When shopping around for a tactical backpack, one of the considerations that you will need to make is the type of fabric that is used. While most military grade backpacks are created from tough, durable fabrics there are notable differences which mean that in order to select a suitable one for your needs, you’ll need to know the strengths and weaknesses of each type of fabric.

Fabrics for Tactical Backpacks:

Fabric Materials for Tactical Backpacks

Several different types of fabrics are used, but there are three that are the most common. When shopping around for the right tactical backpack, you should consider the advantages and disadvantages of each material.

Canvas: For well over a century, the canvas was the most popular of backpack materials thanks to its tough, durable construction. However, it’s far more difficult to find backpacks made from this product these days because it is heavier and harder to waterproof. If you are shopping around for older backpacks, you may still run into those made from canvas.

Nylon: Standard Nylon is a very durable material that has been used for decades. It is highly attractive because nylon is very light, yet durable and tear resistant. It is also very easy to waterproof which is perfect for those going on outdoor adventures.

Cordura Nylon: Arguably the most popular backpack fabric material made today, it is not as smooth and comfortable as standard nylon. However, it is very light and durable, making it a popular choice among hikers and campers. The weaving of the Cordura nylon is not as tight as standard nylon, so it is more difficult to waterproof.

Kodra Nylon: This is very similar to Cordura Nylon, but it is made in Korea. In fact, the differences are so subtle that choosing either one will provide you with a strong, durable backpack that will need extra work to make waterproof.

Rip-Stop Nylon: A relatively new fabric that is becoming more popular every day, it is different than its other nylon cousins thanks to the square pattern that comes from the large threads used to weave it together. As the name implies, it is far more tear resistant than standard nylon and very durable thanks to the larger threads.

Which Backpack Fabric Material to Choose?

It will naturally depend on your needs, but for the most part, standard nylon is actually an excellent material thanks to its inherent strength and waterproofing ability. This means that rain or shine a pure nylon backpack will serve you well over time.

However, if the types of activities in which you engage take you to places where a tougher, more durable backpack is required, then the Cordura, Kodra, or Rip-Stop versions of nylon also make an excellent choice. It will require more of an effort to waterproof, but it will be worth it as your tactical pack will last a very long time.

When shopping  for a durable tactical backpack, the fabric that makes up its construction is a very important consideration. So, be sure that you choose the right one for your needs.


My name is John Winger, I was born and raised in Virginia. I spent a good part of my early adult life in the US military, namely the Army and served in Iraq. I saw my fair share of combat missions and thanks to that experience I have a better understanding and appreciate for what my country means to me and the world.

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