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Kite fabrics???
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aaron smith
(flyingeye021) - F

Locale: WNC
Kite fabrics??? on 06/18/2008 18:26:55 MDT Print View

I was wondering if anyone has any experience with ripstop nylons available from sites such as Specifically issues like waterproofness and breathability. Any feedback would be appreciated. Thanks.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Kite fabrics??? on 06/19/2008 05:07:56 MDT Print View

I tested some. Stiff like spinnaker, but not very much water resistance. They are custom-made as kite fabrics, not as tent materials.
But I am sure there are many I haven't tested.


mark henley
(flash582) - F
Kite fabrics on 06/19/2008 05:36:01 MDT Print View

I just bought about 10 yards of material.

It's important to realize that they measure in sailmaker's yards not square yards.

Their 0.75 ounce per square yard material was heavier than my last batch of silnylon (almost 1.5 ounces per square yard).

I would also completely agree that they were no where near as strong as Sil or Cuben.

Cuben has it's own special problems in that it's a difficult material to work with, especially with a cheap hobby sewing machine. Still ... if you plan appropriately, the weight savings can be substantial.

Especially large items .... of course, that means more expense, but the high yardage items like tarps, ponchos, and the like are the best candidates for Cuben.

A great example .... I've come up with a 1 ounce pack design in cuben that uses one linear yard of material for a 2200 cu in pack. The same pack made out of Sil is a bit over 2 ounces and 1/5 the cost in seconds material. It also takes about 4 hours to put together in Sil, but 12 to 16 hours in cuben because of the extra care and difficulty in sewing. (Trying to pull instructions together now).

Does the Cuben make sense in this application?

No ..... the Sil is the hands down winner in my mind. Durability, expense, and ease of working with makes the one ounce penalty well worth it.

However .... a 8x10 sil tarp is one pound. A 8x9 Cuben tarp comes in at 8 ounces. That's a huge difference in pack weight.

You get what you pay for I guess ....

I realize that you didn't ask for a treatise on materials .... but you pushed my thought button ....