GoLite is no longer in business, and the Ultra-Lite Poncho/Tarp has been discontinued. If you're looking for something new, check out the best tarps and shelters for 2020.
Historic Range: $27.50-$60.00
Reviewers Paid: $60.00
I used this poncho/tarp as my raingear and shelter on a rain-soaked two-nighter on the Ozark Trail. I was totally happy with its performance but I'm concerned about its durability in the future.
First, the obvious:
One poncho, 8 aluminum stakes, a plastic groundcloth, and 20' of guyline: 27 oz.
Rain jacket, rain pants, and tent: 7 pounds.
Minimalism is so, so comfortable on the back.
As raingear, I loved the extra back length which covered my pack perfectly. The weather temps were in the low 70's, which made the non-breathable sil-nylon a little sticky inside, but just a little. My boots and socks got soaked, but I reckon they would have regardless.
As a shelter, I was satisfied. With lots of backyard practice, I got two very wind- and rain-proof pitches using my trekking poles, guylines, and stakes. Of course, you gotta lean it into the wind and find a flat, but not low, place to pitch. But I stayed dry through two windy, wet nights. A backpacker can't ask for much more.
My only concern going forward - and this is a serious concern, bringing my rating down from 4.5 to 3.5 - will be the strength of the seams at the tie-out loops. They looked stressed, and I hope they don't pop in the next windy downpour.
Design: Sil-nylon poncho with guyout loops and extra pack-covering length
Ease of Setup: At first, difficult. After practice, piece of cake
Weight: 0.625 lbs. Stakes, groundcloth and guylines add add'l 1 lb.
Price Paid: $60