Unidirectional (UD) composite laminates based on high-performance polyethylene fibers (PEF) and glass fibers (GF) and their hybrids were prepared with partially polymerized methyl methacrylate (MMA) at room temperature, followed by heating at 55°C (well below the softening point of PEF, 147°C) for 2 h. The heat distortion temperatures (HDT) of the composites were measured and analyzed. The dependency of the HDT correlated with the wettability of the fibers, measured from the contact angle. The HDT of the composites increased with increasing GF content but decreased when PEF was used. An optimum combination of different properties was obtained by using PEF/GF/PMMA hybrid composites, with GF ply/plies on the lower tension side of the UD laminates. © 1999 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.