- Buyer's Guide
Best Specialist Champion 2020
Our Best Specialist excels in a particular carry need, offering maximized fit-for-purpose design to expertly meet a specific use case…
The climbing world makes certain demands on your gear that have to be met. Suitable toughness to endure rugged climbing environments. Comfortable carry to get gear there and back again while often needing to navigate tricky terrain. And easy access to your climbing gear when you need it, while ensuring it’s secure when you don’t.
Enter Mystery Ranch with their Tower 47. The brand is synonymous with highly durable and extremely comfortable carry. But now they’re bringing that expertise to climbing carry with the Tower 47. The crag pack features Mystery Ranch’s signature burly build and super-comfy Futura Alpine yoke that can adjust to different torso lengths. Then it gets creative on access with a wide-opening main compartment that lays all your gear out for rapid, convenient access. You’ll also find a range of pockets and compression straps, allowing you to tailor organization to your needs.
Durable and comfortable enough for the approach while serving up great gear access when you get there, this is a dependable and functional crag pack you’ll keep reaching for again and again. Highly impressive, Mystery Ranch!
These are the pieces that just missed out, and in most cases, by the smallest of margins. To them, we award a High Commendation. The below were of outstanding quality, displaying fine craftsmanship and design flair. With honor, we bow our heads in the utmost respect and kudos. If this were a dais, they’d be biting their teeth into silver medals, while their flags were hoisted into the horizon – a feat not to be overlooked. And we’re sure they’ll be back, to take it one notch higher, next year.
You can’t think about motorcycle carry and not think about Kriega. Their TRAIL18 delivers a noteworthy performance for demanding adventure use, combining a super-rugged build with great carry comfort courtesy of their excellent Quadloc-Lite™ harness.
But they’ve also gotten clever with organization, offering multiple compartments, dedicated waterproof storage for valuables, and a waterproof roll-top main compartment. Plus you get a Hypalon net for storing wet or quick-access gear externally. This is a pack that’s clearly been built with demanding riding in mind, dishing up all the comfort, gear security, and durability you need to embrace adventurous use. A truly excellent effort, Kriega!
Thule is all about embracing the outdoors and active lifestyles. And that includes bringing all the gear you need to follow your outdoor pursuits. Their RoundTrip Bike Duffel is a cycling-focused duffel designed to organize and carry all the gear you need to enjoy road and off-road cycling alike. And they nailed it with great interior organization utilizing a divider that keeps individual items tidy and quickly accessible from the get-go.
There’s also plenty of space for shoes, a helmet, and bike tools. All in a tough build crafted with attention to detail. If you need to travel with bike gear, this duffel won’t disappoint. Fantastic work, Thule!