Dyneema® Fiber + Dyneema® Composite Fabrics (formerly Cuben Fiber) Technology
The following is an explanation of the differences between Dyneema® fiber, Dyneema® Composite Fabrics, Dyneema® Composite Fabric Hybrids (aka Cuben hybrids) and woven Dyneema® fabrics—the foundational technology for all Hyperlite Mountain Gear ultralight backpacking products.
To read more about the recent re-branding of Cuben Fiber as “Dyneema® Composite Fabrics” by DSM Dyneema, please visit our blog.
Technically classified as ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene (UHMwPE), Dyneema® fiber is produced by extruding a UV-resistant polyethylene gel through a spinneret. In a patented process, the fiber is drawn, heated, stretched and cooled. The result is a filament in which exceptional long-chain molecular alignment is paired with high crystallization, limiting density while allowing for unusual load dispersion. At one-thousandth of an inch in thickness, Dyneema’s® outstanding strength-to-weight ratio makes it the strongest fiber in the world.
15 times stronger than high-quality steel, lightweight, extremely durable, waterproof and resistant to UV light and chemicals, Dyneema® fiber is increasingly used in industries where strength and dependability matter most—from military and law enforcement (personal and vehicle armor), the maritime industry (mooring ropes), and commercial fishing (lines and nets).
The Dyneema® fiber and fabrics used by Hyperlite Mountain Gear are primarily made in Arizona and North Carolina.
Dyneema® Composite Fabrics (formerly Cuben Fiber)
Dyneema® Composite Fabrics (formerly Cuben Fiber) are a high-performance, non-woven, rip-stop, composite laminate. Dyneema® fiber is laid out in opposing grid orientations, sandwiched between thin outer layers of polyester film and then melded together in a high-pressure autoclave.
Dyneema® Composite Fabrics are light enough to float on water yet are also highly durable. The material’s unique properties allow for continual flex at stress points without compromising strength or structural integrity. Lighter than silnylon but stronger than Kevlar, Dyneema® Composite Fabrics are 100% waterproof prior to stitching, with high chemical and UV resistance.
Originally designed for use in high tech sails for America’s Cup racing boats and marketed as Cuben Fiber, Dyneema® Composite Fabrics (as they are now known) are regarded as the premium material of choice for modern ultralight tents, backpacking tarps and stuff sacks.
Dyneema® Composite Fabric Hybrids (formerly Cuben Fiber Hybrids)
Hyperlite Mountain Gear uses two primary face fabrics in the construction of its backpacks, daypacks, tote bags and assorted accessories. These materials, which include lightweight 50 denier polyester and 150 denier polyester, are then laminated with Dyneema® Composite Fabric backings. The end result is pack bodies that stand up to the continual abrasion that’s a part of any extended backcountry trip, matched with the brute strength, superior rip-stop properties and impermeability of Dyneema® Composite Fabrics.
While Dyneema® Composite Fabrics are 100% waterproof on their own, stitching creates small holes in any material. Hyperlite Mountain Gear seals over 90% of seams, so while are products are highly rain resistant, they are not 100% waterproof and should not be used as dry bags. Complete your pack system with 100% Dyneema® Composite Fabric (Cuben Fiber) stuff sacks for near-total protection for your gear from the elements.
Woven Dyneema® Fabric
Woven Dyneema® fabric is made by spinning multiple strands of Dyneema® fiber into “yarn.” The Dyneema® fiber “yarn” is then woven into a fabric that is 30% lighter than nylon/polyester alternatives, with vastly superior strength, abrasion and puncture resistance. Practically indestructible on its own, Hyperlite Mountain Gear utilizes a version of this material in which Dyneema® Composite Fabric (formerly Cuben fiber) is added as a laminate backing. This Woven Dyneema® hybrid material offers unmatched fabric strength and stability (through the elimination of “weave shift,” as Dyneema® fiber and “yarn” tend to be “slippery”), plus the watertight characteristics Hyperlite Mountain Gear’s products are known for around the world.
Hyperlite Mountain Gear also uses a Dyneema® Hardline facing fabric on hip belts and shoulder straps on its 2400, 3400 and 4400 packs, all exterior pockets on the Southwest pack and crampon/tool attachment panels on the Ice Pack. In this material, ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene (UHMwPE) fiber is actually woven into the nylon fabric base for additional tensile strength. The Dyneema® Hardline is coated with a water resistant backing but does not offer the same level of impermeability as the Dyneema® Composite Fabrics used elsewhere throughout our packs.