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DuneElliot
08-06-2018, 20:50
I just came across someone on a FB gear page building tents out of X-Pac material. I know this stuff is used for backpacks, is generally considered waterproof, has greater abrasion resistance than DCF, has much less stretch than silnylon and greater tear-resistance than silpoly.So my questions is....why isn't X-Pac used in the construction of tarps and tents?

Franco
08-06-2018, 22:56
What is the lightest weight available /
The one I know of is 1.9 oz per sq yard.

Strategic
08-07-2018, 10:31
The problem with it is, as Franco points out, the weight. It's a fairly heavy fabric compared to Dyneema or even silnylon, and despite it's good qualities, this rules it out in many applications if you're shooting for ultralight gear. The reason it's used for packs is that in that application the opposite is true. It's abrasion, tear, and puncture resistance are more important and the weight difference is much less important due to the lesser amount of fabric used. When most ultralight tarp materials come in at less than 1 oz/yard2 (and even silnylon is usually only 1.1-1.3 oz/yard2) the difference starts to add up. A fairly normal tarp with 8 yard2 of fabric would be 6.4 oz heavier than one using 1.1 oz silnylon, or about 11 oz heavier than one using the lightest weight Dyneema, Icarex, Cuben, or other really lightweight options that are often made into tarps (usually somewhere in the range of 0.5 oz/yard2.) This applies to ultralight tents and other shelters for the same reason. That's why you see it used in packs and other smaller gear where it's better qualities are valuable, but not elsewhere.

DuneElliot
08-07-2018, 10:37
The problem with it is, as Franco points out, the weight. It's a fairly heavy fabric compared to Dyneema or even silnylon, and despite it's good qualities, this rules it out in many applications if you're shooting for ultralight gear. The reason it's used for packs is that in that application the opposite is true. It's abrasion, tear, and puncture resistance are more important and the weight difference is much less important due to the lesser amount of fabric used. When most ultralight tarp materials come in at less than 1 oz/yard2 (and even silnylon is usually only 1.1-1.3 oz/yard2) the difference starts to add up. A fairly normal tarp with 8 yard2 of fabric would be 6.4 oz heavier than one using 1.1 oz silnylon, or about 11 oz heavier than one using the lightest weight Dyneema, Icarex, Cuben, or other really lightweight options that are often made into tarps (usually somewhere in the range of 0.5 oz/yard2.) This applies to ultralight tents and other shelters for the same reason. That's why you see it used in packs and other smaller gear where it's better qualities are valuable, but not elsewhere.

I guess I was under the impression that it was lighter. So why is there not a 1.1oz XPac material then...can it just not be made that light?

Franco
08-07-2018, 22:37
I guess I was under the impression that it was lighter. So why is there not a 1.1oz XPac material then...can it just not be made that light?
I don't know for sure but I suspect, given its name, that it was specifically designed for packs where as Strategic has pointed out, it is very competitive and light. Tent material is different. In a way it is a bit like many like silnylon for tents but it has been a bit of a flop for backpacks.

Just Bill
08-08-2018, 09:36
X-pac is a sailcloth material repurposed for some outdoor gear.
Same as Cuben Fiber.

Closer to Cuben Hybrid or laminate really than 1.0 or less cuben.

They are both sandwiches...
Cuben or DCF is like a breadless wrap...
Lettuce (plastic) and a single piece of meat with a slice of lettuce on top.

Xpack is more like an open face sandwich: Piece of solid bread, meat, cheese, lettuce.
The X part comes from the dyneema grid reinforcement that is put in the layup of the laminate.
Since Xpac starts with a 20d or higher base fabric before lamination... it really can't clear 1 oz even if you add zero reinforcement to it.

In the sailing industry- cuben is the extreme SUL option, Xpac is the beefier UL option.

As far as building a tent...
If you were on one of your prepper/bushcraft sites... I could see someone making a bomber tent/shelter out of xpac of some sort. A Mid, wood stove based hot tent or Bill Mason 'Baker' type open front shelter might make some sense.

Unlike oiled canvas or other traditional options- you'd trade spark resistance for bomber waterproof-ness and durability. Patching is easy enough so long as your patch kit held out.

I have a car camping tarp I built to burn up some extra xpac I got from a forum member here... but overall I'm not a fan of the material.

Just Bill
08-08-2018, 09:51
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=caTbrAdK2Nw

Just to give you an idea....

As far as I know, I can't think of a dimension polyant fabric that is competitive with 1 ounce cuben for a bomber shelter.
If you're dumping that kind of money I don't see the application. IF you really wanted a bomber shelter a 2.92 DCF composite like z-packs builds packs from would probably be a better choice... but when you got folks like Dave Canterbury and others advocating tarps you can drag firewood piles or deer carcasses with then I guess anything is possible if you'd care to entertain those uses as good choices for your shelter material.

Me... I figure I can carry six spare UL tarps and a thousand feet of dynaglide and a few carabiners if for some reason I wanted to drag things over distances.

Or maybe I could just use one of those dozens of tools one must carry that add up to 20lbs to butcher the deer or build a sledge rather than use my tarp. Or even just wrap the tarp over two poles and build a quick drag stretcher .

But to each his own :D

DuneElliot
08-08-2018, 09:57
Thanks for all that info. I think the guy who was building these tents out of XPac was building large teepee-style tents...not backpacking tents. I didn't know enough about the material to understand why it isn't used in smaller tents...now I understand. Still seems an interesting material for a bomb-proof car-camping/festival tent though.

Just Bill
08-08-2018, 10:27
Yar... Flat tarp is about all I'd want. It doesn't pack very well... pretty stiff and difficult to sew as well.

And at $20 plus a yard I don't see any reason to do that.

I think with things blending overall... folks are 'rediscovering' things on many sides.
If you were sewing out of 10-18 ounce oiled canvas... I suppose xpac could seem like a neat option.
Xpac seems to find a home among some of the western backpackers and ultralight hunters.
Otherwise it's mainly folks who like the look of it.

Daniel-J
11-05-2019, 03:13
I had different tents, but ran into several problems. 1) Rodents ate my last tent, it was terrible, all the equipment was damaged, droppings everywhere. 2) Insects. Whatever my tent is processing, when you go to bed they attack you.

To solve these problems, I was advised to consider similar options (https://outdoorsly.org/best-tent-cot/). Yes, they are heavier than usual, but there are no problems, I always overcome part of the route by car. Can you recommend specific models? If I search as usual myself, I will buy again what I will be disappointed with. I hope for your experience!

Franco
11-06-2019, 20:25
At around 30 lbs (just for the tent/cot) I would think that you are not going to walk all that far from the car , particularly given the stored size too
(around 40"x12")