Ecopak EPL/EPX Ultraweave
Mar 22, 2022 at 12:02 pm #3743870
Do any of you folks (people who know Wayne-Gretzky-levels more than me on this topic) think this would be a good material choice for gaiters? Is it maybe too stiff? I’m looking for something that is extremely abrasion resistant and waterproof, as these are going to be gaiters incorporated into the footwear to make them 100% waterproof up to calf height.
I order stuff ALL the time from RSBTR, but at $25+ per half yard, that’s a hefty order to find out it’s not suited for the task. Samples are nice, but would still need to get a feel of the fabric in larger sheets.
Maybe go with an Ultra 200 and see how it holds up? Would need to survive bush whacking and scree surfing.Mar 22, 2022 at 1:45 pm #3743882Jerry AdamsBPL Member
@retiredjerryLocale: Oregon and Washington
I wear gaiters most all the time
I have found they don’t need to be waterproof. The fabric is vertical. Any water naturally just runs down the fabric to the outside of my boots. I wear merino socks inside which don’t absorb water in this system.
Being breathable actually keeps my feet drier.
I walk through wet brush and grass a lot.
Just a thought.
200D fabric would be good. I got some random breathable fabric thats maybe 1.9 oz/yd2Mar 22, 2022 at 2:24 pm #3743884
The gaiters would be glue-integrated onto the shoes, which have full 360* rands to support it. There are some products similar to this concept offered that are basically mountaineering-style integrated gaiters that effectively turn the footwear into tall, rubber boots. Mine would have no zippers and would only leak if the fabric leaks. This type of fabric can repaired easily in the field for pinhole leaks.
I might have to try a combination of 400 or 800 to beef up the rand areas, but leave it a bit lighter at 200 to be more flexible above that.Mar 22, 2022 at 3:08 pm #3743886
You could also do something similar to Yeti Gaiters or overboots – I have never seen a lightweight version of the yeti gaiter but it could be very interesting. The one thing that stops me from using them is that it would also cover crampon welts and those are mainly the types of boots I would want to use these with.Mar 22, 2022 at 4:06 pm #3743889Chris LBPL Member
Dan Durston – thanks for sharing that info from Challenge!Mar 22, 2022 at 6:48 pm #3743905
You could also do something similar to Yeti Gaiters or overboots – I have never seen a lightweight version of the yeti gaiter but it could be very interesting. The one thing that stops me from using them is that it would also cover crampon welts and those are mainly the types of boots I would want to use these with.
I should be referring to these as overboots instead of gaiters, which is more correct.
There are lightweight versions of this sort of setup for some mountaineering oriented footwear, but they usually have zippers. Mine wouldn’t have any zippers and would be vastly more waterproof and durable. I want the option of standing in ankle-deep water for hours waiting for King salmon. :)
Regardless of the specific design, I think there is a use for “UL” fully integrated overboots that are uber strong for their weight.
The concept I am going for, but mine would be much much uglier.Mar 22, 2022 at 6:59 pm #3743907
What your describing Johan (on mountaineering boots at least) is known as SuperGaiters (where it is glued or stitched to the rand of the boot) but still keeps the crampon ledges exposed. Overboots would also cover the outsole of the boot (like what 40below sells). And I guess Yeti gaiters are sort of in between in that they have their own “rand” that tightly wraps around the existing boot and also has a rubber instep strap.
I agree though – some light but durable super gaiters would be pretty cool – I know Solomon experimented with some very lightweight boots with supergaiters – I do not believe they were ever released to the public but I remember there being an approach shoe like thing with super gaiters and also a mountaineering boot (semi auto compatibility) that was made for fast and light alpine style ascents and also had a super gaiter.
This is making me want to experiment now with such a thing – I may buy some Ultra 200 and try to stitch it on a pair of approach shoes and then just shoe goo the crap out of the seam!
The zipper may also be a necessary evil – these fabrics are mostly non stretch so I do not think you will be able to get your foot through the opening or be able to lace up the shoes without it. You could also do the standard velcro double flap thing that most waterproof gaiters use as well which would be easier to stitch.Mar 22, 2022 at 7:07 pm #3743910
You’re thinking just like me.
I have La Sportiva TX3 approach shoes. The full rand on those is indestructible. They are my favorite rain drainage scrambling shoes, ever. Sometimes I don’t go through deep water and would like to stay dry. Ultra 200/400 would provide some added shin protection.
If there is enough room left on top of the foot, in such a way that the fabric can be folded down at varying amounts, one could add insulation material inside the overboot system, on the fly, of any type. It would also create a system that would dry out pretty fast or have fresh insulation swapped in. Since the insulation isn’t compressed like it would under lace pressure, it goes further for the weight.
This whole setup could easily go far below freezing with enough insulation on top, assuming someone was using a high-stack zero drop trail running shoe with good ground insulation.
Neoprene is too hot, even in 3mm, and rips to shreds in poky stuff, and can’t be repaired with simple tape. DCF style laminate-backing products can be sealed up with a slap of repair tape.Mar 22, 2022 at 8:37 pm #3743922
I want the option of standing in ankle-deep water for hours waiting for King salmon.
Poor salmon. They have my sympathy.
You could try gum boots?
CheersMar 25, 2022 at 5:09 pm #3744209
I just ordered a separate bag for my Seek Outside Gila in Ultra 400 and will be able to compare it to the existing bag in XPac X-21 to see how it feels and fits.
I’m curious how its weight compares and suspect it will come in a hair below the X-21. We’ll see and will report back of my impression of the Ultra 400 bag.Mar 26, 2022 at 6:36 am #3744251
Poor salmon. They have my sympathy.
They’re not poor, in fact, they are quite rich in omega-3 fatty acids. ;)Mar 31, 2022 at 10:27 pm #3744971Apr 1, 2022 at 12:21 am #3744976
Hilarious!Apr 1, 2022 at 8:06 am #3744989Chris KBPL Member
Scary as you can actually add the NFT option to your cart for $13K.Apr 1, 2022 at 10:27 am #3744996
Would be hilarious if they actually made the NFT and it took off and actually skyrocketed in value
As someone with a fairly technical background NFT’s crack me up – you aren’t even buying the actual rights to the digital image – you are buying the rights to a URL in a database hosted on someone elses server that links to the image also hosted on someone elses server that can be changed or dissapear at any time.Apr 1, 2022 at 3:32 pm #3745025
Ah yes, NFTs are a great scam. Like tulips.
They do serve a very good role in redistributing money from rich fools to . . . others.
CheersApr 3, 2022 at 3:43 pm #3745219
I received the Ultra 400 bag. Very light and even a hair lighter than my existing X-Pac X-21 bag. What I’ve really noticed is how slippery the Ultra 400 bag seems. If I grab the X-21 bag, my fingertips hold to the fabric. When I do the same with the Ultra 400 they slip around akin to grabbing a USPS Tyvek postal envelope that is filled.
I am very impressed that it should stand up to much more abuse from rocks, the ground, tree branches, and more than the X-21. I’m not sure about how it is a bit difficult to grab and not have it slip around in my hand.
Has anyone else noticed this or had any issues with it feeling a bit slippery?Apr 6, 2022 at 2:41 pm #3745526dmorganBPL Member
I’ve had the Divide in Ultra 400 for a month now. I love the material and contrary to what some others feel, I like how it ages – it quickly develops a creased/wrinkled kind of look.
I know what you mean, it is a little slippery. I’ve found that advantageous when bushwhacking and slipping by granite on a recent trip. Kevin mentioned that it makes the fabric quieter (relevant in hunting context). Im impressed so far – it seems like bomber fabric. I haven’t had issues when grabbing the pack because I’ll use the webbing or shoulder strap to pick it up. I tested what you mentioned – if I grab the ultra material itself its a bit slippery but I can bunch the fabric a little and then lift it.Apr 17, 2022 at 2:16 pm #3746718
I removed the X-Pac X-21 bag and replaced with with the new SO Ultra 400 bag which felt slippery, as I mentioned before. Took it out for a spin handling it all the while. By the time I got home today, the bag lost its initial slippery feel.
It was put on the SO frame, then removed, then put back on again. It was tossed in the car, worn, put down on the ground, worn, and finally tossed back in the car. One day of fiddling with it was enough to take that slipperiness away. It’s definitely a keeper. I really like it.Apr 18, 2022 at 8:26 pm #3746918James TaylorBPL Member
Assuming the delaminating problem isn’t too widespread and EPL Ultra lives up to its potential, it’ll be interesting to see how HMG responds to the shift in the market. Their DCH-50 and DCH-150 pack fabric is completely obsolete now, isn’t it?
They’ve built their reputation on “DCF in everything!” and now there’s a fabric that, for packs at least, is superior in every way. Especially since it comes in white!
Will they swallow their pride and start using the same fabric everyone else is using, or slowly cede mind- and market share to their competition? After a few years of thru-hikers singing EPL Ultra’s praises (assuming that’s what happens) I can’t see even their marketing prowess overcoming the deficit.
Or am I missing something here? What do you guys think?Apr 18, 2022 at 8:52 pm #3746921Murali CBPL Member
People “think” they need a bomber backpack. I bet the number of hikers who have more than 2000 miles on their backpacks are a very very small number. It will be an interesting survey on BPL and reddit to see. People buy, try, sell. Nobody keeps their backpacks for a long time. They keep switching, trying newer backpacks for whatever reason – fit, the next great fabric, framed, frameless etc etc.
If you take Zpacks packs with Ultra, sure the fabric is going to last a long time – how about the other components? LiteAf owner I think said that – that other components are failing on their backpacks.- not the fabric anymore. So Zpacks, LiteAf will improve their components. I feel HMG packs are overbuilt in the component area as well. They use 3.5 osy and 5 osy fabric which easily lasts 4 to 5k miles. Gossamer Gear fabrics are not that burly….but, it is a popular brand. So, I don’t think having a burly fabric is the main selling point for backpacks.
We already had nylon backpacks which can last a long time – like for example MLD Burn DX210 last 8000 miles according to Cam “Swami” Honan. I doubt you can convince that guy who used it for 8000 miles that he needs Ultra – other than it is a fancy new fabric. In fact, he said that the thing that failed was the foam in the shoulder straps. And Rob Bell said he can change the shoulder straps of the Ultra backpacks so that the backpack can theoretically go longer.
I don’t think HMG needs to react to Ultra. In fact, I like the 5 osy DCF compared to the Ultra. I feel Ultra gets crinkled and dirty and harder to clean. It is much easier to clean the black 5 osy DCF as it is glossy and dirt comes off easily.Apr 18, 2022 at 10:49 pm #3746930Dan @ Durston GearBPL Member
@dandydanLocale: Canadian Rockies
HMG does seem very tied to DCF/Dyneema, but they actually have been testing their packs in Ultra and are thinking of switching.
But also, DSM is working furiously on an Ultra competitor they expect to have out in the next few months so HMG may just wait for that.Apr 19, 2022 at 5:59 am #3746940Matthew / BPLModerator
How does HMG’s woven Dyneema compare to Ultra? Does it have the laminate layer inside?Apr 26, 2022 at 12:36 pm #3747676
“People “think” they need a bomber backpack. I bet the number of hikers who have more than 2000 miles on their backpacks are a very very small number. It will be an interesting survey on BPL and reddit to see. People buy, try, sell. Nobody keeps their backpacks for a long time. They keep switching, trying newer backpacks for whatever reason – fit, the next great fabric, framed, frameless etc etc.”
I have to agree that for most people other backpack components will fail before the Ultra material. For me, the biggest attraction was its puncture resistance compared to the X-21 or X-42 packs I have. A fair number of my miles are off trail and bushwhacking. The forest is dense with a lot of fir trees and it wouldn’t surprise me if a sharp limb punctured the X-Pac material. It hasn’t happened yet with any X-Pac bag I’ve had but I look at the Ultra as a little insurance.Apr 29, 2022 at 4:48 pm #3747951
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