For Spring 2019, Exped turns to Dyneema composite fabrics to lighten up their climbing packs and add a level of durability. The new Whiteout series of packs are minimalistic gear haulers for mountaineering and expedition use.
Often used in climbing gear such as slings and harnesses, Dyneema fiber is produced in a gel spinning process where the fibers are drawn, heated, elongated, and cooled. Stretching and spinning leads to molecular alignment, high crystallization, and low density. Dyneema has extremely long molecular chains that transfer load more effectively to the polymer backbone (series of molecularly bonded atoms), so it’s stronger at the same weight or lighter at the same strength than alternatives.
Dyneema composite fabric — which you probably know better as Cuben Fiber — is a high-performance, non-woven, rip-stop, composite laminate. Dyneema fiber is laid out in opposing grid orientations, sandwiched between thin outer layers of polyester film, and melded together in a high-pressure autoclave. This is the type of fabric that companies such as Hyperlite Mountain Gear and CiloGear use to make their packs.
Exped’s Whiteout pack body is made from a Dyneema composite fabric where a 15-denier white polyester fabric is reinforced with a vertically and horizontally oriented Dyneema fiber grid. This makes the material super tough, lightweight, and UV stable. Exped claims that the Dyneema composite is 10% lighter, 10% thinner, and 30% stronger than a comparable nylon fabric.
The main body of the climbing pack is fully seam taped and uses a TPU lamination on the inside to make the pack waterproof. Minimal features include a slim, cushioned back panel, webbing harness, roll top lid, and simple daisy chain down the front to connect ice tools and other gear.
The Exped Whiteout comes in three different sizes — 30L which weighs 695 grams, 45L which weighs 765 grams, and the 55L which weighs 825 grams.