uncovered, there are various ways to adapt the hood so that you can wear it up or down... my husband likes it up and covering his ears, I prefer to keep my head uncovered. The Vaude does offer this flexibility.

  • I'll have to practice putting it on... or ask a friendly pilgrim for some help

  • It's not multi-purpose. Mine weighs just over 500gm so not light but it will be my only rain protection/coat. I'll make sure this time I find a lightweight fleece with a full zip.

  • It's £60 so not as cheap as some but cheaper than a lot of the waterproof shells

View attachment 23237

As I mentioned I am no expert... and I do look a bit like a pantomime horse in this photo... but I think for me this is the right option. And I hope this little review will help anyone pondering the same questions :rolleyes::D

Hi, all!
My Vaulde just arrived, and I am pleased with how it looks and fits. I am 6'1" (185 cm). It hangs mid-shin. The materials are not rip-stop nylon, but seem pretty sturdy. I also like the fact that it can be snapped between the legs to keep it from billowing. First time I have ever had a poncho, except for emergencies . . . .but they seem very practical for what I expect to find on the Camino. I did order for the USA, and it has taken about three weeks to arrive (from Germany), but most of that time it was tied up in customs. Worth the money in my book. Now I need a rainy day to test it! L/XL weighs 420 grams.
 
Last edited:

Sr.Bigote

Three Weeks - Three Caminos
Camino(s) past & future
Unknown
#18
Hello - I've had a reply from Vaude... I asked why they were lighter and they have said The technologie allows to produce lighter materials which are still as waterproof as before :)

Hi, all!

My Vaude just arrived. It is a material that feels a little lighter than rip-stop nylon (and certainly not as sturdy, but it will do). I bought a L/XL and it weighs 420 grams. I am 185 cm and it hangs mid-shin. Plenty of room for my 50 liter Osprey Atmost and me.
 

Sr.Bigote

Three Weeks - Three Caminos
Camino(s) past & future
Unknown
#19
Thanks so much for this post, Les. I have an old Altus poncho that a friend who no longer walks caminos has given me. But it's pretty heavy. So I'm interested in the weight more than other things -- you say it's 385 g, but the Vaude website gives two different weights. In the product description they say it's 630 grams, but over on the right side of the same page, they say its boxed weight is .49 k. Both of those numbers are higher than your estimate, so I wonder what's going on. Buen camino, Laurie

http://www.trekkinn.com/outdoor-mou...6MF7foGtVR6EBFb65kGZUhoCyy_w_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds

Hi, all!

I just received my Vaude and it is a L/XL. It weighs 420 gr. I am 185 cm and it hangs mid-shin. Seems a perfect size for me.
 

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