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X-Pac Long Term Usage?


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  • #3463633
    Michael Schlesselmann
    BPL Member

    @mschless

    Locale: Southern Los Padres National Forest

    Can someone school me on the long term durability of X-Pac (especially VX07) and just the fabric in general. I have read some of the other threads using the search bar, but still have some questions. From my understanding it is a laminate of multiple layers? With a rolltop, has anyone had any experiences with it delaminating after repeated rolling/unrolling. I have been looking at the Superior Wilderness Designs Packs and am trying to decide between their stock Xpac, or having them use Dyneema X for the whole pack.

    Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

    #3463647
    matthew k
    Moderator

    @matthewkphx

    Bedrock and Paradox has a couple articles that cover the Xpac variants in detail.

    #3463654
    Valerie E
    Spectator

    @wildtowner

    Locale: Grand Canyon State

    I don’t know what you mean by “long term”, but … in 2015 I made myself a pack from X-Pac, and then took it for a 500 mile walk.  It looked as new at the end of the trail as it looked when I started.  No wear on the roll-top.  It once got left out in a torrential downpour for about 30 minutes (don’t ask!), and everything inside was 100% bone-dry (but in an excess of caution, I did seam-seal the pack).

    I think X-Pac is too new for real “long-term” feedback (10yrs, 20yrs, etc.), but I suspect it’ll hold up to almost anything short of extended dragging on rough/sharp rock (only high-denier cordura could cope with that!).  I’m thinking about making a new packbag this summer for my fall thru-hike, and I wouldn’t even consider anything other than X-Pac.

    #3463688
    Luke F
    BPL Member

    @fowler

    Few things to consider; the only real X-pac delamination I have seen are 1) on a brand new piece of fabric as a lamination flaw and 2) on an older Mountainsmith pack, I assume from the 90s or very early 2000s. In both cases the delamination didn’t mean much as both the inner layer and face fabric where just as much intact as if they were still laminated.

    If I were concerned with delamination, dyneema X seems a strange second choice. I would bet good money that whatever the lifespan on the lamination of Xpac it will outlive the coating on dyneema X by a wide margin, and the xpac will likely be waterproof after delamination while the dyneema X will likely cease to be waterproof even before complete coating failure.

    The VX07 you are asking about is a three (some would say four) layer laminate, a 70d nylon face fabric, a grid of thick polyester threads (the X), a layer of mylar and a very thin polyester inner scrim layer.

    #3463690
    nunatak
    BPL Member

    @roamer

    What Luke said. He’s worked with this far more than I have. Although I have seen some break down of the waterproof layer. Read on.

    Xpac has a bewildering array of fabrics. Fully understanding the line-up took me some homework. The stuff I write below is in itself a mouthful, if unfamiliar with DP Xpac.

    The number denotes the denier. 07 = 70d, 21 = 210d and so on. There’s exceptions and further confusion, off course. X51, for instance is 500d x1000d.

    Popular these days is X21. It’s part of the Xpac laminates without a protective inner layer of taffeta, i.e. the inside is shiny with the waterproof membrane fully exposed. This saves substantial weight.

    The burlier taffeta backed version of X21 is called VX21. The weight difference is from 4.4 oz/yd to 6.0 oz/yd.

    We made a pack with alternating panels of VX21 and X21 near the drawcord top. It’s a daypack and thus seen weekly use since summer 2016. The taffeta backed VX is fine, the lighter X is showing deterioration of the waterproof layer.

    VX07, which the OP specifically asks about, is made with a very light 70d face fabric, yet weighs 4.8 oz/yd, or more than the far tougher 210d X21. This is due to the interior taffeta layer protecting the waterproof component.

    Based on our experience with the MYOG pack mentioned, and using various Xpac bike packing bags since 2011, VX07 will stay waterproof longer than X21, but only if exposure to abrasion is kept to an absolute minimum.

    Here’s a chart from 2015 that is still current I think:

     

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    #3463691
    Philip Tschersich
    BPL Member

    @philip-ak

    Locale: Kodiak Alaska

    A bunch of us have XPac Paradox packs in my hunting and hiking group. The VX21 fabric (210d) is very durable and I don’t see any degradation from rolling/unrolling the bag tops. The versions of XPac lighter than the 210 denier are prone to tears and punctures though. I would want VX21 on the bottom and in high-wear areas in any case. You may need to baby VX07. Otherwise it’s great stuff. I have a bunch of cuben HMG packs and cuben looks like crap after a lot of miles, though it still seems sound from a performance standpoint. It just gets all scrunched and puckered. I wouldn’t hesitate to use either fabric again (cuben or XPac).

    #3463758
    Michael Schlesselmann
    BPL Member

    @mschless

    Locale: Southern Los Padres National Forest

    Thanks for the responses everyone. I should have specified that I am not super concerned with waterproofing. Its a nice plus to the XPac but I live in Southern California so the extent of my storms are few and far between. I always line my pack anyways. That is good to hear that there have not been many problems with delamination. But the puncture resistance of VX07 still scares me a bit. For overgrown brush and scrambling, however, dyneema x may be a better option for essentially the same weight as VX07…

    #3463764
    Brad Rogers
    BPL Member

    @mocs123

    Locale: Southeast Tennessee

    210d Dyneema Grid (Dyneema X) will be much more durable than VX07 and probably even more durable than X21 (that are about the same weight).  The advantage the the X21 over the Dyneema Grid is the waterproofing, but if that isn’t a concern, I might agree that Dymeema Grid is a better choice.

    I haven’t used VX07, but X21 is plenty tough enough for brush, but granite or sandstone can take its toll as they do on many packs.

    One other note is the X Pac is stiffer material which can be nice in some circumstances.

    #3463810
    James holden
    BPL Member

    @bearbreeder-2

    You can abrade through a dyneema gridstop pack with rock use

    constant rock abrasion will wear out any pack thats less than 800D … And even those will wear through eventually

    210D gridstop us considered acceptable on alpine style packs, for constant rock use though its a bit light

    However unless yr always climbing rock i wouldnt worry about it … Just patch up da pack if you should get some holes

    ;)

     

    #3463826
    matthew k
    Moderator

    @matthewkphx

    Informative responses!

    I’ve noticed some pack makers are using VX03. That doesn’t seem like a great choice at 4.2 ounces/yard versus VX07 at 4.6 ounces/yard. Agree?

    #3463843
    Brad Rogers
    BPL Member

    @mocs123

    Locale: Southeast Tennessee

    At those weights I would go with X21 at 4.4oz per sq. yd. if you want waterproofness or 210d Dyneema Grid at 4.2oz per sq. yd.

    #3463868
    Luke F
    BPL Member

    @fowler

    I’ve noticed some pack makers are using VX03. That doesn’t seem like a great choice at 4.2 ounces/yard versus VX07 at 4.6 ounces/yard. Agree?

    Yeah, I’m struggling to come up with any application where VX03 would make sense. Even on a very large pack the total weight savings would likely top out at 0.5 oz. Some of DP’s fabrics were designed for some pretty obscure purposes, I wonder if it had a crazy specific application when it was made. I know I’ve seen tents with X pac reinforcements (Mountain Hardwear hoopla/hoop dreams/hoopster for one) but if memory serves those were either VX07 or TX07.

    #3464111
    Dan Durston
    BPL Member

    @dandydan

    Locale: Canadian Rockies

    I think VX07 is a pretty good choice for a typical lightweight pack where the user wants reasonable durability and waterproofing. For someone who stays on-trail, takes reasonable care of their gear, VX07 will last a very long time. I’ve used it quite a bit and I’d put it in par with the hybrid cuben used by HMG (70D?). It might be prudent to have one level heavier on the bottom of the pack (VX21). Most folks will be well suited with this arrangement. My Hanchor Marble pack is mostly VX07 and it’s seen some serious off-trail abuse with a lot less damage than I expected.

    VX21 is good for users who are venturing off-trail and into harder use scenarios, but aren’t doing anything like canyoneering. You can bust through alder pretty well with VX21 and not worry about it. The only notable damage I’ve put on VX21 is from ski edges rubbing on the pack. I think it’s easily a step beefier than the normal hybrid cuben’s (HMG) and far beefier than the light hybrid cuben’s (Zpacks).

    210D Dyneema is nice but I don’t think the dyneema really does that much since it’s just a grid. It helps tears from propagating but that seem to be about it. So in terms of durability I think of VX21 and 210D Dyneema as about the same. Folks should go with 210D Dyneema if they want no waterproofing, X21 if they want some, and VX21 if they want proper waterproofing.

    I personally like a waterproof pack. Even a non seam sealed VX21 works well enough for most use cases including packrafting. I flipped my raft for ~30 seconds this weekend with a VX21 non-seam sealed Hanchor Marl on the bow and had virtually no water inside. Went hiking today with a MYOG VX21 pack in heavy rain and had no-issues (this one was seam sealed). The nice thing with a waterproof pack is that you don’t have to think ahead. In wet areas like the PNW you should have one, and in drier areas you’re probably not going to bother tossing in a garbage pack every time, so having the waterproofing always there can bail you out if you get surprised.

    I consider the fabrics above VX21 as mostly specialty fabrics. VX40 is good for pack bottoms and reinforcements, but entirely VX40 packs are overkill for most unless you’re hunting or descending slot canyons. For backpacking, it’s not hard to make VX21 last a very long time.

    I don’t think the X grid in these fabrics adds much (anything?). I’d rather DP left it out, which I guess they do for D40. A V21 fabric would be ideal.

    #3464201
    USA Duane Hall
    BPL Member

    @hikerduane

    Locale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada

    Not sure what X-pac material was used in my Zimmerbuilt, but I’ve had it about three seasons, my Fall and winter trip sized pack.  No issues.  33 oz pack, hook and loop top closure that can be rolled.  Loaded evenly, carries well.  Just don’t like the waist belt camera bag, too small.

    Duane

    #3464258
    nunatak
    BPL Member

    @roamer

    I agree with Dan. The x grid does little or nothing. It’s sort of the signature look for this fabric line and as such probably unlikely to be dropped.

    The one case we’ve had of X-Pac lamination failing was a couple of x grid fibers going thru the waterproofing to the inside. Without the grid the waterproof film would bond better to the shell fabric, imo.

    #3464297
    Iago Vazquez
    BPL Member

    @iago

    Locale: Boston & Galicia, Spain

    I don’t really know, but I always thought Katabatic V40 line of fabrics reads just like DP without the X pattern.

    #3464350
    Dan Durston
    BPL Member

    @dandydan

    Locale: Canadian Rockies

    Katabatic’s V40 is a DP fabric without the X pattern.

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