I haven't bought a new backpack in a long time. When I last shopped around, cordura and ballistic nylon were about the only things that packs were made from. With all the new possibilities, I'm getting confused (might be my age). Anyway, can someone tell me about the new fabrics? What's good and what's to be avoided? I appreciate any help you can give.
All the "new" materials are nothing but cordura and nylon with fancy names. Each brand has its own name for the fabric they use, thus adding to the confusion. There was some progress, making fabrics lighter and more durable, but not much.
The latest real innovation I've seen are 100% waterproof backpacks, using laminated cordura that is seam-taped just like canoe-sacks. The material was invented by the German company Ortlieb, they are known for their bicycle panniers and have now teamed up with leading European backpack makers (Vaude, Deuter, Salewa) to give people who climb caves or hike in rainforests these waterproof backpacks.
Another new trend is making backpacks lighter. Prime example of this is the ACT lite series from Deuter. They have the best ratio of carrying capacity to weight of the empty backpack on the market, closely followed by some models made by Osprey for the European market.
Personally I would say that you look online at some models from known brands you might like and then try them on in a store with weights.
Thanks for the advice. I'll follow it.