September 15, 2021

What Materials Are Backpacks Made Of? (And HOW Are Made)

by Kevin

When you are looking to purchase a backpack for your next trip, some important aspects of the product that you would like to consider include the volume, features, overall weight, and others. 

Choosing the right backpack material may be as important as choosing the backpack itself.

While some materials may be extra durable and help your backpack accompany you for a long time, others may not fit your buying aspirations. 

Read the article and information given below to learn more about what materials are backpacks made of.


Table of Contents
What Materials Are Backpacks Made Of
What Materials Are Backpacks Made Of?

What Materials Are Backpacks Made Of?

Manufacturers are making backpacks from different materials. Some of the common materials are canvas, nylon, and cotton.

Backpack manufacturers want to use durable materials to enhance their durability.

Each material has some strengths and weaknesses.

We will discuss what materials are backpacks made of and their features.

1. Backpacks made of Nylon

Strengths: It can resist damage from physical force. It is perfect for a backpack due to its lightweight and waterproof material.

Weaknesses: It does not look excellent and has a high price tag.

Nylon is the favorite choice for backpacks for manufacturers and customers alike.

A broad range of plastics (called polyamides) are melted down to form various fibers, and nylon is one of these. 

The Nylon fabric is cheaper when compared to other kinds of fabrics and materials.

Nylon also offers qualities including durability, strength, and abrasion resistance and can also retain its qualities in varying temperatures. 

While certain fabrics may be affected by molds and insects, no such harm can be done to nylon.

The only advantage that the polyester fabric may have over nylon is that the former can withstand ultraviolet radiation better.

2. Backpacks made of Polyester

Strengths: It has a lower price tag. You can take it to the areas with waterfalls as it dries fast.

Weaknesses: It has more weight than other synthetic materials. It will damage fast when there is a sudden temperature change.

Another fabric that is composed of plastics and is used for making a backpack is polyester. 

Polyester is a fabric name of advantages including excellent durability, wear resistance, anti-wrinkle texture, strength, and lightweight.

3. Backpacks made of Polypropylene 

Strengths: You can clean it easily. It has high durability. It is lighter than most synthetic materials.

Weaknesses: It may lose color due to sun damage. It can catch flame easily.

Polypropylene is a plastic-based fiber that is relatively cheaper. It can hence be used for manufacturing low-end and more affordable bags and backpacks.

The fabric possesses qualities including strength, wear resistance, and others.

It can also resist chemicals and water.

4. Backpacks made of Canvas 

Strengths: It has better durability and an excellent appearance. People use it for fashionwear.

Weaknesses: You can get it in natural colors only, and less breathability due to the linen part.

Canvas is made of cotton and is relatively heavier when compared to other materials and fabrics. 

While bags made of Canvas were quite common earlier, the introduction of plastics resulted in a decline in the use of Canvas fiber. 

Recently, certain fashion brands have reintroduced the fabric in their backpacks.

However, canvas backpacks may not be used for camping or hiking as they are heavier.

5. Backpacks made of Cotton

Strengths: It has high breathability. It does not cause allergic reactions as it consists of natural materials.

Weaknesses: Natural forces can affect cotton as it degrades quickly.

6. Backpacks made of Leather

Strengths: It looks excellent and lasts for years.

Weaknesses: You need to do special care for the leather as it does not resist water damage as synthetic materials.

7. Backpacks made of Denim

Strengths: Denim has less price than other materials and looks nice. You can wash it in the machine.

Weaknesses: The color may fade after some time. You cannot put heavy items in it due to fear of fabric damage.

8. Backpacks made of PVC

Strengths: You can get it in different colors. It can resist water damage.

Weaknesses: It does not resist physical stress like other materials. It does not look professional.

The Patented and Branded Backpack Materials

Certain business organizations and manufacturers have accomplished dedicated research and have developed innovative materials that suit the backpacks. 

These materials may be obtained through the modification of the chemical structure of the materials listed above. 

The manufacturers may also assign specific names to the materials they have invented and discovered to make them stand out from the crowd.

Some of the latest and patented materials that you can find in the backpacks are given below.

Cordura

Strengths: It is one of the toughest materials with high durability. It resists water damage.

Weaknesses: It is heavier than other synthetic materials and has a high price tag.

The material Cordura was initially created by using the air-jet process and Nylon thread. 

Cordura bags and backpacks are not only liked by civilians but may also be preferred by military personnel.

Ripstop Nylon

Strengths: It is a strong and durable fabric. Most people like to use it due to its smooth surface.

Weaknesses: You cannot place it near the fire as it can catch fire quickly.

The Ripstop branded material contains fabrics and materials including polyester, nylon, and polypropylene.

The combination results in a fabric that is stronger than the constituents. 

Ripstop has a unique ability and quality to stop a tear from spreading any further.

Therefore even if your Ripstop backpack gets a cut, the damage will remain localized.

However, Ripstop may be used only in some areas of the backpack.

It can also be found in other applications, including camping gear and hot air balloons.

Kodra Nylon

Strengths: It is more durable than the regular type of nylon. It is hard to make a puncture in this material.

Weaknesses: It does not resist UV damage like other synthetic materials.

The fabric was first manufactured in Korea as an alternative to the fabric Cordura.

Kodra Nylon can be commonly found being produced by manufacturers in Asia. It may be as resistant to abrasion as Cordura.

Ballistic Nylon 

Strengths: This material can resist a high level of abrasion forces. It does not shrink in water.

Weaknesses: It is hard to carry Ballistic Nylon as it is heavier than other types of materials.

The Ballistic Nylon fabric was originally developed by DuPont (an American munitions producer) during World War II. It was designed to protect soldiers and army men from shrapnel. 

However, the fabric could not serve the purpose, and later Kevlar vests and other materials were used for the purpose. 

Still, ballistic nylon can be one of the most durable materials that you can find in a backpack.

It is made of a special weave of Nylon that is long-lasting and offers exceptional wear resistance.

What Type of Waterproofing Materials Are Used in Backpacks?

Backpacks can also be made waterproof by adding certain materials.

Some of the most common waterproofing materials used in backpacks include the following materials.

  • DWR (Durable Water Repellant)
  • PU coating
  • Laminate or PVC Coating
  • TPU Laminate

If you want your backpack to be waterproof as well, read the specifications to find whether the backpack has any of the above-listed materials added to it.

How Are Backpacks Made?

Most manufacturers make different parts of the backpack with suitable materials. 

  • They sew all the pieces together to make the backpack. All the process is completed by expert technicians with years of experience making backpacks. 
  • Technicians prepare a paper template in the first step to create some reference points. 
  • They place the fabric on the pressing machine, where the machine cuts it according to the paper template. 
  • They sew all parts together and attach the additional pieces like the buckle and belt. 
  • Technicians fix all the loose threads and send the backpacks for quality control checking.

Are Cotton Backpacks Good?

Cotton backpacks can last many years if you care for them right.

Most manufacturers mix canvas with cotton to make it more durable.

It gives a professional look to the backpacks.

The only issue is its price.

You have to pay a high price to get a high-quality cotton backpack.

What Are the Most Durable Backpacks?

You can use different types of nylon to make the most durable backpack.

Nylon material is highly durable as it can resist physical stress damage.

It can resist water damage also.

Most climbers like to use Nylon backpacks due to their high durability.

Different materials are better if you want a backpack for some other function.

Leather and Denim are famous for their better appearance.

How Much Weight on Average Can a Backpack Hold?

Most backpacks can hold thirty to forty pounds of stuff without fear of fabric damage.

There is a high risk of fabric damage when you put more weight on it.

It is better to keep less weight in the backpack to protect it from damage.

You will also save yourself from injury.

How Heavy is Too Heavy for a Backpack?

Most experts recommend you carry less than ten percent of your body weight in the backpack to avoid neck injury.

If you weigh 150 pounds, you can handle less than 15 pounds in your backpack.

Weight above this limit is too heavy for you.

What Should I Look for When Buying a Backpack?

You can look for many factors when buying a backpack. It is better to focus on durability.

You should not get any backpack from the market as it is essential to consider size and suitability according to your demands.

1. Weight tolerance

You can get a backpack that can hold more weight if you have more body weight.

It should handle ten percent of your body weight.

Most can hold ten pounds of stuff.

2. Appearance

You should only select the backpacks that suit your personality.

If you want to appear relaxed, denim backpacks are for you.

It is better to get a leather backpack for professional looks.

3. Size

You can get a backpack that can hold more stuff.

It is better to check the size by wearing it. It should not reach your hip level.

If the backpack extends to the lower parts of your hip, the size is unsuitable.

4. Comfort

You have to wear a backpack all day.

Comfort is a crucial factor.

The straps should not be tight.

Your back should not hurt after wearing the backpack all day.

5. Protection

You can get a backpack that does not damage due to the UV rays.

It should resist water damage also.

6. Number of pockets

The backpack should have many zipper pockets to ensure you can place different things in separate zipper pockets.

7. Price

We recommend you visit the market and fix a budget for your backpack.

It is better to buy a backpack that comes within your budget.

You can spend a few more dollars if you are getting a durable backpack.

Final Thoughts on What Materials Are Backpacks Made Of

Nylon backpacks are available easily, and the fabric and material rank amongst the strongest and most durable.

However, if you get an option, you can also go for fabrics including ballistic nylon or Cordura. 

You may also like to go through the other specifications of the backpack including the space it offers and its weight to ensure that you have made the best pick for your next trip.

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About the author 

Kevin

Kevin loves bouldering. Mainly because he can practice it alone without considering other people. Although he rediscovered this hobby in the last three years, the boulders turned out to be his most visited landmarks.

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