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  1. #1
    Forum Member Perseffect's Avatar
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    May 2014
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    Cordura - Worn In, not Worn Out

    I've always been a bit of a fan of cordura as a fabric and its rustic casual style. But its not been my first choice as I'm a huge fan of ballistic for that more professional and durable look.

    Since most of my travel is with work, ballistic fits the bill for uncompromising multi-modal transportation & always looking the part.

    I've had a few weeks recently where I have had ZERO work travel and loved it. I've been on much more relaxed and doing shorter day and weekend personal travel. I picked up a used Burnt Orange cordura Synapse 19 recently. Its well used and doesn't look like new, even down to the black metal zips scratching to show a bronze underneath.

    Putting it next to my Black Ballistic/Island Synapse 19, the difference is noticeable. With use, ballistic nylon becomes more supple but keeps its spotless qualities. Cordura wears to have a nice worn in look like leather or your favourite comfy pair of jeans. Even the 'damage' mentioned above becomes part of the look, because its not trying to look professional.

    It doesn't look worn out, it looks worn in.

    Some bags look better in cordura if you are going for the more casual look. I just don't think ballistic, dyneema or even parapack match its unique qualities.

    I have 2 SCBs in Mars Red Ballistic and Navy Cordura. I prefer the cordura. I own a Ristretto 11 in Navy Cordura and have had the 13 in Steel Ballistic before. Again I prefer the cordura. And I've realised its because I use these bags in casual environments.

    I lament the disappearance of cordura from the current bag lineup; but welcome the chance to pick up some great worn in items in the future. Happy searching.
    Aeronaut 45 (Navy/NWS), A30 (Black/Island), Tristar (Steel/Island), Western Flyer (Steel/Island), Pilot (Steel/Island), Synapse 25 (Mars Red/NWS), Synapse 19 (Black/Island) & (Burnt Orange/Steel), Ristretto 11 (Navy/Steel), Small Cafe Bag (Navy/Steel) & (Mars Red/Dawn), Daylight Briefcase (Cloud/Dawn), Side Kick (Mars Red/Dawn), Travel Cubelet (Mars Red)

  2. #2
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    I agree. I treasure my older Cordura bags because they have only just "broken in".

    Fresh Cordura is nice and crisp but it has nothing on a nicely worn-in bag.

    That said, I've been thinking about Halcyon and Ballistic and wondering how they feel when they've seen as much use as my Cordura bags.

  3. #3
    Forum Member haraya's Avatar
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    I have an indigo S19 and it's still as vibrant as ever - but I agree, it has a nice "slouchy"-casual look to it. My original Halcyon is a little more trim/edgy because geometric/modern, and I love it in a different way. Cordura has a soft weekender feel to it. Good to have options.

  4. #4
    Volunteer Moderator aedifica's Avatar
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    Interesting! I think I'd be much more of a Cordura fan if I could brush cat hair off of it as easily as I can brush off a Ballistic bag. I do like the "worn-in" aesthetic a lot in some circumstances. I have a few Cordura bags because they're colors that I like, but I'm usually hesitant to reach for them because of the cat hair factor. (That's not to say that it's an utter magnet for cat hair--it isn't--but at this time of year, cat hair is everywhere at my house!)

    @carrot, I have a Ballistic Aeronaut 45 that I think is around ten years old, though I'm not sure about the age because I bought it second-hand. The fabric has gotten soft and floppy, but still feels very sturdy.
    I have a bunch of great bags. Favorite color combos include Aubergine/Island, Navy/Solar, Forest/UV, Original Halcyon/Wasabi, Cloud/Viridian.

    I've fulfilled my dream of palindromic-colored nested bags! Navy/Ultraviolet Pilot with Aubergine/Island Side Effect inside: blue purple purple blue. Forest/UV A45 with Aubergine/Wasabi Co-Pilot inside: green purple purple green.

  5. #5
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    This winter I used a first generation Swift in Cordura as my purse, at an event, because it matched my outfit perfectly.

    Its colors are classic and I realized how pliable/packable it is. It doesn't have the black "ballistic bowl" at the base of the bag, so it is really slouchy, by itself.

    But, it is not a problem for me because I have always placed a Packing Cube Shoulder Bag inside the main compartment of my purse Swift. It creates a sturdy zippered main compartment, where I place all the accessories that are usually in the S19.

    So years ago, I made a Pop Tote before the Pop Tote with a Swift

    I have to admit that I love Tom's design which saved my shoulders, back and sanity by helping transporting my stuff in style and comfort.

    But, I am not that big of a fan of Cordura and was very happy to accessorize with Halcyon items.

    Needless to say I was overjoyed when Nordic Halcyon was announced and extremely happy when everyday Ballistic (the ones with lighter fabric weights) were announced in all kind of fashionable and classic colors.

    I took the Nordic Halcyon retirement pretty hard but, the presence of EDC Ballistic has softened the loss.

    I do hope that Dawn is here to stay for good. It was hard to see Alphaviolet disappear as well.

    Here is hoping for future Aubergine/Dawn items.

  6. #6
    Forum Member weirdguy's Avatar
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    I whole-heartedly agreed

    Late last or early this year, I bought a terrific Used DLBC Olive Cordura. It is a terrific dark green. Before this, I'd been searching high and low for one. Also, the Grey Cordura is another sophisticated color.

    Sadly after receiving an another great-used Maker Bag in Burnt Orange, I'd been putting aside both DLBC.

    Not saying MB is perfect. Just that, MB has generous depth for all possible document, work scenario. And it is relatively light to DLBC and very light, if you compare to Stowaway. Especially, one calculate each relationship of volume vs weight.

    Neither saying I dislike the new Ballistic. I had a few SCB in both fabric. In SCB, I would prefer Ballistic which able to retain its edge and shape very well, sitting upright by its own. Not floppy.
    Last edited by weirdguy; 05-26-2019 at 01:28 AM.
    Solar/Yellow: A45 Navy, CP Black, SA Black, SCB
    Steel/Grey: UMP Steel 400d, PU Coyote, DLBC, PCSB, TC
    Olive/Green: A30NWS, SCBCanyon, SKIsland
    Mars Red/Red: SENordic, SKCanyon, DLBCCanyon, SCBDawn


    BrainCell Size1 M4800, Cache 13"MBPR E7240

    ~Live Long & Prosper by Vulcan

  7. #7
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    I've said many times I'm an unabashed Cordura fan, so you've got my vote. I find the ballistic fabulous for the more luggagey bags, but for the more casual ones, for me it's Cordura hands down.

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