The Gear Journal

THE FIRE HOSE ROOKIE

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A buddy of mine sent me one of these. Essentially, it’s a relatively slim bi-fold made from recycled fire hose material. I know it’s sort of been in vogue to make shit out of fire hose, but this is one of the rare times where it actually makes sense to me. This is the perfect beach wallet and it’s made super well…

Details.

Inside Line Equipment

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When it comes to backpacks and travel, I prefer bags with little to no organization – just a large compartment or two. I then use pouches designed for my needs for organization. This way, I can outfit a single bag for many different uses.

What all of this means basically, is that finding appropriate pouches for my specific needs is really important. And one of that hardest pouches to source is a solid storage point for a cell phone.

I prefer my cell phone to be on the backpack strap. That way I can easily put it away before going through security and can access it easily when need be. My pack of choice is the GoRuck GR2. My pouch of choice is the ILE Phone Holster.

The ILE is a sort of well kept secret in the GoRuck world. It features large velcro strips allowing it to attach to your typical Molle points. All you do is cut the strips to your particular Molle size and then attach the pouch. It fits perfectly onto my GR2.

But past that, it’s also just a really great pouch. It’s hand made out of Cordura or XPAC in California and features things like a pen loop and an extra zippered pocket that comes in incredibly handy.

It’s just a perfect pouch for its use case and comes from a company that isn’t all that well known. I’m alllll in…

Details here.

Alubox Vs. Pelican

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To be frank, Alubox is out of my pay grade… And despite the fact that I’ve bought a few used Pelican cases in my time, Pelican is as well. Even so, I can’t help but want what I don’t have or even have a use for.

In any regard, I thought this old article over on Expedition Portal was well done. It helps folks rationalize their decision after spending thousands on aluminum boxes.

Details here.

Aer Slim Pouch

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I’ve used and reviewed many products from Aer. They tend to make thoughtful, really well made gear for modern travel. My favorite product of theirs is probably their Dopp kit (on sale right now btw), but their most popular pouch is undoubtedly their tech pouch – every gearhead on YouTube flexes it.

Recently, however, they’ve released a new tech pouch aimed at streamlining your carry. It’s smaller, lighter, and holds less… but just enough to get you and your tech through the day.

And because it’s made by Aer, I’m sure it’s made like a brick shithouse.

Details here.

MagSafe Folio

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Nomad recently released their folio case for MagSafe phones. Early reviews are calling it the best case on the market. Not sure I could rock a folio though…

Details.

Holden Card Wallet

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Slim wallets are everywhere these days… But one of the things I’ve never understood is why we don’t see more staggered layouts. This allows you to carry more cards with a slimmer profile… only sacrificing length in the process. To me, this Holden card wallet is far better designed than the typical stacked card setup.

Details here.

Waterproof Pouches

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I love Magpul DAKA pouches. They are built like a brick shithouse, work well, and look great. However, they are expensive and because they are zipped, they are not 100% waterproof.

If you need something to stay absolutely dry when submerged, similar functionality otherwise, and a lower cost solution… well, check out these resealable Stasher silicone bags. While they might not look the business, there is no arguing their functionality.

Details here.


And if money is burning a hole in your pocket, but you still need something absolutely submergible, Nite Ize recently introduced their new RunOff Waterproof Pockets in a number of different sizes and colors. These things are priced similar to the DAKAs, but use a different kind of zip system that allows them to be completely waterproof.

I haven’t used or seen these, but initial reviews are really good.

Details here.

One Bag

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So I get asked this all the time – What’s the best “one bag” travel backpack on the market?

I think the answer is probably different for everyone and unfortunately, you can’t really know the answer for your own use case without trying out a bunch of different options. Myself? I’ve tried more than I care to admit… In fact, I used to have a bag problem. I still do… But I used to too…

Anyway, the best “one bag” backpack I have ever used is the 40L GoRuck Gr2. First and foremost and as far as materials and craftsmanship go, there isn’t a bag of any kind made any better. The 1000D CORDURA, the YKK zippers, the perfect stitching done in the USA, the… It’s just made as well as it possibly could be.

And then, there’s form. There is very little organization in a GR2… Essentially, it features two main compartments and a few a cubbies. You won’t find a spot for your pencils or an easy access pocket or… any of that stuff.

Instead, you are left with a blank canvas that allows you to outfit the bag for your own use case using supplemental pouches, organizers, and the like. The end result is a really flexible platform that can be configured for many, many uses. And because it’s made so damned well, it will last FOREVER.

Anyway, I should make a video on the subject…

Until then, details on the GR2 here.