- Buyer's Guide
Hall of Fame Finalists – The Second Annual Carry Awards
This is the category that gets nostalgic and shines a fanciful beam of light on something truly classic. It’s carry gear that has helped really shape our industry. These are carry pieces that connected with customers in a new way, opened up new markets, new ways to carry, or just nailed it and hit perfection. But with the entirety of history to draw on, how do we decide?
Well, we ran every morsel of historical carry ingenuity through a pinpointed filter and based the distillation on one, simple question: which products have ‘new found’ relevance. When we dug into the vaults of our past, we searched for carry that felt like it had left a ripple, and still maintained a presence to this day.
And in retrospect, these guys probably gave way to waves of impersonators, and frankly, deserve some long overdue kudos.
You have two votes to use as you will…
Allocate your 1st choice with 2 points
And your 2nd choice just with the 1 point.
Note: any votes made over the allotted limit will be wiped from the voting tally.
Taylor had a deep dive into this engineering marvel late last year, and we think it deserves another mention. The explosiveness of petroleum should be something we fear more than bullets or bandits, but a series of excellent design solutions mean we hardly think twice about this high-energy density liquid. Hopefully, further design innovations can get us away from petroleum soon, but for the moment, we should be stoked for this one.
The Jansport Daypack was introduced in 1975, and together with Eastpak a year later, these college targeted backpacks would grow to dominate the school and study market. Now both under the VF stable of brands, these simple two-pocket-packs sell in the millions. They are now a canvas for color and art, but the same basic structure has remained little changed in almost 4 decades.
What the heck is a reasonably modern pack doing up here? Well, it’s Kriega, one of the most under-rated pack brands in the world. Tackling the challenges of carry on a motor bike, Kriega have been designing ‘active’ harnesses for years. Rather than starting with a bushwalking harness that assumes heavy loads and upright postures, they create ribcage hugging packs that can move with you no matter how bent over you go. It’s really only been the last year or two that ultra-running and some snow packs are catching on to this brilliance.
You know those thousands of heritage brands and packs we’ve been seeing everywhere? This is the pack that helped inform them, probably more than any other. The Duluth Canoe Pack comes from the days when your great great grandfather used to canoe to the shopping mall. It’s rugged, simple, and would still be kicking today if it hadn’t gone mouldy in your attic. Over generations Duluth have filled out this bag range, applying the same classic values of these original packs.
As ‘gentlemanly’ dressing has returned to favor, so too have the tools of a gentleman. A stylish, well constructed satchel or briefcase is high on that list, and Filson are one of the foundation brands for these. The #70256 (or just 256) is a classic case that gets tiny revisions each decade or so. This bag manages conservatism without turning boring, and classic without looking contrived. Lots of brands are emulating this, without quite nailing it to the same degree.
If the heritage thing is going to survive past these next few seasons, designers are going to have to draw on more than just the 3 silhouettes they’ve all been inspired by. The Jensen has so far been only somewhat imitated, which is almost a pity, because this pack has more personality than Yogi Bear on mushrooms. The soft form uses your load for structure, at a time when most packs still had external frames and rigidity built in. Rivendell are still making these. You should buy one. They are totally classic.
Zip wallets used to be for girls. CDG changed that, creating a wallet cult that is still being expanded on today. You get protection, access and efficient storage, all with a wallet that can be dressed up in infinite ways. It’s a simple thing, but we salute the zip wallet.
We think the recent advances in spinner cases warrant a look back at the wheeled luggage that started it all. Part of the Briggs & Riley stable, this initial concept for a suitcase with wheels has transformed air travel for the generations since. Thank you, US Luggage, thank you!
– VOTING HAS NOW CLOSED –
What’s not here?
Loads! There is sssoooo much goodness, and only 8 nominees each year. The closest to miss was the IKEA blue bag, which while nominated last awards, has dropped in price to only $1. That was almost enough for us to break our rules. But you tell us… what other classics will have new relevance for our next awards? What should we start thinking about already?