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Was the Large Cafe Bag ever made in ballistic? (aka, Is this parapack?)

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    Was the Large Cafe Bag ever made in ballistic? (aka, Is this parapack?)

    I've gone on a bit of an excessive retired-cafe bag spree recently (whoops) and just received a navy/navy LCB that was supposed to be Cordura, but I'm 90% sure is all parapack (exterior and interior). But I'm not very familiar with parapack and don't have any 525 (or even 210) ballistic to compare it to, so before I decide whether to keep it or try to swap it or contact the seller about a refund, I want to make sure what I've actually got here. I'm hoping you fab Bihnions can confirm.

    The last LCB entry on the website suggests ballistic was never an option, and I can't seem to find any forum/website/Google evidence that a ballistic LCB was made. I do remember all-parapack LCBs being sold and have found lots of evidence to back up my memory.

    I don't have any lighter weight ballistic to compare this LCB to, but it certainly doesn't have the texture of 1050 ballistic: the LCB is smoother, softer, and much less stiff. It also makes a distinct sound when you rub it, a bit like a combo of a record scratch and the sound some bags and tights made back in the 80s when you walked.

    The interior and exterior materials of the LCB do seem the same and do seem to match a slightly distanced image of parapack. But once you really zoom in, you notice that basket-weavy, kind of T-shaped texture found on 1050 ballistic, at which point your eyes start to hurt and you begin to question the reality of the universe and your place in it.

    Could someone confirm or deny my suspicions on this material by any chance? Photos for reference, though I clearly should've dusted the bag off first:

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    I couldn't quite get the same zoom on both the interior and exterior close-ups, but

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    Big pic of interior and exterior both:
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    Many thanks.

    looks like parapack to me!


      I agree - the fabric options would be Cordura, Ballistic 1050, Halcyon, or Parapack. It seems very clear that it cannot be any of the first three, and though I’ve always found Parapack to be difficult to photograph, these photos are very consistent with it.


        Thank you so much, capncat and terayon, for confirming I'm not losing my mind!


          No, never in ballistic. I suggested it, but it never happened. Would have been great.


            Hi @kmw,

            They shifted over to Parapack Cafe Bags when this fabric was first introduced, as a way of offering bags that were resistant to pet hair, and also non-abrasive to clothing. (See The Fur Test December 2013 blog entry; better yet, read @Badger's November 2013 thread: 3D Cubes in Clear, Dyneema, and new Parapack; And, a Comparative Study performed with Corgi assistance).

            They started phasing out the Cordura Cafe bags at the end of 2013, with the exception of certain colors being kept (like Plum/Wasabi and Cocoa Wasabi). You can read my summary in the last post (#8) of the No More 1000D Synapse Bags? thread (that discussed the possible phase out of Cordura in both the Synapse and Cafe Bags at that time)

            The problem with going over to Parapack Cafe Bag offerings is that the Parapack options are/were only Steel, Olive, Navy, and Black, so the February 2014 What's with the (lack of) color options? reflected this reaction. (If you follow the links to the other threads mentioned in those posts, you can read specifics about the disappearing color options over time).

            So, by April 2014, @Darcy's New colors: Kelly, French Blue, and Steel in the Cafe Bag appeared, and the increased number of Cordura Cafe Bag combinations were reinstated. They did, however, later make most of these with Parapack interiors (notably, almost exclusively Navy in the last year of manufacturing the Cordura Cafe bags).

            And, the new 525d Ballistic Nylon Cafe Bags only started being produced in mid-July. @Darcy announced as part of the Summer 2017 Debut!

            Originally posted by Darcy View Post
            And in other news....

            We've decided to retire the Large Cafe Bag. We won't be making another batch (the factory is very busy making other bags right now!) so the colors that are available now are the last colors that'll be available in the Large Cafe Bag. We'll continue to offer the Large Cafe Bag Freudian Slip for a little while longer just in case folks who already have a Large Cafe Bag decide they'd like to add a Freudian Slip.

            The Small and Medium Cafe Bags in 525/210 ballistic nylon also feature another new material: a very strong and high quality yet supple and comfortable new shoulder strap webbing. It has a silky, luxurious feel, and is comfortable on bare shoulders. Going forward, all Small and Medium Cafe Bags (including those with Cordura or Halcyon exteriors) will use the new shoulder strap webbing. However, existing Small and Medium Cafe Bags in Cordura and Halcyon (those that are available for order on the website right now) do not feature the new webbing.
            So, while requests to make the Large Cafe bag in 525d Ballistic Nylon basically came after they'd already decided to retire the Large Cafe Bag.




              Thanks, as always, moriond!

              With all your help, I've decided to return the (now confirmed) parapack bag. It's in great shape with tags still intact, but when it comes to Cafe Bags, I'm a Cordura girl. Luckily, the only thing that sheds in my household is me.

              Thank you, everyone!