The quality of a rolling laptop backpack is closely related to the quality of its material.
The main fabric of the bag
Generally, the grade of fabric is mainly determined by its material. High-grade fabrics are often more expensive. Nylon fabric and polyester fabric are commonly found in bags. Canvas is one type of cotton-polyester fabric. The washed cloth is a special fabric.
These are common fabrics for bag manufacturing. In addition to these fabrics we’ve mentioned, there are some patented fabrics used in special high-end products. Among the common fabrics, nylon fabric may be the better material. How do distinguish the nylon fabrics and polyester fabrics? If the nylon fabric gets burnt, you will see white smoke, however, if the polyester fabric gets burnt, you will see black smoke.
The fabric grain
The 1680D double-strand and single-strand fabric, usually used in rolling laptop backpacks, look commercial and belongs to the high-grade fabric. The 1200D fabric with the thinner grain is mainly used in the bottom and side of the hiking backpack.
The 840 fabric is a good material for the briefcase, while 600D Oxford fabric is more common, usually used to make the main part of outdoor backpacks. The 420D fabric has many patterns like twill, jacquard, etc and is usually used in medium and low grades of travel backpacks.
The 300D fabric, having relatively thin grains, is often used in backpacks for primary-school students. The 190T and 210D fabrics are often used in drawstring backpacks as interlayers. Generally, for the fabric made from the same material, the heavier the weight per square meter of it has, the better the quality it has, however, for the outdoor backpack, fabrics that weigh less are better.
The fabric coatings
There are many kinds of textile coatings and several methods to apply them to fabrics. For bags, the PU coating and the AC coating are common. Some fabric coatings are water-based, and some are oil-based.
The fabric coated with PVC, PE or foam materials has less flexibility and softness, and they are thicker and heavier. Hence, they are hardly used in high-end backpacks. When you rub the coating, if it appears to be white, the coating is not good.
The color of the backpack
The solid-colored backpack should not has stains on it or stains adjacent textiles. The white paper is helpful to test the colorfastness of the fabric. Canvas’ color fastness is categorized into 3, hence canvas with dark colors has the possibility to fade and run.
Hence, if you prefer light-colored clothes, dark-colored canvas backpacks are not recommanded for you. Usually, the colors of big-brand bags look better.
The backpack lining
The backpack lining is always made of fabric with thinner grains. There are two crucial methods for printing the lining-hot stamping and silk-screening. The hot-stamped lining is more classy. The lining should be rigid. Try to drag the lining near the stitching line, if the lining is loose, its quality is bad.
The buckles of bags
A good buckle has no burrs and is easy to close. Buckles are usually used in women’s bags and briefcases. Buckles made from different materials have different properties. Nylon buckles, with the strong toughness, are less likely to fracture in extremely cold environments, hence widely used in bags made by Northern Europe and Russia.
Plastic buckles are very common and have high strength. PE buckles, usually used in low-grade bags, are easy to be distorted. The nylon buckle is better than the plastic buckle, the plastic buckle is better than the PE buckle. Hence, a bag with PE buckles must be a low-grade bag.
The zipper of the backpack
How to distinguish a good zip from a bad one? The width, the tape, the slider, the puller, etc are what you need to check. Let’s start from the width of the zip. Wider zippers are always better, hence for 10#, 8#, 5#, and 3# zippers, the bigger number means better quality. If a bag has no 10# or 8# zipper on its main part, we can say it’s of bad quality.
Then, ticker tape and a more giant slider are better. The slider and the puller, the electroplated one is better than the lacquered one, and the lacquered one is better than the coated ones. How to tell the differences between the three? The electroplated zipper is thicker.
The lacquered one looks as if it is not made of metal, but it still has a smooth and slightly reflective surface. The coated one has a rough surface with many burrs on it. In addition, water-proof zippers must be better. Almost every hiking bag has waterproof zippers and a better hiking bag has more water-proof zippers.
The webbing of the backpack
The cotton webbing is better than the nylon ones, and the nylon webbing is better than the polyester one. The webbing has greater density is better. Usually, the webbing with more strength (rather than hardness) has a greater density. Besides, the webbing should have a smooth edge that will not easily cut your hands.
The webbing usually has the twill or the plain weave on it. The twill webbing is usually used for overlapping, so if the overlapping fabric of a bag is plain weave webbing, it’s a low-grade bag. Hiking bags usually have nylon or polyester webbings. The nylon webbing looks bright and classy. If you burn the nylon webbing, you will see white smoke.
The foam material
The sponge, the PE foam and the EVA foam are foam materials used in backpacks. The EVA is better than the PE and PE is better than the sponge. The EVA foam is pretty dense and resilient stuff with fairly small holes.
Usually, the EVA foam is often used in the shoulder strap and the back panel of a high-end backpack. The PE foam, with bigger holes in it, is less resilient than the EVA foam and is usually used in a general backpack. The sponge is a common material for low-grade backpacks.
The mesh fabric
The sandwich mesh fabric, diamond-shaped mesh fabric and spandex fabric are commonly used as the mesh fabric in bags. Better mesh fabrics have higher flexibility. Besides, the mesh with thicker fabric and smaller holes is better.
The elastic band
The elastic band with high density, high resilience and flexibility are better.
The metal logo and the electric embroidery logo are usually better than the silk-screened one. The hiking backpack and the outdoor bag usually have electric embroidery logos. The electric embroidery logo with high density is better than the one with low density. Besides, the character should be easy to recognize and has no extra lines around.
And the three-dimensional electric embroidery logo is better than the ordinary electric embroidery one. As for the logos inside the bag, the woven one is better than the white printed one. The woven one is commonly found on the exterior of outdoor bags, whereas the white printed one is often used inside outdoor bags. A better woven logo has clear characters and colors and feels tough.
The nylon thread and the polyester thread are usually used for stitching bags. The nylon thread is commonly used in high-end outdoor bags.