- Buyer's Guide
Best New Gear: July 2020
Despite 2020’s year of craziness, there is still some good news. Brands have been working tirelessly to create awesome new gear to make our lives better, for whatever we may face going forward. And July has been a big month with lots of fantastic examples. Let’s have a look, shall we?
RAMIDUS might sound like a new name in the carry world, but they’re actually the freshly rebranded HEAD PORTER that we’ve all come to know and love. And they’ve decided to make a subtle and elegant tidal wave of a splash with their just launched BLACK BEAUTY collection. They didn’t hold back at all here, as they have quite a bit of experience in this game, dropping 21 individual products to round of this all-black murdered-out collection. Some of our personal favorites are the Daypack, the Tote Bag, the Shoulder Bag, the Travel Organizer, and… you know what… we love them all. One of each, please.
Matador, known for their lightweight bags and travel accessories, introduced a collection of packable bags for city-centric on-the-grid travels. The Series includes the On-Grid Packable Duffle, Tote, Backpack, and Hip-Pack. They measure 25L, 16L, 16L, and 2L respectively and are priced between $34.99 and $59.99. Each item flips inside its own pocket for storage and incorporates 100D waterproof nylon with a UTS coating.
Incase, a legendary brand behind some of the most iconic carry pieces, has teamed up with fiber developer Bionic, to create a three piece collection of carry products for urban professionals. The collection includes a Backpack, Sleeve (in 13″ and 16″), and an Accessory Organizer, all made with BIONIC FLX yarn. This special yarn is made from a high-grade, recovered ocean plastic filament yarn that offers durability, ripstop properties, and abrasion resistance. We suspect this little family may just keep growing, too.
The Rip Ruck is back and better than ever. Some of you might remember the old version of this beast and though they share the same name and the same DNA, these are wildly different creatures. Let’s get the first part out of the way… a magnetic “quick rip open” panel opening to access to main compartment. Having played with this at Outdoor Retailer, we’ll admit, it’s addictive to open and close. Built in with loads of organization for EDC items, your laptop, hydration, a comfortable suspension that we come to expect from those Bozeman crazies. The Rup Ruck family comes in three different sizes (32L, 24L shown, and 15L) with two different suspension sizes the 32L version (S/M and L/XL). Pardon us while we get back to ripping open this ruck, closing it, and repeating this process until the end of time.
It’s Back! Refined. Redefined. Orbitgear has brought back their most advanced technical messenger bag featuring their AXIS ADV Sling System. Available in a variety of eye popping materials for durability, weather resistance, and style for those who want a bit more flash.
Mission Workshop has officially elevated the world of totes. This is a brutally durable tote that crosses the line into laptop bag, urban gear hauler, and general purpose gear mover. Most totes offer just grab handles, but this one doubles down with a removable shoulder strap to help carry the weight of the cavernous 28L capacity.
The Brown Buffalo surprised us all with the recent drop of their brand new 28L rucksack. Boasting some functional Dimension Polyant XPac fabric in MultiCam TROPIC pattern… not something you see everyday. Handmade at their Costa Mesa workshop in the USA and begins shipping TODAY (July 31st).
A best new gear list for July could NOT be complete without mentioning the highly anticipated Remote Equipment Charlie. There was a dramatic build up of excitement for this 25 liter do everything pack. Built out in X-Pac with lots of built in modularly (like removable/stowabale storage pods and the removable top lid), there’s no doubt why this has already been double funded on Kickstarter. We can’t wait to see these hit production!
Whether you’re hauling sensitive materials for an undercover op or just carrying some beer and groceries home, this lightweight 32L pack from Zpacks is sure to raise some eyebrows and some shoulders (both being your own). Why is that? Well… when you think 32L, you think weight. This is made from Dyneema, we love Dyneema. And thanks to this space material, this bag comes in at 330 grams. No, we didn’t miss a zero at the end. Shipping starts for this one on August 31st!
Our friends down in Jakarta, Life Behind Bars, have added a fun new daypack to their line, called the Sprint DP (daypack). This attractively priced pack ($69 USD!) is available in black and eye popping orange. At 21L, it’s a great daily driver, but it also expands if you want some extra room, and even offers a removable front tablet sleeve stash.
Our buddy Patrick just dropped his first experiment. Officially titled “Experiment 001: Laptop Daypack”, which is enough to peak our interest alone. As the name suggests, this is his very first release, and only available in limited quantities (22 units total, when they’re gone… they’re gone forever). Made from a Dyneema laminate, this 20L pack has all the features you could want packed in. Including those flush side water bottle pockets, always a fun and heated debate. Congratulations, Patrick!
NASA just sent a rocket to Mars yesterday… and we suspect that when we’re finally colonizing the red planet, space people will have the A10 Adapt Wallet in their pockets. It’s lightweight (saves on rocket fuel, grams equal ounces), machined from 6061 aerospace aluminum, holds up to 5 secret space base cards (or just regular credit cards, ID, and such), is RFID blocking… and frankly, it looks bad ass.
This is a pairing that’s unexpected but works so well. Paris-meets-Tokyo brand Maison Kitsuné teamed up with the award-winning accessory maker Native Union for a small collection of tech accessories. The line consists of Apple AirPods and AirPods Pro cases, wireless charger, battery pack with wireless charging built-in, and a lightning cable with leather wrap. They come in 3 bold colorways and are adorned with Maison Kitsuné’s signature Fox Head logo.
Pacsafe, known for their protective carry goods built for travelers and everyday folks alike, have just released their new protective masks. And why are these masks making this list? Well, frankly, they’re pretty amazing. The first, their ViralOff Face Mask, is ultra minimalist and disappears into your back when you don’t need it. It also uses a ViralOff® Polygiene® technology. The second, Silver iON Face Mask, is a full featured mask showcasing silver ion fabric that effectively disinfects and reduces microbes with an adjustable nose clip and ear straps. Both are washable, reusable, available in multiple sizes, and very comfortable.
Bellroy has been firmly placing their roots deep into the world of bags, packs, and slings… and this latest addition adds to their already deep and growing portfolio. Particularly great during these COVID times when we need to carry even less, this pouch lets you leave the laptop at home but bring along all the essentials you need. It’s slim, has lots of organization for your small items, is stylish, and keeps your pockets and hands free. Like many of their products, it features durable, water-resistant woven fabric, made from recycled materials, and premium, environmentally certified leather. So you can feel good about your purchase.
One incredible tech kit for your accessories. But wait… there’s more! The TKS Tech Kit from Black Ember transforms from an incredibly water resistant accessory organizer into a full features sling (and/or fanny pack if you’re fashionably brave). This pouch offers several magnetic closures (love that), a safe soft place for your smart phone or sunglasses, and whatever else you need on your body as you hit the street. It also looks incredibly handsome. Get yours while there is just under 2 weeks left on their (already fully funded) Kickstarter!
Code Of Bell Annex Carrier & Annex Case
Code Of Bell dropped TWO new gems to their lineup. The first (left) being the Annex Carrier, a 3-way sling that’s essentially a smaller version of their Carry Awards winning X-POD. What’s really clever is that the shoulder strap can be removed to carry it as a clutch. Or, it can be used as a Dopp Kit/Toiletry Bag if preferred. Next, (right) the Annex Case, a 3-way travelers wallet. The shoulder strap can be removed to allow for carry by hand. And with four attach points for the shoulder strap, it can be carried horizontally or vertically as preferred. Both are taking preorders and will ship in August!
The folks over at Azo Equipment have just started showing their beautiful new Dejen travel backpack which has some tricks up its sleeves. Made from beautiful fabrics like Halley Stevensons Waxed Cotton with C4X finish and Cordura® Nylon 500D, it comes in at 25 liters. Two things we can really get behind are the full clamshell zip access and the fact that they’ve added load lifters for comfort out there on the road. While some might find this one a little on the smaller side for travel, they offer a slightly larger 32L custom version if you’re quick!
Minaal puts it best here, “After 5 years of design, re-design, and relentless testing, the Minaal 3.0 series is done cooking.” The new series contains the Carry-on 3.0 Bag and the Daily 3.0 Bag, both available in a 600D Picton™ fabric, made from recycled yarn, is even tougher and attracts less hair and fluff. You’ve got the choice between the handsome Vancouver Grey or the classic Aoraki Black. Can’t decide between the two bags? Well, Minaal put together a bundle where you can find a hefty savings if you purchase both. Pre-order yours now!
We were super lucky to get a pre production version of this beautiful beast from the folks over at WANDRD. The FERNWEH (German word, say it with us “fiarn vee”, meaning “farksickness”) is a photographer’s and traveler’s dream. This is a FULL featured hiking backpack with a proper comfortable suspension and modular camera cube storage integrated into the design for seamless use. Designed to “reach places you’ve never been”, we’re excited to be using this for some proper big upcoming outdoor adventures.
Western Rise, our friends up in Colorado, are no strangers when it comes to making high quality apparel for the movers and shakers. Now they’ve gone one step further to make a dedicated collection for those who are truly focused on moving. Focusing on movement and mindfulness, the three piece (Session Tee, Spectrum Jogger, and Movement Short) Active Collection is made to “transcend occasions and never feel out of place”. What does that mean for you? Well, it’s super lightweight, wildly breathable, offers stretch in all directions, and is odor resistance. Bonus, there’s no flashy logos or ridiculous colorways, offering a stylish minimalist look in an otherwise active apparel world.
With everyone working from home amongst all this chaos, it’s nice to have some tidiness and organization at your new zen spot. For most of us, that’s at our newly introduced home office desk. Minimalism certainly helps create a calming and more productive environment and the folks at Orbitket recognized this. Apparently, so did nearly 4,000 backers (at the time of writing this) on their Kickstarter. Offering clever organization, a magnetic cable management system, and more. Available in 2 colors (Black and Stone) and 2 sizes (Medium and Large). We’re eagerly waiting to get our hands and our laptops onto one of these.