- Buyer's Guide
Best New Gear | April 2023
April stepped up with a slew of great new releases, from easy on-the-go water filtration to compact carry for smaller setups and sleek packs for your commute essentials. Discover the month’s best new gear, right here.
GiantMouse ACE Tribeca
The latest addition to GiantMouse’s ACE line is named after the iconic neighborhood in Lower Manhattan and is the first time the brand is using a Magnacut blade in their lineup. Available in two handle finishes, Denim Canvas Micarta and Black G10, the new Tribeca has a stonewashed blade measuring 2.875 inches, with a 4-inch handle and an overall length of 7.37 inches. The two options vary slightly in weight due to materials but you’re looking at about a 4 oz carry.
WaterField Modular Mason EDC Pouch
The Mason is WaterField’s EDC pouch designed to be modular, elevated, and versatile. Available in either ballistic nylon or waxed canvas, the Mason measures 9.25 x 6 x 2 inches with a weight of 11.7 oz. The padded pocket can fit an iPad Mini while the main compartment has two side organizational pockets. A key tether keeps keys within reach and separated from other contents to prevent scratching. A quick-access pocket in the front accommodates bulky items. The pouch can be worn as a crossbody bag or accessory pouch stowed in your main work bag.
Tactile Turn 8-Bit
Tactile Turn’s latest Seasonal Release takes inspiration from early video game consoles. The 8-Bit comes in two models based on the Side Click and Slim Side Click, with three length options. The black and gray matte Cerakote body, bright orange deep-engraved clip, and red “reset” button deliver eye-catching gaming nostalgia, and each order also includes a custom 8-Bit gaming token for added fun.
Carl Friedrik X SECRID Cardprotector
Carl Friedrik and SECRID have teamed up on the Cardprotector, a classy pocket companion that holds up to eight cards in a compact and functional design. The Cardprotector is made with premium Italian leather and an RFID-protecting aluminum case. The case holds up to six cards, which are easily accessed through SECRID’s patented lever mechanism. Two further cards, cash and a key fob can be stored in the exterior side pocket. Available in three colorways, the Cardprotector brings a touch of luxury to your EDC without sacrificing everyday functionality.
Mission Workshop Atlas Chore Coat
Mission Workshop salutes the timeless French chore coat with their new Atlas chore coat. A blend of classic style and technical construction, the coat features highly breathable and moisture-wicking stretch-woven twill fabric with four-way stretch and a DWR finish. Tweave overlay offers added protection on areas of high wear, while four pockets (three external and one internal) keep your smaller essentials close at hand. Tough, stylish, and versatile for multi-season use, it’s a solid pick if you’re after a hard-working wardrobe staple.
Mission Workshop Paragon Chore Pant
An ideal partner to the Atlas Coat, the Mission Workshop Paragon Chore Pant is MW’s take on the classic chore pant. Made in Brooklyn, the pant features the same four-way stretch fabric as the Mission Jean, with a relaxed fit and wider leg for maximum mobility. Soft and breathable yet durable, the pant has a DWR finish and offers seven pockets and a utility loop to keep your essentials accessible on the go.
GORUCK X-Pac Series
X-Pac has proven itself time and again as a tough and versatile fabric. And GORUCK have built their reputation on producing some of the toughest bags around that lend themselves to multiple uses. A perfect pairing now brought to life through GORUCK’s X-Pac Series. The collection features the GR1, GR2 and GR1 Field Pocket, all available in black and navy X-Pac VX21. To complement the tough yet lightweight and weatherproof build, the series uses YKK AquaGuard zippers and is built in the USA and backed by GORUCK’s Scars Lifetime Guarantee.
KILLSPENCER Utility Belt Bag 2.0 – BYOB
If you’re looking for an extra-special pop in your carry, a customized bag can be a great option. And KILLSPENCER provide an easy way to create your own tailored take on a multifunctional piece with their Utility Belt Bag 2.0 – BYOB (Build Your Own Bag). The BYOB series allows you to choose from a variety of materials and zippers for the front, top and back, and interior, allowing you to mix and match to suit your personal tastes. Each bag is handmade in Los Angeles and adapts equally well to small daily loads and travel use.
Bellroy Via Backpack
Bellroy’s new Via Backpack delivers sleek efficiency and a honed design for easy commutes to and from the office. Simply fold down the front panel for easy access to the interior, where you’ll find a padded 16″ laptop sleeve, a zippered pocket, and a key clip. There’s also a quick-access pocket on top, while the contoured back panel and padded shoulder straps keep you comfy on the move. And with its minimalist aesthetics, it looks equally good in the office or about town.
BRIEFING x White Mountaineering
If a blend of streetwear and tactical aesthetics with tough functionality sounds like your ideal carry, check out the collaborative pieces from BRIEFING and White Mountaineering. The pieces include shoulder bags and backpacks that thoughtfully blend BRIEFING’s rugged practicality with White Mountaineering’s outdoor-inspired streetwear styling. With uses across everyday and travel settings, the bags offer easy access and organization with durable construction to withstand regular use.
AETHER Apparel has introduced its first line of premium sunglasses through AETHER Optics, with four unisex styles each available in four colorways. The collection is handcrafted in Japan using high-quality materials and offers designs for everyday wear, so you always have stylish eye protection at the ready. The styles include Arches, Bryce, Sequoia, and Yosemite, with useful features such as polarized, anti-reflective lenses that are oil and water-repellent and offer UV protection.
Bellroy Lite Sling Mini
Digging the lightweight functionality of Bellroy’s Lite Sling but want it in a more compact package? Bellroy has you covered with their new Lite Sling Mini. The mini sling is a great option for those who want to carry just the essentials with minimal bulk. The bag expands and self-compresses to adapt to different loads and features sufficient organization for the essentials without cluttering the design. Add in a magnetic strap buckle for easy attachment or removal and you’re all set to roam in lightweight carry freedom.
Mission Workshop Notch Modular Sling Pack
If you like slings with multifunctional modularity, the Mission Workshop Notch Modular Sling Pack could be your ideal compact carry companion. This versatile piece can be worn as a crossbody or waist bag but can also secure to any of MW’s Arkiv® Modular Backpacks (through an optional four-piece clip set) and also double as a pouch inside a larger bag. The sling is made from X-Pac in four colorways and uses YKK AquaGuard zippers. The waist belt tucks away when not in use and a choice of interior organization keeps small items tidy on the go.
Able Carry Daybreaker 2
The Hong Kong-based premium backpack brand Able Carry just launched the Daybreaker 2, their take on an ultralight activity backpack. The 25L bag retains many of the features of the original Daybreaker fans have come to love while adding marked improvements to enhance usability. A full-length zipper makes on-body access easier and there’s redesigned interior storage plus a stretch divider to fit a hydration bladder. An internal water bottle pocket keeps the lines clean and a back-panel cushion and air channel to keep things cool and dry round out the improvements. With all of these features, the Daybreaker 2 manages to weigh in at just 1.4 lbs (Cordura). It’s available now in Cordura Ripstop Black or X-Pac Olive Green.
Oyster Tempo Cooler
After six years of R&D, Norwegian brand Oyster launched their first product, a patented vacuum construction cooler. After looking at how traditional high-performance coolers operate, the team at Oyster decided to take a different approach. Instead of using plastic shells filled with polyurethane insulation, the Tempo Cooler is modeled after a vacuum chamber, not unlike a Thermos flask. This allows it to achieve excellent temperature-keeping performance without requiring ice, as well as allows it to be 100% recyclable.
This approach, which they call DLTA, allows the cooler to deliver three times the internal space at half the external size while staying three times colder for longer. Besides the vacuum construction and aluminum construction, the team also focused on improving the thermal bridge to minimize transfer. Lastly, the Tempo is designed to be entirely user-serviceable, including toolless access to repair or swap out handles and straps.
The cooler measures 19.4 x 12.6 inches, is 11.6 inches deep and weighs 12.3 pounds. It has a capacity of 24.3 quarts which is equivalent to 5 gallons or 36 beverage cans. The First Edition includes two custom ice packs, a carrying handle, and carrying strap. And, of course, the cooler is backed by a limited lifetime warranty!
LIVSN Century Jacket
We’re big fans of LIVSN’s pants and shorts, so seeing their take on a workwear-inspired jacket has our ears perked. The Century Jacket is a durable, high-performance jacket designed for everyday use in a wide variety of conditions. It’s made with 100% natural fibers, including an organic cotton shell that provides wind and water resistance, HD Wool insulation for natural temperature regulation as well as antimicrobial properties, and a silk liner that is moisture-wicking and smooth to the touch.
The jacket also features articulating shoulders and elbows, two chest pockets, two hand warmer pockets, two internal pockets, and YKK zippers. The Century Jacket will be available in Olive Green and Black Navy with a size run of S-XXL.
Veilance Field Shirt
As part of Veilance’s Spring/Summer 2023 collection, they introduced an assortment of lightweight pieces meant to inspire layering for the fast-changing conditions of Spring. The Field Shirt is a modern twist on the classically refined ensign of a short-sleeve button-up. The shirt uses highly breathable performance material to provide comfort in warm conditions. The polyester is air-permeable, light, and has wicking properties. Four-way stretch removes restriction in movement, and the dual flapped chest pockets, hidden snap front, and stand collar all contribute to a versatile piece.
Allbirds SuperLight Collection
The Allbirds SuperLight Collection helps you take a lighter step on the planet thanks to its SuperLight Foam technology, which combines a low carbon footprint with a lightweight feel. The collection includes the SuperLight Trainers and SuperLight Tree Runners in options for both men and women.
The SuperLight Tree Runners feature eucalyptus tree fiber uppers for enhanced breathability, while the integrated insole reduces the amount of material used and brings your foot closer to the cushioning. These are ideal for walking, everyday wear, and warm weather. The SuperLight Trainers are designed for active use such as gym sessions and home workouts, with a microsuede lining to reinforce high-wear areas, outsole pads for linear grip, and a breathable upper.
Helinox Chair Zero Large
Having sat in a number of Helinox chairs, we can attest to their comfort. The brand just introduced the Chair Zero L, the latest in the brand’s growing range of ultralight backpacking chairs. Starting with the bestselling Chair Zero, the brand set out to keep the weight extremely low while offering a wider and slightly more rigid frame. To accomplish this, Helinox increased the aluminum’s diameter, increasing rigidity and weight capacity by more than 20% over the original Chair Zero. The new Large model weighs just 1 lb 6 oz and has a capacity of 320 lbs, and is covered by a five-year warranty.
CAMP National Parks Collection
Each year, the National Park Service hosts a nine-day celebration of the great outdoors and park system, honoring more than 400 national parks. CAMP by Shwood Eyewear is releasing a series of limited-edition frames inspired by four iconic parks – Arches, Joshua Tree, Glacier, and Crater Lake, with a portion of sales going to local park non-profits.
The 1% for the Planet member decided to make each frame in the collection from plant-based bio-plastic, with a unique park-inspired colorway. The glasses also feature genuine wood inlays, stainless steel springs, and polarized lenses. The kit also includes a color-coordinated puffy sleeping bag pouch, custom-designed packaging, and a keeper strap.
LifeStraw Go Series Water Filtration Bottles
While there are different ways to filter water and transfer it from the source to your primary bottle, nothing is more convenient than having the filter built right into the bottle itself. To that end, LifeStraw just released their Go Series Water Filtration Bottles. Available in both 22-oz and 1-liter sizes for BPA-free plastic and 24-oz and 1-liter sizes for stainless steel, the bottles feature leakproof handles, a covered mouthpiece to protect against unwanted debris and leakage, and a filter system that protects against nearly 100% of bacteria, parasites, microplastics, silt, sand, and cloudiness, all while improving the taste. The membrane filter lasts up to 1,000 gallons (about 5 years of daily use), while the activated carbon filter lasts up to 26 gallons.
Nocs Provisions Field Issue Binoculars
Nocs Provisions has just launched their Field Issue 32mm waterproof binoculars designed for outdoor exploration. They feature a HiFi fully coated lens and BaK4 Prism, providing a wide, bright, edge-to-edge viewing experience. They are water and fog-proof with an IPX7 rating and can survive being submerged in up to three feet of water. They are made from an ultra-rugged thermoplastic frame, providing super durability and drop resistance, and have a total weight of just over one pound. The eyecup assembly allows for a perfect fit on almost every face, with the multi-stop twist eyecup providing three distinct positions to optimize viewing. The Field Issue is available in two sizes and six colorways and is covered by Nocs’s lifetime warranty.
ARTILECT Darkstart Fusion Jacket
If the stealthy name doesn’t catch your attention, the feature set will. ARTILECT’s latest offering is their take on the ultimate rain shell. Featuring PFAS-free materials, the Darkstart wicks moisture and provides excellent waterproofing. The jacket is composed of four-way stretch nylon and wool insulation, perfect for all-day wear. It is available for both men and women in a range of sizes and colors.
Danner x Mystery Ranch Collection
Danner, a fan-favorite hiking boot company, have teamed up with Mystery Ranch to launch their first collaboration together, a limited-edition day-hike collection inspired by the layered sunsets of Montana’s Big Sky Country. The collection includes a pack, boots, and gaiters. The Scree 32 is a versatile daypack with external water bottle pockets and supports a hydration reservoir, allowing for a full day’s adventure. The pack also has a removable waist belt and double-layered bottom panel for heavier loads.
The Trail 2650 Mesh GTX hiker is a limited-edition version of Danner’s versatile trail shoe. It’s lightweight and breathable, featuring a GORE-TEX waterproof liner to keep feet comfortable even in suboptimal conditions. Its Vibram outsole provides traction on uneven terrain and is gaiter-compatible. Rounding out the collection is, you guessed it, the Danner x Mystery Ranch gaiters which are designed to specifically integrate with Danner footwear, keeping dust and rain out with a durable and DWR-treated stretch nylon fabric.
Ucon Acrobatics Commute Series
The Ucon Acrobatics Commute Series is a line of cycling backpacks designed to offer everything cyclists need for day-to-day commuting, delivered with the brand’s signature minimalist style. The collection features revamped versions of the Hajo Medium Backpack and the Jasper Medium Backpack, both designed to keep you moving freely while protecting your gear from the elements. The bags are made with tough and weatherproof PVC-free tarpaulin material and high-frequency welding, so your gear stays safe come rain or shine. Reflective details provide visibility in low-light conditions while a sternum strap, padded back panel and adjustable shoulder straps provide a comfortable commute. Inside you’ll find a detachable laptop pocket with smaller pockets for additional items, with further external organization options for bulky and quick-access items.
Pacsafe ECO® Collection
Pacsafe’s newest collection takes a big stride forward in the brand’s product sustainability. The Pacsafe ECO® collection features four new anti-theft designs ready for outdoor and travel use alike. All of the collection’s exterior and lining fabrics use ECONYL® regenerated nylon and rPET from recycled plastic bottles. Additionally, around 75% of the components (webbing, zipper tape, labels, sewing thread, and buckles) in the collection are made from recycled materials. Each design has a PFC-free water-repellent finish and offers useful security features such as a PopNLock Security Clip to anchor the bag around a fixed object, cut-resistant straps, an eXomesh® slashguard stainless-steel wire barrier to avoid cut and runs, and lockable zippers to deter pickpockets. The collection includes the Pacsafe Eco 25L Anti-Theft Backpack, Pacsafe Eco 18L Anti-Theft Backpack, Pacsafe Eco 12L Anti-Theft Sling Backpack, and Pacsafe Eco Anti-Theft Waist Pack.
Our Best New Gear guides are written by David Vo and Catherine Baecker-Khoury.