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aklinz 08-11-2010 09:52 AM

Ultra Light Cuben Fabric Gear
Just thought I'd post my two cents in here regarding gear manufacturers who actually make the products we demand, and back them up with after-sales service. I recently have tried to get an ultra-light tent made for me by a certain "custom" tent maker. After 6 months of E-Mails and phone calls, they finally replied that they were "too busy" or "didn't really have certain products" and when asked when they would have these products, they couldn't answer! Very frustrating. I also ran into the same problems when trying to get ultra-light Cuben fabric products made for me. Many manufacturers replied they were "too busy" .... But I have found one guy who is the epitome of "customer service". MOUNTAINFITTER.COM offers Cuben fabric stuff, and he is now making Cuben tarps too ! Awesome attention to detail, and the guy answers his E-mails too ! As a group, we ultra-light hikers have got to support these guys that make the gear we demand, so check the guy out. Cuben rocks !
Andrew Klinzmann

splitboarder 08-13-2010 01:49 PM

zpacks! just found it today, some promising items, not cheap, but uber light!

mrultralite 08-13-2010 02:07 PM

cuben, i think i've heard mixed results with that, noisey perhaps.

FamilyGuy 08-13-2010 04:05 PM


MLD is at the forefront of cuben use and has been doing so for over 7 years. I have some cuben products from them. Exceptionally durable, waterproof, and scary light. Amazing stuff. But you will need a second mortgage to pay for it.....

aklinz 08-13-2010 05:48 PM

Yes, I tried both Z-Packs and MLD; both replied (after long delays) that they were basically "booked up" until late fall...
As for Cuben fabric being noisy; haven't really found that. No much more noisy than SilNylon, but with caternary cut edges, my Cuben tarp can be rigged tight as a drum, so no flapping and no noise. Possible mixed results are from early products that were sewn; Cuben really doesn't sew well at all. It should be radio welded instead.
Andrew Klinzmann

FamilyGuy 08-13-2010 07:05 PM

Hey Andrew - Yes, because MLD is custom build only, they can have a backlog of almost 8 weeks!

However, I just ordered a tarp and received it after 3. Apparently the turnaround is improving.

aklinz 08-14-2010 07:50 AM

FamilyGuy: Cool ! I tried them about a month ago; they must have cleared a lot of orders [8D]! Just got some Cuben bags and a couple of nifty Cuben Tarps from Awesome stuff ! Had my tarp rigged in the backyard during a big thunderstorm; nary a wiggle or flap ! I was able to rig the thing so tight, it was bending my carbonfibre tarp poles....
This stuff is a godsend for outdoor pursuits. Uber-Light, strong as the dickens, does not wet-out or stretch, and is impervious to UV.
Andrew Klinzmann

mrultralite 08-14-2010 10:57 AM

Yes cool stuff, thanks for pointing it out, progress has been made since i last looked at it. BUT they need some better designs like this;

FamilyGuy 08-14-2010 04:20 PM

Andrew - here is another:

Modular shelter system and packs.

prother 08-14-2010 06:11 PM

Is this cuben fabric the same a sil-tarp's silicone impregnated parachute nylon?


FamilyGuy 08-14-2010 10:06 PM

No, it's less than 1/2 the weight as silnylon and about 3 x more waterproof (hydrostatic head of about 3000mm). Depending on what type of Cuben, it will also have a noticeably higher tear strength and the best part, no sag or stretch in humid conditions.

But it is comparatively expensive. An 8x10 silnylon tarp might run about $110, whereas the comparable one in Cuben would be $250.

mrultralite 08-14-2010 11:27 PM

re hyperlite, is that a tarp or a sail? & i see no weight advantage /relative golite with the pack.

aklinz 08-15-2010 12:11 PM

Prother: No, Cuben fabric is a weave of Spectra fibres sandwiched between two layers of mylar (or something similar). Totally waterproof (actually, it is airtight) and nearly tear-proof. Strength (and weight) is dictated by the number of spectra fibres per square centimetre. My old SilTarp weighs almost double what my Cuben Tarp from weighs !
Andrew Klinzmann

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