Stephenson's Warmlite

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PONCHOS and Rain Jackets

When hiking in rain an umbrella or poncho is best to keep dry from rain and avoid sweating. I use a light folding umbrella whenever wind allows it, and other times a poncho. A rain jacket is useful if you must be out in high wind and have rain pants to go with it.
Our popular poncho was produced for about 23 years. When we could no longer get good urethane fabric coating we stopped making them. Now the silicon coated tent fabric and Fuzzy Stuff laminate are even better than the best old stuff. Tent fabric is lighter weight and stronger, so we now use that to make ponchos and rain jackets to order.
The ponchos retain our previous hood design with visor to keep rain off your face, cinch cord to hold the hood to your head so it won’t drift around and cover your face, generous neck vent for cooling, and lots of length and width. Lightweight side zippers (instead of snaps or velcro) give better wind protection. An option is extra back length to go over your pack (which can be zipped up in a big tuck when not needed.) These are only made to order, so you can select your sizing and color (from tent colors).
For sizing, measure from top of your shoulder down your front and back, as far as you want it to drape.. Edges are unseamed, hot cut to prevent fraying. If you want the pack covering extension option you have to measure from top of shoulder up over the pack and back to the same height used for specifying back length without the pack. The difference will be the length of fabric tucked out, so side zips work correctly either way. Width is full 65" width of fabric. Weight is 8 to 10 ounces depending on size. Also give us hat size or head circumference for the hood.
The rain jacket is the same as our vapor barrier shirt, made from the same fabric as ponchos, with or without a hood like the poncho. Size is based on normal shirt size, but you specify length from top of shoulder to bottom edge of jacket AND location of bottom of zipper down from top of shoulder (which must not be lower than top of a leg raised up for a high step.) Weight typically about 6 ounces.
Ponchos and rainjackets can also be made from “Fuzzy Stuff” for softer drape and wicking inner surface, but weight is about doubled.

Related subject: Rain gear

When it rains dumb people add rain wear over clothes which are already warm enough or too warm. That EXTRA layer causes overheat and sweat soaked clothes, and they blame the rainwear instead of excess layers for overheat. That stupidity was THE reason for the development of Goretex and the millions of $$ spent promoting it for what it isn’t. Smart ones avoid overheat by wearing less clothes under rainwear.
Most good rainwear is made of coated nonporous fabric. Since Gore defined “breathable” as passing water vapor about 1/20th as fast as uncoated fabric, (the same as most urethane coatings), and Goretex was promoted as preventing overheat solely due to it’s “breathability”, much of the rainwear made for big spenders is promoted as “breathable” (but note that Gore requires users of Goretex to put extra ventilation in their rain gear {such as “pit zips”, which also can’t work}, and also require a durable water repellant finish on exterior fabric so rain can never reach the Goretex film!) . But most users praise Goretex only for WARMTH, not coolness, which any rain gear can provide if it is snugly closed at neck and wrists so air can’t flow up thru it.
Most ski parkas and snowmobile suits are coated on the inner surface of outer fabric to block wind & water. Warmth is lost if they’re open at the bottom and top so air can flow up thru, like a chimney. Lighter weight warm humid air rises out upper openings and is replaced with cold dry air from below. It’s obvious that heat is lost warming that cold air. What isn’t so obvious is that the relative humidity of that air when warmed is extremely low. It DRIES your skin, dehydrates you, and takes away heat by evaporation.