Forum Index » GEAR » cuben fiber, is it worth the extra money.


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Nick G
(HermesUL) - F
Pros? on 09/22/2012 09:28:30 MDT Print View

In terms of a pack, I really don't see any pros for cuben fiber. If it were to get you a lighter pack and sacrifice durability, I would understand making that decision in some contexts. But if you're sacrificing durability, spending a lot of extra money, and not saving any weight, it makes no sense in my book.

This is obviously your decision, but I'd be interested to hear: what are the pros that you're considering?

Terry Trimble
(socal-nomad) - F

Locale: North San Diego county
cuben fiber on 09/22/2012 10:32:24 MDT Print View

IMHO Cuben fiber is for gram counters who have better than average income and hike trials only. They buy new equipment every year. Their the super ultra light backpackers who get caught up in the whirlwind of hype.
I think for the average hiker with a limited income or who don't want to spend the money will be just happy with more durable gear with only a 5 to 10 ounce weight debt in their more durable gear that will last for at least a 3 years or more.

I have participated in lots of sports through out my life and have a lot of equipment to show for it.
I will use bicycle riding equipment as comparison because they count grams also.

I use to experience this is bicycle racing back in the 1970's early 80's people trying to drop a few ounce with outrageously priced titanium components and solid aluminum frames were just starting to become popular to go faster. After they dropped all that money they find out their not any faster then a good rider who trains hard on older frame and component bicycle. They were still beat in races by riders on heavier equipment.

I live right next to Highway 101 Aka: Pacific Coast hyw. in Encinitas, Ca on saturdays and sundays you see packs of bicycle rider riding 2 to 3 wide in groups of 10 to 75 like their in a peloton or race taking up one whole car lane and drafting each other. Instead of riding in a single file line in the bicycle lane. {I have been passed by them riding my bicycle in the bicycle lane it like getting passed by semi truck and you have to stop and let them by if you need to merge left to make a left hand turn.]
It is illegal in the state of california to ride this way with out permit.

But because they are such a vocal group and have bicycle clubs. The police are afraid to pull them over and ticket them because of bad news paper articles television coverage of harassment of bicycle riders .

All of them are on their $4000.00 to $8000.00 plus carbon framed ,titanium components bicycles. Their are riders faster than them on older bicycles with non carbon frame bicycles. The riders who own them can afford it because the average income is between $60000.00 to 100,000.00 plus in the area.

So if you can afford cuben equipment buy it and enjoy it. If you can't afford it buy less expensive gear and don't get caught in the gram counter weenie whirlwind. You will have just as much fun as they are having.
Terry

Edited by socal-nomad on 09/22/2012 10:35:25 MDT.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F - M
fun on 09/22/2012 10:38:18 MDT Print View

ask yourself what will be of more fun value to you ...

1. spending that few extra $$$$$$ on something a few oz lighter, that likely wont make much difference if you are already lightweight

2. spending that few extra $$$$$$ on a trip or two, or more time off for such that will allow you to use your "not as SUL" gear on real rather than virtual trips or online gear "optimization"

only you can decide ...

William Chilton
(WilliamC3) - MLife

Locale: Antakya
Re: fun on 09/22/2012 10:46:28 MDT Print View

So are they the only 2 options?

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F - M
Re: Re: fun on 09/22/2012 10:47:52 MDT Print View

if you are limited by money ... yes

if you arent you can drive to the trailhead in yr porsche cayenne ;)

put it this way ... i absolutely guarantee that there are people out there who are doing wilder, crazier, better things that you or me outside despite not having cuben gear ... they simply spend their $$$$$ and time going out and developing their skills rather than worrying about cuben vs sil or other such on the intrawebs

Edited by bearbreeder on 09/22/2012 10:50:26 MDT.

William Chilton
(WilliamC3) - MLife

Locale: Antakya
Re: Re: Re: fun on 09/22/2012 10:57:34 MDT Print View

Agreed, if you're limited by money, save it for trips rather than gear. But if you have other options, there's no sin in buying cuben. After all, if you have the money, lighter gear can make the trips more fun. It certainly means my wife and I, with our aging bodies, can do longer trips thanks to cuben.
By the way, we get to the trailhead by bus, including 5 bus journeys of more than 12 hours already this year; it saves money for more expensive gear.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F - M
Re: Re: Re: Re: fun on 09/22/2012 11:07:56 MDT Print View

if you can afford it and want to buy (insert the latest and greatest) ... all the power to you ... in life though people often have competing priorities with mortgages, kids, payments, etc ...

there is nothing wrong with spending $$$$$ on something as long as you use it well and it doesnt detract from you going out and using it ...

but then one does have to realize that having $$$$$ gear doesnt make one any better, stronger, faster, etc ... when you compare it against someone who spends less but goes out more to train ... and im quite sure that there are other elderly gentlemen/women on this site who have a lot of fun without cuben gear ...

Michael Duke
(mpd1690) - F
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: fun on 09/22/2012 11:14:12 MDT Print View

"there is nothing wrong with spending $$$$$ on something as long as you use it well and it doesnt detract from you going out and using it ..."

There are requirements that dictate whether spending more money is right or wrong?

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F - M
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: fun on 09/22/2012 11:16:23 MDT Print View

well if you dont use it much in the closet and keep on posting it on gear swap when the next greatest thing comes along ... thats up to you ;)

William Chilton
(WilliamC3) - MLife

Locale: Antakya
Re: fun and priorities on 09/22/2012 11:25:08 MDT Print View

I suspect we're more in agreement than disagreement. I know that "$$$$$ gear doesnt make one any better, stronger, faster, etc ... when you compare it against someone who spends less but goes out more to train". For me (and my wife, fortunately), it's about getting out into the mountains and having fun, and the lighter our gear, the more fun we have, particularly as we prefer multi-day trips. I've always been a skinny runt and don't like hauling a heavy load. Others are different.
I also agree that "people often have competing priorities with mortgages, kids, payments, etc". My wife and I chose not to have kids, we don't own a car and we didn't buy a house until we were in our 40s, so a mortgage wasn't a problem. We also both work. These choices mean that although our wages are below the equivalent of the minimum wage in Britain, we have the money for both cuben and as many trips as we have time for. Other people chose other lives and other sacrifices.
It just seemed to me that your initial post was being rather absolutist: you can spend money on gear and still have money for trips without being loaded. Cuben gear is much cheaper than a car , for example. As you say, it comes down to priorities.

Aaron Croft
(aaronufl) - M

Locale: Colorado
Really? on 09/22/2012 11:36:18 MDT Print View

Eric, do you ever get tired of posting the same thing in every thread? It's either:

1. "Get the pack the fits you best"
2. "Don't spend money on lighter gear."
3. "I got my puffy jacket at Old navy."

Seriously, It's good advice, but you aren't really contributing much when your post history is the same thing over and over on a site that is about lightweight backpacking.

Edited by aaronufl on 09/22/2012 11:36:54 MDT.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F - M
Re: Re: fun and priorities on 09/22/2012 11:37:11 MDT Print View

I suspect we're more in agreement than disagreement.

i dont disagree with you there ... if you choose to give up other things then buy away ... as long as gear is used well, thats what matters

there does seem to be a relentless buy the new shiny gear and then post it on gear swap latter on this site though ... personally the people who do the most outside that i know tend to just use their gear till it goes poofy or gets very well worn ... unless they are sponsored ;)

one question which i think would help greatly is to ask yourself how many trips are you giving up because of a new piece of gear? ... maybe its none, maybe its alot

my approach shoes have been well loved for the last 3 years, and i was in MEC the other day looking at a new pair, but then i told myself that i can make these last the rest of the season ... and that it was equivalent gas money for a weeks worth of climbing ...

who knows, maybe i wont be able to climb as hard as someone with shiny new gear because of it

what does this have to do with cuben? ... to the OP are you giving up anything because of it? ...



Eric, do you ever get tired of posting the same thing in every thread?

nope because its often ... what is the best pack for me that i have never tried on ... how much warmer will a minimally different down jacket be ... how much better will a tarp/bag/pack that weights a few oz lighter be ...

its the person that matters ... the gear is secondary

Edited by bearbreeder on 09/22/2012 11:41:20 MDT.

michael levi
(M.L) - F

Locale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
its not that expensive guys! on 09/22/2012 12:03:39 MDT Print View

You can pay more for a dyneema x gridstop pack that weighs 4 times as much, you just have to be aware of companies that offer good deals (like Zpacks).

Cuben is minimalist, it might now last you the rest of your life but those few seasons you get out of it you may enjoy.

Now the cuben hybrid stuff should last a longgg time as long as you are somewhat careful.

Brian Kelly
(Brik9876)
_ on 09/22/2012 14:17:58 MDT Print View

I am sorry for not responding but my dang in-laws are in town this weekend and been having a hard time getting away lol. I didn't get to read everything on the 2nd page I will do so later and respond better, but just skimming over it and responding now.

Right now I have a gregory baltaro 75 which weighs close to 6 lbs I think so I definitely need a new bag. I am not giving anything up by getting cuben i just want to make sure im getting what i pay for. Like I don't want to pay a premium to buy something that will only last a year. Thanks to all your help I think I did decide on getting a cuben fiber tarp just trying to figure out about the pack now. I will read everything later and get back to you all, thanks for all the advice and words of wisdom.

Lawson Kline
(Mountainfitter) - M

Locale: LawsonEquipment.com
Depends on 09/22/2012 14:27:56 MDT Print View

I think its best designed for tarps since its lightweight, strong, and doesn't stretch. Its down fall is that its translucent and turns your shelter into a greenhouse.. Tarps are not as bad, but fully enclosed shelters feel like sauna's and its actually hotter inside then out during the middle of the day. So if you hike all day and only rest under tree's you will love a cuben tarp/shelter but never plan to take a nap under one unless its winter.. For backpacks, I am not a fan of standard cuben fiber. The hybrid stuff is ok.. If you were to compare Weight vs. Durability vs. Cost, my current thinking is Xpac is the best backpack material and a 30d Silicone Coated Polyester is the best shelter material. At the end of the day though, who cares what you have as long as your out there enjoying the great outdoors.. If you can afford it and it suits your needs buy it, if not don't worry about it.. I hope this helps.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Depends on 09/22/2012 14:38:04 MDT Print View

"Its down fall is that its translucent and turns your shelter into a greenhouse."

That may be a bad thing if you are in Florida. It may be a good thing if you are in Fairbanks or even Seattle.

--B.G.--

Jason Elsworth
(jephoto) - M

Locale: New Zealand
Cuben fiber, is it worth the extra money. on 09/22/2012 15:50:14 MDT Print View

Cuben fiber, is it worth the extra money

Who can say. To some people it seems worth it, to others it doesn't seem worth it. One thing I can say though, is a thread like this, is shark bait for the bearbreeder.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Cuben fiber, is it worth the extra money. on 09/22/2012 16:01:57 MDT Print View

"One thing I can say though, is a thread like this, is shark bait for the bearbreeder."

Ya gotta admit it's fun to chum him in and then sit back and watch him do his thing. Wait until the middle of winter, when people get bored and seasonally disaffected. Like clockwork, about once a week someone'll toss a herring(red) in the water, just to get him going. Very predictable. ;0)

Samuel C. Farrington
(scfhome) - M

Locale: Chocorua NH, USA
cuben, again on 09/22/2012 17:19:00 MDT Print View

"...a 30d Silicone Coated Polyester is the best shelter material."

Lawson,
Please tell me where one can buy 30d silcoat polyester that is not crinkly sailcloth.
Thanks,
Sam

Andrew Weldon
(hypnolobster) - F
Re: cuben fiber on 09/22/2012 18:16:32 MDT Print View

"IMHO Cuben fiber is for gram counters who have better than average income and hike trials only. They buy new equipment every year. Their the super ultra light backpackers who get caught up in the whirlwind of hype."

I make about $.75 above minimum wage working seasonally at a park, and I'm a welder for a railroad construction contractor in winter making barely double that (in horrible conditions). I work in a brewery making minimum wage to fill in the rest of the season.

The only cuben fiber I use are stuffsacks and a 7x9 tarp, and I'm still at a 5.4lb baseweight. Can't lump everybody into one category.