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$59.00 an ounce?
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John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
$59.00 an ounce? on 01/19/2011 20:09:31 MST Print View

I ran the numbers just out of curiosity and my jaw dropped!

I recently made a top quilt of .9 ounce DWR breathable ripstop from OWFInc. Using a round number of 5 linear yards of material my cost for the fabric would be $50.50.

Using the same linear quantity of .7 ounce DWR breathable nylon in M50 would cost $109.75!

The M50 is 56" wide and the ripstop from OWFInc. is 60" wide. Unless I'm mistaken though the fabric weights are per square yard. 36" x 36".

So 5 square yards of M50 totals out to 3.5 ounces and the material from OWFInc. in the same quantity totals out to 4.5 ounces.

At its manufactured width 5 linear yards of M50 would yield 7.77 square yards. The same linear amount of the OWFInc. ripstop would yield 8.33 square yards. The raw uncut M50 material would weigh 5.44 ounces total and the OWFInc. ripstop in the same condition would weigh 7.50 ounces. The uncut material differs in weight by 2.06 ounces. Compared in equal sized amounts of 5 square yards the difference drops to 1 ounce.

I don't know how willing I'd be to spend an extra $59.00 over and above and in addition to my original investment to save one ounce on another MYOG quilt!

Are we buying the latest and greatest at a premium because it is simply the latest? Will the price become more reasonable as the supply of M50 catches up with the demand?

Party On,


Edited by Newton on 01/19/2011 20:13:02 MST.

Javan Dempsey

Locale: The-Stateless-Society
Re: $59.00 an ounce? on 01/19/2011 20:46:39 MST Print View

Really puts things into perspective doesn't it? ;)

Jamie's 11oz quilt sound impressive (and is), but when you compare what the same quilt done with OWF's 0.9oz "Intrepid" would weigh, you realize the premium you're paying.

I'm not sure his exact dimensions, but considering what my average quilt's fabric+baffle weights are, and the amount of fill he used, He cant have saved more than about 2oz if that.

Although I should mention, the owf fabric is *very* similar to M90, both weigh more like 1.05oz per sq yard. So the math isn't exactly right.

John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Re: Re: $59.00 an ounce? on 01/19/2011 22:29:08 MST Print View


Thanks for the more accurate weight information on OWF's 0.9oz "Intrepid". I didn't see the "finished weight" stated on OWF's site as it is for the M90 elsewhere.

Without totally recalculating I'd just add .75 oz to the differences between the two fabrics to correct my error. (1.05 - .9 = .15 x 5 = .75) ;-)

2.06 ounces becomes 2.81 ounces and 1 ounce becomes 1.75 ounces.

The question comes to mind; Would I be able to get a good night's sleep underneath my ultralight top quilt if the thought of how much more it cost is keeping me awake at night?

I can remember when a VCR cost $1000.00 and now they can be had for less than $100.00. I wonder if we're on the crest of the wave right now. I think I'll wait until the surf calms down and the waves are gently washing up on shore before I jump into the M50 sea.

Thanks again Javan for the gentlemanly correction of my math. ;-)

Party On,


Ben Egan

Locale: The Grid, Brooklyn
VCR on 01/20/2011 02:46:24 MST Print View

Alright, thread jack:

VCRs used to cost $1000?!?!?! wow. I believe it I guess though. And <100? I just did a quick ebay search, and John if you act within the next 7 hours and 16 minutes it looks like one can be yours for 2.75 or something! Plus shipping, naturally.

End thread jack.

Though I agree, this just made me reconsider my fabric choice for my soon-to-be quilt. Looks like I need to take a step back. I'm sure I've made this mistake in my kit elsewhere (Laufbursche pack, definitely), but I can happily take some less totally amazing DWR fabric for just a teensy bit more weight.

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
Re: $59.00 an ounce? on 01/20/2011 04:05:29 MST Print View

Yeah, I knew that. This is not real bad.
In competition circles, bike racing parts can cost as much as $150 per *gram* to save weight.

UL packing and getting the most modern up to date stuff, is always expensive. For price vs performance, you are always better off with last years model. For the elusive Ultra Lightest Light stuff, it is gonna cost.

Mantenence and durability are NOT factored in, either...just the cost of new stuff.

Matt F
(matt_f) - MLife
You're right on 01/20/2011 06:52:38 MST Print View

I am one of the culprits here: I made a top bag (quilt top, single layer bottom with zipper) out of M50. I previously made a similar, but warmer bag out of a thru-hiker kit in M90 for slightly cheaper. Regarding the very high cost of M50, I agree: for my purposes I saved 3 ounces on the shell, and paid quite a premium for it.

For better or worse, I justified this by considering the following:

At this point I save a lot of money by making my own stuff. I came about this project because I wanted a sub-pound three-season bag, and looked at my options. The only similar product I found was through Nunatak, and would have cost me $400+. After selling some extra down and materials I did this for about $165 and still have left over M50 for a balaclava, stuff sacks, etc. Not cheap, but much less expensive than any alternate options for the weight, and most people would consider $165 for a high end UL sleeping bag to be a steal. Also, when it seems appropriate, I do like to support cottage manufacturers and companies/people that seem to be promoting ultralight backpacking and developing/sourcing quality materials.

Admittedly though, I didn't 'need' a bag made from M50, I wanted one, and talked myself into buying the materials. I had some gift money from the holidays, and making an awesome new sleeping bag with exactly the materials I wanted seemed like a pretty cool way to spend that money. I think that most people would be very well served by buying thw OWFINC 0.9 ripstop and 800 fill down (less expensive than the 900 fp from thru-hiker). I think in the end I'm happy we have options, as I trend toward trying to have a simple, relatively inexpensive backpacking kit, and I think MYOG is a great way to pursue this.


John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Re: You're right on 01/20/2011 07:23:08 MST Print View


I agree and understand all points made.

I got into MYOG becuase I wanted all the good, light and expensive stuff but couldn't afford the price tag.

Strangely enough I found that not only could I save money but I actually enjoyed the MYOG process almost as much as my hiking trips. Yes I am a hiking gearhead. ;-)

At this point my tarp, bivy, pack, stuff sacks and top quilt are all homemade MYOG. I've saved a ton of $$$ and had a great time making it all. But I think it was "Retired Jerry" who made the comment that he hasn't saved any money because he is always making newer versions of his gear. ;-)

I resemble that remark! ;-)

Party On,


Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

Worth It? on 01/20/2011 14:44:24 MST Print View

Without really getting in to the numbers, it seems that most people are saving about 3oz off a sleeping quilt by using M50 rather than M90. In addition to being mentioned by a poster in this thread, I believe that is also how much weight MLD claims this stuff saves on one of their spirit quilts versus M90.

So it seems that spending an extra $59 might save you 3oz, which is about $20/oz.

IMO, that's pretty reasonable if you are a UL gear geek. I've definitely paid quite a bit more than this in the past....up to $30-$40/oz.

Keep in mind that in this case you are saving weight and the only significant downside is the cost. This is pretty awesome. Usually when you save weight there are one or several other downsides that are present as well...and these other downsides affect you daily on the trail. With money, you spend it once and then you own a superior piece of gear for a long time and there are no downsides affecting you on the trail.

For example, a single wall silnylon tent could save me weight but then I'd have to deal with condensation, a slippery floor, and borderline waterproofness regularly on the trail. I've tried these tents and I don't like them even if they are lighter and cheaper. I'd much rather spend a bit more money to save that weight instead of accepting these limitations. You spend money once and then you get to enjoy great lightweight gear for a long time. It's not like buying a superlight rain jacket where you save weight but for the life of the garment you have to be worried about tearing holes in it.

Edited by dandydan on 01/20/2011 14:46:24 MST.

Javan Dempsey

Locale: The-Stateless-Society
Re: Worth It? on 01/20/2011 16:44:09 MST Print View

Dan, I ran the math on very conservative rough dimensions of my average quilt sizes, and it's showing me 1.85oz. So I wouldn't count on saving more than 2oz.

The exception might be Matt's top bag, which uses a bit more fabric, but I'm still guessing it can't be more than 2.5.

So, I don't mean to disqualify the advantage, I've recommended it as an option to a couple of customers looking to meet a specific target weight, but I don't want people misunderstanding what they're getting.

I've gotten some samples recently, it's very nice fabric. Definitely as slippery as sil, surprisingly strong.

Jamie Shortt
(jshortt) - MLife

Locale: North Carolina
re: $59.00 an ounce? on 01/20/2011 17:56:52 MST Print View

I haven't had a chance to read all the post, so hopefully I don't repeat.

On the subject of my quilt. I estimated that a using M90 would increase the weight of my quilt by 1.99 oz. So the question is..."is this worh the extra money?".

I think the answer comes in what brings value to "you" or in this case "me".

* So first $/oz. I saved ~2oz for $40 (M90 kit = $160 vs M50 = $200) so my cost was $20/oz. Where I am at with base weight this is a no brainer for me. Yes it is worth it!

* But really you also need to compare it to whats on the market. The closest options to my quilt are probably JRB and nunatak. Not only did I drop oz, but it didn't cost me a thing because I made it vs bought. Again Yes!

* I also consider buying M50 from thru-hiker as a way of supporting the advancement of newly developed materials for MYOG (see Ron's post). If noone buys the M50 why should Ayce put money into making it available in the future. I feel good about supporting what we do. I am making a difference by how I spend my money.

* One of the main reasons I was driven to buy the material is for my own learning. I have learned so much about outdoors, about backpacking, and even my self by making my own gear and I know I must continue to do so. I think it makes me better. Part of this is trying to make a small contribution with new designs and materials. I now know how to sew this material, I know exactly what it weighs, I know how it holds down, I plan to know how it sheds water, keeps me warms, etc. Cutting edge learning is priceless.

* Lastly its hard to value owning something that is extremely rare, but anyone with an M50 quilt with 900 fp down owns an exceptional piece of gear that only a handfull of people on the planet own. Diamonds...everyone has these, but not so what it comes to an M50 quilt.

So lets see I spent $40 extra to save 2 oz, support development of new materials, teach myself something new, and own something few people on the planet own. I don't know that I have ever made a better purchase in my life....except for my BPL membership:)


John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Re: re: $59.00 an ounce? on 01/20/2011 19:31:42 MST Print View

When our youngest son was about 11 years old he had some Christmas money to spend. He wanted an NFL Pro style football. They were selling for approxiamtely $65.00 at the time. The sales clerk tried to steer him towards a ball known as the Duke. It had the same construction and materials and sold for $40.00. The only difference was that it did not have the gold leaf lettering and a signature of the then NFL commissioner, Pete Rozelle. Our son was adamant that it had to be the real thing. the sales clerk relented saying, "You go ahead and buy the pro ball then because it won't mean as much to you if you don't get the one that you really want".

Had the M50 been available when I set out to make my "barber pole" top quilt I might have very possibly dove in headlong and spent the extra $59.00 to have the latest and the greatest and lightest. It would have been tempting.

Since Javan corrected my errant math I believe that I could have saved myself 1.75 ounces of weight on my quilt. The cost per ounce would have been $33.71.

MYOG is about the individual choosing what design, material and methods suit his or her purpose and needs. The choice of materials is strictly subjective.

Personally I'd like to wait in hopes for the supply of M50 to increase, the price to decrease and the color palate to be more varied.

To all of you who chose to be ahead of the curve I salute you for "blazing the trail" for us.

Party On,


Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

M50 on 01/21/2011 01:38:57 MST Print View

Supply and color availability should improve this spring I believe. I'm don't think the price will improve anytime soon though.