These are for the trailblazers…

Over the last years, we looked on in amazement as Dyneema® Composite Fabrics have been applied to every possible domain – from automotive to architecture. Yet we’d like to shed light on one of the early adopters: the ultra-light movement, whose trailblazers took this remarkable material and ran with it. We created these ‘Prototypes’ to raise the bar further and hopefully inspire the next cycle of innovation…

The freedom to create

The main goal behind The Dyneema® Project’s ‘Prototypes’ is to showcase fabric innovation by creating new concepts that push the boundaries of performance. In turn, these applications are meant to inspire and spark an interest in all trailblazers who embrace experimentation and want to come up with their own creations using the new generation of Dyneema® fabrics.

Whether developed to carry, protect, transport or house, these remarkable items are also a way to test new properties such as breathability, as well as to enhance previously achieved properties by using different coatings, finishes and applications. 

In short, this project is about total creative and technical freedom. So be inspired. And don’t forget to let us know what you come up with. 

Pack a bag that’s solid inside and out

The Dyneema® Project Prototype 02 – the 30 L Ultralight Backpack – showcases experimental fabrics that are both tear-proof and weatherproof. Using a new coating, we created the visually striking CT9HW6/BLKWOV4 fabric with dual surface properties, that can be used on both the inside and outside of a pack without compromising on abrasion, resistance or durability. 

In other words, we’re now able to use the same fabric on the outside of a bag that was previously only used on the inside due to its lower abrasion resistance. A woven polyester coating on one side of the fabric results in a more traditional look, while the TPU film on the other side gives it a fresher feel. You choose what side works best for you, inside or out. 

TPU films also allow for welding instead of hotmelts for easier construction, and it means a DWR treatment is no longer required to improve water repellency and abrasion resistance. For a designer, to understand the aesthetics and scoop of this fabric’s properties is to be in a prime position to come up with new purposes and new forms.

Put on the jacket that serves to protect and breathe

The Dyneema® Project Prototype 03, the Shell Jacket, combines breathability with heavy protection from the elements. For its construction we used a special tricot lined membrane to laminate the Dyneema® Composite Fabric – following the high standards set by Westcomb who used the material in their acclaimed Switch AP Hoody. This was the first time that more than a single layer of laminate was used on a shell. And you’ll feel the improvement. 

Rather than absorb and retain your sweat, the material is engineered to be breathable and complement your body’s natural processes in keeping you dry and not overheated. In other words, you’ll be able to perform at your best even when conditions are at their worst. 

Much like our tents, the seams are taped instead of stitched and thereby provide complete watertight protection. Meanwhile, the tricot lining works to enhance skin comfort while being twinned with the performance of the world's strongest, lightest fiber. Result: the perfect jacket for both on mountain and off. 

Get on the road – with world’s lightest cycling shoe

The Dyneema® Project Prototype 04 is the 99 g Cycling Shoe Updated. Combining a soft Dyneema® Composite Fabric upper, a rigid carbon fiber sole and titanium hardware, this is the lightest cycling shoe in history.

Earlier this year, Specialized already claimed this throne with the release of the much-celebrated S-Works EXOS 99 Road Shoes. With this second configuration we pumped up the amount of Dyneema® Composite Fabric so now the whole heel, and not just the middle panel is made of our fabric. 

Unlike most cycling shoes, the upper with Dyneema® fabric is soft, while still remaining rigid – a must for higher power transfer. What’s particularly special about this fabric is that it’s low stretch, highly adaptive and ultralight with a polymesh lining bonded in place. To make it completely non-stretch, we crafted a four-ply layup of the fiber at four different angles (0, 45, 90 and 135 degrees) in order to lock stretch in all directions. 

The layers and shaping of the panels with Dyneema® act as a soft heel cup meant to trap your foot. @Specialized Product Manager, Stephen Quay admits to eschewing something as small as a one-gram screw in bonding the heel lug in order to save weight. 

Yet it’s still the Dyneema® Composite Fabric construction and the updated carbon outsole that are doing most of the heavy lifting in getting this shoe down to the 99g mark. And while it’s not marketed as waterproof, Dyneema® fabric’s innate waterproofness provides a strong barrier when facing down long and wet roads.

Inspired yet?

Now pitch a tent that thinks outside of the dome

We kept number one for last… The Dyneema® Project Prototype 01 is a one-kilogram ultralight tent that explores new fabric possibilities. We built the tent up out of three different flexible Dyneema® Composite Fabrics. 

The floor is made up with a very light variation of our fabric that does not compromise on strength (CT1E.08). The sealed-in waterproof integration of the LED lights in the awnings (built from CT0.3E.08) is novel to Dyneema® Composite Fabrics. 

But the real innovation of this tent is in its walls with a construction using the waterproof and breathable CTB1B3/H2 material. The holy trinity of waterproofness, breathability and tear resistance has finally been achieved – along with a performance that minimizes overnight condensation which can add considerable weight to your load the following day. The innate waterproofness of the material means no extra treatments, DWR coats or chemicals are required.

The dome design allows for easy set-up and prevents snow load, whereas the use of flexible Dyneema® Composite Fabrics, with their no-stretch properties, yields better shape retention and prevents sagging. 

Can you tell, we’re excited? We usually try to hide it. But we were out to inspire you. So now sleep tight, there are big days ahead. 

And really: don’t forget to share with us what you came up with.