Shop  |  Fabric Mojo  |  Info  |  Home  

Mountain Laurel Designs



Fabric Mojo
As newer and even better fabrics have become available we have continuously upgraded our materials. We only use the very best available and have invested in new suppliers and extra high quality weaves and finishes. We do not look at price points that compromise quality. Many of our fabric are exclusive to us and are built to our specs. Our raw material cost is often 2 or 3 times the cost used on competing products. Over time that slightly higher upfront cost translates to value and continued high performance in the field. The difference in an A+ quality bivy top vs a B+ version is about $5 per yd, or maybe $10 more in a finished bivy- so why not get the very best? We source the very best regardless of price and we know that is what is expected in our gear. MLD specializes in designing the lightest possible solution for a particular super ultra light backpacking goal. Our fabric choices range from .74oz/sq/yd to 10oz/sq/yd and are targeted to the performance goal of each product. We choose our fabrics based on performance alone, never price points.



click to enlarge Cuben Fiber
MLD has been continuously building Tarps and UL Shelters from Cuben Fiber longer than any other company. We currently offer more Cuben Fiber products than any other three companies combined.
Cuben Fiber is also know as NWD/Non-Woven Dyneema and CTF3.
Cuben Fiber laminates use unidirectional prepreg tapes of in-line plasma treated super strong Dyneema fibers spread to mono-filament level mylar type films with titanium UV protection. (Think: Small Dyneema threads in a tough UV resistant Mylar sandwich.)
We use a special permanent adhesive tape with high levels of UV inhibitors to limit sewing that can weaken the cuben fiber substrate. Our Cuben tarp and shelter seams and ridgelines are bonded for max strength and require no seam sealing. (A very few products have seams that are stitched and bonded may need a little seam sealing.)
Cuben Fiber is fully waterproof in hard rain and can be field patched with duct tape. It's been used successfully on multiple CDT/ AT and PCT thru-hikes- and even on the record breaking fist ever CDT thru-hike YoYo. Less than half the weight of Silnylon but four times the cost. It's the cutting edge of Solo Super Ultra Light in low weight.
We use various weights and style of Cuben Fiber - hundreds of different type are produced.

.75oz sq/yd Lightest Pro Level Tarps and Shelters - Super Durable Tarp and Shelters, LW Bivy Floors, Chaps, Stuff Sacks - Our most common Cuben. This weight and style of cuben fiber is also known as CT2k.08 , CT2E.08 and CF8. All the cuben fibers weighing between about .73 and .8 oz sq/yd used by all gear companies for tarps and tents is the same cuben material. Some companies round off the weight or use a slightly different weight based on weighing one production samples. Weight can vary a small amount between production runs. Our latest run was .745 oz/sq.yd.

1.5oz sq/yd Packs, Dry Bags, Bear Bags, etc. - Incredibly Strong and Waterproof

Cuben Fiber is truly amazing for Light Weight Gear, but the raw material costs 500% more than Silnylon and requires highly skilled craftsmanship. It will last a long time if the gear is built properly. NOTE:This material is NOT BREATHABLE and complete head enclosure in any bivy sack is not recommended. Proper instruction is required and is not provided by MLD.


click to enlarge Dyneema X (tm)
4 oz sq/yd 210D Nylon with a white 210 Dyneema ripstop grid (1/4") reinforcement at 0 and 90 degrees. The high Dyneema content equals 9% of total fabric weight. Each Dyneema thread is 15 times as strong as steel per weight. An additional X patten of Nylon overweave improves abrasion and tear resistance and is beautiful enough for intimate apparel. PU waterproof coated. The new standard in lightweight super tough pack fabrics. See individual pack product pictures for current colors. Dyneema X is a brand name of this fabric used by Mountain Laurel Designs.


click to enlarge Pro Silnylon()
MLD Pro Silnylob 30d X 30d High Tenacity Type 6-6 RipStop Nylon coated with a Silicone-PU blend. ABout 1.5oz sq/yd MADE IN THE USA - Pro Silnylon Does Not Mist. What Makes it Pro Silnylon? There are always variations in fabric runs and coating density and quality can vary greatly over time even from the same manufacturer. This light, strong and fully waterproof fabric is tested by us - EVERY ROLL. We use our in-house hydrostatic tester on every roll before we build it into products. Other companies can not or do not do that critical quality control test. They have large fabric lots shipped directly to their sew factories where it is never checked for water resistance. We build all our shelters in house and test them ourselves. We never want to be in the situation of receiving 300 completed shelters made from iffy fabric and then be forced to sell them or go out of business by trashing them. Pro Silnylon Does Not Mist!


click to enlarge MLD 10d X 10d
MLD Endurance 10d X 10d 3xDWR Ripstop .74oz/sq/yd We looked at dozens and dozens of sub .74oz /sq/yd smaller thread (d =denier) and lighter weaves like 5d, 7d and 8d's, etc. We tried every one available from all the current sources worldwide. We found all of them to have significant drawbacks - mainly in tear strength, stitch hole elongation after only a few washings and DWR coatings. Commonsense tells you that at some point using less and less of the same type nylon in the total weave (total lower weight per sq/yd) and you drop below a certain strength and at that thinness of fabric the application of a high quality 3XDWR is currently too difficult for any plant to produce - even if the fabric strength was high enough. A high quality DWR does add weight - about 10-15% of the total finished weight in a sub 1oz/sq/yd fabric. To get under .7oz the DWR must be non existent (or very weak) and/or the total weave density must be very very low. There are a few 7d to - 10d fabrics with a very good DWR and good strength - but they all high fairly high density weaves (threads per inch) and are all over .72-.74 oz/sq/yd. Twice a year we check back with all our suppliers and seek out new ones to make sure we have the best and lightest fabrics for all of our applications. We will only use the very best what ever the price of raw good because that adds cost effective long term value in the field.


click to enlarge eVENT
15dX15D eVENT Waterproof Breathable The highest breathable fully waterproof material avialble.


click to enlarge MLD .7oz Bug Net
MLD .7 oz/sq/yd FR Bug Netting FR=Flame Retardant


click to enlarge ClimaShield Apex
ClimaShield Apex. The highest warmth rating continuous fiber synthetic insulation available for quilts. We spec a custom density for our quilts that is based onto hundreds of users tests for a warmth factor to weight ratio that hit the mark for functional lightweight.


click to enlarge MLD TESTING AND DEVELOPMENT
We are one of the only ultralight weight manufacturers to own and use a wide range of testing equipment - included this +$1,000 Suter HydroStatic Tester. We have been testing for ten years and have developed a range of standard and proprietary tests specifically applicable and correlated to how UL backpackers use the gear in the field. All of the current standards like ASTM, UL, etc. for outdoor gear were primarily set by the very large outdoor gear companies and speciality big box store reps over a decade ago - before the new wave of UltraLight backpackers and adventure athletes started breaking new ground and pushing limits. We do not feel these standards are accurate or represent many of the current users expectations for our new sport. At MLD we have thousands of users reports from the field over the last decade and we go our own way. A special note on Cuben Fiber Shelters: Cuben Fiber is Amazing - strong, light and totally waterproof. We have been making CF shelters for a long time - in fact - we have offered cuben fiber backpacking products longer than any other company. Adding up all the MLD Cuben Shelters and all the other gear companies cuben shelters plus DYI'ers, there are well over 35,000 cuben shelter users worldwide with well over 350,000 nights of use. There are next to zero reports online anywhere about these Cuben shelters failing due the waterproofness or strength of the fabric. That's a LOT of Common Sense to support that CF is extremely dependable. Anyone claiming otherwise is just not credible.