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Trail Lite Designs Cloud Cape (raingear)

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Trail Lite Designs Cloud Cape (raingear)

Postby Hetchy » Fri Mar 11, 2011 4:48 pm

I just took delivery of a Trail lite Designs Cloud Cape in 1.26 oz per sq yard Cuben fiber.
The Cloud cape is based on a hybrid of a poncho and a jacket.
It has the hood and full front zipper of a rain jacket but the short arms and wider opening of a poncho.
There are microlock drawstrings to adjust the hood and hem.
There are no pockets and a minimum of seams to seal.
The material is "Storm" Black Cuben Fiber which is an Ultra High Density Polymer treated with a high energy plasma. The results are a completely waterproof, extremely light, and strong as steel fabric. It's not a woven material. it's made of monded layers of spectra and mylar film.
This may look like a plastic poncho but Cuben fiber is stronger than Silnylon. It is impossible to tear this weight of cuben with your bare hands. It also will not stretch.
The Trail Lite Designs cloud Cape weighs 3 ounces on my scale seam sealed.
The full length front zipper is of the water resistant variety and is very high quality.
I will be reviewing this gear over the course of 4 months and 2,175 miles of hiking the length of the Appalachian trail.
My strategy is to use this cape along with my Golite umbrella for rain wear.
You are probably wondering about the lack of lower arm protection. For the warm summer rains on the AT I will use nothing. For cold rain and possible snow, (Smokey mountains or New Hampshire's white mtns) I have a Tyvek windshirt, the arms of which though breathable also absorb no water.
The key to this design and the startegy is to maintain a compromise between rain protection and ventilation. The full length front zipper is a huge factor in making this cape versatile.
The hood is of three piece fitted construction and can be cinched tight like a rain jacket.
I look forward to bringing you a complete review. :D
Attachments
Trailite Design Cloud Cape 003.JPG
TrailLite Designs Cloud Cape with pack
Trailite Design Cloud Cape 002.JPG
TrailLite Designs Cloud Cape back
Trailite Design Cloud Cape 001.JPG
TrailLite Designs Cloud Cape front
You can make more money, but you can't make more time.



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Hetchy
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Re: Trail Lite Designs Cloud Cape (raingear)

Postby oldranger » Fri Mar 11, 2011 5:22 pm

Hetchy

Would cuben work in a traditional poncho?

mike
Mike

Who can't do everything he used to and what he can do takes a hell of a lot longer!
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Re: Trail Lite Designs Cloud Cape (raingear)

Postby Hetchy » Fri Mar 11, 2011 5:43 pm

It sure would.
It is totally water proof since it is a non-woven material. It is be non-breathable of course so ventilation is key.
Although there are a lot of early reports of people having less condensation issues with Cuben than with Sil-nylon. I will be able to report more about that too as i have a Cuben Fiber shaped Tarp coming for the AT as well.
The main advantage is it's light weight, stronger than any other fabric, and is waterproof by design rather than a coating. Cuben fiber can be sewn but also bonded together.
This has huge implications since seams could actually be glued instead of stitched. In fact that is exactly how my Patrol shelter's ridgeline is made. The lack of stitching means no weakpoint in the fabric and no seam to leak or require sealing.
Duct tape also sticks quite well to Cuben Fiber (unlike sil-nylon) so a field repair would be a simple matter.
Earlier versions of Cuben had abrasion resistance problems but they seem to be getting better and better at refining the process.
The disadvantage is it's expensive material.
We are definitely at the early stages of finding out what can be done with this material.
You can make more money, but you can't make more time.
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Re: Trail Lite Designs Cloud Cape (raingear)

Postby THF2 » Thu Mar 17, 2011 12:31 am

I have the TrailLite Designs Cloud Kilt...and I love it. I do like the Cloud Cape as well. I will mention that they are a sponsor of my PCT thru-hike this year, but I contacted them about that, because I really admire Thom's designs and dedication to his craft.

Looking forward to more incredible designs from this company....

Dug
http://thf2.wordpress.com
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