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Glossary of Terms – Defining Materials for Building Red Oxx Bags

Red Oxx Materials Glossary

What is Mil-spec?

Red Oxx utilizes a variety of Mil-spec materials in the construction of our bags. Defining Mil-spec as meeting strict Military Specifications. More information details about Mil-spec can be found here. This guide will help you understand our gear’s specifications descriptive terms. What do they mean to the lifelong properties of your bag?

FABRICS

Nylon

Red Oxx uses 1000 weight CORDURA® Brand Nylon fabric for a majority of our bags. Red Oxx selects this sturdy fabric for it’s resistance to abrasion, tearing, colorfastness and fading, water resistance, and ease of cutting and sewing. It’s considerably heavier than nylon fabrics in the competitions bags.

Fabric Weight – Denier

The "weight" refers to the thickness of threads per square inch. Much like bed sheets, where the higher the thread count, the stronger the sheets, the higher the nylon fabric weight, the stronger the fabric. The definition of this term is the denier (pronounced den-ear), often marked with a capital D after a number (the weight). Most bag brands utilize 500D weight whereas Red Oxx uses 1000 weight denier (1000D).

Our classic red color bag interior liner, is a high density pack cloth that is a lighter and softer nylon at 400 weight denier or 400D. Red Oxx also uses this lightweight nylon for our packing cubes.

Ballistic

Our 1050 weight Ballistic nylon is stronger and heavier than our CORDURA® Brand Nylon Fabric. It has superior abrasion resistance, oil and chemical resistance, as well as stain and moisture resistance. Therefore, it makes for a good strong long-lasting fabric on the bottoms of bags. All of our railroad bags utilize ballistic nylon in their entire construction.

Ballistic got its name due to its interesting history of development. The cloth was created for flak vests for bomber crews in World War II. The word essentially means "Of or relating to the study of the dynamics of projectiles."

Red Oxx gear is adventure ready
Red Oxx gear is adventure ready

Polyurethane Coating

All CORDURA® Brand Nylon Fabric and Ballistic Nylons we use have a water-resistant flexible plastic coating called polyurethane. This word is defined as "thermoplastic isocyanate polymers, widely varying in flexibility, and used in tough chemical-resistant coatings".

Generally this protective water-resistant flexible coating should last as long as your bag. However under certain conditions, usually associated with the washing of a bag in a mechanical clothing washing machine (bag abuse), following that by being severely mauled in a mechanical dryer (even worse abuse). This causes the lining to peel. Be aware doing so could void the warranty.

Red Oxx DOES NOT recommend washing your bag or drying your bag in these type of mechanical washers and dryers. Hand wash only using a mild soap and water and a soft bristle brush as needed. Then rinse and hang up to air dry!

Uni Suede

This is a special imitation leather-like suede fabric that has superior qualities to the original animal-sourced material it’s modeled after. These qualities include: superior abrasion resistance, water (and sweat) shedding, minimal shrinkage, if any, after getting soaked and drying out, perpetual softness, and strong colorfast properties.

Red Oxx incorporates this soft feeling fabric on areas that may come in contact with your skin — such as both sides of Rucksack and Backpack shoulder straps.

1992 Polyester Mesh

This is a sturdy nylon mesh fabric that’s used in our packing cubes, Laundro Bag, the water bottle pockets on our K-12 Backpack, and all interior mesh pockets and dividers, and the lids for our packing cubes. It resists and unraveling and tearing at the seams and yet is flexible enough and soft enough it won’t scratch your skin.

Polyester Mesh was selected for its light weight, its ability to "breath", thereby allowing wet belongings to dry out and reduce mildew. And obviously because you can see through it.

Apex Mesh lid on Hedgehog packing cube
Apex Mesh lid on Hedgehog Packing Cube

#90 Anefil Nylon Bonded Thread

This is a special UV-resistant bonded nylon proprietary thread that’s the nuts and bolts that holds all our bags together. Designed for heavy-duty sewing applications, Bonded Nylon has a smooth coating. It’s a popular industrial choice when stitching upholstery, leather, vinyl, and other heavy fabrics. Bonded Nylon also has a higher heat tolerance than regular Nylon threads.

Bonded Nylon thread also resists fraying and stretching, making it a smooth, non-binding, non-buckling, thread for use in industrial sewing machines. It won’t break down under harsh weather conditions and cannot be pulled apart by hand. This high tensile strength means you WILL slice your hand open if you try to break it like normal thread.

Webbing

This is a woven material that usually is made of nylon or polypropylene (poly) that’s very rugged, yet also smooth to the touch. It’s sleek in operation when adjusting a length buckle (called a slider), and resists fraying or braiding, binding, ripping, tearing or breaking. Technically there are two basic types of webbing that we use — nylon and poly.

The difference being poly webbing is shinier and smoother in feel than nylon, whereas nylon webbing is stiffer and has a higher abrasion resistance and won’t fray on its surface. Red Oxx uses nylon and poly webbing of various widths and thicknesses for a variety of handles, as bag reinforcements – such as along zipper panels, and for compression straps, edging, binding, and bag carry straps.

PADDING

Fuzion 4 Pound STD Natural Closed-cell Padding

Red Oxx prefers this padding for the outer walls and floors of bags that may require the protection of sensitive items you might be packing, such as a digital camera or a laptop. The "4 Pound" refers to the amount of pressure measured in pounds to compress the padding.

Closed-cell is preferable to open-cell because it eliminates, or reduces, the sponginess and moisture absorption characteristics typical of most soft foam padding. It also adds a nice structure to the bag, preventing sagging and floppiness common to most soft-sided luggage. Our bags, like a good soldier, stand at attention!

Hypur-Cel Foam Padding

This is a thinner and denser padding than the 4 pound Fuzion. It’s especially useful on the walls of smaller bags, and the linings of laptop sleeves.

Hollifill

This is a soft, one ounce fiber loft, polyester filler that’s compact and resilient. It’s common as an insulation for sleeping bags and winter coats. Red Oxx uses it in the walls of our Travel Tray and as extra filler padding in our Rucksack shoulder straps.

HARDWARE & SOFTWARE

A.L.I.C.E.

This military acronym in our case refers to the type of device used to hold an adjustable shoulder strap in place on our Rucksacks. In this case the acronym broken out is Advanced Light Infantry Combat Equipment.

As the term states, the materials are lightweight but strong and tested under combat conditions to perform as designed. To the point – tough stuff.

VISLON® Self-Locking Zippers

To quote YKK, the makers of our zippers, "the VISLON® zipper is made of injection molded plastic elements, such as a (low-friction) polyacetal resin. It is also lighter weight than metal zippers of the same size." This allows Red Oxx to employ the largest practical size zipper on all our outer zipper pockets – the #10YKK.

This is a far superior zipper to the typical coil zippers seen on competitors bags due to the impenetrable nature of the large squarish interlocking zipper teeth. This prevents theft when pilferers attempt to spread open the zipper using the pen insertion technique. Not. Gonna. Happen.

The Self-Locking refers to this zipper’s squarish interlocking teeth. These zipper teeth interlock together with the zipper pull and hold the zipper closed under normal use. It basically requires you to manually pull open, or close, the zipper by hand using the zipper pull. Thus leading to our special unique zipper pulls…

Monkey Fist Zip Knots

As stated on the Monkey Fist Zip Knot pages, a monkey fist is a special self-contained knot that mimics a monkey’s head in appearance. The knot was historically developed for sailing as it locks firmly in place at the ends of ropes. When used in sailing rigging is exceptionally easy to hold onto.

It’s also a good end-knot for a rope, as it won’t fray open or come undone easily. Monkey Fist Zip Knots are installed on all our bags, inside and out. Monkey Fist Zip Knot is a cooler way of saying zipper pull tab.

304 Welded Stainless V or D Ring

The 304 refers to the weld-ability, weld-strength, and corrosion resistance of the steel and the weld. "Grade 304 Stainless Steel is the most versatile and widely used stainless steel in the world. Originally called ’18-8′ Stainless Steel due to its ratio of Chromium to Nickel composition." The V or D refers to the shape of the ring — V being the larger heavy-duty version. These are used on the bags to provide a solid hold for carry straps or as an attachment for locking a zipper closed.

Turn-locks

A turn-lock is a two-piece stainless steel "lock" with a circular steel grommet mounted in the lid of our duffels with the lock (or bolt if you will) mounted on the body of the bag. When the bolt is inserted through the grommet you can turn the bolt and "lock" the lid closed.

This is not a theft-proof locking system by any means, but it does secure the lids to the bags. And yeah, it’s one of those cool-as-can-be details that set Red Oxx bags apart.

360 Degree Swivel Clips or "Claws"

The large heavy-duty stainless steel clips used to attach a strap to a bag are practically indestructible. The head will swivel 360 degrees allowing the strap to move with you, therefore making for comfortable carry. Head-to-head this nickel-plated swivel clip will (literally) crush any other strap clip on the market. We don’t call ’em The Claw for nothing.

Fastex Buckle

These are our preferred clip-locking buckles. Made of lightweight space-age Polycarbonate, these clip buckles work quite well on adjustable webbing straps. They exhibit flexibility and high tensile strength with the accompanying corrosion resistance and long life. The are easy to clip closed and squeeze open and give a satisfying click when engaged.

Fastex Tension Lock

Used on our Rucksacks line, these parachute cord locks allow adjustment of the opening for the extension sleeve at the top of the main compartments. The "Lock" portion is a grooved wheel positioned inside the lock casing that presses against the parachute cord and holds it in place.

You can release the lock to loosen or tighten the opening by simply sliding down on the axle of the wheel lock with your thumb. Relock by pushing the sliding axle back up against the parachute cord. A swift, simple, lightweight, and reliable solution for locking and unlocking cord length adjustments.

Grommets

These are metal circular rings stamped together on each side of holes punched in the bag. The grommet contains the hole, preventing it from fraying, or enlarging and tearing. It adds to the smoothness of the parachute cord adjustment when it’s pulled through the hole.

EURO Handle

This is a proprietary handle made from a thick clear flexible vinyl tubing. It’s surprisingly easy on the skin, yet isn’t slippery. We felt this cool looking handle needed a cool "handle" so we called it the EURO Handle.

Skid Plate

A skid-plate refers to the bottom of a bag where it makes contact with the ground. Frequently Red Oxx will install a skid-plate made from Ballistic Nylon for longer-lasting bag bottoms.

Hand-clasp

Red Oxx builds simple, yet strong and comfortable hand-claps that wrap around the bags handles and snaps in place. The Red Oxx Logo embossed proprietary snaps are stainless steel and last longer than Velcro®.

BAG CONSTRUCTION TECHNIQUES

Double-Box Stitching

This is a common stitching procedure used in parachute rigging. Since the owners of Red Oxx are former Veteran Parachute Riggers, they brought their military practice of double box stitching to the application of building bags. It appears as two stitched Xs side-by-side within a rectangle or square stitched box. They’re usually incorporated in areas of high stress, such as the handle attachment area to a bag’s body. It’s also the source of the two Xs in our brand name Red Oxx.


Each area where two separate cut pieces of the bag are connected, the seam is double stitched. Then a piece of nylon webbing is folded over the stitched seams and also stitched in place. Red Oxx uses a flexible binding webbing that won’t fray from rubbing and abrasion. This keeps those annoying interior "loose threads" you often see in competitors bags to a minimum. It also makes the edges of the exterior of the bag not only looking sharp, but also long lasting.

If there is a product spec or material mentioned on our website that you don’t understand please don’t hesitate to contact us and ask. We’ll gladly assist you, then add that topic to this page as needed.

More information about Red Oxx Gear Manufacturing practices can be found at Materials and Construction and here under 12 Reasons to Own Red Oxx Gear.

Red Oxx Bags are bag built for adventure
Red Oxx Bags are bag built for adventure