July 20, 2015

Testing Fabrics: A Watercolor Camouflage Cafe Bag


When we first started developing the Guide's Pack and Founder's Briefcase, I became a bit obsessed with some of the old fabrics that I used to use way back in the day. The fabric I was most interested in was 420 high-tenacity parachute pack cloth fabric: I had fond memories of it being quite durable with a smooth, untextured surface that didn't collect pet fur and lint like Cordura®.

But before we let ourselves get too excited about this blast-from-the-past fabric, we wanted to make a sample Cafe Bag to be tested by Darcy and other staff. We hadn't yet found a supplier who had any sample yardage, so I found an old CampTrails daypack from the late 1960s or early 1970s on eBay. I bought it, took it apart and we made a one-off sample Small Cafe Bag -- yes, in watercolor camouflage. Everyone who who tested the bag loved the fabric (a few folks even thought the camo was kind of cool). We were satisfied that this was a fabric we wanted to offer, and we were soon excited to find a cache of un-dyed goods in an East Coast warehouse (those goods became our very first dye lots of 420 Denier High Tenacity “Parapack” Pack Fabric).

420 Denier HT Parapack is used as the lining of many of our bags, as exterior trim fabric, and as the exterior fabric of bags such as the Brain Cell and Freudian Slip. Will we offer bags like the Synapse and Brain Bag in Parapack once again someday? Maybe. Some folks prefer the more obviously rugged canvas-like feel of Cordura®, so that's what we're sticking with for now.

Will we ever offer Parapack in camouflage? Never say "never", but in this case I say "no way".


MtnMan - November 19, 2019

Camo for a purse (or a “murse”) wouldn’t look right. I agree.

But camo for a backpack would look great!

Bring back the camo Brain Bag! Let’s see it in watercolor camo! Or let’s see the Smart Alec or Synapse in camo!

Adam - November 19, 2019

Ohhhh. The want is strong with this one. What I wouldn’t do for that little camo cafe…

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