Every BACHpack is a balance between (1) carrying comfort, (2) weight of the pack and (3) durability.
This requires a careful selection of materials and a clear design vision and production philosophy.
…is closely linked to production experience. We are particularly fortunate to work with a consistent small crew of motivated and qualified people over the last 40 years. Being a small company means that every individual has a say in the design of every new pack we create. We are proud of this team effort and convinced that it results in building the best packs money can buy.
Every single BACH product is the result of years of trekking, travel, climbing and biking experience. BACH products are light and robustly built. Unnecessary gimmickry is left out without affecting the functionality of the product. On the contrary: We believe in improvements on a small scale. For this reason, our “innovations” are often not revolutionary, but continuous improvements.
Fabric: 1000D Cordura ®
1000D CORDURA® Classic is the toughest fabric BACH uses. It is extremely abrasion and tear resistant. The yarn is air-texturised, creating a matt and structured appearance and it is a good bit more abrasion resistant than Oxford Nylon or Polyester fabrics of similar weight. Comparing the 1000D CORDURA® Classic with the 420D Oxford Nylon it adds only about 30% extra weight by showing a tensile strength which is about 2.5 times stronger. It is used on exposed and important parts of our packs where compromises are not an option.
Fabric: 500D Cordura ®
500D CORDURA® Classic is a little lighter than the 1000D and still convinces with excellent abrasion and tear resistance. The yarn is air-texturised, thinner and the weaving is denser resulting in a matt and soft appearance. N/420D CDR NH Dobby is a CORDURA® Nylon fabric. The weaving technique produces great tensile strength for its weight. It offers different technical arguments compared to 500D CORDURA® Classic fabrics.
420D CDR NH Dobby Cordura ®
N/420D CDR NH Dobby is a CORDURA® Nylon fabric. The weaving technique produces great tensile strength for its weight. It offers a high tear-resistancy and is sufficiently abrasion-resistant for backpacks. Furthermore, the tear propagation resistance of the one third lighter 420D fabric is even higher compared to the 1000D Cordura® fabric.
Fabric: 840D Power Mesh
The bi-elastic 300g/m² mesh is produced by the Korean company Young Poong and is not only beautifully stretchy but also offers impressive abrasion characteristics – which is important for its often exposed position on stuffed pockets on the outside of our products.
The 4-way Spandex with a reinforcing PU lamination is a stretchy fabric which is used on the inside of shoulder-straps and other places with body-contact where flexibility is important. The dense weaving with the PU lamination makes a nice soft touch by not absorbing any sweat or transferring colour.
Little parts - big difference! On all packs BACH is exclusively using high quality YKK zippers. Wherever applicable we use no. 10 zippers and don’t go smaller than no. 5. Since BACH started 40 years ago we have resisted the temptation to use smaller sizes and cheaper brands and this decision has proven to be right over the years. BACH always uses the zipper chain on the visible outside because it lasts 30% longer than the zipper chain used inside out with the webbing on the outside. BACH only uses silver nick el-plated zipper sliders, as these have a longer lifetime as their coloured counterparts (no matter if powder coated or any other dyeing technology).
Foams are available in a wide variety of specs. This is one of the reasons why it is important to assign a clear function to each foam. Basically, a distinction should be made between padding functionality (close to the body) and support functionality (further away from the body). In the back-panel we mainly use PU foams (open cell) that allow good ventilation, absorb little moisture and therefore dry quickly after rain and during perspiration.
BACH has consistently been using Nylon buckles for the past 40 years even though the whole world seemed to use the cheaper POM (Polyoxymethylene, also known as Acetal) buckles. The polar expeditions supported by BACH and demanding customers in the cold Norwegian winters proved the decision for Nylon to be the right decision and accepting the higher price and the colour variety being reduced to black. The field of polymers science has made huge progress in the past few years and BACH developed a range of new side-release buckles together with YKK that are especially designed for the newly created T-POM (Tough Polyoxymethylene). After intense testing down to -40° degrees Celsius in the lab and on many tours in harsh winter conditions BACH and YKK guarantee the same strength as the previous buckles even in these cold temperatures – immensely improving the usability of the side-release buckles. Most other buckles are still made of Nylon from the high-quality brands Duraflex and Woojin.
Straps & Webbing
BACH is using Nylon webbing. Nylon webbings are strong, abrasion and UV resistant, do not absorb any water and are well known from s eat-belts in cars. BACH does not recommend the use of Polypropylene webbing on backpacks due to its lower resistance against UV-radiation which results in higher stiffness after few years. When buying webbing for the BACH packs we take special care to make sure that the webbing qualities ar e compatible with the buckles we use. It can be quite tricky to make sure th at the combination webbing/buckle holds the required load. The webbing must not slip through the buckle but should be easily adjustable at the same time. And not only once but for all the years to come!
BACH only uses 15mm or 20mm thick EVA foam between 22-25 kg (pe r cube yard) in the shoulder-straps of the large backpacks (45-100l). Over the past 40 years EVA 22-25 has proven to be a good compromise between comf ort (soft), durability and equal weight distribution (hard, tough) with a high resilience. For our smaller models we mostly use 12mm thick EVA 20-22kg. Th is makes the straps subtler and adapts better to the shape of the shoulder with lower weight and the movement by keeping its supporting and protecting purpose. Because BACH uses high-quality EVA, the shoulder-straps retain their original properties over the years. -
The foams in our M.A.D. and Expedition hip-belts are glued to the outer fabric, making them particularly rigid and three-dimensional. The interior padding is multi-layered, consisting of two layers EVA foam (closed cell) and one layer of PU foam (oben cell). In addition, the hip-belt is reinforced with an HDPE plate. The slightly lighter hip-belts of the Shield Pro carrying system consist of a layer PU foam for padding reasons and one layer Atilon foam for support.