Oct 17, 2013 at 11:49 am #1308849
Over the last few years I have worked to design a new shelter material. Now that the dream has become a reality I would like to get feedback from the MYOG crowd.
The base material is a 30D nylon Ripstop. On one side its laminated with an ultra thin PET film and on the other side its coated with silicone. The result is a material that is lightweight, strong, ultra waterproof, low stretch, great tear resistance, UV resistant, and quite affordable.
In its current configuration it weighs 1.75oz per square yard. While not ultralight. For how many boxes it checks, I don't think it can be beat by silnylon, cuben fiber or anything else out there. The only thing I might add is a dyneema X ply (Like Xpac) between the film and woven nylon to help add even more tear resistance and make it look that much cooler. Problem is it costs more and adds .25oz to the overall weight of the material. So its it worth it? As MYOGers what would you pay per yard for such a material? I have plans to sell it by the yard. So I look forward to everyone's thoughts.
LawsonOct 17, 2013 at 12:33 pm #2035020
@edvinLocale: Gothenburg, Sweden
Awesome! Extra strength is always nice but I'm not that big of a fan of the x ply in Xpac. Sure it makes it stronger but it also makes the fabric "stand out" over the x ply meaning a lot of the wear is concentrated over it. Same with folding, it always folds around the reinforcements weakening that spot.
So how strong is the fabric and how much would the dyneema add? And does it still stretch a lot when wet?Oct 17, 2013 at 12:39 pm #2035022
@wildtownerLocale: Grand Canyon State
I dabble in MYOG, and I think it sounds quite interesting for several applications I can immediately think of… So, with the dyneema, it would weigh about 2oz/sq yd (maybe not SUL, but still pretty UL – compare to Goretex, for example).
It sounds interesting for applications like the bottom of a bivy sack, the main compartment of a backpack, and maybe something like gaiters/mitts, etc.
I'm sure it wouldn't appeal to the SUL'ers, who wouldn't want anything heavier than 1oz/sq yd, but they are still a relatively small group (albeit maybe a majority in YOUR client base).Oct 17, 2013 at 1:18 pm #2035029
Thanks for working to come up with new better material
1.5 oz sil is strong enough and waterproof enough for a shelter so increasing this and adding weight (and I'm guessing cost) doesn't add any value
has to be lighter
it could be good for a backpack, although my sil backpacks are waterproof and have never broken so even there it's not useful, but that's just me, most people consider sil not strong enough
the fact that it's not so stretchy is good for both backpack and shelter so maybe…Oct 17, 2013 at 1:36 pm #2035037
maybe it would be good for a floor?Oct 17, 2013 at 1:44 pm #2035039
I would definitely be interested; I think the non-"x" version appeals to me a bit more, but I can think of uses for each. I presume you don't want to carry both?Oct 17, 2013 at 1:55 pm #2035044
Daryl and DarylParticipant
@lyrad1Locale: Pacific Northwest, USA, Earth
I'm a bit out of the mainstream for myog tents and packs so keep my comments in perspective.
The fabric wouldn't interest me.
For tents I like a cuben fly (.75 oz) plus a solid inner nylon tent (.7 ounce or so). So a total weight of about 1.5 ounce per square yard gives me a double wall tent. I don't like single wall tents.
For packs I prefer breathable fabric. I don't want waterproofing on the fabric.Oct 17, 2013 at 2:26 pm #2035048
@fox212Locale: THE Bay Area :)
I think the fabric has potential for backpacks and maybe groundsheets, but not so much for tarps/shelters. For backpacks, both versions interest me, but more so the non X-ply version. I really think cuben fiber is the bee's knees for tarps/shelters. I'm somewhat familiar with your past cuben shelter designs, and I'd love to see them for sale.
Speaking of which…When are you gonna send me those shelter designs to model for you?! :) (My offer from awhile ago still stands if you're interested)
Re price, I'd expect to pay somewhere around what the lighter silnylons cost for the non x-ply.
Bummer that selling the foam pads didn't work out in the long run. I recall how much work it was to make and sell them. Oh well, more time to focus on shelters! :)Oct 17, 2013 at 2:37 pm #2035052
@cfrey-0Locale: US East Coast
I would think the strength of a PET laminate would permit a lower denier base fabric.Oct 17, 2013 at 4:09 pm #2035082
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
> The only thing I might add is a dyneema X ply (Like Xpac) between the film and
> woven nylon to help add even more tear resistance and make it look that much cooler.
Where the X ply threads cross over is a high point which always wears through. X-Pac fabric from DimPoly has this problem.
Get the weight down a bit more and it could be very interesting. Regardless of the glamour, 59 gsm (1.75 oz) will be seen as 'too heavy'. Perception is everything …
CheersOct 17, 2013 at 6:42 pm #2035124
Wow I am totally surprised by the feedback. Most people complain about misting and stretch with silnylon. This material solves both problems at only .25oz more.Oct 17, 2013 at 7:08 pm #2035133
just Justin WhitsonMember
I think perhaps more folks would be interested if you used say a 15 denier fabric to cut down the weight some.Oct 17, 2013 at 7:12 pm #2035134
Just to give my opinion, not be critical of anyone, but
I think "misting" is a non problem – sure if it rains hard I may feel a little "mist" but it's not enough to get anything wet. It doesn't take hardly any "mist" to be noticeable.
And the Shield from thru-hiker doesn't have this problem (just based on Richard's measurements). It is waterproof as a floor in my experience.
Stretching is a minor problem. The flat felled seam that runs into a corner tie-out does stretch. Polyester thread will break in the several inches closest to the corner, but if you do a zigzag stitch it won't.
It does stretch a bit after I set it up so an hour later I have to re-tension the tie-outs.
If you could make it not stretchy at the same weight as sil that would be useful. Or I could just use Cuben which is lighter and doesn't stretch.Oct 17, 2013 at 7:58 pm #2035153
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
> Most people complain about misting and stretch with silnylon.
'Complain' does not mean the silnylon is responsible for either.
The misting is simply condensation on the inside being knocked off by large drops (in 99% of the cases). Your fabric will not solve that.
Stretch can be essential in bad weather, if properly used. No, a tarp won't like a 60 mph wind, period, regardless of the amount of stretch. But I won't make a tunnel out of Cuban because it lacks stretch and cannot handle shock loading. (And the stitch holes grow like mad under tension.)
So one could suggest that you are offering no benefits for .25 oz more weight. Well, maybe useful for a groundsheet in extreme wet weather, but what's the washing machine life like? (The washing machine test tells us how the fabric handles being crumpled up again and again.)
But, KEEP trying! Get the weight down to match or be just slightly below silnylon, and see what the reaction is like. Hey – I'll look at a sample!
CheersOct 17, 2013 at 10:00 pm #2035184
Stretch is good. Sagging is not. Silnylon sags. Its like an old women that has had 10 kids.Oct 18, 2013 at 6:13 am #2035224
You mean an hour after you set up your tent taut, it's sagging so you have to re-tighten the tie-outs?
Normally this isn't a big deal, but if it's raining I don't like to have to go out in the rain, or if I set it up at end of day and go inside it'll be sagging in the morning when I get up. It would be nice not to do this.Oct 18, 2013 at 7:13 am #2035229
Exactly Jerry. With this material there is no more re-tensioning your tarp or tent. You set it and the next morning the material isn't all saggy and droopy like silnylon. It more like a PU coated Silnylon the big compaines use. Except this material actually has good tear strength. Over 10lbs warp and fill. The dyneema x ply will increase this number further.Oct 18, 2013 at 7:49 am #2035232
Not to be difficult, but since you're doing market research
If it didn't weigh more and I was making a tarp I'de consider using it
If it weighed a little less I'de be more interestedOct 18, 2013 at 8:49 am #2035250
@lunchandynnerLocale: Pacific Northwest
I know this is backpacking LIGHT and all…. But I feel like there's too much emphasis on weight being the be all end all…. I'm super happy that my pack is much lighter now (around 11-12# before food and water), but at that point I stop carrying about exactly how many grams/ounces I'm carrying since it's so comfortable as it is. Plus, better leg workout with more weight, right, folks who skip leg days??
Anyways, I think it's really cool you're making a new fabric, and more importantly, like your other products, it'll be made in the USA, I assume, so that alone makes it worth it. I've never really had a problem with sagging tent fabric, but that's because I use a short length of shock cord at my vestibule tie outs, which is the only area that really has any potential to sag on my double rainbow.
With as light a pack as I carry now, I'm happy to focus my attention on comfort and convenience. Plus, cuben is prohibitively expensive for me.Oct 18, 2013 at 8:58 am #2035253
@andrew-fLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
I like that you're trying to be innovative… but it's probably not a product I would buy. It sounds like it fills roughly the same market as PU coated materials (more waterproof, heavier, albeit this stuff is probably stronger) and nobody buys tarps made with PU these days.
For an 8×10 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.
Two products I would buy from you: a cuben modified pyramid tent like the SMD Haven, and a 2-person cuben version of the Spinnshelter/Patrol Shelter.Oct 18, 2013 at 4:56 pm #2035407
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?Oct 18, 2013 at 5:51 pm #2035421
@scfhomeLocale: Chocorua NH, USA
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.Oct 21, 2013 at 9:02 am #2035977
@skyzoLocale: Borah Gear
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.Oct 22, 2013 at 9:11 pm #2036763
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 : )Oct 22, 2013 at 9:45 pm #2036776
@scfhomeLocale: Chocorua NH, USA
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.
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