is a thick, tough, synthetic nylon fabric
used for a variety of applications. Ballistic nylon was originally developed by the DuPont
corporation as a material for flak jackets
to be worn by World War II
airmen. The term ballistic nylon takes its name from the fact that it was intended to protect its wearers from flying debris and fragmentation
caused by bullet
or artillery shell
impacts. It was not an effective defense against most pistol or rifle rounds. Ballistic nylon was succeeded by Kevlar
and other, more effective, bullet resistant
Modern applications of ballistic nylon include luggage, cave packs, tool belts, police duty belts, motorcycle jackets, and skin-on-frame kayaks.
Ballistic nylon is of a heavier weight than most nylons used in manufacturing: 18 oz (1050 denier). Denier refers to the weight, not the strength, of the fabric. Laboratory tests have been run and the 1050 denier fabric is the strongest and most durable fabric for its denier weight level. The 1680 denier looks very similar to the 1050 when it is new, but it is actually not as strong as 1050 denier and gets fuzzy as it wears. As it resists abrasion and tearing, ballistic nylon is typically used for luggage and in the bottom of bags made of a lighter nylon or other fabric. Ballistic nylon is hard to dye, so it is often found in black or similar dark colors.