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A few words about our Cordura

March 26, 2017


We make most of our bags with something called Cordura. We always have. And until something better comes along, we likely always will.


Cordura is the brand name of a very durable fabric. There are a few different types of Cordura, but in it’s most basic form, it’s a nylon.


Nylon is a synthetic material, meaning it’s not naturally occurring, like wool or cotton, but rather created in a laboratory. It’s also a polymer, which means that it’s made up of a bunch of the exact same molecules (called monomers) linked together again and again in a very long line. Think of a length of chain, a single link is like a single monomer, and when you put a bunch of links together, you get a chain: a polymer.


Cordura is made by weaving together a specific type of nylon: nylon 66, which is made of two monomers, each containing 6 carbon atoms, hexamethylenediamine and adipic acid, hence the “66.”


In this sense, nylon 66 is like a good, heavy chain: it is strong, durable, and made to last a lifetime. It also happens to be very lightweight, making it ideal for us in the carry industry (although it has many other applications, like zip-ties, or the nut in your guitar).


Cordura wasn’t always nylon 66, however. The name was first applied to a type a rayon, a different “semi-synthetic” polymer made out of wood pulp. Like many practical inventions, this rayon Cordura-type got its start in the military. During World War II, it was sewn into jeep tires to increase their puncture resistance. The original Cordura was simply an inexpensive, durable tire cord, thus the name: Cord – Dura.


Meanwhile, in the 1960s, nylon production was being refined and sophisticated, and DuPont, who owned the Cordura name, transferred it from its rayon polymer to this new wonder material, nylon 66.


But it wasn’t until the late 1970s, when scientists discovered an easy way to dye nylon, that its potential for consumer applications was fully realized.


This is when companies like Eastpak and JanSport began manufacturing their colourful Cordura daypacks. And although it seemed groundbreaking at the time, they were able to offer lifetime warranties for these bags, speaking to the durable characteristics of early Cordura.


Interestingly enough, despite their “heritage” brand image, neither JanSport nor Eastpak make bags out of Cordura anymore. When they moved their operations overseas, they chose to use cheaper, much less durable polyester, like the ones used by some of our other competitors. Make of that what you will.


These days, Cordura comes in many forms, but it’s usually designated by its specific “denier” type. Denier (pronounced Den-YAY) is a unit of measurement for the linear density of a fibre when woven together, which is less complicated than it sounds.  


Denier is simply the weight of the fabric, that’s it, or more realistically, the thickness. It actually denotes the mass in grams of a 9,000-metre long single strand of fiber. It’s an old French term, and is based on a natural reference: a single strand of silk is approximately one denier, as a 9-kilometre long strand of silk weighs about one gram.


So the smaller the denier number the lighter and thinner the fabric, and in turn, the less durable. For example, 30D (30 denier) or 45D Cordura’s are great for lightweight applications, like jackets or jeans, at a cost of durability. You’ll also find this on inexpensive, off-the-shelf daypacks, those that don’t offer robust abrasion-resistance.


At YNOT, we use 1000D, one of the of strongest Cordura’s you can get.


Sure, there are Cordura types with higher denier measures, all the way up to about 1400D, but the added weight of these heavy fabrics simply don’t make up for the marginal gains in durability.


For us, 1000D Cordura is truly the sweetspot. It’s lightweight, yet durable enough to work for any sort of real life application, so the odds of wearing through one of our 1000D Cordura backpacks are low. Like, really low. You could go at with an industrial belt sander if you were so inclined, and it would still take you the better part of a tallcan to get through it (we would know, we tried it).


We make durable bags for durable people, and that’s why we use 1000D Cordura.


We stand behind the durability of our bags, backpacks and accessories. They’re truly built to last a lifetime, and that’s why we can confidently offer a lifetime warranty.


We just thought you’d like to know that.



Custom Leather Wallets, Available now only on Kickstarter!

March 15, 2017

We can't keep quiet any longer!

We're beyond stoked to announce our exciting new project: our brand new line of fully-customizable leather wallets!

We're giving you the unique opportunity to create your very own personalized leather wallet, designed by YOU, to fit YOUR style.

After six succesful projects and over $250,000 pledged, we're going back to Kickstarter for our most ambitious product launch yet!

Our Kickstarter campaign has officially launched today! Link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ynotmade/custom-leather-wallets-designed-by-you-created-by

Using our online custom Wallet Builder, choose between four distinct leather finishes to create your very own Mag Snap Wallet! You can also even choose the colour of thread, button type and a personalized message laser-engraved on the back.

Building and improving on our first highly successful, crowd-funded wallet campaign, we're going back to Kickstarter to launch the Mag Snap Wallet, with big discounts for early backers.

Check out our Kickstarter page to get your very own custom Mag Snap Wallet now!

Love, YNOT

About our Waxed Canvas

March 12, 2017


Seven generations.


Give or take, about 200 years.


Consider how the world has changed over that time.


It’s what makes our Waxed Canvas so damned special—its stubbornness to change.


We source it from Martin Dyeing and Finishing Company, who today produce the same durable canvas they did when they established in 1838.


That’s over 200 years of quality and expertise—and we’re proud to say that our dependable bags and apparel are built with the same canvas the Martin family built their legacy on.


The company is now run by the seventh generation of the Martins: Peter, Thomas and William, the great-great-great-great grandsons of founder James Martin, an Irishman who set sail for North America in the early 1800s.


It’s no small wonder the significance that 12 week journey at sea might’ve held for James, yet the story of waxed canvas is much older than him.


Sailors started rubbing waxes and oils into their canvas sails as early as the 15th Century. They found these “treated” sails caught better wind and stayed drier longer than untreated canvas. It wasn’t long after until they started tailoring smocks and overcoats for themselves cut from the excess sailcloth—anything to keep dry and warm over their months-long expeditions at sea.


These early iterations of waxed canvas weren’t perfect. Linseed oil was the most common treatment, which was heavy and unbreathable. It yellowed and cracked over time, losing its waterproofing qualities.

It wasn’t until much later when paraffin—at the time, the cutting edge in candlemaking technology—was applied to canvas with encouraging results, and the waxed canvas we know today was ushered into reality.


Paraffin is the colourless, odourless wax renowned for its unreactive nature and relatively low melting point, about ~50°C. When it’s heated and applied to canvas, something magic happens: the water-resistance and longevity of the canvas is dramatically increased, while the material itself develops a haunting and enchanting patina.


This is what makes waxed canvas so cherished, and so coveted—the stories that it shows across its surface.


Like the artist’s canvas it shares its name with, waxed canvas expresses moments in time otherwise forgotten. Its patina develops handsomely over time and with use, proudly displaying scuffs and wear—all the stories of our journeys past travelled.


We use 10.10 ounce canvas to construct our bags, referring to the weight of a square yard of material. There are heavier canvases, up to 20 oz., and there are lighter too, but we find 10.10 to be the perfect marriage in terms of weight and durability.


It’s made by weaving two distinct cotton yarns together in the “warp,” to a single cotton yarn in the “weft.” The warp being the yarn along the y-axis and the weft the yarn along the x-axis—when weaved together, you get canvas (think knitting).


It’s this unique 2-to-1 construction of our 10.10 canvas that results in its weighty, robust finish, that still feels incredibly soft at hand.


This is helped by the Martin’s top-secret proprietary finishing treatment, which is certifiably earth-safe, using consumer-grade waxes and oils completely free of hazardous solvents.


It’s humbling to think that only decades ago, the Martin plant was producing millions of yards of waxed canvas per week for British soldiers fighting in Dunkirk and Normandy in World War II.


And it only goes to show just how fast the world moves, and just how much faster it seems to be getting.


So it’s no surprise that we’re drawn to the quiet perseverance of these honest materials.


Especially those with 200 years of stories behind them, and with another 200 yet to come.



Valentine's Day SALE! 💘 Sweet deals for sweethearts! 💋

January 31, 2017


Our Valentine's Day SALE is on! Grab a sweet deal for your sweetheart!

(P.S. it's totally cool if you're your own sweetheart...)

Get big savings on some of our most beloved items, such as:

Street Reflective Dog Leashes (New!), $10 off introductory price!

15% off Alley and Laneway Backpacks, the only truly made-in-Canada schoolbag!

30% off Bucket Tote Bags, made from beautiful, durable heritage waxed canvas.

Save on our full line Leather Wallets, with FREE personalized monogramming!

40% off our versatile Catch Laptop Bags, only while supplies last!

50% off our extremely limited-run Wax Canvas Vests (in-store only)

15% off Dopp Kits, the perfect travel-ready shave or make-up kit!

These deals won't last, so shop the Valentine's Day Sale today!

Love, YNOT


Trouble choosing a gift? Check out our gift-guide infographic!

January 30, 2017

Looking for that perfect gift, but unsure what backpack or duffel bag to choose?

We’re very fortunate to have a brick and mortar space on one of Canada’s most vibrant strips of retail real estate, and we’d like to share some of our sales insights from our Queen West shop with you.

The infographics below shows the most popular products that were purchased in 2016 by our Queen Street customers. These are the customers coming into our store, holding and testing the gear for themselves, and then buying what they like.

Hopefully this can help inform any gift ideas you're looking to make!

Go-getters, jet-setters, and 9-to-5ers, your Gift Guide is here!

December 14, 2016


Our bags are built to withstand the worst that mother nature can throw at it, but designed sleek and subtle enough to look right at home in the boardroom. Shop the 9-to-5ers Gift Guide now!

  1. Built with buttery soft Italian moto-jacket leather and durable waxed canvas, the Magnetica Select is a stylish backpack for young professionals.
  2. The Catch Select looks right at home in the boardrooms as it does on the boulevard, built with separated laptop sleeve and Auto-Locating Hardware.
  3. The Otter Mercator Solingen K55 Black Cat Knife, with German-made, army issue carbon steel, makes a handsome letter opener (in-store only).
  4. Made with vegetable-tanned leather from heritage tannery Wickett and Craig, with the Bifold Wallet you won't mind picking up the tab for your power lunches.
  5. Made with 95% reclaimed material from our handmade bags, the Coffee Cozy keeps your coffee hot and your hands snugly.
  6. Keep your keys safe and secure with the sleek and stylish laser-etched leather Magnetic Key Chain.

Happy holidays!

Love, YNOT


The Great Outdoors Gift Guide has arrived!

December 14, 2016


Outdoorsy-types, your time as come! The Great Outdoors Gift Guide is here. We build our gear to stand up to whatever mother nature can throw at it, and we proudly offer a lifetime warranty on all our bags and accessories. 

  1. The Wildland Scout is our most feature-focused backpack yet! We teamed up with bushcraft badass Joe Robinet to help design it, and we're confident that it'll make the perfect gift for that nature-lover in your life.

  2. Rep the North with the Classic 6-Panel Hat, with laser-cut Canadian flag leather patch!

  3. The stunning Royal North Co. Camp Knife, hand-crafted with care in Canada using high carbon 01 steel, Canadian cruly maple and solid brass. (in-store only)

  4. The Wildland Packing Pouches keep all your loose gear secure and organized, like fire-lighting equipment or snacks and utensils.

  5. Canadian Flag Patches! Available in iron-on and velcro backing.

  6. Our Canadian Rockies Patch, made in collaboration with our friends at Explorer's Press.

  7. Show 'em what your all about with the Explorer's Lapel Pin, from Explorer's Press.

  8. This Stainless Steel Triangle Multitool features hex wrenches, screwdrivers, pry-tool and guyline adjuster. (in-store only)

Happy Holidays!

Love, YNOT