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duo mid life span
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hunter nelson
(hunt4car) - F
duo mid life span on 11/03/2009 17:07:37 MST Print View

I am considering buying a cuben fiber duo mid. If i buy somthing for $400 or more i want it to last a life time.So will it last that long, if not how long will it last and will it last a life time if i get realy strong cuben?

What else should i cansider before buying it?

John G
(JohnG10) - F

Locale: Mid-Atlantic via Upstate NY
Durability on 11/03/2009 19:06:19 MST Print View

My understanding is that Cuben fiber takes more force to tear, but is eaier to get hole in - compared to Silnylon. ie: It will take higher winds to rip the fabric where the tie-outs attach, but you will have to be careful to avoid putting your finger through it when pulling it out of the stuff sack.

For super light fabrics, I don't think higher price corresponds to higher durability, just lighter weight (and in Cuben's case, also lower stretch and greater water reistance). If you make the fabric thicker, it will be more durable. At what point is this just extra "unnecessary" weight ? It depends on how careful you are willing to be. Also, if you make the fabric thicker it will stand up to more years of abrasion / wear-and-tear. If it only lasts 5 years, but is 1/4 the weight - is this worth the cost difference to you ?

hunter nelson
(hunt4car) - F
hmmm on 11/03/2009 21:05:24 MST Print View

what kind of cuben do they use .6?
would spintex be better.

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Re: duo mid life span on 11/03/2009 21:30:36 MST Print View

Hunter, it will depend on where or what conditions you are using your shelter in - I have 4 cuben fiber shelters/tents and they are rock solid. Probably not a good idea to use on the summit of Denali but they are great for standard hiking. If you can push your finger through the 0.6 oz/yd cuben that MLD offers, you can have my first born.

hunter nelson
(hunt4car) - F
duo mid life span on 11/03/2009 22:11:05 MST Print View

steven do you think you will be able to keep your cuben shelters in working order long enough to hand them down to your grand children...if not how long until your selling us cuben stuff sacks on gear swap that you made with some ''cuben you had lying around'' :)

David Wills
(willspower3) - F
Re: duo mid life span on 11/03/2009 23:13:01 MST Print View

You will be hard pressed to find much any UL gear to hand down to grandkids, depending on your age of course. If you want an UL tent to last 20 years of regular use and still be in good shape, you aren't hiking enough.
I like to base my durability tests on whether or not something would survive a thru hike still in full working condition, or be understood to be replaced 'x' number of times, if the cost is worth it.

I find silnylon to be a near miracle fabric with regards to the weight-cost-durability paradigm, which explains its wide use in UL shelters. I would expect a silnylon shelter to get a few hundred nights use before needing retirement when used with care. like a car, it has a point in its life where its just better to write it off.

If 1.3 silnylon isnt durable enough for you, you may want to consider a custom shelter from MLD or Oware from 2.2 silnylon. Avoid urethane coated fabrics- they are weaker than silicone impregnated counterparts.

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Re: duo mid life span on 11/04/2009 06:14:00 MST Print View

David has a great response above.

If my grandfather gave me his old tent from when he was 30, I'd probably not get much use out of it. In 50 years (estimation of when I'll have my first grandchild) cuben fiber will be so heavy that a 10 ounce fully enclosed shelter will be unacceptable in the UL community. :)

Chris W
(simplespirit) - MLife

Locale: .
Re: duo mid life span on 11/04/2009 06:46:39 MST Print View

In 50 years (estimation of when I'll have my first grandchild) cuben fiber will be so heavy that a 10 ounce fully enclosed shelter will be unacceptable in the UL community. :)

I hope that's not true. I think we've already hit a point where the weight/durability trade-off is nearing 50/50. There will be a lot of waste if we start buying single-use shelters just to save a couple more ounces. Well, unless someone starts making a recyclable cuben. It's not recyclable currently, is it?

Brad Groves
(4quietwoods) - MLife

Locale: Michigan
Re: duo mid life span on 11/05/2009 08:58:44 MST Print View

Some good comments above.

I guess the most important point from my perspective is that you either want "bombproof" gear or you want "ultralight" gear... the two are more or less mutually exclusive. Some ultralight stuff can be plenty durable, but it depends on how you use it. When I hear someone say they want gear that'll last a lifetime, those tend to be the people who use gear kind of hard. Of people I've met, they tend to be the ones who want gear they can toss in the back of the truck with the firewood and chains and not worry about the gear, you know? If it's something that you'll treat with care and respect each time you use it, any gear will last immeasurably longer.

If you want heirloom gear, you don't want gossamer fabrics. You want canvas and wool. Something like Filson. But then instead of a rain jacket, for example, that weighs 5 ounces you'll be talking about a rain jacket that weighs around 3 pounds.

I don't have nearly as much experience with cuben as others on this site yet, but the limited experiences I've had are that the "heavier" laminates are plenty durable. I'd be surprised if they aren't actually more durable than silnylon, but I guess that all depends on your reference points.

Sanad Toukhly
(Red_Fox) - MLife

Locale: South Florida
Re: duo mid life span on 11/05/2009 09:07:18 MST Print View

There's nothing wrong with gear that's a little banged up as long as it's still functional... I've found that duct tape will significantly extend the life of your gear.


Nia Schmald
(nschmald) - MLife
Re: duo mid life span on 11/05/2009 09:37:27 MST Print View

I too was worried about the durability of cuben when I bought a tarp made out of the .6 oz/sq yd stuff.

So I was nervous taking the cuben tarp on a pct thru-hike. In the end I didn't really baby it at all and it is still in the same shape as when I started.

I find the tails of cubens lack of durability to be greatly exaggerated. Just avoid doing stupid things (like hanging cuben on a cactus to dry) and you'll get many years out of it.