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  1. #1
    Senior Member TeeDee's Avatar
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    Multi-Purpose Insultex poncho

    Some time in the past I purchased the idigear single layer Insultex poncho.

    I have used it since and found that I am comfortable to at least freezing inside the poncho with just jeans and a cotton tee shirt while lounging and sitting around. I have also found my self to be comfortable into the 20s with the same clothes while hiking and in wind and rain.

    I have since found another use for the poncho - over cover.

    I lay the poncho length wise on my structural ridge line. I have 2 Prussics on the ridge line with mini-biners. I hook the mini-biners into the zipper pulls - one on each end. That holds the poncho in place. The head hole has a zipper to close and so the head hole poses to problem. This use is attractive since I have had to make no alterations to the poncho.

    The poncho lays nicely and is long enough to give good over lap on both ends of my Bridge Hammock - 80" long. The end panels on my Bridge Hammocks can be extended to the ridge line and thus seal the ends completely. I can also leave a gable vent on the head end panel to prevent condensation.

    The poncho thus provides an excellent over cover and adds 10* F to 20*F to the inside temperature. Probably closer to 20*F.

    The poncho thus has many uses:

    1. sit pad
    2. blanket
    3. sleeping bag
    4. combined poncho and poncho liner - I have read that some do not like the hood, but for me that's a miner quibble that a baseball cap solves neatly.
    5. warm wrap while hiking and in camp
    6. hammock over cover


    It's proved to be worthwhile investment for me.
    Those who sacrifice freedom for safety, have neither.

    Do not dig your grave with your teeth. (Unknown)

  2. #2
    MAD777's Avatar
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    Impresively multi-functional piece of gear! Those are amazing temperatures you are recording, too! Have you weighed this one-piece-wonder?

  3. #3
    Senior Member TeeDee's Avatar
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    weight: 32.35 oz

    I was feeling rather surprised and then a little peeved at that weight. Then I started thinking about it.

    My MLD silnyl poncho weighs approximately 8 oz and I have a love/hate relationship with that poncho. I like the MLD design and hate a silnyl poncho - it is better to get drenched with the rain rather than the sweat.

    My DriDucks poncho is almost 9 oz, keeps me dry and I don't sweat under it.

    If it's cold neither poncho does anything to keep me warm and the Dir Ducks material is very fragile.

    So, if I use either poncho, I need a poncho liner. The lightest I know of is advertised at 16 oz and is closer to 24 oz delivered. I would then have to modify it with a zippered head hole to use with either above poncho. That would add to the weight and I would have to add even more adding a perimeter zipper to use the poncho liner as a 3 season sleeping bag.

    I have used Wiggy's poncho liner with Lamilite as an overcover. It is much stiffer and much thicker and alone weighs close to 32 oz without either the hole and hole zipper or the perimeter zipper. Since it is so much stiffer, it doesn't drape on the hammock as well as the idigear poncho and so doesn't seal as well. Insulation wise, it's about the same in my experience.

    That would bring the total for a poncho plus poncho liner close to or more than the idigear poncho and I have to use 2 pieces of gear instead of 1.

    I could fold the poncho liner to use as a sit pad, but it lacks the nifty zipper that allows the idigear poncho to be folded and zipped into a small briefcase type article. That makes it easier to use as a sit pad or to pack it.

    Also, the idigear poncho compresses smaller than the Wiggy's poncho liner and much smaller than the poncho plus poncho liner.

    Instead of 2 pieces of gear I have 1 that packs easier and compresses smaller and is probably (almost certainly) lighter than the 2 combined.

    The idigear poncho has 4 zippers:

    1. perimeter zipper to use as 3 season sleeping bag and 2 can be mated,
    2. head hole zipper,
    3. hood pouch zipper
    4. zipper so that it can be folded onto itself and zipped into a small briefcase like package with carry handle.


    I imagine that some of the zippers can be removed to reduce the weight, but then you lose the functionality provided by the zipper. Probably the hood pouch zipper could be removed with the least loss of functionality. Removing all four zippers would probably reduce the weight by at least half and maybe more, but it would seem rather foolish to me to lose all that functionality - better to just but some Insultex and DWR ripstop and make your own - cheaper too.
    Those who sacrifice freedom for safety, have neither.

    Do not dig your grave with your teeth. (Unknown)

  4. #4
    cataraftgirl's Avatar
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    TeeDee
    Do you have any pics of your Insultex poncho as an overcover? What are the dimensions of the poncho. I saw some pics that Wisenber posted about using a driducks poncho as an overcover. Since the Driducks were on the JRB Christmas sale for $10, I got one to try out as a partial overcover. I don't do any winter camping, but will probably use it in spring & fall for a little temp boost.
    KJ

  5. #5
    Senior Member TeeDee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cataraftgirl View Post
    TeeDee
    Do you have any pics of your Insultex poncho as an overcover? What are the dimensions of the poncho. I saw some pics that Wisenber posted about using a driducks poncho as an overcover. Since the Driducks were on the JRB Christmas sale for $10, I got one to try out as a partial overcover. I don't do any winter camping, but will probably use it in spring & fall for a little temp boost.
    KJ
    Pictures - no. No digital and since my film is Kodachrome, maybe no pictures at all in the future.

    Size? 89" x 55"

    So as a poncho: 44.5" x 55"

    As a 3 season (?) sleeping bag: 89" x 27.5"

    As a sit pad folded into itself and zipped: 18" x 13" (approximately 2" thick - haven't measured that).
    Those who sacrifice freedom for safety, have neither.

    Do not dig your grave with your teeth. (Unknown)

  6. #6
    Senior Member Highbinder's Avatar
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    Looks interesting. How small does it pack down? Come in anything other than real-tree print?

  7. #7
    Yoda's Avatar
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    Very, very interesting! Thank you TeeDee, one more thing to add to the want to buy list!
    Formerly known as "Cranky Bear"....
    "yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift---thats why its called a present" - Master Oogway
    It's always best if your an early riser!
    I like hiking as it's like exercise!

  8. #8
    Senior Member TiredFeet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Highbinder View Post
    Looks interesting. How small does it pack down? Come in anything other than real-tree print?
    Figure the 18" x 13" x about 2". Then compress from there - squeeze flat or maybe fold in half again and squeeze. IX compresses well.

  9. #9
    Senior Member TiredFeet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cranky Bear View Post
    Very, very interesting! Thank you TeeDee, one more thing to add to the want to buy list!
    Yeah - the more TeeDee and I use ours, the more we like them.

    We noticed that they list the price at $80 now. When TeeDee and I bought ours, they were over $100 I think.

    Wiggy's charges $60 for a poncho liner.

    A fiber fill poncho liner is about $25.

    After using Wiggy's poncho liner, we have decided you get what you pay for - either $25 worth of insulation or $60 worth - insulation is not a place to skimp on cost.

    MLD charges $85 for a poncho.

    The Dri Ducks ponchos are about $12 I think.

    So the options are:

    1. Dri Ducks poncho and el cheapo fiber fill liner: $37
    2. Dri Ducks poncho and Wiggy's excellent Lamilite liner: $72
    3. MLD poncho and el cheapo liner: $110
    4. MLD poncho and Wiggy's excellent Lamilite liner: $145


    Makes $80 for the idigear poncho a deal in comparison since in our experience it compares in performance with the last option.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Highbinder's Avatar
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    Can't really see from the photos but does it have tieout points to be used as a tarp? That's one of my favourite uses for my 58 pattern poncho.

    I'm real tempted to buy one because my butt always gets cold around the fire. Could just wrap myself and use it like a big cloak.

    I take it IX still insulates when compressed?

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