- Buyer's Guide
The Top Gear to Buy in October 2023: Travel, Outdoors, EDC, & More
Sustainably made bags for urban commutes and beyond, cozy apparel for the cooler months ahead, and camera carry for keeping your gear protected but accessible on the go. October dished up all of this and more, so let’s delve into the month’s best new gear below…
Bellroy’s Tokyo Folio delivers an easy, professional way to keep your digital and analog tools organized on the go. Blending clean aesthetics with practical storage, the folio offers dedicated padded storage for an 8″ tablet, pockets for small tech and EDC items and space for an included notebook. Quick-access essentials can be stored in the exterior pocket and the understated styling makes this equally versatile for work, weekend, and travel settings.
Now on its third iteration of their popular tiny knife, the team at WESN are confident the Microblade 3.0 is the best version yet. They’ve updated the pocket clip to make it easier to engage in your pocket and adjust it without too much resistance. They’ve also worked on improving the action to make the play of the knife more satisfying, particularly deployments via the thumbstud. Speaking of the thumbstud, it’s now removable! The blade measures 1.5 inches with an overall open length of 3.75 inches and it weighs just 1 oz or 28 grams.
Before the launch, we asked The James Brand founder if their collaboration with Timex would include a titanium watch and he answered it would be as far from titanium as you could get. When the TJB x Timex Ironman collection was announced, we truly understood what he meant. Celebrating the iconic ’80s style of the TIMEX IRONMAN WATCH, TJB take on it gives us vibrant neon hues for the watch, and pairs it with an ultralight Redstone knife for outdoor use. The watch sports a sustainable teal fabric strap, various timing features, and 100m of water resistance.
Berlin-based Ucon Acrobatics have always focused on minimalist design created with minimal emissions but now they’re taking their sustainability efforts even further with the Lotus Infinity series. The collection marks the brand’s first step towards changing their core material from recycled PET bottles from the beverage industry to textile waste from fashion landfill. Textile recycling is challenging, with less than one percent of used clothing being recycled into new textile fibers. However, Ucon Acrobatics is committed to establishing textile recycling as standard and is aiming to convert their whole collection to recycled textile waste by early 2024. The Lotus Infinity collection features the brand’s very own PUrTEX∞ material made from recycled textiles, finished with an extremely abrasion-resistant and solvent-free polyurethane coating. Sleek and sustainably made, the collection blends easily into a range of urban settings, from weekday commutes to weekend excursions.
Outlier delivers an experimental twist on 1733’s popular Side Pack with the Experiment 403 1733 Nexhigh Sidepack. The bag is crafted in Chicago using Outlier’s custom-developed Nexhigh fabric, Polyamour, Dynylon, and Doubleswanhook materials. Additional features include a Fidlock quick-release buckle and Outlier-designed paracord 550. Multiple pockets, attachment points, and cord allow you to easily organize your gear, making it a great daily driver for smaller setups.
While water-resistant protection is fine for a lot of carry setups, sometimes you simply need the next level of protection and that’s what the RUX Waterproof Bag provides. This 25L tote has a fully waterproof construction with a wide roll-top opening and tough RF-welded TPU-coated nylon. The bag includes grab handles and a removable shoulder strap for portability, along with a self-standing design for easy packing and access. The versatile design works equally well in urban and outdoor environments and the bag is also compatible with the RUX 70L gear hauler. Backed by a lifetime warranty, this is a solid pick for dependable waterproof carry in everyday, outdoor, and travel settings alike.
FREITAG has welcomed three new styles to its reflected bags collection including the F670 WARREN (a crossbody bag), the F680 ANDERSON (a roll-top tote), and the F690 COSTON (a backpack). Featuring burly, circular materials, these bags are constructed with three recycled materials including recycled PET bottles, discarded truck tarps, and reflectors that boost visibility in low-light conditions.
The F670 WARREN is a medium-sized crossbody bag with an adjustable carry strap that lets it double as an oversized hip bag. The F680 ANDERSON offers adaptable capacity with its roll-top closure and can be carried as either a tote or crossbody bag. The F690 COSTON backpack includes extra padding for heavy loads and increased comfort, with a 16L capacity. Versatile for commuting and downtime use alike, these pieces salute sustainable carry with a splash of unique style too.
Veilance brings technical outdoor performance to city streets with its new Fall ’23 Women’s Collection, serving up sleek, understated styles with technical construction. Focusing on wardrobe essentials, the collection offers features such as insulation and weather protection for cooler, wetter days and nights. New releases include the likes of the Tenia blazer with a comfy double weave and articulation for stretch and freedom of movement. The chic Khara Pant looks right at home in the city, with a breathable double-weave material and articulated patterning, laminated hems, and an elastic insert at the waist for comfort. And when the temperatures drop the Ifora Down Jacket has you covered with its combination of GORE-TEX to keep the elements at bay and toasty 850-fill down insulation.
For their latest release in the Chrome Artist Series, Chrome teams up with Tokyo-based designer and former professional skateboarder Alexander Lee Chang. The Chrome x ALC Capsule Collection blends Chrome’s heritage with Japanese street style and urban living. The capsule features a limited-edition Kadet Sling Bag, Mini Kadet, Ziptop Waistpack, and the new Ruckas Messenger, dished up with custom electric green hardware and trims and a custom ALC-designed liner in electric green or classic black and white.
The founders of VSSL have had one goal in mind from day one – to assemble great kits that offer convenience and value. Previously having dipped their toes with the Java coffee grinder, the team from Canada have assembled a full on-the-go coffee kit, titled Nest. The system, made of 80% recycled stainless steel, includes a V60 pour-over, two double-walled vacuum-insulated mugs, a BPA-free lid, and grinder storage. Pair the system with a Java G25 grinder to maintain packability or upgrade to the Java G45 which trades in a larger package with the ability to grind 50 grams of coffee in 90 seconds.
Patagonia shows that superior warmth and sustainability can go hand in hand with their Stormshadow Parka. One of the brand’s warmest parkas, it features 100% recycled GORE-TEX fabric with the first-ever GORE-TEX PFC-free membrane as well as a PFC-free DWR finish. The shell’s GORE-TEX 100% recycled polyester plain-weave face fabric is partly made from BIONIC® recycled coastal and marine plastic. The parka uses 700-fill-power 100% recycled down insulation, with duck and goose down reclaimed from down products. Cozy and sustainably made, the parka also offers an adjustable hood, multiple pockets, and adjustable storm cuffs.
Want winter-ready warmth without the weight? Mission Workshop steps up with their D21 Recycled Down Jacket. Designed to blend warmth, light weight, and packability in one, the jacket has a Bluesign®-approved and water-repellent 100% nylon mini-ripstop Pertex® shell paired with 750-fill recycled Downlite® insulation. Four front pockets provide convenient storage for small EDC items, along with an interior mesh pocket, and the two-way YKK front zip has a glove-friendly Hypalon pull. The jacket packs down into its own front pocket, making this a handy piece for daily and travel wear alike.
Weather looking a little wet outside? HOKA encourages runners to still get out there with the Clifton 9 GTX. The brand’s first weatherproof road shoe features GORE-TEX Invisible Fit and wet weather-ready traction pods, along with 360-degree reflectivity for added visibility. Suitable for everyday running and walking, the shoe provides neutral stability and balanced cushioning and is a handy running buddy for wetter season runs.
It’s been over three years since the first Unicorn launched, the first collaboration between Carryology and Bozeman-based Mystery Ranch. Now, the highly anticipated update, Unicorn 2.0 is set to release at the end of this month, on October 31st. Available in four colorways, the second iteration features a variety of X-Pac materials. The bag has a volume of 22L with a height under 21 inches and weighs 4.05 lbs. A stowable Stick-It and daisy chain allows for easy storage and the ability to attach gear and tools. Outer side pockets are large enough to hold a water bottle, with internal detail pockets for glasses, pens, notepads, etc. There’s also a sizable 4×4 inch loop label that gives plenty of real estate for attaching morale patches. Additionally, a laptop sleeve with MOLLE for attaching accessories, a sternum strap, adjustable yoke, and attachable waist belt round out the features.
Quince, an affordable brand out of San Francisco, have launched their latest collection of responsible down outerwear. The collection of coats, jackets, vests, and parkas have water-repellent and wind-resistant 100% recycled polyester shells and are insulated with certified goose down, which ensures the health and treatment of the animals. The collection is made in factories that are certified humane, as well. Coming in two weights – packable and heavyweight – the collection will help you weather whatever winter has to throw at you, in style.
With the Fall/Winter season upon us, a scarf is an oft-forgotten part of the everyday and travel wardrobe. Made in collaboration with Detroit’s Paris West, Alex Crane has just introduced their zero-waste Moto Scarf. 3D-knitted in St. Louis, MO from 100% royal baby Peruvian alpaca wool, this new manufacturing technique not only dramatically reduces textile waste, by only using the material needed, but also creates a longer-lasting product with a stronger weave and fewer seams.
The newly released EDC pack, the District Pro, brings efficiency and organization to your daily routine thanks to a variety of pockets offering storage space for small EDC items as well as larger contents like laptops or notebooks. YKK DWR coated zippers, combined with a protective flap over the top, help to keep out the elements on rainy day excursions. If this messenger sling isn’t for you, check out the other bags in the new District line including the 24L and 18L backpacks, and 8L, 4L, and 2L in-between bags.
Developed exclusively for the US market, the Bordeaux Capsule collection was inspired by fall tones of the Bloodgood Japanese maple tree. The collection is available in seven styles, which includes an insulated hoodie, insulated pullover, pants, cardigan, shirt, a thermal boa fleece jacket, and fleece pullover. Everything is available in-store and online as well as in select retailers in North America.
Keeping gear organized in a vehicle can be challenging. But the folks at ØNWRD noticed a gap in the overlanding and action sports scenes that could be filled with a nifty solution – the ØNWRD Supply Vehicle Organization System. This modular accessory platform system adapts to a range of changing organization needs, with multiple platforms and components available to suit almost any vehicle and setup requirements. So whether you’re adventuring with kids and pets, road tripping, camping, or more, you can tailor your organization to just what you need and create a more enjoyable journey.
When it’s time to hit the slopes, Osprey have your carry needs covered with their new Soelden and Sopris backpacks. The series of backcountry touring packs were developed with insights from professional guides, athletes, and backcountry recreationalists and each comes in a range of sizes to accommodate different loads. The packs offer various options for snowboard and ski carry, easy access to avalanche tools, and convenient storage for a helmet and goggles.
Dig EVERGOODS’ MPL30 but wish it came in a smaller package? Consider your wish granted with the EVERGOODS Mountain Panel Loader 22L. Adaptable for use outdoors and in town, the MPL22 offers a panel-loading design for easy packing and access, a suspended hydration/laptop sleeve, quick-access pockets, and a removable waist belt among its features. Lean, durable, and multifunctional, this is a great hybrid pack for those who want an all-in-one trail and EDC pack.
With winter on the way and the prospect of snow fun on the horizon, Snow Peak and Mountain of Moods have just what you need to get active on the mountains. The Snow Peak x Mountain of Moods FW ’23 Capsule is a limited-edition collaboration featuring a variety of snow and active apparel pieces. Designed at the base of Japan’s Mt. Tanigawa, the collection combines technical fabrics with thoughtful details across a variety of different pieces.
Options like the Hybrid Fleece Jacket and Hybrid Fleece Pullover provide cozy insulation, while the Graphene Puffer Jacket is ready for skiing and snowboarding with its insulated and waterproof construction. The Mountain of Moods 3 Layer Graphene Bib Pants provide durable, waterproof protection with adjustable suspenders, with additional offerings including moisture-wicking long-sleeve and short-sleeve shirts, hats, and socks.
When you’re looking to beat the cold in the backcountry, Arc’teryx have an enticing solution on hand with their Sabre Insulated Jacket. The jacket helps keep you protected from the elements when the slopes are calling with its GORE-TEX exterior, DWR finish, and insulated StormHood™ that fits over a helmet. The 100% recycled Coreloft Compact insulation is warm but breathable and pit zippers with PowderGuard mesh allow excess heat to escape while keeping snow out. Additionally, there’s an embedded RECCO® reflector for search and rescue safety too.
A new brand out of Park City, SMMT have launched their PowderLoft Tote, a re-imagined canvas tote designed for alpine living, focusing on organization, style, and insulation. The tote offers lightweight protection and comfort, with insulation to maintain the temperature of its contents. Premium recycled materials are used for the exterior, interior, and even the insulation. SMMT is a BlueSign Certified Partner and donates a portion of their sales. The tote features a media pocket, water-resistant stash pocket, hydration pockets, wristlet, and exterior stow straps for jackets, towels, yoga mats, etc. The PowderLoft Tote is available in two colors (Jordanelle Blue and Forest Black) as well as two sizes (35L and 20L).
NOMATIC and Peter McKinnon are no strangers to teaming up on thoughtful camera carry solutions and now they’re back with the new LUMA Camera Collection. Featuring three pieces including the Camera Sling 9L, Camera Sling 12L, and Camera Pack 18L, the collection focuses on intuitive access and functional, customizable organization for a variety of changing loads. Each piece comes in four colorways, with water-resistant and durable 900D polyester exteriors. Check out their Kickstarter campaign if you’re keen to learn more and pre-order.
Db and photographer Chris Burkard both share a love of exploring the great outdoors. But getting camera gear to the most wild and remote corners of the world can be challenging. So they teamed up on a limited-edition collaboration that’s not afraid to venture into rugged terrain, keeping gear safe but accessible when nature’s epic shots present themselves. The collection includes a range of Db classics as well as the new Ramverk Pro Sling, giving you plenty of options for both smaller and larger photography setups. Durable, functional, and with fun details such as alpaca print linings, the collection is well worth exploring for those who are heading off the beaten path in their photography pursuits.
For their Rapid Transit Collection Tracksmith took inspiration from runners on the move, creating travel-ready pieces that lend themselves to running lifestyles while offering comfort and laid-back style during transit. The updated collection features a range of pieces for both men and women including shorts, pants, polos, joggers, long-sleeved shirts, and more. Designed to move easily between a variety of travel and day-to-day settings, the collection offers easy adaptability for active and travel use.
Sometimes you really do need to haul the kitchen sink and then some. And when heavy-duty hauling calls, Arc’teryx answers with their Carrier 75 Duffle. This burly 75L bag protects your gear from the elements with its TPU laminate and polyurethane-coated 690D Cordura nylon 6,6 fabric and sealed seams. Access is easy thanks to a wide U-shaped opening with an interior divider for dirty and clean gear. Plus you also get flexible carry options thanks to removable shoulder straps and grab handles on the ends.
The team at Airback took the concept of those large vacuum bags used for winter clothes storage you’ll find at certain organized households and combined it with a travel backpack. Color us impressed. Using the optional compact and chargeback pump, or your own typical home vacuum, the Airback enables users to optimize storage, packing up to 50% more efficiently than normal backpacks. It comes equipped with a grab handle, premium straps, TSA lock, 3D padding, expandable zipper, drink holder, USB charger port pass-through, trolley attachment and odor-free compartments. The Kickstarter campaign is live now and runs for another three weeks so check it out but with all crowdfunding projects, do your due diligence.