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SevenD/Momentum 50/WPB Cuben/eVent Somebody stop the madness!!!
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Chase Norton
(Micronorton) - F
SevenD/Momentum 50/WPB Cuben/eVent Somebody stop the madness!!! on 01/28/2012 02:30:07 MST Print View

So maybe this is too large for a simple thread question, but lets try. Getting into the MYOG seen these days AND being an xul/sul/ul desirer can make ones head spin and dollars dwindle. So I will put a list out (feel free to add to it) and you tell me how you use it, pluses and minuses, durability tested, breathability, hell whatever you feel like, basically, lets talk fabric.


Angels made this apparently. It has been touted as the softest feeling fabric man has ever known to exist while maintaining breathability and dare I say durability? Ive seen it used as bivys but for the life of me I do not know how. Then again maybe it pairs with the 0.33 cuben bivy i saw. At the weights Ive seen it seems to give cuben a run for its money on CERTAIN gear. Seen it a lot lately in clothes, bags and anything touching the skin.

Momentum 50/55/90

The feeling is supposed to be much less desirable then SevenD, but more durable and water resistant(50 not as much as the 55 and 90). I see it going into bivys, sleeping bags, and many products in need of water resistance/proof while maintaining breathability.


God made this and for some unknown reason only shared the secret with Cubic Tech. It also is the majority of mass in clouds. That said, it is an incredible fabric that has seen a surge lately after a lot of us decided the price was somewhat justified. And it is not just about weight. No sagging, complete waterproof, resistance to tear and more. Used in many projects this days.

WPB Cuben

Then he made light and said that is good and shared it with Cubic Tech. John has pointed out that this material is the lightest WPB fabric, but does not compare( at least in numbers) to other WPB fabrics like event. With that said, it seems to be the answer in a lot of applications like bivy tops or possibly shelters that condensation is an issue?


I know really nothing of this fabric other than what I've read from you guys. Man made, man tested, everyone seems happy, but not lightweight.


Cheap, lightweight, durable, "waterproof", slippery. The first three points make me understand why some vendors are still in the medieval ages of silnylon, but personally I've experienced nothing but hell on earth using it. From slip sliding down to the bottom of tent to waking up with sagging walls soaking my insides, this is a fabric that reminds me of the crack of ul fabric.

So there is my very short list, add to them, tell me what you use them for, what hells you've experienced making gear from the fabric, the joys, other fabrics and their +-. Is one more difficult to work with? why?

Geek out on some fabric, I'm all ears

Edited by Micronorton on 01/28/2012 02:36:37 MST.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

Fabric Uses on 01/28/2012 09:53:55 MST Print View

SevenD & M55 - Sleeping bag shells (perfect!), very light down garments. You really can't go with too light of a nylon for a sleeping bag shell, as they are easy to take gentle care of.

M90 - More durable down clothing

M50 - Perfect for wind shirts, as it's a bit more breathable than M55/SevenD

Cuben - High end Tent Fly's and Tarps (0.74oz), Tent Floors (1.2 & 1.5oz), Sleeping Bag baffles (0.51oz IMO)

WPB Cuben - Very light rain gear

eVent - More durable and maximally breathable rain gear

Silnylon - Tent fly's and tarps if cuben is too pricey.

Edited by dandydan on 01/28/2012 09:55:32 MST.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Fabric Uses on 02/02/2012 18:43:43 MST Print View

Ryan's article said that silnylon can be better in tents because it stretches.

Cuben has to be cut and constructed perfectly or else it can fail - like maybe if you're doing it yourself

Sam Farrington
(scfhome) - M

Locale: Chocorua NH, USA
cuben can fail? on 02/02/2012 19:34:59 MST Print View

The message I got from Ryan J was that unless constructed perfectly, the cuben will not be taut (there were three words used, but "taut" would have sufficed).

But that does not necessarily mean it will fail, just that it will blow about and make a racket, and not look very nice, either.

There have been a lot of threads here with tests stressing cuben tie-outs to some form of failure; but haven't seen any of this happening in real use conditions with anything properly renforced at tie-outs, even if not perfectly taut.

The picture that Ryan J has used twice now, of the stitching pulling open needle holes in cuben, has not come with an explanation of what grade of cuben was used, or what reinforcement, if any, there was; and if so, how it was incorporated (bonded or sewn). For all we know, we are looking at an unreinforced piece of one of the lighter cubens with the thinner mylar, that somebody did not properly reinforce at the stitch holes. If so, of course the thread would pull at the holes in the mylar. There is a bit of 'hide the ball' going on there - quite successfully to judge from the posts.

Often when this comes up, Matt Edwards posts a pic of his cuben shaped tarp used on the CDT and other long treks. An obviously well constructed, taut shelter with no failures.

I'm waiting for someone to post about a well constructed cuben shelter where the material failed. My money is on not gonna happen, even though I do wonder why the Brooks Rocket people switched from cuben to silnylon. Spectra/Dyneema is awfully strong stuff.

Edited by scfhome on 02/02/2012 19:38:49 MST.

a b
Spinnaker, Silnylon, Momentum and Cuben.. Oh My! on 02/02/2012 20:11:58 MST Print View

I saw my first cuben tarp while on the PCT in 2009. Before that I had the impression, based on internet musings, that cuben was like tyvek.
Cuben is nothing like tyvek.
In fact it is quite ironic that i would even have chosen a cuben shaped tarp for the AT at all (used a spinnaker GG One for PCT and CDT for the record) in that; I actually thought the stuff was fragile as tissue paper and not even water resistant let alone water-proof.
Yes, that picture Ryan is using of that ridiculously constructed "tie out" gets under my skin. I certainly hope that sad excuse for a tie out is not on any commercially sold shelter, though i suspect it was created just for the exact purpose it has served.
I do think it is a bit underhanded to show that picture without explaination in the same post when using the names of gear manufacturers (even if only implied as "cottage" gear makers). I can say that i have never seen any tarp , made by cottage gear or Do-it-your-selfer, that looked as weak as that picture.
Nobody even sews Silnylon that sad.
Well my spinnaker shelter eventually lost it's "mojo" and wet out and began to leak. Ihat was after 5,000 miles, and by that point i felt i had gotten every bit of value out of the investment.
My experience with spinnaker and meeting folks actually using cuben for months at a time was what prompted me to try cuben for myself.
Someday my cuben will fail.
All things made by the hand of man do.
In the mean time, I carry 7 ounces of material where I carried 17 before.
The material absorbs NO water and gathers less condensation.
The material does not stretch, flap, or make noises in the wind and rain.
One thing for sure; Cuben has as many vehement detractors as it does supporters.
Interestingly the detractors have yet to try cuben shelters.
It is like cuben is offensive simply because it is expensive.
I can say; i WAS an early detractor myself. I even derided a fellow hiker back in April 2009 for using a cuben tarp.
I don't know what it was that exactly set me off back then but i know it was not based In reason since i had yet to use the stuff myself.
Anyhow, I can relate to all this hoopla regarding new materials.
Back in 2009 I would have cheered at Ryan's picture of the torn tie out stitching.
Today that picture seems like an unfair assault on what i know to be true of this material.
Heck, up till 2008 I had used a Chouinard pyramid made of urethane coated nylon and weighing in at 3.5 lbs. It is over 15 years old and still water tight. I could have carried that for months at a time but for that kind of hike, where ounces are multiplied by millions of steps, it makes little sense. The injury ans wear on the human body susatined while carrying "too much" gear for the intended purpose is exactly what led to my first failure at thru hiking the PCT back in 1992.
I had no intention of reapeating my mistake so the investment of $300 dollars every other thru hike seems more reasonable if it cuts 3 lbs out of my pack over the course of 7,500 miles.
At any rate I know of only one failure of cuben fiber material on the long trails. That was at the bottom of a cuben backpack and it was due to abrasion of the material panels.
The stitching was not the failure point.
The "failure" of that pack was repaired with duct tape. Duct tape sticks to cuben strongly unlike silnylon.

...WOW I must be "channeling" Nick Gatel tonight!

Edited by Ice-axe on 02/02/2012 20:35:28 MST.

Josh Leavitt
(Joshleavitt) - F

Locale: Ruta Locura
Failure on 02/03/2012 11:53:17 MST Print View

I have been using a cuben tarp(Oware) for several years now, and I had a failure my first season. The stitching? Nope. I had it pitched low and tight as we were expecting snow, when one of my travel companion's large pack goats stepped on it. It sounded like a gun shot when the panel ripped. Left a 5"X3" L shaped tear right where the hoof went through, but all the stitching is just fine.

There is allot of hocus pocus on the net when it comes to fabric.

Diplomatic Mike

Locale: Under a bush in Scotland
That photo on 02/03/2012 11:57:21 MST Print View

I'm with Matthew on that 'cuben stitch failure' photo.
Ryan is causing mischief by posting that without any other info.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

Reflective Cuben on 02/03/2012 13:07:33 MST Print View

"I do wonder why the Brooks Rocket people switched from cuben to silnylon."

Brooks Range was using the reflective/aluminized cuben in their Rocket tent (which was their only cuben shelter as far as I know). As it turned out, Cubic Tech didn't test this type of cuben enough because the reflective layer would separate from the cuben after moderate use. So the Cuben itself wasn't failing...just the adhesive used to affix the reflective layer.

Sam Farrington
(scfhome) - M

Locale: Chocorua NH, USA
Cuben on 02/03/2012 21:48:49 MST Print View

My mistake, Matt. You used your shaped cuben tarp for the AT, not the CDT. Got it.

Dan, Brooks Range could have substituted colored Cuben for the foil stuff, but they didn't. They went to silnylon. That's what I'm curious about.

Josh, I don't bring along mountain goats, but do have two shelties. Woof ... Bang!?

Edited by scfhome on 02/03/2012 21:52:43 MST.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Re That Photo on 02/03/2012 22:24:55 MST Print View

For all I know that photo could be of a poorly done MYOG tarp or something staged just to show what that kind of failure looks like. May not be a likely event but hopeufully we get some more objective data soon with follow up articles.
But speaking of that article its about wind and snow. I know lots of people here have been happy with cuban but I don't recall hearing a lot about how it handles wind and snow loading. Whats your experiences there?