Ballistic nylon is great for luggage material..
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Why Is Ballistic Nylon Luggage Material Popular? (Explained)

Nylon is one of the most popular materials for luggage due to its affordability and durability. That said, different types of nylon fabric vary in terms of strength and flexibility. Among them, ballistic nylon is said to be the most popular choice for luggage material, but why?

Ballistic nylon is great for luggage material because it’s stronger than other nylon fabrics and it’s remarkably flexible. Ballistic nylon is used in making some of the most expensive suitcases on the market.

Read on to find out more about ballistic nylon, from its advantages and disadvantages to how it differs from regular nylon.

What Is Ballistic Nylon for Luggage?

While there isn’t a single flawless luggage material, ballistic nylon often tops the list when it comes to the best choices for soft-sided luggage and suitcases. The history of ballistic nylon dates back to WWII. It was developed for military use during the Second World War. This type of nylon fabric was originally engineered to protect airmen from projectiles and harmful debris from bullets or explosions.

The fact that ballistic nylon was primarily made for military use underscores its exceptional wear and tear capacity, setting it apart from other luggage materials. Compared to polyester and Cordura nylon, ballistic nylon is remarkably stronger. The reason for this is that it’s tightly woven using a basket weave pattern. Also, numerous layers of this fabric are often sewn together, resulting in a nylon fabric that’s highly resistant to abrasion.

The advantages and disadvantages of ballistic nylon material luggage

The advantages and disadvantages of ballistic nylon material luggage.

Alpha 3 Continental Expandable 4 Wheeled Carry-On by TUMI.

Let’s look further into the pros and cons of using ballistic nylon as a luggage material.


Here are some perks of having a ballistic nylon material luggage:

1.    Classic Look

If you often travel for work or business, you may prefer to travel with luggage that complements your professional appearance.

Ballistic nylon bags provide a more refined appearance due to their smooth surface and lack of creases.

2.    Durable

Ballistic nylon luggage can withstand tears, punctures, pressure, and damage much better than regular nylon. At the same time, ballistic nylon is resistant to scratches.

Rough and sharp surfaces can’t harm your ballistic nylon bag or gear. There’s no need to worry if you’re traversing through stony or bushy paths during a hike; your ballistic nylon bag will turn out just fine.

Further, it’s a good luggage material for those who love going on dangerous outdoor adventures like rock climbing and mountain climbing.

Aside from their excellent wear and tear capacity, ballistic nylon luggage are fairly heat-resistant and chemical-resistant.

3.    Flexible
Ballistic nylon fabric is slightly elastic.

Ballistic nylon fabric is slightly elastic. That’s why it doesn’t wrinkle or crease easily. You can fold it and store it with ease.

4.    Water-repellent

Luggage and bags made with ballistic nylon can repel minimal water and moisture, so you don’t have to fuss over minimal spills or drizzles.

5.    Easy-to-clean

Ballistic nylon luggage can be slightly resistant to stains and dirt, and cleaning them isn’t hard either.

When cleaning your ballistic nylon luggage, use mild soap and a gentle brush to remove stains. In some cases, minimal dirt can be removed using a wet wipe.

6.    Mildew resistant

Unlike leather bags that often develop mold and mildew when not stored properly, ballistic nylon luggage is mold-resistant!


While ballistic nylon’s quality is top-tier, it can be quite heavy. Traveling for a long distance under harsh temperatures can be quite burdensome when carrying ballistic nylon luggage, especially for those with poor stamina.

At the same time, ballistic nylon luggage can be expensive. Thus, it may not be a good option if you’re on a tight budget. Given its quality and durability, however, it’s a worthwhile investment.

So, if you love to travel often, you might want to invest in high-caliber luggage that you can use for a long time.

Lastly, while ballistic nylon can be more challenging to dye compared to some other fabrics, advancements in technology have made it possible to produce ballistic nylon in a variety of colors. However, the color might not be as vibrant or long-lasting as it is in other types of fabric due to the high strength and density of the nylon fibers.

What Is the Difference Between Nylon and Ballistic Nylon?

Difference Between Nylon and Ballistic Nylon

The primary differences between regular and ballistic nylon lie in their strength and weight. Ballistic nylon, which comprises multiple layers of thick, basket-weaved nylon, is superior in resisting wear and abrasion compared to regular nylon, which is plain woven.

Regular nylon, on the other hand, is lighter than ballistic nylon. It can also be dyed more easily, which is why it is available in a range of vibrant colors. Ballistic nylon, while more challenging to dye, can still be colored, albeit with less variety and vibrancy.

Due to its original military use and the durability of darker colors, it’s often found in black. This makes it a popular choice for professional-looking suitcases.


As you explore different luggage materials, you might have some questions about ballistic nylon. Below, we address two commonly asked questions about this robust material and how it compares to others like Kevlar.

Is ballistic nylon the same as kevlar?

No. Unlike ballistic nylon, Kevlar has increased tensile strength and is lighter. It’s mainly used for body armor and bulletproof vests.

Is ballistic nylon bulletproof?

No. Even if ballistic nylon was originally designed to protect military personnel from shrapnel, it can’t block a bullet completely.


If you’re someone who travels often, be it for business or those thrilling outdoor adventures, investing in ballistic nylon luggage could be a game-changer for you. I can vouch for its high resistance to abrasion, wear and tear, dirt, and even mold. Not to mention, it’s water-resistant, which is always a plus.

You’ll mostly find luggage made from this material in black. It carries a certain professional aesthetic, don’t you think? Just bear in mind, it does weigh a tad more than regular nylon.

Considering buying some ballistic nylon luggage? I highly recommend Tumi. They’re one of the best brands out there for ballistic nylon luggage. Their high-end design and outstanding quality truly make for a solid return on your investment. Do check them out.

Well, that wraps up our chat on ballistic nylon luggage for now. Until our next travel talk!


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