- Buyer's Guide
Best New Gear: May 2020
A wave of new Japanese releases, a carry icon gets pimped, and an all-weather Merino jacket set to shake up the industry. Discover all this and more as we take a closer look at May’s best new gear…
hobo delivers a sleek, technical twist on everyday urban style with their Spectra X-Gridstop Nylon Backpack. The pack features a contrasting grid pattern and offers excellent tear resistance. The wide opening provides convenient access to the main compartment, with exterior side pockets to store quick-access items. An interior sleeve pocket and water-resistant zippers round out this versatile daypack.
The Base Camp Duffel is an icon in the carry world. But what if it had a contemporary makeover? Meet the Black Series Base Camp Duffel – a gear hauler reimagined. The new-look 30L duffel is made with Nylon with Cordura® Ripstop and a DWR finish and has leather-wrapped rope handles that double as minimal shoulder straps. The D-shaped opening provides easy access to gear in the main compartment with an interior zippered lid pocket, while an end pocket stores dirty clothing or shoes separately.
Porter takes inspiration from the US Air Force’s nylon Type K-2A flight suit for their Flying Ace Kidney Bag. A piece that salutes military utility and durability, it’s made in Japan with a durable Oxford weave nylon and Cerakote-coated hardware. The main compartment is complemented by a range of exterior pockets, providing plenty of options for organizing essentials. And for added versatility, it can be worn cross-body or around the waist.
Just when we thought carry design was getting too ‘safe’, master-piece and Japanese sportswear brand Mizuno hit it out of the park with their five-piece collaboration. The series includes two backpacks and three shoulder bags, all sporting serious 90s-vibe color details that’ll turn heads, no matter where you are (or what decade you’re living in).
If utility with rugged military styling and work/play versatility sounds good, the Haven / Porter Utility Day Pack is one to definitely keep on your short list. Tough and well crafted, the 23L pack is made in Japan with a water-resistant Cordura® X-Pac Nylon and YKK VISLON® Metaluxe zippers. Multiple access points and pockets also ensure gear stays within easy reach whenever you need it, from work supplies to weekend essentials.
Tokyo-based ANONYM CRAFTSMAN DESIGN have you covered for your smaller carry adventures with their 3H Fanny Pack. Available in an assortment of colorways, it’s made with a weatherproof Breathatec™ nylon and water-resistant YKK zippers for protection from the elements. Simple, practical and adaptable, the flexible design does equally well on urban ventures and relaxed outdoor explorations.
Ultralight carry tends to be reserved for the outdoor sphere. But if you want to go really light in everyday settings, look to the 1733 Bucket Bag. The 7.2L (439 cubic in) bag is made with 0.8oz Dyneema Composite Fabric and weighs just 67g (2.4oz). Not just lightweight but also practical, it features a cinch drawcord closure with a cord lock and finger loop, an external zip pocket, as well as an adjustable strap that can be secured to left or right attachment points.
QWSTION have always strived for a sustainable approach to carry. And their BioLight collection is a further step forward on the path to sustainability. The collection focuses on light weight and low impact, offering lightweight bags made with organic materials sourced from plants. The BioLight collection features three pieces, the Mini, Small and Medium Bucket Bag, available in three colorways. Keep an eye out for it on 5 June 2020 when it’s set to launch.
With summer on the horizon, a stylish warm weather staple is a solid addition to your wardrobe. And Wellen have just the piece with their Playa Chino Short. It’s made with 98% cotton sustainably sourced through the Better Cotton Initiative, along with 2% spandex for stretch. Soft, comfy and able to be dressed up or down, the short has rear and side pockets and is a fine pick for both day-to-day and travel wardrobes.
Having ready access to hand sanitiser lets you get to it quickly and easily without having to touch other items in a bag or pocket. So Orbitkey have created a range of Sanitiser Holders to help you get to sanitiser in a jiffy. The holders come in three styles including a retractor, clip, and lanyard. Designed as a reusable system, the holder has a refillable bottle that suits gel-based sanitiser. Orbitkey are donating 100% of profits from the Sanitiser Holder to charities and organizations battling COVID-19 around the world.
Carrying a torch every day can be a tricky adjustment to make. But there’s no reason not to have the KeySmart Nano Torch available whenever you need it. Small enough to fit on a keychain, this compact flashlight is made from stainless steel and offers 25 lumens for illumination wherever you are.
Keeping small photography setups accessible and protected on the go is the name of the game with Moment’s Rugged Camera Sling. Available in 6L and 10L sizes, it features a wide-opening main compartment with internal dividers and pockets to organize gear. Additionally there’s an exterior quick-access pocket with a key clip. The bag is crafted with NorthPak, a durable and waterproof fabric made from 100% recycled polyester fiber and film. And because carry comfort is a priority with camera gear, the bag has a padded winged back panel designed to curve around the body for enhanced comfort, as well as a wide and padded quick-release strap and a stability strap for active use.
Looking for a bag that handles overnight trips with serious style points? Consider the 36L Overnight Tote Bag from ANONYM CRAFTSMAN DESIGN. Tough yet lightweight, the tote is made in Japan with an X-Pac and cotton duck construction and a PET film backing. Weighing in at 500g, its versatile design doesn’t just suit a variety of loads but is also reversible, creating a different vibe for different settings. Nice!
One shirt that moves from work to the weekend with a little adventure vibe? Flint and Tinder have your back with their Stretch Utility Short Sleeve. The shirt is made with a breathable yet durable half-Panama fabric with a dash of stretch for comfy movement. Adaptable for everyday and travel use, it comes in a choice of two colorways and will surely become your versatile wardrobe staple.
An all-weather jacket made from 100% merino wool? With no plastic and no chemical coatings? It may seem hard to believe but Woolly have done it with the NatureDry Jacket. The NatureDry fabric is made from Merino wool yarn that is stretched and woven together before the stretch is released, so the yarns contract and create a watertight seal. The jacket comes in outdoor (hooded) and urban (non-hooded) versions, plus a women’s NatureDry Active Trench which features a detachable hood. Available in three colorways, the jacket is water repellent, windproof, durable, machine washable, and biodegradable.
You’re packing for a picnic, heading to the beach, or need somewhere to stash travel essentials on day excursions. Onia’s Cinch Tote is ready to lend a helping hand across all these situations and more. The quick-drying nylon tote packs down small but is easy to carry for everyday trips or travel needs. Double straps let you sling it over a shoulder or carry it by hand, while dual drawcords deliver a secure cinch to keep belongings safe and sound.
You don’t need to hit the gym to get a good workout in. The At-Home Looped Band Kit is a portable resistance band kit that can be used at home or on your travels, so you don’t have to hunt for the nearest gym at your destination. Tom Brady co-founded TB12, so you can trust this compact but effective kit to perform when you’re putting in the hard graft. And when you’re done, it can be packed away to store at home, or stashed in the included travel bag to take with on trips.
Chafing can really throw you off your stride during a workout. But beardedgoat come to the rescue with their Seamless Training Shirt. There are no seams on the body, while the shoulder seams are offset, so you can enjoy a chafe-free workout while also benefiting from the shirt’s breathable, quick-drying, and soft fabric. And with its versatile design, there’s no reason you can’t embrace the shirt’s enticing comfort outdoors as well.
Topo Designs are known for their bold colorways and love of the outdoors. So are iLL, a climbing and lifestyle brand that love dialing in style into active gear. Bring them together and you’re all set for a striking collaboration. And their new climbing gear collaboration doesn’t disappoint. The collab blends bold colors with functional design and durable construction across four pieces: the technical but comfy Climbing Shoe, boulder-ready Chalk Bucket, handy Accessory Bag and versatile Cosmos Pack (a resurrected design from Topo’s archives).
You don’t want uncomfortable footwear detracting from your adventures on the trails. So adidas designed the Terrex Bounce Hiker GTX with a well-considered blend of comfort and protection from the elements. The Boost™ midsole is shock-absorbing and designed to return energy with each step, keeping you moving more efficiently throughout the day. The Continental rubber outsole offers trusty traction on diverse terrains, while the EVA anti-roll bar helps keep you stable on the go. And with its waterproof GORE-TEX® membrane, this all-terrain shoe will keep your feet dry whatever the weather has in store.
When you’re on the river waiting for that bite, you need somewhere to store essentials out of the way but within easy reach. So REYR Gear teamed up with Deli Fresh Design to create the Fishing Tools Waistpack. Made by hand in the USA with a durable repurposed Dacron sailcloth and Cordura canvas exterior, the bag has repurposed climbing rope loops to secure additional gear externally. Inside the main compartment you benefit from three organization pockets. And the adaptable design can be worn around the waist or over the shoulder, venturing from streams to outdoor trails and even urban meanderings as required.
After a hard day on the trails, you want a good night’s sleep. The Fillo Luxury Camping Pillow is designed to give it to you. It’s made with a combination of a baffled air cell, thick luxury foam, and a soft and washable cover. Additionally, it includes shock cords on the underside to secure clothing if you want increased loft. The inflatable pillow also packs down small and stores inside the integrated stuff sack.
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