March 14, 2016

All About Halcyon Fabric

TOM BIHN Wasabi Halycon 200 denier fabric

Note: in mid-March 2016, we officially changed the name of the fabric we've been calling "Dyneema/nylon" to "Halcyon." We will no longer be using the "Dyneema" brand of UHMWPE (ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene). For more information, see this Forum thread.

Halcyon 200d denier

Halcyon 200d is a high-tech, high-performance alternative to the ubiquitous "oxford" cloths commonly used in backpacks and travel bags for interlinings, internal dividers and accessories. Halcyon 200d is a ripstop fabric woven of 210 denier nylon (base fabric) with a square grid of 210 denier UHMWPE (ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene) yarns every .25" / 6mm. The white of the UHMWPE grid helps add brightness to a bag's interior, and the additional diamond ripstop pattern gives it a slightly sophisticated aesthetic.

The grid of UHMWPE adds no weight but makes Halcyon 200d virtually impossible to tear. This is particularly important when paired with a heavy-duty exterior fabric like 1050 Ballistic nylon: the seam joining exterior fabric to lining fabric can be a relatively weak point if the two fabrics have disparate tensile strengths.

210d nylon with an UHMWPE ripstop grid has become our go-to lining fabric.

Halcyon 200d is available in the following colors:

Halcyon 200d Wasabi
TOM BIHN Wasabi Halycon 200 denier fabric

Halcyon 200d Ultraviolet
TOM BIHN Halcyon 200 denier fabric in Ultraviolet

Halcyon 200d Northwest Sky
TOM BIHN Halcyon 200 denier in Northwest Sky

Halcyon 200d Iberian
TOM BIHN Halcyon 200 denier in Iberian

Halcyon 400 denier

Halcyon 400 denier is the big brother of our Halcyon 200 denier, and in a way, a cousin to 420HT Parapack. Made for us in Japan, it's a ripstop fabric woven of 420 denier nylon (base fabric) with a square grid of 400 denier UHMWPE (ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene) yarns every .25" / 6mm. UHMWPE is one of the strongest fibers known to man, and is almost impossible to tear.

Halcyon 400d is similar in feel and weight to our 420HT Parapack, though with its grid of UHMWPE, its appearance might be considered somewhat more "technical". And while the base material is not 6,6 nylon, it is still considered to be high tenacity; in fact, without the UHMWPE grid, the base fabric is what most of the world's automotive airbags are made of.

Because of its remarkable tear strength and very good abrasion resistance, Halcyon 400d is an excellent choice as a lighter-weight alternative to 1050d ballistic nylon for travel bags and backpacks. Note that at the end of the day, the base fabric is only about one-half the thickness of 1050d ballistic nylon, and you'll need to treat your Halcyon 400d bag with a bit of respect: no kicking your bag along the floor at the airport, or tossing it from a moving vehicle. That said, the ripstop grid of UHMWPE makes it very difficult to cut or tear, and will tend to foil most attempts at slash-and-run theft.

Our Halcyon 400d is available both with the conventional white (undyed) UHMWPE grid, as well as a black (actually very dark grey) UHMWPE grid. Either way, we think this is a very beautiful, as well as supremely functional fabric.

Halcyon 400d is available in the following colors:

Original Halcyon 400d
TOM BIHN Halcyon 400 denier fabric in Black/White

Black Halcyon 400d
TOM BIHN Halcyon 400d Fabric in Black/Black


Jouanneau - June 10, 2024

Hello, I live in France and I would like to treat myself to one of your bags,
I just wonder if this is possible
The form does not indicate a Pick Up for my home
Good day
TOM BIHN replied:
Hi Jouanneau! We do ship to France—if you select the ‘delivery’ option at checkout, you’ll be able to enter in your address on the first page of checkout and see the shipping method options on the following page.

Manuel Jimenez - July 16, 2023

Any plans to bring back bags with exteriors made out of the Original Halcyon 400d, specially interested in the classic Synapse, or the Cafe/Marker’s Bags?
TOM BIHN replied:
Hi Manuel! For now we’re out of the fabric and hope to have it back in the future but there is no exact ETA.

Leave a Comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

We're the TOM BIHN crew: we design bags, make bags, ship bags, and answer questions about bags. Oh, and we collaborate on blog posts, too.