- Buyer's Guide
Best New Gear: May 2019
Everyday and travel-ready technical clothing? Ruggedly sleek suitcases to pack them in? And pocket-sized everyday tools adding a touch of panache to your EDC setup? May welcomed all of this and more. Discover the best new gear…
Ready for work or the weekend, the WaterField Designs Tech Rolltop Backpack combines smart styling with practical everyday design. The pack is made in San Francisco and comes in a choice of brown or blue waxed canvas or black ballistic nylon. The rolltop pack is available in Compact (12L-15L) and Full (18L-24L) sizes. Both sizes feature padded laptop and tablet compartments. The Compact fits a 13″ laptop in the externally accessed compartment, along with a 15″ laptop in the main compartment, while the Full size fits a 15″ laptop in the exterior compartment and offers further tech storage in the main compartment. A convenient Fidlock magnetic buckle and easy-access pockets round out the user-friendly design.
Sometimes you need a pencil. Sometimes you need a pen. But what if you could have an instrument that served as both, all while maintaining a beautifully minimalist, classic look and feel? The Inventery Interchangeable Mechanical Pencil and Pen does just that. Made with durable brass in a choice of finishes, the clean design accepts both pencil and pen refills so you can alternate between writing options as required. It comes with a Schmidt 9000 Easyflow M Pen Refill and Schmidt DSM 2007 Pencil Mechanism, as well as a removable pocket clip.
Heading into the backcountry with camera gear in tow? The MindShift Gear BackLight® Elite 45L Backpack has been designed to accommodate a variety of personal and photographic gear setups to suit a range of needs. The pack offers top and back panel access to camera gear, along with dedicated storage for a 17″ laptop and 10″ tablet. Items such as snow tools, a snowboard or skis, and a tripod can be secured externally. And the rugged build embraces demanding outdoor use too, with a weatherproof and durable build featuring sailcloth and YKK AquaGuard zippers. And since all that gear can get heavy, comfort has been considered too with comfy back padding, a quick-dry back panel for improved ventilation, and a removable waist belt.
NOMATIC are a crowdfunding success story that keeps going from strength to strength with functional carry offerings to make life on the go easier. Now they’re stepping into new territory with their first rolling luggage. The sleek Carry-On Pro, Carry-On Classic and Check-In blend durability, functionality and style to cater to a range of travel needs. The Carry-On Pro suits 1-3 day trips with tech, offering a quick-access tech compartment with a removable Tech Case for standalone day use. If you need extra space, look to the Carry-on Classic and the expandable Check-In which both include two compression packing cubes. All three pieces keep your gear tidy with interior organization and a folding compression panel with nifty magnetic compression straps. The collection is made with Makrolon polycarbonate, Hinomoto wheels and handles, as well as YKK zips for quality and long-lasting travel-ready toughness.
We covered them before during their Kickstarter but now they are in regular production. The production version comes in stainless steel, titanium and copper. It mimics disposable lead pencils we are all familiar with from school, except it challenges the notion of tossable commodities and changes it into an heirloom consideration. The presentation is top-notch with a custom cut cork box that holds the pencil, refills, erasers, and various tools for upkeep and maintenance.
Technical style for your travels and daily wear? Proof delivers with their redesigned Nomad Collection of chinos and shorts. The collection is made with breathable and soft Japanese Toray twill that keeps you comfortable on the go and also provides two-way stretch for greater movement. A concealed zip pocket offers discreet storage for valuables such as a passport or phone. And with two chino styles to choose from, including straight and slim fits, as well as a range of colorways for all pieces, you can dapper up your EDC and travel wardrobe to suit your tastes.
ORBITGear drops their signature technical feel in a slick Spring/Summer 2019 collection zeroing in on versatility and adaptability. The collection offers modularity, protection from the elements, as well as an eye-catching new white colorway and features backpacks, messengers, pouches and more. The lineup is made in-house in Jakarta and is crafted with top-notch components such as Dyneema and X-Pac fabrics and quality hardware including Fidlock magnetic V-buckles and AustriAlpin Cobra buckles.
Rolltop packs are great for accommodating changing amounts of gear, but they can make it tricky to get to items at the bottom of the bag. Not so with the Alpin Mountain Company Ascent Pack. The rolltop closure adapts to a variety of loads, while the front full-length zipper lets you easily access gear throughout the main compartment. Handmade in California, the weatherproof and durable pack is made with 600D Cordura, a waterproof lining and weatherproof zippers. A sternum strap and padded waist belt help stabilize the load, while compression straps allow you to cinch the bag for smaller loads or secure items externally.
One pant to handle the weekday commute and weekend hike? A pant that moves easily with you, hopping from travel use to exercise or everyday wear? The versatile Barbell Apparel Patrol Pant is designed to offer all of this versatility and more. The tough and flexible pants are made with ripstop flextek™ fabric and offer four-way stretch for comfort and freedom of movement. The fit can be customized with the drawstring waist band and cord-lock system at the ankles. And the pants are also resistant to water and stains, handy whether you’re caught in a downpour or accidentally spill liquid on them. Plus they pack down compactly into their own pocket, making them simple to store in luggage, an overnight bag or a day bag until needed.
The Hillside Backpack was designed to help you get more out of your daily carry. An everyday backpack with the flexibility to accommodate overnight trips and built tough to handle day-to-day and travel needs equally well. The pack is made with water-resistant 1680D ballistic polyester and offers a choice of top-loading or quick-access exterior entry to the main compartment. A choice of interior and exterior padded sleeves for tech, multiple organization pockets, as well as a luggage passthrough sleeve enhance the functionality of this versatile pack.
Tired of wasting time hunting for essentials before you can walk out your front door? Distil Union created Ferris as an easy solution to store small items like your phone, wallet, keys and sunglasses tidily and out of the way until you need them. The modular, magnetic system features the KeyLoop, KeyFolio and ModWallet to suit your ideal carry setup. The system uses MagLock, a magnetic locking mechanism that supports 5 lbs in weight, so you have gear security along with quick access. And the Ferris ModStation provides a convenient catch-all storage space to store items at the ready.
When it comes to multitools, Leatherman make some of the best around. Tools like the Signal, which is aimed at outdoor use and packs in 19 tools including a firestarter ferro rod, whistle, hammer and more. And now you can switch up your carry setup with some color-popping style courtesy of an eye-catching new range of Signal colorways. All the functionality, with added pizzazz for your pocket.
Shirts are a go-to piece when you want to sharpen up your wardrobe. But when cool weather sets in, you might find yourself wishing you had a little extra warmth in situations where you can’t or don’t want to wear a bulky coat. Enter the Alchemy Equipment AEM146 Insulated Tech Shirt. Stylish in aesthetics and technical in design, the shirt combines a tailored fit with a considered build to keep cold, rain and wind at bay. The shirt is made with a Japanese DWR mechanical stretch fabric, PrimaLoft Gold Insulation, and a Pertex® Quantum lining. All designed to keep you cosy in technical-chic style.
Business-ready aesthetics, premium construction and everyday practicality? The Carl Friedrik Montagu Messenger delivers it all, with suave sophistication and timeless design. It’s meticulously handcrafted in Italy with Italian Vachetta leather and a Cordura fabric lining, both available in a choice of colorways to suit your personal tastes. The Montagu also provides fast, easy access with a strap closure and includes a luggage holder at the rear. The elegant style of a briefcase with the portability of a messenger makes this a solid choice when you mean business.
Single-use plastic is a major environmental problem. But Outlery have a nifty solution at hand to help you do your part in cutting down on single-use plastic. Thoughtfully designed reusable cutlery and chopsticks that pack down small to fit inside pocket-friendly storage cases. The cutlery is made from durable stainless steel and is TSA compliant, making it easy to take on your travels as well as your day-to-day excursions.
Matador’s Pocket Blanket delivers great packability in a design that remains functional, with useful features such as inbuilt corner stakes, weighted corners and sand pockets, as well as water and puncture resistance. And now they’ve teamed up with Hawaiian artist Sarah Caudle to create the limited edition Ocean Pocket Blanket. For each blanket sold Matador will remove 1 pound of trash from waterways in Colorado and Hawaii. So you can help do good while enjoying a ready place to sit wherever you go.
Peak Design are no strangers to game-changing design. And now they have their sights set on shaking up the portable tripod niche. The Peak Design Travel Tripod offers the benefits of a traditional tripod in a compact design that significantly reduces dead space for easy portability. It’s also designed to set up and pack down quickly, offer quick camera attachment and release, an easily adjustable ball head, as well as compatibility with a diverse range of gear, from professional photography equipment to mobile phones.
Moment are passionate about all things mobile photography, from crafting photographic gear and apps, to leading photography trips. And now they’re stepping into carry with a range of compact, functional bags and wallets packing in the urban style and practicality. The Moment Fanny Sling Pack and Moment Crossbody Wallet are designed as photo travel bags for exploring with the essentials. Both offer a range of carry options, pockets and fabric choices, with expandable storage for the Fanny Sling Pack when you need to carry a little extra.
Travel can be pricey. But Optimus are keen to demonstrate that quality luggage doesn’t have to be. Their three-piece collection offers all the features you’d expect in quality luggage, at a fraction of the cost of traditional suitcases. The sleek, hard-side collection includes the Optimus Carry-On, Optimus Medium Checked and Optimus Checked. The suitcases are made with lightweight, impact-resistant and scratch-resistant polycarbonate shells with reinforced corner guards. YKK zippers and Hinomoto spinner wheels add to the premium components, while features such as TSA-approved locks, handy interior organization pockets, and inbuilt expandability enhance the functionality. Added bonuses? You get a guaranteed ship-out date or your money refunded, a 100-day guarantee where you can return the suitcases if not satisfied, as well as a 10-year warranty.
Stain and odor-repellent clothing tends to have a more technical or outdoor look and feel. But what if you could get these properties in a polo shirt that looks right at home in urban environments? Well, you can. The LABFRESH Polo Shirt is sustainably made from a 100% cotton, pique fabric with a unique FreshCore™ treatment that repels liquids and odors while maintaining the fabric’s breathability and comfortable feel. So you get urban style, technical performance and reduced laundry. Wins all around.
The Scrubba Wash Bag provides a clever solution for tackling laundry on your travels. But what if you just need to wash some small items and want to keep weight to a minimum? Enter the Scrubba Wash Bag MINI. Over 50% lighter than the original Scrubba, the MINI weighs just 70g (3 oz.) and is a great option for effectively washing items such as socks and underwear or a t-shirt thanks to its flexible internal washboard. Plus it doubles as a storage sack for wet or dirty items, a dry bag for valuables, and a camp bucket for doing dishes or washing your face. Compact, multifunctional and lightweight, it’s a solid addition to minimalist and ultralight travel setups.
Prometheus Design Werx step up their tough, versatile carry with the updated S.H.A.D.O. Pack. Tough and adaptable for urban and outdoor use, the pack is made with 500D Cordura and includes dual compartments, a modular Gear Trap and an EDCO Panel™ with removable Admin Panel for organization. Additionally the pack has a 3-stage modular ToF Belt™ for tailored comfort and weight-saving preferences.