Swiss Ultralight

Swiss Ultralight

All about trekking, thru-hikes and ultralight equipment

Search results

Close search
Waterdrops on plant

Gore-Tex (Pro) vs Ascentshell, FutureLight, eVent and co.

Comparison of waterproof and breathable laminates for jackets, bivouacs, etc.

Shower in the river

5 quick-tips for good hygiene when hiking

Keep body and equipment clean

Marker of Te Araroa

Overview Te Araroa thru-hike in New Zealand (2020)

Thru-Hiking in New Zealand - a summary

Poncho-Tarp selfmade

Cuben Fiber vs Silnylon vs Silpoly

Advantages and disadvantages of each material for tents and tarps

Balls of wool

Merino vs Synthetic vs Cotton

Improve your comfort with the right material

Ultralight Footprint

Ultralight Footprints DIY

The 1 Euro tent pad - protection for the tent floor

Passport for customs

Visa and entry in New Zealand

Applying for the right visa for Te Araroa

Emergency lego image

Insurance and precautions for the hike

Avoid high costs in case of an accident

Finances and administration

How much does it cost to hike Te Araroa?

Start with enough money and minimize worries

Hiker looking up mountain

My gear list of Te Araroa

PLB and other equipment

Mobile phone

Phone providers in New Zealand

Watch out when buying data

Compass in hand

Navigating Te Araroa

Using apps to not get lost on the trail

Food on trail

Resupply / Water / Gas / Poste Restante

Stocking up on supplies on Te Araroa

Bluff sign in New zealand

Starting point of Te Araroa in New Zealand

Where the trail starts and how to get there

Hot sun

UV Rays and the New Zealand Heat

Protect your skin

Stormy weather

Unpredictable new zealand weather

Te Araroa can be stormy

Hat and sleeping bag

Hut's and wild camping on the Te Araroa

Backcountry Pass and other preparations

Helping hand at hiking

Trail Angels and Koha in New Zealand

Give and take on Te Araroa

Beach with single person

Other hikers and HYOH

Don't lose sight of your goal

Cute Rat

Sandflys, rats and possums

Some annoying fellow hikers

River in NZ

Crossing rivers on Te Araroa

Be prepared and don't risk anything!

Kayak on Whanganui River

Whanganui River kayaking

Spend 7 days on the water

A random road

Shuttle for river crossing Raikaia and Rangitata

Bypassing the two big rivers

Oldschool gaiters

Gaiters to keep stones out of your shoes

Minimize blisters and sores while hiking

Man drinking water

Nalgene VS CamelBak VS PET bottle

Which hydration system for hiking?


Vitamin 'I' also called Ibuprofen

Painkillers for hiking

Rainwear for hiking a comparison of options

Poncho vs Rain Jacket

Elevation profile Te Araroa Compass Example Image

Elevation profile - Te Araroa 2019/2020

Elevation profile according to the latest data

Garmin InReach Mini

SOS devices (PLB) for thru-hikes and dangerous hikes

Cell phone reception at the end of the world

Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Xlite Large shortened

Ultralight sleeping pads for hiking

The difference between shivering and sleeping at night.

Shoes, Gore-Tex and Gaiters

From leather boots to sandals made from car tires

Mosquito seeks blood

Insect protection in comparison

DEET, permethrin, picaridin: what helps against insects?

Different Fabrics and Yarn

Cuben-Fiber (Dyneema Composite), X-Pac, Cordura and co.

Comparison of different ultralight materials

Backpacks in grass

Ultralight hiking backpacks tips and recommendations

...and the fall from Mount Everest

Tiny Backpack

Base Weight Definitions

What do the different terms mean?

Guy with Quilt

Quilt or sleeping bag the pros and cons

Synthetic vs Down


Buff - bandana, headband, sweatband

An insanely versatile tube scarf

Cooker at night

The Super Cat Alcohol Stove (aka Fancy feast stove)

Gasoline stove from metal can

Survival knife

Knife, axe and shovel

Survival on the hike

Cuben-Fiber (Dyneema Composite), X-Pac, Cordura and co.

Comparison of different ultralight materials

4 minutes read

Different Fabrics and Yarn

Cuben-Fiber (Dyneema Composite)

Pure Cuben-Fiber is said to be 15x stronger by weight than steel. At least this is the advertising claim of the manufacturer DSM. The advantage of CF is that it cannot absorb water. An unpleasant detail of Silynlon which is often used for tents and likes to soak up plenty of water depending on the coating. In addition, CF is not stretchable. This means, for example, you do not have to readjust the tent in the middle of the night because it sags. Dyneema Composite (formerly Cuben Fiber) in its pure form consists of thin threads of UHMWPE (“Dyneema”) pressed into a laminate of Mylar (polyester film). Unlike many other materials, the threads are not braided together but laid straight across each other. This leads to the fact that the CF has no extensibility because the threads are already laid completely straight and therefore there is no tolerance in tension.
Thus, thanks to the very strong threads and the laminate, an extreme tensile strength but also waterproofness is achieved.
Unfortunately, it is susceptible to stitches and abrasions. Therefore a Cuben Fiber Hybrid was developed for backpacks etc.. This still includes polyester on the outside to increase abrasion resistance.

It is very expensive to purchase. Color-wise, it is limited to the few colors of the Dyneema threads, except for the hybrids and the camo variant. The laminate is transparent. With pure CF, privacy in a tent from the outside is not really given. You’ll pay a good 40-50 USD per meter for the 1.0oz/yd2 variant, for example.


Also commonly used for a wide range of equipment (backpacks, tarps, bags…). It offers high abrasion resistance depending on the version (VX-21, VX-42, LS07 and others) and offers a wide range of colors. The frequently used versions VX21 and VX42 consist of a layer of nylon, polyester laminate (with PET film) as well as X-Ply threads in the distance of 10-18mm which gives the diamond-shaped structure as well as is responsible for the ripstop.

It is also one of the more expensive materials with about 30-35 USD per meter for VX21.


This brand of the Swiss company INVISTA has been on the market for a very long time. It offers various thicknesses and is often used for bags and backpacks. It offers very high abrasion resistance as well as very good cut and puncture resistance for the weight.

The downside is, it is relatively difficult to coat. Therefore, a little more material is needed to get it waterproof which can translate into a few more grams. In its pure form, it is braided from T420 nylon 6.6. 6.6 nylon is a very tear resistant variety of yarn. However, Cordura is also mixed with other materials to some extent.

It is relatively inexpensive at just under 15-20USD for 500D for example.

The following data is simplified and should only serve as a guide. Errors are not excluded.

Technical data on Dyneema Composite

The following is a technical list of different cuben fiber variants. More weight does not necessarily mean better tear and puncture resistance. Depending on whether more laminate or more Dyneema fibers have been used, this will have an effect on the properties. The accuracy of the data can’t be guranteed and should be taken with a grain of salt.

CT = Cubic Tech (CT2K.18)
1, 2, 5, 9 = Amount of Dyneema filaments (CT2K.18)
E, K = Mylar laminate type, E more resistant (CT2K.18)
.08 or .18 = thickness of mylar laminate (CT2K.18)

CodeWeight (oz/yd2)Failure strength (N/5cm)Puncture Resistance (N)Hydrostatic Pressure Resitance (mm H20)Ratio Failure Strength / 1ozRatio Puncture Resistance / 1oz


Test results for various Ultralight materials

The following is a technical listing of various tests of different materials performed by Fowler and published on

MaterialGewicht (oz/yd2)RIP (lbs)Tear (lbs)Abrasion cycles to Major Failure
Cordura 1000D9.8505804500
Cordura 500D7.1143503500
LiteLok 70D5.46150200
Hybrid Cuben5.31123104600
Dyneema Gridstop3.581406-700
Diamond Gridstop4.861704-500
X-Pac VX074.942302200
X-Pac VX429.3--3360
Silnylon 30d nylon ripstop, silicon coating1.5--160

Recent posts