Jan 23, 2011 at 8:12 pm #1268142
I'm looking into fabrics to make into durable packs. Xpac looks great, but it's confusing. Can someone please shed light on the various choices from Dimension Polyant? Their website does not list the typical fabrics that hikers seem to mention. Nor do they have information on the fabrics that Cilo Gear uses. I'm leaning away from Dyneema Gridstop X because it's expensive, and I wonder if xpac isn't better (for the same weight?).
Rockywood seems to be the only company to sell the stuff.. Which fabric is it? How much does it really weigh?
Below are various helpful comments I found through searching…
"If you are looking to save some money, you could try VX21 XPac fabric from Dimension Polyant. If you contact DimPoly they will sell you the material directly and it runs about $9.85 per yard normally, with 2nds at $5.85 and some overstocks at $7.50 per yard.
I like the VX21, but at 6.2 oz/yd it is pretty heavy compared to the Dyneema X
Xpac comes in WX07 that weigh in at 3.6 oz. yard it their light pack version nice fabric with a reinforcement grid plus totally water proof membrane.
Rockywoods' XPAC appears to be VX07 70 denier based on their weight claims. Does the grey and lime green fabric feel like the same weight?
The green xpac feels lighter then the grey, The green looks like it has a 70d ripstop for the top layer, where the grey is not ripstop, and feels heavier and stiffer, which i like for the bottom and back of the bag. I do want to try some of there red and orange xpac, I hope it is like the green."
Sooo… Is WX07 and VX07 the same stuff? How is it? Stronger than Dyneema X? Do you prefer the VX21? I assume the higher the number the stronger the fabric.
I'm planning on making a full xpac pack. Fifty liters, frameless, hipbeltless, no zipper. Styled like a Golite Jam 2. Any idea how much it'd weigh?Jan 23, 2011 at 8:20 pm #1687589
@davecLocale: Crown of the Continent
I can't comment on weather XPac is Dimension Polyant as Rockywoods claims. I bought the VX-21 I made into packs from a friend in the industry.
I'm not sure that VX-21 is more abrasion and tear resistant than Dyneema gridstop. It is definitely more waterproof.Jan 23, 2011 at 8:31 pm #1687595
Thanks Dave. How's the general durability of your pack so far? Sometimes fabrics wear strangely, like carhartts that get holes quickly. Is it slightly heavier than Dyneema Gridstop?Jan 23, 2011 at 10:31 pm #1687654
Jack, I have a spec sheet for DimPoly's products. If you send me an email I would be happy to email it to you. email@example.comJan 23, 2011 at 10:39 pm #1687657
I posted this about a year ago, so it's the 2009 product list. Still it should be helpful for you: Sport Material Guide 2009.pdf (probably what Marc has, but older)Jan 24, 2011 at 11:33 am #1687850
I ordered some VX07 and VX21 directly from DP about a year ago. I've used it in a 60L load monster backpack as well as a 20L day climbing pack/summit pack, both pretty much copied from Cilogear designs. I also have a sample of the bright orange XPac from Rockywoods, which seems similar enough to the VX21 that I would guess they are the same.
The DP fabrics are very stiff compared to Dyneema X. They are definitely waterproof. The VX07 on my climbing pack is a little abraded but that pack gets some abuse. It's just the outermost face fabric too, so it doesn't worry me. I plan to make a 40L alpine climbing pack out of VX21 and Dyneema X on the side panels after having seen how they both hold up.
What is your pack for? Backpacking (more lightweight) or climbing (more durability)? VX21 is probably overkill for backpacking.
As for calculating weight, use a spreadsheet if you're not already drawing the pattern in CAD. But also note that webbing is a very significant part of the weight – sometimes as much or more than the fabric.
AndyJan 24, 2011 at 1:27 pm #1687904
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
I make all my packs using X-Pac fabrics. It's really good stuff.
The face fabric seems pretty tough, especially the heavier grades.
The Mylar layer inside is like Cuben fabric, except Cuben has two Mylar layers. But it is very dimensionally stable, and it is waterproof.
The lining fabric is not that tough, but it is OK.
The diagonal grid is useful but maybe not critical.
CheersJan 24, 2011 at 1:28 pm #1687908
@davecLocale: Crown of the Continent
The VX-21 is holding up very well thus far. The face fabric is a tight, fine weave (compared to conventional Cordura) to I think it'll last a while. Gains almost no weight when soaked, which is awesome.Jan 24, 2011 at 4:15 pm #1687976
I have made packs out of TX07, VX07, and WX07. All are fine, but you have to be more careful with the TX07 as it's one of less durable fabrics they make. It's slightly heavier than advertised at 2.9 oz/yd. Although I haven't used them, I would imagine any of their 200D fabrics would be very tough.
RyanJan 24, 2011 at 4:19 pm #1687979
RyanJan 24, 2011 at 8:48 pm #1688077
Roger, what type of X-pac have you used in your packs?
Andrew, my pack is for thruhiking. I'm someone who prefers a little durability. I like to sit on my pack. And I spend a lot of time in canyon country which is very hard on gear. I don't think I've seen VX07. Is it fairly durable or paper thin? I'm looking to stay away from Cuben, silnylon and other really light fabrics. And I'd like my pack to be as low as it can be.
Ryan, there is no WX07 listed nowadays from DP. How are you liking your VX07? Any photos of your packs? Why'd you go with this fabric? Seem durable to you?
DimPoly sent me a price list quite promptly btw.Jan 24, 2011 at 9:04 pm #1688083
VX07 is pretty durable stuff. Maybe similar to an imported 200d oxford. It's defiantly more durable then a CT5K.18 cuben fiber and I would say more water-resistant too. Plus it can be sewn which makes it a great material. If I were using it for a backapack I would use it in lower abrasion areas like the top of a pack bag, top of your should straps. I would use something heavier for the bottom and hip belt sides though..Jan 24, 2011 at 9:28 pm #1688098
Solid advice. Thanks!Jan 24, 2011 at 9:38 pm #1688104
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
I found the VX04 (104 gsm) to be a bit too delicate for the scrub and rocks around Wollemi (admittedly harsh country), although it would be fine for trail walking.
I have used VX07, VX15 (187 gsm) and VX21 (204 gsm) for the bag, and VX33 (or VXh3) (255 gsm) for the base of the pack which has to take abrasion. I have used a single layer of VX42 (272 gsm) for pack straps.
The biggest problem I have had with X-Pac fabric is that hard objects on the inside of the bag tend to abrade the tricot liner fabric away from where the grid threads cross over. But that takes a LOT of use before it happens. I have since been a bit more careful about how I pack stuff, and that seems to work.
Sewing – a heavy bonded nylon thread and #100 needles on an old black Singer sewing machine. Seams can be taped on the inside to make the bag pretty much waterproof.
I don't bother with a pack cover any more.
CheersJan 25, 2011 at 8:44 pm #1688470
>>Is it fairly durable or paper thin?
Certainly not paper thin. In thickness it feels more like a 200D cordura, but it's stiffer than that. It's kind of hard to describe, but it's qualitatively different than anything else. You'll know what I mean when you get your hands on some. I looked more closely at my climbing pack which has VX07 on the back panel (ie against my back) and it's just lightly abraded across the bottom of that panel, while the rest of the pack body, which is 1.9 oz silnylon, looks basically new. I think the abrasion is just from rubbing against my back. I did also use the VX07 on the tops of the shoulder straps and I think that is a great place for it.
>>I don't bother with a pack cover any more.
Word. The stuff is really waterproof. I don't use a pack cover either.Jan 27, 2011 at 8:14 pm #1689230
Abraision simply from rubbing against your back? That's pretty strange and to me, indicative of lack of abrasion resistance. Not sure I want that….Jan 31, 2011 at 9:15 am #1690492
Yeah, the abrasion on the back panel perplexes me. I do use that pack for climbing, so I sometimes will finish a pitch, take it off and clip it to the anchor (so it rests against the rock), and then belay…but I've only had it about a year and I can't really remember ever dragging it against rock, just placing it and clipping in. So the only other thing I could think of it that it's from rubbing against my back.
Here's the back panel of said pack. It's very lightly abraded; just kind of fuzzed up.
Jan 31, 2011 at 6:36 pm #1690738
The abrasion might be the softer cloth fabric abrades easier because it laminated to a stiff film in xpac.
I have had concerns about using just a xpac fabric back panel that body sweat salts might delaminated the film and the fabric. So I use the 4 mm foam mesh from rocky woods between my back and the xpac fabric.
I wonder if the owners of Clio Gear or Wild Things have had any return problems with xpac fabric and film delamination on packs that have been used a few years due to sweat?Jan 31, 2011 at 8:25 pm #1690796
@scfhomeLocale: Chocorua NH, USA
I've been using 4 oz (total) nylon Spectra Gridstop in my current MYOG pack, and it is pretty rugged – no problems with wear and tear.
But I want to go lighter, so the next pack will have an alloy tube frame about the thickness of tent pole tubing, inspired by Roger Caffin, and 1.9 oz nylon with a silicone coating on one side, bought from Warmlite. In my experience, the silnylon will be much easier to re-treat when needed for weatherproofness than PU coated fabrics. Certainly the pack will require more careful treatment than the present one, but it will be much lighter.
Not convinced that the 2.9 oz DP stuff would be that much better than 2.5 oz (total) silnylon, mostly because the mylar-like materials used to encapusulate the aramid or other high tech fibers don't seem particularly rugged. Have already developed this type of cocern with the Mylar used in Cuben; but would be interest in knowing what folks think who have used the 2.9 ox DP fabrics in rugged use.Feb 1, 2011 at 7:54 am #1690901
Xpac is tough fabric than Cuben is concerning durability. The manufactures I know who use it in all their packs are Clio Gear, Wild things, Mystery Ranch owned by Dana Gleason of Dana design fame use Xpac in certain area of the pack for structural stiffness. Black diamond also has used elements of xpac in their packs. So I would say it is a very tough fabric. My only concern is delamnation form prolong contact with body salts sweat. But my fears may be unfounded because xpac is laminated with heat presses.
But Xpac has one quirks in working with it because of the mylar film as does cuben. Make sure each stitch is the correct the first time. Because if you sou seam rip the thread it leaves puncture marks and defeats the water proof fabric.Feb 1, 2011 at 1:08 pm #1691003
I own CiloGear.
1) VX07, WX07 and TX07 all use a 70d ripstop nylon as the base fabric. It is then laminated in a 5 layer sandwich with a taffeta to make VX07, or without the taffeta to make the WX and TX styles. Anybody who thinks that VX07 is as durable as a 200d/210d is, IMHO, optimistic to the point of insanity. The tear strength of VX07 is about 11 pounds while TX07 is around 8. The tear strength of VX21, made with a 210d nylon, is 17 pounds. I don't think I've seen WX07 for at least a year.
2) Delaminating due to sweat? Uh no. Not going to happen. It doesn't matter that the thing is pressed together by heat. The X-Pack fabrics are glued together and they aren't going to be delaminating because of a little moisture.
3) If you think you're rough on gear, you probably should consider whether light weight materials like VX07 or 70d Silnylon are really appropriate for your use. A relatively heavy Cubic Tech material might well provide substantially better results, albeit at a substantially higher cost.
Good luck!Feb 1, 2011 at 8:11 pm #1691232
@scfhomeLocale: Chocorua NH, USA
Thank you for the reminder re your earlier post.
Looks like the only offerings under 3 oz/yd are the TX07 at 2.6 oz, actually 2.9 per your post, and the PM02 at 2.2 oz. However, Roger also refers to a VX04 at about 3 oz/yd, which he suggests is on the delicate side. The lightest, comparable in weight to 1.9 oz silnylon with silicone coat, is the PM02, a 50 den polyester taffeta with a heavier polyester "pre-pegged scrim," laminated to .5 mil PET (Mylar is one brand) film, compared to the .25 mil films used on the other fabrics discussed.
I don't think it's a leap to conclude that 1.9 oz nylon will be ruggeder than most 50 den polyesters. From Roger's reference to the VX04, though, there may be a lighter nylon laminate available. How would it compare to 1.9 oz silnylon? The nylon would have to be lighter to yield a lighter fabric after the grid is laminated in. So it might be more tear-resistant, but how about punctures and abrasion? The heavier 1.9 oz nylon would probably do better in that respect.
The mylar film is very waterproof, 200 psi being one estimate. But how rugged is it. The quality of the coating is at least half the battle, as we have learned with silnylon. I have been experimenting with Cuben for some time, and don't find the film to be very rugged at all. As noted, silicone coating is also very easy to repair.
Have seen the heavier D-P fabrics on retail products, and they are bomber fabrics; but they won't take me where I want to go – lighter packs. Think I will stick with the 1.9 oz silnylon unless something else comes along. Have been using it for stuff sacks for several years and it has held up well.
Always looking for something better, though, and very much appreciate all the information. The heavier Cuben with "high bias," or fibers running diagonally to the others, is a possibility, as suggested by Graham Williams.Feb 2, 2011 at 9:09 am #1691394
Thanks for your comments and knowledge on the different fabric durability. Thanks for getting rid of my fear of sweat salts delamination of Xpac. It great to have a pack manufacture who works with the fabric we are using for MYOG guys like us.
I would like to hear your thoughts on cuben fabric and durability everyone is using for MYOG.
I really like the shape/design of your 20 liter XPAC work sack it pure genius simplistic design.
Thank you very much,
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