It is a non-woven laminate of Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene fibre monofilaments and polyester films. Cuben for short. Developed as a sail cloth, it is a very light weight and supple fabric, and has extremely strong rip resistance.
Why use it for bikepacking luggage?
Making gear as light as possible is what we do. Cuben was a way in which we could push the boundaries even further, reducing our luggage weight by more than half.
The set up you see here shows a comprehensive yet ultra-minimal bikepacking setup suited to multi-day self-supported racing:
Total dry weight (i.e. excl. food, water & fuel) of bike and gear is 28 lbs, 9 oz
The weights of the individual components have turned out exceptionally the light. The Cuben Lion tips the scales at 90g, less than half of the VX version. The Tiger Wayfarer is reduced from 175g to 110g, and the hybrid Amur/ Clouded Leopard frame bag weighs a scant 82g!
These items are very much prototypes and undertaken mainly for a bit of fun to see how light we can get our gear, and to show off something a little bit special at Bespoked UKHBS 2016. Whether the cuben luggage ever becomes a product is undecided at the moment.
We'd love to hear what you think!