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  • Writer's pictureSuperior Wilderness

Glossary of materials, features, and customizations

Updated: Oct 25, 2019

We understand that putting together a custom backpack can require some unique jargon. To help you better understand the different materials, features, and customizations that you might encounter while building a custom pack, we've consolidated a list of key terms!


3D Spacer Mesh We use an ⅛” spacer mesh fabric which provides a bit of extra padding on shoulder straps and padded hip belts.

Dual Adjust Hip Belt Buckles add increased adjustability to your hipbelt. They allow you to adjust the sizing from the end of the hipbelt. Great for helping your find the “sweet” spot in your pack’s carry. Also makes the belt wrap around both the top and bottom part of your hip bones making for a more “dialed” and comfortable fit. Read More

Dyneema X This is a 210D fabric, weighing in at 4.8oz per sq yd. This is a popular backpack material that is made stronger and more abrasion resistant by an HDPE fiber reinforcement grid on top of the base ripstop pattern. The HDPE grid also yields exceptional tear and tensile strength compared to comparable non-HDPE reinforced pack fabrics. This fabric is waterproof with a PU coating on the backside.

A Foam Back Pad is the ¼” foam padding that goes against your back on full suspension packs. They provide padding to protect your back from the hard aluminum stays and give a bit of structure to your pack. These are not removable on full suspension packs.

Front shock cord lashing is a stretchy cordage that goes on the outside of your front pocket. It allows you to cinch and secure items on top of the front mesh pocket

A Haul Loop is the small loop on the top/back of your pack that allows you to easily lift and move your pack. This helps to extend the life of the shoulder straps by not picking the pack up by the shoulder straps.

Hydration Port is a small hole that allows for the tube of your hydration bladder to extend from the inside of your pack to the outside (where you’d be using it). Use a hydration system (camelback or another bladder)? Then add this to your pack from the custom options page. None of our backpacks come stock with a hydration port on them, so it must be added as an addition to the pack.

Load Lifters are webbing straps that extend up above the shoulder straps on a backpack. They function to pull the load of the pack closer to your back and to stabilize heavier loads. Load lifters also provide a bit of adjustability to a packs torso size and give you the ability to tweak your packs fit to find the most comfortable carry. Read More

Lycra is a very light and stretchy mesh material often used to make shoulder pouches and front pockets. The weight of lycra mesh that we use is a 5oz fabric. While not as durable as some of our other fabric options we offer, lycra is great for adding low profile pockets that won’t see much abrasion. Read More

A Roll Top Closure is a dry bag type closure where the top is rolled down (sealing off the access point) and then buckled to secure the closure.

Side Compression Cords are cords that extend along the side of your pack and allow you to adjust the depth of your pack. Cinch to make your pack thinner. Uncinch to allow for more space.

Stays are flat aluminum bars that (along with the foam back pad and hip belt) help create a suspension system for your backpack. They add structure and shape to your pack and provide great transfer of weight to your hips which is the most comfortable place to carry the weight of a backpack. Our stays come pre-shaped, but you can reform them to better fit the contour of your own back.

Sternum straps connect across your chest with the purpose of distributing weight, keeping your shoulder straps from sliding off your shoulders, and reducing the shifting of your pack while hiking. All our packs come equipped with removable sternum straps.

Trekking pole/Ice axe loops are small shock cord loops that allow you to easily attached your trekking poles or ice axes to your pack when not in use. All of our packs come with four of these loops for securing trekking poles or an ice axe.

The V top strap is our standard strap that extends from 1 buckle point in the front to 2 fixed points on the back. Its adjustable, and allows you to evenly cinch the top of your pack or secure larger items.

X-pac is a laminate fabric made by Dimension Polyant. Their fabrics consist of various layers of fabric laminated together to create a durable fabric that is 100% waterproof. The weight of the face fabric on any style of X-pac is denoted by a number; 07=70 Denier fabric, 21= 210 Denier fabric, 42= 420 Denier fabric.

The VX Line of X-pac We stock 3 different weights of X-pac from the VX line of fabrics which consist of a face fabric, an X ply, a .25 mil PET film (for waterproofing), and a 50D polyester fabric on the inside. The 50D Polyester fabric on the inside of the fabric protects the waterproof film extending the life of the waterproof film. The Inner scrim also provides for a nice white inner making items inside the pack easy to find.

The X Line of X-pac We stock one weight of x-pac from the X line of fabrics. The only difference with the X line of fabrics is that it does not have the inner 50D polyester fabric laminated to the inside of the fabric. The fabric also has a thicker .5 mil PET film on the inside of the fabric. This results in a lighter fabric, but a shorter life for the waterproof film and a darker interior on the pack making it harder to see items inside the pack.

We stock 4 various types of X-pac.

VX07 4.8oz X-Pac is the lightest X-Pac material we carry. It is a great balance of durability and weight, and we think this is a great all around pack fabric. If you mostly do on trail backpacking a pack made out of VX07 will give you many years of use.

VX21 6oz X-Pac is a great choice if you want your pack to be a bit more durable. Using VX21 for the main body is a great choice for a thru-hike as the pack will overall last a bit longer than the VX07 version. Doing the whole pack out of VX21 will add about 2-3oz to the overall pack weight.

VX42 8.4oz X-Pac is the most durable X-Pac fabric we use. It is overkill for most ultralight backpacking loads, but is great for the bottom of a backpack and for any area that needs a bit of reinforcing.

X42 7.4oz X-Pac is the sole fabric we use from the X line of fabrics offered by Dimension Polyant. It can be used as the main body fabric if you are looking to make an exceptionally long lasting pack. If you regularly bush whack, or carry heavier loads, then this might be the fabric for you. This will add about 5-6oz to the overall pack weight.

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