View Full Version : Thinsulate poncho liner comfort rating...

2006-11-27, 23:04
I'll be living in Bolivia for the next couple of years with the peace corps, but I won't know where I will end up living until about 2 months in. I am packing very light, and I'm wondering about sleep insulation. I could end up anywhere from the sweaty jungles to cold high-desert (like 14,000+ ft high). I will be training however in a pretty moderate climate (40's at night).

I don't think that it's practical to bring a big bulky bag in case of a cold-weather placement, so I'm thinking something moderate... like the thinsulate poncho liner (sold at brigade quartermasters). I'll be bringing my military gore-tex bivy sack, and I'm wondering what temperature I might endure using a thinsulate poncho liner in the bivy. (I don't sleep extremely cold or hot)

Alternatively, instead of spending $70 on the liner, I could purchase this ( http://www.rei.com/online/store/Prod...t =REI_SEARCH ) for $55, and probably have a warmer but less versatile piece of equipment.

Does anyone have any suggestions? My main inquiry regards the comfort rating you think that the liner might have. I don't want to spend tons of money, and I really like the versatility of the poncho liner, but I'm afraid I'll just end up having to hike around with 15 lbs of artisan blankets to keep me warm.

I sleep in a hammock, but I'll sleep on the ground if I'm cold. I use a thermarest prolite 4.

Thanks a bunch in advance!

2006-11-28, 00:07
A regular GI poncho liner will keep me warm at about 65 F with a t-shirt, the thinsulate liner should take you down another 5-8 degrees. The GI GTX bivy should take you down another five or so. If you were really cold, you could double the liner inside the bivy and sleep under both layers for more warmth. I would take the liner and a summer weight synthetic bag. If I had any idea I'd be in the jungle I'd take a hennesey hammock for sure, malaria and dengue are no fun. For inside a building, you can't beat a GI cot with a Camprest on top, it fits perfectly on the cot. If bugs are a problem then you just add the poles and the GI bug net and you are all covered. Spray the net with permethrin and that helps keep the skeeters away.

SGT Rock
2006-11-28, 06:54
I got your PMs but I figure it is better to discuss it here so we can get more input from other users...

First off, good luck down there with the Peace Corps. I am sure it will be an adventure.

I have a thinsulate poncho liner and a regular poncho liner. Honestly I couldn't tell much difference in the warmth - maybe 3-5 degrees. And I think that it is because the thisulate poncho liner is actually slightly thicker than my issued one. My son now uses my thinsulate poncho liner as his under quilt and as a temperature rating booster to his down bag in the wintertime when he goes to ground.

I stay pretty fine in my poncho liner with clothing down into the high 50s - when I have something under me for insulation too. So if you have your prolite4 you should be OK. The bivy sack could give you an extra 5 degrees or so - so you could be good down into the 50s for sure. I also don't know about the forrest where you are going, but if you ever exceeded your comfort zone, you could stuff leaves between the poncho liner and the bivy sack to create more loft. As to the Prolite 4 - I' not a big fan of them for hammocks - too narrow for me - I like the 24" wide pads or larger.

I can see why you would want to stay away from 15 pounds of blankets. Another option is to go with a cheap down bag - you can shop around places like Sierra trading post and get some good deals.

And I couldn't get that link to REI to open, so I don't know what you were reffering to there.

Jim Henderson
2006-11-28, 13:51
I have used the GI poncho liners for years and am convinced they give me maybe another 10 degrees of warmth, maybe the thinsulate will be warmer. If you are sleeping in 40 degrees, You may want to get a light sleeping bag or something. Kind of depends on how well you sleep. I use the poncho liner as a bag liner.

If the climate you will be in is dry a down bag is excellent as far as weight for warmth goes. But, if you get the down wet you will be miserable and it takes down a long time to dry. So a synthetic bag would be better if you think you will get wet. They are warmer than down when wet and dry quicker.

I almost always camp with my bag, poncho liner and a space blanket. If I go for "luxury" I use a self inflating mattress. A foam pad may be better if you will be in primative conditions for a long time, since the self inflaters can get leaks.

Good Luck,

Jim Henderson

2006-11-28, 14:05
turbo..... link gives 404 error page not found. Did you type it in right? SS

2006-11-28, 14:28
Poncho liners lose effect for me at about 53-55 degrees...BTW a PL weighs abour 21.5 os and is moderately compressable.... Down quilts and bags are available at less weight and more compressability that easily get you to 30-35degrees... Summer models to 40-45 are way lighter and much more compressable.


2006-11-28, 18:22
yeah, I was looking at this...


it's cheap and not much heavier than the PL.

I hope the link worked.


2006-11-28, 18:24
I guess the link is too long, and the forum shortens it...

but it's an REI down +45 bag at 1 lb 9 oz

it's cheap and not much heavier than the PL.

I think this might be the way to go, but I still like the idea of a having a blanket too, maybe I could get a cheap regular poncho liner, too, plus they come in digital camo, which is awesome.


2006-11-28, 23:15
Get the Thinsulate from BDE QM, it is worth it. I had my wife sew a zipper in the center of mine so I could wear it like a poncho. I still have to put a drawsting at one end so I can make a hammock quilt out of it.