Skip to Content

Why Is Canvas Material Luggage Increasingly Rare for Travel?

Why Is Canvas Material Luggage Increasingly Rare for Travel?

Before you head out on a long trip, you have to spend a little time picking out the perfect luggage. You’ll need to take into account the durability of the materials and how they perform.

One of the most popular choices is Canvas, but it’s becoming increasingly rare.

Canvas is increasing in rarity because of a few factors. The material isn’t waterproof or resistant to dirt. On top of that, since the fabric consists of a cotton and hemp blend, it’s heavier than nylon. Finally, Canvas isn’t stylish for our time.

In this article, I’ll walk you through everything you need to know about the fabric. I’ll also take you on a journey through the major advantages and disadvantages of the material.

The Decline of Canvas Material Luggage for Travel

Over the past few years, I’ve noticed a decline in Canvas luggage for travel. There are quite a few reasons behind this.

In this section, I’ll discuss all the factors that keep people away from the fabric.

What Is canvas material?

Canvas is a durable plain-woven fabric that originated in ancient India. It’s resilient, sturdy, and capable of handling a lot of wear and tear.

Typically, it’s made of cotton, hemp, or a blend of the two. This gives the fabric a few unique qualities.

For example, the material is water resistant, which means it’s ideal for the outdoors.

Because of that, many people used to utilize Canvas in travel luggage. Yet, over the years, this changed.

So, without further ado, let’s take a look at why the fabric is no longer popular.

Disadvantages of canvas luggage

There are several disadvantages to using Canvas material luggage. In this section, I’ll dissect the most crucial aspects of the drawbacks.

Heavy weight

One of the major drawbacks of using a Canvas bag is the weight. Sadly, it tends to be on the heftier side.

That means your bag will be heavy, even without any items inside. This can be a major problem if you’re planning on going on a long journey.

Over time, you’ll face some trouble with carrying the bags around. Eventually, you might experience difficulty in carrying the bags around. In extreme situations, this could result in back discomfort or muscle tension.

On top of that, you have to pack light for your trip to keep the weight under control. Because of that, you may need to go on the trip without a few essentials.

Difficult to clean

As you’re on the road, chances are you’ll have to deal with a lot of dirt and other debris. This adds to the adventure and makes the trip even more exciting.

However, the excess dust may spell trouble for your Canvas bag.

Unfortunately, it can be quite challenging to keep this material spotless. Plus, not all bags are suitable for machine washing, which means you may have to clean them by hand.

On top of that, you shouldn’t use a dryer with this fabric. To ensure that it lasts for as long as possible, you’ll need to air dry it.

As a result, the maintenance process will take some time.

Aside from that, Canvas easily stains. For that reason, if you spill any colorful liquids on the bag, there’s a chance you’ll discolor the fabric.

Less water-resistant

Canvas fabric should be able to resist water, but by no means is it waterproof. That means it’s porous enough to allow some liquid to flow through the material.

This may sound like a simple issue, but it can have major consequences. If you’re going on a trip during the rainy season, Canvas isn’t ideal.

The fabric won’t be able to protect your belongings for long before water starts seeping into the bag.

In addition, when you drop Canvas luggage in water, you’ll only have a few minutes to retrieve it. After that, everything inside will get wet.

Not as stylish for our time

As technology advances, creating new fabrics becomes easier. Manufacturers get to design materials with incredible specs for daily use.

For instance, they can increase durability, flexibility, or sustainability.

Because of the new fabrics on the market, Canvas slowly fell out of style. Instead, fresh materials with intricate designs became the latest sensation.

Advantages of canvas luggage

canvas travel bag

With the drawbacks out of the way, let’s take a look at the benefits. In my opinion, there are fewer advantages of Canvas than there are disadvantages.


The main components of Canvas are hemp and cotton. Both of these materials are completely organic and come from nature.

That means the effect on the environment of manufacturing the fabric is minimal.

Besides that, Canvas is reusable. You can wash the material and patch it up many times before you need a new bag.

Because of that, you won’t need to replace your luggage often.


One of the biggest advantages of Canvas is that the material is affordable.

When you’re heading out on a long trip, you’ll want to pack many items. That means you need several bags to carry your belongings.

Thankfully, with Canvas, this shouldn’t be an issue. You can purchase a few bags without breaking the bank.

That includes buying luggage of all shapes and sizes. This way, you’ll have a bigger budget to enjoy other aspects of your adventure.


Canvas material luggage

There’s nothing worse than damaging your bags while you’re out on a trip. You’ll have to spend some time fixing the luggage or buying replacements.

If you opt for a Canvas bag, then you won’t need to worry about that.

The material is incredibly durable, which makes it ideal for the outdoors. You should be able to use the luggage for a long while before you notice any degradation.

The Rise of Alternative Materials for Luggage

In this section, I’ll provide a brief overview of some alternatives to canvas materials, along with the unique benefits each one offers. I’ll also share my personal reasons for preferring these alternatives over traditional canvas. This will help you better understand your options when choosing a fabric for your needs.

Ballistic nylon

Benefits: Ballistic nylon is a synthetic material that is stronger and stiffer compared to canvas. Originally developed for military use, it provides excellent abrasion and tear resistance. This makes it a popular choice for luggage, backpacks, and heavy-duty bags. Its durability and toughness allow it to withstand harsh conditions and heavy loads.

Personal Preference: I prefer ballistic nylon because it offers a higher level of durability and strength, which is essential when I’m traveling or engaging in outdoor activities. I appreciate knowing that my gear made from ballistic nylon can withstand the wear and tear that comes with an active lifestyle.


Benefits: Kevlar is an aramid fiber that is highly resistant to strain and has remarkable tensile strength. It is best known for its use in bulletproof vests and other protective gear, but it is also used in various applications where strength and lightweight properties are required. Kevlar fabrics are typically more expensive than canvas, but they offer unparalleled strength and resistance to wear and tear, making them suitable for heavy-duty applications.

Personal Preference: I value Kevlar for its extraordinary strength and lightweight properties. When I need a material that can handle extreme conditions without adding unnecessary weight, Kevlar is my go-to choice. Its reputation for providing reliable protection in high-stress situations gives me confidence in the products made from it.

Cordura nylon

Benefits: Cordura nylon is a high-performance fabric known for its impressive durability and resistance to abrasions, tears, and scuffs. It lasts for an incredibly long time, even under harsh conditions. Cordura nylon is widely used in outdoor gear, backpacks, and luggage due to its excellent strength-to-weight ratio. It is also resistant to water, making it a great option for items that require protection from the elements.

Personal Preference: Cordura nylon is my favorite when it comes to long-lasting performance and water resistance. I often find myself in situations where I need a fabric that can handle exposure to moisture, and Cordura nylon has never let me down. Its ability to maintain its integrity and appearance despite constant use is something I truly appreciate.

In summary, these canvas alternatives offer unique benefits that cater to different needs and preferences, and I have my personal reasons for choosing each one.

MaterialEssential Preference
Ballistic NylonDurability and strength for an active lifestyle
KevlarExtraordinary strength and lightweight properties
Cordura NylonLong-lasting performance, water resistance, and resilience

Ballistic nylon provides superior strength and durability, Kevlar boasts exceptional resistance to strain, and Cordura nylon is known for its long-lasting resilience. Each material has its own distinct advantages, allowing you to select the best option for your specific requirements while also considering the personal preferences that matter most to you.

Factors Driving the Shift Away From Canvas Material Luggage

Not as stylish for our time: the end of canvas material for luggage?

Let’s take a look at why people might stay away from Canvas material luggage. Now, I’ll discuss the reasons behind their preferences.

Changing travel needs

As motorized vehicles became more prevalent, people’s travel needs evolved. Now, they’re looking for luggage that offers maximum protection for their belongings, rather than just focusing on affordability.

Advancements in material technology

It’s evident that superior materials, as mentioned in the previous section, are available today. This is a primary reason why travelers, including myself, opt for higher quality materials even if it means paying a higher price.

Fashion trends

As times and fashion trends change, people develop different ideas of what is considered fashionable, and luggage is no exception to these shifts in preference. That’s why canvas fell out of favor as a popular luggage material several years ago, as evolving tastes led to the rise of alternative options.

Conclusion: The End of an Era?

In conclusion, the decline in the popularity of canvas material luggage can be attributed to a combination of factors, including the evolution of travel needs, advancements in material technology, and shifting fashion trends.

As a result, travelers now prefer alternatives that offer greater protection, durability, and style, just like I do.

The rise of superior materials, such as ballistic nylon, Kevlar, and Cordura nylon, has led to a decrease in demand for canvas luggage. While canvas may have once been a popular choice for travel bags, it seems that its time in the spotlight is coming to an end as new materials and preferences emerge.

I’d love to know if you share my perspective on this topic, so feel free to share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below. Let’s engage in a conversation and learn from each other’s experiences!



About Me | + posts

As the founder of Container FAQs, my goal is to provide readers with in-depth information on the containers used in daily life and related subjects. Don't hesitate to reach out to me if you have any suggestions for articles you would like to see on my blog.

Feel free to share this article if you liked it, and leave a comment or ask questions in the section below!