- Buyer's Guide
Best Specialist :: Third Annual Carry Awards
From awkward loads and expensive cargo to restricted spaces and demanding adventures, when you’re not dealing with an ordinary carry situation, specialist carry steps in to get the job done. Our Best Specialist finalists have excelled in their respective fields – and some have even turned their specific industry on its head, rocking revolutionary designs that are a breath of fresh air in a stale sea of sameness.
Now it’s time to single out who particularly shines in their chosen sphere of specialist carry.
You have two votes to use as you will…
Allocate your 1st choice with 2 points
And your 2nd choice just with the 1 point.
Avalanche airbag backpacks traditionally use cylinders with compressed gas or air to inflate their big pillows, which then help you rise to the top of any nasty snow slide you might get caught in (rather than being buried by it). The BD Jetforce uses a battery-powered fan instead. This lets you practise cheaply, fly without cylinder restrictions, and continue to force air into the pillows even if they’ve been torn by debris. It was a massive project to get right, but the results will change the industry.
Yes, this is somewhat excessive. It’s a really expensive cooler, that works well at keeping things cool. But it’s also crazy tough, really leak-resistant, and is pimped with top-end componentry and build level. If you want to drag a cooler to all sorts of extreme places, this is your best option.
Seat packs are going back to the future with this hybrid rack/saddle mount rig from Porcelain Rocket. Keeps your kit from rocking, so you can focus on your ride.
A camera pack that recognizes the importance of catering to the almighty GoPro. Not only includes specific storage options for GoPro cameras but also an integrated mount. The expanded EVA modules are bomber, and the details all trick. All this and still makes room for a DSLR.
A discreet but rock-solid camera pack which is completely configurable. Smart access points ensure fast access to your gear. Tailored specifically for an urban environment, this pack brings a tougher and buffer look to the normally understated Lowpro – we’re feelin’ it.
Velomacchi founder and designer, Kevin Murray, has not only worked for some of the great brands, but he eats, breathes and sleeps moto – and it shows here in every thread. This offering, designed for privateers, shines with a compelling aesthetic and resolved details. A specialist pack, with special written all over it.
Yes, the clubs will be a small compromise on your latest high-end Taylor Mades. And yes, swapping the shaft between heads will be a touch annoying. But this system is not about pros playing with a caddy, cart and entourage. This system is about letting folks take clubs when they wouldn’t otherwise have been able to, and a huge amount of work has gone into reducing the compromises.
One of the few guitar travel cases that looks like it has been designed by a softgoods designer rather than a roadie. The innovative Headlock system braces the neck and headstock, and the vertical access means you don’t need to lay it out on the ground. This is an accomplished travel case that lets you go light.
If you’re running high-end cameras, this is one heck of a nice way to protect and transport them. With an engineered utilitarian vibe, and a Japanese-esque attention to detail, you’ll feel pro and classy all at once.
This bag has totally redefined snowboard and ski travel. It’s light, customisable, intuitive and awesomely flexible. We think the design will influence all sorts of equipment carry, and the updates continue to refine the bag. Oh, and we recently tested one of these…and wow! Stoked on it.
When it comes to difficult carry challenges, hunting packs are right up there. The weapons are difficult, with compound bows, arrows, or large caliber rifles all being awkward. Then there’s the slog across miles of challenging terrain. Then there’s the stealth aspect, hopefully resulting in a kill. And then if you do succeed, you have to do it all in reverse hauling all sorts of bloody bits back to base to feed your friends for the next month. The Eberlestock expands and contracts, swallows awkward shapes, and does it all in comfort and camouflage.
MindShift reset paradigms with their Rotation camera pack. Their Panorama and now their Trail slim those features down for more compact setups and more active routes. Throw in a more pimped aesthetic and you’ve got an exciting piece that’s owning access in the competitive photo field.
*Voting closes 22nd Feb.