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Brain Bag Ballistic Nylon Question

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    Brain Bag Ballistic Nylon Question

    What is the reason that the current version of the Brain Bag in ballistic nylon is made with two types of exterior ballistic nylon:

    525 denier 2x2 Ballistic nylon exterior
    Bottom of pack: 1050d high tenacity ballistic nylon

    Why not make the entire bag out of one type of Nylon?

    It would seem logical to think there must be a reason for two types of nylon.
    Is it a cost issue?
    Is the 1050d more durable and that is why it is on the bottom, and if so, why not make the whole bag out of this material?
    Is the 525d more costly, and thus, it is not used everywhere?

    Hi @krroller,

    Welcome to the forums. The 1050d Ballistic Nylon used on the bottom of the Brain Bag and Smart Alec Backpacks is higher durability, and is also the standard grade of Ballistic Nylon that is used for Tom Bihn Travel Luggage (the Aeronauts, Tri-Star, Western Flyer, etc.) S525d (S210d) Ballistic Nylon is a brand new option for the Brain Bag that is being offered as an alternative to Cordura. Factors behind the selection of materials for bags include weight, availability of color options, as well as durability (according to many different criteria, like abrasion resistance, tensile strength, etc.), resistance to pet hair, and how much rigidity/flexibility you want in the fabric.

    Up until the current production release of the Brain Bag, this bag has traditionally been made in 1000d Cordura, which is readily commercially available in a wide variety of colors and is highly abrasion-resistant. It is, however, a pet hair magnet, and some people report that it can wear/abrade against their clothing (maybe not an issue for backpack use, but more noticeable in Cafe (Messenger) Bags.

    The new S525d Ballistic nylon fabrics are similar in weight to Cordura (maybe slightly heavier by my estimate on the Synapses with the extra protective coating layers added), and are available in a range of colors. They were developed in connection with some new products that were recently debuted (the Luminary and StowAway bags), but have been migrating into products such as the Cafe Bags, the Side Effects, the Synapses, and the Brain Bag. The range of colors is new, because these are custom made fabrics, and traditional 1050d Ballistic Nylon is difficult to dye (meaning for consistent and uniform colors in production batches at reasonable cost).

    Take a read of the Materials pages for more information:

    However, as a quick reply to your question, you probably wouldn't want the extra weight of having the whole bag made of 1050d Ballistic Nylon, as well as some of the loss of flexibility in some of the compartments. We have reports from people with Brain Bags that are 30 years old and still in use -- without having to resort to heavier materials. If it isn't going to significantly improve the practical wearing experience of the bag, why carry around the extra weight?




      The toughest, most durable materials used for packs and bags is 1000D Cordura and 1050d Ballistic. As moriond has said, the disadvantages of 1000D Cordura are that it attracts pet hair and lint and can be abrasive to some types of clothing. 525d Ballistic is slightly less durable than 1000D and 1050d. When I purchase a bag, from any manufacturer, and have a choice of exterior fabrics, I always choose the most durable.


        @moriond -- Would you happen to recall if they ever made the Brain Bag in Dyneema/Halcyon? I recently bought the purple Brain Bag and I like it quite a bit, but I would leap at the chance to get it in my favorite fabric!


          Hi @Lani,

          They have never made the Brain Bag using Dyneema/Halcyon.