Waterloc canvas was developed in Australia specifically for use on One Planet rucksacks, and is made in NSW. It is woven from yarn that has a polyester core wrapped in cotton. To put it simply, the polyester core gives the fabric strength, while the cotton expands when moist, filling any microscopic holes and providing superior waterproofing. (The cotton is also enhanced with waterproofing agents.) It is a tightly woven fabric that is impregnated with rot inhibitors and waterproofing agents to ensure waterproofness and longevity.
Canvas comes in two different yarn constructions, ‘core-spun’ and ‘blended’. Waterloc canvas is a core-spun yarn that weighs approximately 390 grams a square metre, but has much greater strength than canvas of the same weight that is a blend of polyester and cotton.
Waterloc canvas has a grid pattern that increases the overall fabric strength while maintaining a smooth surface profile. In contrast, most grid or ripstop fabrics have a raised profile as another thread is run through both the weft and warp (the horizontal and vertical threads), creating a slightly stronger weave. This is great for tents, but not for rucksacks as most pack wear occurs through abrasion. If there are raised threads, they will be the first fibres to be clobbered, creating premature wear or the beginning of something far worse. Despite still being used by some of our competitors, traditional ripstop fabrics are not a durable choice for rucksacks.
The fabric also has a light grey underside. This makes our pack interiors lighter and brighter, so it is easier to see what’s lurking down the bottom.
Before using a canvas One Planet pack, the fabric will need to be conditioned. This entails thoroughly wetting the fabric and allowing it to dry, then repeating the process. This allows the canvas to contract around the stitches in the binding, filling any microscopic holes and increasing the pack’s waterproofness.
This will happen naturally the first few times the pack gets wet: please be aware that small amounts of water may leak into your rucksack the first few times it gets soaked. To speed up the process, soak the pack in a bath of water and dry it in the sun. This may need to be repeated a few times to optimise waterproofness.