Forum Index » GEAR » Why Aren't There Many X-Pac Packs Out There?


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J M
(Hmr3D) - F
Why Aren't There Many X-Pac Packs Out There? on 04/10/2012 17:26:40 MDT Print View

Seems like a great tough, somewhat waterproof material (not sure what 200psi translates into for real world use), but I'm not finding any packs that use a lot of it. Ideally I'd like something ~50L, internal frame, and under 3lbs.

Chris W
(simplespirit) - MLife

Locale: WNC
Re: Why Aren't There Many X-Pac Packs Out There? on 04/10/2012 17:29:18 MDT Print View

The only two companies I know of using it are Wild Things and Cilo Gear.

Clayton Mauritzen
(GlacierRambler) - F

Locale: NW Montana
Re: Re: Why Aren't There Many X-Pac Packs Out There? on 04/10/2012 17:40:06 MDT Print View

The new Mountain Hardwear Thruway makes selective use of it (VX-40 I believe?). Check out Dave's impressions on it here.

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=59678

Chris W
(simplespirit) - MLife

Locale: WNC
Re: Re: Re: Why Aren't There Many X-Pac Packs Out There? on 04/10/2012 17:46:27 MDT Print View

It's DX-40, but yes, MH and maybe some others are using it selectively in their packs.

Chris Zimmer on here can probably make you something custom as well.

Edited by simplespirit on 04/10/2012 17:48:32 MDT.

J M
(Hmr3D) - F
This sucks on 04/10/2012 17:50:47 MDT Print View

Maybe I'm off base here, but I've yet to see another fabric that's as tough, waterproof, and light. I'm surprised there aren't any full x-pac options out there. I love me some bomber, lightweight, (stand-alone) highly waterproof gear.

Nathan Watts
(7sport) - MLife
Re: This sucks on 04/10/2012 17:53:46 MDT Print View

I would say Cuben qualifies as tough, waterproof, and light.

Chris W
(simplespirit) - MLife

Locale: WNC
Re: Re: This sucks on 04/10/2012 17:56:41 MDT Print View

I would say Cuben qualifies as tough, waterproof, and light.

Depends on the Cuben. The material Hyperlite Mountain Gear is using is pretty close to the VX versions of Xpac in regards to waterproofness and toughness for real-world usage. Zpacks is also using something similar in at least one of their packs.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: Re: Re: Re: Why Aren't There Many X-Pac Packs Out There? on 04/10/2012 17:56:41 MDT Print View

I would also add spectra, dyneema, and dyneema gridstop in that group.

Mystery Ranch uses X-pac in some of their packs.

Chris W
(simplespirit) - MLife

Locale: WNC
Re: Why Aren't There Many X-Pac Packs Out There? on 04/10/2012 17:59:47 MDT Print View

DyneemaX (or gridstop or whatever) is a PU coated fabric and the coating eventually wears off, so at least from a waterproof durability standpoint it doesn't compare to the laminates. I can't speak to woven dyneema (or spectra...same thing) since I haven't seen them in person.

J M
(Hmr3D) - F
Re: Re: This sucks on 04/10/2012 18:04:20 MDT Print View

I'm obviously somewhat of a noob, but Cuben just doesn't strike me as being nearly as tough as x-pac (though it may still be considered tough in the world of ultralight backpacking).

Well, if x-pac isn't an option (outside of $$$ custom), is there a pack anyone is thinking of that's ~50L & is <3lb/internal frame?

J M
(Hmr3D) - F
ns on 04/10/2012 18:15:56 MDT Print View

x-pac...stuff's bomberxpsad

Edited by Hmr3D on 04/10/2012 18:57:08 MDT.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: Re: Why Aren't There Many X-Pac Packs Out There? on 04/10/2012 18:21:35 MDT Print View

Eventually can be a long time depending on how long you use the fabric and how you use it.

Chris W
(simplespirit) - MLife

Locale: WNC
Re: Why Aren't There Many X-Pac Packs Out There? on 04/10/2012 18:26:49 MDT Print View

It can be for sure, but I've seen quite a few examples with less than a year of use. :-)

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: Re: Why Aren't There Many X-Pac Packs Out There? on 04/10/2012 18:29:56 MDT Print View

I need to get out more.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Why Aren't There Many X-Pac Packs Out There? on 04/10/2012 18:59:27 MDT Print View

Simple answer: cost.
There are cheaper fabrics out there.

Cheers

Ron Bell
(mountainlaureldesigns) - F - M

Locale: USA
Re: Re: Re: Why Aren't There Many X-Pac Packs Out There? on 04/10/2012 19:08:55 MDT Print View

opps- double post

Edited by mountainlaureldesigns on 04/10/2012 19:14:58 MDT.

Ron Bell
(mountainlaureldesigns) - F - M

Locale: USA
Re: Re: Re: Why Aren't There Many X-Pac Packs Out There? on 04/10/2012 19:13:56 MDT Print View

Hi J.M.

There are a lot of different X Pac fabrics and there are a lot of different type Cuben fabrics.

Perhaps the first thing that helps on comparing pack fabrics is the base weight of the fabric itself. I will generalize the following info so you can see a little of what I mean- of course many pages could be written on this and it would still not be perfectly clear....oh well...

The Dyneema X that we use - and similar dyneema gridstop fabrics used by many others- is about 4oz sq/yd

Some lighter dyneema gridstop is in use at about 3oz sq/yd but it's less than half the strength of the 4oz and really only save a couple oz's in the finished pack.

The Cuben that a few smaller pack makers use is about 3- 4oz sq/yd- but some use heavier styles for some packs - especially burly climbing packs.

The X Pac style used is mostly above 4oz sq yd. except in the MYOG circles.

Overall- each type of pack fabric has it's pluses and minuses- nothing is clearly better in all areas IMO.

A few criterion that go up and down in desirability between them all for an end user includes Durability (tear and abrasion), Water Resistance (either as a coating or other means), Price, Repairability, Color, Sustainability, Cost per day/Service Life. etc.

For a manufacturer also add sewing/construction ability/issues, dependable availability issues and over time the fabrics quality from run to run- I guess those are all mainly price issues for the end user too.

SO, if you take those fabrics in the 3-4oz range as a way to make it more apples to apples- then you can start to see some tradeoffs that make sense. For example , we have made lots of custom packs from X pac but in that weight range we think the Dyneema X is overall better- lot of needle holes in light X pac is problematic for tearing along the lines. The cuben in that wt range is very strong but expensive and I think the abrasion is bit lower until it get to the 4+oz range. Some people think the Dyneema X WP coating wears off too fast- but thats an opinion too- I know many who get multiple thru-hikes out of them just fine.

Personally, I'm thinking that if a UL 16oz $175 pack lasts 2-4000 miles and 100-200 days on the trail ( I know many of our users and other UL pack companies too get that longevity all the time) maybe that's a good deal at a bucka day for a special UL pack. Others may disagree and want 50cent or maybe 10cent per day return on investment.

In general- the heavier the pack the longer it can last assuming the base fabric is heavier and all else on the pack is the same.

For a well made SUL / UL 16oz pack what do you think is a fair cost per day for use over a reasonable service life? $2, $1 , $.50, ?

EX: Would a 6oz overall increase in a 16oz pack weight be worth bringing the avg cost of use per day down $.30?

How about the reverse? Would an increase to $2 per day cost to use be worth a 16oz pack dropping 6oz?

Everyone will have their sweet spot for the equation!

J M
(Hmr3D) - F
ns on 04/10/2012 19:37:30 MDT Print View

I understand where you're coming from. I guess my desire for a pack with a burlier fabric doesn't quite fit in to the BPL philosophy. I'm hard on my gear, and often use it when traveling overseas, so to me it's worth it to have something that is less prone to failing in the long & short-term.

For me, x-pac (I believe the DX-40 variety) is the sweet spot. It may not be the lightest thing out there, but I'll take that penalty for improved abrasion resistance and waterproofing.

Brendan Swihart
(brendans) - MLife

Locale: Fruita CO
Re: Re: Re: Re: Why Aren't There Many X-Pac Packs Out There? on 04/10/2012 20:39:01 MDT Print View

Add me to those who greatly prefer xpac to dyneema x. I think the ideal pack fabric would be basically DX40 with a lighter face fabric. Maybe 200d dyneema instead of 400d.

Samuel C. Farrington
(scfhome) - M

Locale: Chocorua NH, USA
Xpac on 04/10/2012 21:25:35 MDT Print View

JM,
Wish you had provided some more detail about the bubbly Xpac you posted.
So far, I cannot find any negatives about the 5 oz. product, VX07, if that is it.
If anyone has given that a run for the money, would greatly appreciate hearing about how well it held up. Thanks.