What are Backpacks Made of

What are Backpacks Made of

A backpack is a popular bag that is worn by many individuals all over the world. There are backpacks used for school and work, some are designed to serve as accessories, while a good majority are made to cater to the hiking and backpacking crowd.

Backpack Materials: What are Backpacks Made of?

They comprise varying components but the most crucial element in their construction would have to be the fabric they are made with. The material or the fabric of the pack signifies the function of the pack. What are backpacks made of then? Here are some of the most-used materials for these bags.

Cotton canvas

The earliest backpacks were made from this material. Back then, it was believed to be the best material for backpacks, however times have changed and the needs of users progressed as well. Cotton canvas cannot meet the load demand of modern times.

The material is not water resistant and it is prone to abrasions compared to other pack materials. It is heavier as well. However, despite the drawbacks of the fabric, it is still used today, particularly for children and women’s fashion backpacks. One benefit of cotton canvas is that it is affordable.

Cordura nylon

This kind of nylon material is made by DuPont and it is one of the sturdiest materials for backpacks available. This is a material that is air-treated and is made for tougher environments. It is also used to make heavy-duty luggage and bags/carriers meant for military use. It is significantly durable, water- and scratch-resistant. Cordura nylon is also used as a backpack base to further protect the contents of a bag.


Nylon is a kind of material for backpacks which can maximize protection for the contents of the pack. These days, waterproof backpacks are very popular, especially for individuals who love to hike or go camping. It is a common material and you will often see this in a great variety of backpacks from fashionable ones to models designed for hiking.

Much of the nylon material goes through silicon treatment or is provided with a polyurethane finish. Treating such materials makes the bag heavier, water-resistant and more durable.

Due to the coating given to these backpacks, they are waterproof and can be used during extreme weather conditions. However, because of this particular treatment, nylon backpacks do not have much air circulation.

Ripstop nylon

What are backpacks made of other than materials like canvas? Ripstop nylon is another popular material which is used by many companies. This is a fabric that is distinguished by its unique grid pattern of sturdy and heavy threads that are stitched thoroughly and packed into every square inch.

The ripstop part of the name originates from the fact that the heavier threads can stop tearing or ripping; the strong, intertwined thread pattern lets the material stop rips and tears from getting worse. Another benefit of this fabric is that it is lightweight, water and scratch-resistant.

Pack cloth nylon

This is another variation of nylon used for backpacks and it’s a smooth material that is distinguished by its threads, which have an even diameter. It trails in a vertical warp and packs all directions in a horizontal manner. It has a smooth and shiny texture and many backpacks are made from this fabric. One advantage of this material is that it can be waterproofed, is scratch and puncture resistant. However, it is heavier compared to other nylon fabrics.

Polyester pack cloth

Another kind of fabric that companies often use for backpacks is polyester pack cloth. While not as sturdy as ripstop or regular nylon, it is capable of resisting UV damage.

It has high UV resistance so if you tend to work outside, hike or do activities which expose you to continuous sun, then using a polyester pack cloth backpack is recommended. It is used for backpacks made in Australia and Europe.

PVC fabric

This is a kind of material that is also widely used for backpacks. It is a multi-purpose material which can be used to supplement waterproofing, strength and color. PVC fabric is also recognized for its strength and is typically used for workwear items. The material can be customized based on where it’s going to be used for. The fabric can be waterproof, tear-resistant or even flame-retardant.


Leather, along with cotton canvas, is one of the earliest known materials used for backpacks. Even though the material is costly, it has excellent durability as long as it’s properly taken care of and is very stylish as well. Leather is not only used on backpacks but other kinds of items as well like shoes, belts and accessories.

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