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What are the differences between 600D polyester 500D Nylon, and Cordura?




If you’re in the market for outdoor gear, backpacks, or clothing, chances are you’ve come across terms like 600D polyester, 500D nylon, and Cordura. But what do these materials offer, and how do they differ from each other?

In this article, we’ll break down the composition, strength, water resistance, weight, and cost of each material. Additionally, we’ll discuss the best uses for each and provide tips on how to properly care for them. Whether you’re a seasoned adventurer or looking to upgrade your everyday essentials, read on to learn more about these versatile fabrics.

What Is 600D Polyester?

What Is 600D Polyester?

600D Polyester is a common synthetic material widely used in the textile industry for its durability and strength. It is a type of fabric known for its high resistance to abrasion and tearing, making it a popular choice for outdoor gear, backpacks, and other applications.

This type of polyester is constructed using fibers that are tightly woven together, creating a sturdy and rugged material suitable for withstanding rough outdoor conditions. Its tight weave contributes to its exceptional tear strength and ability to endure frequent use without wearing out quickly. Manufacturers often choose 600D polyester for outdoor gear due to its water-resistant properties, making it ideal for backpacks that may encounter rain or moisture while hiking or camping. This fabric is also known for its color retention, ensuring that products made from it maintain their vibrant appearance over time.

What Is 500D Nylon?

500D Nylon is a synthetic fabric known for its durability and strength in the textile industry. It is widely used for its abrasion resistance and water resistance properties, making it a preferred choice for outdoor equipment, tactical gear, and luggage.

This type of nylon is constructed using fibers that are tightly woven together, creating a robust material that can withstand rough handling and harsh weather conditions. With its high tensile strength, 500D Nylon can endure heavy loads without tearing or fraying, ensuring longevity and reliability. Its water resistance adds to its versatility, making it an ideal choice for items that are exposed to moisture or wet environments. When compared to other synthetic fabrics, 500D Nylon stands out for its superior durability and ruggedness, making it a top choice for tactical backpacks, camping gear, and various outdoor accessories.

What Is Cordura?

Cordura is a high-performance fabric known for its exceptional durability and strength, making it a popular choice in the textile industry. This material offers superior abrasion resistance and water resistance, ideal for various outdoor gear, backpacks, and military-grade applications.

Its unique properties stem from the special air weaving process used during manufacturing, which creates a fabric that is not only tough but also lightweight. This combination of durability and lightness makes Cordura ideal for producing outdoor equipment that can withstand harsh conditions without adding unnecessary weight. Compared to traditional textile materials, Cordura stands out for its ability to maintain its quality and performance over time, ensuring that products made with this fabric last longer and stay in top condition even after repeated use in rugged environments.

What Are The Similarities Between These Materials?

600D Polyester, 500D Nylon, and Cordura share several similarities as synthetic fabrics used in the textile industry. These materials are renowned for their durability, strength, and performance, making them popular choices for manufacturing outdoor gear, backpacks, and military-grade equipment.

One of the key characteristics common among these fabrics is their high fabric strength, which lends them excellent resistance against wear and tear, making them ideal for rugged outdoor applications. All three materials exhibit impressive abrasion resistance, ensuring longevity and reliability in harsh conditions. Their water-resistant properties further enhance their effectiveness, safeguarding the contents of the items made from them in wet environments.

The construction of 600D Polyester, 500D Nylon, and Cordura involves tightly woven fibers with specific denier ratings, providing a balance between weight and toughness. These specifications determine the level of protection and durability offered by each material, guiding their utilization in various industries ranging from sports and outdoor recreation to professional military use.

What Are The Differences Between These Materials?

While 600D Polyester, 500D Nylon, and Cordura are all synthetic fabrics with high durability and strength, they differ in composition, strength, water resistance, weight, and cost. Understanding these variations can help in selecting the most suitable material for specific applications.

  1. 600D Polyester, known for its ruggedness, is composed of densely woven polyester fibers, offering excellent resistance to abrasions and tearing.
  2. On the other hand, 500D Nylon boasts a balance of strength and flexibility, making it ideal for applications requiring both toughness and flexibility.
  3. Cordura, a specialized brand of fabric often used in military gear, stands out for its exceptional durability and water resistance, ensuring reliable performance in harsh conditions.

The weight of these materials varies, with 600D being heavier than 500D Nylon but lighter than Cordura.

In terms of cost, 600D Polyester typically falls in the mid-range, while Cordura tends to be on the higher end due to its premium quality and performance.

Each fabric has unique characteristics that cater to different needs, with 600D Polyester being versatile, 500D Nylon offering a good balance, and Cordura excelling in extreme conditions such as outdoor gear and military applications.


The composition of 600D Polyester, 500D Nylon, and Cordura varies in terms of the specific blend of synthetic fibers used in their construction. Each material has a unique composition that contributes to its overall strength, durability, and performance.

600D Polyester typically consists of a high proportion of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) fibers, which provide excellent resistance to abrasion and tearing. On the other hand, 500D Nylon often features a blend of nylon 6 and nylon 6,6 fibers, offering a good balance between strength and flexibility. Meanwhile, Cordura fabrics are known for their combination of nylon and cotton or nylon and polyester, delivering exceptional toughness and versatility. These different fiber compositions directly impact the fabric’s weight, water resistance, breathability, and overall suitability for various applications.

Strength and Durability

When comparing 600D Polyester, 500D Nylon, and Cordura, their strength and durability stand out as key distinguishing factors. Each material exhibits varying degrees of tensile strength and resilience, impacting their longevity and performance in different applications.

600D Polyester, known for its robustness, is particularly valued in outdoor gear such as backpacks and tents due to its ability to withstand harsh weather conditions and resist abrasions. On the other hand, 500D Nylon, with its superior tear strength, is often preferred in military gear and luggage where durability and toughness are paramount. Cordura, renowned for its exceptional abrasion resistance, is commonly used in high-performance apparel like motorcycle jackets and hiking boots for its unmatched durability.

Water Resistance

Water Resistance

Water resistance is a crucial feature that sets apart 600D Polyester, 500D Nylon, and Cordura. While all three materials offer some level of water resistance, their performance in wet conditions may vary due to the nature of their weave and fabric structure.

  1. 600D Polyester is known for its high level of water resistance, making it ideal for outdoor gear like backpacks and tents. Its tight weave and durable finish help repel water effectively, keeping your belongings dry in rainy conditions.
  2. On the other hand, 500D Nylon provides good water resistance but may not be as effective in heavy downpours due to its slightly looser weave.
  3. Cordura, known for its exceptional durability, also offers excellent water resistance capabilities, making it a popular choice for rugged outdoor equipment such as hiking backpacks and tactical gear.


Weight plays a significant role in the usability of 600D Polyester, 500D Nylon, and Cordura materials. The weight of a fabric impacts the overall comfort of gear or apparel made from it, making it an essential factor to consider in various applications.

The specific gravity of these materials directly correlates with their weight characteristics, determining their density and thus affecting their performance in different scenarios.

For instance, the lightweight nature of 600D Polyester makes it ideal for applications where agility and flexibility are crucial, such as in sportswear or outdoor gear.

On the other hand, the higher specific gravity of Cordura provides enhanced durability, making it a preferred choice for heavy-duty equipment like backpacks or motorcycle gear.

Understanding the weight differences among these materials is key to selecting the most suitable option for specific product requirements.


Cost is a significant consideration when choosing between 600D Polyester, 500D Nylon, and Cordura. Each material comes at a different price point based on its manufacturing process, quality, and brand reputation, influencing the overall cost-effectiveness of the end product.

Manufacturing complexity plays a crucial role in determining the final cost of these materials. 600D Polyester, known for its durability and water resistance, is generally more affordable than 500D Nylon due to differences in production methods. Cordura, on the other hand, is highly regarded for its superior strength and abrasion resistance, often positioned as a premium option in the market, leading to a higher price point. When making a decision, it’s essential to conduct a cost-benefit analysis to find the optimal balance between price and performance for your specific needs.

Which Material Is Best For What Purpose?

Selecting the best material among 600D Polyester, 500D Nylon, and Cordura depends on the intended purpose and specific requirements of the application. Understanding the strengths and characteristics of each material is crucial for matching them to the ideal use cases.

600D Polyester is renowned for its durability and water resistance, making it an excellent choice for outdoor gear like tents, backpacks, and duffel bags that require robust protection against the elements.

On the other hand, 500D Nylon is lighter in weight but still offers solid abrasion resistance, making it suitable for applications where weight savings are crucial, such as lightweight backpacks or travel accessories.

Cordura, known for its exceptional toughness and abrasion resistance, is often preferred for heavy-duty equipment like military gear, hiking boots, and motorcycle apparel where durability is paramount.

Outdoor Gear and Equipment

When it comes to outdoor gear and equipment, 600D Polyester, 500D Nylon, and Cordura are all viable choices with specific advantages. Each material offers different levels of durability, water resistance, and weight to cater to various outdoor activities and environmental conditions.

600D Polyester, known for its robustness, is a popular choice for hiking gear due to its high resistance to abrasions and tearing.

On the other hand, 500D Nylon‘s lightweight nature makes it perfect for backpacks and camping essentials, providing a good balance between durability and weight.

Cordura, with its exceptional strength and tear resistance, is favored among mountaineers for its ability to withstand rough terrains and harsh weather conditions.

Understanding the distinct characteristics of these materials can help outdoor enthusiasts make informed choices for their specific needs.

Backpacks and Bags

In the realm of backpacks and bags, 600D Polyester, 500D Nylon, and Cordura stand out as top choices for their durability, abrasion resistance, and design versatility. These materials are commonly used in manufacturing backpacks for backpacking, everyday use, and tactical purposes.

600D Polyester is known for its ruggedness and ability to withstand rough handling, making it ideal for outdoor adventures. On the other hand, 500D Nylon offers a balance between strength and weight, making it suitable for everyday commutes and travel. Cordura, with its exceptional tear and abrasion resistance, is often preferred for tactical backpacks that endure harsh conditions. Designers leverage the unique properties of each material to create backpacks that cater to diverse user needs, ensuring both style and functionality in the final product.

Clothing and Apparel

When it comes to clothing and apparel, 600D Polyester, 500D Nylon, and Cordura offer varying degrees of durability, water resistance, and design flexibility. These materials play a vital role in the textile industry, providing innovative solutions for outdoor enthusiasts and everyday wear.

Their utilization in garment manufacturing ensures that outdoor clothing can withstand the toughest conditions of nature, from harsh climates to rugged terrains. The strength of 600D Polyester, the abrasion resistance of 500D Nylon, and the durability of Cordura make them ideal choices for creating technical fabrics that can endure prolonged use and intense activities. Whether it’s hiking, camping, or mountaineering, these materials deliver high performance and reliability, meeting the demands of adventurers and athletes alike.

Upholstery and Furniture

Upholstery and Furniture

For upholstery and furniture applications, 600D Polyester, 500D Nylon, and Cordura provide enhanced durability and resilience. These materials offer excellent abrasion resistance and toughness, making them suitable choices for upholstery fabrics and furniture covers with a high durability rating.

Their resistance to wear and tear is a key feature that sets these materials apart. When used in furniture upholstery, these fabrics not only withstand daily use but also maintain their appearance over time. The tightly woven fibers of 600D Polyester and Cordura ensure a high level of strength, preventing tears and punctures. In addition, the 500D Nylon offers exceptional water resistance, making it a great option for furniture covers that need to be protected from spills and stains. These materials are designed to provide longevity and performance in various furniture applications.

Other Uses

Beyond the typical applications, 600D Polyester, 500D Nylon, and Cordura find versatile uses in various industries and products. Their adaptability, strength, and performance characteristics make them suitable for a wide range of purposes beyond outdoor gear and textile manufacturing.

These high-quality materials are increasingly being employed in sectors such as automotive for durable seat covers, interior trim components, and protective covers due to their resistance to wear and tear. In the medical field, they are used for sturdy backpacks and carrying cases for medical supplies. The military and law enforcement leverage their durability in the creation of tactical gear, backpacks, and protective vests. The electronics industry also benefits from their protective properties for laptop bags, camera cases, and equipment covers.

How To Care For These Materials?

Proper care and maintenance are essential for ensuring the longevity and performance of 600D Polyester, 500D Nylon, and Cordura materials. By following specific cleaning, drying, storage, and repair guidelines, users can preserve the quality and integrity of their gear, bags, and apparel made from these fabrics.

To care for 600D Polyester, 500D Nylon, and Cordura materials, start by gently wiping off any dirt or stains using a mild soap solution and a soft brush. Avoid harsh chemicals or abrasive scrubbing, as they can damage the fabric. After cleaning, allow the items to air dry completely before storing them. When storing, make sure the products are in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight to prevent fading or degradation. Regularly inspect the items for any signs of wear and tear, and promptly address any damages with appropriate repairs to extend their lifespan.


Cleaning 600D Polyester, 500D Nylon, and Cordura fabrics requires gentle techniques to avoid damage or compromising their water resistance properties. Regular cleaning with mild detergents, gentle scrubbing, and air drying can help maintain the fabrics’ integrity and performance.

  1. To properly clean these fabrics, start by filling a basin with lukewarm water and adding a small amount of mild detergent. Gently agitate the water to create suds.
  2. Submerge the fabric in the soapy water and lightly scrub any dirty areas with a soft-bristled brush or sponge. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners as they can degrade the fabric.

Once cleaned, rinse the fabric thoroughly with clean water to remove all soap residue. Air dry the fabric flat in a well-ventilated area, away from direct sunlight or heat sources, to preserve its water resistance and color integrity.


Drying 600D Polyester, 500D Nylon, and Cordura fabrics thoroughly after cleaning is crucial to prevent mold growth and maintain their water resistance. Air drying in a shaded area or using a low heat setting on a dryer can help preserve the fabrics’ quality and performance.

Properly drying these materials post-cleaning is essential to prevent any lingering moisture that could lead to mildew or fabric damage. Hanging the items in a well-ventilated area where air can circulate freely will expedite the drying process. When using a dryer, make sure to select a low heat setting to avoid overheating the fabrics and potentially causing shrinkage or weakening of the fibers. Taking these precautions will ensure that your polyester, nylon, and Cordura gear remains in top condition for long-lasting use.


Proper storage of items made from 600D Polyester, 500D Nylon, and Cordura fabrics helps maintain their shape and integrity over time. Storing gear, bags, or apparel in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and moisture can prevent damage and extend the lifespan of the materials.

It is essential to avoid storing these items in places with fluctuating temperatures or high humidity levels, as these conditions can lead to mold growth or fabric degradation. For long-term storage, consider using breathable fabric bags or containers to allow air circulation while protecting the fabrics. Keeping the products away from sharp objects or heavy items can prevent any accidental tearing or stretching of the materials. Remember, maintaining suitable storage conditions is key to preserving the quality and durability of products made from these robust fabrics.


Timely repairs are essential to address any damages or wear on items made from 600D Polyester, 500D Nylon, and Cordura fabrics. Using compatible repair materials, following proper techniques, and seeking professional assistance when needed can help restore the functionality and appearance of the products.

Proper maintenance and repair of products crafted from these durable fabrics can significantly extend their lifespan, ensuring that you get the most out of your investments. Common repair methods for these materials include patching tears, stitching seams, and reinforcing high-stress areas. Tools such as sewing needles, thread, fabric patches, and adhesive tapes are commonly used for these repairs, and they are readily available at most craft or outdoor stores.

Online tutorials and guides can provide step-by-step instructions on how to effectively repair items made from 600D Polyester, 500D Nylon, and Cordura fabrics.

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the differences between 600D polyester, 500D Nylon and Cordura?

600D polyester, 500D Nylon and Cordura are all popular materials used in the manufacturing of bags, backpacks and other outdoor gear. While they may seem similar, there are some key differences between them. Here are the answers to some commonly asked questions about these materials.

What does the “D” in 600D polyester, 500D Nylon and Cordura stand for?

The “D” in these materials stands for “denier”, which is a unit of measurement for the weight and thickness of fabric. The higher the denier, the thicker and more durable the material will be.

Which is stronger, 600D polyester, 500D Nylon or Cordura?

It is difficult to determine which of these materials is the strongest, as it depends on the specific product and its intended use. Generally, Cordura is known for being the most durable and abrasion resistant, while 600D polyester and 500D Nylon are also strong options.

Is 600D polyester, 500D Nylon or Cordura waterproof?

None of these materials are completely waterproof, but they do have varying levels of water resistance. Cordura is typically the most water resistant, while 600D polyester and 500D Nylon may require a coating or treatment to become water resistant.

What are the main differences between 600D polyester, 500D Nylon and Cordura?

One of the main differences between these materials is their composition. 600D polyester is made from synthetic fibers, while 500D Nylon and Cordura are made from nylon. Additionally, Cordura is known for its special coating that makes it more durable and abrasion resistant than the other two.

Which material is best for my needs?

This depends on what you will be using the product for. If you need something very durable and abrasion resistant, Cordura may be the best option. If you need something lighter and more flexible, 600D polyester or 500D Nylon may be more suitable. It’s important to consider your specific needs and the intended use of the product when choosing between these materials.

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