lightest non-sil waterproof nylon?

Posted by: tarbubble

lightest non-sil waterproof nylon? - 08/27/08 03:22 PM

In anticipation of having a working sewing machine again, i've been reviewing my queue of projects. I have been planning on sewing a silnylon tipi to replace my disintegrating silnylon Kifaru knockoff, and had actually started the prototype, but the sag on the tent after a night of condensation is unbelievable. i seem to recall that coated nylon doesn't have the sagging problem.

is a 1.9 oz pu-coated ripstop the lightest i can get while avoiding the sag?
Posted by: BrianKelly

Re: lightest non-sil waterproof nylon? - 08/29/08 12:41 PM

The issue isn't really the sil, but the nylon portion of the equation. Try using a polyester fabric instead. Poly doesn't stretch as much as nylon does when exposed to wet/cold, hence greatly reduced sag.

The good news is there is a lighter than silnylon fabric out there that is poly, the ever popular Spinntex (used by MLD and sold by It's a spinnaker fabric that was somewhat redesigned to work well for outdoor gear. It's .97 oz/yd2 with coating, so could save you a few ounces over the course of the project.

The bad news is, there is currently a shortage and it isn't available right now. You may be able to find some standard 1.9oz ripstop with a PU coating in poly, so check around at some of the usual sources. Folks over on hammockforums also report finding some in the bargain bin at WallyWorld.
Posted by: Spock

Re: lightest non-sil waterproof nylon? - 08/29/08 02:54 PM

All coated nylon sags, and PU coated fabric sags worse than silnylon in my experience. BK is right about polyester. The lightest currently available waterproof fabric is Cuben, variously 3 or 4 oz. I like Spinniker better, but as he notes, it is hard to find right now. The Rainshed has it for $17/yard.
Posted by: tarbubble

Re: lightest non-sil waterproof nylon? - 08/29/08 04:41 PM

spinnaker is also really loud and really expensive. i'm looking at a very large quantity of fabric for this project. i didn't realize that all nylons sag. i may have to see if I can reduce the sag by catenary means, which I'm not at all comfortable with. curses! thanks for the input.