For this week’s buyers guide the folks from Carryology are filling you in on the latest in messengers, backpacks and weekenders/duffels… So what do we think is happening in carry right now? A whole lot of heritage. Probably too much. It’s letting brands strip features off and sell it for more, often with a total disregard for any of the functional lessons we’ve learned in the past 40 years. Which is a pity, because done well, a heritage vibe can be neat. It gets the focus away from straps and features, and back to great textures and fabric interest on a clean silhouette. There’s also a resurgence of tactical, which is showing up more in an EDC vibe, but that has been swamped by the heritage thing.
In terms of formats, roll-tops, fold tops and half fold bags are everywhere. Designers are stoked to get away from zip openings which have dominated since forever, but we’re going through a bit of overkill with the roll-top thing. They often create an opening that is hard and slow to use.
If you want a bit more of a classic format, helmet bags and weekenders are entering more people’s lines. It’s a nice change from the standard totes which were the new black for the previous couple of years, adding a bit more manliness to your carry.
So that’s enough yap. What should we be buying right now? We’ve tried to pick out some carry gear that represents some of these vibes, but won’t leave you feeling like a victim when strawberry shortcake pink backpacks make a return.
Read on for 9 messenger, backpack and weekender/duffel bags available now.
The MW guys are killing it. After setting up, then selling Chrome Bags, they’ve continued on evolving their ideas into some really sweet formats. Their Rummy Messenger has started a format that will be copied by many, and now their Advanced Projects range takes this format to another level of fabrics and finish.
On the opposite end of the tech spectrum is Tailfeather, a tiny craft brand based in the cold parts of Australia. The Nightjar covers a triple layer canvas in a big whack of top grain leather. Super clean and minimal, this messenger nails it on the details.
A small fold-top with tube opening, the Teddyfish takes a basic small messenger and just nails the details. A heavy washed canvas with latex dip and sweet strap placement, this French brand is moving from simply quirky to simply rad.
If you’re really keen to get into the whole heritage backpack vibe, do it with something of good quality. Topo designs keep it simple but make it well, sell for around a hundgie, and have color options.
Sure, this is not new for this season, but the Goruck GR-1 is building an incredible cult following for stripping back the EDC/Tactical thing to just the minimum, while taking nothing away from that functionality. It’s bomb-proof, versatile, and should be broken in like a good set of jeans.
Taking a form that feels familiar (from packs like the Visvim 20L), the Boulder pack takes the EDC vibe to a crazy new level. With pockets for every toy you’ll ever want to carry, the Boulder mixes nylon with leather and neoprene to give you multiple shades of black.
This is one of those bags that the more they work on it, the more they manage to take away. It’s available in a number of materials, and is made about as well as a bag can be.
Hardgraft’s influence in the carry world is mega. Their 2Unfold has influenced countless fold-over shoulder bags, their leather and felt look has helped create a felt shortage around the world, and this is their new duffel, which as always has a few tricks up it’s sleeve.
While they rarely actually carry helmets around, helmet bags work great as an oversized tote for hauling your daily bits. This Buco version is not at all subtle, but it does fit the vibe of your vespa and dainty moustache.