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Backpacks, Outdoor Gear and EDC | The Best Products to Buy from May 2024

by , June 3, 2024

Commute-friendly daily drivers, a modular travel bag system, and a rugged adventure-ready cooler were just some of the excellent new pieces stepping onto the carry stage in May. Discover these and more as we delve into the month’s best new gear.


Fortis Novonaut AMADEE-24

Fortis Novonaut AMADEE-24

Whether you’re heading to work, on an overnight trip, or beyond the earth’s atmosphere, the Fortis Novonaut AMADEE-24 will confidently handle whatever timekeeping mission the day has in store. Specifically designed for future manned missions to Mars, the watch has been field-tested at AMADEE-24, a Mars analog simulation project. The watch was used for communications between a ground team in Armenia and a mission control center in Austria.

The Fortis has a 10-minute communication-delay tracker bezel that simulates communications between Earth and Mars. The bezel has a luminous Super-LumiNova coating, with Luimcast indices providing further legibility. Additionally, the watch uses Fortis’s WERK 17 automatic chronograph caliber, the first movement to ever undergo testing in space. A titanium case and bracelet, a sapphire crystal with an anti-reflective coating, and 200-meter water resistance round out the features.

All-Black Unimatic Modello Uno, Due and Quattro

All-Black Unimatic Modello Uno, Due and Quattro

Unimatic is an Italian watch microbrand with a firm fan following in the timepiece sphere. And now they’re offering three of their primary pieces in an all-black colorway. The models include the Modello Uno dive watch, Modello Due field watch, and the Modello Quattro military watch, all featuring a stainless steel case with a black DLC coating, matte black dials, and two black straps (one nylon and one suede). Each piece is limited to 99 units and features an automatic Swiss Sellita SW200-1 b movement and Super-LumiNova detailing.

Hamilton Khaki Field Expedition New Additions

Hamilton Khaki Field Expedition

Hamilton’s Khaki Expedition launched in 2023 and quickly became a hit with its adventure-ready bi-directional rotating compass bezel, 100-meter water resistance, shorter lugs for more comfortable wear, and 80-hour power reserve. Now Hamilton welcomes five new versions to the Khaki Field Exhibition series, including four with NATO straps. A variety of colorway combinations are available, such as a navy dial with navy strap and a black dial with gray strap, allowing you to choose your preferred style.

Oak & Oscar The Atwood

Oak & Oscar The Atwood

Chicago-based Oak & Oscar introduces the Atwood chronograph. Promising to be the smallest and thinnest chronograph at just 12.9mm thick, with a 39mm case diameter and 46mm lug-to-lug, it certainly is compact for what it’s packing. The case is 316L stainless, while front and rear sapphire crystals offer 50m water resistance and a protected view into the dial and movement of the watch.

The manually wound AMT5100M caliber movement runs on 23 jewels and offers a 58-hour power reserve. A blued column wheel for crisp pusher action is mated with instantaneous flyback reset. Separate hour, minute, and second counters can keep track of up to 12 hours of timing. For legibility, a tri-compax textured sandwich dial is available in panda, reverse panda and navy blue stainless options. The bracelet is stainless with fully articulating links and has a clean taper from 20mm to 16mm at the quick-adjust clasp. A Horween leather strap option is also available and the watch includes an olive-drab nylon strap with orange stitching and signed hardware.

Bellroy Pixel 8a Phone Case

Best New Gear - Bellroy Pixel 8a Phone Case

Designed in collaboration with Google, the Bellroy Pixel 8a Phone Case delivers style and protection in one. The slim and sleek case features edge-to-edge eco-tanned leather, aluminum buttons, and a microfiber lining. Compatible with wireless charging, the case provides a soft and premium handfeel with minimal bulk.



Best New Gear - Vivobarefoot VIVOBIOME HYBRID WING

Vivobarefoot’s VivoBiome is a scan-to-print circular footwear system that aims to reduce waste while delivering a more personalized footwear experience. The system involves scanning your feet with your phone and choosing your preferred fit in the VivoBiome fit visualizer, which offers 38 size options created from data derived from over 100,000 foot scans. After matching your feet to your preferred width and length, the system uses 3D printing to create a barefoot outsole, while the circular knitting process creates a 3D foot shape in a seamless upper, with a final automated assembly process to round out production. The first shoe available through the system is the HYBRID WING, available in the UK only in two colorways (Obsidian Origin Red and Obsidian Origin Blue), with each colorway limited to 1000 pairs.

Filson Surveyor Collection

Best New Gear - Filson Surveyor Collection

Whether you’re commuting or packing for a weekend trip, Filson’s Surveyor Collection offers lightweight durability and practical design to cater to a variety of day-to-day and travel needs. The collection includes the Surveyor 36L Backpack, Surveyor Messenger Bag, and Surveyor Pullman Pack. The messenger and backpack both accommodate a laptop, with additional quick-access pockets to easily reach smaller EDC items, while the Pullman Pack offers a clamshell opening for easy packability and access during your travels. The collection features Cordura ballistic nylon with a dry weave coating for weather protection and is available in service green, black, and dark tan flame colorways.



memobottle offered a nifty flatter alternative to round water bottles and now the brand founders are back with their latest offering, memobento. Designed as a flexible lunchbox system, memobento combines an outer lunchbox with a removable interior bento container. Available in a stainless steel memobento option or lightweight plastic memobento Lite option, the lunchbox is compatible with silicone bento containers that are freezer-friendly and oven and microwave-compatible.

Bellroy Venture Ready Pack 20L

Best New Gear - Bellroy Venture Ready Pack 20L

Bellroy welcomes a new smaller sibling to the Venture line with the Venture Ready Pack 20L. The backpack provides all the features of its 26L big brother but in a smaller format that’s suitable for more compact loads and smaller body frames. The drop-down front panel makes gear accessible while still keeping the contents contained. Plus you benefit from an assortment of quick-access pockets, a padded 16″ tech sleeve, and further interior pockets for organization. Additionally, a rear luggage pass-through adds travel-friendly functionality too.

Black Ember Citadel 25 SS24

Best New Gear - Black Ember Citadel 25 SS24

The revised Citadel 25 includes welcome updates for SS24 such as load lifters for a more personalized fit and a modular water bottle holder. The pack is constructed with CORDURA’s burly new RN66 Velocity fabric and YKK AquaGuard zippers, so you can carry in confidence knowing it will handle demanding use and inclement weather day in and day out. Versatile as a daily driver or travel companion for short trips, the Citadel R3-25 is a flexible all-rounder for work, travel, and play.

Black Ember FORGE SB

Best New Gear - Black Ember FORGE SB

The FORGE Collection introduces its most minimal addition to date with the new FORGE SB. This sleek soft-sided briefcase can be carried by hand or using the included shoulder strap. A quick-access external panel offers storage for items such as chargers and phones, while the interior organization provides dedicated padded storage for a 16″ laptop and a 13″ tablet. The main compartment lays flat for easy access and the inbuilt luggage strap allows for convenient carry with wheeled luggage.

Alex Crane Alta Suit

Alex Crane Alta Suit

Alex Crane introduces its first-ever suit. The Brooklyn-based sustainable brand just released the Alta Suit, a summer-ready tailored and relaxed outfit. It’s crafted from 100% sustainably grown French flax and washed with biodegradable softeners to give it a relaxed drape and soft hand feel. The unstructured Alta Blazer has a notched lapel, two button closure, and patch pockets with a center vent in the rear. The Alta Trousers have a high waist, straight leg, and button fly. Together, they make for a duo that means business when you mean it and casual when you don’t. It’s a do-it-all staple that is ideal all summer long at home and for packing on your next travel adventure. Why shouldn’t you look good on holiday?

WaterField Designs Shinjuku Messenger Bag

WaterField Shinjuku Messenger Bag

Right on cue, San Francisco-based WaterField Designs has introduced new gear for Apple’s latest iPad Pro M4. Named after the lively neighborhood in Tokyo, the bags are designed for navigating crowded areas. They offer a slimmer alternative to standard messenger bags and are ideally suited for commuting and travel.

Available in X-Pac canvas or waxed canvas, both options are equipped with a full-grain leather flap with strong magnets for elegant closure. Multiple pockets surround the messenger, including a quick-access zippered pocket on the front flap and internal pockets inside. A built-in padded sleeve for iPads has a fleece-lined neoprene bottom, and the bag can hold up to a 15-inch MacBook Air. A water bottle pocket on the side has a stretchy pocket to accommodate up to a 3-inch diameter bottle.

The Shinjuku is available in two sizes. The compact is $229 and measures 11 x 9.5 x 3.5 inches, while the full size is $239 and measures 13.5 x 10.5 x 3.5 inches. It is available in storm gray or black X-Pac canvas or tan waxed canvas with distressed chocolate leather.

Moondrop Golden Ages Wireless Earbuds

Moondrop Golden Ages Wireless Earbuds

In the audiophile world, planar magnetic headphones are a beloved niche. These use a thin, flexible diaphragm sandwiched between conductive wire patterns. This differs from dynamic headphones, which use a moving coil driver. Planar magnetic headphones tend to be larger and heavier due to the size of the magnets, so it’s surprising to see the technology being used in portable earbuds. 

But that’s precisely what Moondrop Audio has done with their Golden Ages True Wireless Earbuds. The company managed to pack a lot of performance and technology into the Golden Ages. They utilize a new patented driver developed by the founder of Moondrop. It’s 13mm and uses several N55 neodymium magnets to produce great dynamic range efficiently. It supports Bluetooth 5.3, LDAC lossless protocol, runs 6 hours on a charge, and has a case that holds an additional 3 charges. The earbuds charge up in 1 hour, and the case can go from empty to full in 90 minutes. 

Additional quality of life features include a 55ms low latency mode for gaming, ambient sound transparency mode to hear the world around you, three levels of bass control tunings, iOS and Android compatibility and a fully-featured app. To top things off, Moondrop went with a retro anime theme from 1979 for fans of that aesthetic. 

Wax London SS24 Drop Three “Ciao Bella” Collection

Wax London SS24 Drop Three "Ciao Bella"

Inspired by idyllic European holidays, the Ciao Bella collection from Wax London offers a variety of shirts, pants, vests, and more that transition easily from everyday warm-weather wardrobes to travel adventures. The collection features materials such as 100% cotton and linen, well suited for sunny days on the beach, casual outdoor dining, and exploring about town.

Taylor Stitch x Jimmy Thompson

Taylor Stitch x Jimmy Thompson

Taylor Stitch just dropped multiple pieces in collaboration with Los Angeles-based artist Jimmy Thompson. Drawing inspiration from his home base, Jimmy is known for reinterpreting the familiar, infusing a sense of joy and whimsy into his artistic endeavors. Perfect for the warmer days ahead, the new pieces include The Short Sleeve Jack in Light Blue Floral, The Conrad Shirt in Dark Blue Floral, and the Bandana in Dark Blue Floral.


YETI Roadie 32 Wheeled Cooler

Best New Gear - YETI Roadie 32 Wheeled Cooler

The Roadie 32 Wheeled Cooler is the latest addition to YETI’s Roadie Wheeled Cooler line, offering a more compact option that fits in smaller vehicles and is easier to transport but still offers plenty of space for an adventurous day out. The cooler is built with a RockSolid Strength body for dependable durability and comes in a seasonal Big Wave Blue colorway for a limited time as well as four core colors including Rescue Red, White, Navy, and Charcoal. The cooler includes a Dry Goods Basket, is compatible with dry ice, and can keep cold items cold or hot items hot depending on your needs.

Jeep x Marathon Watch Series

Best New Gear - Jeep x Marathon Watch Series

Jeep and Marathon share a history of supplying gear to the Allied Forces, with reputations for delivering toughness and dependability in their offerings. And now they’ve teamed up to bring that tough dependability to your wrist in the form of a timepiece collection. Four different designs are available, inspired by the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon and Willys MB and built for the pursuit of adventure in demanding environments. Available in quartz and automatic options, the watches include two 41mm Jeep® Rubicon options with tritium and MaraGlo illumination and two 41mm Jeep® Willys options inspired by Jeep and original 1941 Marathon field watches.

Bandit Running Summer 2024 Collection

Best New Gear - Bandit Running Summer 2024 Collection

Bandit is a new (to us) running apparel brand based in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. They started out with running socks and accessories and fully launched a head-to-toe line in Fall 2022. They just dropped their Summer 2024 collection, which includes 63 pieces, eight completely new silhouettes, and updated colorways on customer favorites. 

This collection was inspired by the challenges of training in the summer heat, mixed with pieces needed to serve versatile and varied environments and situations. Aside from serving your running needs, these pieces from Bandit may also prove to be excellent travel and lounge pieces.

Weatherman Long Sleeve Sun Shirt

Best New Gear - Weatherman Sun Shirt

Here’s something unexpected! Weatherman Umbrella, the brand founded by an actual former meteorologist, just launched a new UV-blocking hoodie to their Sun Protection Collection. For their first-ever clothing launch, the Sun Shirt offers UPF 50+ protection and is made of antimicrobial fabric that wicks moisture away while keeping undesirable odors at bay. Quick-drying technology keeps you comfortable on the move. This would be an ideal piece for days on the beach and on trails and arid environments where you might need full upper body protection from the sun’s harsh rays while still needing to stay cool.

Rapha Performance Sportswear

Best New Gear - Rapha Performance Sportswear

Rapha’s Performance Sportswear line features a range of clothing and accessories designed for life on the go, both on and off the bike. It uses features and technical materials from their performance cycling clothing, but with styles that lend themselves to everyday wear and training. A wide variety of pieces for both men and women are available including jackets, shorts, and shirts, as well as shoulder bags in pared-back silhouettes for everyday essentials.


Western Rise Voyager Travel Collection

Best New Gear - Western Rise Voyager Travel Collection

Western Rise are well known for their travel-friendly clothing but now they’re turning their attention to how you carry it, with their new travel bag collection. The Voyager Travel Collection is designed to be a modular system that can adapt to various settings and loads. The collection features four pieces including the Voyager Travel35 backpack, Voyager Pro25 backpack, Voyager Rolltop15, and Voyager TechSling. The Travel35 backpack offers a host of useful features including a clamshell-style main compartment with additional exterior side access, a separate exterior-access laptop compartment, and a separate shoe/laundry compartment. The Pro25 offers a wide-opening main compartment with plenty of pockets to organize and easily access gear, as well as quick side access to the main compartment.

The Voyager Rolltop15 is a packable backpack that can store inside the Travel35 and is a great option for day-to-day use at your destination. The rolltop also offers quick side access to the main compartment and padded storage for tech. Rounding out the collection is the Voyager TechSling, offering plenty of pockets for organizing carry-on essentials and small day-to-day setups while exploring at your destination. It fits inside all the other bags in the collection and offers a multifunctional design that can serve as a Dopp kit, airplane seat bag, tech kit, or sling.

LifeStraw Sip: Stainless Steel Water Filter Straw

Best New Gear - LifeStraw Sip

LifeStraw, a B-Corp on a mission to provide access to safe drinking water worldwide, just launched the world’s first reusable stainless steel water filter straw. Let’s take a breath and break it down. The breakthrough here is a high-flow microfilter membrane packed into a small stainless steel straw, which means you can sip water comfortably and confidently while traveling or away from your home base. The body is stainless steel, and the replaceable upper is silicone; the LifeStraw Sip promises up to 1,000 liters of worry-free drinking and even includes a premium leak-proof case.

The James Brand x TIMEX Titanium GMT Watch

Best New Gear - The James Brand x TIMEX Titanium GMT Watch

May was a big month for watches, culminating with The James Brand and Timex with their latest collaboration. The Titanium GMT Watch is engineered for travelers, combining precision, minimalist design, and durability. The 41mm titanium case is lightweight and comfortable while offering maximum durability. It is powered by a 24-jewel Miyota 9075 automatic movement that tracks a second time zone independently. Some refer to this as a traveler or caller GMT, often preferred. The GMT hand is filled with Super-LumiNova for legibility, and the sapphire crystal has an anti-reflective coating to prevent glare at any angle. 

The watch comes with two options: a titanium bracelet and a perforated resin quick-release strap. It is water resistant down to 200m, and the screw-down crown and caseback are both signed; an edition number graces the rear. The watch is a limited release and is also available in an optional 3-piece exclusive set that pairs it with a TJB titanium knife and titanium pen.

Travel Skant Duo Packable Clothing

Travel Skant Duo Packable Clothing

From work to the plane to the hiking trail, the Travel Skant Duo reimagines what women’s packable travel clothing can achieve. The Travel Skant Duo features the Modular Shrug with a detachable hood and the Travel Skant, a trouser skirt with multiple pockets for holding items such as a passport and phone. The Modular Shrug can also double as a travel blanket or ground cover, enhancing its multifunctional design. Designed with urban style and hybrid city/outdoor/travel functionality in mind, the collection will be made in the USA using lightweight and quick-drying but durable fabrics that will withstand years of round-the-world wear.

Our Best New Gear guides are written by David Vo and Catherine Baecker-Khoury.


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