- Buyer's Guide
Best New Gear: March 2019
Waterproof bags for outdoor adventures, luxurious leather that will turn heads in the boardroom and about town, and pocket knives that keep you prepped with minimal fuss. All of this and more graced the carry stage in March. And we’ve rounded up our prime picks of the best new gear…
One bag to conquer work and the weekend, with multiple carry options and slick urban styling? Challenge accepted by The Brown Buffalo Helmetbag. Durable, water-resistant and designed to quickly adapt to changing carry needs, the bag is made with abrasion-resistant 420D Nylon and can be carried by hand, over the shoulder or as a backpack. And with plenty of pockets on hand you’ve got organization covered too.
A lot of Dopp kits are lacking in form and function. But the AFEW x Heimplanet “Year of the Orange Koi” Motion Dopp Kit nails both criteria in striking style. A limited re-release of a sold out collaboration, the toiletry kit features an eye-catching “Orange Koi Camo” pattern. The versatile design alternates between hanging up or freestanding mode to suit different space restrictions and environments.
Mountainsmith Dry Tour Lumbar Pack and Mayhem 45 Backpack
You’re a fan of fishing or water activities but not so much getting essentials soaked. Mountainsmith have a handy solution with their Dry Tour Lumbar Pack. The waterproof bag works well for carrying essentials during fishing trips, boat rides or water-based sports. But it’s also useful for day hikes or photography excursions with unpredictable wet weather. Made with 500D TPU-coated Nylon, RF welded seams, and weatherproof zippers, you can breathe a sigh of relief when splashes and showers strike. Mountainsmith have also kept themselves busy keeping your carry weight down on backpacking trips with their Mayhem 45 backpack. Tough yet lightweight, the pack is made with Spectra® Fiber, offering a great strength-to-weight ratio. The pack offers top and panel opening, making it easy to access gear wherever your adventures take you.
Sometimes you need to carry a lot. But for all the times you don’t, understated, stylish and slim carry options are a smart choice. And low-key functionality, efficiency and style are what the Minaal Rolltop and Crossbody provide. The Minaal Rolltop pairs a sleek silhouette with convenient access courtesy of the full-length front zipper. A 15″ laptop sleeve and pockets for smaller items keep gear safe and secure on the move. And the straps are stowable for a cleaner profile in more formal settings. Need to roll with just the essentials? That’s where the Minaal Crossbody comes in. This compact bag can be worn across your back or front and features layered interior organization for ease of access.
We love shedding light on lesser-known brands with excellent offerings and rofmia is one such brand that’s caught our attention. The Japanese fashion brand have dropped their covet-worthy Shift series of bags made from Dyneema Composite fabrics. Understated, minimalist and able to transition from work to play and travel.
Celebrating differences while finding commonalities is the name of the game with The Diversity Project. A collaboration between ORBITGear and PORTRAY Lab, the project celebrates the brands’ different roots while finding common values between them. The collab features the MOD202-OV PORTRAY hip bag, a piece that combines Sundanese script supporting mutual cooperation with a batik-inspired doodle lining featuring various Indonesian cultural and landmark references. The bag is limited to 30 units, each made in Jakarta.
Alpine climbing is challenging enough without adding unnecessary weight to the mix. So Klättermusen have designed their Bure Backpack as a lightweight yet tough carry solution for daily climbing missions. Available in 15L and 20L options weighing 500g and 600g respectively, the pack accommodates a climbing rope, with attachment points for additional gear. A height adjustable and detachable waist strap on the 15L size and a fixed waist strap on the 20L size provides load stability, while Kevlar® reinforcement on the base adds durability in high-wear areas. The brand is also committed to sustainability, crafting the fluorocarbon-free pack with 60% Econyl® regenerated polyamide and 40% polyamide.
Want to make a great impression from the get-go? The Bellroy Designers Edition Laptop Brief and Melbourne Tote will help you do just that. Exuding sophistication with their premium materials, clean aesthetics and thoughtful details, these bags look equally at home moving between work meetings or zipping around town. Top-notch environmentally-certified leather is the star of the show, with considered pocketing on hand to keep items tidy and accessible. The magnetic closure makes the Melbourne Tote a breeze to use, while the Laptop Brief can alternate between briefcase and shoulder bag mode to suit changing settings.
Mountain biking is thirsty work. But Osprey’s Seral and Savu Lumbar Packs keep hydration at the ready while providing handy storage for biking essentials. The Seral includes a 1.5L interior hydration reservoir. The Savu on the other hand includes two rigid pockets for easily accessing and replacing water bottles on the go. Both lumbar packs feature a padded, ventilated waist belt that keeps the load secure, as well as a choice of pockets for neatly storing small items.
Can’t get enough of leather travel bags? They don’t come much better-looking than the WP Standard Leon Duffle Bag. Made with full-grain vegetable-tanned leather, this suave piece can’t help but catch the eye. It comes with an ID tag and adjustable shoulder strap and is designed to accommodate carry-on use.
Military meets techwear with this tough, versatile bag that stashes everyday and travel essentials alike. The bag features an ambidextrous quick-release strap and front attachment options for tailoring your carry setup to changing loads. And with its rugged build, you don’t need to worry about pushing it to work hard for your needs.
A crowd-designed pocket knife? That’s what Bomber & Company have created with the BLITZ Tanto Straight Edge Pocket Knife. Following the success of their original BLITZ Tactical Pocket Knife, they’ve used feedback and insights sourced from surveys and emails to thousands of original backers to design the BLITZ Tanto Straight Edge Pocket Knife. Made with 440 carbon black stainless steel, the knife has a 3.7cm-long tanto blade designed to withstand the impact of piercing hard materials. Approximately 3.7 inches in length and weighing less than 2oz, the knife fits easily into a pocket for lightweight, compact carry.
Sustainability, style, durability and comfort, all for keeping your feet happy on the move? No problem for the SOLE x United By Blue Jasper Wool Eco Chukka and Jasper Wool Eco Slip-on. Both styles are sustainably made with an eco-friendly combination of recycled cork, bison fiber, merino wool, rice rubber, algae foam and bamboo. The shoes are designed to be lightweight, breathable, odor resistant, antimicrobial and temperature regulating, with cushioned arch support for all-day comfort. And with their flexible soles and compressible uppers, they’re easy to pack in a travel or day bag too. Plus for each pair sold, United By Blue will remove a pound of trash from oceans and waterways.
Looking for sleek urban functionality with adaptability on the fly? Tokyo-based bike carry brand beruf baggage dish up a slick selection with their CF ADAPT Series. Consisting of four pieces, the CF ADAPT Series adapts aesthetically and from one environment to the next, letting you add a color pop for personality, slim down your carry for essentials, or expand your capacity for larger loads. The series includes the CF ADAPT SQUARE DAY PACK, CF ADAPT ZIPUP TOTE, CF ADAPT SLING PACK, and CF ADAPT ROLLTOP BACKPACK. Each bag is made with 840D nylon with a polycarbonate coating and water-resistant YKK zippers, resulting in weatherproof, durable and lightweight pieces for carry comfort and peace of mind on the move. Each piece comes with an outer pocket that can be attached to the bag or used separately. The pocket is also available in a choice of four colors to suit your personal tastes.
Love the feel of scribbling in a notebook and the flexibility of digital drawings? Well, the Moleskine Adobe Creative Cloud connected Paper Tablet allows you to enjoy both. The Paper Tablet digitizes freehand drawings in real time as you sketch on paper with the Moleskine Pen+. The content can be displayed live on screen in Adobe Illustrator or saved to Adobe Creative Cloud to work with later. And with its hard cover you’ve got a ready sturdy surface wherever you are.
Adding a compact multi-tool to your carry setup is a great way to stay prepped for a range of day-to-day and DIY tasks without weighing you down. But what if that multi-tool could also add a dash of suave style to your setup too? Enter Victorinox’s Alox Limited Edition 2019 collection featuring the Classic, Cadet and Pioneer. These Swiss-made multi-tools get the special treatment with Alox scales in a handsome champagne gold colorway. Durable, stylish and ready to lend a helping hand throughout the day, these are a fine addition to any dapper EDC setup.
If uber-sleek minimalism and long-lasting durability rank high on your EDC priorities, you won’t want to miss the REFYNE EP1 Bolt-Action Pen. Built with clean form and efficient functionality in mind, the pen comes in a choice of black PVD coated stainless steel and polished titanium bodies, with an attractively contrasting interior copper barrel. The bolt-action pen includes a black Schmidt easyFLOW 9000 M refill and works with a wide range of Parker-style refills. It’s also easy to carry with its removable pocket clip and adds a touch of subtle class to your EDC.
With the northern hemisphere warming up,QWSTION is soaking up some Mediterranean summer inspiration with their Tricolore Edition. Four of their most popular styles including the Hip Bag, Small Pack, Tote and Small Tote get a fresh update in shades of green, white and red. And while you might not be able to access those enticing green landscapes, sparkling marble, and the red-hued earth of Mediterranean retreats that QWSTION salutes with the collection, at least you’ll be able to carry a little part of them on your daily excursions.
Need a carry solution that tackles the challenge of protection and organization for everyday gear? Thule steps up with their Crossover 2 Backpack 20L, packed with protective features in a versatile design for work or after-hours use. Small items find safe storage in the heat-molded, crush-resistant SafeZone compartment. There’s dedicated storage for tech including a padded 14″ laptop compartment with SafeEdge construction and a soft-lined sleeve for a 10.1″ tablet. And there’s also an assortment of pockets to organize your gear, including an RFID-blocking pocket for added protection of personal details. And if you need more space, you can check out the 30L option too.
Military inspiration and everyday functionality come together in the Hunter Backpack, a versatile pack from Japanese brand nonnative. The Y-shaped zipper on the main compartment delivers easy access throughout, so no more rummaging and unpacking half your load. A range of external and internal pockets and a laptop sleeve are also ready and waiting to organize your gear.
Porter are experts at combining understated functionality and efficiency. And their 3Way Overnight Brief Case showcases their expertise well. The bag is made in Japan with tough CORDURA® fabric that will hold up to demanding travel use with trusty reliability. Three carry options give you versatile portability, allowing you to carry the bag as a backpack, shoulder bag or briefcase. The backpack straps are stowable and the shoulder strap is removable if desired. A wide opening also makes it easy to access gear in the main compartment, with exterior zipped pockets and an interior laptop sleeve to keep gear tidy.
The convenience of backpack portability, the quick gear access of a duffel, and completely waterproof construction to tackle diverse adventures? The Ortlieb Atrack delivers all this in a burly build made with 100% waterproof PVC-free nylon material and a TIZIP zipper. The zipper is situated on the back panel for added security in crowds and the adjustable back panel also suits different torso lengths.
Love carry that’s full of character? Then this master-piece collaboration is not one to overlook. They’ve teamed up with FDMTL, known for their quality Japanese-made denim clothing, on three pieces that deliver a distinct blend of form and function. The series includes a sling bag, backpack and small shoulder bag, made with a boro-inspired textured fabric featuring a digital print of an antique cloth pattern.