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Old 03-20-06, 09:41 PM   #1
tgbikes
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Rain cape or poncho ?

I can find three avalable, any experiance with this type of gear. caradice $ 100.00 Adventure cycling $60.00, campmore $30.00. two with hoods one without??
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Old 03-20-06, 10:01 PM   #2
Machka 
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I use a poncho when I tour. Mine is a $7 vinyl one from Canadian Tire.

They are useful for: keeping the rain off while riding; keeping the rain off while setting up the campsite; keeping the rain off while running to the toilet; keeping the rain off when you go hiking; as a ground sheet for napping or picnicking in the ditch; as an extra layer under your mattress to keep warm; as an extra layer over your sleeping bag to keep warm ....

Lots of reasons to have one!!
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Old 03-20-06, 10:26 PM   #3
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Army/Navy store poncho. I generally don't have any problems with it. Here's the deal:

1. In winter time, the poncho does allow my hands and feet to get wet, but my hands and feet are usually covered in wool, which we all know keeps you warm even if wet, so it's not a big deal. If it was, I'd get some waterproof gloves and booties, but I don't mind being a little wet. The poncho has the advantage over ******** rainsuits because they actually breathe, so you don't simmer in your own juices even in midwinter.

2. In the summer, I could care less if my hands and feet are wet, because it feels good, and again, a poncho can breathe so it's a good bit cooler than a masochist's goretex rainsuit. In summer here, I usually just forego the poncho and enjoy the rain, it feels good when it's hot.

However, if you're outfitting some kind of expedition, by all means, go ahead and get the rain cape, as it is made specifically for cycling, you're apt to be a bit happier with some of it's features. I've been meaning to purchase one, but this darned surplus poncho never wants to wear out.
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Old 03-20-06, 10:32 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Machka

I use a poncho when I tour. Mine is a $7 vinyl one from Canadian Tire.

They are useful for: keeping the rain off while riding; keeping the rain off while setting up the campsite; keeping the rain off while running to the toilet; keeping the rain off when you go hiking; as a ground sheet for napping or picnicking in the ditch; as an extra layer under your mattress to keep warm; as an extra layer over your sleeping bag to keep warm ....
Hmmm. I have a fancy "water-resistant" bicycle shell that I bought at MEC. It is fine in a very light drizzle, but in anything stronger, it soaks through in seconds.

The lesson for me is that when getting rainwear for touring, don't waste money on anything that is not seriously waterproof. I guess that a polyvinyl plastic poncho qualifies! I have been eyeing Goretex suits for many years, but so far, I have not given in to temptation. Maybe I will take Machka's advice and get something low-tech.
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Old 03-20-06, 10:37 PM   #5
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Get a big plastic garbage bag. Cut a hole for your head and 2 holes for your arms.
Presto . . . cheapo raingear.
So how often will you need to ride in the rain?
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Old 03-20-06, 10:54 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acantor
Hmmm. I have a fancy "water-resistant" bicycle shell that I bought at MEC. It is fine in a very light drizzle, but in anything stronger, it soaks through in seconds.

The lesson for me is that when getting rainwear for touring, don't waste money on anything that is not seriously waterproof. I guess that a polyvinyl plastic poncho qualifies! I have been eyeing Goretex suits for many years, but so far, I have not given in to temptation. Maybe I will take Machka's advice and get something low-tech.

Here's me in mine (I'm the short one in the blue) at Cradle Mountain, Tasmania. We're about to set off on a rather rainy hike.

I bought that poncho in the spring of 2003, I believe, and it came with me to the Paris-Brest-Paris in France where I used it as my sleeping bag for the 5 hours I slept on that ride. After the PBP I took it to Wales where I used it as a part of my mattress, or as a blanket, depending on how cold I was. It travelled with me to Australia in 2004, where I used it many, many times during the three months I was touring there (as seen in the photo). Then, last year, it came with me on two tours into the mountains. And it is still in great shape!!

But even if it were to rip the next time I use it ... it was only $7, and I've been using it for 3 years, so ... no big deal! There is something to be said for the inexpensive "department store" stuff!!

.
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Old 03-20-06, 11:42 PM   #7
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I respectfully disagree with those who low budget this item. Of course, it all depends on when and where you are touring - but I believe firmly that hypothermia begins with getting wet. I'm not one to ride in the rain. I'd much rather have a big pot of tea in a cafe and read a book. But sometimes, even the best of plans go astray.

If you are only doing short tours or are in the east with small towns scattered everywhere, then you may not need quality rainwear. But if you plan to cycle in areas where the temperature can drop 40 degrees F (20 C) in 15 minutes - with high winds - and no significant protection for dozens of miles - a good rain jacket is imperative.

A quality rain jacket can also double as a shell/windbreaker on chilly mornings, a mosquito guard when the campsite is swarming with the little boogers, and the only item of clothing worn on the upper body when you are doing laundry. It is the single most important protection against cold. Why take chances here? I use a North Face HyVent.
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Old 03-21-06, 12:13 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamawani
I respectfully disagree with those who low budget this item.

But if you plan to cycle in areas where the temperature can drop 40 degrees F (20 C) in 15 minutes - with high winds - and no significant protection for dozens of miles - a good rain jacket is imperative.

Nowhere did I say that the poncho should take the place of a quality jacket!! In fact, if you look closely at the photo I posted, you'll see that I am wearing a yellow jacket under the poncho. That is a good quality, waterproof, breathable, jacket which I have not regretted purchasing, for many of the reasons you have mentioned.

However, once you have your waterproof breathable jacket, the poncho (even an inexpensive one) is an excellent addition to the kit, for the reasons I mentioned above.
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Old 03-21-06, 12:20 AM   #9
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Righto!
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Old 03-21-06, 12:25 AM   #10
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A good cycling rain jacket that breathes and have pit zips is the only way to go. It does not flap in the wind, meaning having obnocious wind drag and will perform in more ways than one. It doesn't have to cost alot if you do the research and find one for a good price. I am using the REI rain shadow cycling jacket and have used it for about seven years now without any problems. I have used all kinds of jackets before and the REI one was the best. The jacket must withstand pouring rain for it to be effective; that's my opinion. Because being wet and cold does make a happy cyclist. Which means having a good pair of rain pants, gloves, cover for shoes, and a rain hat if needed. The one thing that I haven't found yet that work the way I would like them too is the gloves, at the moment they are the Pearl Izumi Amphibian. I ride quite a bit in the rain without any problems with my gear, I hope you will do the same.

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