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cuben vs. silnylon for a tent floor
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Cesar Valdez
(PrimeZombie) - F

Locale: Scandinavia
Re: Re: Don't forget us paranoid people on 02/13/2014 12:32:01 MST Print View

Points well taken. There seems to be a strange clash of experience vs. testing. I have read plenty of accounts here of people doing thru hikes with Cuben gear--but granted, most of these were packs and tarps. Also, could you please provide links to some of these tests? I am only familiar with a few tests done by people here on BPL.

I have used my Cuben bottom bivy for nearly a year now, but I didn't keep track of the number of times I used it total. I used it to finish roughly the 2nd part of a 370km trail, plus some other random trips... maybe 15-20 nights out with it? No issues at all so far, and it remains a go-to part of my kit. Doing a section hike this weekend actually, and will be taking it along, plus my Hexamid tarp.

Then there is a few people in this very thread that say their Cuben floors are doing well. I don't really know what to make of it all, but I'll still continue to be careful and use ground covers and see what happens.

William F

Locale: PNW
Re: Don't forget us paranoid people on 02/13/2014 12:38:43 MST Print View

Double floors in my experience trap condensation between layers and also can be a pain if the two get out of alignment or the polycryo gets bunched up underneath. It hasn't worked for me at least.

I've used a 30D PU coated nylon floor for the past 10 years at least. Other then the last few years the floor has been extremely bomber (recently the PU coating has started to disintegrate and peel off, but we're talking tiny pin hole areas).

I've yet to read an account of a silnylon floor failing in terms of waterproofability (assuming reasonable abuse). I've heard of misting from above only on certain tent/tarp canopies made of lesser quality (apparently US made) silnylons, the higher quality ones (ie. thru-hiker Shield, which I think MLD and TT use now if I'm not mistaken) I haven't heard of misting except in some of the most extreme conditions. Cuben on the other hand, I have read accounts of failure in stuff sacks and floors. I've gleaned this from this site through significant lurking, but sure, more accounts of cuben floor users would help.

Other than 1.5 ounces, less slipperiness, the hydrophobic nature of cuben (really how wet is your floor getting even if its raining if you're under shelter?), I don't see added benefit for going with a cuben floor. Even though you can tape up cuben in the field fairly easily, I wouldn't really want to do a repair in the field without alcohol to get the surfaces clean and to do it right. In the field, I much prefer the piece of mind of just not worrying about the silnylon floor as much because it is that much more durable and relatively cheap to replace/repair if something drastic does happen.

To those who have voted for the cuben floor, what added benefits does the cuben floor give you other than the three and a half I just mentioned? Are those added benefits significant to you? Can you give some examples of specific conditions in which those added benefits made an experience noticeably more pleasant?

Pete Staehling
(staehpj1) - F
Weight and cost on 02/13/2014 12:45:46 MST Print View

Just me, but... I don't get why anyone would spend oodles of money for a cuben floor to save weight and then add weight of a ground sheet.

(jpovs) - F - M

Locale: Arrowhead
Re: Re: Don't forget us paranoid people on 02/13/2014 12:45:50 MST Print View


Edited by jpovs on 06/15/2014 13:59:24 MDT.

Andrew F
(andrew.f) - F - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: cuben floors on 02/13/2014 13:10:40 MST Print View

As I mentioned earlier in the thread, I have a Zpacks cuben pack liner made with 1.0 oz cuben. I've probably used it for 100 days in the backcountry. Since it's always inside my pack, it has seen basically zero abrasion, other than being (gently and carefully and with great attention to avoiding sharp stuff) put on the ground at night. After some stuff in my pack got wet last weekend, I filled it with water to test it, and it was clearly no longer waterproof - it weeped from many dozens of invisible holes all over the pack liner and quickly started to drip water off the bottom. I wouldn't want to rely on such a material for a tent floor, since the primary purpose is for the floor to be waterproof. There was no visible damage to the stuff sack. I imagine that the people who are reporting no problems either haven't used them that many times or haven't had them out in wet conditions.

My solution? I've cut the floor out of shelters before and just put them down on top of a polycro sheet. I left a 6" perimeter of the sewn-in floor which pulls the edges of the polycro up and forms a bathtub. Then the floor is completely replaceable and you also get the benefit of being able to set your stuff up before putting the shelter up when it's not raining.

Sean Heenan

Locale: Southeast mountains
cuben floors on 02/13/2014 13:19:07 MST Print View

I was thinking of putting in hardwoods but wow now I'm intrigued ... maybe cuben!!!

(jpovs) - F - M

Locale: Arrowhead
Re: Re: cuben floors on 02/13/2014 13:19:11 MST Print View


Edited by jpovs on 06/15/2014 13:58:10 MDT.

Joshua Abel
(Aberrix) - M
thanks on 02/13/2014 14:43:40 MST Print View

lots of great points to think about, thanks everyone!