Locus Gear 15d “hybrid” sil/PU ripstop floor material
Jul 9, 2021 at 7:18 pm #3721514
Anyone with experience using Locus Gear’s 15d Hybrid Ripstop Sil/PU floor material care to comment on its durability?Jul 10, 2021 at 1:50 pm #3721585JohnBPL Member
@johnnyh88Locale: The SouthWest
I just received an inner from them using this floor material. It’s a custom, 2/3 inner for the Khufu with half solid fabric walls – only weighs 10 oz with the 15D floor. I obviously have no long-term experience with the floor fabric, but just based on how the fabric feels, I have no concerns about it as long as it’s treated reasonably well. My Nemo Hornet has a similar floor fabric and has no holes after 70 or 80 nights, although I do use a Tyvek groundsheet about 75% of the time.Jul 10, 2021 at 8:05 pm #3721619
Thanks, John. I like 30d silnylon because it doesn’t need any footprint protection, but it’s slippery and has shockingly poor puncture resistance in testing. 15d sil/PU should have much better puncture resistance, be far less slippery, but sounds like it might require prudent use of a footprint, which I probably won’t do. I haven’t used groundsheet in years.
I think you’re probably right – that their 15d is substantially similar to Nemo’s. Super hypothetical, but how do you think your Hornet floor would be doing if you’d never brought the Tyvek?Jul 11, 2021 at 4:25 am #3721631
Odd. My silnylon floor, made from old Westmark material, does not seem at all puncture prone. But it might be a bit heavier than 30D.
CheersJul 11, 2021 at 6:41 am #3721640
Do you think that “seem” might be the operative word?
A little objective testing has biased me: https://backpackinglight.com/forums/topic/yer-experience-with-dyneema-tent-floors/page/3/#post-3681565Jul 11, 2021 at 8:59 am #3721648JohnBPL Member
@johnnyh88Locale: The SouthWest
I don’t use a Tyvek groundsheet to protect the tent floor. If the floor gets a cut or hole, patching it with tape is easy.
I use a Tyvek groundsheet to protect my inflatable sleeping pad from getting punctures. I’ve found that no reasonably light tent floor fabric provides sufficient puncture protection for me. And I mean puncture protection from small, sharp things that would poke a hole in my pad. Maybe others have the magic skill of finding every small pokey thing beneath where their tent will go, but I do not, and without a Tyvek groundsheet (or foam pad beneath my inflatable pad), I would get holes about once or twice a year.
As you linked to above, I have also found that PU-coated fabrics are better in this regard, but Tyvek is so much better for the weight. The nights I’ve used my Hornet without a groundsheet are when I was using a foam pad. So if I always used a foam pad, I would never use a groundsheet and wouldn’t worry about the tent floor.
Edit to add: my friend has a Hornet as well and he never uses a groundsheet. He uses a 1/8” foam pad under his inflatable. I’d guess he has as least 50 nights on the tent, maybe more, and he has no problems that I know of and he typically does less site clearing than I do.Jul 12, 2021 at 5:45 pm #3721764
Do you think that “seem” might be the operative word?
We camped once on a dead flat helipad just a a big storm broke. The tent floor ended up floating in about 35 mm of water – seriously! It was kinda strange. When the storm stopped the water did drain away. We stayed dry, but cooking dinner was tricky.
CheersJul 13, 2021 at 7:12 pm #3721867
Roger, so your Westmark silnylon had quite high hydrostatic head, enough to act like a water bed for you and your wife. And the silnylon that Locus Gear uses is supposed to be 3000+ mm HH, so I think it might have performed similarly on the helipad, when new.
But what about after a bunch of pokes from rocks, twigs, thorns and such? Xavier’s testing (linked to above) found that silnylon (sil/sil) was only one quarter to one tenth as puncture resistant as sil/PU -coated fabrics of the same denier. Maybe those sil/PU wovens are much more puncture resistant than is needed in real life, in which case silnylon is probably fine, and the only knock on it for floors is that much of it is too slippery to keep a pad in place on any kind of slant. I personally do not know; I’ve never owned a silnylon (sil/sil) floor.
However, I have seen a piece of sharp organic matter (not sure what it was) poke right through a sil/PU floor I was sitting on, so if that fabric was at all represented by the sil/PU fabrics that Xavier tested, I would prefer not to have anything less puncture resistant than that.
Other ways to look at it? (I have a LG inner on order with silnylon floor, would prefer to leave it that way cuz I’d prefer the general toughness of 30d sil, but am concerned about puncture and leaking on the helipads).
(I should have titled this thread “Puncture Resistance of silnylon (sil/sil) floors?”)Jul 13, 2021 at 8:28 pm #3721868Daryl and DarylBPL Member
@lyrad1Locale: Pacific Northwest, USA, Earth
I prefer a non-waterproof floor combined with a temporary, replaceable waterproof piece of material that I lay between the tent floor and my sleeping pad.. Here’s why.
A puncture of a waterproof floor allows water to seep in. But the surrounding intact, still waterproof flooring then holds that water in and forms puddles . The water is like a fly that found its way in but now can’t find its way out.Jul 13, 2021 at 9:16 pm #3721870
Hydrostatic head and puncture resistance are imho two fairly separate issues. HH depends primarily on the coating: the heavier the coating, the higher the HH.
What does puncture resistance depend on? Well, a really heavy PVC coating (yachting jackets) is certainly going to help, but that is not relevant here. I think, (in my experience) that it is the density of the weave that often determines puncture resistance, and that is NOT correlated with the ‘denier rating’. Denier tells you how fine the individual fibres are: fibres, not threads, and certainly not threads per inch (tpi). The Westmark fabric was a bit heavier than the modern UL fabrics, and I think that was due to a higher tpi. I am fairly sure it is a bit heavier than the current crop of UL fabrics, both in thread weight and tpi.
Daryl is right when he points out that a WP floor will keep any water that leaks in from leaking back out again, but I don’t think that is all that relevant. A floor will only leak when you kneel on it on a hard surface with a lot of water around. The rest of the time the silicone coating will repel the water, like a DWR coating. Many are the times we have camped on wet ground and stayed dry inside.
So, would I use an underlay groundsheet? I don’t, today. If I had to use one of those really light UL fabrics as a floor, I might be forced to.
Would I use an internal groundsheet, between the floor and my pad? I don’t, unless you count the 1/8″ CCF foam pad I place under the pad. That both protects the pad and (mostly) keeps it dry. So in some ways, I guess I do.
You will often find water between the floor and your pad in cold weather. That is NOT a leak: that is your humidity (sweat, damp clothing, etc) hitting the very cold floor and condensing. People who go snow camping know all about this, and expect it.
HTH, CheersJul 15, 2021 at 3:32 pm #3722011
Thanks for that perspective, Daryl. Worth thinking about.
Roger, with respect to thread count and denier, Xavier’s data does show some improvement in puncture resistance as we go up in denier, but coating type actually seems to be a more important variable. E.g. sil/PU is 3-10X better than sil/sil and blended sil/PU is in between the two. It does appear that PU confers greater puncture resistance. And it would make intuitive sense that sharp stuff would tend to penetrate the coating at the thread interstices, rather than directly through the round threads in a woven fabric. And if so, that would explain why coating type is correlated with puncture resistance more strongly than is denier, at least in Xavier’s data set.
Your old Westmark stuff sounds thick and heavy. Maybe the coatings were different in those days. Maybe you were lucky in never having a puncture before waterbedding the helipad. I don’t know. Also possible that Xavier’s particular test is not represenative of real-world punctures, and that sil is actually better than appears from his data.Jul 15, 2021 at 5:12 pm #3722039
Your old Westmark stuff sounds thick and heavy.
It was the bees knees at the time! But that was decades ago.
Yeah, vendors seem to use single-fibre denier as a catch-all for the fabric weight. Just don’t rely on it being everything.
CheersJul 17, 2021 at 12:55 am #3722171Sam FarringtonBPL Member
@scfhomeLocale: Chocorua NH, USA
I’ve had only good experiences using silnylon tent floors, and have replaced the floors of a number of tents with either the 6.6 silnylon from Thru-Hiker, or some high HH quality silnylon that Judy Gross from Lightheart Gear was kind enough to sell me when they were selling fabric. Note that these fabrics are at least 20D, and have enough body to hold their shape, and the tent design keeps the bathtub floors reasonably taut so they do not bunch up or float around.
But the key is that the fabric is somewhat elastic and slippery and the nylon is high quality. It is not easy for sharp objects to get a grip on and puncture or abrade a material that is both slippery and elastic, as well as more durable than most nylons. That was the theory. The fact was many years of use with no signs of puncture or abrasion. So I think this is what makes silnylon the ideal floor material. Hope to use it on the next tent.
On a related note, even the best quality silnylon does not do well for the canopy and/or vestibules of a tent, due to the absorption of moisture in wet weather and the fabric expansion that results in distortion and structural weakness in a storm. This makes it difficult to design a tent suitable for wet weather with a silnylon canopy that will remain taut and therefore protective and wind resistant in storms; so am looking at silpoly as a likely solution. But for floors, I think quality silnylon provides the best protection for its weight. Unless of course you carry the extra weight and are amenable to fiddling with a ground sheet and/or thin foam sheet to put under the sleeping pad.
I’ve not had any issues with silnylon slipping, especially now that better coatings are used, and a chevron pattern of silicone on the bottom of the sleeping pad works well. Nemo pads come with the pattern already applied. Because pitching on level ground is a priority that I would follow anyway, there is no slip-sliding away.Jul 17, 2021 at 2:09 am #3722172
This makes it difficult to design a tent suitable for wet weather with a silnylon canopy that will remain taut and therefore protective and wind resistant in storms
Usual reply: unless you design your tent to handle that.
As I have said so many times, a tunnel tent will stay taut in the heaviest rain if it is pitched correctly.
The secret is the longish loops of bungee cord at the lee end – stretched tight so they can take up the slack. Well, yeah, they are under the snow here!
CheersJul 17, 2021 at 5:57 am #3722174
Sam, thank you. I’ll leave my order as is: with Silnylon floor.
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