Protective strategies for today's outdoor clothing vary from sun shirts to windbreakers. For Brooklyn-based brand William Ellery, its all that, plus iridescence. A continuation of gear released in 2022, the brand is releasing an expansion of the June Bug Outdoor Gear Collection, apparel that employs the biological defense strategy of a June Bug–its iridescent shell—in order to protect the wearer from well, other bugs.
As a part of the collection, which includes a vibrant jacket, fleece, and cap, William Ellery teamed up with Bronx-based ultralight gear lab Allsmansright to create another quintessential piece of protective equipment in the wild—the bear-hang bag.
Aptly called the BearBag ($135), the product doubles as a legitimate food-protection system on trail and as an everyday tote in town.
Made of waterproof "Blackberry Purple" ultralight Dyneema fabric inspired by the Black Bear's favorite snack, the BearBag is an essential part of a backpacker's standard bear-hang kit, intended to be hung high in a tree (via rope, not included, with Clove Hitch knot, instructions for which are included on the woven label) to keep bears and other hungry critters away from food and personal hygiene products. With a 10L capacity, it's designed to hold, hang, and protect 3-4 days worth of food-supply while on trail.
The BearBag also features a removable crossbody strap, which, when attached turns the backcountry bag into a "grocery getter" or everyday tote for the frontcountry.
Lastly, the tote is completed with a reflective bottom strip for headlamp spotting, and and internally, a drop pocket and key-hang for city-dwellers.
Elsewhere in the collection, William Ellery has also released the JuneBag Jacket ($295) a quarter-zip made of upcycled vintage garments for UV, wind, and bug protection. The limited run includes a variety of iridescent shades, ranging from the JuneBug to the Violet Ground Beetle, all of which take inspiration from the insects' colorul armor. A removable mosquito net hood further protects the wearer.
The Woolly Fleece ($195)–inspired by the Woolly Bear Moth's tiny, insulating hairs—is made of Polartec Alpha Direct fleece (same as UL hiking mainstay Senchi) and is ultralight and breathable, with reinforced JuneBug arm pads that protect the fleece when rock-climbing. Last but not least, a classic 6-panel Scrap Hat ($125) and Net Hat ($135) with integrated mosquito netting are made with lightweight Nylon leftovers from the production of the JuneBug Jackets.