- Buyer's Guide
Best New Gear: December 2020
The carry world waved goodbye to 2020 with a fitting tribute, dishing up an impressive collection of new pieces in December to round off the year and inspire 2021 setups. Let’s delve into the month’s best new gear…
Sometimes the best approach to being prepared is implementing a system. A system like the SOG Surrept Packs; a six-piece collection of bags and accessories that fuse understated looks, functional design, intuitive access and toughness for everyday use. From a compact pouch to a 36L travel pack, the system preps you for smaller and larger carry needs alike.
Brooks England updates their best-selling Pickwick with an eye-catching new style courtesy of the Pickwick Patchwork. Available in three colorway combinations, the pack adds practicality to its urban styling. It offers a weatherproof build, adjustable roll-top closure, and a choice of 13″ or 15″ laptop pocket.
Ideal for easing into a new year in comfort, Proof’s Tech Pullover and Tech Sweats are cleverly constructed with temperature-regulating 37.5® fibers in a four-way stretch material. Versatile as standalone pieces or paired together, they’re a go-to pick whether you’re indulging in some lounging or getting active.
Trakke fans will, dare we say, be tickled pink by the Scottish brand’s fun new colorway addition welcoming Pink across their range. A welcome diversion from more subdued colorways common in carry, their Pink Collection adds a vibrant splash of color for brightening up dull winter months and adding pizzazz to summer hauling too.
The team from Colorado updated their shirt jacket and it looks like a stunner. For times when you need something with more warmth than a shirt but not as sweat-inducing as a full-on jacket, the AirLoft Shirt Jacket seems like the move. It’s now made of a fabric that offers quick-dry, dynamic stretch, and packable insulation. In addition, it’s water-resistant and temperature regulating, so perfect for everyday use or outdoor pursuits.
A new lifestyle brand based in Los Angeles, Afterschool Projects produces technical bags and clothing while reflecting the laid-back nature and diverse culture of the city. All the products start with sourcing the best materials and everything is made in the USA. In some cases, the complete lifecycle of the product (fabric, dye, sewing) is done right in LA. Their introductory line offers three bags, all made of VX Nylon.
The Simple Hip Pack is a 2.5-liter waist or sling pack with YKK weather-resistant zippers. The Sacoche and its bigger sibling the Sacoche Grande feature a floating internal liner for water resistance and have an internal zippered pocket for keys, a phone, and a wallet. Finally, the Rucksack is an 18L pack perfect for everyday carry. It has two side mesh pockets that serve as water bottle holders and supports up to a 16″ laptop in its internal padded laptop sleeve. There’s also additional organization and storage in the front and inside via a mesh pocket. External compression straps keep everything tidy. Plus dual top carry handles make transferring to and from a trunk, back seat, or through TSA security a breeze. All four bags are available in three colorways: black, white, and camo.
Cantonment have launched their first collaborative project, teaming up with the watch experts at Mk II for a stylish horology-inspired take on Cantonment’s Kerchief. The set includes two 100% cotton Kerchiefs and one upgraded Woggle strap. Created as the ideal pocket-friendly carry cloth, the Kerchiefs are large enough to be worn in a multitude of ways, while remaining compact enough to carry neatly in a pocket without unnecessary bulk.
In a collaboration that’s sure to turn heads, Gucci and The North Face have teamed up to celebrate their heritage together. The collab features a range of apparel, bags, hiking boots, and camping gear. The collection merges high fashion and performance, combining ’70s-inspired style with urban and outdoor influences as a nod to the spirit of exploration.
Aer are known for their deft blend of urban-friendly style and well-considered functional design. Now some of their most popular styles get a sleek performance update, decked out in tough and weatherproof X-Pac for sleek style that doesn’t shirk on dependable practicality.
Bellroy serves up a sophisticated take on the commuter pack with their Melbourne Backpack. The bag offers a chic, pared-back silhouette that suits a range of settings. But don’t think it’s all style and no substance. The thoughtful design features a wide-opening main compartment courtesy of a side zipper, allowing easy access throughout the bag. Magnetic closures keep the contents secure yet quickly accessible when needed. Plus there’s a useful selection of pocketing to keep gear organized without cluttering up the feel of the pack. Even better? You’ve got options, with the Melbourne Backpack Compact well suited to smaller frames or days when you need to carry less.
Harvest Label and Code of Bell bring great functionality, expert craftsmanship, and streetwear-ready style to the table with their collaborative Double Name Project. The brands’ limited-edition collection features a sling bag, shoulder bag, and a camera strap, with each piece meticulously crafted in Japan.
After a long day on your feet (or simply when the chilly weather is setting in), your feet deserve a little rest and relaxation. And that’s just what Merrell’s Cozy Hut Mocs provide. The mocs feature a vegan leather and textile upper, a durable and grippy EVA sole, as well as a collapsible heel and elastic panels for easy on-and-off comfort.
Proof’s Thermal-lined Shift Jogger is all about versatile comfort whether you’re at home or on the go. The jogger pairs a water-resistant outer shell with four-way stretch and a gusseted crotch for freedom of movement. Add in the thermal lining and you get casual jogger style, with practical design and added warmth that’s ideal for cooler days and nights.
master-piece have a reputation for carry with distinct, Japanese streetstyle aesthetics, practical designs, and quality construction. All of these features are on display with their Rogue Backpack and Rogue 2Way Helmet Bag. Both bags prioritize convenient access, complemented by useful organization courtesy of a range of quick-access pockets. The bags feature a combination of hard-wearing materials, brought together with expert Japanese craftsmanship so they will stand the test of time.
Hypebeast and fragment design have teamed up on a slick, curated collection of everyday essentials. From apparel to office and home accessories, there’s a range of gear to choose from. The HYPB/FRGMT collection features two drops offering a blend of clean style and everyday functionality.
GiantMouse is a collaboration between famed designers Jens Ansø and Jesper Voxnaes. Their latest release is the ACE Riv. The compact folder design is modeled after the Biblio but with a new design and feel. The Riv is available in titanium, brass, and green canvas micarta. It features a 2.44″ (62mm) blade made of Elmax steel and rides on a ball bearing pivot with a titanium frame lock.
Brad Sunderland is an engineer and machinist who launched a successful Kickstarter in 2015 for his innovative pens. He’s since expanded the product line, adding anodized finishes. The green and orange especially pop. He’s also testing the waters with some limited colorways: red, white and blue, and purple flowers.
Renowned knife maker Ken Onion designed this limited-edition Bona Fide™. Onion is based in Hawaii and the knife salutes the culture and landscape of Hawaii with its shape that resembles a traditional Hawaiian waʻa or canoe. The knife has an S35VN blade and titanium handle. It also incorporates Field Strip Gen II that allows for disassembly without the need for tools, enabling easy on-the-go cleaning.
If you love gear that offers nostalgia, everyday functionality, and old-school style in one, this Q Timex Reissue Digital LCA should definitely be on your radar. The digital watch has been reissued from the late ’80s and features a dual digital and analog display, a backlight, an alarm, and a timer. It’s rounded off with an adjustable stainless steel bracelet and serves up a fun and distinct retro vibe.
The Justin Lundquist Abrams Pry handles the heavy-duty tasks that an EDC knife shouldn’t be subjected to. It’s made in the USA with precision CNC-machined solid titanium and also includes a bottle opener for added functionality.
The Koch Tools Treble Keychain Dangler takes your EDC to new heights of carry functionality, incorporating three separate places to attach small items for easier access, as well as a bottle opener. The versatile hook allows the Dangler to hook onto a belt loop or a pocket depending on your preferences, while the solid titanium construction provides lightweight durability for daily use.
The Reate Tashi Bharucha T3000 brings striking form and versatile functionality together. Born from a collaboration between Reate Knives and French custom knife maker Tashi Bharucha, it features a Bohler M390 blade, titanium handles with a choice of brown micarta, green micarta, or carbon fiber inlays, and quick one-handed opening.
Weekenders should add an element of smart-casual style to your travels. But while many do this, often they fall short on the functional aspects of a travel bag. The Discommon Weekender provides the best of both worlds. A luxurious full-grain leather construction courtesy of Korchmar, one of the USA’s oldest briefcase manufacturers. Easy-access pockets so you don’t need to rummage for essentials or take up time storing small items at airport security. And a wide-opening main compartment for efficient packing and access to the rest of your gear.
You may have one bag for travel and one bag for camera gear. But what if you could have one bag that serves both needs? While also adapting to a variety of loads and settings through modularity? Meet Wotancraft’s Pilot Travel Camera Backpack. The pack’s interior can be customized with dividers for various camera gear setups and personal items. Additionally, the pack can be paired with a choice of optional modular pouches so you can create your ideal carry setup to accommodate a multitude of needs.
Kasperi and Roselli are firm believers in the buy-less-but-better mentality. So they partnered up to create the Explorer Set, a collection of high-quality items built to last a lifetime of outdoor adventures. The limited-edition set includes a handsome set of carry and cutting tools including a Kasperi Fold Top Backpack featuring Whitetail deer and bovine leather. The Roselli Heimo 4″ knife features a stained curly birch handle plus a custom Kasperi knife sheath. The Roselli Axe has a short, stained curly birch handle and a Kasperi custom axe sheath. And rounding off the set is a Roselli Firesteel with a stained curly birch handle.
Weighing a little over a pound (18.2 oz), the Approach Bag is HMG’s solution to haul your gear from your home or base to the start of your adventure. Made with the same waterproof and durable Dyneema fabric in their backpacks, the duffel is ready to take on everything that you don’t want in your backpack or pockets but know you’ll need for the journey.