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Chad Helmke
(the-gear-recycler) - MLife

Locale: High Rockies
Tyvek on 01/14/2013 19:04:20 MST Print View

So, I was just wondering why more projects aren't being made out of Tyvek? Weight-wise it's pretty close to 1.1-1.3 oz/sq yd so very similar to silnylon, available very inexpensively at almost any hardware store which gives access to almost everyone, and has similar properties to most of the ul fabrics available except that it actually breathes slightly better.

I'm all about the low hanging fruit and with the low cost, ubiquitous availability, ease of construction since bonding is preferred to sewing, and similarities in weight, waterproofing, and breathability to other ul fabrics, what gives?

It doesn't have the caché of cuben or the appearance of an Xpac so tell me the negatives now.

I never cease to be amazed by the creativity of the folks in this forum so this is why I'm bringing my question to the myog'ers here.

Thanks in advance for thoughts/comments/suggestions!

Cam Baker
(Trail_Turkey) - F
Tyvek for MYOG projects on 01/15/2013 05:10:57 MST Print View

Tyvek is a great material. I've used it for a number of projects. It has a couple of drawbacks:

1. Most people don't want a 500' roll at the home center. You can buy 9' width on ebay for $3/yd+shipping so you are right its cheaper than sil 2nds. A partial roll in the trash is real find.
2. Its not breathable in a practical sense.
3. Its ugly. This is definately a value judgement/taste issue. Its better than a blue poly tarp but not much.
4. Its white which, for a tarp, is not a great attribute unless you are in death valley. Stealth is it not.
5. it can get weak after repeated washing.
6. Its not very packable or compressible, even after its worn and "soft."

I've done the following projects with tyvek:
1. Ground cloth.
2. Tarp (very ugly but very effective)
3. Stuff sacks and bags. (Tyvek envelopes from the mail are GREAT for this.)
4. Prototype mockup of MYOG backpack before I used real fabric.
5. Mitten/glove covers.

I intend to try a bivy sack next.

Nico .
(NickB) - MLife

Locale: Los Padres National Forest
Tyvek on 01/15/2013 09:17:53 MST Print View

I played around with Tyvek for a little bit but ultimately ditched it for other lighter, smaller packing materials. For instance, instead of a tyvek groundcloth, I went to window heat shrink plastic (ie polycryo). Still cheap, but packs down way smaller and lighter.

Chad Helmke
(the-gear-recycler) - MLife

Locale: High Rockies
Agreed on 01/15/2013 16:12:35 MST Print View

You're right. The main drawback I've also noted is compressability. And ugliness. Which I don't care too much about. What about the Tyvek with the soft finish that DriDucks and Tyvek chemical suits are made of? Any luck using it for a shelter?

So where I'm going with this is trying to determine whether it will be suitable for a large mid/tipi type structure. As it will be my first "real" myog project, I didn't want to ruin a bunch of nice, costly fabric and bonding is much preferred to sewing as I'm lacking in that skill department.

Konrad .
(Konrad1013) - MLife
Re: Agreed on 01/15/2013 17:44:29 MST Print View

The soft tyvek seen in chem suits is Tyvek 1443r, and is a pretty awesome material and very light. It's already been extensively used by Henry at Tarptents in one of his shelters (the sublite). General consensus is that its awesome for dry conditions and still great for certain wet conditions. You gotta know how to use it before you take the plunge. If you're merely faced with passing showers or dry winter conditions, It should be wonderful for a mid or any other shelter. I talked to a guy hiking the JMT along side me who brought a Tarptent tyvek sublite on his trip. It rained a good amount on our trip, usually for 2-3 hours over 4-5 days but he said he stayed bone dry, and only faced 1 day of condensation. I was using a silnylon shelter and had a lot more condensation issues.

Edited by Konrad1013 on 01/15/2013 17:46:07 MST.

Cam Baker
(Trail_Turkey) - F
Tyvek for shelters on 01/16/2013 04:53:21 MST Print View

I used tyvek for a 12x9 tarp of my hammock while I was in Co last summer. It hadn't rained in months when we hit the ground in Denver on July 4, right during the fires. By the time we got to Leadville it was raining buckets and it rained hard every evening for our entire trip. The tarp was great.

I agree that you have to know how to use it. Sewing weakens it though I've sewed it lots of times without any issue. Sewing is not good for high stress connections. I think the tyvek brand tape is better. There are some vendors on Ebay that sell adhesive tie outs for tyvek. I was skeptical of them but they worked great and are impossible to remove. The tyvek would fail before these suckers will.

For some more info, there's a thread on hammock forums on how to use tyvek for DIY projects:

Chad Helmke
(the-gear-recycler) - MLife

Locale: High Rockies
Thanks! on 01/16/2013 12:10:59 MST Print View

Thanks for all of the insight. I'm actually back and forth between Leadville and Denver and the dry, western conditions are where I hike 99% of the time. I have a custom cuben 9.5'x9.5' mid that I love that I backpack with but want to make a larger tipi style tent (think Seek Outside or Kifaru) that is still light enough to pack in.

You guys have confirmed my thoughts so once I get the time to start building it, I'll keep you guys posted.

Thanks again for your thoughts and comments!

Edited by the-gear-recycler on 01/20/2013 21:04:42 MST.

John Kays
(johnk) - M

Locale: SoCal
it doesn't make sense on 01/18/2013 19:08:32 MST Print View

why it isn't used more. I have been using a TT Sublite for a few years here in the Sierras and I like it for the complete protection without significant condensation. It has been tested in all kinds of weather and the weight is fantastic for a fully enclosed tent. I hope Henry continues to manufacture it.

David Miles
(davidmiles) - F

Locale: Eastern Sierra
Re: Tyvek on 01/25/2013 18:44:42 MST Print View

I like it for the bottom.

just Justin Whitson
yeah boy on 01/29/2013 21:32:13 MST Print View

So far, i really like Tyvek overall minus the Dupont logo (i've only used the homewrap stuff). Here are some tyvek stuff i've made so far, tyvek tube tent (super easy to make, and i used tape), tyvek rain skirt, and i have some other projects i plan on using it for like adding onto a wind shirt i recently bought that doesn't have long sleeves, maybe a pyramid type tarp tent.

So far, i did have one or two of the pre-made tape loops break on my tube tent, but that's because both my wife and i were in it and it's only made for 1, and she rolled around too much putting a lot of pressure on very specific guy lines. However, in more normal conditions, i think these would hold up quite well.

I'm quite interested in seeing how long term longevity of the material holds up. My stuff is new and recent, so i don't have much of an idea about that aspect.

But yes, i'm also surprised why it's not more used or talked about--i understand the esthetic reasons, and the weight and compactness of the material, but considering how cheap, and durable it seems while being both waterproof and a bit breathable and fairly light, certainly light enough to fit into most UL type scenarios depending...yeah, can't beat it in my book. I wish i had discovered it earlier, would have saved me some money for sure!

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - M

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Tyvek on 01/29/2013 23:01:09 MST Print View

I am going to make a Tvek Bivvy. Inexpensive and light. It can block the wind and protect my bag from campfire sparks.

Thayne N
(teethless) - MLife

Locale: Boston
ode to tyvek tape on 01/29/2013 23:19:02 MST Print View

I have limited experience with tyvek... I've been using it as a ground sheet, stake, and pole bags. All have worked well and are still in service. I bought a roll of the super expensive tyvek tape in anticipation of making a bivy or shelter (I've done neither) and I have to say, the tape is worth every penny! I've patched water bottles with the stuff and never had a leak. It is super sticky, and used in place of other tapes, is lighter in weight for it's strength.

Andy Jarman

Locale: Edge of the World
Tyvek as a fashion statement on 01/30/2013 02:21:30 MST Print View

This website is an eye opener into the potential Tyvek holds

According to this you can print onto it with a bubble jet printer (I've found these in a local chart and map shop sold as maps you can blow your nose onto!), dye it whatever colour you like, and it comes in a huge variety of versions from A4 sheets for printing sport competitors numbers on to wall charts and advertising billboards.

I have often pulled out my Tyvek ground sheet and used it as a very comfortable top sheet on balmy nights, because its breathable despite its waxy feel it is a very soft and comfortable fabric next to your skin. As clothing I have read it can wear, pill and degrade at wear points so not so hot for a wind shirt. Having said that though the fashion victim in me has succumbed to one of these,

Check it out!

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: Tyvek as a fashion statement on 01/30/2013 02:58:00 MST Print View

Andy, I like the multipurpose aspect of the hooded world map jacket. Although, most of my trips aren't that large in scope, it does reminds me of the European maps stitched into the lining of flight jackets of WWII pilots. And some hiking trail maps are printed on handkerchiefs ("here, we turn north right here at this dried piece of snot").

But for how slowly some people build their homes in my neighborhood, it would be nice if the regular building Tyvek came in not in white, but in wooden-clapboard and brick-printed patterns. Plus woodland camo for the preppers and other paranoid folks.

What if your Tyvek tarp was printed with the whole JMT in one-foot strips? A 50 to 60-foot long map or 100+ feet if you used both sides. You'd fold it a little differently and have the days' hike right in front of you. And how better to fall asleep and wake up than looking up and remembering what you've just done and plotting out the next few days?

Star maps, edible plant guides, first aid and medical instructions, the collected works of Shakespeare, porn, family photos, all of the previous - the possibilities are endless.

Edited by DavidinKenai on 01/30/2013 02:59:47 MST.

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Tyvek as a fashion statement on 01/30/2013 13:31:16 MST Print View

"What if your Tyvek tarp was printed with the whole JMT in one-foot strips? A 50 to 60-foot long map or 100+ feet if you used both sides."

But then, if you blew your nose on it and blurred it, the next thing you know you would be crossing Utah or something.