05 September 2012

Moutain Serape from Hill People Gear

Type- Snivel Gear

Manufacturer- Hill People Gear

Source- Manufacturer

Price- $170.00


Weight- 1.7 lbs

If you talk to people that have served in the US military before the War On Terror about issuer gear, most will agree that the only two good things we were issued was the M-65 Field Jacket and the USGI Poncho Liner, affectionately referred to as the "Woobie".  Since originally being issued one in 1991, I have purchased several and they are still in use around my house.  The wife and kids love their soft feel and how nice they drape over you keeping you warm.

Compared to the USGI "Woobie"
One thing that always annoyed me about the woobie was that unlike the USGI Poncho, it did not have a hole for your head.  Over the years plenty of GIs made mods to theirs with zippers, buttons, and Velcro, but I never saw anything I deemed a "solution".

The Serape is not the first piece of gear I have from Hill People Gear.  I am also a proud owner of a Kit Bag and a Tarahumara.  While cruising their site to see what I had to have next, I stumbled across the Serape.  Instantly I saw it as the ultimate "Woobie".  

For those of you who are not familiar, I am very into hammocks and spend a lot of time hanging at home and in the woods with my Blackbird Double Layer from Warbonnet Outdoors.  One of the first things you find out spending a night in a hammock is that even on a balmy summer night you can freeze your ass off.  The reason is that the air goes underneath of you.  Seeing that the Serape could also be configured as a lightweight sleeping bag, pushed me over the edge.  I had to have one.  From talking to owner Evan hill, I found out that they were just about out of them because the ones they had were made off shore with US materials, and that it would be a while before the Made in USA ones were available.  I could not wait, so the one reviewed here is the older model. 

Sleeping Bag Configuration
Upon arrival, the first thing I noticed was how "silky" the Serape felt, just like the Woobie.  My first use was sleeping in my son's Grand Trunk Ultralight Travel Hammock on my front porch.  It got down to about 60 that night, but I was as snug as a bug all night, using the Serape in it's sleeping bag configuration.   At 6'2, 290 lbs, with a 52 inch chest, finding sleeping bags that fit is not always easy.  The Serape's full cut allows me to pull it up, over, and around to wrap up as I please.

Not long after that, I attended a weekend of camping with my son's Boy Scout Troop.  It got pretty chilly the first night, and taking care so as to be far from the fire to prevent a ember from burning the Serape, I used it in the poncho configuration and it kept me comfortable while sitting in my camp chair.

Poncho Configuration
The versatility of the Serape is accomplished with two zippers, one for the hood and one that zips half way around the bag.  There are also a bungee cord with a cord lock on each side allowing the Serape to be worn as a greatcoat.

It took me a while to find out the best way to store and carry my Serape.  Eventually, I settled on a Podsac Large Compression Sac.
Again, Evan told me they had something in the works, but I could not wait.  I needed something to protect my Serape.  The 100% nylon shell of the Serape would not fair well against things like sticker bushes.  I also wanted to be able to put it in the bottom of a pack.

 The Serape is now always carried in the back of my Jeep as third line gear along with my hammock, tarp, Jet Boil Stove, and two MREs.  To me it is that essential. 

Zipper starts on the left and goes around to the foot


  1. Anonymous14:09

    I have been reading your posts regularly. I need to say that you are doing a fantastic job. Please keep up the great work. fitzgerald

  2. Very interesting gear. I agree that if you don't have the right stuff, you WILL freeze to death. That's why I advise newbies to invest in quality clothing, layers, tents, as well as sleeping bags. I don't get it why people would even consider substandard gear in the first place. If you're a first time camper, read reviews and ask people for recommendations. Check out this amazing site to read quality reviews on ultralight sleeping bags: http://myoutdoorslife.com/gear/camping-and-hiking/best-ultralight-sleeping-bag.html