Boat sails take a lot of abuse.
Sails withstand heavy wind and repel battering rain. Yet they still look attractive enough to be photographed on a a sunset cruise.
Sailcloth is high-performance stuff. While it might be an unconventional choice for a travel backpack, we’re not concerned with normal. We’re concerned with quality.
The Outbreaker is made from VX21: durable, waterproof sailcloth technology. Because travel backpacks take a lot of abuse, too.
The Problem with Traditional Fabrics
A typical backpack’s fabric is pretty simple. Thread is woven together in two directions (weft and warp).
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No matter how tightly you weave a fabric, however, there will always be holes between the threads that let water pass through. If water can pass through, you can't count on keeping your stuff dry in the rain.
Other backpack makers spray or glue a water-resistant coating to the back of their fabrics. These coatings are effective in the short term but eventually wear off when exposed to the elements.
A travel backpack should be your trusted companion for years to come. You shouldn't have to buy a new bag just because the spray-on waterproofing flaked off.
Traditional fabrics can also have durability issues. Even ripstop nylon, a common backpack fabric, develops holes. Once those holes start, they’ll keep growing. If your backpack tears at the seams when you're on the other side of the world, that’s a problem.
Why Did We Turn to Boats for a Backpack’s Fabric?
To find the waterproofness and durability we wanted, we had to look outside traditional backpack fabrics. We found our answer in sailcloth technology.
The Outbreaker’s fabric is more waterproof than traditional choices because sailcloth has four layers of protection. An ultrathin layer of PET acts as a waterproof barrier because it is a film, not a woven fabric.
Sailcloth is also more durable than traditional fabrics because of the unique X-Ply layer which is better than ripstop nylon at stopping holes from growing. The PET layer will prevent your bag from ever fraying or ripping at the seams.
Why Sailcloth is Different
We chose VX21 sailcloth technology because it's waterproof and offers the best strength to weight ratio on the market.
Instead of one layer with a water-resistant coating, VX21 is made of four layers. The layers are (from outer to inner):
- 210D nylon with DWR and UV resistant coatings
- Black polyester “X-Ply”
- 0.25 mil (that's 0.001") PET film
- 50D polyester taffeta backing
Each layer serves a unique purpose to improve the durability and longevity of your travel backpack.
(Almost) Complete Waterproofing
Your travel backpack will withstand tomorrow’s rainstorm and still be just as resistant years down the line. The Outbreaker has both a waterproof coating (on the inside of the outermost layer) and a fully waterproof layer.
Tough, Even Under Stress
Under high tension, traditional fabrics will fray or rip at the seams. The Outbreaker's PET film prevents its seams from ever coming apart.
Easy Packing and Unpacking
Your bag will hold its shape without feeling overly stiff thanks to the PET film. A more structured bag makes packing and unpacking easier.
Stays in Shape
The “X-Ply” and PET film make the bags incredibly strong. Because of the rigidity, the Outbreaker will not stretch or distort over time like bags made with other fabrics.
Protected from the Elements
Rain isn’t the only weather to consider. VX21’s UV protection means that it will last longer than other fabrics when exposed to the sun. As a bonus, it's also mold resistant, so it won’t get gross even if you’re traveling in humid conditions.
Sailcloth technology isn't the only great thing about the Outbreaker. Learn more about what makes the Outbreaker the ultimate travel backpack.