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John Addleman
(Jaddleman) - F

Locale: Boulder
Is spinnaker dead on 04/06/2010 12:18:54 MDT Print View

With companies getting more comfortable using Cuben, is there even a place in the market for Spinnaker any more? Cuben is more expensive, but I think the absolute waterproofness, significant weight savings, and increased durability are worth it.

What do other people think? Are there still valid applications for spinnaker?

Alex Gilman
(Vertigo) - F

Locale: Washington
Yes there are on 04/06/2010 12:46:18 MDT Print View

I typically set a spinnaker when reaching or running.

Ike Mouser
(isaac.mouser) - F
i love it on 04/06/2010 12:52:30 MDT Print View

i love my maccat deluxe spinn tarp, 11oz. Massive coverage for my hammock. However i will gladly order a cuben one when it becomes reasonable in regards to price. Right now, there is a monopoly on cuben fiber.

. .
(biointegra) - MLife

Locale: Puget Sound
Re: Is spinnaker dead on 04/06/2010 13:12:46 MDT Print View

The way I see it, spinnaker has the characteristic of having very little stretch, is often made of polyester, which has inherently higher UV resistance and hydrophobic qualities, when compared to nylons, such as sil-nylon. It is also significantly less expensive than Cuben fiber, although it is probably the most easily damaged of the three, by abuse or trauma. The best thing that Spinnaker seems to have going for it is that it seems to have come down in price lately.

(+++ = best)

Cuben = $$$ / no stretch / UV ++ / abrasion + / weight +++ / waterproof +++ / strength +++

Spinnaker = $$ / no stretch / UV +++ / abrasion + / weight ++ / waterproof ++ / strength +

SilNylon = $ / stretch / UV + / abrasion ++ / weight + / waterproof + / strength ++

The many different manufacturers of Spinnaker and many different weights of Cuben obviously skew, so do consider them as well.

Where is Christopher Graf? - he is a big fan of Spinnaker and Glen VP of Gossamer Gear seems to still be using it more than anything else for his shelters.

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Locale: DON'T LOOK DOWN!!
Re: Re: Is spinnaker dead on 04/06/2010 13:32:36 MDT Print View

Spinnaker is alot less 'see through' than cuben. A consideration for some.

David Olsen
(oware)

Locale: Steptoe Butte
Re: Re: Is spinnaker dead on 04/06/2010 13:58:07 MDT Print View

"The way I see it, spinnaker has the characteristic of having very little stretch, is often made of polyester, which has inherently higher UV resistance and hydrophobic qualities, when compared to nylons, such as sil-nylon. It is also significantly less expensive than Cuben fiber, although it is probably the most easily damaged of the three, by abuse or trauma. The best thing that Spinnaker seems to have going for it is that it seems to have come down in price lately.

(+++ = best)

Cuben = $$$ / no stretch / UV ++ / abrasion + / weight +++ / waterproof +++ / strength +++

Spinnaker = $$ / no stretch / UV +++ / abrasion + / weight ++ / waterproof ++ / strength +

SilNylon = $ / stretch / UV + / abrasion ++ / weight + / waterproof + / strength ++

The many different manufacturers of Spinnaker and many different weights of Cuben obviously skew, so do consider them as well.

Where is Christopher Graf? - he is a big fan of Spinnaker and Glen VP of Gossamer Gear seems to still be using it more than anything else for his shelters."


--- Domestic Silnylon is treated to be UV resistant, and
I would argue that when you use a thinner thread ie. lower
denier as is in most silicone coated spinnaker, you increase
the surface area of the material and expose more to the
sunlight. Also reducing the silicone coating thickness will
decrease strength and waterproofness of the fabric.

That said, I think spinnaker, when used in a well designed
shelter, can save a bit of weight when used with thought.

. .
(biointegra) - MLife

Locale: Puget Sound
UV resistance and hydrostatic head comparison on 04/06/2010 14:39:57 MDT Print View

@David - thanks for posting, as you have much more experience with building quality shelters than most of us!

I surely agree with your statement when comparing nylon to nylon.

In labeling the UV resistance slightly higher with Spinnaker, I was referring only to the Polyester based versions. These would seem to me to have a more inherent UV resistance, even though the nylon might be coated slightly more. We are probably not talking a significant percentage here, but Polyester usually holds up better under prolonged UV.

Polyester is also more hydrophobic (the threads themselves) than Nylon, but that doesn't necessarily make it more waterproof - so perhaps I may have been a bit presumptuous in that detail.

Can anyone comment on the relative hydrostatic head of the above mentioned fabrics?

Edited by biointegra on 04/06/2010 17:05:21 MDT.

Bradford Rogers
(Mocs123) - MLife

Locale: Southeast Tennessee
Re: UV resistance and hydrostatic head comparison on 04/06/2010 15:03:08 MDT Print View

I have experiaced some "misting" with silnylon but have never had that happen with Spinnaker even in very hard rains. From what I hear, both can withstand about 2psi. I can't explain why I have had better luck with Spinnaker, but I have.

Larry De La Briandais
(Hitech) - F

Locale: SF Bay Area
Re: Yes there are on 04/06/2010 16:27:27 MDT Print View

"I typically set a spinnaker when reaching or running."

It's almost required when running. ;^)

The question is symmetrical or asymmetrical?

Hendrik Morkel
(skullmonkey) - MLife

Locale: Finland
Alive and kicking! on 04/07/2010 01:07:22 MDT Print View

I see no reason why spinnaker should be on the way of demise. The above comparison of price, waterproofness, UV resistance, abrasion, etc. shows there is a definite gap between Silnylon and Cuben, which is filled just fine by spinnaker. Gossamer Gear still makes the majority of their shelters in spinnaker, and also MLD offers spinnaker tarps.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
"Is spinnaker dead"--NO!!! on 04/07/2010 01:44:45 MDT Print View

I'm extremely happy with my Gossamer Gear/Tarptent Squall Classic. It's the 2009 version with (hooray) a zippered vestibule--no velcro! It's nice and roomy for me and my 80-lb. dog. It would be a pretty snug fit for two adults, though.

Mike McHenry
(mtmche2) - F
Is Spinnaker Dead on 04/07/2010 01:49:45 MDT Print View

I sure hope not! My GG SpinnTwinn hasn't seen the light of day yet...

Mainstream backpacking has hardly heard of Spinnaker. It still has a long way to trickle until its demise. It stands to reason that we will see Sil Nylon die before Spinnaker, no?

Noel Hong
(arborrider08) - F

Locale: SouthShore of Lake Superior
Not unless the price of Cuben drops. on 04/07/2010 16:46:55 MDT Print View

Cuben at ~1/2 the weight of Spinn was tempting. Added up the costs for a DIY Cuben tarp. Ended up more than a stock Spinn tarp. Too expensive for my checkbook.