Backpack Fabrics: Understanding Nylon, Canvas, DCF & More

Four types of backpack material: Dyneema, Gridtstop, Leather, and Cotton Canvas side by side

Today, we’ll take a deep dive into the different backpack fabrics and materials that make up modern-day bags. We’ll start by looking at the most popular synthetic fabrics on the market: nylon (Ripstop, Ballistic, Cordura, and Robic), polyester, neoprene, Dyneema/DCF, ULTRA, X-Pac, and ECOPAK. After that, we’ll look at tried-and-true traditional fabrics, like cotton canvas … Read more

Zpacks 8.5’ x 10’ Tarp Review: The Ultralight Tarp to Carry?

My favorite hammock tarp is the Zpacks 8.5′ x 10′ Flat Tarp, a top choice for ultralight enthusiasts in search of single-digit base pack weights. It’s light and versatile enough that I take it everywhere, including day hikes and car camping trips. I mostly use tarps as hammock rain covers, but they’re also popular for … Read more

Zpacks Offset Trio Review: A Stellar 3-Person UL Shelter?

Zpacks’ ultralight tents have long reigned supreme in the backpacking shelter world. But rather than resting on their laurels, the good folks at Zpacks have continued to raise the bar with their recently released Offset Duo and, now, the three-person Offset Trio, which I was recently able to test out and review. The Duo already … Read more

Zpacks Triplex Review: A Formidable 3-Person Backpacking Tent?

Man sitting inside a backpacking tent with his arms stretched out wide

I welcomed the chance to review the Zpacks Triplex ultralight backpacking tent. Its versatile trekking pole setup and Dyneema Composite Fabric (DCF) make it one of the lightest, thinnest, and most reliable tents for staying dry and out of the elements. Here’s my in-depth look at its features, specifications, setup, and its upsides and downsides. … Read more