- Buyer's Guide
Best New Gear | September 2022
Cozy merino staples just in time for autumn, effortless keyring carry, and solid protection for your phone are just some of the month’s enticing new offerings. Discover September’s best new gear below…
Shwood has been delighting customers with their wood and acetate eyewear for years and recently they launched CAMP to bring high-value sunglasses to their fans. A number of frames are available from the Ridge Matte Pearl, available in four colorways and with a rectangular shape and keyhole bridge, to the Crag Tortoise, the largest frame in the collection and its slightly oversized rectangular shape that’s perfect for wider faces. All the shades are made from plant-based bio-plastic, have polarized lenses to decrease eye strain, feature stainless steel spring hinges, and come housed in a retro sleeping bag travel pouch.
Bellroy have a chic new selection of cases for the iPhone 14. Part of the range is a new fully-compostable Bio Phone Case, along with updates to Bellroy’s Mod System cases, allowing you to mix and match colorways. The Bio Phone Case uses a bio-based polymer blended with 20% bamboo composite filler. Designed to be composted at the end of its life, it will break down in around six months and leave no toxic residue. You can also pair your iPhone 14 with the Mod Phone Case + Wallet. Each can be used individually or together, allowing you to tailor to changing carry and color preferences throughout the week.
The London-based accessory maker was not just one of the first on the scene with cases for the new Apple iPhone 14, but they also improved on their case design for the 14. The new cases now support MagSafe charging, have machined metal buttons (which are also dyed to match the leather color), and are now using Ecco leather from the Netherlands.
In addition, the interior is lined with Japanese microfiber that is both strong and lightweight, adding padded comfort for the iPhone. A raised bump around the rear camera protects the protrusion and the aforementioned vegetable-tanned leather will patina over time, developing a beautiful finish. The cases are available in three colors (Tan, Black, Monaco Blue) and all sizes of the iPhone 14 are supported.
UAG has a number of cases to protect the new iPhone 14 series. This year’s cases put an added emphasis on durability and user convenience and the new MagSafe design allows for convenient accessory carry. The user has lots of options here. From cases made from DuPont Kevlar (Monarch, Metropolis) to biodegradable cases (Outback), UAG has something for every user and use.
Made with sustainable materials and as a member of 1% for the Planet, the new Incipio cases for the iPhone 14 line have something for everyone. Features include antimicrobial protection, raised bevels for added screen protection, 8 to 16 feet of drop protection, and MagSafe support.
Existing cases like the Grip, Duo, and Organicore have been updated for the new iPhone 14 but Incipio has also introduced a few new designs. The Forme is a slim case featuring nature-inspired designs. The AeroGrip is the result of extensive research around a superior grip experience and in-hand feel. Lastly, the Idol offers ultra-slim construction and improved Impact Struts technology.
The original Ring was Orbitkey’s take on the classic split-ring keyring we’re all used to. Their take was to save our fingernails from getting chewed up and chipped through painful interactions with the coiled metal loops. Redesigned and greatly improved for 2022, v2 of the Ring features an all-metal design (getting rid of the plastic pull-down system), a patent-pending locking mechanism that is much easier to operate compared to its predecessor, and a wider opening to fit more keys and car fobs. It’s available in four finishes: black, silver, rose gold, and yellow gold.
If you love TAD’s FAST Pack EDC but want something a little less tactical-looking for urban settings, you’re in luck. Enter the FAST Pack EDC Armory build; your chance to build a cleaner version of the pack with custom tweaks to make it your very own. The Sterile Edition of the pack can be built in a choice of materials and colors, along with several options for Velcro and PALS webbing placement. Each pack is built in North Carolina and you’ll need to wait around two months to receive it. But if you’re patient, you could very well have your perfect pack in the making.
With autumn approaching there’s a crispness to the air. But with the Porter Hoodie you’ll want to get out there and embrace it. Thanks to its 100% Australian merino wool construction, this hoodie offers all the benefits of this wonder material. Odor resistance? Check. Temperature regulation? Sure thing. Anti-microbial and moisture-wicking properties? You bet. So whether you’re getting active on a chilly morning run or taking care of errands around town, the combination of performance properties and casual urban-friendly style makes this a solid wardrobe staple for a range of settings and activities.
Chrome Industries are well known for their tough and dependable carry. And with the early nights drawing in, they’ve released a new Fog colorway collection inspired by the grays and blues of Portland. Plus with large reflective panels across the collection’s pieces, you have your very own fog light keeping you safe in low-light conditions. The collection features some of Chrome’s most popular pieces, such as the Barrage Cargo Backpack, Citizen Messenger, Kadet Sling, and more, so you’ve got a range of options to suit your specific carry needs.
The Sansom is Mission Workshop’s take on the rarely seen and underappreciated long-sleeve button-up shirt jacket. Using precision Prym snaps, the Sansom : SD can be worn as an overshirt or on its own. Made in New York City from a stretch cotton fabric by Texil Santanderina in Spain, it features a DWR finish and camo print design made especially for MW. It is available now in three colorways: gray camo, olive camo, and gray.
Mission Workshop have been busy across multiple fronts and if you’re seeking technical performance with everyday comfort, their Merino Core Collection delivers. Offering all the benefits of merino with added durability and strength, the collection uses extra-fine 18.9-micron 190g/sm Australian merino wool spun around a core of nylon. Versatile for urban or outdoor use, the collection includes the Sector: MC classic crew t-shirt, the Perimeter: MC long sleeve crew, as well as the Gobi: MC lightweight beanie. Each piece is made in New York City and is ready for day-to-day and adventure settings alike.
Aquascutum and master-piece have teamed up on a series inspired by the theme of “water shield”, the original concept of Aquascutum. A deft blend of master-piece’s signature functionality and Aquascutum’s club check fabric, the collaboration spans both bags and apparel. Two shirts and two coats give you stylish and practical wardrobe options for everyday and weekend wear, while a choice of three bags provides flexible carry options. The 2Way Backpack, 2Way Tote Bag, and Front Pack all feature master-piece’s original “MASTERTEX” fabric, created with durability and protection from the elements in mind. And for a classy pop of character, the lining uses Aquascutum’s signature 100% cotton club check pattern.
A twist on their new Evolution Pant, the new Western Rise Evolution Chino offers the same fit but with a different pocket layout and small tweaks that make it a better choice, perhaps, for dressier occasions. It features four-way stretch nylon and spandex for that perfect fit and all-day comfort, a new TechFit stretch waistband, two hidden zippered pockets to keep valuables secure, a PFC-free durable water repellent finish, and a lightweight fabric that packs smaller than a t-shirt so there’s no excuse to not bring them on a trip.
Fans went wild for Orbitkey’s Desk Mat offerings but many have been demanding a longer, thinner design, and the Australian company have just delivered. The Desk Mat Slim measures 31.4″ long by 12.2″ wide. It is offered in two finishes (black and stone) and features a document hideaway to store loose papers and notes, a magnetic cable holder to keep cables in place, an anti-slip backing to reduce sliding, and a reversible orientation to support both right- and left-handed users.
Mack Weldon calls their new Radius Flex Pant the new do-it-all pant built for 24/7/365 wear. That’s not just a mouthful but it’s also an ambitious claim, but we think it has what it takes to back it up. For starters, the Radius is made from Mack Weldon’s proprietary Radius fabric, a four-way stretch, water-, wind-, and stain-resistant performance fabric that is sleek enough for the office but comfortable enough for off-duty wear. The pant features an ergonomic gusset for a greater range of motion, reflective accents for commutes by bike, and seven pockets so there’s a secure home for anything you want to stow. It’s available now in four colors.
A refresh on a fan favorite, the StrongCore Merino Hoodie is a super soft, odor-resistant, and temperature regulating take on the classic wool sweater. Perfect on its own or as a light layer, the StrongCore is a piece you can wear day in and day out that won’t show signs of aging or odor. Due to the nature of merino wool, frequent washes are not required nor recommended, which means less wear on the garment and the environment.
The Adapt is WR’s take on a classic style with some modern improvements. Built with four-way stretch, it’s also water and stain-resistant, temperature regulating, breathable, and incredibly soft. Available in a full size run and in two colorways (black and anchor), the Adapt is just as at home on travel and to dinners as it is on the trails and golf course.
We love it when companies upcycle and repurpose goods, and keep sustainability in mind. This time, the Canada-based brand Reigning Champ teamed up with Western Hydrodynamic Research, taking slightly damaged RC sweats and hand-repairing and embellishing the pieces to give them a second life.
The WHR Repair Project is loosely inspired by kintsugi, the Japanese art of mending broken objects (you may have seen this in repaired ceramics pieces). WHR has restored and transformed a small batch of sweatshirts into one-of-a-kind pieces. Prices range from $250-275 USD.
Affectionately referred to by fans as the Travertines, the new Everywear Performance Pant by Chubbies is the culmination of three years of customer research and wear testing. This latest iteration is designed to be worn, well, everywhere. Built using the same 90% polyester / 10% spandex material as the Everywear Shorts, the pants are perfect for running errands, hitting the trails, or all day in the office.
Following the success of their GM9, GiantMouse Knives, out of Michigan, launched the Jutland. The knife is a re-purposed GM8 design, but brings it to the more approachable and affordable ACE line. If you’re wondering, Jutland is a low-lying peninsula in Western Denmark and the wilderness is the perfect inspiration for a knife designed for outdoorsmen and hunters. Available in both Orange G10 and Green Canvas Micarta, the Jutland features an Elmax blade measuring 3.35″ with an overall length of 8.15″. Depending on your handle choice, it may come with a satin or stonewash finished blade.
Matador and Volcom have teamed up once again, this time with a Bark Camo collaboration. The new series uses Volcom’s Bark Camo colorway on three signature Matador products. The Freerain 22 is an ultralight, waterproof, packable backpack ready to take on all conditions. Next is the Freerain Packable Hip Pack, a 2L cross-body sling and hip pack that provides quick access and safe storage for EDC essentials. Rounding out the pairing is the Pocket Blanket, a lightweight, waterproof blanket that packs down to the size of a deck of cards and offers a clean, dry seat at beaches, trails, or the park.
BioLite started out producing wood-burning stoves that also doubled as a power source for developing countries and have since branched out into all manner of energy products. They released their headlamp line a few years ago and for 2022, they revamped the trio. Starting with the most affordable, the HeadLamp 325 now offers more brightness with the same run time in an ultralight package. The middle offering, the HeadLamp 425 is now upgraded to USB-C charging (from micro USB), has two new light modes, and supports pass-through charging. Lastly, the HeadLamp 800 Pro is the most feature-rich offering and now offers increased beam distance, better run time, and an expanded reserve mode.
BioLite BaseCharge and SolarPanel 100
We caught a glimpse of BioLite’s largest and most ambitious project, the BaseCharge, at Summer OR this summer. Now, it has officially launched and is shipping to customers. Available in two sizes, the 600 and 1500, the BaseCharge is a line of high-capacity lithium-ion power stations designed to deliver efficient, intuitive, and easy-to-use power for off-grid customers whether that demand spurs from camping, emergency, mobile office, or DIY projects.
An internal AC inverter gives users a wall outlet wherever they go. In addition, users can plug into an array of DC ports, USB-A and USB-C, as well as Power Delivery at a full 100W rating. The easy-to-read dashboard display calculates inputs, outputs, and remaining battery life in real time.
In addition to the 622W and 1521W BaseCharge stations, BioLite has also released the SolarPanel 100, a compact, foldable, 100-watt solar panel that can pair with the BaseCharge for a full solar generator system. Up to four SolarPanels can be daisy-chained to produce up to 400 watts of power, capable of charging a BaseCharge 1500 in as little as four hours. Alternatively, users can use the SolarPanel in standalone mode, offering direct charging to devices via the integrated USB-C and USB-A ports.
By using the latest innovations from the technical outdoors world as well as the latest sole technology from Vibram, Norse Projects has engineered the Arktisk, a collection of footwear that imbues the company’s attitudes of versatile pieces that seamlessly transition between the city and nature. Offered in three silhouettes, the shoes provide water repellency and breathability in a lightweight package with extreme grip. Prices range from $270 for the Lace Up Runner to $658 for the Mountain Boot.
Away have made a name for themselves with their sleek wheeled luggage. But sometimes wheels aren’t the best option for certain travel environments. So Away created the F.A.R (For All Routes) Convertible Backpack, a design that transitions between pack and duffel mode. All while giving you the flexibility to explore a range of environments, from cobbled streets and winding stairways to campsites and more. The 45L bag features interior and exterior compression straps and a clamshell opening for easy packing and access. It’s made with recycled, water-resistant materials and also features a pass-through sleeve for convenient carry if you want to pair it with wheeled luggage.
WaterField Designs just introduced their new camera bag, available in your choice of full-grain leather and ballistic nylon or waxed canvas. Designed for mirrorless and DSLR camera setups, the bag is the result of feedback from over 1,000 photographers. It features easy access via an ultra-wide opening, intuitive organization with built-in, adjustable dividers and a removable insert, comfort via the Supreme Suspension strap and moisture-wicking mesh backing, and protection using plenty of dense lightweight foam. The bag features premium materials such as full-grain leather, 1680-denier ballistic nylon, thick waxed canvas, custom metal hardware, magnetic Fidlock snaps, and rare-earth magnets and, as always, is handcrafted entirely in San Francisco.