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cuben fiber, is it worth the extra money.
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Kevin Haskins
(kevperro) - F

Locale: Washington State
Tart & tent stakes on 09/22/2012 20:46:00 MDT Print View

I have a tarp and tent stake bag. Other than that I don't own anything cuben and to be honest the tarp stays at home most of the time. I may sell it.

For me... and my priorities it is overpriced and it isn't necessarily better than nylon. Nylon stretches better which has some advantages under load.

(KalebC) - F

Locale: South West
Yes it is on 09/22/2012 22:12:07 MDT Print View

I have 10 stuff sacks, 2 food bags, a backpack, 2 tarps, and a bivy- all made of cuben. I made them all and they are working great and are super light and durable, nothing has any wear or damage. I love the stuff, and my gear was made for very reasonable prices. The only thing I bought that I didn't make out of cuben is a hexanet, expensive and I think a silnylon floored hexanet would be just as good or better due to puncture resistance. It all comes down to money, weight, durability and opinion when choosing gear, if cuben was cheaper per yard than sil, than silnylon stuff sacks would be extinct.

michael levi
(M.L) - F

Locale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
Kc on 09/22/2012 22:28:08 MDT Print View

KC have I please take a look at your gear list.

Like really man, link? ;)

Barry P
(BarryP) - F

Locale: Eastern Idaho (moved from Midwest)
Re: cuben fiber, is it worth the extra money. on 09/25/2012 13:46:24 MDT Print View

I have 4 Tarptent tents and one Gossamer Gear tent. And I have always been going to the Hexamid tent. I keep taking it for the following reasons:

1. Mine is 8.0oz with my seam sealing and no extended beak. That’s an ‘average’ of 20oz less than other one man tarp tents.
2. It packs so much smaller. That’s a big help.
3. In those high condensation situations, the cuben attracts/holds much less water on the walls than silnylon.
4. The cuben dries faster than silnylon.
5. It is so nice not having to worry about stretch. In humidity-laden nights (which I get a lot in the Rockies), silnylon sags and lays on the bag.
6. This is related to the above but it is much easier to sop up the morning dew on cuben.

Other items I noticed:
1. I don’t see cost as that big of an issue. You’ll be spending $10 to $100 more for all the bonuses above.
2. Wear and tear has been nil on dozens of nights out (I lost track).

-The mountains were made for Teva’s

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife
cuben fiber, is it worth the extra money on 09/25/2012 15:55:41 MDT Print View

Thanks to plantar fasciitis keeping me off the trails this summer, I won't know the answer to this question until this time next year (Lord willing--gotta add that caveat at my age). I do plan to do some late-fall camping (I've just started short dayhikes, so don't want to backpack for a while yet) and early spring backpacking in my brand-new, as yet untried (except in the back yard) Hexamid Twin to test it out.

Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
Re: cuben fiber, is it worth the extra money on 09/26/2012 06:38:55 MDT Print View

Guest Post: Cuben Fibre - cracking stuff? By Keith Foskett

Steven Thompson
(stevet) - M

Locale: Northeast
Cuben? on 09/26/2012 06:58:44 MDT Print View

I agree with Jacob D and Nick, and focused first on eliminating all extraneous stuff from my kit. I am not SUL, but cut the load by well more than 1/2 doing this alone.

Now I play. I just got my firt cuben piece, an MLD bivy with cuben bottom. It is a nice piece of gear and shaves a couple ounces off my last bivy (got a new bivy because I am now sleeping on the large neoair and it wouldn't fit into the old one) but not sure I get much else though I like it alot and there is a wow factor among our little cadre of gear heads.

But should it come down for to $$ to go on more trips or $$ for another piece of cuben gear, then I am going on trips.

That said, my wife asks "what do you want for Christmas?". And since I asked for (nearly 10 years ago) and received a lifetime "kitchen pass", true to form I start thinking of a new piece of gear...been eyeing the cuben version of the MLD poncho tarp.

Sam Farrington
(scfhome) - M

Locale: Chocorua NH, USA
cracking stuff on 09/26/2012 15:20:39 MDT Print View

There seems to be an assumption that the only lightweight choice is between Cuben and silnylon. But Cuben comes in different thicknesses of mylar, and the quality of silnylon is all over the lot. Assuming, if you can, comparison of the Cuben and silnylon materials that are the best and most suitable for a particular use, there are a host of pluses and minuses for each that have been discussed at length on this and many other threads. The feeling seems to be that these can be weighed, the trade-offs considered, and a decision made.

However, that ignores that there may be more choices to be considered, and I'm not thinking of sailcloth with a 'hard' finish. There is no reason why low denier Dupont 6,6 nylon cannot be given a softer finish coat that is highly water resistant and will also resist sag, nor should polyesters that do not sag be ruled out just because they are not quite as strong as nylon. Nor is it impossible for more high tech fibers to be woven into fabric.

So there may well be excellent materials available or in development that will be superior to both Cuben and the current 30D silnylon for outdoor use. Keep this in mind before laying out a bundle for a Cuben item, particularly one that will be more subject to abrasion and/or elongation of stitch holes in seams. Moreover, there are silnylons already currently available, like that sold by Thru-Hiker, that are much more water resistant, sag less, and can be incorporated in tent designs that make it easy to tighten the canopy and/or are framed in a way to reduce the effects of sag on the occupant.

Jennifer Mitol
(Jenmitol) - M

Locale: In my dreams....
Why all the hating?? on 09/26/2012 16:05:58 MDT Print View

So this is a website about a gear-intensive activity, and a forum about that gear. Aren't we supposed to be talking about the latest and greatest thing we want and may (or may not) be able to buy or make? Or how to find a cheap puffy at wal mart? But we're nerds here...goodness gracious we sew our own stuff and make stoves out of cat food cans!!

So what's wrong with debating the pros and cons of different materials and their worth and their benefits and faults...

I'm learning a ton hanging out here trying to lighten my pack (and, ahem, my bank account), but it's fun. What's wrong with that?

And even if the gear hangs in the closet never to be used, to be sold to some lucky sod such as myself in mint condition on gear swap, who cares? Maybe that person just likes the stuff. If it's so offensive, pick a less gear-intensive sport and stop being a Luddite.

So there.


Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: Mind your own business
Check this out on 09/26/2012 16:44:52 MDT Print View

I don't own Cuben kit, I do plan to buy it at some stage.

Have a read of this

Ryan Smith
(ViolentGreen) - F

Locale: Southeast
Re: Check this out on 09/26/2012 16:54:33 MDT Print View

So his two big complaints on why cuben is inferior to silnylon is 1) it's loud when it rains, and 2) the mylar shows wrinkles from use. Also, it's more difficult to get a tight pitch than silnylon. Really?? That has not been my experience.


Edited by ViolentGreen on 09/26/2012 17:04:34 MDT.

Stuart .
(lotuseater) - F

Locale: Colorado
Keith Foskett on 09/26/2012 17:24:24 MDT Print View

Keith's a thoughful and humorous writer. I give him kudos for admitting that he uses cuben fibre for its weight benefits, but that he doesn't particularly care for it out of usability concerns and aesthetic considerations. His snare drum and worn out jeans analogies resonated with me.

As for ease of pitching, it depends on the shelter. Take a look at Chris Townsend's comparison of cuben and silnylon Trailstars. The latter has far more flexibility, which is one of the Trailstar's biggest selling points.

Ryan Smith
(ViolentGreen) - F

Locale: Southeast
Re: Keith Foskett on 09/26/2012 17:39:46 MDT Print View

There are a lot of factors that you must consider in the cuben vs silnylon debate. In my experience cuben has always been easier to pitch no matter the shelter. Tarps, hexamids, mids, etc. Different users will get different results. And I will put up with a loud 8 hrs of sleep for 14-15 hours of lighter hiking every day of the week. Either way, this debate is a pretty tired topic.


Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

Noisy on 09/26/2012 18:57:53 MDT Print View

Compared to spinnaker, both cuben and silnylon are like sleeping in a tomb. You can argue cuben is louder than silnylon - I'm sure it is a little - but the difference isn't minor unless you're a really light sleeper. When I've used spinnaker, I've thought 'geez this is loud' whereas when I use cuben (my solo shelter) vs. silnylon (my 2 person shelter) the thought of noise never occurs.