- Buyer's Guide
Best New Gear | December 2021
Cozy winter wardrobe staples, modular EDC essentials, and eye-catching slings stepped up to shine in December. Discover all of these and more in the month’s best new gear…
Benchmade’s designers recently sat down with a focus on revamping their EDC pen offering. And with the launch of the Longhand and Shorthand pens, they’ve certainly met the brief. The Longhand measures 4.62 inches while its smaller brother, the Shorthand, measures 3.49 inches. Aside from the length, the two pens share a lot of the same DNA. They are both available in stainless or black aluminum. They have precision-machined knurling and grooves and an AXIS-style bolt-action mechanism. And Fisher Space Pen cartridges come standard, so you can write in nearly any environment or condition.
Reusable water bottles are common across many EDC setups these days. But what if your water bottle went above and beyond? Offering eye-catching aesthetics and functionality that raises the bar in hydration carry? The Closca Bottle offers a clever range of features including dual openings on the top and bottom for easy filling, drinking, and cleaning. Plus the patented silicone flap easily mounts the bottle to a bike or even a bag strap for convenient portability. And there’s even an embedded NFC chip so you can connect to the Closca Water App to locate water fountains.
Multitools are great for handling a variety of needs. But those needs can change from day to day. This often results in some multitool features not being used or alternatively not having a feature you actually do need. Windeler aims to change this through a modular multitool system offering a range of magnetic stackable tools. The Essential Stak is a solid all-rounder featuring the Monoscale™ knife, a bottle opener, and a pry bar. Since each tool is magnetic, you can quickly add or remove them from the Stak as required; so you can carry just what you need for the day or adventure ahead.
Too crisp for a tee but not cold enough to don your winter jacket? Shirt jackets offer a thoughtful middle ground. The latest release from Los Angeles brand Olivers is their Gold Coast Shirt Jacket. It’s made of a Merino and Polyester blend giving it thermoregulating and antimicrobial superpowers. It features custom horn buttons and a lightweight insulated lining, which means it’s great as a warm mid or outer top layer or as a stand-alone shirt.
When colder weather kicks in, jeans can leave you feeling a little chilly. A base layer underneath can add warmth but also bulk. So the jean experts at DUER came up with a cozily clever alternative. Their Fireside Denim features denim interwoven with fleece, so you get added warmth without restrictive bulk. But their Women’s Fireside Denim doesn’t just stop there. A DWR coating helps provide protection against the elements or accidental spills, while a hidden gusset offers freedom of movement wherever your jeans take you.
Fancy DUER’s cozy Fireside Denim in a relaxed style for men? Meet the Men’s Fireside Denim Summit Pant, which offers the warmth of the Fireside Denim, the protection of a DWR treatment, and an adjustable cuff that lets you convert the pant to joggers on the go. You’ll also find discreet thigh pockets for storing small valuables, all in an adaptable style for a variety of settings.
Whipping winter winds and icy elements are no match for Marmot’s Mammoth Parka. With its waterproof yet breathable GORE-TEX fabric, 100% seam-taped construction, and 700-fill-power goose down insulation, you’ll be toasty and dry whatever the weather throws at you. And with additional features such as a moisture-wicking, DriClime®-lined chin guard, a powder skirt, a drawcord waist, Velcro cuffs, and storage pockets for small essentials, you’re ready to embrace a range of urban and outdoor adventures in practical comfort.
Looking for something a little different in the earphone department? These limited-edition Campfire Audio Saber Earphones may be music to your ears. The earphones integrate two dynamic drivers within a three-driver design, while the exterior offers a combination of ABS and a unique Damascus steel lid, making each piece one of a kind. The earphones come with a copper cable and are designed to offer comfortable wear for fatigue-free listening.
When it comes to striking sling designs, the Mifland Saddle Bag is an undeniable head-turner. Taking inspiration from horseriding, the bag is meticulously crafted with hard-wearing leather and built to last for years of dependable use. It can be worn across the back or chest depending on your preferences and is guaranteed to make you stand out in style.
Like your slings with sleek style and eco-conscious sustainability? Bellroy’s Sling Mini MIRUM® Edition offers both. The bag’s feature panel uses MIRUM®, an innovative, custom-developed, plant-based alternative to leather. The attractive aesthetics are complemented by useful features such as an expandable side gusset to adapt to varying loads, a magnetic shoulder strap clasp, and a range of pockets for organizing smaller items.
After an adaptable outer layer for active use? The Arc’teryx Gamma MX Hoody ReBird is a worthy contender for your next adventure. The softshell hoody is designed to offer weather resistance, breathability, and stretch, keeping you comfortable across a variety of environments and activities. And since it’s part of the ReBird program, it uses materials that have been saved from waste, resulting in limited runs for an extra-special touch.
Created to perform well in high-output activities such as cycling or hiking, the Acre Series Jacket is all about lightweight warmth delivered in a sleek and stylish silhouette. The combination of a Pertex® Quantum bluesign®certified shell and PrimaLoft® 40g Gold Active+ insulation offers breathability and allows excess heat to escape while keeping your core warmth. Add in the DWR coating and you get protection from the elements too. Plus with its packable design, it’s easy to stash away until needed.
Tough enough for the outdoors and stylish enough for adventures around town, Taylor Stitch’s Lined Watts Jacket is a solid wardrobe staple that will go pretty much wherever you do. It features a rugged waxed organic cotton shell complemented by a cozy polyester/acrylic blend lining, so you can stay toasty while keeping the elements out. Additional features include a two-way zipper and eyelets under the armholes, so you can shed excess heat in warmer weather too.
In the outdoors, the best knife is the one you have on you. The Redstone is designed to go anywhere adventure leads, thanks to its compact yet functional design, lightweight durability, and easy carry courtesy of a pocket clip and paracord. Featuring The James Brand’s new island design, the knife lets your finger rest between the islands for improved grip. The corrosion-resistant Sandvik 12C27 stainless steel blade retains its edge well too, making this a straightforward grab-and-go pocket piece when you’re heading outdoors.
Whether you’re a professional photographer or snap photos as a hobby, you don’t always need to haul a big kit with you. But more often than not, you’ll likely want a carry option that can accommodate traveling with essential camera gear. That’s where the Brevite Jumper steps up. This is a capable camera bag for small setups, while also offering additional storage for a laptop, a change of clothes, and small EDC/travel items. The dedicated camera storage fits a full-frame DSLR and three lenses, while the top compartment holds clothing and travel gear. You’ll also find a 16″ laptop sleeve and quick-access pockets for a water bottle and passport, keeping gear tidy but easily accessible on the go.