For tents there are 2 types of materials: polyester and nylon. Each has it`s advantages and disadvantages. Traditionally, polyester is best, but modern technology has done for things to change. It does not necessarily mean that nylon is better, but there are many variations from which to choose nowadays.
It is a lightweight material and is more hydrophilic than polyester. Water vapor can pass through more easily. Without being protected by other substances it doesn`t resist well to ultraviolet (UV) radiation.
Polyester has a higher intrinsic durability then nylon. Better to resist abrasion, exposure to ultraviolet radiation, behave better in bad weather conditions, heavy rain and strong wind. It is harder, and less permeable to water vapor than simple nylon. I mean, the polyester is less ” breathable ” than nylon. It`s soaks with water less than nylon. Polyester is usually padded with polyurethane (PU). Ripstop weaving technology significantly improves the final layering.
Ripstop Nylon (polyamide) with silicon coating
Ripstop technology refers to a technique of weaving. The fibers are interwoven in cross, inserting at regular intervals (5 to 8 mm) thicker fiber. This technology significantly improves the quality of the final foil. The resulted foil is lightweight, but at the same time more resistant than ordinary polyester. Ripstop technology prevents the material to unravel.
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Silicon coating materials are not hydrophilic, water vapor can`t pass through them. Water does not get into the material, but it forms a pellicle on the surface of it. Instead, it is extremely resistant to bad weather conditions. It also behaves much better to UV radiation and this is extremely important for mountain expeditions at high altitudes (over 4000 m).
Ripstop Nylon foil with silicon coating is used both for expedition tents or mounting ones of 4 seasons, as well as models for desert or arid tropical areas. It is an expensive product, but such a tent will have a very high life span.