As clean and timeless as it is functional, the Bomber Barrel is the ideal companion for overnighters, hitting the gym, lugging your gear to work, and everything in between. Virtually every part of this pack is overbuilt: the bag itself is made of ripstop nylon and boasts wrap-around carry handles, military-grade clips, an adjustable leather-padded nylon shoulder strap, and emergency paracord zipper pulls, just in case. All this makes for a duffel that’s weather-resistant, ultralight at just 14 ounces, and simple, with just one large compartment and two pockets, one inside and one outside.
Grab one at Kickstarter – $60
We’ve had our eye on Hard Graft’s 2Unfold for quite some time. Sure, it’s already gorgeous — albeit a little pricey — but if you’re ready to invest a buck might as well throw in the extra dime. Atelier Hard Graft, a new venture by the UK-based leather crafter, reworks selected pieces in limited fashion by using hand-picked hides of leather, triple-painted edges, and meticulous perfectionism in the execution of every exacting detail. The Atelier 2Unfold still sports the same transforming design as the original, becoming a shoulder bag or backpack to lug around a 17″ laptop plus miscellaneous goods, or a courier bag for smaller things (plus a 13″ MacBook Pro or two), but with the aforementioned refinements and a black-on-black color scheme.
Find it at Atelier Hard Graft (sign up required) – roughly $880
Space, the final frontier, unless you count the ocean of which less than 5% has been explored. But most agree that as kids we wanted to be astronauts, not fish. So what could be cooler than gear designed and inspired by the space program? The modular Anti-Gravity System is comprised of 4 individual bags, The Anti-Gravity Pack, Rover, Lander and Fuel Cell. First, the Anti-Gravity Pack, is made of 420 D coated nylon with integrated sternum strap and ventilated shoulder straps, a notebook sleeve and 2 hidden pockets, as well as magnetic hardware to attach to other components (Rover & Fuel Cell). The Rover, a case designed for pencils, pens, styluses, zip drives, keys, and your communication equipment (phone), features the necessary magnetic coupling technology to secure it to the Pack. The Lander is reminiscent of bags that held the space helmets of old. It’s designed to carry your 15” laptop with its fully padded, fur-lined interior and features nylon webbing handles for easy carry, plus magnetic attachment points for the final piece of the Anti-Gravity gear carry solution. The Fuel Cell, as its name implies, is perfect for carrying cables, battery packs, hard drives and also mini-tablets. Like the Lander, it boasts a fur-lined interior and is built to the same specs as the entire Gravity collection. So forget the moon and customize your carry for anything Terra Firma can throw your way.
Find it on Kickstarter – $70+
With its streamlined, compact design, Apple’s latest Mac Pro sort of tries to be portable – it just needs a little help. Waterfield Designs’ Mac Pro Go Case is the easiest way to lug one around. This perfectly sized bag holds your Mac Pro, wireless keyboard, mouse, cables, miscellaneous accessories, and power cord all at once, weighing in at roughly 14 pounds full. Else, a soft, cushy cashmere lining enveloped in water-resistant ballistic nylon protects the computer from any adversities encountered while a long strap puts the weight on your shoulders.
Check it out at Waterfield Designs – $130
Virtually all your gear is water-sensitive, at least to some degree. Unfortunately, so are most carrying solutions. Keep your goods dry with Filson’s Dry Duffel, a rugged bag that boasts vinyl-coated polyester construction, radio-frequency welded seams, and a roll-top closure with hook-and-loop tab to completely shut out water, dust, and sand. You won’t need to think twice about throwing it in the back of a truck or boat. And with its quick-dry webbing handles, giving it a good cleaning is as simple as blasting it with a hose.
Find it at Filson – $160
Hitting the gym before or straight from work requires discipline and, ideally, a special kind of bag. The Aer Duffel Pack can definitely help you with the latter. This low-key, highly organized pack is a cross between a duffel and a laptop bag thanks to a dedicated compartment for your computer and accessories, a waterproof vertical zipper that unfurls to access the large main compartment, plus a ventilated slot for your shoes and used clothing that isolates them from clean clothes. Else, its water-resistant ballistic nylon exterior ensures durability while padded shoulder straps and a mesh back panel make for a comfortable carry.
Go pledge at Kickstarter – $150
Travel primarily on two wheels? Air out your back and strap your goods to your bike instead with hard Graft’s Frame Folio. Barely wider than your bike’s frame, this handsome tote packs away your tablet, books, magazines, writing implements, and other goods between two pockets, fitted with color-coded zippers to quickly find what you’re looking for. And when you’ve arrived at your destination, its straps can be repurposed into a smart handle or simply wrapped around the bag.
Find it at Hard Graft – roughly $409
Properly organizing your camping or backpacking gear might be possible if manufacturers actually put a few extra pockets or compartments in their packs. Unfortunately, it’s so far been not entirely dissimilar to overstuffing a garbage bag full of clothing and praying for things to stay in place – and for this, Hoboroll was designed. This ultra-lightweight 2.8 ounce stuff sack features five evenly sized internal compartments to declutter up to 21.8 litres of gear. Once filled, two radial compression straps put the squeeze on your fabric goods to reduce volume all while keeping gear highly accessible thanks to openings on both ends. It’s also got a secret zippered compartment inside for valuables, fits in your pocket when not in use, and comes in two colors – pinyon pine (shown) and mineral blue.
Grab one at Kickstarter – $35
It’s tough to mess up shopping for a small day pack – after all, most will have the size, shape, and durability to carry a few small goods. But what will carry your daypack when it’s empty or no longer required? Sea to Summit’s Ultra-Sil Day Pack is ideal for the variety of scenarios where a pack is only required for part of the trip, like stashing your bike helmet upon arrival, lugging groceries, or as an extra traveling tote. This 20-litre backpack weighs just 2.4-ounces and crumples down into its tiny inner pocket, making it easy to carry in a jacket pocket or key ring. And it’s made of siliconized Cordura fabric for surprising strength despite its thinness and weight.
Grab one at Amazon – $40
Not your average backpack – frankly, not even by a mile – Solid Gray’s unique wares still have merit of their own. For one, the polypropylene copolymer hardshell offers far more impact protection than standard soft materials, cushioning your goods in conjunction with a EPDM foam lining. It’s also got room for a laptop, boasts a variety of inner compartments for small items that are revealed only when the bag is opened, plus a multi clip for taming paper and documents. Else, it locks shut thanks to two smart locks and sports a back panel that forms a slight curve when worn for a surprisingly comfortable fit.
Read more at Solid Gray – roughly $190