February 13, 2024


VICTORIAALUULA Composites has been enlisted by Arc’teryx and Durston to produce a new ultralight brand of outdoor gear that is performance-driven and recyclable.

The Canadian companies have worked together on the development of the Wapta 30 Pack with Durston Gear with their Graflyte V-98 material, resulting in an extra-light and durable backpacking unit.

“We’re excited to partner with ALUULA, working together to combine their next-generation composite materials with Arc’teryx’ 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.”

The fabric in the unit is woven using ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene (UHMWPE), which although it is not a new material, 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.

ALUULA states that the result is a lighter material with a superior strength-to-weight ratio that is eight times stronger than that of steel.

ALUULA Composites products have already been field-tested in harsh marine conditions, and are utilized in kiteboarding and other wind sports. Graflyte doesn’t need to be sewn together, and can be heat-bonded to itself, and 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.

In 2023 the outdoor equipment sector generated US$25 billion in sales, and according to recent data from Statista, the sector is expected to grow by more than 6 percent annually through 2028.

For the past several years, ALUULA has been working closely with gear design teams at Arc’teryx, Durston, Black Diamond and Rockgeist. ALUULA has also developed a process to compress material cut-offs and end-of-life products into uniform, lightweight and ultra-durable panels in partnership with the University of British Columbia. These could be used in applications 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.”

Business Examiner Staff

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