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The Minimal Backpack

The Minimal Backpack

A simple featherweight and backcountry tough bag. Made with Hyperlite Mountain Gear using nonwoven Dyneema, a fiber that is 10x stronger than steel yet floats on water. Packs flat for easy travel.

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This adventure started with the material. In one of our many fabric hunts we stumbled across something very different, almost alien. Nonwoven Dyneema - insanely lightweight, fully waterproof and many times stronger than steel.

When we encountered the elegantly pared back nonwoven Dyneema packs of Hyperlite Mountain Gear, we became one of their very first customers and then started about what we could make together. The result is the Minimal Backpack.

The premise was simple; what was the simplest and lightest pack we could make that was still suitable for daily use? Nonwoven Dyneema is an insanely expensive material, even by Outlier standards. It's also extremely difficult to sew, so producing a simple yet highly functional design is crucial to making this stuff work. Thankfully Mike St. Pierre of Hyperlite has been working with the material over the past few years and has even built a small factory in Biddeford, Maine. By the time Outlier got involved most of the hard work was done. We settled on a slightly heavier, all black version of nonwoven Dyneema simply because we love the way it looks and wears over time. A roll top backpack, that's highly water resistant and packs down to fit into a jacket pocket.

It's important to note that while Dyneema is incredibly tough and can be used to make body armor, we are using it to make an incredibly lightweight bag. They are durable but not indestructible. If we made them weigh as much as your old rucksack they'd likely stop bullets, but this is a featherweight bag. For its weight class it's as tough as it gets, but due to its extreme thinness it is subject to day-to-day wear and tear.

For this version we used a black nonwoven Dyneema that is slightly heavier and more durable than earlier versions, but still insanely light and versatile.
Stronger than steel yet floats on water. Nonwoven Dyneema is a fiber with almost limitless applications. Conventional weaving processes induce crimp in the fibers, this causes stress and wear points that significantly reduce the strength and long term performance of the fabric. Nonwoven Dyneema fibers are bonded together in multi-directional panels with various materials depending on their application. Used from making racing sails to replacing steel cords on freight ships to aerospace technology, nonwoven Dyneema fiber is tailored to a huge variety of uses.

We first encountered it at a fabric trade show a few years back and were entranced by its properties. Hyperlite Mountain Gear has been using nonwoven Dyneema bonded with nylon to make super light gear for hiking, mountain climbing and camping. We became one of their first customers and now are collaborating with them to create bags. Nonwoven Dyneema has a low specific gravity (floats on water), is highly UV resistant and 100% waterproof.
  • Made from nonwoven Dyneema with bonded poly face
  • 237 grams
  • 1600 cubic inches capacity
  • Roll-top closure
  • Lightly padded adjustable shoulder straps
  • Duraflex aluminum hardware
  • Incredible strength to weight ratio
  • Extremely water resistant
  • UV resistant
  • Rip-stop
  • Packs down to a fraction of its size
  • Great for everyday use
  • Hand wash/scrub when needed
  • Made in Maine, USA
  • Sizing
  • Measures: 10.5'' x 27'' x 6.25''

  • Holds 1600 cubic inches of capacity
  • Colors