As Tucas Sestrals Poncho APEX 133

Discussion in 'Reviews & Previews' started by Chris2901, Oct 5, 2018.

  1. Chris2901

    Chris2901 Section Hiker

    Having made excellent experiences with the As Tucas Sestrals quilt in various APEX layers I wanted to go further into multi-use.One important factor was to replace my quite heavy Patagonia insulation jacket and save the 400g .
    It was pretty easy to make my choice since the design of @Marco ´s Poncho quilt is quite unique. After contacting him for some details I placed my order and after 11 (!!!) days it arrived at my door.As always it came in a large cotton stuff sack with no compression bag.And as always, workmanship is immaculate and imo well worth the quite high price (290€).You get what you pay for.
    Seize is similar to my quilts L and wide, the weight on my scales 655g.When replacing my WM Caribou (675g) and the jacket it means 420 grams less in my pack.Not too bad!!!:thumbsup: The Schoeller fabric is very soft to the skin,easy to clean and looks great

    First day of use was during @Dr.Matchbox ´s and my glorious overnighter with mild conditions around 12°C in the night when I used it as a blanket and poncho in the morning. Unfortunately, this is the only action pic I´ve taken but if desired,I can make some more extra pics.

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    The second trip proved to be more demanding, since the weather forecast for Luxemburg/Eifel was not that promising but again ,the poncho made its job.Temperatures went down to 1°C and it was really humid,for me the most difficult weather condition.I used the Sestrals with a thin long-sleeve, MH Ghost Whisperer hooded jacket ,thin long johns ,As Tucas Foratata socks and it was reasonably warm.So I´d say as a warm sleeper Marco´s temperature ratings for APEX are realistic for me,but of course there´s a lot of discussion about it.Decide for yourself.

    Here´s also the link to the As Tucas hp to show you all options:
    https://www.astucas.com/en/products/sestrals-poncho/

    The fit of the poncho is really relaxed, though I can´t stretch my arms sideways as Marco does in his pics when all snap buttons closed. It´s still wide enough to drink or eat and do some "camp work" but 90°? No way.Might be a slight anatomic difference between Marco and me. :o o:Slim users might even "wrap" their mats in the quilt ,but originally it´s meant to lie on it.
    What I like the most about As Tucas quilts is the abandonment of cords wherever it is possible.The only cords are at the foot-box and in the collar of the neck opening to avoid cold bridges. The conversion to blanket or quilt is done with snap buttons which work great due to the longer and wider cut .I first had my worries about this solution, but never opened one of them accidentally.As a 98% side sleeper I love the wide option since you can turn around without creating drafts.

    All in all, the Sestrals Poncho is a unique and versatile quilt/insulation jacket which is a serious weight-saver on my new path to more multi-use and versatility. :thumbsup:
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2018
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  2. Marco

    Marco Trail Blazer

    Thanks for the review Chris! Looking forward for a mid/long term report ;)

    The core idea of a poncho/quilt is that it allows you to leave your insulated jacket at home. This approach works nicely in 2+/3 season trips, when you don't need an insulated jacket while hiking or during short breaks.

    I've been experimenting with the idea of using a Poncho in winter too. In moderately cold scenarios, I'm happy so far. In this case I complement the poncho with a light insulated jacket. I use the jacket during breaks and while hiking if necessary. At camp, I wear the poncho over the jacket. I sleep wearing the jacket inside the poncho in quilt mode.

    This approach allows me to use a lighter jacket. Using a synthetic poncho also provides additional protection against frozen perspiration and frost.
  3. Chris2901

    Chris2901 Section Hiker

    @Marco , that was also my idea behind it.For me the 133 layer is perfect, since temperatures lower than 5°C are really uncomfortable without isolation and who wants to get a quilt out of the pack a couple of times a day, especially in rain or high moisture?
    When it comes to colder temperatures (let´s say -3°C and lower) I would rate a classic quilt or sleeping bag the more efficient solution .That´s why I chose the Foratata Quilt instead of the Poncho. On the 450g option I would even choose a 2/3 foot-/"body"box for more isolation.:o o: No one needs open blankets at -8°C.:D
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2018
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  4. Marco

    Marco Trail Blazer

    True, an insulated poncho is mainly practical while at camp. I don't use it while hiking or short breaks, unless it's an emergency.

    For deep winter quilts or traditional bags win in term of efficiency. But a blanket still has its place. As you note no one wants an open blanket at -8 C. But what happens if you have than -10 C rated bag and temps are around or above 0 C? Opening the footbox can make a difference betweem a sweaty night and a good one. There is always that performance / versatility tradeoff :)
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  5. Chris2901

    Chris2901 Section Hiker

    Well,I´d use one of my other quilts !!! :D
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  6. oreocereus

    oreocereus Ultralighter

    So you find the bagginess of the poncho fine while setting up camp? Once it's 15c or lower, I tend to throw my insulated jacket on as soon as i stop to keep heat in. I like the idea of the poncho and Marco's seems the best designed. I had tried doing the makeshift poncho thing in the past with a normal quilt, and that was just too clumsy and cumbersome, even though I was warm enough sitting around like that, i struggled to cook, refill water, etc.
    Marco likes this.
  7. Marco

    Marco Trail Blazer

    Of course I would say it's fine, so better to await others answer. In the meantime, a video of the Poncho that might give a better idea. It's in Japanese, so have fun ;)

  8. Chris2901

    Chris2901 Section Hiker

    At 15°C in an insulation I would vaporize...:eek:;)
    I don't mind it since it is only 133.
    Another case would be down, I'm not sure if that wouldn't be too bulky. The APEX ist my perfect solution for the 2-3 seasons tours .For more exposed trips or colder conditions I expect the best performance from my upcoming Foratata Quilt...:biggrin:
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2018
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  9. Chris2901

    Chris2901 Section Hiker

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  10. Dr.Matchbox

    Dr.Matchbox Hiker

    I´m agree with Marco. An open footbox give you more scope for warmer nights. In my 10F Quilt I can took my feets outside the Footbox, but it is not perfect.

    As I could see at our trip, the ponchomode was a really nice option in the morning. I think my next quilt will be a ponchoquilt, too.
    Chris2901 likes this.
  11. oreocereus

    oreocereus Ultralighter

    Video makes it look quite ok :)

    I'm a chilly boy, Chris. 15c might be slight overestimation, but I know by the time it is get is around 10c i'm getting chilly in my insulation!
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  12. Marco

    Marco Trail Blazer

    Another one in English:



    Note that he wears the poncho the other way round: the rounded area (head in quilt mode) goes on your back side.
    oreocereus likes this.
  13. Chris2901

    Chris2901 Section Hiker

    Everythings ok, @oreocereus !:thumbsup:
    So I think it would be a good idea if you'd regard @Marco 's temp ratings as limit and add a thinner insulation . Hell, I'd offer a kidney for a Sestrals jacket in various layers.:rolleyes:
    JimH, oreocereus and Marco like this.

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