- Buyer's Guide
Best New Gear | May 2023
Tough carry solutions for tackling mountain bike trails, adventurous apparel for exploring on two feet or two wheels, a savvy camera hand strap, and suave pieces for your daily commute were just some of the diverse pieces that stepped up to shine in May. Discover all of this and more as we check out the month’s best new gear…
Love Dango’s Mini Pen but wish it came in titanium? Well, your wish has been granted with the Dango Titanium Mini Pen. The titanium twist on this stylish and functional EDC pen is made in the USA using CNC machined grade 2 titanium and a stainless steel pocket clip. The compact design stores easily in a pant or bag pocket but can be extended to full length for comfortable writing by screwing the cap on the end of the barrel. The pen uses a long-lasting Schmidt 4889M ball point pressurized ink refill that lets you write upside down while maintaining smooth ink flow. And as an added bonus, the pen also comes with a Dango Pioneer Notebook so you’re all set to capture great ideas, to-do lists, and more.
The Coachwhip Carabiner takes its name from the Coachwhip snake in a nod to its curving S design. And while its sleek looks are certainly striking, it hits the mark with its practical design too. Featuring a CNC-milled stainless steel body with springy wire gates, the carabiner comes in a choice of three finishes including PVD-coated Vapor Black, PVD-coated Vapor Brass, and Stainless Steel. The dual gates make it easy to attach to a belt loop or bag strap while keeping keys secure on the go.
The Portland brand’s latest pack is a sleek 13-liter backpack for your everyday carry needs. It features a built-in laptop sleeve with an anti-gravity padded bottom, a zippered pocket with a key ring, and supports Velcro-in pocket accessories. On the outside is a stealthy water bottle pocket for hydration.
The Vancouver is made from a single layer of recycled EcoPak sailcloth that is crafted from 100% recycled polyester. The pack is designed, cut, and sewn in-house in Portland, Oregon, and comes with a lifetime warranty.
Founded in 2014 as a design agency for Scotland native Neil Ferrier to get all the ideas swirling around in his head into the physical world, Discommon started out doing consultancy work for large brands. This hasn’t changed today, but in 2015 they launched their goods line, with the Weekender emerging as one of their most popular products.
Now the brand is back with a whole new Leather Collection. The line consists of three products: the Accomplice Weekender, the Ace Backpack, and the Archetype Briefcase. Starting with the most substantial bag, the Accomplice, named because it’s meant to be your trusty companion, it measures 20″ x 12″ x 10″ and is constructed from full-grain leather from a 120-year-old family-owned tannery. It is constructed by one of America’s oldest briefcase manufacturers. Custom hardware and Riri zippers adorn the piece. It features a dump slot for quick stashing through airport security, a padded laptop pocket, and a handle that allows you to slip it over the top of the handle of your carry-on.
The Ace Backpack features three-sided zippered clamshell access, allowing you maximum packing room. It measures 15″ x 5″ x 11″ and is made from the same supple leather, from the same tannery, as the other leather goods. It supports a 15” laptop, has side water bottle pockets, and also offers a handle designed to slip over luggage handles. It’s purposely designed to be more compact than many other bags so that the carry can be lighter weight and more focused. As a bonus, there’s a detachable interior pocket that holds your charger, cables, and AirPods.
Finally, the Archetype is their take on the briefcase. Telescoping handles allow for easy access to the interior, plus easy underarm carry. There are dedicated phone, tablet, pen, and notebook pockets. It measures 17″ x 3″ x 11.5″ and comes with an adjustable and removable shoulder strap.
Call it athleisure or the interaction of performance fabrics with business casual, but we’re digging it. Mack Weldon just dropped their new performance button-up shirt, the AIRFLEX line. Made from an ultralight four-way stretch fabric that contains recycled ocean materials, the AIRFLEX has the look, feel, and drape of an office-friendly shirt but adds in wrinkle-resistant, sweat-wicking, odor-blocking capabilities along with UPF 50 sun protection.
Shinzo Tamura comes from a long lineage of eyeglass craftsmen, with over 80 years of experience in his family, starting with his grandfather, who founded TALEX over 80 years ago. Improving upon traditional polarized lenses by adding a proprietary filter by their own design, TALEX lenses are able to block out more harmful and intrusive light without darkening or distorting your vision. Tamura took his family’s accomplishment and combined it with his lightweight and durable nylon frames and recently launched his eponymous sunglasses line. Handcrafted in Osaka, Japan, the first releases are the Ultralight and Classic collections, which provide a mixture of five different frames and 10 curated premium lenses. The collections are based on three lens categories (Natural Color, Contrast, and Brightness) or by activity.
The San Francisco brand just dropped its Revive Nylon collection, a range of water-resistant recycled nylon bags. With a total of six bag types with a number of colorways, the options range from totes to camera crossbody slings crafted from between seven and 25 recycled plastic bottles. The bags are extremely lightweight and loaded with organizational features, making them ideal for everyday use or travel.
Ally Capellino’s Military Group salutes subtle military references while offering a relaxed aesthetic that works in a variety of urban environments. Pieces include the Kara Slouchy Nylon Backpack in Khaki, Kai Slouchy Nylon Large Crossbody Bag in Khaki, and Keira Slouchy Nylon Holdall in Khaki. Each piece in the collection features two-toned green nylon construction, with natural vegetable-tanned leather detailing. The bags also feature a wide zip opening for easy packing and access, as well as a padded base for added protection against bumps.
Need a lightweight summer pant that will hop from city streets to outdoor trails and everywhere in between? Mission Workshop’s Division Chino delivers a host of features including comfy construction, breathability, moisture wicking, four-way stretch, and a DWR coating for water resistance. Made in the USA with ultralight (150gsm) Tweave 518C fabric, the pant feels wonderfully lightweight but is durable enough to tackle a variety of settings. The pared-back silhouette is easy to dress up or down, making it a versatile piece for work days and weekend adventures alike. Add in five pockets and you also get handy storage for your small essentials, making it a great get-up-and-go wardrobe choice for both daily and travel wear.
When Trakke got the opportunity to team up with urban artists from Glasgow’s Yardworks Festival, they went all in, resulting in a super-limited collection of 10 unique bags. Each artist handpainted a custom 1.5m x 1.5m mural on Trakke’s waxed canvas, which was then carefully cut into pieces by Trakke’s craftspeople to create one-off, completely unique bags. Fun and popping with personality, it’s no surprise the collection sold out quickly.
This month Carl Friedrik celebrated its 10-year anniversary. And it did so in style with the release of a limited-edition colorway across their best-selling Palissy Briefcase and Swanfield Wallet. The pieces feature a Naturale leather colorway, which is the most natural form of leather and only uses a small amount of organic vegetable tannins, creating a classy and understated look. Carl Friedrik revived this leather colorway for its 10-year anniversary due to popular customer demand. There are only 100 units of each limited-edition piece, with each Palissy Briefcase numbered from 1 to 100 on the interior leather patch.
Finding a bag that’s just right isn’t always easy. But having choices can make things a lot more efficient. And that’s what Trakke offers with their Arkaig Backpack. The pack gives you hardware options, now available with G-Hook and COBRA buckle variants as standard. You can easily select which option you prefer, so you get a pack that opens just the way you want it to.
Crafted entirely from recycled PrimaLoft Bio fabric, the latest piece from ARTILECT is highly breathable while providing unparalleled comfort against the skin. In addition to keeping you cozy, it’s made of 100% recycled material, making it a sustainable choice for environmentally-conscious consumers. One of the key advantages of the Halfmoon (available in men’s and women’s options) is the ergonomic design, which includes a pullover style and lycra cuffs, ensuring a snug and comfortable fit for all-day wear. In addition, it is equipped with zippered pockets, allowing you to store small items on the go securely.
Helinox’s Ultralight line is a fan favorite, especially for those looking to minimize carry weight while still having chairs that can support a substantial amount of body weight. To keep things interesting, the brand just released the collection in a crispy white colorway, complete with the brand’s signature cyan-blue aluminum alloy frames.
The Chair Zero is their lightest and most packable chair, weighing just 17 ounces. For fuller support, check out the Chair Zero High-Back, which comes in at 1 lb 8 oz while still being packable. You can have that reclining relaxed position even when camping. And lastly, the Speed Stool is a quick deploy stable sitting surface for those mobile and dynamic outings.
With pool season rapidly approaching, Mack Weldon just introduced their new AquaTerra shorts. Described as shorts made for the land and sea, it’s made from a durable nylon/lycra ripstop fabric. Stretchy, quick-drying, and chlorine- and salt-resistant, the shorts are ideal for wet or dry activities. It also includes streamlined pockets with magnetic closures, a Velcro fly, and a built-in keyring.
SITKA Gear and The James Brand have teamed up to create the Anzick outdoor chef’s knife, a professional and limited-edition blade designed for prepping meals in the great outdoors. The knife is designed to both withstand harsh conditions but also perform well in various cooking duties. The Anzick is made from MagnaCut steel which offers the toughness of high carbon steel while enjoying the corrosion resistance of stainless. A full-tang construction means maximum strength and control, while the CNC-milled G10 handles provide a secure grip, even when wet. The knife features a food-safe DLC coating for wear resistance and lowered friction. The Anzik comes complete with a Hypalon sheath for storage.
As part of the fifth drop from the System_A collaboration, the Q5 Waistpack is their take on a bag meant for hike-to-climb exploration. The durable Q5 easily handles city life while transitioning to weekend day hikes on local trails. The dual compartment helps you stay organized with your layers, snacks, smartphone, and wallet. It comes with an adjustable strap to allow cross-body or waist carry, an external shock cord to lash a jacket, umbrella, or oversized gear, and an external water bottle holder to keep you hydrated.
Maine-based Pinebury is a new brand in the cycling and active outdoor space and they’re coming in strong with their Spring/Summer Collection. Inspired by New England’s cycling and outdoor heritage and made in the USA, the collection features Nuyarn® merino and heritage styling. Nuyarn® blends superfine merino wool with a high-performance nylon filament, resulting in a lightweight but durable material. Nuyarn merino is faster drying, more durable, and offers significantly more stretch than conventional ring or core-spun merino, making it a great choice for active technical apparel. The Pinebury collection features a range of pieces such as road and gravel cycling jerseys, short and long-sleeve multi-sport tops, socks, and arm warmers, all designed for an ideal fit, mobility, and breathability.
Osprey have teamed up with The Venture Out Project to launch a limited-edition series of Daylite Pride bags. The Daylite Pride collection features two styles that accommodate a range of loads and uses. The Pride Daylite Plus Backpack offers useful organization for both everyday and outdoor use, while the Pride Daylite Sling offers more agile and ambidextrous carry for smaller loads. With every Pride pack purchased, a $5 donation will be made to The Venture Out Project, with a minimum donation of $20,000. The collection is sustainably made and will be available in June.
TAD’s Covert LST Pant offers a modern and streamlined take on the classic utility pant. A choice of pockets keep small essentials close at hand, while features such as reinforced knees and cuffs, reinforced seam stitching, and tough but breathable Schoeller® fabric provide the rugged durability you need for outdoor adventures. The water-resistant pant also offers a gusseted crotch for freedom of movement and a back-yoke for improved fit, keeping you comfy throughout the day as you venture forth.
Your choice of footwear is critical for getting the most out of your outdoor adventures. So Satisfy and Crocs teamed up to create outdoor-ready clogs that happily venture on land and in water. The Satisfy x Crocs Classic Clog features a comfy neoprene sleeve upper and elastic quick lace system, allowing for a personalized fit. The shoes are buoyant and also feature ventilation ports that boost breathability and help shed water when your adventures take a wetter turn.
RMU’s MTB Line dishes up a variety of well-thought-out pieces that can do double duty on mountain bike trails and travel environments. The line is made with 95% recycled materials and each product is backed by a lifetime warranty. The collection features significant updates to the brand’s existing Core Pack 15L, Enduro Fanny 3L, and Tailgate Locker, while also introducing the new Utility Belt 1L and Pint Bag. The Core Pack 15L, Enduro Fanny 3L, and Utility Belt 1L are made with 420d recycled nylon with a carbonate and PU coating, weatherproof zippers, and asymmetrical buckles for comfort. The Tailgate Locker and Pint Bag are made with recycled 630d nylon with a carbonate and PU coating.
The updated Core Pack 15L takes inspiration from RMU’s Core Pack 25 winter and travel pack. It features a slimmer design but still packs in a host of useful features such as diagonal ski carry, a helmet sling, hydration bladder compatibility, and an updated chest-style harness with Fidlock closure.
The Enduro Fanny 3L has an expanded compartment for additional carry capacity and two water bottle holders. The main compartment holds tools, a pump, and a hip-style 1.5L water bladder and you also get an external helmet sling and a fleece-lined exterior pocket.
The Utility Belt 1L is well suited to shorter rides and minimalist loads in EDC and travel settings. It fits tools, a tube, tire levers, and a water bottle and also offers a fleece-lined pocket for more fragile items.
The updated Tailgate Locker truck pad now features additional sizes to accommodate larger trucks and tailgates, a widened front camera window, doubled padding all around, longer downtube straps for larger bikes, and an extra webbing loop to secure front tires. The large size fits 6 bikes and the small size fits 5 bikes. It offers tool storage, an insulated cooler pocket, and cable lock accessibility.
The Pint Bag offers a compact on-bike storage solution that attaches to a bike frame either through screws or a Velcro strap. Designed to hold essentials such as a spare tube, tire levers, and tire plugs, it comes in around the size of a beer can and features a rubberized base to prevent slipping.
Terrain 365 have just launched the STS-ATB, an upscale variant of the popular STS-AT series. Designed to serve as a versatile tool for a range of demanding outdoor settings, the frame-lock features an integrated bolster construction and comes in a choice of carbon fiber, G10, or canvas micarta scales. The clip point blade takes inspiration from the classic Loveless chute knife and is made with Terrain 365’s proprietary corrosion-proof and edge-holding Terravantium superalloy. Additional features include dive watch-grade glow-in-the-dark cabochons in the dual thumbstuds and custom-turned titanium machined screws.
The San Francisco camera and EDC accessories maker is back to the platform where they launched their brand and found so much success. For their 11th Kickstarter campaign, the crew is back with the perfect hand strap for mirrorless photographers. The Peak Design Micro Clutch addresses the issue that mirrorless users often lack a robust hand grip. The latest design by PD uses a recycled aluminum plate and pairs it with a sliding screw slot, allowing custom adjustability for grip while retaining the ability to access the camera’s battery. A hidden adjustment tool aids the user in loosening the base plate to release it. The stitchless Hypalon hand pad with rotating pivot points enhances comfort and safety while shooting or carrying between locations.
Photographers can choose between different models of the Micro Clutch depending on their specific camera make and model. The “L” style plate is for bodies with a built-in grip, while you’ll want to get the “I” base plate for straight bodies without a grip. The campaign for the Micro Clutch is live now and backers can take advantage of discounted pricing.
Warmer weather does not have to mean dressing down. Buck Mason just introduced a stylish take on their popular Carry-On suit series, this time with the Linen Hopsack variation. Inspired by the casual suiting that was popular in the 1950s and ’60s, the Carry-On suit offers some style and elegance without the stuffy pomp and circumstance of formal menswear. As the name implies, the Carry-On Jacket is ideal for one-bag travel to your next vacation destination, and with a mix of cotton and linen, it’s sure to keep you cool as the temperature rises.
Following on from the success of their Venture Duffel 40L, Bellroy has delivered the same great functionality and clean aesthetics in a larger version for when you need to carry big loads. The Venture Duffel 55L opens wide for easy packing and includes elevated interior pockets for convenient access to smaller items, along with a detachable water-resistant stuff sack for dirty or wet items. An external quick-access pocket keeps your keys, wallet, and phone at the ready and you also get a range of convenient carry options. Top grab handles and grab loops at either end let you maneuver the bag by hand, while the shoulder strap can be mounted in two positions to enable either over-the-shoulder carry or across-the-back carry.