Weight vs Cost

photoOn my previous post about my As Tucas cuben dry sack, Alan made the understandable point that €40 (£34) seemed a lot of money to save 87g. I thought it would be interesting to look at some trade-offs of weight saved versus cost.

Firstly, taking rucksack liners, an Exped silnylon 50L liner costs £17 and weighs 72g. This is actually slightly larger than mine, so not a totally fair comparison. However, in terms of cost per gram saved it works out at 38p per gram. Of course, we must take into account that I rejected silnylon liners because of concerns over robustness.

If we take the normal gauge Exped liner (actually their XXL dry bag as it is a comparable size), then it weighs 110g (according to Amazon) and costs £15.50. The cost per gram saved of the As Tucas dry bag over this Exped liner is 23p per gram, which is better value.

P1000069If we take a quick look at tents, then we can compare the Terra Nova Laser Competition 1 and the Wild Country Zephyros Lite 1 as close substitutes. The Laser Competition is 194g lighter but costs an extra £135. Every gram saved in this trade-off is costing 70p.

DSC00889If we take the Mountain Laurel Designs Duomid and compare the silnylon version with the more expensive cuben version, we find the cost per gram saved is 59p. I also looked at the comparison of the Gossamer Gear Mariposa and the cheaper Osprey Exos 46. in this case the lighter Mariposa will cost you an extra 27p per gram saved.

DSC00997In the context of these comparisons, it no longer seems quite as extravagant to have bought a cuben pack liner. I guess the other thing to take into account is the cumulative weight savings. By chipping off a few grams here and there (albeit at extra cost), the extra weight savings soon become quite significant. In the end, it’s all a matter of personal choice. Everyone will have their own cost/benefit curve (to use a technical economics term!).

19 thoughts on “Weight vs Cost”

  1. It’s a funny old game, gram-saving, innit. But it’s precisely the point you make at the end: it’s the cumulative effect that matters. Some folks say: just go on a diet and you’ll save weight and money. Well, yes, but it’s not the same thing. Lifting a heavy rucksack off the ground and onto your shoulders is a lot worse than a bit of beer belly. And although it’s a very expensive game, when you go around with only 5kg for a summer overnighter and 7kg for a winter overnighter, boy, it makes a hell of a difference when you’re wading through bog or deep snow. Every gram saved off your shoulders gives you better balance, happier knees, longer miles. There’s no question about that.

    Only doubt I have about cuben in stuff sacs is that it must make quite a fair bit of noise as you move about? I have an MLD bivy in cuben and it does sound like you’re sleeping on wrapping paper.

  2. I’m with Martin on that score.
    But i’m still not convinced of the cost Robin. Should you not say, my current liner cost £”x” amount and my new liner costs £34. Add the two costs together and divide it by 28grams that you now have in your pack. It doesn’t look as convincing.
    If you are starting from scratch and don’t have a liner then i would go with your scenario. (you could always sell your old liner and that would bring the gram cost down).

    1. I think you are being a bit pernickety there, Alan. On that basis, I’d never swap to anything lighter. I don’t think the second hand market for rucksack liners is very vibrant 😉

    1. 🙂 I’ve had about six years out of this Exped liner so an early Christmas present was not out of order 😉

      Marco is doing some nice stuff. Lightweight gaiters being the latest. When my MLD gaiters get trashed, As Tucas is what I’ll go for.

  3. If I have expensive gear I worry about breaking/losing it so I’m more of a binbag sort of person myself, but its interesting to see the options.

    1. Bin bags are good but seem to tear at inconvenient moments, which I why I’ve tended to use dry bags. Garden sacks are quite tough.

  4. The gaiters are excellent. And dare i say it. A good price too. My current gaiters weigh 85gr and will have to make do for another year or two.

    1. Apologies. I should have made it clear that this was a custom order. Just email Marco and he’ll be happy to help.

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