Versatility is the key to survival in the world of outdoor adventure. With changing weather and demands of outdoor experiences, one piece of equipment stands out for its ability in adapting to the changing environment and requisites.
The bivvy bag poncho is unique with its ingenious design and flexible functions:
The bivvy bag poncho provides extra protection, or alternative warm weather waterproofing, for when a softshell isn’t enough. Because the poncho format gives excellent venting compared to a conventional waterproof, condensation inside is minimised.
Let the hydrophilic fabric dry you off. Better bivvy bag ponchos have a hydrophilic fabric, meaning that it attracts water. If you layer it over damp clothing, the bivvy bag poncho may actually dry your outer clothes by sucking moisture away from it.
The hydrophilic fabric absorbs moisture and evaporates it on the outer surface, eliminating the need to remove wet clothes during rainy treks or between swims.
Wearing a waterproof poncho over any breathable waterproof jacket should increase the breathability. There is some airspace for the surface moisture to evaporate and a slight warming of the gap between poncho and jacket improves the vapour transmission of most membranes.
A bivvy bag poncho is essentially a rectangle of breathable, hydrophilic membrane-based fabric with a hood in the centre. Each side can be zipped up (from the inside) to create a poncho or shelter, while the unzipped sheet can be pitched as a tarp.
If you find your poncho too long for hill climbing, you can fold it up to be shorter. Better ponchos have a strap and fastening inside where you can pull the front up and attach it, so it doen't get in the way of your steps.
On windy days wear your rucksack on top of the poncho to keep it in place.
It has no sleeves, your arms stick out a bit, unless you keep them inside and pull up the zips. But the main idea is to layer this poncho over a soft shell top and pants for extra insulation and warmth. This then makes a comfy lightweight combination.
Make sure the hood and neck opening are tight enough not to flap around in the wind.
It should feel snug and turn with your head for better visibilty.
For open water swimmers the bivvy bag poncho can be your mobile changing room. It gives you privacy and keeps the wind chill off your skin.
You can use it as beach shelter to protect from sunburn while you snoooze or keep the flies away while you eat your lunch. On rainy days you can keep your swimbag dry inside, while you enjoy your swim in the rain.
If you didn't bring your swimwear, wear this poncho instead.
It is easy to swim in and will dry quickly afterwards.
Just shake the water out and put it back on.