- Buyer's Guide
Best New Gear | April 2022
Climate-conscious drinkware, an anti-theft urban sling, a luxurious work briefcase, and plastic-free outdoor carry are just some of the fine pieces that shone in April. Discover the month’s best new gear in our roundup below…
GiantMouse knew they had a winner on their hands with the Limited Edition GM6 Integral folder. So they worked with Reate to repurpose the design into the ACE line. When teased, the new ACE Corta proved to be one of the most anticipated new releases from both GM fans and enthusiasts. Available in three handle finishes (green micarta, natural micarta, and black G10 with black blade), the Corta features an M390 blade of 3.1″ in a stonewashed finish. It rides on ball bearings and is 3.5mm thick. Brass spacers complete the look and promise some nice patina with use and age. And the whole package is just under 4 oz.
In the hand, the Corta (which is a play on the word “cortar”, meaning to “cut”) is comfortable, with the pinky resting on the pocket clip where it attaches to the knife. Jimping is placed towards the center of the blade, encouraging proper thumb placement, hold position, and the optimal leverage point. The blade bevels to a nice slicey edge while retaining a decent spine thickness, indicating it’d be great for outdoor tasks. Finally, the action is extremely smooth and noticeably easier to deploy than some of GM’s other offerings. Truly, a knife worthy of any EDC kit.
One of our favorite microbrands at the moment is Vaer. Founded in 2016 in Venice by Ryan and Regan, they bring interesting and affordable designs to market, with a number of features and options that fit a broad range of personalities. Starting 2022 off with a bang, they’ve introduced the A3 Atlas Automatic. What you get is 36mm of their best-selling USA assembled automatic watches. Available in two colorways (Navy and standout star here, Atlas Orange), the A3 is powered by a Miyota 9015 automatic movement, boasts 10ATM of water resistance, has C1 Swiss SuperLume, and is assembled in the United States. Typical of Vaer delivering the total package, each watch comes with two 20mm interchangeable straps, with the option of upgrading to a bracelet or Horween leather.
With a universally wearable 36mm diameter, a small date window that’s there when you need it but disappears at the 6 o’clock position when you don’t, multiple strap options, highly legible markers, and a contrasting second hand, the Vaer A3 Atlas is the ideal do everything, go anywhere, EDC field watch.
Prepping you for autumn, the team at prAna have two new jacket collections to keep you comfortable. First up is the Transit Range where you’ll find outerwear that is packable and windproof. This currently consists of two jackets, the Transit Jacket and Transit Windbreaker, each available in three colorways. Next is the Friction Rain series known for its rainproofness and urban-sleek styling. Again, we see two pieces here (the Rain Jacket and Rain Parka), with three and two colorway options respectively. With prices starting under $100, the new collections from prAna offer something to fit any inclement weather you might find yourself in.
Hailing from just north of San Diego, CA, Autumn is coming in hot with their Spring/Summer 2022 collection featuring the new Snowflake icon designed by August Studio as well as new caps, beanies, bucket hats, and artist tees. Five-panel snapbacks are adorned with embroidered wordmarks by surf and snow artists and athletes, while the Camp Cap is available in black and natural ripstop nylon with mesh side panels and a clip closure. This collection truly has something for everyone.
Looking for sleek totes that blend clean urban style and tough versatility? DSPTCH provide ample options with their clean and classy Unit Tote and Utility Tote series. Both designs come in a choice of portrait or landscape modes, as well as a range of hard-wearing materials. One of those options for the Unit Tote is ECOPAK; an eco-friendy material made from 100% recycled polyester with a C0 DWR coating. The totes are made in the USA and can be carried by hand or over the shoulder. And if you fancy additional organization, DSPTCH also offers clever optional inserts for both models.
Pacsafe are experts at delivering anti-theft features in understated style. And with their new Urban Sling, they deliver their signature security-conscious design in a compact bag that’s great for carrying the essentials. Discreet features such as lockable zippers, a cut-resistant strap and materials, as well as an RFID-blocking pocket keep your gear safe on the go. And with its wide opening and choice of pockets, organizing and accessing gear is straightforward too. Add in the sustainable construction featuring 8 recycled plastic bottles and 100% PFC free water repellency and you’ve got a solid, stylish sling for both everyday and travel use.
When it comes to handsome heritage aesthetics, premium materials, and multifunctional design, you can trust Trakke to deliver the goods. Their new Wester Roll-Top Backpack offers all of this in a tough, 21L design that rolls easily from urban pursuits to outdoor adventures. In addition to the main compartment, the pack provides a quick-access 16″ laptop compartment, dual side pockets, and a handy pocket on the front with its own internal organization.
KILLSPENCER are the kings of luxuriously cool carry and their Briefcase 3.0 brings undeniable elegance to your work setup. Made by hand in Los Angeles, the briefcase exudes quality with its full-grain leather construction, bullhide leather handle, Riri zipper, and Cobra buckles. Inside you’ll find a padded 15″ laptop pocket and two flat pockets, along with two exterior pockets under the flap. The briefcase also includes a removable shoulder strap so you can easily alternate between hand and shoulder carry.
Drinkware is something you likely carry regularly; perhaps a water bottle for the commute or drinking vessels packed in a travel bag for a weekend getaway. MiiR’s new Climate+ Collection offers a sustainable drinkware option that uses 25% less stainless steel, no virgin plastic, and also has 110% of its carbon footprint offset. The collection includes a tumbler (12oz or 16oz) and a wide mouth bottle (20oz), made from lightweight 18/8 stainless steel. The drinkware also features Thermo 3D double-wall vacuum insulation and a 100% recycled and recyclable food-safe lid.
After several months of being out of stock, and gathering a waitlist numbering over 15,000 fans, the Weatherman Travel Umbrella is finally back in stock. The best traveling accessory is the lightest one that Weatherman makes, weighing just under a pound. It’s also the most packable, coming in at less than 12 inches collapsed. Despite its diminutive size, it shares the same durability as its larger brothers thanks to its industrial-strength fiberglass shafts and ribs and quick-dry water-repellent canopies. Said canopies are vented, which allows the Travel Umbrella to withstand winds up to 55mph without breaking or inverting. It’s available in ten solid colorways with reflective accents as well as a number of college-branded versions.
Mountain Hardwear Redeye™ 45 Travel Pack and Echo Lake™ Hoody
Mountain Hardwear continuously innovates, and sometimes under the radar! Whenever we get the chance to test their products, we jump at the chance to have a play around with them. Two new items from their team have caught our attention – The Redeye Travel Pack and the Echo Lake Hoody.
The Redeye Travel Pack is quintessential Mountain Hardwear; excellent construction, no frills, just good thoughtful design. Coming in two colorways and two harness sizes, the Redeye has all that you could need for a few days on the road. 500D CORDURA® nylon is a great blend of robust and lightweight, and a lined laptop sleeve keeps your tech close at hand. Top and rear access allows you to either drop in or unload quickly, and the stowable hip belt and shoulder straps give you the option to “tidy” the bag for different situations. If you’re on the road regularly, this is worth a look!
The Echo Lake Hoody is an excellent addition to your spring and summer wardrobe. A lightweight hoody that combines both windproof protection and sun protection (UPF 40), this packable layer is an easy choice to bring with you. Four pockets, a full-size hood, and subtle styling for under $90? Count us in!
Western Rise Session Tee, Movement Short, Boundless Short
The husband and wife dynamic duo out of Colorado knows that the weather is heating up and folks are itching to spend quality time outdoors. They’ve recently added some welcome improvements to three warm-weather pieces. First up is the Session Tee, which receives new inline sleeves and updated sizing to accommodate more body shapes. Next, the Movement Short is now constructed from a lighter, more moisture-wicking and quicker drying fabric. They also decreased the inseam a tad for better movement. Lastly, the Boundless Short is trimmer with a lighter weight fabric and shorter fit, and is now rocking a stretch waistband with a new drawstring.
We’ve been enjoying these pieces on runs, pickleball sessions, and pre-noon hikes. They are lightweight, quick-drying, don’t smell, and allow a wide range of movement. And if you’ve ordered any Western Rise gear recently, be sure to check out their new luxe packaging!
We’re fans of HMG and their Daybreak, and it tested well in the field. And so when they recently released a white version of their Daybreak Ultralight Daypack with some orange shock cord for serious pop points – we were all over it.
Multifunctional for trips on the trails or around town, this new colorway brings a bright colorway to your excursions while maintaining the pack’s lightweight appeal.
Compact and capable, the STS-B G10 Combo Frame Lock Folder is a new release from PDW’s Special Projects Division. The knife offers a variety of carefully considered features including a premium Böhler M390 blade, titanium bolsters, jimping for saber and reverse grips, glow-in-the-dark cabochons, and OD Green G10 handle scales installed. However, a set of Black G10 scales are also included, allowing you to swap out scales depending on your preferences.
QWSTION have long been known for their sustainable approach to carry. Now they’re stepping up once again, this time to tackle the outdoor scene with the QWSTION + MOVER Hip Pack. This 0% plastic bag features a combination of ripstop cotton, Bananatex®, wool felt padding, and aluminum buckles. The bag is designed to accommodate a range of use environments, from skiing to cycling and hiking. Limited to 100 pieces, the hip pack is available to pre-order now with delivery scheduled for June.
Our friends at Huckberry often do a great job of choosing unique and timeless collaboration partners. They’ve done the same here with their new TJB knife–the Redstone. A lightweight knife perfect for both EDC and Outdoor pursuits, the Redstone features a slide lock design, Sandvik 12C27 steel, a wire clip, and a paracord lanyard complete with Huckberry bead. Simple, stylish, and functional, this could be a great addition to your kit!
If you spend any amount of time on your feet hiking, walking, or running, you’ll know that all insoles are not created equal. Even in some of the best shoes on the market, the insoles can be lacking. Superfeet now have you covered with their two newest customizable insoles – The Trailblazer and the Run Comfort. Easily cut to your shoe size, these insoles provide great comfort, energy dispersion, and odor resistance. Foot and leg health is often an underappreciated part of activity and recovery; with a simple insert, you can help ease discomfort and decrease fatigue. Superfeet provide a wide range of activity-specific insoles too! Look after your feet, and they’ll look after you!