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- Price $175 at outlier.nyc
- Material Nexhigh 100% Nylon, Paracord 550 Type III
- Capacity 2 L / 122 cubic inches
- Weight 4 oz / 119 g (measured)
- Made in USA
Note: Outlier released a new version of this bag called “The Carry”. Links in this review have been replaced.
Outlier has been a legend in the techwear scene, but their foray into objects is still pretty experimental. They have made a mark with bags like the Outlier Nexhigh Rolltop and even some crazy ones like the Outlier Nexhigh Transformative Bag (which I love, by the way).
Compared to bag companies that have been making bags for decades, Outlier bags are a great representation of Occam's razor; employing the simplest ideas rather than overcomplicating with excessive organization and features.
The Nexhigh Carry is Outlier's take on the sling bag. To be honest, I rarely use a sling bag of this size. It is between a compact backpack, like the Able Carry Daily Backpack, and my pockets that I often opt for either one.
The only time I pick up a sling bag is when I head around my neighborhood. Apart from my EDC, which fits into my pocket, I need a sling bag to hold my Stanley Travel Mug. Bringing a bottle of water whenever I head out, especially in the searing heat of Singapore, is my little life hack for saving money and calories.
But if there is one thing I know about Outlier, is their ability to surprise me with their deceivingly simple but totally radical designs. Will the Outlier Nexhigh Carry make me carry a sling more? Let's find out.
The Nexhigh Carry comes in unred, pink lightning, and paradise lightning colorways at the time of this review. Rather than the color of the bag that is different between the options, it is the color of the paracord.
The one I reviewing is the black version with a black paracord, no longer available at the time of publishing.
While I personally prefer black, I don't hate the colored straps. The dash of color adds character to the otherwise generic-looking pack and contrasts beautifully against black clothing.
Outlier has always done a great job in keeping the color consistent throughout the product, down to details like metal hardware and zipper pulls. The same attention to detail is present on the Nexhigh Carry, except for the metal ring on the main compartment's zipper pull which I think was intentional.
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I especially love how flat and seamless they manage to get the zipper to be against the main material. The snake-knot zipper pull is one of my favorite details that give it an edge without standing out too much. I noted that they did not have one for the front pocket as it can be over the top.
The pack itself is compact but not too small. On my 6 ft 220 lbs frame, it looks proportionate and well-balanced.
If there is something Outlier is good at, it's materials. You can be sure that they won't be pulling any punches in the department.
Unlike the tarp-like predecessor, the Ultrahigh, Nexhigh is stiffer and more rigid because it uses a thicker Mylar film compared to the one on the Ultrahigh. The lack of stretch lets it keep its structure well and stay more secure when packed with stuff. The stiffness still allows for bending and folding without stretching, giving it the perfect balance on a piece like this.
To me, the key ingredient is the stability gained by removing the ultrahigh molecular weight polyethylene from the composite mix. It allowed the face fabric to be bonded much smoother, dramatically reducing the wrinkle characteristics that would be noticeable on a pack this size.
I have experienced the Nexhigh on previously reviewed products, Outlier The Kit or the Outlier Nexhigh Rolltop. The material is unlike anything you will experience. Even the X-Pac VX21 on the Tortuga Outbreaker doesn't come close.
Certainly, the Nexhigh name is proprietary to Outlier and does not have the brand awareness that Dyneema enjoys. I won't pretend to be an expert with Dyneema, but Nexhigh looks hard to beat.
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I found a 100 year old company that would create these heirloom quality canisters for me. They are handmade and will keep your tea leaves, coffee beans or anything that you need dry for years to come.
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The pack’s organization is simple to a fault. While it is expected for Outlier to go the completely minimalist route and offer a pack with zero organization, they did include sensible organization without losing the minimalistic design.
Besides the main compartment, there is a front quick access and a slot along the back of the pack.
As expected, most of my commonly accessed item, my phone, goes in the front, while less-accessed items, such as my keys and wallet, go into the main pouch.
You want to note that the front pocket can fit up to an iPhone 14 Pro Max but just barely. Also, this pocket is a flat pocket. If you tightly pack the main compartment, you'll have difficulty putting things in and out of the front pocket
I am glad to see that the main compartment fits my Stanley Travel Mug although it can't lie flat on the base.
The slot along the back is secure yet easily accessible. It rests against your body making it hard for thieving hands to get a chance. At the same time, the open top lets you reach in easily. Since this isn’t a 3D pocket, it is perfect for thin items like my passport or my MUJI ziplock I use to keep business receipts.
The material feels papery and thin, yet rigid and durable. While I am not sure it can stand up to as much abrasion as ballistic nylon slings like the TOM BIHN Bummer, it will certainly last a long time. The durability of the paracord sling complements both the look and the quality well.
While some might think that the paracord might apply extra pressure on the shoulders, I am glad to report that it doesn’t. This is expected for a pack this size.
The length of the strap can be adjusted very easily, even easier than most traditional straps due to how easy it is to pull on the paracord.
The main disadvantage to the paracord is that you can only wear it as a crossbody bag. You can’t shorten it and use it as a waist pack. I, however, like this one-track mind. It is designed as a crossbody pack; nothing more, nothing less.
For better or worse, I am happy to say that there are no surprises for the Outlier fan. If you have been buying Outlier all this while, the Outlier Nexhigh Carry offers the quality, craftsmanship, and little edginess that made you a fan in the first place.