What Fabrics does PHD use?

Waterproof Fabrics:

  • HS2. HS2 is a 2-layer laminate, a high-spec option for the outer layer of our insulated gear. This ripstop fabric strikes an excellent balance between lightness and durability. It is light enough for our Belay tops and tough enough for expedition use in our Omega clothing, while the Kappa clothing makes full use of both its qualities. HS2 is completely waterproof (when the seams are taped) and offers excellent breathability. (Weight: 88gsm).
  • HS3. HS3 is a 3-layer laminate, the new fabric for our Alpamayo shell gear. The old argument that a 2-layer fabric with a separate mesh inner was both more flexible and more breathable than a 3-layer has been overtaken by the performance of current 3-layers such as HS3. This new ripstop fabric also removes the disadvantages of mesh (which snags on velcro and can form an ice-trap in extreme cold) and makes the gear considerably lighter. HS3 is waterproof to a much higher level than needed in outdoor gear and offers excellent breathability (weight: 115gsm). Care of HS3.
  • Tempest. A technically advanced waterproof breathable material. 100% Nylon. Good abrasion and tear resistance, yet offering high flexibility for such a tough material (weight: 160gsm).
  • Dri-LX. At just 64gsm, Dri-LX is our lightest 2-layer breathable waterproof rip-stop nylon fabric. Its remarkably low weight not only makes for a lighter load, but also reduces pack size. Its excellent waterproofing qualities are in part due to how it can be taped at the seams to create a waterproof shell for sleeping bags and clothing.

Water-resistant Fabrics:

  • Drishell. Ripstop nylon with an ultralight coating: achieves total windblock, along with high breathability and effective water resistance. Superbly efficient for a very light overall fabric weight (weight: 54 gsm).
  • Ultrashell. PHD's most frequently chosen lightweight coated fabric. An excellent balance of weight/water-resistance/breathability, this ripstop nylon provides complete wind block (weight: 40 gsm). Note: unlike some other so-called 'proofed' fabrics, Ultrashell does not rely solely on a DWR (durable water repellent) coating. Although it has a DWR coating, more importantly it has a breathable and permanent PU coating applied on the underside of the fabric that cannot be abraded through daily use.
  • HyperShell. HyperShell is PHD’s exceptionally lightweight waterproof coated fabric. This remarkable ripstop nylon provides complete windblock and good water resistance at a breathtaking weight (28 gsm). HyperShell protects the down from condensation drips found typically in tents, tarps and snow-holes, but its very low weight allows greater lofting of the down and a smaller pack size. Hydrostatic head: 1000mm. Note: unlike some other so-called 'proofed' fabrics, HyperShell does not rely solely on a DWR (durable water repellent) coating. Although it has a DWR coating, more importantly it has a breathable and permanent PU coating applied on the underside of the fabric that cannot be abraded through daily use, so performance is maintained over many years.

Downproof Fabrics:

  • M1 Microfibre. Lightweight silky microfibre. This close-weave 20denier fabric is fully downproof, but also light and flexible enough to allow the down maximum loft. A reliable performer that has been the basis for much of our lightweight gear for some time (weight 39 gsm).
  • MX. A mini-ripstop nylon with excellent tear strength, MX is the pick of the superfine 15denier downproof materials. We have tested lighter fabrics, but most have had significant drawbacks, while our confidence in MX is based on several years of extensive use in both our ultralight and our high mountain gear (weight: 32 gsm).
  • 10X. A 10denier ripstop in which we have gained confidence through our own outdoor testing. A fabric this light is naturally not as robust as MX, but it is durable enough to put our Wafer products beyond touch-me-not gear and to let them take their place as genuine camp clothing. For all its thinness 10X is amazingly downproof and windproof, the ideal shell for the lightest fill of PHD’s superb downs. Note: Fabrics as thin as this do not stand up well to direct abrasion, so we do not recommend the Wafer gear as climbing outerwear (weight: 26 gsm).
  • 7X. An exquisitely fine rip-stop nylon, 7X is incredibly light (weight: 22 gsm), highly wind-resistant and has first-rate down proofing. This fabric helps us create the very lightest of gear in the PHD range. Of course the lighter the fabric the lighter the sleeping bag or down clothing, and the less space it takes up in your rucksack. This fabric is so light it actually helps to allow even greater lofting of the down too.
  • Vertex. Breathtakingly light at 18 grams per square meter, Vertex is the ultimate in technical fabrics for extreme weight saving. This fabric is down-proof and superbly wind-proof and represents a high-point in the development of lightweight technical fabrics. The result of years of evolution and testing, this whisper-light fabric opens up new possibilities at the pinnacle of lightweight gear design.