Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 18
Like Tree6Likes

Thread: Parapack vs Cordura vs Ballistic

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    13

    Parapack vs Cordura vs Ballistic

    Hi All,

    I am curious about which one is the most resistant to tears, scuffs, and stains. Is Parapack completely outclassed by Ballistic and Cordura? Also which one is the most expensive to make? I know TB bags that use these fabrics tend to be similar in price; a Parapack Synapse is the same price as a Cordura Synapse. Also because parapack is not a brand name and there are no well known manufacturers (to my knowledge) is it simply a cost saving maneuver to use Parapack?

    Thanks in advance for any help!

  2. #2
    Registered User Rocks's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts
    263
    Here's a great blog post about parapack.
    The Story behind 420 Denier High Tenacity
    eWalker likes this.

  3. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    13
    Thank you Rocks, I have read that but it doesn't really answer any of my questions. Cheaper backpacks like Northface tend to use 420D nylon (though it may be an Asian version) but if TB is now using it now I am curious how it is in comparison to the heavier fabrics. Also I think it is interesting that parachute packs these days tend to be made out of Cordura.

  4. #4
    Registered User tpnl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    292
    Grumman

    To try to answer some of your questions:

    Is Parapack completely outclassed by Ballistic and Cordura?

    IMHO - No. It is a tradoff. Parapack has better pet hair resistance than Cordura, is much lighter, has slightly better tear resistance than Cordura but with slightly less abrasion resistance.

    From the blog posts and Tom Bihn’s comments on test results, here are how the three fabrics compare in various scenarios – Best to worst (others, please chime in if I am mistaken):

    Tear Resistance
    1) 1050d HT Ballistic Nylon
    2) 420d HT Parapack (slightly higher than Cordura)
    3) 1000d Cordura

    Abrasion Resistance
    1) 1000d Cordura
    2) 1050d HT Ballistic Nylon
    3) 420d HT Parapack

    Lightest Weight
    1) 420d HT Parapack
    2) 1000d Cordura
    3) 1050d HT Ballistic Nylon

    Pet Hair Resistance (though apparently 200d Dyneema beats them all)
    1) 420d HT Parapack or 1050d HT Ballistic Nylon (no significant difference)
    2) 1000d Cordura

    I got most of this info from previous blogs:

    1000 denier Cordura® or 420d HT nylon Classic Parapack exterior Brain Bag!
    What's the difference between Cordura and Ballistic Nylon?
    The Fur Test - TOM BIHN Blog: We make travel bags in Seattle, Washington
    3D Cubes in Clear, Dyneema, and new Parapack; And, a Comparative Study

    The only caveat I have with the above is with the tear resistance order. I cannot find anywhere that specifically says 1050d HT Ballistic Nylon has a higher tear resistance than 420d HT Parapack. However, in the Parapack introduction - The Story behind 420 Denier High Tenacity - it says that 1050d HT Ballistic Nylon will be used in high-wear areas like the bottom of the BB. So, I think it is safe to assume that 1050d HT Ballistic Nylon has better tear resistance compared to 420d HT Parapack.

    Also which one is the most expensive to make? I know TB bags that use these fabrics tend to be similar in price; a Parapack Synapse is the same price as a Cordura Synapse.

    I do not know the answer to this question. However, in the introductory post on 420d HT Parapack, it did say Tom Bihn’s initial driver to use 420d HT Parapack was nostalgic and for the new Guide’s Pack and Founder’s Briefcase which are both retro styled – why not use retro material that is of similar strength.

    Also because parapack is not a brand name and there are no well known manufacturers (to my knowledge) is it simply a cost saving maneuver to use Parapack?

    Though that may be a driver, I would suggest that it is mainly due to 2 things:
    1) It does not pick up pet hair like 1000d Cordura. I think this is the main reason because I see 1000d Cordura bags being supplemented with 420d HT Parapack while 1050d HT Ballistic Nylon bags like the Tristar and Aeronaut are not
    2) 420d HT Parapack is lighter than 1050d Ballistic Nylon or Cordura but with comparable Tear and Abrasion resistance

    From what I see, Tom Bihn and his company are more about function, quality and durability rather than cost (this and the well thought out designs justify the higher cost of the bags). I do not think cost savings is the main factor - a factor but not the main one. That is why I buy from him (and of course I would love the bags to be cheaper but the cost is fair IMHO)! I keep wanting to come back because of the customer service and blog/forum discussions.

    Hope this helps
    Cheers!
    Last edited by tpnl; 02-01-2014 at 09:46 AM.
    Zephyr (Black/Steel), Synapse 25 (Black/Iberian), Smart Alec (Black/Steel), Brain Bag (Back/Steel), Aeronaut (Black/Iberian) + PCBP & PCSB (400D Nordic), Tristar (Black/Iberian) + PCBP (400D Nordic), Checkpoint Flyer (Black/Indigo/Steel), Co-Pilot (Black/Steel), Ego (Black/Black/Steel/Indigo Stripe), Vertical Brain Cells (Black, 1, 2S, 4Z, 3S), Vertical & Horizontal Freudian Slips, Camera I/O, TT (400D Nordic), Lead's Pocket (Black)

  5. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    13
    Thank you for your reply TPNL! That was helpful. I just received a Brain Bag in the black Parapack fabric and I have used it for about a week now and I notice that it already has marks on it (the Ballistic of course looks brand new). I have a short commute with a light load so I am surprised by the results so far. I am sure it is durable but I am wondering if I should have got the Cordura version.

  6. #6
    Registered User terayon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Winnipeg, Canada
    Posts
    154
    I notice scuff marks on my Parapack Synapse, too. But they seem to be gone a day or so later with no effort on my part, so I haven't really paid much attention to them. The Parapack seems to shed dirt easily.

  7. #7
    Registered User tpnl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    292
    Grumman

    I am sorry to read that you already have marks on it. Perhaps an email or call to the TB Crew might help find out if it is a defect and/or if something can be done to fix this.
    From my experience with the 1050d Ballistic Nylon and 1000d Cordura, I did find one subjective difference - the Cordura, due to its 'rough' look, does not show marks or abrasion much at all - ie, it is better at hiding marks and imperfections due to use.
    However, you KNOW when you have damaged the 1050d ballistic - the shiny reflective nature of the material just puts a spotlight on every imperfection. Perhaps, as Parapack is more similar to the 1050d Ballistic Nylon, it is doing the same thing - making it easier to see marks due to its shiny nature. Cordura hides marks better . I experienced this with my all black Smart Alec with Cordura sides and Ballistic front piece. I accidentally wedged the front Ballistic fabric between the arm of the car trunk lid and the upper part of the trunk - resulting in 2 abrasions, though not enough to break the fabric (so the ballistic lives up to its reputation as being very tear resistant). Since the damage was on the top flap, it really shows. I have used a black marker to match the color of the surrounding area and it blends in better and you can only see it upon close examination.
    Do you think you can do something like that with your marks?

    I hope you find a way to take care of those marks.

    Cheers!
    Last edited by tpnl; 02-01-2014 at 11:44 AM.
    Zephyr (Black/Steel), Synapse 25 (Black/Iberian), Smart Alec (Black/Steel), Brain Bag (Back/Steel), Aeronaut (Black/Iberian) + PCBP & PCSB (400D Nordic), Tristar (Black/Iberian) + PCBP (400D Nordic), Checkpoint Flyer (Black/Indigo/Steel), Co-Pilot (Black/Steel), Ego (Black/Black/Steel/Indigo Stripe), Vertical Brain Cells (Black, 1, 2S, 4Z, 3S), Vertical & Horizontal Freudian Slips, Camera I/O, TT (400D Nordic), Lead's Pocket (Black)

  8. #8
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    13
    Quote Originally Posted by terayon View Post
    I notice scuff marks on my Parapack Synapse, too. But they seem to be gone a day or so later with no effort on my part, so I haven't really paid much attention to them. The Parapack seems to shed dirt easily.
    Good to know. I will see what happens over this next week.

    Quote Originally Posted by tpnl View Post
    Grumman

    I am sorry to read that you already have marks on it. Perhaps an email or call to the TB Crew might help find out if it is a defect and/or if something can be done to fix this.
    From my experience with the 1050d Ballistic Nylon and 1000d Cordura, I did find one subjective difference - the Cordura, due to its 'rough' look, does not show marks or abrasion much at all - ie, it is better at hiding marks and imperfections due to use.
    However, you KNOW when you have damaged the 1050d ballistic - the shiny reflective nature of the material just puts a spotlight on every imperfection. Perhaps, as Parapack is more similar to the 1050d Ballistic Nylon, it is doing the same thing - making it easier to see marks due to its shiny nature. Cordura hides marks better . I experienced this with my all black Smart Alec with Cordura sides and Ballistic front piece. I accidentally wedged the front Ballistic fabric between the arm of the car trunk lid and the upper part of the trunk - resulting in 2 abrasions, though not enough to break the fabric (so the ballistic lives up to its reputation as being very tear resistant). Since the damage was on the top flap, it really shows. I have used a black marker to match the color of the surrounding area and it blends in better and you can only see it upon close examination.
    Do you think you can do something like that with your marks?

    I hope you find a way to take care of those marks.

    Cheers!
    I have a few of the old American made ballistic nylon Tumi bags and while probably 15 years old each the fabric actually looks quite good. In my experience you know when you have scuffed ballistic nylon...it doesn't happen by accidentally brushing up against something.

    This bag is too new to take a Sharpie to but I will see how the bag looks over this next week.

  9. #9
    TOM BIHN Crew (we work here) Darcy's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    The far west
    Posts
    4,386
    Quote Originally Posted by Grumman View Post
    Thank you for your reply TPNL! That was helpful. I just received a Brain Bag in the black Parapack fabric and I have used it for about a week now and I notice that it already has marks on it (the Ballistic of course looks brand new). I have a short commute with a light load so I am surprised by the results so far. I am sure it is durable but I am wondering if I should have got the Cordura version.
    Weird -- that doesn't sound right. Could you emailus@tombihn.com (would be awesome if you included photos)? And we'll work together to figure out what exactly is going on.
    Current Carry: Founder's Briefcase (every day carry), Small Cafe Bag (every day carry), Shop Bags (groceries, extra random stuff), Aeronaut 45 (travel), Synapse 19 (day hikes), Smart Alec (longer day hikes), Skookum Dog Road Duffel (Medium) (travel), Clear Organizer Wallet, Travel Stuff Sacks, Organizer Cubes

  10. #10
    Registered User tltb26's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Guam
    Posts
    4
    As with members Grumman and terayon...

    I've observed same on my S25/parapack in just a few weeks use...it seems to retain scuffs and abrasions more easily, at least visually/cosmetically. There does not seem to be any compromise to the integrity of the parapack material (no obvious tears or rips). But I have not attempted a wipe down to be certain.
    I've been running my BB in Cordura for at least a few weeks and it is loaded, used and traveled with in same manner as my S25...and it shows no scuffs or abrasions. Just cat hair ;-)

    Hope this isn't too far off topic...But how's the seams on your parapack bags? I was worried and emailed support with pics because the seams appeared to be coming loose (ever so slightly)(I was max loading my S25). Bag Guru Matthew with CS reassured me that the S25 passed extensive durability testing and that the pack (and seams) would endure.

    Just my observations...

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I337 using Tapatalk

  11. #11
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    13
    Hi Darcy I have sent you an email with a picture.

  12. #12
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Posts
    34
    Quote Originally Posted by terayon View Post
    I notice scuff marks on my Parapack Synapse, too. But they seem to be gone a day or so later with no effort on my part, so I haven't really paid much attention to them. The Parapack seems to shed dirt easily.
    Quote Originally Posted by Grumman View Post
    Thank you for your reply TPNL! That was helpful. I just received a Brain Bag in the black Parapack fabric and I have used it for about a week now and I notice that it already has marks on it (the Ballistic of course looks brand new). I have a short commute with a light load so I am surprised by the results so far. I am sure it is durable but I am wondering if I should have got the Cordura version.
    Wow thanks for sharing this. Please keep us updated on the marks on the ParaPack in your daily use of it. That would be very helpful!

  13. #13
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    13
    Quote Originally Posted by tltb26 View Post
    As with members Grumman and terayon...

    Hope this isn't too far off topic...But how's the seams on your parapack bags? I was worried and emailed support with pics because the seams appeared to be coming loose (ever so slightly)(I was max loading my S25). Bag Guru Matthew with CS reassured me that the S25 passed extensive durability testing and that the pack (and seams) would endure.

    Just my observations...

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I337 using Tapatalk
    I haven't seen an issues with the seams thus far but I have not been putting heavy loads in my bag beyond a 14" Thinkpad.

  14. #14
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    228
    Quote Originally Posted by tltb26 View Post
    As with members Grumman and terayon...

    I've observed same on my S25/parapack in just a few weeks use...it seems to retain scuffs and abrasions more easily, at least visually/cosmetically. There does not seem to be any compromise to the integrity of the parapack material (no obvious tears or rips). But I have not attempted a wipe down to be certain.
    I've been running my BB in Cordura for at least a few weeks and it is loaded, used and traveled with in same manner as my S25...and it shows no scuffs or abrasions. Just cat hair ;-)

    Hope this isn't too far off topic...But how's the seams on your parapack bags? I was worried and emailed support with pics because the seams appeared to be coming loose (ever so slightly)(I was max loading my S25). Bag Guru Matthew with CS reassured me that the S25 passed extensive durability testing and that the pack (and seams) would endure.

    Just my observations...

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I337 using Tapatalk
    Regarding my Parapack Guides Pack, I typically pack for a 15 - 20 mile hike (25 pounds approx) even if I hike only 5 miles.
    (For the training)

    That's about 5 times a week, since I got it when it just came out.
    No issues with the seams.

    I just washed it in the tub for the first time today, it cleans up nicely, the carbon scuff marks
    (from hiking in a recently burned forest) Came out nicely as well.

  15. #15
    Registered User terayon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Winnipeg, Canada
    Posts
    154
    Quote Originally Posted by tltb26 View Post
    Hope this isn't too far off topic...But how's the seams on your parapack bags? I was worried and emailed support with pics because the seams appeared to be coming loose (ever so slightly)(I was max loading my S25). Bag Guru Matthew with CS reassured me that the S25 passed extensive durability testing and that the pack (and seams) would endure.
    The scuffs that I am talking about are entirely cosmetic. I am not sure what I am rubbing up against - it's white - but whatever it is scrapes off easily with a fingernail, or just seems to fade off within a day or so. There is definitely no sign of damage. I'll try to post pictures tomorrow.

    As far as the seams go, I stuff the bag full - really full - on a regular basis, though it's probably never more than 15 lb at the most. (I carry a lot of clothes or me and my kids.) I can see the seams pulling but I'm not worried about it. I have tried really yanking on them by hand and they feel perfectly solid, and after three months the bag looks pretty much as it did when I got it.

    Hmm, I always considered my use of bags to be well within the bounds of "normal use," but now that I'm writing about scuffs and stressed seams, I guess maybe I am harder on them than I'd thought!

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0