Question - "Where can I buy cuben fiber and what weight do you recommend?"
Quest Outfitters sells Cuben by the yard. Where to buy Cuben
I buy most of my Cuben Fiber direct from the company but you have to buy it in 9 yard minimums.
It also now comes in colors - blue and red. Cost is about 10% higher.
Hi, Bill - great to see your new pack. I used to love my old Jansport, so those hip extensions on your frame bring back memories.
Question - (OK, a few questions) for you about Cuben packs:
Q-1. Where do you imagine that any fabric or seam failure would occur?
A-1. The only failure I have ever had on a pack was one day when I took a swan dive down a mountain trail after I tripped on a hidden root. I landed on the side of the pack and the pack material tore ( not on the seam) from the impact and my weight on top of it. I would think that the seams would be the weak point but you can avoid that with a double seam on all material edges. When I made my first Cuben Pack Bag I doubled all seam edges. I have carried at least 20 pounds in most of my Cuben Packs. I made one pack for a larger - winter - gear load. That pack has carried 26 pounds but should be strong enough for 35 or 40 pounds. I used a heavier weight Cuben on the stress points and bottom. Some of my Cuben Fiber is really strong and is still much lighter then the material used of pack bags you buy. I have 5 different weigh Cuben Fiber.
Q-2. I know that since you are SUL you probably have not seen anything "blow out" as yet but I'm wondering if I were to make a pack bag for my Luxurylite frame, what would I need to look out for in terms of longevity for the bag? I generally carry 18-25 lbs depending on the trip.
A-2. If I was going to make pack bags for the weight you want to carry I would use a Cuben with a bit higher weight per sq yard. I used a Cuben that was rated at 0.44 oz per sq yard for my Cuben Hammock and it is working great. Then watch how you load the bags, I would guess you do that anyway. I am careful with all my gear. Make a bias tape out of the same weigh Cuben and sew it into all seams.
Q-3. Do seams tend to tear through the fabric? Is sewing preferable to taping? (what type stitching?) Looking at samples, the fabric itself seems pretty abrasion resistant - is it?
A-3. I have never had one of my seams tear. I sew all my Cuben items but only because the tape is heavy vs thread weight. Cuben Fiber is not a magic fabric but a very light and strong material. If something rubs against it - over - time - it will make a hole. Type of stitching - If you get some Cuben or with your samples play with your sewing machine and different stitch lengths. Sew something and try to tear it apart. Don't try to us it as a tow rope and think you can pull your car with it. Just pull easy and then pull a bit more etc, etc and see what happens. Find out how you have to sew it to be strong enough for what you want to use it for.
4. Good to hear that you are recovering well from still more surgery, and still getting out there hiking and designing equipment.
4. Thanks, I am not one to sit on my butt and feel sorry for myself.
I have 9 yards of "BLUE" Cuben (light stuff) on order and expect it any day.
"I should be hitting a piece of New Jersey over the Columbus Day weekend with another friend of our mutual friend in Delaware. The Delaware Dude will be just back from family stuff, so can't make the Columbus time frame. Anyway, if you want to come along with us, we are not shooting for a really strenuous hike. If you want to extend, I can drive back to pick you up the following weekend..."
Thanks for the invite to hike with you/all. Do you know where you will be going? You can PM the details if you want.
I will be driving, I don't fly unless there is a lot of water between me and where I want to go.