Here is a link describing various luggage materials.
Originally Posted by falconea
I'm looking at a suitcase by Wenger - an "Interlaken". It's made of 600 denier Ballistic Nylon, according to the company.
Does anyone know if this is a good choice for a 3 month, 20 flight, lots of rail travel trip? We're going to want something durable.
I've been unable to find out anything at all about 600 denier ballistic nylon.
And in line with the subject - here is what I do know about suitcase fabrics:
1000 Denier Cordura - made from multiple filament threads, giving feel of cotton canvas and slight "furriness" - can collect dust and dirt. Very abrasion resistant, not as rip resistant as ballistic nylon. Edges prone to fraying - finished edges and coatings on fabric eliminate this problem. Very durable.
1050 Denier Ballistic Nylon - made from a filament thread. Is woven 2 threads together. Is a slick fabric, very hard to dye, good rip resistance, not so good abrasion resistance. Very prone to fraying - edges must be finished. Good durability.
1680 Denier Ballistic Nylon - made from a filament thread. Is much thicker, and much cheaper than 1050 denier. Frays badly. Looks fantastic when new but wears badly.
The denier and the number indicates the thickness of the fabric. I think it is actually a measure of threads per inch or something like that but I forget exactly how it is calculated. But, the higher the number, the tougher the fabric. The downside of higher denier is that it is also heavier.
As an example, if you search around here you will find lots of people who travel a great deal like a few brands. One of the more popular is Briggs and Riley. Their high end products use 2520 denier ballistic nylon. They are incredibly tough and have an unconditional lifetime warranty, even against airline damage. Another high quality brand, Red Oxx, that specializes in ultra light bags with no wheels uses 1000 denier. Tumi uses 1680 or 1800 denier from what I can tell. There are also coatings and things that are added to the fabric. So I think your descriptions of the different fabrics is probably a bit off. For instance, 1680 denier in the case of Tumi isnt at all inexpensive. It is also fairly rugged.