May 2, 2021 at 4:40 pm #3711252Eric BlancheBPL Member
@eblancheLocale: Northeast US
I’m going to agree with many points here but will conclude with dcf is still, to me, the better fabric choice for my purposes. I don’t buy my shelters, I build them. To me, the price is not too much and not even a consideration when making my own stuff…I’m also barely above poor but I have enough passion to try whatever materials make sense…to me.
I’m interested to hear the thoughts of some of the other myog’ers (who may have posted jn this thread) in this specific aspect. Less cost and certainly more passion into the actual tent design aspect where material characteristics play a key part.
With that said, I think we are ready for the next ‘super fabric’ that will seem to be the best of all words. This happened way back with zpacks and others with dcf. Anyone in the textile industry have any insight?May 2, 2021 at 5:20 pm #3711256
The main thing i didn’t like about DCF besides the price is the permeability of being semi see through , which means as soon as light comes up so does the sun…..May 2, 2021 at 5:33 pm #3711261StumphgesBPL Member
Eric, I agree that DCF has special appeal from the MYOG perspective. I can’t sew, but know I could cut and bond DCF panels if I had the gumption, and have thought about it several times. It’s also cool that DCF is the lightest, most badass material – if I’m going to go through all the trouble to design, plan and build a shelter, it would seem more wothwhile knowing that I’ve just made it as light as I possibly could have.
But if Zpacks decides that offering the Duplex in silpoly is a good wat to hedge against a drop in demand for DCF tents due to increased price, and this hedge results in a bunch of people opting for silpoly instead of DCF Duplexes over the next year, the demand for DCF could drop off a cliff.
A better move for the manufacturer would be to add dyneema oriented on the bias, thus significantly improving their product and justifying their planned price increase.
If I were them, I would be concerned that a bunch of people decided to buy DCF tents with their stimulus checks, creating a short-term spike in demand, and that I was going to increase price based on a supply-side illusion.May 2, 2021 at 5:47 pm #3711262
Btw, Joe did say they are working on offering silpoly eventually but they are working out somethings 1st.
Speaking of bonding, if its tape its going to fail eventually…. take the chance of a seam or partial seam fail out in the middle of nowhere? No thank you, but that’s my opinion and yes every tape will fail, just a matter of when.May 3, 2021 at 4:32 pm #3711342Eric BlancheBPL Member
@eblancheLocale: Northeast US
Josh regarding your last comment, I can maybe agree although I don’t actually have any real knowledge to adhesives and the like. There are some manuf. that are only bonding..and are highly regarded. Is this maybe a matter of “What kind of life expectancy do you expect out of your tent/tarp? Just a hunch but I’m willing to bet the adhesive bond will outlast the actual fabric. Doesn’t account for temperature differences of course.
This again brings up the point that dcf maybe doesn’t last as long as other options. I’ve heard of dcf tents only lasting a couple through hikes. Makes them even more unreasonable from a cost perspective for most.
Edit: I see you mention tape. Does your stance change when using a “non-tape” adhesive? Also, I think duplexes offered in silpoly (assuming similar life span) will sell much better. Way easier to get the “perfect pitch!”May 3, 2021 at 6:47 pm #3711362
The adhesive joint, if prepped correctly, will outlast the fabric, as you suggest. IMO, DCF, was never a “better” option. It is lighter (to a point), and it offers better waterproof ness. I think the Dyneema fiber is the real wonder material – if and when they decide to weave it in a way that is comparable to the other types of materials, I believe we could see something like a 2-4D “SilDCF” – something similar in performance to silpoly or silnylon, but at a much lighter weight, or something similar in weight but way more bombproof than poly or nylon. I’m not a fabric industry guy, but the only DCF I’m really willing to buy will be for a bombproof pack with almost zero downsides (beside cost). As a composite tent fabric, the waterproof ness and lack of stretch are not metrics I consider worth the insane cost over poly or nylon, and sewing is within my skill set, so I will continue to be happy to go with those more cost effective options.May 3, 2021 at 7:07 pm #3711366
If they are bonding by a different method than a tape and depending on the adhesive the adhesive could outlast the material especially if done correctly. I’ve seen plenty of non tape joints that are stronger than the material themselves, tape being the exception.May 3, 2021 at 9:49 pm #3711392May 4, 2021 at 4:33 am #3711398
Read what Geoff said, he said exactly what I was trying to and thinking but better than I couldMay 4, 2021 at 4:53 am #3711399
here.. some pictures of my DCF tarp.. this was BRAND NEW first time using it out .. very windy snow storm.. shredded completely in pieces.May 4, 2021 at 5:09 am #3711400
Wow. I bet that was an “exciting” night. Looks like 0.51 DCF? I assume you discussed this with the manufacturer?
Wondering if an MLD Grace would have suffered the same outcome…May 4, 2021 at 5:27 am #3711401
Nothing they would or could do for me. (Hammock Gear). Gave me 15% my next purchase, lol. User error? Maybe. Not my first time using a dcf tarp.. been using them for years.. this happened to be a brand new one (with doors).. for winter and windy conditions.. after this night I learned my limits using DCF tarps. Thankfully I also packed my Borah Gear Snowyside EVent bivy and Thermarest Z Lite SOL sleeping pad! Saved my life possibly!May 4, 2021 at 5:58 am #3711403
I think humans generally learn the most important lessons through pain and suffering :)
Sounds like you previously learned to have a backup. Well done.May 4, 2021 at 8:25 am #3711414
Hammock camping in winter.. I always carried Event bivy and pad.. exactly for that reason..May 4, 2021 at 11:10 am #3711435
Dirt, did you tension though the tarp only or did you use a continuous ridgeline in that instance? From the pics I cannot tell. Not that it matters, as the damage is done. Are you going to repair it or repurpose the DCF for something. I’m not a scavenger or anything, lol.May 4, 2021 at 11:12 am #3711437
Split ridgeline with Dutch Stingerz.
I sold the dcf here on gearswap.. cheap.May 4, 2021 at 11:14 am #3711438
This was winter 2019.. not this passed winter..May 4, 2021 at 1:06 pm #3711456
Ah ok, cool. HaMay 4, 2021 at 3:38 pm #3711488HkNewmanBPL Member
@hknewmanLocale: Western US
very windy … storm.. [DCF] shredded completely
Just finishing up a backpack in Southern California and a few other hiker shelters were shredded in the winds, including at least one in 0.51 DCF.
Thinking design is important if putting it into the wind, … the mid supposedly the best standing type shelter at the expense of headroom. On Mt San Jacinto, high winds were pushing hikers all over the place and deciding I couldn’t complete Fuller Ridge that night, I set up behind a large boulder and very large pine in a Protrail (0.51), sleeping undisturbed. Someone else set their sil mid up nearby in an open space and battled the wind all night. Had everything to do with site selection as the next night, the foot part of my shelter basically went “burrito roll” in the desert. My brother texted his building in LA shook from the same storm, so it be asking a lot for a shelter of any material to take a blow that’ll rattle buildings.
Maybe bivy sacks need a second look?May 4, 2021 at 4:24 pm #3711496
If u watch my video.. this is where it happens. I was not wide open and I was fairly sheltered.. it was very windy, yes.. like I said.. now i know its limitations.May 4, 2021 at 5:33 pm #3711504
My god, night 2 looked miserable. That would have cured me of winter hammock camping on the spot. I would have been more surprised if your tarp hadn’t been destroyed.May 7, 2021 at 9:24 am #3711743JacobBPL Member
Zpacks just sent me an email saying most of all their DCF products are now made from renewable resources.
Made from waste from timber pulp.
The prices haven’t gone up yet so hard to tell if it will be worth it, but I can only imagine lowering the carbon footprint would appeal to potential buyers.May 7, 2021 at 9:28 am #3711745May 7, 2021 at 9:49 pm #3711824MinerBPL Member
I will just say this. I’ve used a tarp with the original cuben fiber fabric MLD offered back in early 2008 in .68wt (before the later generation .5 and .75 wt stuff was available) and had it 8 years (fabric started to break down and allow water to seep through it so you got spray under it whenever rain hit the outside hard). Probably should have replaced it after 6 years but it doesn’t rain that often where I normally camp so I got away with pushing it longer than other people. I then ordered my next tarp with the current .5wt stuff MLD sells which is also starting to get old but looks to be in much better condition than my first tarp at this point, but it’s gotten setup much less since I normally cowboy camp unless it’s wet.
I’m not a hammock guy, but a ground dweller. With both versions, I’ve been strong winds with variable 30-50mph wind guts a few times and the tarp didn’t tear, though I get very concerned if I see it flapping which is what can damage it and try to minimize it. In that sort of wind, I’m using short 4 inch lines on the sides (not using linelocs either) and I can re-pitch the tarp lower down but wider as needed to be less of a sail. Once on the 10k ft ridgeline near San Gorgonio with a surprise snow storm in November blowing the rock salt like snow upslope at me, I did put it almost flat where I could barely get under it. I do get scared of it coming apart in strong wind and it does make me think that maybe, just maybe, I should have bought the .75wt stuff with my current tarp. But so far so good.
My thoughts on price, I’m using DCF tarps that are less than half the cost than tents made out of it. Given the few times I actually set up a shelter in a given year (remember cowboy camping), I just wouldn’t pay >$600 for a tent, especially given DCF tents seem to last most people a much shorter time frame than my DCF tarps. Not worth it to me and if the prices are going up even more, I can see why people would shy away. But I’m curious why the prices are going up. Is it really demand? Covid has caused a lot of supply issues for most companies. At work, in the past year we’ve had to redesign several of our products to use different components and materials inorder not to have a line down in our factory. It’s been a non-stop problem.May 8, 2021 at 9:01 am #3711841Gary DunckelBPL Member
I would suggest that the increasing cost of DCF isn’t so much related to what backpackers do. I expect that the demand is coming from the yacht folks, who use it for their sails (that’s how this cuben/DCF first was started). And since most yacht folks are rather financially able to absorb the price increase, DCF can easily raise their prices.
I recently needed to pick up a few yards of cuben/DCF for some hobby projects (right now I’m into making insulated water bottle holsters). I first tried ZPacks from which I had been buying my cuben fiber. They told me that they are no longer selling theirs to the public. I checked out RSBTR, and all they had was some of the blue .51 material, and I needed the burly white 1.43. I then contacted Dutch, who not only came through for me, but we exchanged several enjoyable and engaging e-mails. This was my first purchase from Dutch, and I will be buying my cuben from him from now on. It didn’t seem like his prices were much higher than what I’d paid ZPacks 3-4 years ago.
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