I wanted to do a review on the Mountain Serape which I tesed in Red River Gorge, KY over the last weekend (10/27-29/2017).
HPG Connor Pocket/Pack
HPG Heavy Recon Chest Rig
Osprey Dry Sack liners for Ute and Connor Pocket
Outer Wear and Secondary Sleeping Bag
HPG Mountain Serape (Multicam)
Primary Sleeping Bag
Enlightened Equipment Convert (Long/Wide), 950 FP Hydrophobically Treated Down 10 F Rated.
Pockets and Stuff Sacks:
HPG Stuff Sacks: 1 x 717 (Shelter Tarp, Cordage, and Stakes), 2 x 812 (One used inside Ute for clothing, the other used outside for Moutain Serape), and 1 x 915 used for primary sleeping bag.
Pockets: HPG Organizer Bucket (Inside Chest Rig), First Spear GP Small (outside Chest Rig, used for phone or Gramin inReach), and HPG General Purpose Pocket Medium (used on Prarie Bet).
We arrived at the trail head at around 6 pm on Friday evening. Got going by 6:30 pm and arrived at camp at approximately 8:00 pm by headlamp. The temperature dropped approximatle 10 F from 50 to 40 F in that 1.5 hours. It began to rain around 8:30-9:00 pm. At this time I donned the Mountain Serape at this was my primary priece of outerwear and insulation. I also brought a rain jacket and rain pants but part of this trip was to test both the Mountain Serape and the Convert Sleeping Bag and I did not donn my rain gear the entire trip. The rain fall level varried from a light sprinkle to a full rain all night until I went to bed at around 11 PM. I was dry and warm the entire night.
That night I slept on top of the Serape in Sleeping bag mode which was placed on top of my sleeping pad. The temperatures dropped into the high 30's that night. Due to a slight downhill slope I slid down my sleep pad and out of my shelter enough to soak the foot area of both the Mountain Serape and the EE Convert. I removed the Mountain Serape from under me and opened it in the shelter to allow it to dry.
By the morning the Mountain Serape was dry and it was still raining so again I donned it and set up in the rain to eat breakfast. At this point it had rained steadily all night and everything was we. The region we where in was an "off trail" camping area surrounded by heavy, low underbrush and foliage consisting mainly of briars and young Eastern Hemlock groves through which most of the trails were cut through. These trails were narrow, almost clausterphobic at times, making passage with a back difficult withoug hangin up. After the rain all of this was soaked and thus, the post breakfast hike and fire wood hunt provided a good test bed for the Mountain Serape's insulative properties as well as its dirability.
By this time the region had recieved at least 0.5" of rain so everythin was soaked. Moving through the briars, very little seemed to hang up on the garment. By the end of the hike the most of the lower portion of the serape was soaked making my knees a but cold as it contacted them. The upper portion of the Serape kept me warm and dry which says something since I only had on a light weight short sleeve base layer with a lightweight hiking shirt over it. After returning to camp the we part of me was my knees however, the rest of the grour were wet to the core even with rain gear. The Serape seemed to dry quite rapidly and by lunch the soaked portion of the Serape had normalized to the moisture level of the rest of the garment.
Saturday afternoon a one other hiker and my self traveled to the west to view Gray's Arch which was about a 2 mile hike. At this time the Serape was worn under my my Connor pack and my Chest Rig. It was comfortable in this configuration and I could see wearing it under a heavier pack in great coate mode or throwing it over the entire pack as an insulated poncho. On this hike I forgot the 812 stuff sack for the Serape so I strapped the rolled up Serape vertically to the Connor Pack. It carried well in ths configuration.
Overall I give the Mountain Serape 4.99/5 Stars. I loved using it and it made the rest of the hikers a bit jealous and determined to get one for themselves. I personally would like to see one change. I would like to see the sides of the hood relieved some to aid peripherial vision when the hood is up. That's it!
I was exicited to try this peice of gear on this trip as I plan to use it in the same capacity during my hike of Bucksking Gultch through the Paria River Canyon in November. Again I plan to take this as my primay outer wear and secondary sleeping bag. It's nice to buy a piece of gear that performs as claimed. For warmer weather this will be my primary sleeping bag. I also see this being ideal for deer and trukey hinting here in Indiana, either from a stand or on the ground. In my opinion this piece of gear is well worth the price and I look forward to using it often. Hats off to you guys ar HPG, I will continue buying and recomending your gear.