Outdoor enthusiasts are the type of folks who bring along a lot of random gear when they’re not confined to traveling light on the trail. Most of which isn’t meant to align with the contours of a backpack or duffel bag. That’s why I find it incredibly odd that there aren’t more tote bags designed for our demands that can haul some kindling, snowshoes, a hat, and hatchet; or maybe an old Coleman stove and a couple of canisters of gas. You see, though we’re happy to travel freely without having to worry about the weight of our cargo, the outdoor enthusiast in us still can’t shake the need to be organized, and what’s more organizable and portable than a flat-bottomed cloth cavity with handles?
With the holiday season bearing down on us like a mad Wampa, there’s no better time than now to share with you two incredible outdoor totes, fresh to the market, that are bound to end up on your holiday wish list. The first is a fresh take on the traditional and the second is the tactical answer that you never knew you needed. Both are the cream of the crop in the limited market segment known as “Outdoor Tote Bags.”
The Fresh Traditionalist: Fish Pond Horse Thief Tote
Earlier this fall I had the opportunity to take the 36-liter Fish Pond Horse Thief Tote out for an abbreviated overlanding trip that rolled over into a family weekend up in Vermont. Not only could I stuff all my clothing, utilities, and electronics in it while traveling, it doubled as a kindling carrier from the wood pile to fire side, with room to spare, at camp. Made from durable 16 ounce waxed-canvas and featuring a rugged molded-rubber bottom, and zipper top, the Horse Thief is large, durable, and as about as utilitarian as it gets.
The Tactical Hauler: Prometheus Design Werx CaB-2
Coming in around 30-liters, the CaB-2 from Prometheus Design Werx is ready to haul groceries or gear to your car, campsite, or the battlefield. Made from ultra-durable 1000D Cordura, this tactical-tote has landed just in time for the ban on plastic bags to go in effect throughout California and some other parts of the country. It features both long and short carry handles that allow it to adapt to longer cargo and has a multitude of external organizational pockets to allow you to expand its possibilities while maintaining a critical level of organization. Available in four distinct colors, the CaB-2 is made in the USA and will prove itself indispensable after just the first use.
At this point, you’ve just spent the past five minutes reading about two brand new and exceptional outdoor totes, plus an additional eight drooling over each one at their respective websites. But now you have something significant to put on your holiday wish list that you’ll actually want. Not like the stuff you feel compelled to add to it when your mother-in-law blindsides you at Thanksgiving dinner with her annual query. So, leave here knowing that not only are outdoor totes a thing – but by this time next year, they’re going to be “the thing.” As more and more people embrace an Earth-conscious approach to carrying groceries, not to mention clothing, gear, other stuff, totes like these will become invaluable. About the only thing better is the Barrel Portage Harness from Harmony Gear, but that’s totally overkill for your Sunday morning at the market.