MSR has developed a new technology which they call the Xtreme Shield System and they are applying it to their tents in 2019. This is about seams and a new coating. Read more below.
This new MSR’s system includes the following components:
- Durable and precision stitch seams.
- A poly-cotton thread that swells when wet.
- A new coating that lasts 3 times longer than the normal coating.
Durable and precision stitch seams
This includes a lap-felled seam also known as the flat-fell seam. This implies putting one edge inside a folded edge of the other piece of fabric and then stitching the fold down. The principle of the flat-fell seam is shown in these pictures:
I just wonder what kind of the seam they have used before. But in any case, this is about the proper combination of the seam and thread shown below.
About poly-cotton thread swelling
Perhaps you did not know but cotton canvas tents are built on that principle. They have no coating yet they are waterproof. Cotton swells when it gets wet and the holes in the thread close in the process. Polyester is added for extra strength, hence the name poly-cotton. This is illustrated in this picture provided my MSR:
It appears that the idea behind this is to avoid tapes on seams, because they degrade in time and make the tent useless. Currently, you have seam taping that is normally done in the factory. This is a layer of a polyurethane tape that covers seams to block water entering through the stitching. This works better on the tents built from a heavier material, say 68D and more. But it is less durable on ultralight backpacking tents.
So these tapes degrade in time and the tent leaks. This happens due to moisture, heat, and humidity, and the tape breaks down and flakes off. Now you see the point, with what is described above they have a seam made as durable as the new coating, so keep reading.
The new coating
The mentioned degrading process works also with the standard coating used in tents. In time moisture and heat break it chemically down. This is a natural process, called hydrolysis.
So MSR claims that they have developed a coating that’s revolutionary for the tent industry. Apparently, this is at the molecular level, a new formula based on polyurethane and it features a molecular chain that holds up to heat and humidity. They also claim that in practical terms this new waterproof coating is 3 times more durable than standard coatings. Those are their words but I guess the time will show.
More about all this you can see in this video by MSR:
Where they use the Xtreme Shield System
This new system is already on the market. It is used in their new tents and shelters in 2019:
- Zoic Series.
- Hubba Series.
- Hubba Tour Series.
- GuideLine Pro.
- Thru-Hiker Mesh Houses.
- Pro Bivy.
Some of the MSR tents with this new Xtreme Shield system are shown below.