- Buyer's Guide
Best New Gear: September 2019
Ultralight mountaineering gear, phone protection, and versatile carry-on bags are just some of the enticing new offerings that September has served up. Dig into a feast of best new gear below…
Looking for clean functionality in your carry-on? Osprey’s Transporter Global Carry-On is well up to the task, combining a sleek silhouette with practical access and useful organization. The bag’s main clamshell compartment is complemented by a quick-access padded laptop sleeve. And for portability you can opt between the shoulder strap and grab handles, with a luggage handle pass-through at the ready too for all-in-one carry.
If you’re keen on Osprey’s Transporter Global Carry-On but want a little extra space and more carry options, look to Osprey’s Transporter Carry-On. The bag can be carried briefcase-style, as a shoulder bag or as a backpack courtesy of the stowable shoulder straps. Additionally, you can also utilize the luggage handle pass-through if required. And you still benefit from a clamshell main compartment and quick-access, protective tech storage.
One bag that can take you from home to the office or double up as a travel companion for short trips? Topo Designs serves up the goods with their Global Briefcase. Practical and adaptable, the bag can be carried as a briefcase, shoulder bag or backpack. Plus there’s also a luggage handle pass-through for further flexibility. A wide-opening main compartment, separate quick-access laptop compartment and convenient front pockets also keep your commute or travel essentials easily accessible.
If you’re a fan of Aer’s well-considered Travel Pack 2 but want something a little smaller, you’re in luck. With the Travel Pack 2 Small, Aer have shrunk the size but still pack in big brother’s great functionality. The pack offers 28L of space (compared to the 33L Travel Pack 2) and a more compact size, handy for travelers with smaller frames or if you simply want to carry less. The clamshell main compartment, separate storage for shoes or dirty laundry, suspended quick-access laptop pocket and range of smaller organization pockets make this a solid travel companion for carry-on use.
Shoes often take up a lot of packing space. But the Lems Boulder Chukka is a savvy pick for a travel-friendly and versatile option. Lightweight and packable, it can be rolled up for compact storage in your luggage. And its stylish zero-drop design is easy to dress up or down too. Add in its comfy suede upper, removable moisture-wicking insole, durable yet light and grippy IBR outsole and wide toe box, and you’re all set to stride through diverse travel environments with ease.
Work is becoming increasingly on the move, from traveling to meetings to catching up on some tasks in your local coffee shop. So QWSTION designed their Office Collection as a sleek answer to mobile working. The collection features the new Office Pack, an adaptable and slim piece that can be carried as a backpack or shoulder bag. Additionally, the collection includes updated takes on the Daypack, Office Bag and Simple Office Bag, serving them up in a combination of organic cotton canvas, vegetable-tanned leather and YKK zippers for a chic, quality look and feel.
Technology is an ever-increasing part of our lives. But sometimes you can’t beat the straightforward convenience of pen and paper. A concept saluted by RAWROW’s PEN PACK Collection. The series features RAWROW’s favorite designs including the Pen Backpack, Pen Pack Tote, Pen Pack Helmet Bag, Pen Pack Panini Bag, Pen Pack Clutch and Pen Pack Messenger, crafted with water-resistant nylon and available in various sizes and colorways. And each bag in the series comes with a pen, secured in place with an elastic loop and ready whenever you need it.
WP Standard puts an added security twist on their Vintage Tote Bag with the Zipper Tote Bag. Crafted with beautiful full-grain leather, the tote can be used with the zipper open or closed to provide faster access or greater security as desired. Inside you’ll find a drop pocket for small essentials, with an optional monogram service available too for a personalized touch.
Coolers are traditionally bulky, awkward items to carry. But Monti Coolers has a nifty solution on hand with the Shasta. This packable 16L cooler weighs just 14.6 oz and packs down into an inbuilt stuff sack. It features a waterproof lining, can keep drinks below 36° F for up to 10 hours and is machine washable for easy care. Plus with its moldable, USA-made construction, it’s easy to store in larger bags filled with a variety of loads.
A shoe you can wear indoors and outdoors, zipping from the office to the gym or urban streets to outdoor trails? GORUCK designed their I/O Cross Trainers to do all that and more. Made with a Cordura and full-grain leather upper, they don’t require breaking in and offer considered comfort with a wide toe box, suede heel counter to help prevent blisters and hot spots, and midfoot webbing for stability. The dual compound rubber outsole is designed with durability and traction in mind, while the 10mm heel-to-toe drop balances mobility and support.
Urban styling and discreet anti-theft features come together in the slick Unbox Therapy x Pacsafe collaboration featuring a briefcase and backpack. Handy design elements such as puncture-resistant lockable zippers, cut-resistant materials, an anchor strap and RFID-blocking pocket help keep your gear safe and sound on the go. And with the collaboration’s self-healing fabric, surface scratches can be removed by simply applying heat.
Timbuk2’s Catapult Sling 2.0 makes it easy to cut the carry bulk and zip around with the essentials. Backed by a lifetime warranty, the bag is tough enough for everyday use and comes with an ambidextrous strap. The front pocket provides a useful stash spot for items such as your phone or wallet, while the main compartment is accesible via a flap or back panel zipper. You’ll also find a built-in bottle opener at the ready when it’s time to relax with a cold brew.
Want the flexibility to quickly reach small everyday gear or carry more discreetly as the situation calls for it? DSPTCH’s new RND collection lets you do both. The collection includes a Unit Holster Pouch, Unit Vertical Pouch and Unit Sling Pouch, each designed to be worn over your clothing or under an outer layer to suit your preferences. The bags are made in the USA and feature a semi-translucent panel of Dyneema Composite Fabric so you can discern contents at a glance.
ORBITGear takes inspiration from highly mobile lifestyles for their CIGSeries 2020 Collection. Designed to carry daily essentials while protecting them from the elements, the collection features four pieces made with weatherproof polyester and quality hardware. A daypack, messenger, hip bag and sacoche provide a range of options to accommodate diverse loads.
A great pair of jeans should mold to you, delivering a personalized fit you’ll love wearing for years to come. And the KATO’ Pen Slim 14oz 4-Way Stretch Selvedge jeans do it oh so well. Each pair is made in Los Angeles with top-notch Japanese selvedge denim featuring four-way, 360° stretch. So you get comfortable wear from day one, with long-term durability and enduring style.
When you’re on the go with one bag, you need it to function well while looking good in changing settings. Guiding principles behind Haerfest’s Apollo Collection. Minimalist style meets everyday practicality in the collection’s backpack, tote, and satchel/briefcase. The bags offer professional aesthetics that transition from work to play and back again. And with features such as thoughtful organization, durable and water-resistant fabrics and luggage pass-through sleeves, the collection keeps your gear tidy and protected on excursions both near and far.
Multitools aren’t always the easiest items to grip. But this Leatherman Charge+ with orange G10 grip scales provides a reliable hold for a multitude of uses. And if you drop it in long grass or misplace it in your campsite, that bold pop of color makes locating it a lot easier too. Add in its externally accessible cutting blades, variety of tools and durable build and you’ve got a trusty task companion for EDC and adventure use alike.
Don’t want to waste time hunting for misplaced EDC items? The Orbikey x Chipolo Tracker offers a slim and stylish design that fits inside Orbitkey Key Organisers or standard keyrings, plus a tassel that lets you easily secure it to larger items. Simply use the free Chipolo app to ring the Bluetooth tracker or see its last location. Alternatively you can use the tracker to locate your phone too. Additionally, the tracker can double as a selfie remote for your phone and includes a replaceable battery for easy use.
If you’ve got your eye on the iPhone 11, you’re going to want solid protection for it too. And Bellroy deliver that protection in sophisticated style with their selection of iPhone 11 cases. Slim yet durable, the cases feature a combination of premium leather and polymer, with a microfiber lining and chamfered edges. The Bellroy Phone Case offers chic protection for your phone, while the Phone Case 3 Card doubles as a minimalist wallet with a handy compartment for storing cards.
Small tech gadgets, cables and accessories are easy to lose in a large bag. But Bellroy’s Tech Kit provides all-in-one storage with a generous dose of style too. The pouch opens wide for convenient access and offers a selection of pockets and elastic webbing to organize your smaller day-to-day or travel items. The pouch also includes a floating wall that stretches out to accommodate items of diverse sizes.
Carabiners are a convenient way to carry quick-access items on your bag or your person. But what if they could do more? The GPCA Carabiner is designed to do just that, packing in multiple features such as a knife blade, screwdrivers, bottle opener, pry tool and storage capsule to successfully carry out a range of day-to-day or adventure tasks. Available in a choice of durable metal options, it’s an appealing multitool for urban and outdoor use alike.
If you’re looking to shed the weight in climbing trips, Hyperlite Mountain Gear offers functional, ultralight gear to help you effectively do that. And their Prism Collection provides a practical, durable and weatherproof range of pieces that organize and protect your gear from the elements while keeping carry weight to a minimum. The collection includes the Prism Pack, Prism Ice Screw Case, and Prism Crampon Bag, each made with Dyneema® Composite Fabrics for lightweight durability.
What do you get when Vans and Finisterre come together? A collection of eco-friendly footwear that embraces sustainability and adventure-ready design. The range features tough, environmentally-friendly materials including eco synthetic leather, recycled PET and recycled polyester ripstop, resulting in the most sustainable footwear in Vans’ range. The water-resistant collection includes the UltraRange Hi DL, Destruct, and Slip-Er designed for rugged and wet surfing environments.
It’s often hard to escape the technical look of performance clothing, making it stand out when you want to enjoy its benefits in non-traditional settings. But the Foehn Brise Pant takes a different approach, blending urban-savvy styling with outdoor-ready performance. Designed as a rock climbing pant, the Brise embraces hikes and mountain biking too, with a durable, abrasion-resistant stretch fabric with a DWR finish to repel dirt and water. Comfort and freedom of movement are well catered to with a stretch waistband and cuffs, knee articulation, crotch gusset and zippered ankle gusset. And a thigh pocket stores smaller essentials while being situated low enough to sit below a harness.
Some gear requires next-level protection. The kind of protection that Thyrm’s DarkVault™ and DarkVault-Comms™ Critical Gear Cases provide. Designed to protect vital communication and navigation gear, the cases feature rugged, waterproof and dustproof construction. The DarkVault™ case also provides GPS and cellular signal blocking, allowing for isolation without constant power-cycling. And for added flexibility, the MOLLE-compatible cases also offer tunable hinge friction for convenient on-body use.