- Buyer's Guide
Best New Gear | December 2022
As we welcome a fresh new year, we’re keen to salute the epic carry that came before. From timeless adventure-ready footwear to classy timekeepers, delve into the great pieces that rounded out the year as we discover December’s best new gear…
Eyewear company CAMP just dropped two new lean colors in time for winter adventures. Whether you choose Solar Flash or Green Flash, both are HD+ polarized and both are priced reasonably at $99 a pair. Each style in the CAMP lineup has these new lens options, so pick the frame that fits your style and face shape and you’ll be ready for your next outing.
The new Terrus line of watch bands for the Apple Watch just dropped. They are made of a soft touch, durable material, are upcycled from scrap materials destined for the landfill, and are sweatproof and breathable for all-day comfort. They come in an array of colors and also have a neat marbling effect courtesy of the specks of embedded recycled material.
The Venice, CA-based watch company Vaer is known for offering excellent-value-for-money timepieces and their latest release is no exception. The R1 Racing Chronograph pays tribute to the iconic 1960s racing watches. This is a departure from the typical dive and field watches the company has released in the past. Powered by a Mechaquartz movement and featuring water resistance down to 10 ATM (with locking crown) and a sapphire crystal, the R1 comes in both 38mm and 42mm sizes, with a variety of dial colors and options. Priced at under $400, the R1 is available now for purchase.
Just a few months after the successful addition of the Sedulo to the Custom line, Gerber has taken its popular Center-Drive multitool and is allowing customers to get a crack at making it their own. The Custom Center-Drive will offer nine unique color options and a huge array of unique laser engravings, to make a truly one-of-a-kind EDC carry. Additionally, customers can choose between tool pack and tool pack finishers so you can finally have that toolset you’ll actually use.
GiantMouse have always been a favorite around these parts and the Clyde holds a special place. Produced under the value-packed ACE line, the Clyde features an upswept blade in 20CV steel. New for this month, the Clyde is now offered in a gorgeous denim micarta that is sure to age handsomely and show character over time and use. The knife features a 3″ liner-lock blade, wire clip, and brass backspacer and weighs just 2.7 oz.
Wherever you take your tech, Halite’s Carapace Computer Sleeve delivers mil-spec protection for your fragile gear. This super-rugged sleeve is airtight, submersible, and waterproof, with a fully welded construction and a TiZip MasterSeal #5 zipper. Made with 1000D Cordura with a double-sided TPU laminate coating, the Carapace includes a removable padded laptop sleeve that fits a 16″ device, an iPad, and chargers. It also includes a top grab handle for easy portability and comes in a choice of three colorways to suit your personal preferences.
The James Brand are well versed in delivering expertly crafted, stylish, and practical EDC pieces that add real value to your daily setup. And the Kline is no exception. A larger, USA-made folder designed to be a dependable workhorse, the Kline is the brand’s first use of MagnaCut, a tough and corrosion-resistant stainless steel that will handle a variety of cutting tasks with ease. The ambidextrous design features dual thumb studs, a reversible and removable pocket clip, a Slide-Lock locking mechanism, and micarta scales.
Personal cutlery sets are a great alternative to single-use plastics, helping the planet out in a big way while giving you a more enjoyable eating experience too. Cliffset may not be the first sustainable portable cutlery option on the market but it stands out with its included cleaning tool. The spray tool is specifically designed to clean the knife, fork, and spoon in the set while leaving no residue thanks to its combination of alcohol and lemon oil. So not only is this cutlery easy to carry but it’s also easy to clean on the go too.
Reversible or two-way items offer versatility and options while minimizing cost and space. And that’s certainly the case with Mack Weldon’s new WARMKNIT 2-Way Puffer Jacket. Fully reversible, one side is an office-friendly, herringbone fabric while the other is a sporty, quilted nylon. Both sides are rain-resistant and the jacket is insulated with Thinsulate. Available in a versatile heather/black colorway, this is a perfect piece to pack for trips due to its go-anywhere, do-anything design.
Snow and rain can quickly put the brakes on your excursions. But HOKA’s Transport Rain Jacket comes to the rescue, combining dependable wet-weather performance with sleek urban styling. The jacket features a waterproof bio-based membrane and bonded seams, along with multiple pockets to keep your essentials secure but accessible on the go. Plus with reflective detailing it will help keep you visible in low-light conditions, making it a smart choice for commutes and weekend outings alike.
The 1733 Side Pack certainly packs a punch when it comes to versatility, deftly hopping from city outings to day hikes with essentials and travel settings with your must-haves in tow. And the VX series features a beefy blend of X-Pac VX07RS and 500D Cordura nylon, more than tough enough to handle urban and outdoor use alike while protecting gear from the elements too. The bag can be carried over the shoulder, around the waist, or by hand and offers a range of organization options including pockets and exterior attachment points, so you can keep your gear tidy and close at hand whatever the day has in store.
Is cooler weather making you reluctant to venture out? Slip on Ibex’s Tranquil Hoodie Sweatshirt as a standalone piece for active wear or under a jacket as a mid-layer and you’re good to go. Its casual, comfy style suits a range of laidback urban settings, while the blend of 70% organic cotton, 26% merino wool, and 4% elastane feels soft against the skin and keeps you warm without added bulk. The hoodie features raglan sleeves for enhanced mobility, while two zip pockets provide handy storage for small essentials.
Made in Danner’s Portland, Oregon factory, the new Evergreen collection includes the men’s and women’s Douglas and men’s Pine Grove Chukka shoes. With a premium leather upper and resoleable Danner wedge outsole, the footwear blends modern technologies and a timeless aesthetic. As the name implies, the shoes are ideal for all situations (city and trail) and for all seasons, as well. And since they are fully recraftable, Danner will refurbish your boots so they are as good as new, for a lifetime of wear.
VSSL is known for bringing innovative and focused outdoor safety and first aid kits to the masses. Building on their cylindrical platform, the company has just launched their Insulated Flask. The flask itself offers an 8-ounce, double-walled, stainless-steel vacuum chamber designed to keep drinks hot or cold. A more playful offering, the company have partnered with Speaqua Sound Co. to engineer a speaker endcap that threads directly into the unit’s base. Additionally, since it utilizes the same endcap design and threading, users can replace the Bluetooth speaker with any of VSSL’s offerings, allowing for the possibility of swapping in a compass, carabiner, or flashlight.
Fixed blades seem to be making a bit of a comeback in the last few years and now WESN have thrown their hat in the ring. Their newest offering, the Bornas, is a modern reinterpretation of a traditional tradesmen’s knife. Inspired by the homestead WESN’s grandfather built in the Swedish wilderness, WESN chose to produce the Bornas in Sweden. The S35V blade measures 2.75″ with an overall length of 5.9″, making it supremely packable and easy to carry, while still providing enough cutting real estate for most tasks. The handle is available in either wood or G10. The low-profile knife is paired with an equally sleek leather sheath, made from Swedish vegetable-tanned leather, that’s sure to patina uniquely over time.
Pelican recently launched an eight-quart cooler meant to serve as an ideal lunchbox to keep food and drinks cold for a day’s adventure. The integrated ice pack is removable and reusable and keeps items contained within cool. The inner tray keeps food dry, while the main body can hold up to 8 canned drinks or larger items. Inside the storage lid, you’ll find dry storage for keys, phones, or wallets. And of course, the top has integrated cup holders molded into the lid.
Casio and Mammut have teamed up on a timepiece that showcases both brands’ commitment to sustainability, in an outdoor-ready package. The PRO TREK PRW61MA-1A comes with two interchangeable bands, the first a cloth band made from recycled PET material, and the second a soft urethane band made from biomass plastics using raw materials from castor seeds and corn. Additionally, the watch case and case back are made of biomass plastics too. Features such as solar charging, water resistance up to 100 meters, Casio’s Triple Sensor Technology (compass, altimeter/barometer, thermometer), and World Time with 29 time zones make this a versatile and functional piece that moves easily from daily wear to outdoor adventures both near and far.
If you like to explore the outdoors at a brisk pace, HOKA’s Challenger 7 could be your ideal new trail buddy. Aimed at trail runners, the HOKA Challenger 7 offers a variety of updates over the previous iteration including a simpler mesh upper, increased stack height, and a revamped outsole. A combination of smaller, tightly spaced lugs in the middle paired with larger lugs at the edge provides enhanced traction across a variety of terrains. Improved cushioning and a lighter build help you eat up the miles in comfort, while a range of colorways allow you to roam with bold pizzazz or subdued style as you see fit.
If you’re looking to tackle the outdoors at a more steady pace, check out HOKA’s Trail Code GTX. Focused on sustainable manufacturing, the hiking boot features a 100% recycled textile ripstop upper and dimensional screen printing for decreased waste and increased durability. The HUBBLE® heel provides smooth heel-to-toe movement while the Swallowtail™ forked heel design lets you easily adjust on uneven terrain. A heel pull tab also assists with easy on-and-off wear, while the water-repellent build helps keep the elements out too.
Who said work boots can’t look great? Certainly not Blundstone, who have teamed up with Huckberry on an exclusive colorway for their 1320 Chelsea Boots. Built with a blend of comfort and durability in mind, the boots feature tough water-resistant leather uppers, a removable footbed with XRD® Technology in the heel strike zone for enhanced comfort and shock absorption, and a rugged TPU outsole. Pull tabs and elastic side panels make it quick and easy to slip these boots on and off, so you’ll be good to go for a long day of work and ready to kick back when the day is done.
If you’re a fan of clean design with top-notch construction and versatile functionality, the Mantis backpack range from Arc’teryx could be a great fit for your carry needs. The bags are made with 100% recycled polyester and come in four sizes including 16L, 20L, 26L, and 30L, giving you a range of options for smaller and larger loads alike. And the lightweight, multifunctional designs lend themselves to a variety of uses too, from weekend hikes to daily commutes, so you can get more out of the gear you own.
Need a performance piece for high-output activities in the backcountry? Arc’teryx serves up their Proton Hybrid Hoody as a savvy blend of breathability, insulation, and protection from the elements. All while keeping you moving freely and not weighing you down. Designed to be windproof, water-resistant, and lightweight, the jacket features Coreloft™ synthetic insulation for warmth with minimal bulk, a Fortius Air 50 outer with a DWR finish, and GORE-TEX INFINIUM™ at the hood and yoke for protection from wind, light snow, and sleet.
Looking for lightweight, cozy insulation and freedom of movement in one? Ibex’s Wool Aire Vest offers comfy performance for active use with its athletic fit, merino wool insulation, and lightweight build. The vest features a wind and water-resistant bluesign® certified face fabric, zippered handwarmer pockets, and a zippered chest pocket. And its packable design is easy to stash in your luggage too, ready for outdoor and urban trips alike.
Perhaps more known for their running apparel as of late, Roark actually has quite the expansive catalog of carry gear. And they just dropped their Accomplice Series, a set of six bags that double both as adventure carry and everyday bags. Built with durable water-resistant materials and a daisy chain system, the bags feature a modular design, durable ripstop, and attachable Mod Slide-Lock System. From the cavernous Mule Bag 45L and Missing Link 42L down to the Escape Mod 2L and Stow Mod 4.5L, there’s a perfect combination for any user.
THRUDARK are known for their rugged, adventure-ready gear. So it makes sense that a luggage collaboration with Pelican would be equally tough and ready to embrace action around every corner. Enter the THRUDARK x PELI CASE, modeled on a PELI™ Air Case that is up to 40% lighter than a standard PELI™ Case. Designed to be lightweight, waterproof, and shockproof, the case features Pelican’s HPX resin that rebounds without breaking. Suitable for carry-on use with most airlines, this rugged case pairs tough construction with understated aesthetics and is backed by a lifetime warranty for added peace of mind.
Taking inspiration from the WWII Swiss Army “Salt ＆ Pepper” Rucksack but built for modern-day use, Wotancraft’s New Commander Travel Camera Backpack doubles as a travel companion and photography pack in one. The bag is made with tough, water-repellent Cordura® fabric and weatherproof YKK zippers. It features a dual-compartment design separated by a removable deck divider, allowing you to store photography gear and personal items separately. Quick-access storage and pockets keep gear accessible on the go, while the burly build will take many years of demanding use in its stride.