Why is the flag in your logo backwards?
While it seems to be backwards it is, actually, “stars forward.” In the days of the calvary there was always a horseman responsible for carrying the colors into battle. Because of the furling of the flag it was always “stars forward” regardless of which way you were looking at it. This eventually became a tradition and even today our armed forces wear their arm patches in this orientation when in country. This tradition is also found in aviation. The next time you fly somewhere inside the US look at the flag on the plane. Regardless of the side of the plane you are on the flag is always shown as “stars forward.” This same orientation can even be found on the President’s fleet of planes, each of which becomes “Air Force One” only when the President is aboard.
We chose this orientation as a sign of our dedication to making the best possible gear available to our armed forces personnel. From keeping their gear dry and protected, to keeping a person afloat in the roughest of seas, Drift Dry is dedicated to being the best.
I’ve seen the term “denier” for years. What exactly is a denier and how does it related to fabric?
First of all, a denier is a unit of weight, not strength like most people believe! However, it relates to end strength of the fabric. A denier is equal to the weight, in grams, of 9,000 meters (5.59 MILES!) of the thread. While this seems like a very large number, 9,000 meters of thread could be the amount used to weave only a square yard of finished fabric. For tactical and outdoor nylon, the higher the denier measurement, the smaller the finished piece of fabric is. This means 1680 denier single weave nylon cloth is stronger than 1000 single weave denier nylon due to the final product being made of thicker, heavier, thread.
Double weave, single weave? What is the difference?
For nylon materials, the weave can play a huge part in how strong the end fabric is. For nylon, while 1680 denier single weave nylon is stronger than 1000 denier single weave, a double weave 1000/1050 denier nylon is actually much stronger. This is due to how the threads are physically woven together during the manufacturing process. This is why double weave 1000/1050 denier nylon is the primary fabric used in military tactical nylon applications (holsters, packs, etc) as well as the bottom of many high-end civilian packs.
So, I sometimes see that nylon materials are “coated” … what does that mean?
Much like car’s paint, camera lens’ optical coating, or a pair of glasses’ UV coating the coatings used in fabric are designed to prolong their lives and enhance their protective qualities.
OK, so which coating is the best?
For ballistic nylons, there are several coatings that are used. Polyvinylchloride (PVC), Silicone, and Polyurethane. For 90% of all applications Polyurethane is the best option for nylon coatings. It withstands a far greater range of temperature than the typical person would subject the fabric to. For instance, in extreme cold, PVC coated fabrics could literally break like an ice cube. Urethane coated nylons are more resistant to such extremes and, while it would flex slower, the chances of breaking is extremely low. Drift Dry USA only uses polyurethane coated nylon in our products.
What about silicone coatings?
Drift Dry USA doesn’t use silicone coated nylon fabrics due to the fact that there is no real advantage over urethane. However, our military specification level nylon threads are impregnated with silicone. Not only does this allow for slow degradation of the product over the year, it also reduces the physical wear and tear by acting as a “lubricant” for the thread inside the stitching. Less friction equals less fraying, and less fraying makes for very long lived stitching.
So, I see that you use “Radio Frequency” RF welding for your waterproof items? What is RF welding?
What are your waterproof zipper made from?
On the Mission Ops pack, you talk about TIG-welding on the frame? What the heck is that?