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Why Choose a Classic WE Canvas Backpack?

There must be some very good reasons why WE still makes a range of backpacks in high-quality canvas, and Australian canvas at that (chosen because it is the best in the world). These fabrics are FOUR or FIVE TIMES the cost of the common, coated nylon and polyester fabrics used by every international backpack brand!

Actually, there are quite a few reasons...

Canvas is long-lasting. The incredibly tight weave means seams remain strong and stable. No blow-outs at any age. Even the best polyurethane coatings fail, more quickly in humid climates. Seams start to grin and fail. Then there is only the bin - not a great solution for gear that you had just started getting to know.

This came in recently from a long-time WE canvas pack owner:

"My WE teardrop day pack, which had been a daily companion for 24 years, was stolen on a London train a few months back.  It was like losing a friend - I mourned for it more than the £500 pair of prescription sunglasses inside it.  After all that punishment, including being run over by a London bus when the bungee cord - I think I used to call them ocky straps - came loose on my bicycle rack, it was still in great nick".

Canvas is remarkably water resistant.  Well constructed seams in canvas fabric exclude water much better than any sewn seams in everyday synthetic fabrics.

Canvas is breathable. Damp gear has a chance to dry out slowly through the fabric, not stew in the heat.

Canvas feels good. The natural cotton fibres in our core-spun and blended canvases give these fabrics a pleasing matte appearance and a great feel in the hand.

Canvas is easily maintained. Its waxy impregnation can be restored at any time using a brush or spray-on liquid proofing. Synthetics rely utterly on factory applied polymer coatings for both stability and water-resistance.  There is no going back.

Canvas is lighter than you thought! The high-tech, genuine core-spun canvas used on our classic expedition packs weighs about the same as the common 1000d nylon used to reinforce many backpacks.

So, why is canvas so expensive? A quick way to appreciate the quality of canvas and how long it takes to weave is to hold a piece up to a strong light. Barely a pin-prick of light is visible. Now compare a piece of a nylon or polyester fabric commonly used for most backpacks. Light is visible between all yarn intersections. These synthetic fabrics rely on a coating, not just for waterproof-ness but to keep the yarns in place, particularly inside seams.

So when we say 'products for life' it's because we mean it. Real confidence based on four of decades of experience, not just a guarantee.

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