Poler has long been a favorite of casual outdoorsmen and women—car campers, couch surfers, weekend warriors, etc. But this reputation for making well designed and attractive yet low quality gear has been hard for the Portland brand to shake. In the past we’ve seen some surf-specific, waterproof bags with taped seams and other impressive features, but even still, the high price point seemed like a gamble. Their most recent effort to elevate the brand however, seems more on point. The new Orange Line, billed as their most technically advanced line yet, is both attractive and acessibly priced.
The collection consists of four bags—a duffel, camera bag, rucksack, and roll-top backpack—each made of weather-resistant Dyneema ripstop nylon with many bells and whistles (like magnetic buckles). Though the line as a whole is certainly a welcomed sight, we're most drawn to the Camera Backpack($250), as for some reason most on the market screem "I'm full of expensive shit look at me" and are in fact poorly equipped for outdoor adventuring. This option seems a better fit, with multiple exterior grab handles and a completely removable, padded camera equipment compartment. Plus it’s carry-on sized.
The mid-sized Rucksack($225) is another standout, as previously Poler offered little in the space of backpacking packs. An nice padded foam back and removable waist belt ensure a comfortable, stable fit, while pockets inside and out aim to handle everything from a laptop or hydration bladder to water bottles and trekking poles (or tri-pod). A few small fleece-lined pockets are a nice touch too, as well as the exterior’s middle zipper, which allows quick access to gear at not just the top of your pack, but the middle and bottom too. You may not want to set out on a thru hike expedition with this, but from all accounts it should handle a quick overnight or weekend trip with ease.