Our Ninth Annual Carry Awards are here! The time where we all gather together to celebrate the best the industry has to offer, across 14 categories. Giving truly great gear the accolades it deserves.
Of course, when it comes to highlighting that gear, you guys, our awesome readers are always on point. Endorsing pieces from big names and smaller players alike. So we’re looking to your knowledge and expertise again this year to shine a spotlight on the best and most innovative new releases from 2020 / 2021.
We’re trying some things, to keep it fresh
One less round
Last year’s Carry Awards were epic, but they also went on for too long, in our opinion. So we’re removing the second ‘finalists’ round and jumping straight to our ‘Top 5’ to decide our final winners.
Two new categories
Our Best Specialist and Best Accessory categories were feeling too broad, so we asked our FB Group to vote on more pointed categories. The two that rose to the top? Best Waterproof Bag and Best Everyday Accessory.
Let’s celebrate the little guys – Best Up-and-Comer
In past awards, we’ve awarded Brand of the Year to bigger brands – brands with 50+ staff. And smaller ‘up-and-comers’ find it hard to compete in this category. So this year, we’re moving our focus to small brands making waves. Brands on the up that are doing ‘big’ things in the Carry space. If we had to put a number on it, we’re looking to showcase brands with 15 staff or less.
What should influence your voting decision? We’re celebrating the best of the best with these awards. So think carefully about whether a piece is worthy to be nominated. It should go above and beyond, perhaps really dialing in an epic blend of style and function. Or making the industry take note through groundbreaking innovation. It could be a piece that absolutely nails its intended purpose. If you can think of such a piece, give it a shout-out by nominating it below in the relevant category.
Try to focus on pieces from 2020/2021. We like fresh. You like fresh. So we want to embrace that here, focusing on nominating pieces that emerged from May 2020 to 2021. But we know that great pieces have cropped up over the years that deserve praise and haven’t gotten it. So if you’re considering such a piece, give it a nomination. But as we said, keep it 2020/2021 if possible.
Please note, previous winners are not eligible. If a piece has scored one of our previous carry awards then it’s not eligible for this year’s awards. Simply put, it’s already gotten recognition. Plus we like to encourage finding ways to better existing designs, and if a piece keeps scoring awards, there’s no incentive to improve it. Newer pieces merit recognition too and we want to help them get it.
That being said, if previous winners have been significantly updated, they’re eligible for a nomination again. We want to celebrate designers who strive to iterate and improve their designs. Note, the updates do need to be significant (i.e. a color change or new fabric options aren’t going to cut it here).
Unbiased praise for big names and up-and-comers alike
Our Carry Awards are not influenced by any brand affiliation. They are an unbiased celebration of great design regardless of who created it, from household carry names to small makers – voted on by you and our expert panel. Only the best pieces will be awarded the ultimate honor of category champ, with high-fives to the most worthy runners-up in Highly Commended, no matter who they’re competing against.