- Buyer's Guide
Best New Gear | February 2022
Ultralight Dyneema for the trails and beyond, limited-edition experiments from a multitool icon, and a touch of luxury for your home office. Discover all of this and more in our roundup of February’s best new gear…
Skullcandy makes some of the most popular headphones and wireless earbuds under $100 and they’ve recently teamed up with Budweiser for a limited-edition collection. The collaboration includes the Crusher Evo True Wireless headphones as well as the Indy Evo, Sesh Evo, and Dime true wireless earbuds. The headphones feature 40 hours of battery life paired with Rapid Charge and can be tuned to your listening tastes via the Skullcandy app. The three earbuds vary in price from $34.99 to $79.99 with increased battery life, EQ modes and built-in Tile Technology added as you move up the line. They all feature black and red colorways and in translucent or reflective applications. The collection is available globally, exclusively at Skullcandy.com.
In a recent welcomed change of direction, Leatherman has started producing cases beyond their standard leather and nylon sheaths. Their most recent release, the Tool Pouch, was done in collaboration with PACSAFE, a brand we know and love for their well-designed bags focused on security while traveling and the use of recycled fabrics. The Tool Pouch is made of recycled PET nylon and includes a theft-deterrent zipper loop, strap and belt attachment, and seven internal pockets for storing your Leatherman multitool and any other accessories or EDC bits you might want to carry with you. It measures 6.25” by 3.625” and weighs just over 2 oz so it’s versatile, lightweight, and an easy item to grab without thinking twice on your next adventure.
Leatherman really knows how to make an impression! On 2-22-22 the Oregon tool company launched the Leatherman Garage, which is meant to be an incubator for experimental products and solutions. The first item to greet fans was the Mr. Crunch, inspired by one of Tim Leatherman’s original models designed nearly 40 years ago; not to be confused with the Crunch locking pliers! The $199.00 multitool sold out in just 10 minutes and really spoke to the fervor Leatherman fans have for innovative and new products.
Mr. Crunch features 21 tools, the most prominent being a double-pliers feature: shortnose pliers that are paired with retractable needlenose pliers. This iconic forgotten feature was combined with the FREE P4 which is Leatherman’s most advanced tool to date, offering easy magnetic access to tools. In addition, there are a variety of flat blade screwdrivers including a well-liked small bit driver, scissors, a plain-edge knife, and a Phillips screwdriver.
Unfortunately, Mr. Crunch is only available on the secondary market now. But with the Garage in full swing, expect to see more offerings coming soon.
Orbitkey Slim Case and Leather Holder for AirTag
Orbitkey, Kickstarter darling and one of our favorite brands from down under, just released their carry solution for Apple’s AirTag. At launch, there are two versions available. First up is the Slim Case, available in either granite or black, and designed to be minimal and compact. Orbitkey is unique in their locking and opening mechanisms and it’s no different for their AirTag line. The keyring for the Slim Case actually locks the AirTag once you snap it in place. For a more luxe experience, the Leather Holder is another option. Available in Black, Espresso, or Blush, the LWG-certified leather holder securely holds the AirTag in a slip pocket. The quick-release keyring opens with a firm pull, allowing you to load or remove keys or accessories quickly.
Minimalist wallets are nothing new. So what makes the PulseX1 worth considering as your pocket companion? Attention to the details. The design features a StrapTrack channel that feeds the elastic strap through the metal plates, which means cutting down on the added thickness that would usually come with an external strap. The wallet also offers two thumb access areas, so you can easily access frequently used cards. The expandable design holds up to 15 cards and also provides RFID protection for added peace of mind.
Windeler knew they were on to something special with the success of their first Kickstarter campaign, building up an enthusiastic community keen to see even more modular magnetic tools added to their lineup. So naturally, Windeler has given their loyal customers what they’ve asked for. A new selection of stackable and magnetic modular tools, chosen from among the most popular customer requests. The new offerings include pliers, scissors, a UK-legal knife, and a tool wrap to neatly carry your tools while also serving as a magnetic shield to protect other items you may have in your pocket.
The Portland, OR-based home office goods company has been on a tear in the past few years, fueled no doubt by the increase in professionals working at home. They just launched their new beautiful wood and leather mouse pads. The pads have a supple vegetable-tanned leather top, an aluminum center for reinforcement and weight, and a cushioning cork bottom to keep the mouse pad in place and your table surface protected. Available in tan or black leather, you have the option of small and large sizes. For the ultimate setup, there’s an optional Large version with a Pen Tray for your stylus, drafting pencil, or pen.
Alex Crane Quilted Kite Jacket & Campo Sweater
We haven’t heard much about Alex Crane around these parts but the Brooklyn-based company has been making sustainable staples since 2016. They recently dropped a winter-friendly version of their chore coat, which comes by way of a quilted canvas overcoat. It’s Made in America and already preshrunk so the sizing won’t flip on you and is fully machine washable. They also just released their first collection of sweaters. The Campo Sweater is available in two colorways (Ink and Tank) in both men’s and women’s sizing. They are 3D-printed in a facility in Missouri using machine-washable Merino wool (no more handwashing!). The fit is true to size and works great both in the office and for happy hour drinks after. Remember: staples.
Outlier are known for their textile experimentation and expertise. And the Nexhigh Rolltop is no different. It uses a custom-developed composite fabric featuring a Mylar film bonded to a polyester face fabric and white nylon interior. The result? A fabric that’s stable without stretch, allowing for better weight distribution, yet flexible enough to be folded for easy storage. Useful features such as dual side entry zips to the main compartment, Fidlock magno-mechanical closures on the rolltop opening, and quick-access external pockets make this a functional piece, served up in Outlier’s unmistakable style.
Need to keep your gear secure yet easily accessible on a bike? Yorkshire-based Restrap offer a savvy solution with their newly updated Bar Bag. Each bag is handmade in their Yorkshire workshop and requires no rack, mounts, or tools to attach. Now available in both a Small (14L) and Large (17L) version, the bags have an upgraded handlebar attachment that utilizes spring-loaded cam lock buckles for easy and secure attachment. Both sizes also include a tape-sealed, 100% waterproof 6oz nylon 14L Double Roll Dry Bag and exterior elastic shock cord for additional carry flexibility. And for added functionality, the Large version also includes a removable 3L Food Pouch.
Ornot has hit our radars a few times but none more prominently than last fall, when they teased the Trail Magic Jacket. The brand, founded in 2013, is focused on sustainable, domestic manufacturing, and is producing some of the most performant and, dare we say, sexy cycling clothing. The Trail Magic is actually two pieces in one. It starts with a Polartec NeoShell exterior coupled with a Polartec Alpha Direct breathable lightweight vest. This results in a jacket that is both waterproof and breathable. The vest zips into the jacket so they can move seamlessly as one unit or can be removed and stowed into its own stuff sack or in the rear jacket pocket. Additional features that make the Trail Magic stand out are a PFAS Free DWR coating, bluesign®-approved fabrics, taped seams, 2-way YKK zippers, and an adjustable hood that fits over a helmet. The Trail Magic is available now from the Ornot website.
Speaking of availability, the brand also recently restocked their much-loved Handlebar Bag Mini. Fans have been clamoring for new inventory and now they’re here. Available in four colorways, the bag sits comfortably in front of your bars, seemingly disappearing until you need it. Measuring just over 7 inches across, it’s a great place to stash your phone, snacks, wallet, and other knick-knacks. A water-resistant YKK zipper keeps things dry and a rigid frame sheet means no saggy bag syndrome.
Tifosi, one of our favorite optics brands, is releasing a new member to the Swank family, the Swank XL. The Swank XL emphasizes the classic flair of the original Swank series but with a larger fit and new colorways to meet the needs of runners, cyclists, golfers, outdoor enthusiasts, and everyone in between. One of our favorite things about Tifosi is the bang for buck you get with every pair of their glasses, and the Swank XL is no different; priced at $29.95 with a polarised option at $54.95.
Even if you’re not familiar with the different styles of knives, many of us have probably handled a slipjoint before; likely in our youth with Boy Scouts or as an introduction on knife safety from our father or grandfather. With their latest release Ansø and Vox harken back to those times with the Farley. Named after a bar near the northern base of the Golden Gate Bridge, the Farley is available in both Green Canvas Micarta and solid Brass scales. It sports an M390 stainless steel blade with a satin finish, measuring 2.75”. The handle measures 3.625”, giving the knife an overall length of 6.4” when deployed. The Farley was designed to be a simple yet beautiful non-locking knife and upon initial inspection it seems to accomplish just that.
Blankets are wonderful, they make you feel safe, warm, and cozy. Rumpl have been changing the way we think about outdoor blankets with their machine-washable synthetic puffy blankets for a few years now, and they’ve been well-received industry-wide. People sat up and took notice, people like Snow Peak. Last year, they released a collaboration blanket that combined Snow Peak’s legendary Takibi fire-resistant fibers with Rumpl’s lightweight recycled insulation. This is the perfect piece for firepits and camping, and is worth keeping in the car too! With a useful carrying case (including aluminum buckles) it’s time to step up your blanket game!
Hyperlite make some of the best Dyneema hiking packs around, that are favored by alpinists and hobbyists alike. What’s not to like about Dyneema? It’s durable, lightweight, and waterproof! More recently, we’ve seen them expand their line into accessories like their Camera Pod and their Versa hip pack. Now available in white DCF, this waterproof hip pack is perfect for shorter jaunts, trail runs, or even EDC. A removable strap can be stored easily, while the padded rear wall keeps this comfortable, whether it’s around your waist, attached to your sternum strap, or even just slinging it. The Versa is a great three-pocket option for those who love all that DCF offers.
The Camino Carryall has become a favorite at Carryology, featuring in both our snowboarding and beach buying guides after an excellent update in 2021. They’re back, only now there are three sizes to choose from, a 20L, the original 35L, and a mega 50L beast.
The Camino Carryall is the benchmark for tough totes, thanks to classic YETI over-engineering and construction. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a tote that can handle abuse in the same way that this does. Not only is it tough, but it is also full of thoughtful and useful features such as the pop pocket water bottle holders and the double internal zip pockets. Not to mention the exterior MOLLE webbing that allows you to attach keys and accessories! There are a whole plethora of ways to use the Camino Carryall, and regardless of whether it be groceries or outdoor gear, it’s super easy to clean too! The new Goldilocks sizes will allow you to find the one that’s “just right” for you.
Staying comfortably warm while getting active can be a tricky balance. But Mountain Hardwear come to the rescue with their Kor AirShell™ Warm Jacket. The interior high-loft fleece insulation retains warmth while keeping wind and light rain at bay. And the exterior Pertex® Quantum Air stretch fabric is breathable and abrasion-resistant. So you get a comfortable, breathable jacket that embraces a variety of active uses without necessitating a layer shed halfway through.
With spring on the horizon, shorts are waiting patiently for their chance to become wardrobe staples again. And Western Rise have a solid option available with their Movement Short. Lightweight, moisture-wicking, water-resistant, and breathable, the shorts also offer two-way stretch, so getting active is easy. From trips to the gym to hikes or even dips in the pool to cool off, this versatile piece is sure to be welcome across a range of warm-weather activities.
So you’ve got the shorts sorted, but what about an active tee? Western Rise have you covered there too with their Session Tee. It’s made with lightweight 100% polyester mesh double knit fabric incorporating Deltapeak™ technology. So what does that mean in the real world? You get an exceptionally breathable, moisture-wicking tee with four-way stretch and a lightweight feel. Ideal for getting after it, whatever your preferred activity may be.
Ibex applies their merino treatment to the classic Henley and manages to achieve both performance and style. Available in both men’s and women’s styles, the Henley also boasts all of the benefits of merino wool: naturally moisture-wicking, odor-resistant, and temperature regulating. Ibex left the tags off this piece for maximum comfort and the wrinkle-free and lightweight material means you’re reaching for it when packing for your next trip.