I’m not against Cuben Fiber. It’s super-lightweight and strong and I’ve certainly bought my fair share of backpacks and tarps made out of the stuff. But I’m on the fence about whether it’s really worth the extra money or whether it’s going to ever cause a revolution in the way mainstream or ultralight backpacking gear is made.
Design Matters More
High tech fabrics come and go, and in the end, I care a lot more about the design of a product than what it’s made out of. Take backpacks: I’m perfectly happy carrying a ultralight backpack that weighs over a pound if it fits right, has all of the features I want, and is tough enough to stand up to the abuse I give it.
I reckon a lot of the cottage ultralight manufacturers agree with me. Having been an entrepreneur myself, betting exclusively on a particular fabric doesn’t seem like a sustainable competitive strategy. The same holds for gear weight. Design trumps both and there’s plenty of precedent in the outdoor industry to prove it.
What do you think? Does Cuben Matter?
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