100 nylon Clothing
Aether is an ultra-light, 100% nylon fabric from Japan. It has a unique and complex construction, combining 30 denier monofilament (warp and weft) with both 100 denier and 200 denier yarns in a micro-ripstop weave to further increase its tear strength. Like most of our fabrics, Aether is coated on the backside with urethane for weather resistance, as well as having a surface treatment of durable water repellant.
This is a very light fabric, useful for those trying to save weight wherever possible. Though its hand is a bit crisp or papery when new, we greatly prefer Aether's esthetic over commonly available silicone-coated nylons. It's light, but surprisingly tough.
Original 1050d HT Ballistic Nylon
Our U.S.- made 1050 denier high-tenacity (type 6, 6) nylon ballistic fabric was originally developed for use in flak jackets and bullet proof vests, hence the name "ballistic."
In the 1980s ballistic nylon was replaced by Kevlar fabric for use in personal armor; fabric mills began offering it to the outdoor and luggage industries. The luggage industry adopted it for use in soft bags as it did not abrade clothing, particularly women's nylon stockings.
Like 420 HT Parapack, ballistic nylon is a filament fabric (not texturized) and therefore has the following advantages over Cordura®: it allows a bag to slide easily in and out of tight overhead bins, etc.; in use, it tends not to destroy clothing that it rubs against; it tends not to collect lint from sweaters, etc., and "pill"; it does not collect snow; and, very significantly, it does not collect pet hair.
Because it's a high-tenacity nylon, it does not take dye as readily as the cheaper nylons: you will sometimes notice an almost heathery sort of appearance to this fabric.
When compared with 1000 denier Cordura® fabric, 1050 ballistic fabric has virtually the same abrasion resistance. 1050 ballistic has a higher tear strength than 1000d Cordura® (though neither fabric can be easily torn in normal use).
1050 denier Ballistic is woven with two plies of 1050 woven as one, which gives it its sheen and substantial feel. 1680 denier "Ballistic" cloth is not typically a high-tenacity fiber, and does not have nearly the same abrasion resistance as our 1050 denier Ballistic fabric.
Our 1050 denier Ballistic has a urethane coating on the backside (the inside of our packs) and a Durable Water Repellant treatment (which you can't see) applied to the face side (the exterior of our bags). The exterior DWR makes water bead up on the surface and run off, and the urethane coating acts as an impermeable waterproof barrier.
In the latter part of the 20th century, injection-molded plastic buckles and fasteners replaced most of the components of bags and backpacks that had been previously made of metal. Plastic parts are lighter weight and won't corrode, and are more pleasant to the touch, especially when it's cold.