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Solo Cuben Fiber Tarp
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Lawson Kline
(Mountainfitter) - M

Locale: LawsonEquipment.com
Solo Cuben Fiber Tarp on 03/09/2010 21:15:01 MST Print View

Hey Everyone,

As some of you know I own an online outdoor gear retail shop and have been looking to manufacture some of my own products in the future. This means from time to time I kick around potential product ideas looking for feedback.

Anyways a few months back I started experimenting with building a solo cuben fiber tarp. I mentioned it on here then but didn't get much feedback besides a few people wanting to order one. I have ironed out a lot of the details but I would like to know more what potential users would want.

Heres how it looks so far:
66" wide in the front
42" wide in the rear
102" long ridge line
3.5 oz base weight

What do you guys think? Is it sized right? Is the weight good? What changes would you like to see?




Oh and by the way I have a commercial interest in making these.

R Alsborg
(FastWalker) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
Re: Solo Cuben Fiber Tarp on 03/09/2010 22:18:39 MST Print View

Will your tarp have a catenary ridgeline?

What thickness/weight Cuban do you propose to use to achieve a 3.5oz base weight?

Do you have a target price in mind for your tarp?

Will you offer a warranty on materials and workmanship?

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Solo Cuben Fiber Tarp on 03/09/2010 22:40:13 MST Print View

What thickness/weight Cuban do you propose to use to achieve a 3.5oz base weight?

Like a tiny, Castro?

Lawson Kline
(Mountainfitter) - M

Locale: LawsonEquipment.com
Questions on 03/09/2010 22:51:51 MST Print View

"Will your tarp have a catenary ridgeline?"

A catenary ridgeline is still in the air. It will add to the cost and I am not sure that its needed. I have built both versions and haven't been able to notice much of a difference. In theory it distributes the load better and provides a better pitch but I am not sure this is the case in real world conditions. I think this mainly has to do with the fact that the fabric has no stretch. I however have noticed some improvement using catenary sides.


"What thickness/weight Cuban do you propose to use to achieve a 3.5oz base weight?"

CT2K.08 which is .75oz per square yard.


"Do you have a target price in mind for your tarp?"

I am not sure as of yet. As everyone knows the material is super expensive and putting one together is pretty labor intensive. I would love to be in the $150+/- range.


"Will you offer a warranty on materials and workmanship?"

I would warranty all workmanship but I am not sure about the materials. If I move forward and decide to manufacture these I would send a few out for testing to see where potential failure points might be. I have done some testing but would like to test in more harsh environments.

Hendrik Morkel
(skullmonkey) - MLife

Locale: Finland
Hmmmm on 03/10/2010 02:09:12 MST Print View

$150+ is very cheap. If you're able to offer them at that price, I am certain you'll get a few orders in.

Lawson Kline
(Mountainfitter) - M

Locale: LawsonEquipment.com
Colors on 03/10/2010 09:37:16 MST Print View

What colors would you guys like to see? Standard Gray or colors?

Ike Mouser
(isaac.mouser) - F
hammocks in the picture? on 03/10/2010 10:06:12 MST Print View

Are you going to be making any for hammocks, similar to the maccat or otherwise with cat cuts.

Or could you make a custom that is 130"×104"?

If it will save me money i will take a grey, if not colors.

Edited by isaac.mouser on 03/10/2010 10:09:27 MST.

Lawson Kline
(Mountainfitter) - M

Locale: LawsonEquipment.com
Colors on 03/10/2010 11:07:13 MST Print View

"Are you going to be making any for hammocks, similar to the maccat or otherwise with cat cuts?"

I will if there is an interest. I am actually surprised only a few people have responded to this potential product. I figured I would get alot more feedback.

Ike Mouser
(isaac.mouser) - F
demand on 03/10/2010 11:10:07 MST Print View

you need to goto hammockforums.net and go into the tarp seciton and let people know, there is a huge demand there. BTW what are you using instead of stitching on your tarp, what kind of laminates. I am undertaking several cuben projects in the coming weeks and need to find what i need for it. thanks

Edited by isaac.mouser on 03/10/2010 11:11:45 MST.

Lawson Kline
(Mountainfitter) - M

Locale: LawsonEquipment.com
Cuben Fiber on 03/10/2010 11:43:10 MST Print View

Ok will do, Thanks for the suggestion.

What material would you rather see used .50oz or .75oz?

drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: Solo Cuben Fiber Tarp on 03/10/2010 11:55:05 MST Print View

I already have a lightweight tarp, so I'm good for the moment. If I got another one, I'd love to see one that holds up well in strong wind, which basically means lots of tie out points, plus a removable net would be very nice. The net would cause it to weigh much more than 3.5 ounces, but a separate bug net would weight much more anyway. Either way, a $150 price point is pretty nice.

Ike Mouser
(isaac.mouser) - F
weights and ideas on 03/10/2010 11:56:11 MST Print View

take a poll and see what people say, the site offers the ability to do polls. Off the top of my head i would go for the .75, preferring more strength, mld uses similar strength-i believe .6-.7. Im thinking about right now a way to attach 1 inch wide maybe 3-4 inch long sections of cuben to a tarp tieout point, permanently attach the guyline to the cuben by rolling/tieing it up in the piece and gluing/taping/both the piece to the tarp. Could be a way to avoid sewing/increase strengh, as cuben is HARD to tear.

Edited by isaac.mouser on 03/10/2010 12:52:29 MST.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Re: Solo Cuben Fiber Tarp on 03/10/2010 12:50:59 MST Print View

I think a few questions I would have:

Have you worked a lot with cuben in the past?

Would you be bonding the seams, gluing them, taping them, sewing them, a combination of these?

Only a solo, or a duo as well?

Ike Mouser
(isaac.mouser) - F
Re: Re: Solo Cuben Fiber Tarp on 03/10/2010 12:55:06 MST Print View

I dont think you have to have alot of tieouts to hold up in strong wind, you just have to have strong tieouts. One thing i am going to try is creating a rolled loop at the tie out point with the cuben fabric, glue and tape the loop onto the tarp seurely, and use the loop as a means to attach guylines via prussic, bowline, etc. As many know cuben is very heard to tear, and the tape/glue often is stronger than the fabric. Because of the roll you would be tripling the strength of the cuben or more, your weakest link may be your connection to the tarp. Hope to do more investigating someday when i obtain some cuben.cuben rolled guyline connector

you can see from the lower right hand corner of the pic that the extra strip (1 strip) is glued to the tarp then covered with the 2 flaps of tarp material. these flaps are not seperate pieces, they are simply cut to pattern. The extra strip is rolled/twisted/knotted somehow, then this new formed portion is secured by being glued/taped to the tarp then secured with the flaps (glued and taped to the newly formed part). A loop is formed in the extra strip and through this loop can be run guylines. Since the fabric is tripled/quadrupled on itself, the connetion is strong. Just playing with ideas.

3 = back as well, forgot to add it

Edited by isaac.mouser on 03/10/2010 13:29:33 MST.

Brett Rasmussen
(ascientist) - MLife

Locale: Grants Pass, Oregon
lack of feedback on 03/10/2010 13:33:33 MST Print View

I know the feeling. I was recently considering starting production of very light weight childrens sleeping bags. It seemed like something missing in the market. I figured it would at least have a high demand in the BPL comunity. I posted a description of the product and my intentions. Based on the responces (and lack therof) I decided not to invest in the project.

It seems to me like you would have a decent market if you could make a profit on $150.00 cuben fiber tarps. Zpacks is the only place selling I know of right now that is selling cuben fiber tarps at prices close to the cost of materials.

Personaly I already have a solo cuben fiber tarp, but if I were to buy one I would prefer the CT2K.08

Lawson Kline
(Mountainfitter) - M

Locale: LawsonEquipment.com
Cuben Tarp on 03/10/2010 13:38:07 MST Print View

"Have you worked a lot with cuben in the past?"

I have been tinkering with the stuff for a while now building various prototypes.. I actually think it's much easier to work with then Silnylon due to the fact that tape actually sticks to the stuff.


"Would you be bonding the seams, gluing them, taping them, sewing them, a combination of these?"

Everything will be taped! I have been working with other laminates for a long time now and sewing the stuff is the biggest joke I have ever heard. Mylar is not meant to be sewn especially with a straight stitch.


"Only a solo, or a duo as well?"

A duo is an option but not something I am planning to build until more testing is done on the solo.

Ross Bleakney
(rossbleakney) - MLife

Locale: Cascades
Re: Cuben Tarp on 03/10/2010 19:41:23 MST Print View

OK, this is just one guy's opinion, so take this with a grain of salt, but I wouldn't work too hard making a solo tarp. The reason is that several folks make tarps with Cuben and it will be hard to differentiate yours. It might be possible that you will make your tarp significantly cheaper, or that you might make it in just the right size for someone, but that is about it.

Now, tents, on the other hand, are a completely different story. There are so many variations on tents, that if you make something different, you can charge almost whatever you feel like. For example, I know there are a lot of folks (myself included) that would love to buy a Contrail made from Cuben Fiber and Nanoseeum netting. This is assuming, of course, that the tent saves several ounces over the silnylon version (several being 4 or more in my opinion). How much would people pay? My guess is folks would be happy with $400, but still pay at $500. There are lots of inferior tents (in my opinion) at similar prices.

Another thing I would love is the X-Rocket in Cuben/Nanoseeum. This is my favorite design for a tent. Again, I'm not sure how much weight would be saved by switching to Cuben, but if it was significant, you could sell it just fine (at almost any price). In both cases, it wouldn't hurt to pencil it out and then ask us again. In the case of the X-Rocket, you could even make it go with someone else's poncho tarp (such as MLD).

In both of these cases, you are messing around with existing designs. It wouldn't hurt to tell these folks what you are doing. Of course, tent designs aren't necessarily rocket science -- I'm sure a lot of tents have simultaneous inventors. Nonetheless, if you created tents like either of these, I would give these folks a heads up.

Lawson Kline
(Mountainfitter) - M

Locale: LawsonEquipment.com
Tents on 03/10/2010 21:57:38 MST Print View

Hey Ross,

I agree with you 100% and cuben tents is something I have been working on for a while now. The problem with tents is the cost. It would only make sense to use carbon fiber poles or no tent poles at all and utilize a trekking pole design.
A sub 1 pound tent would be easy to build. The problem is finding someone to buy it.

I plan to start off with the solo tarp then build a duo. After that maybe a few requested hammock tarp designs then a tent. In the mean time if someone wants a design custom built I am all ears.

Ross Bleakney
(rossbleakney) - MLife

Locale: Cascades
Re: Tents on 03/11/2010 16:34:33 MST Print View

I think a tent made from Cuben (and nanoseeum) should definitely use trekking poles for support. Doing otherwise seems like putting stock wheels on a Lamborghini. Of course, that doesn't mean you can't supplement the trekking poles with little poles. For example, both of the tents I mentioned can use trekking poles for the main support, but use short poles for the other end. The little poles have an advantage, as they can be lighter per length (a short, thin pole won't break as easily as a long, thin pole).

As to whether someone will buy it, I think, for the most part, the answer is yes. This assumes that you get significant savings and that the final cost isn't too high. When MLD first sold their mitts for about $40, I thought "Wow, that's a lot of money -- I'll wait until the first run is complete and the price goes down". Well, they were sold out for months (too much demand) and now the price is $45. I own a pair, by the way and I'm very happy with it.

There have been numerous threads here from people who would love to have more choices in Cuben tents and from folks who don't mind spending the extra money. I don't how hard it is for you to make estimates for this stuff. In other words, I don't how hard it would be to say "I can make a Contrail with roughly the same dimensions, but out of Cuben (.7 oz/sq/yd) and nanoseeum. It would cost about $400 and weigh about 15 ounces. Anyone interested?". If it isn't too hard to come up with those numbers and sketches of tent designs, then you could throw out a bunch of ideas (and gauge people's opinion). I think there would be lots of people interested.

I may take you up on the custom tent idea.

Lawson Kline
(Mountainfitter) - M

Locale: LawsonEquipment.com
Cuben Tents on 03/11/2010 18:19:57 MST Print View

Hey Ross,

I had been working on a cuben tunnel design using a no stretch sail laminate and got it pretty dialed in but after labor and material your talking about a two person tent with a $800-$1000 price tag.

Of the trekking pole tent designs which one do you like the best?

Would you like to see the tent be made as a one or two person?

Who currently is building the worlds lightest 1.5/2 person usable tent? How much does it weigh? How much does it cost?