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    tom lakner
    BPL Member


    Locale: midwest

    Hi all,
    Just wanted to mention that I had a three year old HMG windrider 3400 that started to deteriorate this summer. At first a few strands separated inside which snagged on my fingers every time I shoved something in or pulled something out.
    I taped that all up and thought maybe this is what happens to a CF pack after a few years and made a mental note( which I forgot immediately) to check a different fabric for the next pack. Anyway later this summer way up north on the pct it got really bad and i just cut ,cut ,cut all the strands.
    When I got home I called HMG, set to argue it out. Mike answered the phone and assured me that it was a batch problem of a few years back and no, this was not supposed to happen.
    I sent that pack in
    and a week later I got a new ,shiney white pack in the mail.
    The old one was one of the most comfortable packs I’ve used and I felt terrible that it delaminated as I didn’t want to shop around again . But I have to tell you that HMG has been a GREAT company to deal with and I will continue to buy stuff from them.
    Thanks for reading this as my pointing fingers have callused up now

    Dan Durston
    BPL Member


    Locale: Canadian Rockies

    That is great customer service, but the issue you describe is unfortunately normal for cuben including hybrid cuben.

    Cuben’s inner mylar layer simply isn’t that tough and does degrade with use. Once the mylar fatigues/cracks/bubbles/delaminates after 200 or so days of use, then the spectra threads unavoidably snag and tangle everywhere.

    FWIW, my wife’s Windrider did the same thing as yours, but it was about 2 years older. There may have been a batch problem where this was worse, but it’s a fact of life as cuben nears the end of it’s lifespan. The roll top design of HMG packs exacerbates this issue, because rolling cuben under tension is the quickest way to delaminate the mylar.

    The spectra in hybrid cuben doesn’t add much to the fabrics utility in a pack (like it does for tents/tarps) because abrasion is ultimately what does in most pack fabrics. Xpac fabrics lack this spectra, but have a tougher inner plastic layer and this is optionally protected by a 50D nylon lining (on the VX fabrics). Thus, a fabric like XPac VX07 provides similar abrasion resistance as the hybrid cuben HMG uses, but will last longer on the inside as it has thicker plastic with a nylon protective lining. It’s a better and cheaper pack fabric.

    Michael F
    BPL Member


    which is exactly why I have modified my Terra Nova Ultra 20 cuben pack with a nylon inner liner (just used a stuffsack/pack liner :p )

    Cuben requires a lot of care and planning imo. The liner in my pack, and the fact that I never plop my bags directly onto the ground, should keep my delicate cuben pack in nice shape. When sitting down, I throw down a Matador mini blanket that hangs on my pack strap and sit my bag and my butt down on that. never scuffing my pack on the rocks. When hiking I have a small ripstop nylon pack cover for bad areas, I added velcro for slippage issues.

    with all this my pack is still super lite. The pack itself weighs an insane 3.9 ounces for 20L capacity (this is my hammock setup, overnight bag, good for 2 days and one night)

    I love it. but I have to treat it really nicely, since a, they dont even make this bag anymore, and b, I resell a lot of my gear and want it to be in near new condition.

    I used some cuben tape to reinforce some of the areas along the hip belt and straps as well. I can carry ten lb loads with comfort in an otherwise flimsy bag by adding an inflatable pack frame. and adding little pockets and other expansions

    Serge Giachetti
    BPL Member


    Locale: boulder, co

    I had this happen to a cuben hybrid pack after about 4 months hard use. Not the right material for packs IMO. HMG does have great customer service though.

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