- Buyer's Guide
Black Ember’s Tech-Kit Sling Delivers a Big Hit in a Small Package
The folks up Black Ember are no strangers to accolades, having won the 2018 Carry Award’s “Best Everyday Bag” and now currently a finalist in the 2020 Carry Awards “Best Carry On”. It seems they’re not yet content with their current successful lineup… and have expanded yet again. But this time, their line expanding comes in the form of… compacting.
Like the rest of their super modular products, the brand new TKS (Tech-Kit Sling) can do a lot while maintaining a subtle, simple, and clean exterior. The TKS starts out as a packable organizer tech kit to live inside of another bag along your travels. What makes this kit really interesting is, once you arrive at your destination, you can deploy the hidden belt and use it as a sling or fanny pack to walk around and explore. The belt is quick adjust for micro adjustments while on your feet and closes with an audible clean clack using the German designed Fidlock V-buckle. Slick.
We’re big fans of black colorways and the material used for the TKS does not disappoint, with a matte finish stealth weatherproof fabric which will shed the elements no matter where you end up. Black Ember developed this brand new fabric, which they’re calling MICROHEX HTX. But what exactly does that mean? Ok, for you materials nerds they took a High Tenacity Crossweave textile which combines two different yarns woven together to create an ultra high strength bond, meaning, ultra high strength fabric.
Well, the materials nerding doesn’t quite end there. Black Ember’s mad scientists have created a proprietary BOND-STITCH construction method to join the multiple panels of their revolutionary MICROHEX HTX fabric into a seamless shell of weather resistance. As a reader of Carryology, you’re well aware that great materials that have sewn seams, still let in water. But not here. Two panels of fabric join together seamlessly, essentially creating one unbroken panel.
Further keeping out the evil liquid from the sky (and spills), the TKS uses YKK Aquaguard zippers which are a breeze to open for access. As a nice thoughtful touch, each zipper slider has its own laser-etched Hypalon zipper pullers that come in at just the right length. Bonus, these pullers lock together in order to foil the plans of thieves looking for an easy score while in a crowded subway or urban environment.
Now that we’ve covered the handsome exterior, let’s take a tour of the inside. Step right in. The TKS unzips and folds flat similar to the clamshell opening on their FORGE. Smaller pouches with tiny openings never work, so this is a big win. On the one half, you’ll see a zippered pocket with durable elastic mesh. Elastic being the keyword, so you could even fit in a waterproof shell jacket into this pocket due to the extra give in the mesh. On the other half of the TKS, you’ll see a divider, nylon pen loop, and another Fidlock buckle. Disengage the magnetic closure and you’ll reveal an accordion style organizer with six different spots to keep your essentials neat and tidy.
Closing up this main compartment, there’s still a front zippered pocket to explore. While this compartment isn’t huge, it was never meant to be. There’s a nice elastic sleeve that works as a perfect home for your mobile phone, keeping it securely where you want it without bobbling around while you walk. When I travel, I’m a little OCD about keeping my phone topped off. So I really dig that there is a passthrough from this front phone pocket area to the rear main compartment, so your phone can charge via your portable power bank tucked away, out of sight, out of mind. That elastic smartphone sleeve also acts as a bit of protection, as there is a quick access key loop on the left side. And of course, your keys snap right into place with a Fidlock. Three, count them, three Fidlocks.
For me, this solves one major issue I have with travel. I want to keep my gear and my tech organized, of course. But I don’t always want to walk around my new destination with the weight of my large bag containing all of my extra clothing, laptop, and other necessary kit. With the TKS Tech-Kit, it transforms from a organizer tech kit into a fully featured sling, so I’ll have all my necessities and none of the weight. Expanding my EDC and travel experience via a clever and compact package.
You can pre-order yours now on Kickstarter and score an early bird discount.
This article was sponsored by the fine folks at Black Ember. Thanks so much for the support!