"Ballistic nylon" vs Cordura: which is better?

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When thinking about heavy-duty fabric, two materials immediately come to mind: «ballistic nylon» and Cordura. These two fabrics have been used in military and harsh environments for over 50 years. They are the basis many wonderful bags and backpacks of famous brands. And for good reason: their strength and durability can be envied by many materials. The Bag&Wallet team will try to find answers to key questions you need to know when choosing between these two «heavy duty» options.

What is «ballistic nylon»?

Material is a multifaceted high tenacity fabric, usually made from 1050D or 840D yarns. The name «Ballistic» dates back to the Vietnam War era when the fabric was used for shatterproof jackets for the military. Several layers of thick fabric were «laminated» together to help stop the blast and debris.

By the end of the 70s, the military upgraded their «armor» to lightweight Kevlar® technology that could stop real bullets. «Ballistic nylon» faded into the background, but became popular in the civilian sphere. The material began to be actively used in the manufacture of suitcases and not only.

Its smooth surface, heavy weave and excellent durability still make it a popular material today, although as a single layer fabric it has lost most of its actual military function.

What is Cordura?

Name CORDURA® has been the basis of many objects and things over the years. Initially, the material was used in the manufacture of tires during the Second World War. After the war, DuPont continued to use the material in tire production.

In the mid 70’s a nylon fabric dyeing process was developed and the CORDURA® name was revived and applied to the classic line of nylon fabrics. BThe CORDURA® trade mark appears on all types of equipment.

Used in everything from school bags to combat boots, the ubiquitous material has had a huge impact on the market for over 50 years.

It is not clear to many what 600D Nylon or 1050D threads mean. «D» in such cases refers to denier (* denier is a unit of weight for a skein of silk, nylon, etc. thread, characterizing its fineness.) This is a unit of measurement for the weight of yarn, not an indicator of strength or strength!

Fundamental differences between fabrics.

Ballistic nylon tends to be heavier and usually has superior tensile strength.

For reasons unknown, CORDURA® generally has greater abrasion resistance. The generally accepted theory is that airy textured yarns have a lot of bulk, which helps distribute wear. Air texturing also creates a canvas feel. Ballistic nylon, on the other hand, has a fairly smooth surface.

CORDURA® has a rather informal design. It is synonymous with school change bags, while the «ballistic nylon» finish is more suitable for a business environment. From a practical point of view, it is quite difficult to find ballistic nylon in any color other than black.

One of the advantages of all CORDURA® fabrics is that they are easily distinguishable. The difficulty with buying Ballistic Nylon is that many manufacturers have started producing replicas that differ in quality. If a brand claims to use ballistic fabric, it’s worth taking a closer look.

What to choose?

At this point, we must make it clear that both of these fabrics are heavy duty and heavy duty, functions that are overkill for the daily needs of most people. Before entering the market, fabrics were used exclusively for military purposes. The material’s arsenal includes features such as explosion-proof and shatterproof. You are unlikely to encounter such problems in ordinary life.

BUT! Backpacks or suitcases made from these materials will carry incredible weights. This is verified by the army!

All details regarding these two materials are described. The choice is yours!


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