- Buyer's Guide
Black Ember are a name synonymous with quality and innovation within the Carry community. Hailing from San Francisco, they’ve been creating products that have won plaudits within both the industry and from their readers.
Now they’re back with a new product, The Dex Duffel. This is designed for the eco-conscious traveller who wants both incredible products, and environmental responsibility. Available in both 30 and 45L sizes, the Dex Duffel has the instantly recognisable Black Ember aesthetic, and is sure to be a crowd pleaser. Under the hood, it has all the hallmarks of excellent design and construction.
Materials and Aesthetic
Black Ember are the first brand in the world to partner with Cordura® and use their new Cordura® re/corTM RN66. This is the first 100% recycled nylon from the fabric powerhouse, and as recycled nylon six, six it has the same incredible durability qualities that Cordura® is known for. In hand that means you can trust this bag to take years of abuse and likely look no different than the day you bought it. Paired with laser cut hypalon panels and YKK® AquaGuard zippers, the Dex is ready to travel.
The back panel has a high density frame sheet that flexes with you on the move and is supported by the stowable 3D shoulder straps made from an EVA foam that are both comfortable and supportive. A mixture of Fidlock® V buckles and G-hooks are used on the duffle to great effect, and make opening the bag and transforming carry methods an efficient and satisfying experience.
Aesthetically, the Dex Duffel is as clean and streamlined as you would expect from Black Ember. Their understated and urban style make for great crossover bags that carry just as well in hand as they do on your back. Tidy attachment points, matte zippers, and clever handles all contribute to a look that makes a statement, but quietly.
Like all of Black Embers products, the Dex Duffel series aren’t just about looking good. They are incredibly well thought out products that are a joy to use.
The Dex Duffels are best described as a myriad of clever pockets and expanding volume. They really are tardis’ when it comes to all that they can hold in a polished package. The wide opening is reminiscent of a doctor’s bag, and the full length AquaGuard zipper is folded and secured by two magnetic Fidlock® V-buckles. Once your bag is closed, it stays that way until you need to have it open again. This easy view and easy access volume isn’t just a bottomless pit, but rather a curated selection of zippered pockets for all of your EDC and travel needs. These line the wall of the main cavity to allow you room for packing cubes and your primary carry.
Once secured, the rear of the bag has a suspended laptop sleeve, keeping your tech protected on the move. Behind this sleeve is where you’ll find the aforementioned shoulder straps, which can be swiftly stowed to refine the look of the Dex even further. When in use, the shoulder straps also have a sternum strap with magnetic Fidlock® closure. Once you’ve used one of these straps, it’s hard to go back to the analog closure we all grew up with!
On either side of the Dex are useful exterior pockets which are well sized to hold a water bottle, jacket, or other quick grab item. There are some slip pockets for organisation and magnetic key leash also, providing quick access on the go.
At the top of the 45L Dex, under the Fidlock® V Buckle, there is your boarding kit. This separate pouch stores everything that you could need on the move, from your iPad, to your headphones, and not forgetting your passport, this quick grab kit will likely become your best travel companion.
On the bottom of the Dex is a shoe pocket with space for a pair of shoes and a second zippered pocket for your Dopp kit. The two grab handles either side of the main zipper remain flush to the body of the duffle until you deploy them. By a short and sharp tug, these straps come to life and become your comfortable hand carry in an instant.
The 30L model is more geared towards your EDC crowd. With enough room for your daily loadout, and perhaps a little extra, this is the perfect size for running from the office to the gym with one bag to take all that you would need. While the 45L is definitely geared towards those weekend trips or short business trips. Whichever size you go for, you’re going to end up with an incredibly well designed and constructed bag. We have always been inspired and impressed with how Black Embers innovative designs are pushing the envelope in the carry space, and we’re delighted to see that tradition continue with the Dex Duffles.
The Dex Duffle is now available for pre-order on Kickstarter.