Best New Gear | March 2023
From a pint-sized pannier for cycling adventures to a customizable organizer for the office and a fishing-friendly backpack, March has delivered a variety of great new pieces perfect for putting a fresh spring spin on your carry setup. Jump into the month’s best new gear below…
Named after the French term for workshop or studio, the Atelier is GiantMouse’s latest addition to their more approachable, consumer-level ACE line. It is based on the ACE Grand, though you’d be wrong if you assumed they just shrunk the knife down. Available in both Titanium and Green Canvas Micarta, the Aterlier sports a satin-finished Elmax steel blade that measures 2.875 inches. The handle is 4 inches long, giving it an overall length of 6.81 inches. There’s a 20% weight reduction (from 4.2 oz to 3.3 oz) if you opt for the micarta scales instead of titanium. The Vox/Ansø joint number has a drop point blade and a comfortable thumb hole opener and it rides on a ball-bearing pivot system. A liner lock keeps things secure and a reversible wire clip allows for deep pocket, tip-up carry. With these specs and dimensions, the Atelier makes an excellent EDC option that’ll last through the years.
The French know how to do dining well, even if it’s on the go. Case in point, the monbento x Opinel On the Go Lunch Kit. The two French brands teamed up to create a portable lunch kit that offers clever functionality and eye-catching style in one. The kit includes the Picnic+ set featuring a N°08 knife, two fork and spoon inserts and a microfiber napkin case, along with the MB Original bento featuring two hermetic containers that offer a 1L total capacity. The kit works equally well in urban and outdoor settings, so you can enjoy a touch of fine dining wherever lunch on the go takes you.
Arc’teryx-founded Veilance has dropped their women’s Spring collection, which features pieces designed for layering for transitional and unpredictable weather conditions. Standout pieces include the Cosine Insulated Jacket which is designed for mixed conditions and serves as a true two-season (Spring and Summer) coat. It is superlight and offers warmth, resists wind, and repels water with a decidedly urban look. For something a little more substantial, the Focal Jacket can help you navigate through all seasons. Fortius 2.0 softshell fabric stretches, breathes, resists wind, and repels water. Fleece adds softness and warmth and the hood extends protection. Check out these two tops plus the entire collection at the link.
Vancouver-based brand TAIKAN welcomes fresh styles, fabrics, and colorways across their Spring 2023 collection. Inspired by street culture, their unisex bags celebrate creative experimentation while remaining functional, minimalist, and timeless in style, so you can reach for them year after year. New pieces include the likes of the technical yet minimal Okwa water-bottle sling, a practical pouch with space for a 1-2L water bottle, a cinchable paracord opening, as well as an interior mesh pocket and exterior zip pocket. Updated designs include the Sherpa 2.0 tote with four exterior pockets and an interior padded 16″ laptop sleeve. Nods to spring and fun pops of color are also seen across the collection in the Evergreen, Mustard, and Black & Lavender colorways.
Ortlieb have a reputation for tough, practical bags designed to protect your gear from the elements. And the Soulo serves up their considerable expertise in a minimalist pack designed for work and play in the city. The Soulo is a 25L backpack that provides IP53 water resistance and a range of useful features to keep your gear secure and organized. The new magnetic lid closure has a clever locking feature that keeps your belongings safe on the move. Externally you’ll find a quick-access pocket for smaller items like a phone, while internally there’s dedicated storage for a laptop. The pack also utilizes a new, soft-touch, PU-coated polyester fabric and comes in a choice of three colorways. The Soulo is sustainably made in Germany and backed by a five-year warranty.
Aer are well known for their honed blend of functionality and clean, urban-friendly styling. But now they’re adding sustainability to the mix with the Aer Pro Collection. The series features four pieces that are sustainably made and created for city professionals. The bags feature an 840D CORDURA® re/cor recycled nylon exterior and woven recycled nylon lining (both bluesign® approved). Designs include the Pro Pack 24L, Pro Pack 20L, Pro Pack Slim, and Pro Sling (which doubles as a sling or an organizer pouch). Each bag is available in three colorways and offers thoughtful organization and sleek city aesthetics for everyday use.
Helly Hansen just launched their Spring/Summer 2023 Outdoor Collection and this jacket is a real standout. Drawing from the brand’s history of creating waterproof gear for life at sea (e.g. ship rigging), the Urban Rigging Jacket is built with their trusted HELLY TECH PROTECTION fabric system, and is waterproof, breathable, and windproof. It has urban styling, allowing it to easily pair with office attire as well as casual clothing. YKK zippers to cover chest and hand pockets, sealed seams and a drawstring adjustable hood wrap things up nicely. It’s available in three colorways but the Spruce Camo is an office favorite.
Spring is the perfect time to add a touch of color to your carry. And Ally Capellino welcomes a variety of new pieces that nod to spring and step away from the traditional darker colorways that often dominate the carry scene. Playful pops of white and lilac keep things interesting without going too wild, making these pieces a good choice for those who want to take a gentle stroll into more colorful carry.
The Pacific Northwest is home to some incredible cycling so it’s no surprise that a company like North St. which calls Portland home would be dropping some heat. This month they released the new 14L Adventure Micro Pannier. It features a heavy-duty Velcro attachment system with an adjustable Voile strap, to keep things secure during rough terrain.
The Micro Pannier is sturdy enough for rock hopping and is designed for gravel touring, bikepacking, and single-track adventures. It is compatible with oversized cargo racks up to 1.2 inches and weighs just 13.5 ounces. The pannier is made of EcoPak sailcloth, which is lightweight, durable, and waterproof.
REEF just introduced three new limited-edition colorways of its best-selling Drift Classic Sandal. Positioned as their most elevated and eco-friendly flip-flop style, the Drift Classic’s strap and footbed are made from soft, full-grain leather that’s gold-rated by the Leather Working Group for its low environmental impact. The sandal also uses a renewable sugarcane foam in its midsole and also features a raised arch and non-marking rubber sole. The limited-edition colorways include a washed-out powder blue, rose pink, and natural bone color.
Thirty years ago, in Carlsbad, CA, prAna was founded. To celebrate this momentous occasion, they are releasing the Originals program, a limited-edition collection that harkens back to the spirit of the brand and everything it stood for. Highlights include a remix of prAna’s 90s hits offered in gender-neutral sizing and upgraded with a modern fit and even more environmentally conscious craftsmanship. One of the stand-out pieces is the Mojave Pant, a go-anywhere, do-anything bottom that’s equally ready for climbing or the trail. Available in three colorways, the Mojave also has a pull-on elastic waistband with adjustable webbing, inseam gusset, and front slash pocket plus a rear pocket with flap. Another example is the Hurricane FZ Fleece which is inspired by iconic vibes and made from recycled nylon overlay and a sherpa main body.
Each year, Snow Peak produces a limited-edition collection with Toned Trout. Established in 2018, Toned Trout is a fishing apparel brand inspired by the Tone water system in the Gunma Prefecture of Japan. The Guide Dry Pack is a stand-out piece in the series and is a 30L roll-top waterproof backpack. It’s designed for fishing activities and is compatible with the Game Vest by attaching to the hooks on the front of the garment. Check the link for a look at some of the other pieces such as the River Utility Jacket and Stretch River Shorts.
Silipint just released their Go Go Collection of food bowls and boxes featuring attached lids and integrated utensil holders. The next generation of food storage containers are functional and sustainable alternatives to plastic foodwear. They are 100% food-safe, non-toxic, BPA-free, dishwasher-safe, microwave-safe, and freezer-safe. They are unbreakable and have an attached lid, proprietary venting system, and integrated utensil holder so no more spills or having to go without forks and spoons. They are ideal for work or school, travel, or camping.
The Special Forces teaches you that taking care of your feet is a priority. So when the folks at GORUCK spent over two years testing every major sock brand and still couldn’t find one that matched their quality requirements, they decided to make their own. The GORUCK Merino Challenge Socks are made in the USA with 54% merino, 42% nylon, and 4% spandex. This gives them a great blend of odor resistance, breathability, durability, and shape retention. A higher percentage of merino wool in the body and a higher percentage of nylon in areas of high friction makes effective use of the materials, while the Scars Lifetime Guarantee adds confidence that these socks will go the distance. The socks offer a range of considered features such as extended arch support, cushioning in high-impact areas, and a reinforced toe for comfort and performance with every step.
When WP Standard founder Ryan Barr embarked on a mission to turn his father’s old Vietnam-era duffel into a travel bag, the result was the Repurposed Military Travel Bag. A bag so functional and full of history that it inspired a limited run of additional repurposed military bags. Each bag is deconstructed and rebuilt into a bag that adapts to modern-day travel while carrying inbuilt history. Every bag is unique, displaying details of its former use, and each one is made by hand using authentic salvaged military canvas, full-grain leather, and brass hardware.
The Axiom S2 takes the core principles behind the Axiom 24 and evolves them for new adventures. Designed with great organization, practical access and understated aesthetics in mind, the Axiom S2 straddles the everyday/travel divide. New features include a high-aspect back panel for maximized airflow, side-panel access for the main compartment and laptop compartment alike, full-height vertical pockets in the admin and main compartments, as well as two gusseted vertical pockets in the main compartment. The 19L pack is available in both a TexWax shell and VX-21 shell version and is available to pre-order now, with expected delivery in May.
Adventures can happen near and far, whether you’re exploring your local neighborhood or catching a plane or train to somewhere new. And the new additions to Bellroy’s Venture Collection are ready to roll, wherever the adventure of the day leads. The four new designs include the 26L Venture Ready Pack, the Venture Pouch, the 2.5L Venture Ready Sling, and the Venture Hip Pack. Each piece is designed with convenient access and intuitive pocketing in mind. So whether you’re roaming with big loads or little loads, you can carry and organize your gear in a way that adapts to the adventure at hand.