- Buyer's Guide
Best New Gear: August 2018
Submersible carry that can conquer mountains. Travel bags that will have you looking forward to the journey. And a camera bag with adaptability front and center. Check out these pieces and more as we delve into August’s best new gear…
Packable, lightweight backpacks are great for compact storage. But when it gets down to the business of actually carrying items, you’ll often find comfort has been sacrificed in favor of packability. Not so with the TREXAD Air Pack. The backpack is highly packable and weighs just 300 grams, while still offering a comfortable design. How does it do it? An innovative build featuring interconnected inflatable air cushions on the shoulders and back, distributing the load and relieving carry strain on the go. The 33L rolltop pack lends itself to a variety of uses, from urban sightseeing to exploring outdoor trails. And the integrated valve lets you easily deflate it when required. The pack includes a removable waist strap and luggage passthrough feature, along with a durable and weatherproof Cordura construction.
Need a travel sandal? Check out this collab from Teva and Snow Peak. This limited edition version of the Hurricane XLT 2 features paracord used in Snow Peak’s gear, along with tri-rings that give a nod towards Snow Peak’s camping equipment. The sandals can be used on land and in the water, with a Durabrasion Rubber™ outsole for durability and traction. They also feature a cushioned heel tab and EVA foam midsole for comfort, with a quick-release buckle and hook-and-loop closure for ease of use.
There’s no shortage of carabiners in the carry world, so it takes something pretty special to stand out. Something like the James Brand Mehlville. Crafted from lightweight yet strong aluminum, the Mehlville features two separate compartments. The design prevents items accidentally slipping off while attaching or detaching the carabiner. And for added functionality it also doubles as a bottle opener.
Office-savvy styling with active performance? A hard mix to get right, but Bellroy’s Shift Backpack nails it. The clean exterior looks slick in work settings, while the durable and water-resistant Venture-weave fabric handles the elements and demanding use with ease. Thoughtfully positioned pocketing ensures your smaller EDC and work tools are always within easy reach. Additionally, the unique Slide Hook provides smooth, secure, one-handed access and closure. And with its adjustable volume, you can squeeze in a little extra or keep it compact for smaller loads. Carry comfort is well considered too, with integrated lumbar support and a removable sternum strap.
Bellroy’s new Classic Backpack Plus helps you conquer the work/play divide with considered organization, understated style and adaptability. The pack features two separate compartments to keep your gear in order. The back compartment is dedicated to your tech and small work or EDC tools, with a weatherproof YKK AquaGuard zipper. The main compartment provides versatile storage for an outer layer, gym gear, travel essentials or bulkier work supplies. The contoured back panel and removable chest strap offer carry comfort throughout the day. And with handy front and top pockets, those smaller essentials will always be at the ready too. Add in a water-resistant Venture-weave exterior for added protection, and you’ve got a solid all-rounder.
When you don’t need to carry a lot, why carry a big bag? DSPTCH’s Sling Pouches deftly handle smaller loads, keeping gear secure, tidy and easily accessible when you need it. Available in Small, Slim and Medium sizes, the pouches are a useful solution for keeping bulky pockets at bay. In addition to three sizes, they also come in a choice of two colorways (black and with a clear laminate front panel) to suit your style preferences. Durably made with 1680D Ballistic Nylon featuring a DWR coating, these pouches will keep going strong for years of trusty use.
Traveling can be tiring, stressful and frustrating. But a solid piece of luggage by your side can help your trip run more smoothly. Aer’s All-New Travel Collection features thoughtful updates to existing pieces, from redesigned shoulder straps for improved comfort, to better organization and luggage passthrough sleeves. Complementing the updated pieces are some nifty new additions to help you navigate a variety of travel environments. The collection includes the Travel Pack 2, Flight Pack 2, Day Sling 2, Travel Sling, Travel Kit and Dopp Kit, available in a choice of colorways to suit personal tastes.
YETI’s Tocayo Backpack delivers the pared-back looks you’d expect from a slick urban pack. But don’t let its low-key style fool you. This pack may look at home in urban settings but it’s built to embrace city streets and beyond. The pack features a weatherproof and self-standing design, with padding throughout to protect your gear from life’s bumps and scrapes. The bag offers a 15″ laptop compartment, with further pockets and attachment points to tailor your setup to changing needs and environments.
The Mismo M/S Passage is designed to carry your day-to-day essentials in understated elegance. Crafted with casual-chic style and functionality in mind, the sling features a handsome combination of Italian nylon and vegetable-tanned full-grain bridle leather. A selection of internal and external pockets keep your EDC and travel items accessible yet secure on the go. Practical and refined, it’s a classy companion when you want to carry light.
The simple drawstring bag is a fairly common design. But what’s not common is elevating the simple utility with refined craftsmanship, quality materials and low-key style. Mismo takes the lead on this with the M/S Drawstring. The bag is made with durable, lightweight Italian nylon and vegetable-tanned full-grain bridle leather detailing. Inside you’ll find three pockets adding to the functionality of this adaptable, attractive bag that works just as well on the beach, in the gym, on your travels, or carrying daily essentials.
For short trips and light packing you don’t need a large bag. But a little flexibility is always handy for accommodating a souvenir or extra outer layer. Tortuga’s Setout Divide delivers that flexibility. The design can expand from 26L to 34L, so you can fit in more or keep it compact as required. The pack features dedicated storage for a laptop and tablet, a clamshell divided main compartment for easy packing, and quick-access pockets for smaller essentials. And with its luggage pass-through sleeve you can secure it to rolling luggage for all-in-one portability.
Sometimes it’s better to save yourself unnecessary strain and let your carry shoulder the load. Osprey’s new Transporter Wheeled Duffel is designed to bear the burden so you don’t have to. It comes in three sizes to suit a variety of trips, including 120L, 90L and a carry-on friendly 40L option. The duffel is made with 800D TPU-coated nylon for hard-wearing abrasion and water resistance, as well as tough #10 YKK zippers with overlapping flaps for added weather protection. The oversized wheels easily tackle a variety of terrains, while the large U-zip opening, interior pockets and internal compression straps make it easy to pack and organize your gear. For added functionality the duffels also include a choice of padded grab handles and lashing points to secure the bags to cargo racks. The range is available from 1 September 2018.
Whether your lens leads you to urban or outdoor environments, Mission Workshop’s Integer Camera Pack is designed to embrace and thrive. Adaptable aesthetics, a tough and weatherproof build, and versatile organization lets the pack accommodate diverse photography, travel and everyday needs. The pack’s padded camera compartment can be accessed from the front and side, with customizable dividers to adapt to different loads. The compartment is also removable to create a standalone travel or EDC bag. Complementing the camera compartment is a large upper compartment with rolltop access for personal gear, along with a dedicated laptop compartment. And with a tripod holder, luggage pass-through sleeve, and additional organization pockets you’re set for photography sessions near and far.
Alchemy Equipment brings their signature style to work carry with the AEL021. The limited edition backpack combines understated aesthetics with performance, featuring a clean silhouette and magnetic twist Fidlock closure. The free-standing design offers wide-opening access and organization for documents, tech and tools, with a useful ejection handle for the 15″ laptop pocket. Durable and weatherproof, it’s crafted with water-resistant waxed 600D Kodra, a PU-coated 900D Kodra base and YKK AquaGuard zips. Functional and stylish, this adaptable pack moves beyond work too when it’s time to relax or travel.
A bag you can take from underwater adventures to the top of a mountain? The Watershed OTB 75™ Backpack is designed to be that bag. Fully submersible, the bag is made with double-coated 500D Cordura, welded seams and a YKK Aquaseal drysuit zipper. For maximized carrying comfort the pack also includes Mystery Ranch’s amphibious NICE™ Frame. Internal and external MOLLE panels enable customizable organization, while the compression straps let you adjust the volume from 75L to 47.5L as needed.
NOMATIC’s 30L Travel Bag finds that sweet spot between short trips and day-to-day use. A bag that has been designed for one to three-day trips, but with the versatility to also serve as a daily commuter bag, gym bag, or outdoor gear bag. The pack offers a wide opening for easy packing and access, along with a ventilated shoe compartment and laptop and tablet pockets. Organization pockets keep smaller items in order and there’s also a water-resistant pocket for liquids or damp clothing. Further handy features include a luggage pass-through sleeve and a removable waist strap for added comfort with heavier loads.
Bike bags can be a tricky business, time-consuming to attach to your bike (if they fit at all), and restrictive in what they can carry. But Tailfin delivers an impressive solution with their AeroPack range, designed to fit virtually any road, gravel or mountain bike. The range features three options. The AeroPack Carbon and AeroPack Alloy feature an integrated, all-in-one bag and rack. The AeroPack Trunk on the other hand is a bag-only option that fits Tailfin’s T1 rack. Each option in the range features the same rolltop waterproof bag, easily adaptable to a variety of loads. Lightweight, stable and secure, the range lets you easily attach or remove bike carry in seconds so you can focus on the ride instead of wrestling with your gear.
Peak Design have gone from strength to strength, taking their considered design approach from camera carry to everyday bags. And now they’re set to make your travels easier with their new Travel Line. Central to the line is the 45L Travel Backpack. What makes the pack stand out is that each feature and component has been carefully considered, from the adjustable volume to the back panel access and stowable harness. The line also features a host of travel-friendly accessories including a Tech Pouch, Wash Pouch, packing cubes and camera cubes. Again, that attention to detail is there throughout the accessories too, making this a highly thoughtful line designed to elegantly solve real travel problems.
When it comes to travel packing, bulky shoes can take up a considerable amount of space. But what if you’re planning to roam between urban and outdoor settings and need footwear to handle both? The Forsake Range Low has you covered. These all-terrain travel shoes move easily from urban streets to wilderness trails, with stylish aesthetics and a rugged, waterproof and supportive build that will see you right when the terrain gets more challenging. The shoes include a Vibram Megagrip outsole for reliable grip on a range of surfaces, while the EVA foam midsole keeps your feet in happy comfort all day long.
Want to keep things sleek and minimalist on the slopes? Look to Arc’teryx’s new Alpha SK 32. Tough, lightweight and highly weather resistant, this daypack carries backcountry essentials in trusty style. The clean silhouette is designed to reduce the chance of snagging, with side access to the main compartment and a front pocket for safety gear. A helmet or rope can be stored under the lid and skis can be attached diagonally (with optional straps allowing A-frame carry and vertical board carry).
The Arro 22 is a cult classic, but there’s no reason you can’t give a classic a little refresh now and then. And that’s what Arc’teryx have done, introducing a range of new colorways to add some pop to your setup. The classic Black is joined by Nocturne, Caribou and Silva, so you can keep things stealthy or add a touch of color character to your carry.