- Buyer's Guide
Best New Gear: February 2021
It’s that time again, where we take stock of the month that’s been, and throw a spotlight on the very best new gear, from pocket-friendly EDC to travel bags and multifunctional apparel.
ID cards are a necessity for many. But accessing them can be a hassle. So Orbitkey got down to the business of designing a practical ID card holder that enables fast, efficient access. The card holder allows ID cards and public transport cards to be scanned easily, while also providing privacy with a swivel design. The inbuilt retractor makes it fast and simple to use. The standard version has space for an additional card, while the Pro version holds two additional cards, with RFID-blocking technology incorporated. The Pro version also offers extra storage space for small items such as folded notes or a key.
Masks are a part of EDC these days. But sometimes they’re easy to forget when stepping out the door. So Matador created the Keychain Mask. The polyester and spandex blend mask comes with a silicone keychain case that secures to a keychain, ensuring you always have a mask at the ready.
Aer’s signature blend of understated, versatile styling, tough construction, and functional design makes them one of our favorite brands around. And their new Slim Pouch cements their quality reputation even further. Great for storing your daily or travel essentials, the pouch offers multiple pockets, a wide opening for easy access, and a grab loop for hanging or hand carry.
A splash of color is a great way to bring pop to your EDC and Bellroy’s Apex Slim Sleeve keeps things elegantly chic with two new colorways. Now available in Pepper Blue and Indigo, you can enjoy this slim wallet’s solid construction and crisp style with an added element of fun.
Flashlights are useful additions to any EDC setup. But who says they can’t be striking in their style too? If you’re looking to step up your illumination game, consider the RovyVon Aurora A9Pro LED Flashlight. The flashlight uses an orange peel reflector to disseminate the beam and enable a wider light spread. It offers five light modes and up to 700 lumens, all in a dapper copper construction that will develop a unique patina over time.
The folks at Urban EDC Supply live and breathe EDC in its many diverse forms. So when these EDC experts turn their attention to organizing EDC, you know it’s going to be good. The Urban EDC Pocket Organizer is better than good, combining functionality, durability, and handsome aesthetics in one. It features premium full-grain Horween leather and a hand-stitched construction. Multiple pockets keep various EDC items easily accessible while preventing them from coming into contact and potentially scratching or damaging one another. And the easily portable design makes it super simple to grab and go with all your essentials in one convenient place.
Clean, functional, and stylish is the name of the game with the Kizer Feist Micarta. A collaboration between Kizer Cutlery and knifemaker Justin Lundquist, it’s a practical EDC knife featuring a CPM-S35VN steel blade, a unique front flipper, and contoured and durable micarta handles. And if you like a little bit of exclusivity in your EDC, this natural linen micarta version is only available through Urban EDC Supply.
Born from a collaboration between Brian Efros and Alliance Designs, the Ice Lite is a sleek, hard-working EDC knife. It features a RWL-34 stainless steel blade that offers precise cuts and slices, along with ambidextrous deployment and solid titanium handles. Tough, lightweight, and practical, it’s a handy addition to an EDC setup.
EDC pen and self-defence tool in one, the Hinderer Investigator Pen doubles as a kubaton thanks to the blunt bullet tip and grooves at either end for easy gripping. Designed by Rick Hinderer, it’s made in the USA and is machined from lightweight aluminum with an anodized finish for added durability and discreet aesthetics.
For times when your loadout isn’t as extensive, Chrome has introduced the Mini Kadet sling. It’s large enough to carry your EDC items – phone, compact camera, wallet, and even a water bottle. Filling the little brother role to the best-selling Kadet, the Mini holds 5L and weighs about three-fourths of a pound. It’s water-resistant, has interior organization, and supports a U-lock for days on the bike. It also comes in standard and limited edition BLCKCHRM 22X options.
master-piece have been making bags for over two decades. So they’re well versed in identifying all the niggles that can come with carrying bags, such as excessive sweating, pilling on clothing, and exposure to the elements. That’s why they’re stepping into new territory with their WEAR collection, a thoughtful range of clothing designed to complement carrying a bag. With pieces such as a rain jacket that protects not just you but your backpack too, a jacket and t-shirts with inbuilt ventilation, and more, this innovative collection is definitely one to pique carry enthusiasts’ curiosity.
Helinox, a brand best known for their amazing folding chairs, have released the Origami Tote. The bag doubles as both a tote to carry Helinox furniture as well as unfolding into a picnic mat. The tote measures 19 x 5.5 x 14 inches and weighs almost 2 lbs (840 grams). It’s able to unfurl into a 47 x 32-inch mat. The handles are padded and are designed to be comfortably carried by hand or over the shoulder. There are also D-rings if you want to attach an (optional) shoulder strap. Finally, external carry straps allow you to carry extra towels and yoga mats.
Everyday style meets adventure-ready design with Proof’s Graphene Down Jacket. It’s made with a lightweight Graphene fabric featuring a water-resistant and stain-resistant coating. Down insulation keeps you cozy whether you’re exploring urban or outdoor settings. Plus it helps the jacket pack down small for easy storage too.
master-piece is ready to put a spring in your step with their new NEO WORKS collection. A range of understated, functional bags that keep things professional in a work environment. But they also offer the flexibility for leisure and travel use too. Add their expert Japanese craftsmanship and quality materials to the mix and you can trust these pieces to work hard by your side for years to come.
Yoshida & Co. are one of the most respected names in the industry. Not surprising when you consider the decades of experience they have behind them. And this extensive history is being celebrated with a limited-edition collaboration between Yoshida & Co. and G-SHOCK. The G-SHOCK x PORTER GM-5600EY-1 marks the Japanese brand’s 85th anniversary. The watch includes two bands (one green fabric and one black resin), as well as orange detailing in a nod to Porter’s signature color.
master-piece are stepping out strong on all fronts, keeping you covered not just for work scenarios but more casual pursuits too. Their Prime Casual collection features a variety of silhouettes, from backpacks to shoulder bags, slings, and more. Premium materials, rugged builds, color pops, and functional adaptability are all at play here, helping you explore more while carrying in confidence.
Clarks gives a fun update to an iconic design with their Combi Desert Boot. Nodding to Clarks’ original 1950 desert boot, the updated design keeps the stylish silhouette but adds bold color contrasts on the innner heel counter, fob, and heel. Perfect for going about your day with added pizzazz.
The timeless tennis shoe gets a suave makeover courtesy of Spalwart’s Smash Low Nappa Sneakers. The shoes are made with a combination of Nappa leather and suede on the uppers, a calfskin lining, and breathable mesh fabric tongues. Ideal for stepping out with a little added style.
New for Spring 21, Vasque is launching a new style, the Alchemist XT, available in Mid and Low. This design is a slight departure from silhouettes you might associate with the Minnesota outdoors company. The Alchemist XT (for Extended Terrain) UltraDry sneaker boots feature a waterproof nubuck upper and an EVA midsole to cushion your feet. This makes them equipped to handle both mountain trails and urban adventures. Both heights are available in men’s and women’s sizing.
Snow Peak brings tech to the trails, teaming up with Tokyo Design Studio on the updated R_C4 Mid. The shoe features a premium leather and Cordura ripstop upper and a magnetic Fidlock buckle closure. You’ll also find a waterproof GORE-TEX membrane, New Balance ENCAP Reveal midsole, and a lugged VIBRAM outsole for trusty grip. Functional for the trail and eye-catching for the city, these versatile shoes handle a variety of needs in one.
Boots that are tough enough for the trail usually look out of place in urban settings. And boots that look suave in the city usually stay far away from the rugged outdoors. But the Ansel is different. Season Three offers an updated twist on the classic European hiking boot that can tackle the outdoors and a night out on the town alike. It’s handmade in northern Italy using a 100% waterproof nubuck leather upper and New Zealand ZQ-certified merino wool.
Want the benefits of a standing desk but don’t want to get rid of your existing work setup? MOVI’s Lite model might be just what you’re after. It positions easily on your existing desk, then simply plug it in and let the automated lift do the hard work when you want to enjoy a standing working position.
Want to explore the planet while helping it out too? LIVSN created the EcoTrek Trail Pants with adaptability and sustainability in mind. The pants are made from a fabric that uses recycled ocean buoys and offers a variety of adventure-friendly features such as water and stain resistance, abrasion resistance, stretch, and moisture-wicking. A gusseted crotch and articulated knees enhance freedom of movement, while the understated design is flexible enough to alternate between outdoor and urban settings.
Mountain biking can be gnarly business. But EVOC’s new Trail Pro line of protective backpacks helps keep you safe thanks to the LITESHIELD PLUS back protector. While designed for mountain biking, the Trail Pro is CE and Tüv certified for skiers and snowboarders too, making it a great choice for a variety of adventure seekers. The pack comes in 10L, 16L, and 26L sizes, all of which are hydration bladder compatible.
YETI is going full-send with their EDC and travel bags. The Austin company best known for their indestructible coolers has methodically increased their premium bag offerings; first starting out with essentially waterproof soft coolers with straps, and now leading into a full collection of 8 products and 10 SKUs.
There are three Crossroads Backpacks ranging from 22L to 35L, a 40L and 60L duffel, 22″ and 29″ soft-sided luggage, and packing cubes in three sizes. Most items are available in three colorways (mainly Black, Navy, and Aquifer Blue) with the two backpacks rocking an optional Prickly Pear Pink.
The bags share a durable lightweight TuffSkin Nylon exterior, multiple grab handles, GroundControl Base (PU coated and padded to protect from rough landings), compression straps, and great accessibility.
With travel restrictions hopefully easing this year, it’s going to be a pretty grand occasion venturing out into the world again. And if you want to do it in style, Zero Halliburton’s Pursuit Continental Carry-On Case brings class anywhere you go. The case features a brushed aluminum exterior with a modernized double-rib and ZH Concave Edging™ for extra strength. There’s also a ZH Chassis™ with a scalloped grip handle near the wheels for easier maneuverability, smooth and shock-absorbing rubber-lined 360-degree wheels, as well as a neatly divided interior to keep your travel gear organized.