- Buyer's Guide
Best New Gear: October 2018
From campus carry to carabiners, and Bananatex to boardroom suaveness, October has dished up some tasty new treats. Tuck in with our roundup of the best new gear below…
Breaking into the luggage game is hard. But this new release from Korea’s RAWROW is making real moves across Asia. The R TRUNK features a nifty bar handle, perfect for slinging a bag, jacket or other items on for hands-free carry. And with an optional choice of eight colors of leather bar tape, you can add that personalised touch to the handle and easily spot the luggage on the baggage carousel. The case comes in three sizes including 37L, 63L, and 88L, with quiet and smooth-rolling Japanese Hinomoto Lisof Wheels that offer 360-degree maneuverability. For added convenience, the 63L and 88L models also feature a scale handle to help you avoid overweight luggage fees. A hidden pocket under the handle provides ready storage for items such as tickets and a passport, while the lightweight and durable polycarbonate construction is more than capable of tackling the demands of travel.
Looking for pared-back simplicity? Millican delivers with Oli the Zip Pack. The zip-top pack efficiently handles the essentials, with a weatherproof exterior and just enough pockets to keep items tidy while maintaining the minimalist feel. The pack comes in a 25L option that fits a 15″ laptop, plus a 15L option accommodating a 13″ laptop. The 25L pack includes two side pockets, while both options provide a quick-access valuables pocket and interior pockets for taking care of smaller essentials. Simple and adaptable, the packs move freely from work to play, venturing in the outdoors or navigating city streets with your daily or weekend essentials safely in tow.
The fifth generation Mutant series takes year-round climbing in its stride. It does so by focusing on simple functionality and light weight to adapt to a variety of environments and needs. The Mutant 38 provides a honed mix of features including a snow-shedding back panel, helmet storage pouch, dual ToolLock™ to secure an ice axe, under-lid rope carrying capability, side ski carry, an internal hydration sleeve and a removable HDPE framesheet. Speaking of removable, the top lid is detachable to shed weight, with the inbuilt FlapJacket ™ delivering a weatherproof closure. And at just 1.28 kg, it won’t weigh you down. The series also includes the Mutant 22 and Mutant 52, appealing alternatives if you need more space or a smaller option that doubles as an EDC pack. From rock climbing to ice climbing, this versatile series has your back.
Last-minute getaway? Quick gym trip before work? Whatever your reasons, when you need to bolt with a trusty hauler by your side, this 30L duffel will do you proud. Available in black and charcoal, the ARKTYPE Boltpack features a burly USA-made construction with a weatherproof 1680D ballistic nylon exterior and YKK AquaGuard zippers. The duffel’s dual ventilated compartments are useful for stashing shoes or laundry separately from the rest of your gear. Organization is on hand for smaller items, with interior and exterior pockets and an exterior sleeve to store cords, pens, a water bottle and more. And if you need to secure a little more, exterior webbing lets you do so. Portability is on point too, with an end grab handle, top carry handles and a removable shoulder strap so you can grab and go when duty calls.
Savvy styling, excellent Japanese construction and practical design are the name of the game for master-piece’s Tact collection. The 2018-2019 autumn and winter collection offers three handsome pieces crafted primarily with 150D polyester twisted yarn material, both strong and elegant yet lightweight. A water-repellent finish and leather detailing add to the refined functionality. The collection’s backpack, briefcase/shoulder bag and weekender-style bag each feature a lock and key for security on the go, along with wide openings for easy packing and access. Stylish, durable and versatile, these pieces lend themselves well to work, travel and play.
Carl Friedrik’s Palissy Briefcase was a showstopper for business carry, but V2 packs even more of a professional punch. The briefcase includes a number of thoughtful updates including the Smart Holder. This leather trolley strap lets you conveniently secure the briefcase to wheeled luggage. However, it’s detachable to maintain the briefcase’s clean form in day-to-day use. The shoulder strap attachments have also been moved from the top of the bag to behind the handle holders for a more refined aesthetic. Colorways are on the update agenda too. The Cognac leather with red lining makes a comeback and a chic Navy leather with orange lining has been introduced.
From the commute to the trail to everywhere in between, Incase’s new pack collection handles whatever route you take. The collection includes two multifunctional packs, both constructed with lightweight ripstop nylon and weather-resistant zippers. The 27L AllRoute Rolltop Backpack is a go-to solution for weekend getaways, day-long outdoor excursions or any time you want the flexibility to pack a little extra with its rolltop closure and external bungee cords. The 19L AllRoute Daypack offers a compact option that slips easily into your work day or downtime excursions with essentials. Both packs provide dedicated storage for a 15″ laptop and additional pockets for further organization. So when it comes to work or the weekend, you’ve got your carry companion covered.
There’s a lot to like about leather carry. But if you want the benefits of leather in an animal-free alternative, look to von Holzhausen. The brand’s Technik–Leather offers the supple feel of traditional leather paired with the technical performance of an engineered fabric. And it’s created with sustainability and low environmental impact in mind. The manufacturing processes focus on minimal waste and preventing toxic by-products, recycling 99% of the solvents used in the processes. The material is crack-resistant, odorless, significantly lighter than leather and showcased across a variety of sleek, timeless and vegan-friendly pieces. You can carry in sustainable style with options including a backpack, duffel, dopp kit, card holder, totes and crossbody bags, all made in the USA.
Love TAD’s Axiom 18 but need more space? Well, they’ve been paying attention to customer feedback and deliver a dialed-in solution with the Axiom 24 Pack. Designed as a low-profile pack that will replace the Axiom X25, the bag is well suited to one-to-three day trips. Made with a weatherproof VX-21 ripstop shell, the pack offers a clamshell main compartment with attachment points for organization accessories. The gusseted zipped side pockets come in handy for storing water bottles or other items, with a considered design that expands into the main compartment to maintain the bag’s sleek silhouette. On the front you’ll find mounting points and an organizer pocket, with further attachment points on the comfy shoulder straps. Your tech is well taken care of too with a dedicated, fully padded 15″ laptop compartment.
Don’t want to shell out a considerable chunk of money for practical, durable and urban-friendly carry? Meet Bellroy’s Campus Collection. Three stylish and versatile designs that move from campus to the cafe to work to travels and more. All while offering great value for money. Available in a variety of colorways, the bags include the Campus Backpack, Classic Tote and Classic Brief. Each bag offers quick-access pockets and considered internal organization including storage for a 15″ laptop. Ready for a host of carry settings and loads, these bags adapt on the fly and perform reliably day in and day out, whenever and wherever you need them to.
QWSTION have focused on sustainable production from day one. And following years of R&D, that focus has yielded impressive results with the creation of innovative and sustainable Bananatex. The fabric is made with Abacá plants and features across two chic and simple designs. The QWSTION Hip Pouch is ideal for storing essentials, with hip and shoulder carry options and two compartments. The QWSTION Roll Pack includes a Merino felt-lined sleeve that fits up to a 15″ laptop, along with convenient side entry for quick access on the go. Both pieces include a water-resistant finish and vegetable-tanned leather detailing to complement their low-key adaptability.
Inside Line Equipment have a reputation for tough, simple and functional carry that works well on and off the bike. Now they’re taking things to the next level with the introduction of CATEGORY ONE, the brand’s high-performance division. A few existing pieces get the special treatment with premium editions, while new designs also step up for your carry consideration, including a Mini Messenger and a handlebar bag. The collection utilizes durable and lightweight VX42 XPAC sailcloth and water-resistant YKK zippers. Quality choices complemented by reliable construction handmade in California and backed by a lifetime warranty.
Multifunctionality is becoming increasingly popular in EDC items. But multifunctionality executed in eye-catching style is what will really elevate your EDC setup. And MecArmy do it well with the EH3 Multifunctional EDC Carabiner. A considered blend of pleasing aesthetics and practicality, the carabiner comes in Titanium and Copper versions and integrates a keychain, pry bar, wrench and bottle opener in one dapper tool. Want even more multifunctionality? You’ve got it, as the pry bar also serves as a screwdriver and nail remover.
Chrome Industries Urban Ex Gas Can Pack and Rolltop Tote
With inclement winter weather on the horizon, there’s something comforting about knowing that no matter how the elements treat you, your gear will be safe and sound. And that peace of mind is a key feature of the Urban Ex Gas Can Pack and Rolltop Tote. Both bags are 100% waterproof and built to thrive with rugged use. The 22L Urban Ex Gas Can Pack features a removable organizer panel, quick-access pocket and webbing loops for securing additional items. The 40L Urban Ex Rolltop Tote is a versatile piece for travel or daily use, with a magnetic rolltop closure, quick-access pocket and external webbing, interior pockets and multiple carry options. The collection also sees a style update for new and older pieces alike with a grey/black colorway drop.