Last week I coalesced the chaos of the Summer Outdoor Retailer into a handful of trends that we’ll see play out over the coming months in the outdoor-, adventure-, and travel-gear space (Performance Trucker Hats!!). And now let us zone in with laser-like focus to profile a handful of specific products that any intrepid traveler should have on their wish list come spring 2017. The latest in underwear, smart lanterns and bags. Lots and lots of awesome bags!
1. Mountain Hardwear Outdry Duffel, $180; 2. Saxx Kinetic Running Shorts, $75; 3. Gregory 3D Hydro Bladder, Prices Vary; 4. Biolite Base Lantern, Starting at $100; 5. Kletterwerks Drei Zip, $199; 6. Ex-Officio Sol Cool Underwear, From $32; 7. Peak Designs Everyday Carry Bags, From $115.
Nathan Borchelt is a gear-obsessed travel writer and adventurer whose collection of shoes, backpacks, jackets, bags, and other “essential” detritus has long-outgrown his one-bedroom apartment (and his wife’s patience).
1 of 7
The company introduced Outdry to the bags—a custom-shaped membrane that gets laminated into the pack's inner surface, waterproofing the fabric and seams in one step—a few seasons back, and Mountain Hardwear's Dry Commuter backpack has been performing admirably since I started testing it last year. The next natural step? Expand the line include duffels, duffels which have been tested for 24 hours in a rain room to assure that nothing inside will get wet. It'll come in three sizes, topping out at 75 liters, with a single shoulder strap, loads of lash points, and the temping option to dump in some ice and convert the pack into an impromptu cooler once you've unpacked.
2 of 7
Thanks to the signature Ballpark Pouch in Saxx's underwear, which cradles your boys and prevents chaffing, they may have created the perfect pair of men's lower base layers. So perfect, in fact, that runners have been cutting out the lining of their running shorts so they can wear their favorite pairs of Saxx instead. Given that context, the Kinetic running shots was a no-brainer. It come with their famed base layer for secure, comfortable, no-chaff protection while running, along with two hand pockets, a zippered security pocket inside the right pocket. The soft poly outer shell seems pretty weatherproof, and a nice five-inch inseam keeps you from showing too much upper thigh. They drop this January.
3 of 7
Anyone who uses a hydration reservoir has faced the this dilemma: how do you dry the damn things? Well, forget fashioning some awkward contraption out of a wire hanger because Gregory has solved the problem by incorporating a baffle into the center of their 3D Hydro Bladder, making it easy to air-dry the insides. It'll come in all of their day hiking and mountain biking packs in 2017, complete with a quick-clip system to secure the bladder inside the pack, and will also be sold separately, available in one, two, or three liters.
4 of 7
The industry has already seen a flood of smart lanterns—and while you can't blast your tunes through the new Base Lantern, you can control the light output via Bluetooth LE. And create a light show that's synced the beat of your music. Better still, the rechargeable lantern offers 500 lumens of clear, crisp illumination. BioLite used Kickstarter as a sort of listening lab, and added some other cool features based on public opinion, like the ability for the lantern to translate messages into flashing Morse code, or proximity lighting, where the light automatically turns on when you come within 100 feet, which should make walking back into a dark campsite a decidedly less creepy affair. Available in standard and XL editions.
5 of 7
Dana Gleason founded Kletterwerks in 1975 in what became a long, fruitful relationship with crafting some of the best damn packs to ever hit the market. Now he's bringing a bit more of his product innovation to that heritage line of packs by adding a three-zipper design to make it easy to quickly access the guts of the pack. The bags themselves are made of bombproof 100D Cordura and 1680 ballistic nylon, with side compression straps, an internal laptop sleeve, burly zippers, and a zippered lid compartment.
6 of 7
Ever since Ex-Officio introduced their first line of performance underwear, travel briefs have never been the same. So much tech rolled into such a small piece of fabric. But it's more than the sum of its parts—simply some of the best travel base layers on the market. And this February they'll add another voice to that conversation: cotton and poly performance underwear, which employs a "Sol Cool" cooling technology to adapt to the wearer's body temperature. The new fabric uses jade-infused wicking nylon fabrics absorbs body heat and uses the inherent properties of that green stone to create a constant cooling effect. Available in briefs, boxers, and boxer briefs in solid and print fabrics.
7 of 7
San Fran-based Peak Designs got its start by being frustrated by traveling for three months with a big DSLR camera, which led to the Capture Camera Clip—which led to the Sling camera strap and to camera covers and one of the better camera-centric messenger bags on the market. Now they're bringing their love for all things carry to a line of everyday bags. It's already scored almost $3M in funding on Kickstarter, the site's most-funded active campaign yet. The three bags—a backpack, tote, and sling—will accommodate all your photo needs, but don't assume they're just camera bags. The new models boast loads of smartly engineered features like side-entry access, built-in expansion, "Flexfold" padded dividers that work almost like origami to let you lets you customize padding internal organization, and a stealthy sternum strap.