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  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    Tell me more about cuben

    I have decided that my next major purchase will be a tarp. I have been using a simple poly tarp. It is heavy. I want my new tarp to be light, and as I am starting on an ultralight journey, I want the best. Cuben is by far the lightest. But how durable is it? I am rough with my gear, and I need something that will hold up. If silnylon is more durable maybe I should go that route. So tell me more..... What is the lightest but most durable tarp? I want this new tarp to last me years and years.

  2. #2
    MDSH's Avatar
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    Here you go: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8gfcuCh7h04

    I made mine out of .74 ounce green CF3 and get the impression it is quite tough. It also provides a degree of shade. Am very happy with it.





    .
    Mike

    But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed. (Luke 5:16 NIV)

    He said to them, “But now let the one who has a moneybag take it, and likewise a knapsack. And let the one who has no sword sell his cloak and buy one." (Luke 22:36 ESV)

    While people are saying, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. (1 Thessalonians 5:3 ESV)

  3. #3

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    Cuben is a sandwich of roughly mylar and dyneema. Other materials are used and the layers and thread patterns vary thus the different weights. If you want to get technical go to their site. So far it seems to hold up well with time.

    Syl - Silicon impregnated nylon is next in weight but has stretch problems when wet hence the tensioner discussions. Also the melt discussions, fire discussions and leakage discussions. It is also susceptible to UV degradation. Did I say it was light?

    Urethane coated nylon or polyester is heavier yet, comes in a range of weights. A lot of commercial gear is urethane over polyester because it is more UV resistant. Even the light weight is heavier than syl but more everything else proof.

    For my money Urethane over poly for bulletproof. Cuben for weight. YMMV
    YMMV

    HYOH

    Free advice worth what you paid for it. ;-)

  4. #4
    Senior Member bear bag hanger's Avatar
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    My first cuben fiber tarp/poncho (about two years ago? used about 90 days) has a big hole in it. It was .5 oz cuben fiber and maybe that's a bit light. Would like to try a .75 oz cuben fiber tarp/poncho, but can't find anyone who makes one out of the slightly heavier fabric. Silnylon is about the only other alternative, but compared to cuben fiber, it's heavy. There use to be some tarps made from SpinnTex, but that material seems to have fallen out of favor. Not sure why, it's slightly lighter than silnylon and a lot stronger than cuben fiber.

  5. #5

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    I've had a couple of years on the .51 cuben tarps and find them surprisingly durable. Another advantage is that cuben is infinitely more repairable than sil or poly, you can use the repair kits some vendors offer or tape. I keep a bit of clear packing tape on a hiking pole for that but have yet to get a puncture in either of my tarps.

    One downside is that it doesn't offer the best shade, I recently did a week long bike tour where we were stopping early in the day and wished I had brought my silnylon tarp. Lesson learned.

    My first year using cuben had some ridiculous weather, super high winds, heavy snows, it was a great year to gain confidence in the durability of cuben. Now I have no concerns about it durability, if it ever gets damaged, it can be repaired.

    David

  6. #6
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    When you hold your $300 cuben tarp in your hands, your "I'm rough on my gear" philosophy will probably change...?

    No gear can stand up to reckless abuse.
    Last edited by gargoyle; 07-13-2013 at 09:09.

  7. #7
    Whoooo Buddy)))) Shug's Avatar
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    I'll offer this......
    Shug

    Whoooo Buddy)))) I Love Onions, Grits, Greens, Livermush, NC Style BBQ, Potted Meat, Anchovies, 'Naner Puddin", Peanut Butter Pie, Red Velvet Cake and Cocoa and Straaaaaawwwwberrrry Milk and Coffee Crisps....
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  8. #8
    Senior Member Gravity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shug View Post
    I'll offer this...
    C'mon! That was a lucky throw!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shug View Post
    I'll offer this......
    Shug

    Awesome! Great video showing the details.

  10. #10
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    Nylon is still an alternative

    There are advantages of the characteristics of woven fabric over film. Dutch of Dutchgear is sourcing a nylon fabric which is less that .75oz and @$10/yd, iirc. It could, presumably be treated with sil for tarp use.

    Sgt Rock files the edge sharp, and then rides it for UL. He's used reinforced film and found it to have limited life.....during which, I get the impression, he has enjoyed the benefits of UL.

    Comments on this thread on repairability are interesting. On the one hand, that the film is readily repaired with tape is reassuring. To those who might hope to try and then resell when the thrill is gone, "full functioning but no longer unblemished" is not a mark in favor. I have professionally made stuff sacks of cuben, the seams of which have come unglued. And I am suspicious of permanent creases which are at high risk of failure.

    ---------

    From the days when taglines were popular: "Aerodynamics are for people who don't know how to build better engines." Not that it is true, but it is worth considering, especially for those who have (or should have) gained two-to-five times as much weight in the last year as they could lose by going spendy on certain UL materials.

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