- Buyer's Guide
Our 6 Favorite Bags from IWA 2019
IWA OutdoorClassics is without a doubt the biggest outdoor and shooting sports show in Europe, held each year in March in Nürnberg. So by definition you could expect some cool outdoor carry stuff to be exhibited there. And indeed the pack and bag companies did not disappoint. So here’s a short list of 6 of our favorite bags of IWA 2019 (in alphabetical order)…
This eye-catching traditional Bavarian pack is made with a 50/50 blend of wool and polyester with genuine leather trimmings, which gives protection, longevity and unique old-school looks. And it should develop a stunning patina with time and use. The material also nicely keeps the shape of the pack, and is perfectly suited for protecting fragile gear like photography equipment. It’s a really cool-looking pack by a company which focuses on photographers, animal watchers and sport shooters.
Now this is a cool lightweight mountain hauler! At about 50 liters in volume and weighing just about 4 lbs for the whole system of bag and external frame it’s an awesome solution for all kinds of mountain expeditions, when you need additional space for either gear or food (or game) which can be fitted between the frame and actual pack. The concept is not new of course, but I really like the way Eberlestock did it…for me they just nailed it! It’s a roll-top design with full front U-shaped zipper for unrestricted access from any side to any corner inside the pack. And it was great to meet Glenn Eberle himself at the booth too.
And now time for the world-renowned Filson and their Excursion Bag made of a legendary Tin Cloth. And yes, produced by Filson in the USA. “Budget” is the last thing that bag is about…but instead it’s darn tough, great-looking, made to the highest standards and simply cooler than the coolest bag I’ve ever had in my hands. Yep, just amazing. Oh, and the whole Filson stand was just so well built. Plus the most friendly and helpful people I’ve met during that show. Yeah, that bag and Filson stand was a great overall experience.
Helikon-Tex is not a new company but since a couple of years ago they have totally reversed their own business philosophy and changed from market followers to innovators. That is especially true with the new Bushcraft Line made under the leadership of well-known Polish outdoorsman and ex-military Pawel “Super” Supernat from Survivaltech bushcraft school. One of the best-selling products in that line is the Bushcraft Satchel, made especially for outdoor and bushcraft applications (as you can guess by the name). Available in many color variants, it’s made with Cordura fabric and YKK zippers, equipped with multiple pockets, and has MOLLE-compliant attachment points. It looks really good and is priced right too.
Wow, this looks like a great backcountry pack. It has a good blend of outdoor and bushcraft features, an overall alpine look and a very comfy summer-oriented suspension system. The whole series looks great, from the 34L daypack through to the 42L 3-day version and the fully featured 54L multi-day pack. I really like the mid-size one, it should be great for extended family day hikes in highland backcountry. My favorite features: an oversized grab handle on the back for horizontal carry, suspension, bottle pockets on the sides and bombproof metal hardware. And yeah, it comes in forest green; I like that! Lundhags is a Swedish company, focused on Scandinavian markets, so the quality is simply amazing.
And last but not least, the Avail 2200 pack by Stone Glacier from Montana, USA. I’m a big fan of well featured alpine-style daypacks. But this one is more than that. It also comes with full-blown suspension and features, which makes it an all-in-one pack. It can be a daypack, climbing pack, lightweight scouting pack, biking pack and even a skiing pack. It looks great, not too flashy, not too busy, but it is full of features, outside and inside. My favorite ones are the organization, suspension, scalability, beaver tail flap, and top materials. It weighs just 3 lbs (for what it can do that’s more than just good) and it’s compatible with Stone Glacier frames too…which makes it a lightweight hunting pack? Yes, that’s also possible.
Thanks! See you next year IWA, I’ll be there for sure!
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