70D silnylon floor vs. treated 30D silnylon

Feedback for the article published May 11, 2005.

70D silnylon floor vs. treated 30D silnylon

Postby James G » Sun Jul 27, 2008 3:18 am

Hi Jim,

I'm thinking of buying a SMD Lunar Duo, and have the choice of a 30D silnylon floor or a 70D silnylon floor.

In your opinion, would I be better off buying the "ultralight" 30D silnylon floor and applying the treatment in your article, or just buying the standard 70D floor and not bothering with the treatment?

The 70D floor weighs 4 oz more than the 30D. If you add a couple of ounces of coating to the 30D it will still be lighter than the 70D... but would the 70D be more puncture-proof? I don't use a ground sheet, so I'd prefer a stronger floor even if it costs me an extra ounce or two.

The other thing I'm wondering is whether the 70D silnylon is just as slippery as the 30D stuff? If so, I would probably want to coat the 70D floor anyway to stop myself slipping around... in which case the treated 30D might be the way to go.

Any comments or suggestions would be very much appreciated, because I clearly have no idea!

Thanks, James :)
James G

RE: 70D vs. treated 30D silnylon

Postby Jim Wood » Sun Jul 27, 2008 12:06 pm

James -

A few years ago, I purchased one of Six Moon Design's early tents (the Europa I) with a 70D floor and found it to be unacceptably slippery. On even the slightest slope, I found myself quickly sliding to the downhill side of the shelter. I tried sanding the surface, but it didn't help.

In frustration, I cut the floor out and replaced it with a lightweight, removable piece of polytarp held in place with velcro patches (works just fine). If I known then what I know now, however, I would have just coated the floor as described in the article.

I don't know if SMD is still using the same 70D silnylon, but since all the silnylon samples I've used in my various projects (all 30D, but from 6 or 7 sources) over the years were all very slippery, I'd guess it remains an issue.

I also can't really say if the 70D floor is more or less waterproof than the 30D floor (maybe Ron Moak can advise), nor can I say with certainty that the treatment would bond well with either (but it probably will with quality silnylon). BTW, in that regard, I think it's always a good idea to test a small patch of the fabric in question before treating an entire floor or canopy.

If it were my decision, I'd probably go with the 30D floor and treat it if too slippery (probably will be). The treatment with improve abrasion resistance, but if you plop your shelter down on something sharp enough, either the 30D or 70D will probably end up punctured. Small holes, even if they occur, however, are usually not a much of a problem and can be easily repaired if they bother you.

Having said that, I am a fan of lightweight ground cloths like a piece of soft kite Tyvek (#1443R) that would probably weigh about 3 oz for the Lunar Duo or maybe a polycro ground cloth from Gossamer Gear that would weigh about 1.5oz (though the stuff is a bit noisy for my taste).

Hope this helps...
Last edited by Jim Wood on Mon Jul 28, 2008 9:07 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Guest » Sun Jul 27, 2008 11:14 pm

Thanks Jim, that's very helpful. I'll contact SMD and find out whether their 70D is just as slippery as the lighter 30D. If so, it would probably be best to go with the 30D and apply your suggested treatment. I'll try it out on a small patch first to check that it holds. Maybe I should consider going the 30D + tyvek groundsheet route. 3 ounces is less than the additional weight of the 70D, and I can always leave it behind when I think it is going to be unnecessary.

Thanks again for your advice...

Jamie :D

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