The Latest Advancements in Materials Technology
Hyperlite Mountain Gear (HMG) is committed to researching, developing, and keeping up to date with the latest advancements in materials technology in order to deliver products that achieve an optimal balance between strength, weight and performance. In striving to achieve this balance, we believe that, ounce-for-ounce, our products are the most durable lightweight and ultralight gear available contributing to increased performance and increased enjoyment of your sport.
Cuben Fiber is a high-performance, non-woven, rip-stop, composite laminate developed in the 1990s by a nuclear weapons physicist and an aerospace composite engineer. Originally designed for use in world-class sailing, it is ideal for certain applications in lightweight and ultralight outdoor gear due to its unmatched strength-to-weight ratio.
Technically speaking, Cuben fiber is a laminated fabric made using patented technologies with unidirectional prepregnated tapes of in-line plasma treated fibers that are spread into mono-filament level films. In more simple terms, Cuben fiber is made by sandwiching Spectra or Dyneema polyethylene fiber filaments a thousandth of an inch thick, in various arrangements between thin outer layers of polyester film. The “sandwich” is then melded together in a high-pressure autoclave.
Cuben fiber is lightweight, highly durable, and is 50-70% lighter than Kevlar, four times stronger than Kevlar, and allows flex without losing strength. It is also less than half the weight of silnylon, has low specific gravity (floats on water), high chemical resistance, excellent UV resistance and is 100% waterproof.
HMG has tested the various Cuben fiber weights and has determined that CF8 (.78 oz/yd) is the most appropriate variety for lightweight and ultralight shelters. CF8 is used in the manufacture of all HMG tarps and for various components of its other products.
CF11 Black / Colorless
CF11 (1.14 oz/yd) is a heavier and more highly durable variety of Cuben fiber used for the floor of all HMG shelters and in any other areas of production where added strength is required, such as tie-out points. This additional reinforcement contributes to the strength, durability, and product life of HMG gear.
Used as the primary HMG pack material, this fabric is a unique rip-stop Cuben Fiber/Polyester hybrid. Only slightly heavier than our other Cuben fiber versions, this high-performance, rip-stop material can withstand over twice the weight and strain as Cuben fiber alone, and is 100% waterproof.
No-See-Um Mesh Netting
No-See-Um mesh is made from a light weight polyester monofilament yarn knit to withstand fraying or yarn shifting. This durable ultra-fine fabric is made to stop the smallest of bugs with a pattern of over 4000 micro holes per square inch, and even if the fabric is cut, the raw edge will not unravel. No-See-Um is used in all of HMG’s shelter inserts.
A 210D nylon reinforced with Dyneema™ fiber.This is a strong, burly, urithane backed and highly water resistant material used for the hip belt pockets and the exterior material in the construction of the hip belt and shoulder straps of all HMG packs.
Wicking Mesh Fabric
This cushy, durable material is a three dimensional polyester spacer fabric which incorporates mesh and solid fabrics separated by a 3mm bed of perpendicular monofilament yarns. The engineering creates soft channels for air flow and significant cushion for the user. The fabric is knitted without adhesive or laminate layers and therefore will not separate over time. This fabric has wicking and anti-microbial technology and is used in the production of the hip and shoulder straps of HMG packs.
Wide open hexagon grid nylon used for pocket mesh on the exteriors of HMG packs. This is a strong mesh that, due to the shape of the pattern, flexes just enough to provide a slight stretch in the material. This proves helpful in keeping stored items snug.
Spectra Core Guy Lines
This is Spectra core, polyester exterior line. It is incredibly strong and HMG uses 2.8 mm for its shelters, 1.4 mm for its medium and large stuff sacks and 0.9 mm for its small stuff sacks. All guy lines are custom made for color and to most efficiently work with the HMG linelocks. Please note that the shelter guylines are slightly thicker, and thus slightly heavier than required. This is due to current limitations on hardware procurement. We are working on getting smaller linelocks in order to employ thinner Spectra core guylines.
HMG Seam Bonding
HMG has had independent strength tests performed on a variety of cuben fiber bonding techniques including taping, stitching and a combination of the two. Based on these tests as well as our own field testing, it has been determined that the most appropriate technique depends on the application of the seam. For example, our tarp ridgeline seams involve a multi-step bonding process, with multiple tapes, creating a ridgeline that is stronger than the fabric itself. This allows the opportunity for a tightly pitched tarp capable to withstand high winds, or even snow. We also employ flat taped seams, stitched seams, and combination seams depending on the seam application, in order to produce the strongest products possible.