When I recently wrote the Felled seams guide,I didn’t do so only for the fun of creating seams, obviously. I was rather in the progress of scouting the basics for a DIY 3-in-1 poncho. 3 as in poncho, tarp and shelter. Basically all you need to survive in wet conditions, conditions that are prevalent where I live…
I spent quite some time to incorporate extra features to make the system as flexible as possible. With those I believe can stand up against many if not most commercial offers out there. Here’s the highlights:
- Velcro-closures at neck line opens wide for maximum airflow in hot climates and closes completely, covering up to your chin for cold and stormy days
- Extra deep hood drops down to eye level or exposes your forehead to even “high” hairlines for light drizzles — adjustable by a velcro at the back
- 3D cut of hood avoids material sticking to your cheeks
- Velcro runs all the way down at sides of poncho for full enclosure during those days of horizontal rain.
- Inverted Velcro pieces at bottom corners allow both front and rear flap to be rolled up and fixed in any position for light drizzle or vertical rain days when maximum ventilation is demanded
- Opposing Velcro on right and left of front panel allow Poncho front to be wrapped around your body and closed for a very tight fit during stormy days.
- Same opposing Velcro on rear panel, allowing two layers of full wrap around your body for maximum heat retention
- Full felled seams throughout for maximum waterproofing. This seam is waterproof by itself, yet all seams are sealed at the interior. This makes seam tapes which tend to break with time obsolete. Just apply a new layer of seam sealant where necessary.
- Webbing strap at rear to attach a bicycle tail light – walking on a road in a thunderstorm at night, wearing a camouflage poncho might not be the safest of ideas without some sort of illumination.
- Optional: Snap fasteners at panels to fold panels up by a predetermined size
- Optional: Pocket at inside or outside of front panel
- 8 heavily reinforced grommets around perimeter to securely tie the sheet down
- Optional: 2 grommets on reinforcing webbing along center-line of sheet to build an A-frame shelter without poles
- Optional: 2nd drawstring closure around neckline for 100% sealing of the opening (Velcros around neckline make for a tight seal already)
- Made intentionally from non-breathable Nylon ripstop — All “breathable” material has waterproofing which degrades over time; usually when you need it most. On the other hand, a poncho breathes due to its design, so I felt waterproofing requirements outweigh “breathing” fabrics. More field testing will tell shortly.
- Stuff sack consists of 2 compartments. Main compartment for poncho and 2nd, internal, compartment for ridge line, guy lines, stakes.
If you have questions, let me know! And in any case, ideas for improvements are highly appreciated, MK2 is already beginning to take shape in my head.