Arc’teryx and Durston have joined forces with ALUULA Composites

Leading Canadian outdoor labels Arc’teryx and Durston have joined forces with another Canadian-based company, ALUULA Composites, to introduce a new era of performance-driven, lightweight, and recyclable outdoor gear.

ALUULA worked on the development of the new ultralight Wapta 30 Pack with Durston Gear made with Graflyte™ V-98, the Wapta 30 superlight pack sets a new standard in backpacking where lightness, durability, and performance are key.

The fabric is woven using ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene (UHMWPE), which in itself is not a new material, but Aluula has created a new heat-bonding process that doesn’t require adding polyester film to the UHMWPE, as the current market leading material, ‘Ultra,’ does. The result is a lighter material with a superior strength-to-weight ratio that is eight times stronger than that of steel.

That’s why leading British Columbia-based brands Arc’Teryx and Durston are designing innovative gear using ALUULA Composite’s best-in-class lightweight, strong, durable, and recyclable fabrics.

“We’re excited to partner with ALUULA, working together to combine their next-generation composite materials with Arc’teryx’s expertise in creating durable, high-performance products for extreme mountain environments,” says Greg Grenzke, Senior Director, Design – Advanced Concepts, Arc’teryx. ”Like Arc’teryx, ALUULA is a company of engineers, scientists, and passionate outdoor experts, and they share our commitment to innovation and unparalleled athletic performance.”

In 2023 the outdoor equipment sector generated US$25 billion in sales. Demand is surging. According to the most recent data from Statista, the sector is expected to grow by more than 6 % annually through 2028.

Already field-tested in harsh marine conditions, ALUULA Composites is a proven game changer in kiteboarding and other wind sports. The differentiator value is that Graflyte doesn’t need to be sewn together. It can be heat-bonded to itself, which could be used to create 3D structures with a single piece of fabric and completely change the way backpacks are constructed. The tech is already being utilized in wings used for foiling in the wind. Plus, given that the fabric is composed of a single material, it can be recycled, as opposed to other competing fabrics that use multiple materials, which renders them un-recyclable. The recycled material could, in theory, be used for backpack suspension systems or applications in other industries.

For the past several years, ALUULA has been working closely with gear design teams at Arc’Teryx, Black Diamond, Rockgeist, and Durston to deliver solutions that exceed what was previously possible with conventional composite materials.

In partnership with the University of British Columbia, ALUULA has developed a process to compress material off-cuts and end-of-life products into uniform, lightweight and ultra-durable panels. From backpack back panels to low-friction wear plates, the applications are suited to any task where strength, weight, abrasion resistance, and low friction are desirable.

“ALUULA Composites are not only creating extremely light, strong, and durable fabrics, but materials that are recycled ready,” says ALUULA Composites Material Scientist, Samuel White. “Working with UBC students on applications for these ultra-strong and ultra-durable products is proving to be invaluable as we refine our processes to ensure the recyclability of ALUULA materials.”

Author: GISuser

GISuser, founded by Spatial Media (2003), is the leading online technology, news resource for GIS and mapping professionals

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