“In the summer of 1973, I hiked the West Coast Trail on the coast of Vancouver Island in British Columbia. I carried a backpack I had made for the trip — it was forest green, and I always thought it was the most perfect shade of green. That particular color will, in my mind, always be linked to that adventure, and is the inspiration for our new Forest Green 1050d ballistic nylon. Maybe our Aeronaut or Tri-Star in Forest Green will be a part of your next adventure.”
Available for pre-order in Forest:
Aeronaut in Forest/Steel or Forest/Ultraviolet
Tri-Star in Forest/Steel or Forest/Ultraviolet
ID in Black/Forest/Cayenne
Empire Builder Black/Forest/Steel
Super Ego in Black/Forest/Cayenne
Co-Pilot in Forest/Steel
This is the red of my dreams; the red I’ve quested after for years. It’s a deep red, rich and dark. A hint of black, and perhaps a bit of blue, distinguish our previous Crimson 1050d ballistic nylon from our new Cardinal 1050d ballistic nylon. Working with the dye works to create this color was no simple feat, and we rejected countless iterations of the new red before finally approving Cardinal two months ago.
After choosing our new color, we had several brainstorming sessions to come up with its name. Many would call it “Cherry” or “Stanford Red”. I thought it’d be funny to call it “Bolshevik Red” but more reasoned voices prevailed. Someone (we can’t remember who) suggested Cardinal, which is defined as a deep, vivid red. Perfect. And it’s the name of a train. Even better. (Our Empire Builder and Zephyr briefcases are also named after trains.)
In the process of choosing Cardinal, which is our fifth color of 1050d U.S. ballistic nylon, we came up with a sixth color that everyone agreed we couldn’t leave behind. We’ll be unveiling 1050d Ballistic Nylon Color #6 next Tuesday. Stay tuned!
Our previous red – Crimson – is on the left. Cardinal is on the right.
The Tri-Star in Cardinal/Steel.
Handles of the Cardinal Tri-Star cut and ready to sew.
The Kit in Cardinal, with a Vulcana Hemp/Recycled Rubber background.
A roll of the Cardinal 1050d ballistic nylon in the factory.
A close-up of the ballistic nylon yarns.
Available for pre-order in our new Navy 1050d ballistic nylon:
Aeronaut in Navy/Solar, Navy/Iberian (Shipping by early June!)
Tri-Star in Navy/Solar, Navy/Iberian
Little Swift in Navy/Navy
Super Ego in Black/Navy/Cayenne
Swift in Navy/Steel
Checkpoint Flyer in Black/Navy (13″, 15″, and 17″ sizes only)
We’ve received shipment of our new custom 1050d ballistic nylon color: Navy. A rich, deeply hued blue, Navy is the result of months of back-and-forth with our fabric mill, ensuring the color met our exacting standards. We’ll introduce various bags for pre-order in Navy tomorrow (there may even be a few photos of actual bags to show you) but wanted to give you a sneak peak at the new color today.
More about our custom-produced fabrics:
We use only the best quality 1050 denier ballistic nylon. It’s made in the U.S.A and finished (dyed and coated) to our specifications. This cloth is available off-the-shelf in Black, but because there’s virtually no domestic demand for colors, colors other than black are made only to order. The minimum quantity we need to have dyed (a “dye lot”) is relatively quite large, especially for a small company like ours that enjoys offering a wide variety of colors. Currently, that’s over 21 different colors and fabrics, and we plan to add more.
Candi, Irma, and Tom inspect our new Navy fabric.
The high-tenacity nylon yarns from which 1050d ballistic nylon are woven can be very difficult to dye, compared to, for example, the standard nylon typically found in imported 1680 “ballistic”. (One of our fabric mills tested our 1050d ballistic nylon against the 1680 stuff; see the results of that test here.) We’ve had to reject more than a few batches of 1050d because it was streaky, too soft, or simply not the exact color we envisioned. And because we can’t just run down to the corner fabric store and pick up a roll in some stock color, we’ve decided not to announce new colors until we actually have them in-house and they’ve met our strict standards.
We’re very impressed with the quality of our new 1050d ballistic nylon in Navy and plan to share more photos with you over the next weeks as various bags become available in the new fabric.