Gabion Basket

Comparing Gabion Baskets to the Flex MSE Vegetated Wall System

Foundation materials

As a gravity wall, the overall stability of gabion basket structures is strongly linked to the underlying foundation materials.

Flex MSE can be installed on uneven foundation surfaces. Combine that with the nearly unlimited differential settlement ability of the system and lightweight components, Flex MSE can be used effectively in a wide range of soil types.

Integration with rigid systems and landforms

The quality and longevity of a gabion basket is influenced by the type of rock, bracing and its packing. However, gabion baskets typically experience gradual deformation and corrosion over time. As a result, integration of gabion baskets with rigid systems such as concrete coping is typically a source of ongoing maintenance and repairs which left unattended can create a hazard.

Flex MSE’s “soft armour” capabilities allow it to integrate seamlessly with nearly all other systems and natural landforms.

Rock selection

Considerable care must be undertaken in selecting and installing rock into gabion baskets. Poor rock quality, or failure to fill the cages completely, results in increased abrasion and rock breakage, amplifying deformation and damage to cage wiring. Particular attention must be paid to the rock placement process to ensure rocks are hand packed tightly.

Common granular and organic material, readily available from Landscape supply stores, and in some cases in-situ materials can be used with the Flex MSE system. Flex MSE’s ease of use and the broad availability of fill materials means less time spent on material selection  and handling generating savings in overall project time.


Vandalism can be a significant problem for gabion basket systems with people cutting the wire mesh to access rock. Gabion mattresses can also be cut open by fisherman retrieving lost fishing tackle. Gabion baskets are highly susceptible to graffiti and “tagging”.

The vegetated result with Flex MSE prevents the temptation of vandalism and is easily repaired or removed if vandalism should happen.


Gabion baskets generally have difficulty sustaining vegetation year to year once the initial germination is exhausted.

Flex MSE has a sustainable vegetated face with normal growth cycles established on installation and cyclical vegetated face from year to year.

Gabion Basket - West Vancouver