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Brief Published: 21 Oct 2013

Super-Durable Lightweight Backpack


New York company Outlier has collaborated with American outdoor equipment manufacturer Hyperlite Mountain Gear on a super-durable yet lightweight bag, using a material that’s stronger than steel.

The Minimal Backpack is made with non-woven Dyneema – a waterproof, featherweight fibre that is 10 times stronger than steel, yet light enough to float on water. The flexible bag has one compartment with a simple roll-top closure and clip to keep it shut, and folds down small enough to fit into a jacket pocket when not in use.

Dyneema consists of ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene (UHMWPE), a subset of the thermoplastic polyethylene. The material can be tailored for a huge variety of applications – from body armour to high-performance sails and aerospace technology. The Minimal Backpack is available on Outlier’s website for $168.

For more on how advances in materials technologies are allowing designers to experiment with conventional formats, see our 2014-15 Colour & Materials Focus Super-Lightweight and our report Super-Light Materials. For more on the use of super-strong lightweight materials in product, see the Lab-Light section of the Home & Industrial Design industry trend, Design Democracy: Shift.