The influence of strain rate and temperature on modulus, strength and work of fracture of high-performance polyethylene (HP-PE) fibres and composites is investigated. Results showed that an increase in strain rate and/or decrease in temperature leads to a reduction in work of fracture. At high strain rates or low temperatures a constant minimum level for the fracture energy is reached. The energy absorption capacity of HP-PE/epoxy laminates is investigated using full penetrating dart-impact tests and showed similar trends than observed for HP-PE fibres. The impact energy of these laminates could be described quantitatively in terms of fibre, matrix and delamination effects by combining the tensile test results on fibres and unidirectional composites with fracture toughness experiments on laminates.