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Industry

venture out

Outdoor Retailer Summer 2016 :: Recap Part III

by , August 12, 2016

On the last and final day of Outdoor Retailer, we started in the main halls and then into the Pavilions, a massive three-tent structure across the street from Salt Palace. There, our energy centered around brands exhibiting in the Venture Out – the place where the new and hip brands hang out. Inside, you’ll find companies handing out fresh coconuts for an afternoon treat and even pourover coffee, made to order. Venture Out had the potential of packing in the most interesting gear per square foot. So we'll end there, with the proverbial bang!

Granite Gear

I know I just spoke about the Pavilions and specifically about V.O. but we had a handful of final appointments in the main hall before heading over to the giant white tents. The first stop was with Granite Gear, to meet with designers David Eisenberg and Andrew Ford to discuss their newest baby, the Crown 2. Building off the successful thru-hiker favorite the Crown, they upgraded it from head to toe. Both a lid and hip belt are now included and more intentionally integrated, whereas buyers had to previously purchase them as add-ons.

Granite Gear Crown 2

"Building off the successful thru-hiker favorite the Crown, they upgraded it from head to toe. Both a lid and hip belt are now included and more intentionally integrated, whereas buyers had to previously purchase them as add-ons."

Granite Gear

The back panel suspension is the star of the show here.  First the framesheet has been upgraded to a polypropylene material that provides additional stiffness. Compression molded channels and extra die-cut holes of varying sizes help reduce the weight and increase airflow. While the framesheet is a tiny bit heavier than what’s found in the original Crown, the team felt it was an obvious choice. The aforementioned hip belt inherits the REFIT system from the Lutsen which means a range of adjustability while on strenuous thru-hikes where athletes find themselves dropping inches off the midline.

Granite Gear back panel

"The back panel suspension is the star of the show here. First the framesheet has been upgraded to a polypropylene material that provides additional stiffness. Compression molded channels and extra die-cut holes of varying sizes help reduce the weight and increase airflow."

Granite Gear

The storage on the front of the pack was updated to stretch woven for better durability and now does not extend all the way to the bottom. Instead, a 210D nylon comes up from the bottom to meet the woven. The design team is confident this will eliminate a lot of the wear that they are seeing on the original Crown. The last piece of innovation that we were really impressed by is the different ways the lid could be attached. They designed custom male/female buckle connections which allow a lot of freedom. In addition, they showed us a two-to-one buckle that we had never seen before. Although this buckle was not custom, Eisenberg believes they are one of the first in the industry to use it.

"The last piece of innovation that we were really impressed by is the different ways the lid could be attached. They designed custom male/female buckle connections which allow a lot of freedom."

Granite Gear

Granite Gear

The Crown 2 retains the same weight (2lbs, 2oz) and price ($199) as the original and will come in two colorways (highland peak black and fatigue & dried sage). Men’s sizing will include Small, Medium, and Long, while Long is omitted for women. However, the new women’s packs will have more anatomically-correct shoulder straps.

Granite Gear

The North Face

Like Granite Gear, the story here for The North Face is a focus on a brand new bag – the Alpine 50. This is the first time TNF has been able to bring their FuseForm technology, previously only available on their clothing, to a bag. In short, FuseForm is a technology that allows different material weaves into a single piece of fabric. For outerwear, this allows for traditional multi-panel construction but with a drastic reduction in the number of sewn seams. Similarly, with FuseForm, the TNF team was able to design the Alpine 50 to have durability in certain areas, comfort in others, all while reducing weight. The pack is available Spring ’17.

"In short, FuseForm is a technology that allows different material weaves into a single piece of fabric."

The North Face Alpine 50

The Homestead Collection launched this past Spring and shifts TNF’s focus from high-end technical athletes to people just wanting to get out on the weekends. The Mountain and Athletics Collection includes performance running and training gear. Then Mountain Culture includes functional and more aesthetically pleasing design. One example is a bag with a cooler on one side, a dry bag on the other and that is perfect for events like concerts in the park. The Road Soda bag has a lined waterproof interior and is perfect for anything from bringing beers to a picnic, to even stand-up paddleboarding. The Drift 70 is a backpacking pack for a new hiker that works both on the trail and is sensible as a travel pack as well. It’s nice to see The North Face trying to serve different markets and it’s no surprise they are tapping into the weekend/casual camper culture that has been growing in the last few years.

"Similarly, with FuseForm, the TNF team was able to design the Alpine 50 to have durability in certain areas, comfort in others, all while reducing weight."

The North Face Drift 70

"The Drift 70 is a backpacking pack for a new hiker that works both on the trail and is sensible as a travel pack as well."

The North Face

Pacsafe

Pacsafe, the Hong Kong company that pioneered secure anti-theft travel, has a new design team and there’s a noticeable change in the look of this upcoming Spring’s offerings, compared to the last. I have always wanted to love Pacsafe but was always held back by just a tiny bit because I couldn’t get past how the focus on the security features seemed to show through and dominate how the bags actually looked. This year, the design aesthetic is different in all the right ways and finally Pacsafe seems like a bag company that happens to do security and not a security company that happens to make bags.

Pacsafe

Pacsafe

The big story for Spring ’17 is the introduction of their new Vibe Range. Intended to be your all-day active, gym, work, travel, take-anywhere bag, the Vibe looks different than anything Pacsafe previously offered. The shapes are really simple and classic and the exteriors are largely unadulterated save for two stretch pockets on either side, to hold water bottles. They come in four sizes: 20L, 25L, 30L, and a large 40L weekender carry-on. Colorways include the basics – blue, green, black, as well as a purple and their new camo style. Besides all the basic Pacsafe features (eXomesh, RFID pocket, cut-resistant straps), the Vibe series features two new features not found on any other pack. First is a central lockdown point in which all zippers converge on a central zone and a rotating locking mechanism locks them down. You can optionally add on a small padlock for extra security. The second feature is something I think will prove useful – the Pop & Lock mechanism allows you to detach one of the backpack straps so you can loop it around a bench, chair, tree, etc. if you need to leave your seat temporarily. Again, you can use a padlock for extra security.

"Intended to be your all-day active, gym, work, travel, take-anywhere bag, the Vibe looks different than anything Pacsafe previously offered."

Pacsafe

Pacsafe

Pacsafe

"...the Pop & Lock mechanism allows you to detach one of the backpack straps so you can loop it around a bench, chair, tree, etc. if you need to leave your seat temporarily."

Pacsafe Vibe

The Slingsafe line sees two new colorways – denim and bespoke camo which was custom designed by their new lead designer. The camo is actually their Exosafe patent so the patterns are not your standard military camouflage. Pacsafe is clearly trying to add a little fun and variation into their line.

Pacsafe Slingsafe

Pacsafe Slingsafe

Pacsafe Slingsafe

Last but not least, a new range of wallets that are completely RFID blocking. The new wallets are made of a soft-touch microfiber and are all heat-welded. This allows the wallets to be super thin and almost entirely stitchless. Honestly, I thought they were just run-of-the-mill wallets until I opened one up and could not be more impressed. There are a few different shapes with sizes ranging from the simple wallet, to one that can hold a transit card for easy scanning and also a travel wallet which accommodates a passport. The wallets are being so well received from retailers that they are fast-tracking production and are targeting an October 15th release. The two smaller sizes are priced at $29.95 with the larger ones coming in at under $50.

"The new wallets are made of a soft-touch microfiber and are all heat-welded. This allows the wallets to be super thin and almost entirely stitchless."

Pacsafe wallet

Pacsafe wallet

Listen to design insights from Pacsafe here.

Mountain Hardwear

The big story with Mountain Hardwear is the complete revamping and overhaul that started a few months ago with the new president John Walbrecht. He told a room full of media that MH was a brand that had lost sight of the shore, like a swimmer in a fogbank. He claimed that last year, MH had over 300 products and that a typical retailer might carry only 30 models, which is a 10% rate, or an F if you were to give it a grade. Since he started, Walbrecht has been cleaning house – removing product and personnel from the company in an effort to reinvent it.

Mountain Hardwear

Mountain Hardwear Scrambler 30

The story with Mountain Hardwear carry is really a focus on their OutDry technology. There are four new packs this year and each has a waterproof liner that is bonded to the exterior bag fabric. It’s like having a bag that is lined with a drysack. The Ozonic 70 (60L for the women’s version) features customizable suspension, a reversible top pocket, and is constructed of 210D. The men’s version weighs just over 4lbs and retails for $280.

Mountain Hardwear OutDry

"The story with Mountain Hardwear carry is really a focus on their OutDry technology. There are four new packs this year and each has a waterproof liner that is bonded to the exterior bag fabric. It’s like having a bag that is lined with a drysack."

Mountain Hardwear OutDry

The Scrambler RT is a 20L backpack with a rolltop design that is meant for commuting, hiking, and biking. It also features trekking pole loops, weighs just 14oz and is priced at $110. Last but not least, the OutDry Duffel is a humongous 75L bag and serves as a single-bag solution for large expeditions. It actually comes in three sizes but it’s unclear what the other two are. The 75L is priced at $180.

Mountain Hardwear Scrambler RT 20

Hear more on the revamping of Mountain Hardwear here.

Fjällräven

The Swedish outdoors company was out in full force at Outdoor Retailer. They pulled out all the stops with a beautiful multi-section booth, huge graphics wrapping the outside of Salt Palace and a sick crayfish party with a live DJ, drinks and food galore. Their US presence has been growing through the years and for Spring ’17 they have some interesting bags.

Fjällräven Kanken

Fjällräven

Fjällräven

You’ll recall that Fjällräven has its roots in trekking but over the years they have been producing more packs for urban use. In the past five years, they have been actually shrinking their offerings to return to the core of the brand. Only now are they slowly expanding again, this time staying coherent to the brand. A few seasons ago they introduced a duffel and now they are back with a new model.

"In the past five years, they have been actually shrinking their offerings to return to the core of the brand. Only now are they slowly expanding again, this time staying coherent to the brand."

Fjällräven duffel

The new duffel is now made in G-1000 Eco. It features locking zippers, comfy leather handles, and deployable shoulder straps for backpack carry. A unique feature is the top of the bag is actually padded so if you wear it on your back, a heavy object that might have shifted in transit will not stab you. The duffel comes in three sizes: 50L, 75L, and 110L.

"A unique feature is the top of the bag is actually padded so if you wear it on your back, a heavy object that might have shifted in transit will not stab you."

Fjällräven

Next up is the Split Pack which is new for this upcoming season. Key features include: shoulder straps with a foam backing, side pockets secured with buttons, a security pocket for small items, and mesh pockets for better organization. The sides have foam embedded so it holds its shape even when empty but can still pack flat if needed. The 35L is slightly over carry-on size but since it’s soft, it’s easy enough to squeeze in the excess. The 50L definitely needs to be checked. Again, the pack is made of G-1000 Eco and coated in DWR for water resistance. They are both available March 2017 starting at $175.

Fjällräven

"The sides have foam embedded so it holds its shape even when empty but can still pack flat if needed."

Fjällräven

As you can see, we are increasing our organization with each successive bag. The 35L Travel Pack is a completely new model. It features a compartment for your passport, wallet, and boarding pass. A dedicated laptop and tablet compartment means you can remove the former without spilling out your main compartment contents. There’s a host of organizational pockets but the thing that really caught my eye was the top pocket is accessible from the outside. Fjällräven is selling an optional accessory bag that fits perfectly inside this top compartment. A scenario where this is convenient is when you are boarding a plane and know you’ll be needing your snacks, headphones and tablet with you. Rather than trying to fumble for them, then putting your bag or backpack in the overhead bin, you can just pull out this smaller bag, toss it on your chair, and put the Travel Pack overhead. The smaller bag comes in a variety of colorways so you can add a bit of personalization to things. Personally, I’d use it as a dopp bag since it seems perfect for that application.

"There’s a host of organizational pockets but the thing that really caught my eye was the top pocket is accessible from the outside. Fjällräven is selling an optional accessory bag that fits perfectly inside this top compartment."

Fjällräven

I would be remiss if I didn’t at least mention the Re-Kånken. It’s already available now so it’s not a new release but I thought the story behind it is very interesting. Since our first visit with them last year, it is very clear that Fjällräven is one of the few large companies that is completely dedicated to improving the environment, and in particular, minimizing their manufacturing impact. One step in this direction is the extensive use of their G-1000 Eco fabric. Another is the re-imagining of the Kånken. They went to the drawing board and figured out a way to dye the fibers during production before it is woven into fibers. Each Re-Kånken is made from 11 recycled plastic bottles. The new bags look stunning and although they have a different logo (embroidered rather than a patch) and the feel of the fabric and the reflections of the light is different, it’s so clearly a Kånken that I can’t imagine anyone would doubt its connection. Personally, this is the future of the Kånken and I give Fjällräven credit for being so focused on this cause. Hopefully we can do a special piece on just the manufacturing challenges behind the Re-Kånken one day.

"...it is very clear that Fjällräven is one of the few large companies that is completely dedicated to improving the environment, and in particular, minimizing their manufacturing impact."

Fjällräven

"Each Re-Kånken is made from 11 recycled plastic bottles."

Fjällräven

Peak Design (Carry Award winners for Best in Show)

It’s no surprise we are big fans of Peak Design here at Carryology. Personally, I have been using their products (particularly the Capture Clip) since 2011 and I was extremely impressed with the Everyday Messenger that I reviewed almost a year ago. Now the SF crew is back on Kickstarter with four new bags. We actually came across the Peak team at a bar earlier in the week and lead designer Art gave us a sneak peek at the Everyday Sling. Unfortunately, dim lights, loud music, and free beer makes not a good stage for reviewing a bag!

Peak Design Everyday Collection

You can learn everything you need to know about the packs from the Kickstarter campaign and on Peak Design’s YouTube channel. However, I’ll highlight some of the things that really stood out to me. First, the difference in size between the two backpacks is substantial (20L vs 30L). I actually really like this because I hate it when manufacturers separate their trims but a very small amount, which causes a lot of stress for buyers. I am told the larger bag is for people who want to carry their camera gear plus extras (i.e. clothes, accessories, etc.) while the 20L is for a more minimal outing. The straps on this thing are a thing of beauty. First, there is ample use of Hypalon, and I am convinced that is what adds so much to the ease of use of their strap system. The sternum strap is easily adjustable and removable and is conveniently stowable. A pair of straps on the bottom of the pack stow away when not in use, and deploy to hold tripods, tubes and other large items with ease. Peak also has a no slack philosophy so no matter your adjustment, there are no dangly bits.

"A pair of straps on the bottom of the pack stow away when not in use, and deploy to hold tripods, tubes and other large items with ease."

Peak Design Everyday Backpack

The Everyday Tote really caught my eye and while it is targeted, unofficially, towards women, I think that I would be happy to bring that out on any photography outing where I don’t need to carry for long distances. The top has a cool magnetic closure and there is so much space inside. Access is the name of the game here as always and you can get to your stuff from either side. Peak designed (get it?) new dividers to accommodate the height of the tote.

"Access is the name of the game here as always and you can get to your stuff from either side."

Peak Design Everyday Tote

Peak Design

Lastly, the Everyday Sling is causing some controversy on the Kickstarter campaign right now as some backers want the bag to be taller to accomodate large tablets or even a laptop. It’ll be interesting to see what happens but I’m hoping the Peak Design team stick to their guns and keep it the way it is. It has some great features like compression straps that open up to allow you to carry a tripod, while also expanding the bottom of the bag for more internal storage.

Peak Design Everyday Sling

Peak Design

Peak Design is one of the few companies actually innovating in the carry industry right now.

Peak Design Slide

Heimplanet (Rising Star Carry Award Winners)

Around the time this recap is published, you will probably see my review of Heimplanet’s Monolith Weekender. I won’t spoil it for you but let’s just say I was blown away by their new collection. Newcomers to Outdoor Retailer, Heimplanet had one of the best designed booths at the show. The layout and spacing was great but what made it particularly awesome was the lighting design which made photographing the bags a lot simpler. Designer Stefan Clauss walked me through their new line of everyday bags.

First up is the new Minimal Series which looks stunning. They have very clean lines and a slight teardrop silhouette. An interesting feature is a storage compartment, accessible from the outside, that is subdivided into three sections. This is a perfect spot for flash drives, charging cables, keys, etc. The interior has their MOLLE attachment system for expandability and organization and a laptop sleeve that is floating rather than extending to the floor like many industry culprits. The Minimal packs hold about 20L and will retail around $100.

"First up is the new Minimal Series which looks stunning."

Heimplanet

Next up, the Motion Series really caught my eye. It’s more focused on users who are more active, and the bags are lighter and more technical. The exterior features a special woven melange fabric with diamond ripstop, which gives it a really cool design without resorting to printing. The spandex compartment on the outside can be used to quickly stow a shell, even when the interior is filled. Cool details like Hypalon zipper garages and stowable tool loops really showed Heimplanet’s focus on creating a bag with features that are only there when you need it. A compartment with a floating liner and taped seams makes a nearly waterproof compartment, perfect for stowing stinky clothes after a workout, or wet trunks after a swim. Their signature diamond pattern is represented in 3D on the back panel and besides looking cool, it turns out it also keeps you cool by creating a bunch of vertices that lift the bag off your back. The sternum straps are height adjustable for a range of torso sizes and the hip belts are removable for times when you are not carrying a full load. The bags come in two sizes, 20L and 25L and both support hydration and have awesome laptop compartments with straps that work with a single hand release. The Motion Series will start at $140.

"Their signature diamond pattern is represented in 3D on the back panel and besides looking cool, it turns out it also keeps you cool by creating a bunch of vertices that lift the bag off your back."

Heimplanet Motion series

Heimplanet

Stefan also gave us a sneak look at their drypack which is 100% waterproof. We’ve all seen this before so what sets it apart is a daisy chain that runs the length of the back and simple straps you can connect at any point to create a backpack. Simple and effective.

Heimplanet

Last but not least, he showed me a dopp kit which is actually already available. They wanted to serve two groups of users – those who wanted to keep their bags on the table and have the contents easily accessible and another group that wanted to be able to hang the bag in the bathroom. What they came up with is quite elegant yet simple and I’d say they pulled it off.

Everything besides the dopp kit will be available Spring '17.

"They wanted to serve two groups of users – those who wanted to keep their bags on the table and have the contents easily accessible and another group that wanted to be able to hang the bag in the bathroom."

Heimplanet Dopp Kit

Learn more about the development of the dopp kit here.

Cotopaxi

Cotopaxi is one of those brands that seemingly came out of nowhere. They premiered around this time last year and their bread and butter is in the events they host (think GORUCK Challenge, but more camping and adventure themed, rather than endurance). They also have a strong social/charitable aspect and another way to accomplish those goals includes retail sales of products. Last year’s offerings were fairly simple and it was always hard for me to tell if the company was serious about innovation or just letting the charitable aspect “sell” the bags. With VP of Product CJ Whittaker at the helm, we are seeing a lot more interesting output from this local company.

Cotopaxi Veloz

The Veloz is their first foray into the adventure market. The hydration vest comes in two sizes, 3L and 6L and features an X-harness system that takes the pressure and weight off the shoulders, bypasses the nipples to avoid chafing, and reduces bounce during strenuous runs. The line is rounded out by a hydration waist belt that is designed with comfort in mind. The top is curved and creates a cone shape, allowing it to rest comfortably on your waist. The Veloz series is launching on Kickstarter September 1st, but will be produced regardless of whether the goal is met or not.  [Update: 8/17/2016 - I was informed that the Veloz will be released SS '17 instead of through Kickstarter. Instead, a yet to be announced travel pack will launch via the crowdfunding platform.] Cotopaxi tells me that when entering new markets, they want to use crowdfunding as a way to gather feedback and gauge consumer interest.

"The hydration vest comes in two sizes, 3L and 6L and features an X-harness system that takes the pressure and weight off the shoulders, bypasses the nipples to avoid chafing, and reduces bounce during strenuous runs."

Cotopaxi Veloz

Cotopaxi Veloz

Cotopaxi Veloz

The Side Bags are very simple shoulder bags that feature cotton canvas, and split leather bottoms on some models. They are no-nonsense unitaskers designed to hold tablets, small laptops, and even a medical kit. One neat feature is a piece of webbing that allows you to slot your hand through for a different grip on the laptop bag. The four pieces that make up the collection are the Palpa shoulder bag, Lima med kit side bag, Perla purse, and the Bellavista small satchel.

Cotopaxi

Cotopaxi

Launching in Fall is Cotopaxi’s approach to the Giant Duffel (TM). TPU laminated 840D duffel bags with 1680D nylon bottoms but still fairly light. The bags feature dirty laundry (or shoes if you have small feet) storage on the end. The harnesses are lightly padded and are in a permanent backpack configuration with the option of combining the straps for hand carry if having it on your back gets tiresome. CJ says he wanted to avoid all the extra hardware that would be required to make it convertible.

Cotopaxi duffel

The Tarak Twenty can be used as a follower’s pack, ski mountaineering bag, or just an EDC bag. The most interesting feature is an ice axe carry which uses no loops. The inside has a suspended pouch for a little bit of extra organization, but otherwise the main compartment is just one large compartment. The Del Dia colorway they had on display was a real eye-catcher.

Cotopaxi Tarak Twenty

Finishing things off were two large technical packs – the Nepal (75L) and Taboche (55L). The Nepal is their largest pack and is designed to just hold a massive amount of gear. The Taboche seems like a more approachable pack with a high degree of adjustability. One fun feature is under the lid Cotopaxi put instructions on how to properly pack a bag as well as tips on responsible packing and camping. We’re always fans of more education.

"...under the lid Cotopaxi put instructions on how to properly pack a bag as well as tips on responsible packing and camping."

Cotopaxi

MiiR

A company with a similar, but not exact, business model as Cotopaxi, MiiR is one of the latest “social philanthropy”companies to hit the scene. When you look at their product page, it makes little sense, but after hearing founder Bryan Papé speak at Product Underground things became more clear.

MiiR 20L Day Pack

MiiR offers four bags, all of which are available on their site now. They all share a similar construction – 680D with DWR coating, water-resistant zippers, and black or gray colorways. The 1L pouch is the simplest offering and is exactly like it sounds – a zippered pouch you can use to store cables, extra camera batteries, etc. The 18L tote is a catch-all with room for a water bottle on the side and a neoprene padded pouch for sunglasses or other delicate items. The 20L Day Pack has loops for attaching accessories and supports a 15″ laptop. Finally, the 25L Commuter is the largest of the bunch. It’s a rolltop bag that cinches down with straps on both sides. It is similar to the Day Pack but with increased storage, extra compartments, and support for a bike light. They range from $24 for the pouch up to $159 for the Commuter.

MiiR 18L Tote

Miir 20L Day Pack

The bags are nice but what’s most important here is that their sales are linked to education. In this case, it means building schools, providing furniture and supplies, as well as teacher training in areas of need. Each bag purchased includes a code which you can register on the site. You will then get regular updates on the specific project your purchase helped fund.

"...their sales are linked to education. In this case, it means building schools, providing furniture and supplies, as well as teacher training in areas of need."

MiiR Commuter

Hear more about MiiR's education initiatives here.

Topo Designs

Topo is a brand that has continued to impress me since their introduction in 2011. Their bags invoke a sense of, as lame as it may sound, Americana and they have a very distinctive style to them. While they excel at everything they do, in my opinion they really mastered two things: colorways, and collaborations.

Topo Designs

For Spring '17, Topo has a couple of fun bags on the agenda. First, they are introducing a bike bag that is comfortable on the front rack or as a rear trunk. It has waterproof zippers and comes in both red and royal colorways.

"First, they are introducing a bike bag that is comfortable on the front rack or as a rear trunk."

Topo Designs

They also are introducing the Sack Pack. Its squarish shape allows you to pack it out with documents and papers. It has a good depth, large front pocket and comes in forest, royal and a blacked out colorway. The volume is about 22L but that’s not confirmed.

Topo Designs

A new hip pack makes its debut early next year. It can be worn as a sling (cross-body) when rocking a pack around your belt might get you stares. A diagonal zipper gives easier access to your belongings and it's available in turquoise, royal, silver, and black.

"A new hip pack makes its debut early next year. It can be worn as a sling (cross-body) when rocking a pack around your belt might get you stares."

Topo Designs

Many people use Topo Designs' bags to carry photography gear anyway, so it was natural Topo would find a way to support that. They are introducing the Camera Cube which is a padded insert with a drawstring closure and two removable dividers. It comes in either black or yellow colors.

"They are introducing the Camera Cube which is a padded insert with a drawstring closure and two removable dividers."

Topo Designs

On the collaboration front, Topo has you covered. Continuing the success with Woolrich, this Fall we’ll see three new patterns across four different styles. The Daypack, Klettersack, Cinch Tote, and Dopp Kit will all get a new coat of paint. They also just launched their Howler collaboration which resulted in team effort on the Field Bag and Mountain Pack. The Field Bag has become popular with people using it as a photo bag rather than a fly fishing pack as intended.

Topo Designs

"They also just launched their Howler collaboration which resulted in team effort on the Field Bag and Mountain Pack."

Topo Designs

This November, the collaboration with Danner (boots) launches. Topo and Danner teamed up to design a boot and bag together and will cross-carry the products in their respective stores.

Topo Designs

Finally, a limited edition (500) collaboration with Opinel on their No. 8 had the Carryology crew going nuts. This really hit home for us because of how natural and obvious the pairing seemed.

Topo Designs

Lastly, Topo is once again playing with their color palette and mixing things up for Spring. Expect new colors for the Klettersack, Rover, Mountain, Tote, Roll Top, Dopp and Accessory packs. Standouts for me included the all red Daypack, light green Klettersack and white rolltop.

"Finally, a limited edition (500) collaboration with Opinel on their No. 8 had the Carryology crew going nuts."

Topo Designs

We haven’t touched on it much on the blog, but Topo is doing a number on their apparel and accessory front as well. They are truly becoming a one-stop shop for your next weekend outing in nature.

  • StraightForward

    MY EYES ARE GLUED TO COTOPAXI. Rooting for these dudes.

    • walknseason

      LOL.. Can I ask why, not trolling?

      • StraightForward

        I think it’s refreshing what they’re doing. Cool mix of technical/lifestyle soft goods, fun colorways, a touch of ethical consumerism in their business plan. I’m a huge fan of Patagonia, but I like the idea of room for new companies and they seem to just have a little spark of fun in the brand. It’s not so mundane as Marmot or North Face. I have the little Dia stuff sack packs and also one of their Polartec Alpha jackets and I’m quite fond of both.

        • walknseason

          Thanks for the honest answer. I think their stuff feels more shoddy and their fabrics aren’t nearly as interesting. Like say a Topo it feels their aesthetic outweighs real-life applications like fit, temperature control, etc. Have you found it different?

          • StraightForward

            well that’s why I’m rooting for them! Give em a chance. For transparency sake I have ZERO affiliation with the company. It really does seem like they popped up out of thin air. I think yeah they don’t have the same fits like Patagonia, they don’t have YEARS of experience making puffy coats so have “classics” on their line. Nothing is going to replace my R1 fleece! But I disagree, they’re fabrics are good. Polartec Alpha is cutting edge over the primaloft in a nanopuff and the more simple windbreakers are made of RECYCLED nylon, which is great! However, yes original concept pieces like the Houdini make Patagonia the GOD of softgoods, IMHO.

  • Forrest Jay Michaelsen

    [audio mp3="http://www.carryology.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/mountain_hardwear_reinvent.mp3"][/audio]

    ^ fix this pls, next to mountain hardwear

    • sygyzy

      Hi Forest, you can actually listen to the clip by just pasting that URL into your browser. In the meantime, I’ve removed all the clips until we can figure out how to properly embed it with our editor.

  • Shakes

    i just stumbled into your website while looking at the Peak Design evertyday backpack and i gotta say i’m addicted to your site … it’s like a place of people addicted to what i love looking at….and it’s all in a clean and thoughtful presentation

    • sygyzy

      Shakes – Thanks for coming by. Stay tuned, we have a something special regarding the Peak Design Everyday Backpack coming next week!

      • Shakes

        nice!
        please tell me the backside maglatch flap is secure and that the 30L bag isn’t too bulky in person…
        please tell me the backside maglatch flap is secure and that the 30L bag isn’t too bulky in person…
        please tell me the backside maglatch flap is secure and that the 30L bag isn’t too bulky in person…

        • sygyzy

          Hi Shakes, the Maglatch is secure, it’s not going to open unless you want it to. I haven’t spent much time with the 30L but the 20L is large enough for me. If you’re carrying a lot of pro gear, then 30L would be best for you.

          • Shakes

            sweet! thank you, I was going to actually use this just as my regular travel bag and figured it would be a sexy upgrade to my North Face

  • Tse

    Any info on when the Heimplanet Minimal will be made available?

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