- Buyer's Guide
Best New Gear: March 2018
Convertible bags, durable camera protection, sleek urban tech carry and practical trail packs are just some of the new releases making their debut this month. Get into the good stuff below with the best new gear in March…
Tactical pens tend to be bulky and conspicuous. But not the Böker Plus Rocket Pen. Designed by custom knife maker Darriel Caston, this is an elegant alternative if you want a discreet tactical pen that looks right at home in your EDC setup. Functional and comfortable to use, the bolt-action pen is available in black anodized aluminum or brass.
From EDC companion to weekend adventure buddy, the Remote Equipment Alpha 31 is designed to perform across diverse and demanding settings. Built with rugged X-Pac material, the Alpha 31 features an expandable rolltop closure so you can squeeze in extra or keep things compact as required. Top and front access and multiple pockets keep your gear within easy reach, while the hydration bladder compatibility keeps water at the ready when it’s time to get active.
Totes are handy for everyday carry, while backpacks lend themselves well to venturing on longer outings and hauling heavier loads. So Millican decided, why choose when you can have both? Tinsley the Tote Pack is a 14L tote bag that can be carried by hand or over the shoulder. But the carry handles can also adjust to create backpack shoulder straps. The weatherproof rolltop opening caters to a range of changing loads, while an exterior pocket provides an ideal stash spot for quick-access items. And for added functionality, its ability to roll up compactly makes it a useful day bag for storing in your luggage.
NOMATIC are dedicated to maximizing functionality in your carry. So when their attention turned to messenger and laptop bags, they were determined to help you get more out of your daily carry. And they did. With weatherproof builds, great access, a host of organization options, and a choice of shoulder bag or briefcase-style portability, their Messenger and Laptop Bag really do help you get more out of your EDC.
Your day-to-day carry needs change. But so does the DSPTCH Utility Brief, helping you easily adapt with just one bag. DSPTCH offers a fresh take on an earlier design with the updated Utility Brief, which can be carried as a shoulder bag, briefcase or backpack. Multiple quick-access pockets and Fidlock connectors allow convenient and fast access to your gear on the go. And for added convenience, a luggage passthrough sleeve provides a simple way to secure the bag to rolling luggage.
Topo Designs and Danner are both brands that focus on helping you get out there. So when they team up, pretty awesome things are sure to follow. Such as their Topo Designs x Danner Daypack, which offers a handsome combination of Horween® leather and 12oz cotton canvas. The black colorway is complemented by pops of red detailing, with a versatile design that moves smoothly from urban to outdoor settings. Just like the Topo Designs x Danner Mountain Light Boot, which sports the same attractive colorway and adaptability to roam wherever the day leads. Both pieces are limited edition and made in the USA.
A squeezable metal water bottle. Yes, you read that right. The KEEGO Water Bottle is made with elastic titanium, allowing for a squeezable yet durable design. The bottle lets you quickly access water with a high flow rate, while keeping the taste fresh and your carry weight down. So you can enjoy the benefits of a metal bottle and plastic bottle while avoiding the drawbacks of either. Check out more details via the KEEGO Kickstarter campaign.
Mission Workshop brings their brand of tough urban functionality to camera carry with The Capsule. This padded camera insert offers top and front access and adjustable interior dividers to suit changing gear setups. The Capsule fits Mission Workshop (and most other brands’ packs) 20L and larger, letting you easily convert your existing backpack into a camera bag. It’s also handmade in the USA and backed by a lifetime guarantee, so you can feel confident it will protect your gear for years to come.
Is your current backpack weighing you down? Tired of aches and pains from simply carrying around everyday gear or trail essentials for a quick jaunt outdoors? SuperStraps aim to relieve shoulder, back and neck tension, and are designed to lift 27 lbs of force off your neck. The design moves the weight closer to your spine for more ergonomic carry and long-term comfort. SuperStraps can be attached quickly and easily to your existing backpack’s straps and are activated with a simple pulling motion. Check out the SuperStraps Kickstarter campaign for more details.
Waist bags are great for minimalist loads, but what happens when you need to carry a little extra unexpectedly? The F/CE Packable 2-Way Daypack and Waist Bag has you covered for either occasion. The versatile design serves as a waist bag for essentials, but can convert into a daypack for larger loads. Durable and water repellent, the bag also offers a range of pockets for storing small items and is an adaptable piece for EDC and travel alike.
Heading outdoors for the day? Patagonia’s Nine Trails Pack helps you make the most of your excursion with its lightweight, comfortable and versatile design. The 28L daypack features a breathable back panel, load lifters, waist belt and sternum strap for carry comfort. Quick-access pockets on the front, sides and waist belt provide handy storage for frequently used items, and the compression straps can also help secure bulkier items externally. The pack is made with water-repellent 210D Cordura nylon for protection against the elements, and is also hydration bladder compatible.
Hopefully injuries and accidents don’t happen when you’re out and about. But it’s good to be prepared if they do. The Solo is a compact first aid kit that can be easily stored in a bag or secured to the exterior with the included paracord. Well suited for solo use, the kit features a waterproof, crushproof, and dustproof case made with high-impact ABS material. Even better, it floats too and is backed by a lifetime guarantee. Store it in your outdoor pack, everyday bag or car for fast access to supplies to treat a range of first aid needs.
Techwear style meets everyday practicality with Moshi’s new Tego Collection, featuring four versatile pieces in two colorways. Clean aesthetics, clever features and functional designs let these sleek pieces move easily between work and play environments. Made with lightweight yet durable fabrics, the bags include anti-theft concealed zippers, a reflective strip for improved visibility at night, and RFID-blocking pocket to keep personal details secure on the go. The Tego Backpack fits up to a 15″ laptop and offers a pass-through USB port for easy charging. The Tego Crossbody Sling fits up to a 10.5″ tablet in a padded sleeve, and allows fast access to gear by simply swinging the bag from back to front. A quick-release design and ActiveStrap keeps the Tego Sling Messenger Bag secure yet accessible on the go, with space for up to a 13″ device. And for smaller loads the Tego Slingpack is ready to go, providing compact storage for essentials and an ActiveStrap for stability.
Keen to add rugged and functional camo to your carry? GORUCK have you covered with their new Black Multicam colorway, available across the GR1, GR2, Echo, Rucker 2.0 and Kit Bag. The bags are built with durable 1000D Cordura and are a solid choice if you want stealthy style that packs a practical punch.
Having quick access to essentials is key during your travels. And Away takes care of this with a new addition to their Carry-On, an integrated nylon front pocket that keeps your tech and travel essentials within easy reach. The Carry-On with Pocket comes in two TSA-approved sizes and features an ejectable battery for easy charging on the go. But Away aren’t content to leave the new offerings there. They’re also switching things up on the material front with their Aluminum Edition of cases. Available in four sizes, the cases are made with stylish and durable aluminum and replace the zippers with two TSA-approved combination locks.
Côte&Ciel Oril Small, Sormonne and Oder-Spree
Côte&Ciel have a reputation for creating carry that offers a refined balance of form and function. And the purveyors of Parisian chic don’t disappoint with their Oril Small, Sormonne and Oder-Spree. The Oril Small Backpack offers two front compartments and a back tech compartment that fits up to 13″ devices. The Sormonne Backpack fits up to a 13″ tech device in the main compartment, while two low-key front pockets keep frequently used items within easy reach. The Oder-Spree offers a luxurious take on your everyday messenger, with space for a 13″ device in the main compartment, two front pockets for smaller essentials, as well as a rear pocket for further organization. All delivered in sleek style that looks equally suave in the office or about town.