Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil Nano Tarp Poncho
Sea to Summit's Ultra-Sil Nano Poncho is a poncho, tarp, ground sheet, raincoat all packed into one. The poncho is made of 15D Ultra-Sil Nano fabric which makes it incredibly light and super packable. The poncho is an excellent companion in a variety of temperatures and terrain, and is easily set up as a minimalist shelter using a trekking pole and paracord. It is constructed utilizing sewn, double stitched seems which are also taped to be waterproof. When worn as a poncho, the sides snap together to form sleeves for protection from those wet and rainy days on the trail.
I purchased this for use primarily as a poncho and have used it just as that. I've worn it on rainy hikes through the Santa Cruz Mountains, sections of the Appalachian Trail, and other locations here and there. I've set it up a few times as a shelter but just for gear and I have yet to use it as an ultralight shelter for sleeping. I look forward to putting it to the test.
The best thing about this poncho is the material and it's weight. It's incredibly thin and light as well as durable. While I've only taken the poncho out on about a half dozen hikes at this point, it remains hole-free and in great condition. The same goes for the snaps. At a hundred bucks, the cost may seem a bit high for a tarp but the lightweight material and multi-purpose uses make it a great buy.
While the poncho can keep you dry, it also depends on the climate you are hiking in. It performed great as far as the rain goes, the material is not meant to be breathable so on those hot and humid days you will find yourself drenched from sweat rather than the rain. The open arm/snap construction helps with this but not much. I often found myself taking the poncho on and off when I found myself hiking in the rain while it was humid. Most of the time I just accepted the downpour and got wet rather than be soaked from both the rain as well as sweat.