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New Material. Feedback Wanted.
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Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

New Fabric on 10/18/2013 17:56:02 MDT Print View

Fly's/Tarps: Silnylon is strong enough and waterproof enough, but the sag is annoying. 0.75oz Cuben is good but expensive.

Floors: Silnylon is annoyingly slippery (yeah you can sorta add globs of silicone) and marginally waterproof. Cuben - even +1.1oz stuff - isn't abrasion resistant enough. Eventually it delaminates/degrades.

So I would value a fabric like this for floors definitely. For a canopy I'd like to see it a bit lighter - perhaps with a 20D base fabric.

Can you tell us a bit more about the PET film? I presume it's the less durable side of the fabric and thus would go on the inside. Is it sufficiently durable so it doesn't delam/peel in the long run?

Edited by dandydan on 10/18/2013 18:00:45 MDT.

Sam Farrington
(scfhome) - M

Locale: Chocorua NH, USA
feedback on new material on 10/18/2013 18:51:16 MDT Print View

For SUL shelter, the goal has to be material under one oz/sq/yd.
That can be Cuben, or possibly some of the 15 denier coated nylons not yet available for MYOG.

It is a mistake to equate sag with stretch. A good polyester will stretch considerably on the bias, but not sag. For me, the stretch is a big plus in tent making, but the sagging NOT.

I looked at some 27 gram Porcher paragliding nylon that is just under .9 oz with its coat. It is already treated to reduce sag. If it could be made more water resistant with another 0.1 oz coating, it would be ideal because it is strong nylon, wouldn't sag much, and has a soft enough hand to be quiet and easily compacted for packing.

However, if you were to use a .66 oz nylon with good DWR, like M50, and use whatever process you've developed to bond PET with nylon, you might be able to use a .3 oz PET film and get something really nice, but am just guessing. My biggest concern would be with the material being too stiff. As Roger suggests, the stiffness doesn't bode well for resilience under stress, and for me also makes the tent noisy and PITA to pack up.

The other alternative is to use .76 oz Cuben, and spend a lot of time bonding the panel edges with themselves, and/or nylon, to get durable seams. It's a devil of a lot of work, so I'm rooting for you to come up with something better. I'd be first in line to buy some.

But have to agree that the 1.75 oz material is too heavy to perk my interest for a shelter.

Edited by scfhome on 10/18/2013 18:53:37 MDT.

John West
(skyzo) - M

Locale: Borah Gear
Re: Re: New Material. Feedback Wanted. on 10/21/2013 10:02:56 MDT Print View

I love the fact that you are bringing a new fabric to the market, but have to agree with the others that with the current weight, I can't see many people using it for tarps/shelters.
That being said, I think it would be a great fabric for tent floors. I'm not a big fan of using silnylon for the tent floors I have made, and the 70D 1.9oz material that works so well ends up being closer to 3oz after coating. If you could price it around the costs of the 1.9oz, I could see it selling for that use.

Lawson Kline
(Mountainfitter) - M

Weight on 10/22/2013 22:11:13 MDT Print View

Thanks for all the feedback but I have to agree with Andy. I realize this is BackpackingLight and pushing the weight envelope is what makes this website tick but sometimes I wonder if people actually use their gear out in nature or just on spreadsheets. I don't mean to insult anyone but .25oz more for a MUCH better material is nothing. Sure the fabric weighs more but your not talking a huge difference. As Andrew pointed out, your only talking a 3oz difference between a silnylon sagger vs. a shelter made from a material that blows silnylon out of the water. Folks please let me remind you. This is not some dream material that is in my head or on some magical piece of paper. It exists! We ran enough material for prototypes and I have been testing this next to silnylon for quite some time now. There is no questions asked if this is a better material, because IT IS... Question is are you "sane" enough to carry the extra .25oz for a better material?

Its the reason I started this forum. Not to help me create a better material. I already have. But to see what the perception was. To see what the demand would be from the MYOG crowd and to see how clouded weight was in peoples brains.

Hypothetical question. Two jackets. One is made from a material that is 150% more breathable than the other material while being twice as waterproof. But it comes at a cost. It weighs 16% more. The two jackets fit the same and cost the same. The question is what jacket would you buy??????????

Case closed : )

Edited by Mountainfitter on 10/22/2013 22:58:21 MDT.

Sam Farrington
(scfhome) - M

Locale: Chocorua NH, USA
only a 3 oz difference on 10/22/2013 22:45:52 MDT Print View

Hi Lawson,
You are right about my spending a lot of time designing while not trekking. The reason for that is keeping journals has made it possible to achieve much greater success designing and building equipment.

You are wrong, at least in my case, about not finishing the job and using the equipment. True, there have been some depressing failures, but for every failure or two, there is a finished piece of gear that get used, sometimes for a decade or more.

Henry from TarpTent once talked about a 3 or 4 ounce difference in the same way, referring to such a weight difference as not amounting to more than a few inches of water in the bottom of a quart bottle.

But it is always possible to focus on one piece of a gear puzzle and minimize its weight. Unfortunately, there are many pieces, and they all add up. That is why the focus on weight has produced the very light packing weights we see today, weights that outside 'survival mode' were unheard of not too many years ago.

Many backpackers seem to be aware of this "whole is the sum of its parts" reality, especially the ones that have achieved very light packing weights without sacrificing safety and comfort.

Most if not all of the commenters on your thread seemed to be supportive, but also wanted to be honest. You're right about there being plenty of self-appointed experts on BPL (that's true many places), but after visiting the MYOG forum for a number of years, I've been impressed with many of the items people have built, even if there were flaws. Building good gear MYOG is enormously difficult, without the aid of sources for the best materials and design staff, the best tools, etc., found in the commercial world. (Still, we see in the case of the recent posts from a Sierra Designs guy that they aren't exactly the bees knees either.)

So please don't be too critical of the MYOG crowd. As passionate as we are about this, we've probably suffered enough already.

Lawson Kline
(Mountainfitter) - M

NO OFFENSE on 10/22/2013 23:26:19 MDT Print View

I was not trying to offend anyone.

While I greatly appreciate all the feedback, I have been very surprised by all the replies. Its mind blowing to see how consumed people are about such a small amount of weight on such a big item. Only 3oz for a two person shelter. And its not like the weight doesn't come with added benefits. IT DOES. It's the result of making a MUCH better product.

This is where I have the disconnect. Its the reason I often wonder if people on BPL actually use their gear outside because some things I read are completely insane. I don't know. Maybe I just don't GET IT.

Christopher *

Locale: US East Coast
Re: NO OFFENSE on 10/22/2013 23:45:25 MDT Print View


I thought most of the comments were on a positive track and I think many of the really good responses were more about questioning the actual value added of your new material in consideration of the additional weight and not just on the gross weight alone.

You say emphatically your material is better.

As with anything the proof will be in the pudding, and the burden of that proof will be yours ... as the innovator.

just Justin Whitson
Re: NO OFFENSE on 10/22/2013 23:52:18 MDT Print View

Personally, i don't see anything wrong with your proposed material except it being a little on the heavy side.

But i refer you to an earlier point by Andrew F., "For an 8x10 foot tarp, the material weight is about 6.3 oz for 0.7 cuben, 12.4 oz for silnylon, and 15.5 oz for your fabric."

In and of itself, about a lb for the tarp of that size isn't too bad, but adding all the other stuff up like Samuel said, that weight could start to get significant.

What i personally would be interested in your fabric for, is as a ground sheet. Something more durable and waterproof than reg silnylon, and probably less slippery. Polycryo is nice for the weight, but i really don't like throw away stuff.

For shelters, i really like the 1 oz cuben stuff, despite it being expensive.

How much would you sell a 2yd x 1yd piece for?

Arm chair Expert extraordinaire

Edited by ArcturusBear on 10/22/2013 23:53:35 MDT.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: NO OFFENSE on 10/23/2013 00:06:16 MDT Print View

I don't think you've offended anyone.

I've got a couple silnylon pyramids I've used for several years. Maybe 200 nights. Lots of wind and rain. They work. If they didn't sag so much, it wouldn't make a big difference. There's occasionally some minor misting, but when I put my hand on stuff inside I don't detect any wetness so this isn't a problem that needs fixing.

If I have to re-do a pyramid for some reason, maybe I'll do it in Cuben and save 6 ounces, be more sag resistant, and be more waterproof. Combine that with a couple other changes and I can reduce my base weight by a pound or two which starts being noticeable although not really that big a deal.

Your fabric just doesn't fit into my plans, except maybe for a bivy floor.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Weight on 10/23/2013 03:56:03 MDT Print View

Hi Lawson

I understand ... mostly. :-)

> I have been testing this next to silnylon for quite some time now. There is
> no questions asked if this is a better material, because IT IS...
Have you done a Maytag test on it? A bit of fabric, maybe 600 mm square (I am sure there is a proper size), and run it through a heavy wash cycle 20 times. Yes, this is actually part of some Standard for measuring hydrostatic pressure ratings of fabrics.

I'm interested ... albeit busy with stoves right now.


Gregory Hardy

Locale: North Carolina
rope tarp for rock climbing. on 10/31/2013 13:59:59 MDT Print View


I would be very interested in this material for a rope tarp to lay my rope on when belaying (to protect the rope from dirt). I use silnylon now, but unfortunately its just not durable enough. I'll be following the thread. If the washing machine test that Roger has mentioned is favorable, I'd love to order some.


Pierre Descoteaux
(Pierre) - MLife
New Material feedback on 10/31/2013 21:52:34 MDT Print View

My humble 2 cents. I could also use a few sqm for my myog single wall tunnel tent. Sure lighter would be nice but it sounds like it would be at the very least a great fabric for a bath tub floor. I do not use a ground sheet so more durability would be welcome. I hope you will pursue your R&D.