- Buyer's Guide
Best New Gear: April 2019
April welcomed in a wealth of enticing new offerings to suit travelers, EDC enthusiasts and outdoor adventurers alike. Luxuriously suave work bags stepped into the spotlight alongside sleek EDC companions and savvy travel clothing designed to help you pack less and explore more. See what stood out as we get into April’s best new gear…
Don’t need to carry a lot? The Brown Buffalo Special Delivery helps you shed the load while keeping essentials secure in a functional, durable design. Made with abrasion-resistant and water-resistant 420D nylon, the bag includes a removable shoulder strap, an interior microfleece sleeve and a key hook for organization on the go.
Trakke aren’t ones to sit back when they can push their designs forward. And that’s exactly what they’ve done with their updated range. A re-release of original designs such as the Arkaig Backpack sit side by side with organization updates to classics such as the Bairn Mini Messenger and Wee Lug Messenger. Not to mention new bags and accessories joining the family too, including the Foulden Tote, Foulden Clamshell Packing Cubes, Vorlich Backpack, Pencil Case and Travel Dopp Kit.
Travel-savvy Tortuga have ushered in updates to their popular Setout Backpack including a new 35L version. Additionally, new colorways including black and navy are available for both sizes. The black and navy color options are crafted from 100% recycled polyester. And for improved carry comfort the Setout Backpack also now comes with load lifter straps.
Keeping clean and dirty clothing separate on your travels can become a bit of a chore. But not with Outlier’s Experiment 156 Supermarine Doublebag. The bag features two separate compartments, one made from DWR-treated Supermarine Cotton sourced from Switzerland, while the other is USA-made mil-spec poly mesh. One side is designed to shrink as the other expands in order to accommodate your changing mix of clean and dirty clothing.
Multiple carry options, thoughtful storage and all in an ambidextrous design that’s quick and easy to use? The Bellroy Sling steps up to offer all of this in sleek, adaptable style. The water-resistant bag features a self-compressing expandable gusset that allows the bag to expand or slim down according to the current load. There’s a front quick-access compartment as well as a soft-lined pocket in the main compartment for sunglasses or a phone. The sling can be worn across your back, chest or on your shoulder. And the magnetic buckle on the strap makes it easy to attach or remove the bag on the go.
Minimalist style meets considered practicality in Aer’s new Travel Duffel. The clamshell design allows for simple packing and access to gear in the main compartment, while exterior quick-access storage keeps items such as a 15″ laptop, water bottle, tickets, passport, phone, and other smaller travel essentials at the ready. The duffel includes compression straps which can accommodate bulkier items such as an outer layer. And it’s made with tough, water-resistant 1680D Cordura ballistic nylon to endure demanding travel use.
Hydration backpacks aren’t a new thing. But a pack that can keep water cold for over four hours? Hydro Flask rise to the challenge with their Journey Series of insulated hydration packs. The bags feature Hydro Flask’s
Cold Flow™ System including an insulated 3L reservoir and a reflectively lined neoprene sleeve to keep water cold, as well as an articulated back panel to prevent the transfer of body heat. The packs come in 10L and 20L options to accommodate smaller or larger loads.
Looking for compact protection for your AirPods while adding a dash of style to your EDC? The NOMAD Rugged Case for AirPods ticks both boxes with its elegant, two-piece design. The case is made with premium vegetable-tanned Horween leather that will develop a unique patina over time while providing drop and scratch protection for your tech.
Travel is tough on your body and your gear. But BauBax’s Travel Pants are designed to make trips easier and more comfortable thanks to their thoughtful feature set and versatile aesthetics. The pants are crafted with a blend of bamboo viscose and merino wool that offers a host of handy travel benefits including itch-free comfort, moisture wicking, odor control, stretch, stain resistance, temperature regulation, lightweight and quick-drying construction, and much more. They offer five pockets to stash essentials at the ready. And with four styles for men and women, you’ve got enticing options to suit your own tastes too.
Looking for a shirt that lets you get active, is easy to travel with and offers eco-friendly construction? The Seadon Regenerative Tee 2.0 is made with bluesign® approved Air-Knit material that’s lightweight, moisture wicking, breathable, quick drying, stretchable and odor resistant. The sustainable fabric is made with recycled plastic bottles and the designs feature comfortable and strong Merrow seams. The shirt comes in long-sleeved and short-sleeved styles to suit men and women.
Simple, functional and ready for a day in the city or outdoors, the Topo Designs x Madewell Hip Pack is a practical choice for securing small loads on the go. Made with 12oz cotton canvas, the limited edition design revives a Topo Designs archived piece and can be worn around the waist or across the back or chest. The Hip Pack includes an interior pocket, key clip, leather lash tab and external gear loops to accommodate a range of load setups.
Rugged and built to perform day in and day out, Dango Products have designed their M1 Maverick Tactical Wallets as multifunctional tools to keep you prepped on the move. And they’ve introduced raw leather versions of both the bifold and single pocket styles. The wallets pair the leather with CNC machined 6061 raw aerospace aluminum for a tough and handsome aesthetic. And both styles also come with an MT04 Multi-Tool offering 10 functions to meet a variety of emergency and everyday needs.
The tough and trusty Greenroom136 Metrodrifter tackles a variety of day-to-day carry needs while keeping gear organized and protected from the elements. The bag offers an adjustable strap, webbing to secure external items, a front zippered compartment and a choice of pockets in the main compartment. The extended inner shell helps keep the contents inside and the weather out, while the durable build is backed by a lifetime warranty.
Clean sophistication and luxurious functionality are front and center with KILLSPENCER’s Esquire Collection. The understated three-piece collection is designed to move smoothly from work to play, keeping you stylish every step of the way. The quality pieces are made in the USA with full-grain leather and scratch-resistant Alcantara® linings to protect tech devices. The Esquire Briefcase includes a luggage passthrough strap and fits up to a 15″ laptop. The Esquire Satchel steps up for smaller loads and accommodates travel or EDC essentials and an iPad Pro. The Portfolio Case securely stores a 15″ laptop and includes space for extra items such as notebooks, as well as a carry loop.
Travel packing space is often limited, but this collaborative collection helps you maximize your travel wardrobe while keeping your packing bulk down. The Descente x DSPTCH Packable Collection features five pieces that combine understated urban styling with compact packability. The packable jacket, vest, shorts, long-sleeve t-shirt and short-sleeve t-shirt fold down into pockets for easy packing. The pieces also offer various benefits such as stretch and water repellency to keep you comfortable on the move.
This collaborative project was born through a happy accident when one of Heimplanet’s founders lost his James Brand Chapter during a hike. He got in touch with The James Brand to organize a replacement, which began a conversation that ultimately resulted in this striking collabortive piece. The limited edition The James Brand x Heimplanet Chapter combines S35VN blade steel with a tanto blade shape and a laser-etched Heimplanet Cairo Camo geometric grid pattern for added grip. The knife is paired with a custom Heimplanet Monolith pouch that protects your essentials from the elements.
Need a bag that’s super rugged, 100% waterproof and designed to take a beating pretty much anywhere while keeping your gear safe from the elements? Colfax Design Works have jumped on the challenge and delivered the impressive Project T.O.A.D. DryBag. Whether you’re exploring deserts or racing down rapids, the Tactical Operations Amphibious DryBag keeps the elements out thanks to its RF welded construction, YKK Aquaseal zipper and TPU-coated 500D Cordura nylon exterior. The bag also includes a locking buoyancy valve to inflate or deflate it as required. The USA-made bag is submersible and can be carried as a backpack or duffel, as well as lashed to vehicles.
Want the freedom to embrace wet adventures on your travels while keeping your dry gear safely separated? Patagonia’s Planing Duffel Bag rises to the challenge with its two-compartment design. The top compartment holds dry or clean gear, while the bottom compartment stores wet or dirty gear separately. There’s also an exterior mesh pocket to store wet items while allowing them to dry. Made with 100% recycled polyester, the duffel includes grab handles and top straps that can double as backpack straps.
Fancy wet/dry carry convenience in backpack mode? Meet Patagonia’s Planing Divider Pack. The backpack features a main compartment to store dry gear, while the front mesh compartment stores wet gear separately while giving it the chance to dry. The pack includes a padded interior 15″ laptop sleeve, along with a padded back panel and breathable hydrophobic shoulder harness to keep you carrying comfortably throughout the day.
If you’re an adventure photographer you need a pack that will embrace demanding environments while giving you quick and easy access to your gear. And the Think Tank Photo MindShift PhotoCross 15 Backpack meets both needs in a sleek, function-packed bag. It’s made with abrasion-resistant, weatherproof materials and zippers and a tough, waterproof tarpaulin base. The pack fits an ungripped DSLR, three to five lenses, and has dedicated padded storage for a 15″ laptop. The full-length side panel lets you quickly and conveniently reach gear throughout the bag without needing to remove the pack from your body. And with straps to secure a tripod or jacket and a choice of pockets on hand, you can keep gear tidy and secure while scouting out that ideal shot.
Slim, versatile and low-key, the CamelBak Pivot Sling Pack is a lightweight bag designed to secure essentials while you’re out and about. The 3L bag can be worn as a waist bag or sling bag and offers a range of pockets to organize small items. The bag is made with 70% recycled materials and is backed by a lifetime guarantee.
Luxurious, performance-ready and able to leap across the urban/outdoor chasm at will? Troubadour’s new Explorer Collection does all of this while coming in at affordable price points too. The Explorer Apex Rucksack and Explorer Off Piste Rucksack offer chic work-ready silhouettes, while the Explorer Quickdraw Rucksack adapts to changing loads through its rolltop design. And for flexible portability look to the Explorer Bivy Tote Rucksack which can be carried as a tote or backpack. Made with lightweight, waterproof matte nylon, water-resistant zippers and waterproof antimicrobial linings, the collection finds a great balance of urban styling and outdoor-embracing adaptability.
Getting more from your gear helps you carry less. And the Finisterre Altum Insulated Jacket is designed with this principle in mind. Finisterre’s lightest insulated jacket weighs just 330g and packs into its interior zip pocket, making it a compact option for your luggage or stashing in a day bag. The jacket is made with 100% recycled fabric and is water-resistant, windproof and breathable. And an added bonus? It’s fully reversible, so you get the benefit of two jackets in one.
Working away from a desk is becoming increasingly frequent, whether you’re a digital nomad always on the move, or catching up with some unfinished tasks while enjoying the sunshine in your local park. But finding a place to successfully set up a workstation isn’t always easy. However, the Nomahawk Urban Nomads Bag solves this problem, providing a workstation wherever you are, all in a conveniently portable format. The bag easily transforms into a work space that accommodates your tech or activities such as writing or sketching. Multiple pockets are on hand to keep gear organized, with storage for a laptop and a tablet. If you’re keen to learn more, the bag will be launched through a Kickstarter campaign on 2 May.
Old-school aesthetics, eco-conscious construction and modern-day functionality come together in United By Blue’s Westward Collection. The bags feature a recycled polyester and organic cotton canvas exterior with a double wax coating for durability, water repellency and handsome styling. Adding to the functional design is a water-resistant recycled ripstop nylon lining for tear and stain resistance, as well as durable and lightweight aircraft-grade aluminum hardware. The collection includes eight pieces ranging from backpacks to duffels, a tote, Dopp kit and more. And for added peace of mind, they’re backed by a lifetime guarantee too.
With its clean style and simple, grab-and-go functionality the Away Weekender is an appealing carry choice to reach for, whether you’re heading on an overnight trip, weekend getaway, or have mastered the art of minimalist packing. Suitable for carry-on use, the Weekender is crafted with cotton canvas paired with a leather base and detailing. It offers top handles and a removable shoulder strap and can also be secured to wheeled luggage with the luggage passthrough strap. A padded 15″ laptop pocket protects your tech, while a dedicated shoe pocket stores your shoes separately from the rest of your gear.
Shoes take up a fair amount of space in your luggage. But what if you could pack just one pair that adapted to a multitude of environments? The Tropicfeel Canyon Travel Shoe is a highly versatile shoe designed to move from urban to outdoor environments. Plus it can be used on land and in water for enhanced multifunctionality. The quick-drying and comfortable shoe is sustainably made and weighs just 8.5oz. The slip-on design is easy and quick to use, impact absorbent, breathable and can be worn with or without socks. And with its slip-resistant soles you can leap into adventure with added peace of mind.
Modern meets classic in the Vermilyea Pelle Tech Messenger, a dapper messenger bag that’s built tough to handle demanding use, while looking suave in a work setting. The bag is handcrafted with Horween Black Essex leather, 1050D Cordura ballistic nylon, and an X-Pac lining. Top-notch AustriAlpin Cobra buckles round out the rugged yet stylish design. The messenger fits up to a 15″ laptop in a padded pocket, with further pockets available for storing smaller items.