Materials

The inspiration behind Zpacks’ comes from our obsession to carry the lightest weight gear in the world.  Our gear must be more than just the lightest, it also has to provide total functionality while achieving those weights.  To realize our goal, we have placed a focus on simple but innovative designs, manufacturing with cutting edge materials and constantly refining our processes.  The search for the next generation of advanced technology will never end and neither will our desire to push the envelope for the benefit of adventurers everywhere. cuben cuben fiber

 

Waterproof Fabrics

 

Most Zpacks gear is made from "Dyneema Composite Fabrics" (DCF). DCF was formerly known as Cuben Fiber Fabric.

DCF is constructed of a grid of white Dyneema threads laminated to a thin transparent polyester membrane. The Dyneema fiber is up to 15 times stronger than steel on a weight for weight basis. Dyneema floats on water and is extremely durable and resistant to moisture, UV light and chemicals. Dyneema fiber has an extremely high tensile strength, and very low stretch making it ideal for our tents, tarps, and backpacks.

Dyneema Composite Fabric is available in a variety of weights. All weights shown are waterproof.

 

.51 oz/sqyd Dyneema Composite Fabric

This is the material used in our standard stuff sacks, and it is also the default weight for our tarps and tents. It has high tensile strength, but only moderate abrasion and puncture resistance due to the thin membrane material. Most of our products are sewn, then taped for strength. All colors are light and semi see-through.

Weight: .51 oz/sqyd (17.4 g/m²)

Tensile Strength: 63 lb/in (552 N/5cm)

Puncture Strength: 1.8 lb (8 N)

Water Resistance: 15,000 mmH₂O

Made in the USA.



.67 oz/sqyd Dyneema Composite Fabric

This material is the same strength as .51 oz/sqyd but with a slightly thicker laminate that allows for a darker color or pattern to be printed on the material. The thicker laminate brings the fabric weight to .67 oz/sqyd. This material is also a bit darker and less transparent which offers a little more privacy.

Weight: .67 oz/sqyd (22.7 g/m²)

Tensile Strength: 63 lb/in (552 N/5cm)

Puncture Strength: 1.9 lb (8.5 N)

Water Resistance: 15,000 mmH₂O

Made in the USA. 



.74 oz/sqyd Dyneema Composite Fabric

This weight has a little bit higher Dyneema thread count than our standard .51 oz material above. We offer it as a slightly more durable and less transparent choice for our tents.

Weight: .74 oz/sqyd (25.4 g/m²)

Tensile Strength: 104 lb/in (911 N/5cm)

Puncture Strength: 3.1 lb (14 N)

Water Resistance: 20,000 mmH₂O

Made in the USA. 



1.0 oz/sqyd Dyneema Composite Fabric

This weight has a double thick polyester membrane which gives it higher abrasion and puncture resistance. It is waterproof and has good strength to weight ratio for groundsheets, tent floors, or rain gear.

It is more of a charcoal gray, not quite as deep black as the photo.

Weight: 1.0 oz/sqyd (34 g/m²)

Tensile Strength: 104 lb/in (911 N/5cm)

Puncture Strength: 3.5 lb (15.5 N)

Water Resistance: 20,000 mmH₂O

Made in the USA.



1.43 oz/sqyd Dyneema Composite Fabric

This weight has more than twice the Dyneema thread count of the thinner weights, and a double thick membrane as well. It has very high tensile strength, and excellent abrasion and puncture resistance.

We use this weight for products that need a little extra durability, like our Bear Bag Kit, or our Airplane Travel Case.

Weight: 1.43 oz/sqyd (48.4 g/m²)

Tensile Strength: 210 lb/in (1840 N/5cm)

Puncture Strength: 5.2 lb (23 N)

Water Resistance: >20,000 mmH₂O

Made in the USA.



2.92 oz/sqyd Dyneema Composite Fabric Hybrid

This material is made from the same 1.43 oz/sqyd DCF material as seen above on the inside, with a protective layer of 50 denier polyester on the outside. The outer layer gives it more strength, and abrasion resistance, prevents fraying, and gives it a nice solid color. This material is used on ourArc Blast Backpacks.

Weight: 2.92 oz/sqyd (99 g/m²)

Tensile Strength: 245 lb/in (2150 N/5cm)

Puncture Strength: 7.3 lb (32 N)

Water Resistance: >20,000 mmH₂O

Made in the USA.



4.85 oz/sqyd Gridstop Fabric

This popular backpack material is a little stronger against abrasion. It has a grid of white High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) threads for exceptional tear strength, as well as a diagonal woven ripstop. The fabric has a waterproof urethane coating on the inside. We use this for our Arc Haul Backpacks.

This high quality fabric has a finished weight including the waterproof coating is 4.85 oz/sqyd (165 g/m²).

Weight: 4.85 oz/sqyd (165 g/m²)

Water Resistance: >20,000 mmH₂O

Made in Japan.



 

Breathable Fabrics, Mesh & Insulation

 

Breathable fabrics allow moisture to pass through and evaporate so that you don't get sweaty and clammy feeling. Most clothing, sleeping bags, and materials that contact your skin should be breathable. You can also find insect netting, mesh, and insulation here.

 

.59 oz/sqyd Ventum Ripstop Nylon

This super light, high quality, 7 denier fabric showcases a ciré finish on both sides and weighs in at just .59 oz/sqyd (20 g/m²). Featuring a high quality "C6" durable water repellant (DWR), this ripstop and tear resistant material can also handle a light mist (but is not waterproof).

Ventum nylon cuts the wind while still allowing for excellent vapor transfer the makes the fabric highly breathable. With a soft texture, Ventum is not sticky or plasticky like some other fabrics in this weight range.

As the material is down and mosquito proof, it is an excellent choice for wind shell clothing and sleeping bag shells. Our own Sleeping Bags and Wind Shell Jackets are available in it.

Weight: .59 oz/sqyd (20 g/m²)

Made in Japan.



1.92 oz/sqyd Vertice Waterproof Breathable Fabric

Featured in our Vertice line of rain gear, this material is constructed with a tricot lining to wick moisture away from your skin, a waterproof, vapor permeable membrane in the middle, and 7 denier ripstop nylon on the exterior that is treated with a durable, effective "C6" water repellent. An incredible breathability rating blows away most other rain gear, including our previous generation fabrics.

Weight: 1.92 oz/sqyd (65 g/m²)

Vapor Transfer ( JIS L 1099 Method B1): 56,000+ g/m^2/24hr

Water Resistance: >20,000 mmH₂O

Made in Japan.



.67 oz/sqyd Ultralight Nano-Noseeum Insect Netting

This is the netting used in our tents.  Regular "No-see-um" bug netting weighs about 1 oz/sqyd. This ultralight version weighs roughly a third less without noticeable difference in performance. It has extremely small holes which block even the smallest of insects including mosquitoes, noseeums, etc. Nothing gets through this screen. 

Weight: .67 oz/sqyd (22.7 g/m²)

 Made in the USA.



3.5 oz/sqyd Mesh

 This is the mesh that we use on our backpack's pockets. It has a relatively light weight for mesh, while being difficult to tear. It can withstand getting caught on branches and other typical abrasion that backpacks are subjected to. The hole size is a about 4 mm (a little over 1/8"). 

Weight: 3.5 oz/sqyd (119 g/m²)

Made in the USA.



5.3 oz/sqyd 3D Spacer Mesh

This mesh has a three dimensional structure which allows airflow and adds cushioning. It has a tricot backing so you can't see clear through the holes. We use it on the underside of our backpack's shoulder straps and belts to absorb sweat, add cushion, and add grip. Our 3D mesh weighs less than most other types.

Weight: 5.3 oz/sqyd (180 g/m²)

Thickness: About 3/32" (2.5 mm)



2.5 oz/sqyd Climasheild Apex Insulation

Climashield is a continuous filament synthetic insulation with one of the highest warmth to weight ratios of any synthetic. It has a .82 CLO / ounce, and an overall CLO of 2.1.

This weight is excellent for insulated clothing. A jacket made from this will keep you warm (when active) down to below freezing. It would be enough insulation for a summer quilt, or double it up for a warmer quilt.

Since it is made with continuous fibers Climashield does not need to be quilted like other insulations. That means less cold spots.

Unlike down, Climashield remains warm when wet, and is machine washable.

Weight: 2.5 oz/sqyd (85 g/m²)

Thickness: 5/8" (1.6 cm)