Mar 17, 2013 at 7:08 pm #1300590
I just bought a "new" pack, a 2010 Gossamer Gear Mariposa, in silnylon. I also have a MLD Prophet in silnylon and spinnaker, as well as a G4. Silnylon packs like these and many more used to be available from places like Gossamer Gear and MLD and were well made, light weight, and affordable. The G4 has been with me for 3 seasons and I inspected it today. It looks brand new. I am careful with my gear but not obsessive. The G4 has seen it share of overgrown trails and abuse. Granted, I don't bushwhack or climb with mine, but how many UL backpackers do? Now dyneema, VX, cuben and hybrid-cuben rule. The packs from MLD and Gossamer Gear are now heavier and lot more expensive. The G4 looks like the only silnylon pack left standing. It was not lost on me that at the same time Gossamer Gear rolled out their more expensive dyneema packs they lost the word "affordable" from their logo.
Did people really find the silnylon packs were just too wimpy for UL backpacking? Was this move away from silnylon made based on customer feed back or, shudder, focus groups? Or was it a business and marketing decision, selling on us on a level of durability we might never need for a much greater price than we were paying? Would people still buy packs like the MLD Prophet, the GG Mariposa, or the GG Murmur, if they were offered as a cheaper alternative next to their dyneema counterparts?Mar 17, 2013 at 7:15 pm #1966822
Ken T.BPL Member
Some of the newer fabrics are just so much better at abrasion resistance while being very light. The silnylon fabric quality has had issues through the years. Saw some interesting stuff at the GGG fabric wise. Remember wet look silnylon? Just technology marching on I think.
For me, I'll go with some extra durability on a pack. It is one piece of gear that experiences every mile of trail, or lack of with you. They are expensive enough that I want it to last quite some time as well.Mar 17, 2013 at 7:37 pm #1966833
Dynema weighs 4.2 oz/yd2, or thru-hiker has one that weighs 3.5 oz/yd2. Sil weighs maybe 1.4 oz/yd2.
Pack takes maybe 1.5 yd2 of fabric. Sil = 2.1 oz, Dynema = 6.3 oz = 4.2 oz more.
If sil isn't strong enough and rips, then the extra 4 oz of Dynema is well worth it.
If you're using sil and it lasts long enough for you, then saving 4 oz is saving 4 oz.
Maybe sil is so generic and Dynema is the new cool thing so pack makers use it. Also, fewer complaints about fabric tearing.
Maybe you'll have to start making your own : )
Oh, and Dynema costs $27 a yard, sil maybe $6 a yard for seconds.Mar 17, 2013 at 8:37 pm #1966858
Jerry – Was silnylon simply too fragile for packs? Are there lots of folks who just wore them out too quickly? Was there a real demand for beefier UL packs? I looked at your fabric/cost comments and looked at the GG Mariposa for an example. The switch to dyneema cost the UL consumer an extra 4 to 5 oz and about $65, if I am recalling the price of the silnylon version right. Looking over old articles and reviews, I did not see a great clamoring for more stronger, heavier UL oriented packs. When I really started following this, around 2010, ULA was already making those, McHale was making them, Zimmerbilt was making them, and then Hyperlite Mountain Gear with their cuben hybrid. Zpacks was out in front of the crazy light cuben market. Then, around 2011, like the dinosaurs, a whole segment of the UL pack market, silnylon packs, seemed to vanish.Mar 17, 2013 at 8:45 pm #1966863
John S.BPL Member
Cuben probably has a higher profit margin, so it may be all about the money. Silnylon packs are just fine.Mar 17, 2013 at 8:46 pm #1966865
I am just guessing.
Look at the posts people make about packs – 80% of them are Dynema and 20% are Cuben, no silnylon
Silnylon is just not popular – old fashioned – quaint …
If for 4 ounces (or whatever) you can make a much stronger pack, Dynema makes a lot of sense
And people like to imagine that they might bushwack through granite and Yucca like on that parallel thread : )Mar 17, 2013 at 9:20 pm #1966876
Jerry – So I should pitch my silnylon spats and cape? I heard a piece on NPR about genetically modified goats that make spider silk in their milk. The reporter said that making spider silk from goats could make it much cheaper. It is apparently crazy light and very strong stuff. The reporter talked about using it to make ballistic vests but I thought why save lives? It would make an awesome pack or tarp. I have seen the future of UL, and it is in the milk of genetically modified goats, and the revolution will be expensive. You heard it here first.Mar 17, 2013 at 10:15 pm #1966887
I heard that too. When it becomes available everyone will switch to it for a while : )
And there's some fish, a Gar?, that produces slime that can be processed to form some super fiber…Mar 17, 2013 at 10:30 pm #1966892
@m-lLocale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
They just dont have good structure or durability…Mar 17, 2013 at 11:01 pm #1966895
"The reporter talked about using it to make ballistic vests but I thought why save lives? It would make an awesome pack or tarp."
Spoken like a true backpacker. I laughed!Mar 18, 2013 at 12:30 am #1966902
@germantouristLocale: in my tent
To add another manufacturer to your list: Laufbursche in Germany still uses Silnylon for backpacks.
I have been using both Dyneema (Golite Gust) and Silnylon (Gossamer Gear G4) for years.
I did not find Silnylon too delicate. I get about one year of continuous use out of a G4. What breaks first is usually not the fabric but the stitching. The only problem with Silnylon is that once you have a hole or a tear you have to fix it quickly or it will rip further.
I had not noticed that Silnylon packs are disappearing and I find that unfortunate. No matter what UL fabric you use it is pretty vulnerable so price is essential. I don't want to invest hundreds of dollars into a pack that will break within a year – no matter what material. Even my Dyneema packs were pretty beat after one year of continuous use. I would and will happily buy Silnylon again.Mar 18, 2013 at 9:38 am #1966977
Daryl and DarylBPL Member
@lyrad1Locale: Pacific Northwest, USA, Earth
Here's a previous thread on the subject of pack fabric.
I'm currently using a myog backpack made of uncoated ripstop nylon that weighs about 3/4 ounce per square yard and it is working fine with loads up to about 35 lbs. It's not for everyone, however.
I'm not prepared to run naked through thorn bushes or slide down a granite slope with it. If I was I would add the 4 ounces of weight (see Jerry's post) and go to a heavier fabric. (I'd also put some clothes on).Mar 19, 2013 at 9:24 pm #1967689
I have read a lot of accounts of how silnylon packs have held up well over time. If used as intended, on trail with loads within the stated pack limits, they seem to do fine. Does anyone have an account of silnylon packs, especially quality made ones from places like Six Moons Design, GG, or MLD, failing when being properly used? I am trying to get a handle on whether the durability issue is real or perceived.Mar 19, 2013 at 9:42 pm #1967695
Mein Gott in himmel! I had never looked at Laufbursche packs. They are good looking packs and make a lot of use of silnylon. Once I did the Euro conversion they were spendy, and that is before shipping to the US. Would the Germans, with their legendary fondness for over-engineering, use a wimpy, inferior fabric? I think not.Mar 20, 2013 at 2:25 am #1967718
@germantouristLocale: in my tent
as I am probably one of the people on this forum who use their gear the most I can assure you that Silnylon packs do not fail when used properly. I am just about to "bury" my second GG G4.
The first one "died" in Alaska when the material ripped in the collar region which was basically my own fault. The pack had a tear there already that I had not properly repaired. When I tried to lift the pack from the collar the tear ripped further and damage became too big to be properly repaired. At that time I had continuously used (and abused) the pack for over a year!
My second GG G4 is now about to be buried after a similar period of use. The stitching has come off at various places and I'd rather throw it away now than risk an accident in the field where repairs are more difficult. In this case I have not had ANY problem with the Silnylon material – only with the quality of stitching.Mar 20, 2013 at 2:44 am #1967720
Martin ClarkBPL Member
@marty_mcflyLocale: Southeast US
I for one become particularly fond of gear. I'm still using a golite breeze, and a golite gust I purchased here on this forum. And I remember during 07 and 08 when purchasing a new dyneema pack limited you to either the ULA packs or six moon designs. While I would like to tell you that I am a fan of sil nylon packs, I actually believe that its worth the extra 4oz taken on by carrying a dyneema pack. I absolutely LOVE my breeze and if I could use it the rest of my life I would. I do feel like this is just where the market went, likely due to a higher profit margin, but largely because thats were the customers decided it should go. The good news is that people like Ron at MLD would likely make you a custom pack if you wanted one.Mar 20, 2013 at 7:09 am #1967771
Just to set the record straight, Six Moon Designs does not produce a silnylon pack. There used be be a number of 30D silnylon packs available along with a few spinnaker packs. I've even made a few for personal use on different hike.
However for our commercial packs, we use 70D silicone nylon only (except for some internal pockets). Even then it is currently only used for extension collars or the backing of the Pad Pockets.
While I have not doubt that some could successfully use a light silnylon pack. In reality they are few and far between. Most people would trash them pretty quickly and you pretty much have to sale them with no warranties available.
RonMar 20, 2013 at 2:42 pm #1967928
Mike WBPL Member
@skopeoLocale: British Columbia
I stopped using sil packs after I sliced one while stuffing some gear into it. Normally I'm pretty careful but I slid something with a sharp edge down into my pack and it sliced the sil very easily. I was able to patch the hole so it didn't let me down but after that I didn't trust sil anymore for packs and now have Dyneema Grid Stop packs. I've made modifications to a couple of the Dyneema packs and I can tell you they won't slice open (I could barely cut that stuff with my scissors!).Mar 20, 2013 at 2:49 pm #1967929
Is Dynema waterproof?
Most silnylon is not. If I have, for example, an insulated garment inside against fabric, it will wick rain water in and the garment will get wet. If I coat the inside with mineral spirits/silicone, then it is waterproof, and the seams are also sealed.Mar 20, 2013 at 5:57 pm #1967985
@azajacLocale: South West
I have the riksak by GG and have not been too impressed with silnylon durability. I have taken it on many day hikes and used it as a stuff sack for clothes. Due to its small size, I haven't loaded it up much. However, it still has a bunch of patches and little holes. I plan to replace it with something a little heftier whenever it finally bites the dust.Mar 20, 2013 at 9:54 pm #1968058
Ron – Sorry I was not being accurate regarding Six Moon packs. I was recalling that you used to make packs with lighter materials, which I think is accurate? I mistakenly lumped you in with current manufacturers still working with silnylon. I can see your current line-up is dyneema heavy. Basically I was getting at the durability of any packs made with something less then dyneema, Xpac, and perhaps hybrid cuben.
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