Subscribe Contribute Advertise Facebook Twitter Instagram Forums Newsletter
Lighter than sil-nylon, yet durable material?
Display Avatars Sort By:
Jonathan Whitney
(WalksOn2Wheels) - F
Lighter than sil-nylon, yet durable material? on 04/17/2010 23:28:12 MDT Print View

I'm toying around with an idea for a single wall solo tent and was wondering if there were other materials to consider aside from sil-nylon available at Outdoor Fabrics Inc. Something light, breathable (though it will be vented at each end anyhow) and relatively durable. It should be able to at least last a few seasons of regular use.

I'm also open to cheap, light, yet not so durable fabrics. You know, just something to toy around with the idea/pattern before I throw any serious change at high-end material.

John Addleman
(Jaddleman) - F

Locale: Boulder
Tyvek? on 04/17/2010 23:40:47 MDT Print View

Tyvek is heavier than sil-nylon, but is gonna be the only thing cheap and breathable (unless you can get your hands on a roll of Propore, don't know if they sell that to hobbyists). Silnylon isn't breathable, by the way. Couldn't tell if you understood that. You can get Tyvek on ebay.

Jonathan Whitney
(WalksOn2Wheels) - F
Re: Tyvek? on 04/17/2010 23:55:10 MDT Print View

I didn't figure sil-nylon was breathable, but I thought there might be another option that was. At any rate, the planned structure would have a full mesh door on one end as well as a vent in the top of the vestibule and a vent on the foot end of the tent as well.

It eats me up that I have this idea. I'm WAY too busy with school to be toying around with projects.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

Lighter than Sil on 04/18/2010 00:07:55 MDT Print View

To my knowledge, the only fabrics lighter than 1.1oz silnylon (which weighs 1.3-1.4oz once the silicone is added) are spinnakker and cuben. Spinnaker is okay but kinda noisy and not that strong. Cuben is great in the 0.7oz weight, but it wouldn't be a good choice for the floor as it doesn't hold up to abrasion that well. Cuben isn't breathable but it doesn't sound like you really need that. Cuben is 100% waterproof since it's basically plastic with fibers in it. It's expensive though.

Edited by dandydan on 04/18/2010 00:09:18 MDT.

Lawson Kline
(Mountainfitter) - M

Tyvek Soft Structure.. on 04/18/2010 00:12:42 MDT Print View

Tyvek soft structure is a hair lighter then silnylon and is more breathable then gore-tex...As long as you don't camp in a area that gets alot of rainfall you will be good to go.. Plus you can use seam stick instead of stitching.

Jonathan Whitney
(WalksOn2Wheels) - F
Re: Tyvek Soft Structure.. on 04/18/2010 00:57:13 MDT Print View

Seam stick, eh? Where could I find details on this? It sounds like a good bit of tyvek along with a seam stick would be a great setup to mock up quick prototypes.

Lawson Kline
(Mountainfitter) - M

Seam Stick on 04/18/2010 09:55:29 MDT Print View

Seam Stick is sailmakers tape...It is a two sided pressure sensitive acrylic transfer tape.. The common one on here is 3M 9485PC which you can buy retail at alot of places online like rs huges, uline and sailrite.. It costs about $20-30 a roll depending on where you go and how wide of rolls you buy.. I would personally use a 3/4"-1" lap seam to help for peel strength since Tyvek isn't the worlds strongest material. Send me an email if you need any further pointers..

Douglas Ray

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Tyvek Soft Structure on 04/18/2010 10:52:33 MDT Print View

Speaking of Tyvek soft structure does anyone here have experience with using it for a bivy?

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Tyvek Soft Structure on 04/18/2010 12:44:20 MDT Print View

Look up and right and click on "Advanced Search".

Enter tyvek bivy, click on the "all words" button, then Search.

Nate Meinzer
(Rezniem) - F

Locale: San Francisco
Bivy on 04/18/2010 13:31:02 MDT Print View

You can also use the material from a DriDucks poncho for a bivy top. Very light, cheap, breathable, but very prone to abrasion, so it's only suitable for the bivy top. If you're good with MYOG, I think it'd be better than a goretex or momentum bivy or even eVent, since the weight, price, and breathability can't be beat.

Ivo Vanmontfort
(Ivo) - MLife
tyvek on 04/18/2010 14:35:47 MDT Print View

I used tyvek for making a shelter and a bivy
This photo shows its weakness
You must seamstich and stiching tyvek I think.
So it’s much stronger
Did some tests
Now i’m only use silnylon for making shelters
IMO: tyvek is too "soft"

Backpack Jack
(jumpbackjack) - F

Locale: Armpit of California
re tyvek on 04/19/2010 08:16:40 MDT Print View

Ivo do you still have those plans for the bivy and shelter? I really like the design and would like to give it a try. you can pm me or email me Thanks Jack

Samuel C Farrington
(scfhome) - M

Locale: Chocorua NH, USA
lighter than sil-nylon, breathable and durable material on 04/20/2010 00:35:07 MDT Print View

The only thing i know of that approaches your specs is the new material being used on the W/B Black Diamond Tents, unless you consider also the material on the Marmot Membrain Strata jackets.

Don't know where you can buy either of those by the yard, and it may not make any difference, anyway. A strong argument has been made on this site and elsewhere that while W/B material works OK in clothing, where it is close to the source of the the vapor (your skin), it doesn't work very well at all from a distance, as with a tent canopy.
So ventilation and mesh protective panels are the only good answer for a single wall tent, so the argument goes.

At one point, I was sold on Epic Malibu (1.7 oz/sq yd), until I read all the accounts of its failure in prolonged heavy rain, which is my primary reason for lugging a tent in the first place. And BD has dropped it. Have a lot of it that I would be glad to sell you cheap if interested.

Am inclined toward thinking that the strong argument is right, and have focused my efforts on designing a single wall of non-breathable fabric with netting panels at the sides head and foot, and lots of ventilation. Tarptents are one example. I think this approach will be substantially lighter than a double wall, but of course will have much less insulative value, and no inner tent to catch and divert drips from condensation or leaks.

As you can tell from the threads on this forum, the ultimate light weight tent is still a work in progress, and nobody has all or even most of the answers.

Good Luck!

Nia Schmald
(nschmald) - MLife
Samuel Farrington - Epic Malibu on 06/23/2010 14:30:16 MDT Print View

If you still have it I would be interested in getting about 6 yards of your epic malibu. Please contact me at xxx at zzz. Thanks.

Edited by nschmald on 08/20/2010 21:49:59 MDT.

Don Miller
(UlTipiGuru) - F

Locale: IOWA
1.1 oz ripstop on 06/29/2010 07:49:40 MDT Print View

Lighter then sil-nylon and breathable....sounds like 1.1 oz untreated ripstop is what you are looking for.