- Buyer's Guide
Best New Gear: January 2021
2021 has come out the starting gates strong with a solid offering of gear for urban, outdoor, and travel needs alike. Let’s take a closer look at January’s best new gear…
Meet the latest collaboration between Terrain 365 and Prometheus Design Werx. The Invictus-ATC is a rustproof, frame-lock folder for use in EDC and outdoor settings alike, on land and even underwater. It features a Terravantium™ blade and a 100% non-ferrous, non-magnetic construction designed to offer long-term durability and excellent edge retention. The knife is finished in a choice of scale materials including G10, carbon fiber, and titanium.
We’re super chuffed to partner with Heroclip for the very first release in our Carryology Essentials program. This program reimagines the smaller carry essentials that are so valuable in everyday and travel life. And first up is the Seigaiha Stealth. A salute to Heroclip’s incredibly versatile and useful carabiner/hook combo, with a limited-edition seigaiha pattern and sleek black/chrome colorway that nods to the spirit of exploration while fitting in anywhere.
Fancy an all-in-one USB-C hub and electronic cable organizer? Meet the OmniCase, which serves as both a hub and storage space for your smaller tech cables. OmniCase features multiple ports for USB-C devices, along with a magnetic storage case that securely stores cables, adapters, a SIM card and more for clutter-free EDC.
Chrome Industries Urban Ex Handlebar Bag 2.0 and 26L Rolltop Backpack
For 2021, we expect Chrome to push out cleaner and less fussy aesthetics for their bag lines as well as upgrading many of the SKUs with VX. Just released is a fully waterproof handlebar bag with a padded interior and a rolltop-style opening. It converts to a shoulder sling (strap included). The 26L backpack is also fully waterproof and has an internal laptop sleeve that supports up to a 15″ MacBook.
Wool is a wonder material for clothing but can be a little tricky to care for. But Topo Designs offers an easy-care solution with GlobalWool™. This versatile and sustainable fabric features a double-layer construction. Namely a micro wool/poly softer layer against the skin, and an exterior featuring 65% post-consumer recycled Italian wool. Their GlobalWool™ collection includes sweaters and shirts, all of which are machine washable and ready for urban and travel use alike.
Arc’teryx brings their clean style and technical build quality to your work day with their sleek and minimalist Granville Briefcase. The highly weather-resistant build combines tough N400r-AC² fabric with a WaterTight™ zipper and taped seams. An external pocket provides easy-access storage for essentials. The main compartment offers a padded 15″ laptop sleeve, two stretch-mesh organization pockets, plus a document sleeve.
The Civvy Messenger Tote combines the versatility of a tote with the secure comfort and handy organization of a messenger. The stabilizer strap allows the bag to convert from tote to messenger during active use. Separate interior wet/dry storage complements the bag’s rugged, weatherproof build. Plus a range of pockets and a zippered main compartment secure your belongings on the go.
Japan loves Mystery Ranch. Mystery Ranch loves Japan. So an exclusive Japan-only collection makes sense for this mutual love affair. And while the rest of the world may pine, MR devotees in Japan can enjoy the Crazy Black Collection. The pieces are all made from four materials, all in the same shade of black. They’re blocked in a way that allows them to accentuate the difference in texture and demonstrate how the texture changes the way the color is preserved. The collection uses 500D Cordura, 420D VX42 from Dimension Polyant, 210D Robic dobby (used on most of MR’s mid-sized trail packs), and VS10 Bando (a soft textured polyester used in their Market series).
GORUCK’s iconic GR1 is a highly versatile pack for everyday, outdoor, and travel use. But its military aesthetics don’t always blend in to daily settings with ease. Enter the GR1 Slick, a pared-back version of this pack that blends easily into a multitude of settings. And Huckberry and GORUCK have teamed up to bring this limited-edition pack back in an exclusive Coyote colorway for both the 21L and 26L sizes.
While many masks can’t avoid microbes collecting on the mask surface, this adjustable mask features integrated antimicrobial zinc ion technology inside the fabric. This Acteev Protect technology combats germs and odors, while still enabling a soft, moisture-wicking construction that’s comfortable for prolonged wear. The reusable mask can be washed by hand or in a machine. It also comes in packaging that doubles as a reusable carrying pouch for the mask.
ORBITGear’s signature blend of techwear-meets-military styling, quality materials and construction, and practical design come together in the well-considered R102 ADV-VX CLAMSHELL Backpack. The clamshell pack offers a range of organization options including a laptop sleeve, pockets, and webbing attachment points to tailor your setup. All in an eye-catching blend of X-Pac and leather that looks sharp on city streets and helps protect your gear from the elements.
Athletic apparel honed to its core for optimized performance? That’s Ten Thousand’s goal and they don’t disappoint with the Midweight Tech Popover Hoodie. This hoodie features a proprietary technical fabric that wicks moisture, is breathable, resists stains, and even includes a permanent silver ion treatment for odor-free wear. The hoodie includes a secure pocket for storing small essentials. A solid pick for active use and cozy lounging at a price that’s great value.
Your feet deserve comfort, especially when they’re under strain during active adventures. And the Swiftwick MAXUS™ Zero Tab cushioned socks are ready to deliver with a range of practical features. The micro tab prevents contact with the back of the shoe to protect against blisters. The cushioned sock also provides relaxed compression, a moisture-wicking footbed, and a breathable upper and is great for active wear, from sports to the gym and beyond.
Face masks by their nature hinder access to nutrition and hydration. But Nathan Sports has come up with a thoughtful design for runners and active use that allows access to hydration and nutrition without needing to remove the mask or touch your face. The Run Safe Face Mask features a Quick-Flip concealed opening for refueling on the go, along with moisture-wicking construction and a secure, comfy fit.
A slipper and sneaker in one? Hard to imagine, but Bill Ringa have done it with the Ease. This footwear hybrid merges the comfort of a slipper with the functionality of a sneaker. It features a moisture-wicking 100% natural lambswool upper paired with a flexible latex rubber sole. The easy on/off design is great for indoor and outdoor use alike, and strides confidently and comfortably between casual walks and stay-at-home comfort.
The Locknesters Desk Object is undeniably eye-catching with its tactile, abstract design. But look a little closer and you’ll discover a secret. This intriguing object has a secret storage space inside, ideal for stashing small valuables and EDC objects within easy reach but discreetly hidden. The Locknesters Desk Object is made in the USA through 3D-printing followed by sanding and finishing by hand.
WANDRD is on a roll lately, coming hot off their camera strap release. This time, the team from Utah are dropping tech pouches and toiletry bags, reinforcing quality goods to help you with your daily carry, weekend trips, and extended stays.
WANDRD also designed a Carry Strap that attaches to both the Tech Pouch and Toiletry Bag, allowing you to carry them fanny pack or sling style. This isn’t as handy if you are going straight from carry-on to hotel bathroom. But it’s a welcome feature if you are taking the toiletry bag down to the lake for a wash, or to keep it on your person while using a questionable hostel bathroom.
The Tech Pouch comes in three sizes while the Toiletry Bag comes in two. They are both made from weather-resistant N420 HD Ripstop and feature two quick-grab side handles and two access pockets. Each Pouch/Bag has a webbing loop and clip system on the back panel allowing you to connect two together to create a mega pouch/bag. Alternatively, you can also use the Clip system to attach them to the outside of the PRVKE or DUO.
Triple Aught Design’s Syntax Jacket serves up their signature low-key styling, functional design, and adaptability. Resulting in a piece that works on the city streets and outdoor settings, from daily wear to travel needs. The jacket is made in the USA and incorporates quilted panels with 100gm2 Power Fill insulation. Suitable as a standalone piece in warmer weather or as a mid-layer for cooler conditions, it also offers a packable design that makes it easy to stash in a day bag or luggage.
Arc’teryx Alpha SL Anorak & Aerios Pack Family
Arc’teryx, the wunderbrand from Vancouver, has released an impressive collection of new styles for Spring 2021. Of note are the Alpha SL Anorak and the Aerios Packs. The former is their lightest climbing hardshell weighing just 210g for men and 180g for women and features 3L GORE-TEX fabric which offers breathable water and wind protection.
The Aerios Packs come in three volumes – 15L, 30L, and 45. This new line is primarily designed for spring and summer hiking and is designed for hikers and backpackers attempting long-distance days on foot. Built with lightweight yet durable materials, they are designed to withstand prolonged use on the trail. Key features include a highly breathable AeroForm back panel, gender-specific fit, and a high tenacity fabric with polymer ripstop material for durability. The Men’s 30L weighs just 910g or 2 pounds.
The M.020 Camping Tool Card is the size of a thick credit card. But don’t let its compact design fool you. This multitool packs a lot of functionality into its small form, including a removable ferro rod, a rope tensioner, a sundial, a bottle opener, a rope cutter, a scraper, and more. All while weighing just 1.34 oz.
Huckberry and lululemon have teamed up on a jacket that lets you dictate when it’s time to head home, not winter’s chilly blasts. The Navigation Jacket combines Responsible Down Standard-certified 700 fill power goose down with lululemon’s ThermoChannel™ construction that creates channels to hold the feathers in place. The water-resistant jacket uses a stretch nylon and elastane shell that enables freedom of movement and comes in an exclusive Grey Sage colorway. Additional features include a cinchable hood, hand warmer pockets, and an interior zippered chest pocket.
Wandered beyond the boundaries of cellphone coverage? You can still stay connected with ZOLEO. It connects with a phone or tablet to provide seamless global messaging whether you’re inside of or outside cell coverage. Additionally, it also offers safety features such as SOS alerts, weather updates, and more. The ZOLEO device connects with an app on your phone and sends and receives messages by satellite, cellular, and Wi-Fi means.
Responsibly made gear is good for you and the planet and Helly Hansen takes this responsibility on board with their Elevation Infinity Shell Jacket. The jacket features LIFA Infinity Pro™ technology to create a waterproof and breathable membrane without the use of chemicals. The face fabric offers everlasting water repellency without the need for reproofing, with a snowsport-tailored design that keeps you dry and flexible on the slopes.