Packs

Gear

Action Drawstring Backpack Pro

From afar it may look like your run-of-the-mill airy, lightweight drawstring backpack. But a closer look at the Action Drawstring Backpack Pro reveals features unheard of in this space. It’ll store and organize your stuff across five compartments, amongst them three YKK zippered pockets, on top of securing your action cam to your torso via an optional GoPro compatible center mount. A hydration-compatible pocket and tube routing hardware also handles your CamelBak (or other) hydration bladder, if you’re into that sort of thing. The Action DB Pro also solves the cord unevenness problem with Channel-Anchored drawstrings that always keep both sides balanced, and its Hypalon plus water-repellent DWR fabric construction keeps its contents shielded from adverse weather.

Find it at Kickstarter – $45+

GET IT: $45

Gear

Timbuk2 Robin Pack

The Timbuk2 Robin Pack is the San Francisco-based brand’s cleanest take on an urban rolltop backpack yet. Its weatherproof rolltop closure closes with magnets and opens with a simple pull towards the bottom and has room for a 15-inch laptop alongside the rest of your gear. Magnets also play a roll in holding a smaller front pocket closed as well as in joining the two halves of its sternum strap instantly. Tons of other subtle/hidden features include hidden expansion panels to boost capacity when necessary, a reflective bottom panel that won’t shine until struck by headlights (at which point it will, brilliantly), a reflective ripstop rainfly for keeping your gear safe through heavy downpours, and one stretch side pocket on either side.

Learn more at Timbuk2 – $180

GET IT: $180

Gear

Tab Convertible Bag

Designing a bag to replace all your bags may be a nigh-impossible task but the Tab Convertible Bag comes as close to that elusive goal as any. Using an innovative cinch system, Tab can be collapsed or grown to three sizes — 31, 46.5, or 62 litres, depending on what you’re carrying — or even packed down into a compact ball for storage. It’s not just stuck to being a duffle, either, with straps that can be configured for backpack wear to safely lug heavier loads. Despite all of this it’s still rather light at 1.2 pounds, weather resistant thanks to a DWR ripstop nylon build fitted with waterproof zippers, and features an electric blue inner lining that makes finding stuff inside easier and that’s starkly contrasted with its murdered out black exterior.

Pledge for one at Kickstarter – $90

GET IT: $90

Gear

Arc’teryx Voltair 30 Avalanche Backpack

This is one product you’ll really, really hope to never actually put to the test. In the rare and unfortunate event that you do, though, the Arc’teryx Voltair 30 Avalanche Backpack might just save your life. Instead of gas cartridges the Voltair uses an electric centrifugal blower powered by a rechargeable LiPo battery, achieving identical pressure and fill speeds as traditional systems but with several added benefits, including pulsing of additional air once full to keep the 150 litre balloon inflated even in the event of small punctures on rocks and the like. Its electric and quickly reusable nature also allows for testing the system in the field so you know what to expect if you ever need to pull the trigger, and a charge can easily provide multiple deployments in a single day — that is, if you’ve got the guts to head back out after an avalanche. It’ll of course also hold 30 litres of your other gear as well and plays nice with the TSA, unlike compressed gas cartridges.

Pick one up on Amazon – $1,300

GET IT: $1,300

Gear

Triple Aught Design Parallax Messenger Bag

Organization is definitely the Triple Aught Design Parallax Messenger Bag’s forte. From the outside it looks sleek and minimal but open its magnetic self-aligning/mechanically locking buckles to reveal a cavernous amount of storage space, with multiple Helix attachment points to secure a range of accessories that include Transport Cubes, Transport Pouches, and Admin Panels. A range of cleverly configured pockets inside and out stash smaller goods within reach and a 15-inch laptop across the back. The most unique of these is a front drop pocket with Helix attachments for an Admin Panel that can slide down for quick access and slide back in just as quickly (see second image for a look). It’s also made of a highly durable and weather resistant ripstop nylon, includes an ambidextrous shoulder strap that adjusts for wear on either side, and has a concealed external welt pocket that’s got three rows of 1-inch webbing for attaching bike lights and the like.

Find it at Triple Aught Design – $300

GET IT: $300

Gear

Matador Beast28 Packable Technical Backpack

Matador knows a thing or two about lightweight, packable products. And the Matador Beast28 Packable Technical Backpack is their most impressive piece yet. The 28-litre pack is full-featured and made of PU-coated ripstop nylon, with a compartment plus routing for a hydration bladder, waist and sternum straps for added comfort and weight distribution, several gear tethers and anchors to strap on extra gear, plus a variety of pockets that keep everything tidy. Despite all of this it weighs in at an impressively low 20 ounces (560 grams) and packs down into a tiny compression sack, taking up a fraction of the space that most daypacks do to establish its place as your go-to bag for travelling light.

Grab one at Matador – $90

GET IT: $90

Sports & Outdoors

Duoket

Conceived by Mininch — the guys who came up with the Tool Pen, Tool Pen Mini, and Wrenchit — Duoket this time isn’t a tool but is equally ingenious. Duoket is both a jacket and bag, switching between the two at a whim with nothing but a zip/unzip and making it easier to tackle chilly morning commutes without having to deal with carrying your jacket by hand in the evening. The jacket’s multitude of interior zippered pockets become the bag’s inner compartments so that everything stays right where it should be without having to reorganize ever time it transforms. As a bag it’s got both grab handles and a removable shoulder strap and as a jacket it’s got a concealed hood to shield you against rain and both adjustable cuffs and hem to tailor the fit. Available in five colors and several sizes.

Find it at Kickstarter – $120

GET IT: $120

Gear

Patagonia Lightweight Black Hole Bags

If you’re the type to always be prepared while never knowing if you’ll need extra carrying room, Patagonia’s Lightweight Black Hole collection was made for you. These ripstop nylon packs, like their non-Lightweight brethren, are near indestructible, yet pack away without adding much bulk, or weight thanks to carefully pruned-down designs. They’re also suited to weather inclement conditions thanks to a TUP-film laminate and DWR finish on all outer fabric. The backpacks are strategically built with breathable mesh shoulder straps and back panels plus an adjustable sternum strap, albeit without padding (there had to be sacrifices somewhere) while the two duffel sizes feature diagonal zippers to grant full access to their main compartment and tubular webbing grab handles that adjust for use as a handle, shoulder strap, or as a sort of oversized backpack. Each also offers well-placed pockets to help organize your smaller objects from your keys to your water bottle(s).

Hit up Patagonia for details – $50 to $100

GET IT: $50+

Sports & Outdoors

Helixot XO 6.2 Waterproof Backpack

No, it won’t fit your laptop or tablet, but then again neither device is conducive to being very active. The Helixot XO 6.2 Waterproof Backpack does however liberate you from having to worry about water seeping into and ruining your personal items while sailing, surfing, whitewater rafting, kite surfing, or doing other water sports by way of its coated waterproof fabric that’s held together by welded seams and coupled to a screw cap closing mechanism that doesn’t let so much as a drop of water through. The back-hugging bag also features adjustable pectoral and abdominal straps to get a good, secure fit, and doubles as back protection thanks to rigid support along the spine.

Hit up Kickstarter for details – roughly $131

GET IT: ~$131

Bike

Mission Workshop Helmsman Duffle

The Mission Workshop Helmsman Duffle is one bag whose contents you won’t worry much about in the rain, even if that includes your work computer. This heavy-duty 31-litre duffle is made of a durable HT500 outer fabric that’s backed up on the inside by a urethane-coated nylon ripstop liner to block out water, slush, and whatever else the weather throws at you. Hold it by its hide-away grab handles, a removable and adjustable shoulder strap, or even by an optional harness to wear it like a backpack. Or if you’re on a bike strap it to your front-mounted porteur-style bike rack and take a load off.

Find it at Mission Workshop – $255

GET IT: $255

Gear

Hylete Icon 6-in-1 Backpack

At its core the Hylete Icon 6-in-1 Backpack is a 40 litre backpack. But if that’s not enough (or if it’s too much) room for your stuff the bag’s got a few tricks up its sleeve to better accommodate your cargo. Its base is equipped with an extendable compartment that adds 20 extra litres of storage, useable in both backpack and duffle configurations, the latter attained by stashing its straps behind its back panel and rigging up the included duffle handle. It’s also hiding a removable daypack inside that’s good for day trips and travel and which converts to a single shoulder strap messenger bag just as easily.

Learn more at Hylete – $250

GET IT: $250

Gear

Hang & Roll

Basically a series of sequential packing cubes, the Hang & Roll is a way to both better organize and better compress your clothing for travel. The lightweight packing tool boasts eight individual compartments to stash about a week’s worth of rolled up items of clothing. Roll it up when filled to save some space, and when unpacking at your destination just hang it up in a closet using the same straps that kept it nice and compressed. Windows on all the compartments make locating a specific garment easy and all of its materials are waterproof if the luggage or backpack you’re using isn’t.

Find it at Kickstarter – roughly $18

GET IT: ~$18

Gear

Incase Tracto Split Duffel

The Incase Tracto Split Duffel is big, weatherproof, and will accompany you and a ton of your gear just about anywhere. As its name suggests this duffel splits open in the center, butterfly style just like good luggage to facilitate packing. Mesh curtains segment the stuff you’ve packed into each half though they of course unzip out of the way if one large main compartment is warranted. Its exterior is made of either highly weather-resistant 1000D Tarpaulin or 1680D Ballistic Nylon, though the latter is also reinforced and lined with more of the former to ensure water won’t leak in. Carry it by its single handle or strap it to your back using the straps, which can be completely detached thanks to quick-release buckles on either end. Available in four sizes with 40, 60, 90, and 120 litre capacities.

Grab one at Incase – $125 to $200

GET IT: $125+