I saw a couple of folks on the Trail with DIY backpacks made with Cuben fiber. One of them was named "beershake" . The packs held up great and believe me, neither of these people were 'easy' on their packs.
Last edited by Cannibal; 12-11-2008 at 09:06. Reason: forgot an "m"
Joe @ Zpacks.com is a great dude. He has helped me with custom gear before, and to this day I have had a few hundred miles put on his cuben "Blast" backpack that he made in a smaller size and sold to me. The cuben he used on the pack is about 1oz/yard. Read: strong
I have done dozens and dozens of miles of backpacking through catsclaw and shrub live oak with very little fraying (and only to the outside pockets)
so if he is charging a fair amount for a tarp (which he pro'lly is) Id say go for it.
The problem of durability in Cuben is when you start trying to make gear from the .44 or .33 stuff. As explained to me by Ron Bell of MLD, the .6, .7, and 1.0 is perfect for gear. Just hope tree branches dont fall on ya.
I should have added that my opinion was based on reviews on comments I read on other people's experiences. Basically I commented when I probably should not have.
As I understand it the lighter weights are strong in tensle strength (read pulling and forces from wind, use, and hanging). However the lighter weights have a history of reviews of being easily punctured.
I defer to people that actually use it more in depth. But if you are going with the 1oz per square yard you are only saving .3 oz per square yard over sil and paying a lot more. 1oz is probably inline with spinntex. Not sure though on the exact weights.
After seeing Cannibal's tarp at TD and talking to him about it, I am planning on going that route when I start up the hammock gear making.
Is that too much to ask? Girls with frikkin' lasers on their heads?
The hanger formly known as "hammock engineer".
yes, this is true. much consideration must be put into effect for any single item that is as most would consider very expensive.
however, if you look at the tarp and its accessories, you may just save a bunch of weight over sil. For instance, cuben has zero stretch and unlike sil, it wont sag in wet, rain, humidity, etc... so you may not have to carry tarp tensioners. that can be as much or more as a 4 ounce savings!
FWIW, puncture resistance of cuben is very low.. but us hangers are usually experienced not to puncture our hammocks too, so we already know how to care for fragile items. I have come to one conclusion tho... if i have done my math correctly I can replace my 19oz tarp with a same sized Cuben tarp and save 10 ounces! Even to a gram weenie like me tho, Im not going to pay the high $$ for cuben even in a DIY scenario. I admit, im cheap!
another thing i personally like is the color choices of sil. stealth is important to me. Cuben might be stealthy in snow, but I dont camp in snow.
otherwise, the weight factor is the only great thing about it. Plus, its easy to patch.
I love my DIY cuben tarp. Though saying so might make me an outcast, I don't spend all my nights in a hammock, as I am often going SUL these days and prefer the simplicity/lower weight and volume of a ground set up for those trips. I wanted to only make one cuben tarp for myself, so I settled on a 9.5' x 7' size, with a taped ridge (super strong in all tests I could do to it). I have seen zero need for catenary cuts with cuben, then again, I never had trouble with sloppy non-cat cut tarps before either, cat cuts just make life easier. But there is no stretch with the cuben, and it is way waterproof. On the ground I use the tarp usually in an A-frame or half A frame, but over my hammock I pitch on the diagonal, with the assymetry of it mirroring that of my HH clone. Lots of coverage, no issues in several heavy rainstorms. Best of all, 4.5 oz and the size of a beer can rolled up. Materials ran about 110 bucks, plus my time, but that's a heck of a tarp for the money in my opinion. And instead of having to pursue a poncho tarp option to really save weight, I can combine it with a driducks jacket and still be about 2 oz. lighter than most, plus have an additional full time layer and solve the "what to wear around camp in the rain" issue.
As an aside, my bivy sack bottom is also made of the same .6 cuben material and has maybe a dozen nights on it. Some on very wet ground, one night on gravel in Grand Canyon, and 2 nights on sharp gravel in Canyonlands. Nothing under it but a Gossamer Gear Polycryo groundcloth to keep the dust down. No leaks in wet, rips or tears. Cuben is cool.
I made my own cuben tarp,(as well as a C Speer H) no sewing ,used glue strips. it is incredibaly strong and if punctured a bit of duct or equivalent fixes it instantly, It requires no waterproffing, My cuben pack, again no sewing, I"m older and can't put much wgt on my shoulders so I designed it to have no ahoulder straps. it is kinda balanced with a rather small cuben front pad. darn it is light! and seems to work well, gnome
typo, that is a front pack (where is my spell check when I need it?)gnome
DIY Cuben projects, what weight Cuben have you been using? Can you easily cut Cuben with a rotary fabric cutter? Does cutting Cuben prematurely dull scissor blades?