Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is Denier?

Denier (abbreviated D), is the unit of measure for the linear mass density of fibers. What is denier? It is the mass in grams per 9000 meters of the fiber.

What is Denier?

The denier is based on a natural reference; a single strand of silk is approximately one denier;

  • a 9000-meter strand of silk weighs about one gram.

The term denier comes from the French denier, a coin of small value (worth 112 sou).  Applied to yarn, a denier was held to be equal in weight to 124 ounce or 1.2 g. (Microdenier describes filaments that weigh less than 1 g per 9000 m)

In practice, measuring 9000 meters is both time-consuming and unrealistic. Therefore a sample of 900 meters is weighed, and the result is multiplied by ten to obtain the denier weight.

When looking at backpack materials, it should be noted that for  different materials (for example, nylon and polyester) all deniers are not equal. As nylon is a stronger material than polyester, 420D nylon is actually stronger than 600D polyester.

What is the difference between Waterproof and Water Resistant fabrics?

Some of the products listed are water-resistant, and some are waterproof.  Which begs the question…what’s the difference between the two?  To help shed some light on the issue, we turned to Wikipedia and the interweb. Wikipedia describes them as “Waterproof or water-resistant describes objects relatively unaffected by water or resisting water passage, or which are covered with a material that resists or does not allow water passage.”

Waterproof fabrics are fabrics that are inherently, or have been treated to become, resistant to penetration by water and wetting. In a nutshell, “waterproof” means no water in, no water out. To be entirely waterproof, the surface must be completely impervious to water, and provide a high level of sustained water protection during the harshest conditions.

So when it comes to describing backpacks as waterproof, this may be because no water can get in through the fabric, seams, or flaps because not only is the fabric waterproof, but the seams are sealed and buckles are covered.

Water-resistant (sometimes labeled “water-repellent”) fabric is coated with a finish that is resistant but not impervious to penetration by water. Water-resistant fabrics will often bead up rainwater, forming drops on the surface.  Water-resistant fabrics will provide protection from limited precipitation, but may not stand up to heavy precipitation or submersion in water.  Though water can saturate the fabric with harsh exposure, a water-resistant treatment will prevent moisture from seeping through the fabric.

What is Rip-Stop?

Ripstop fabrics are woven fabrics, often made of nylon, using a special reinforcing technique that makes them resistant to tearing and ripping. During weaving, (thick) reinforcement threads are interwoven at regular intervals in a crosshatch pattern.


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