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The Hex Technical Collection Brings Antimicrobial Tech to Backpacks, Messenger Bags, and Duffels

Hex Technical Collection | $99 | Kickstarter
Hex Technical Collection | $99 | Kickstarter
Photo: Gabe Carey

Hex Technical Collection | $99 | Kickstarter

Though it’s far from a household name, Hex is a brand whose quality transcends its reputation. Featured in GQ, Highsnobiety, and now The Inventory, the company has carved a niche in backpacks, phone cases, and camera slings—some of which are the result of prestigious collaborations with renowned graphic artists like Jasper Wong and DC Comics publisher Jim Lee. In other words, for the nomadic hype beast, there is no better option for on-the-go storage than Hex.

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Its latest creation, however, speaks to the widespread concerns surrounding bacterial spread amid the global COVID-19 pandemic. You may have heard or seen the term “antimicrobial” mentioned in commercials and advertising recently, and for good reason. Think about all the times you’ve taken your bag to a filthy dive bar and dropped it on the floor to invite harmful bacteria as you throw a few back with your buds. When you got home, did you run it through the wash? Chances are, probably not.

Illustration for article titled The Hex Technical Collection Brings Antimicrobial Tech to Backpacks, Messenger Bags, and Duffels
Image: Hex
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The pitch for Hex’s new Technical Collection is this, according to their website:

Hygiene has never been more important. Our new Technical Collection uses anti-microbial technology to actively repel bacteria, mold, and fungus.

But what exactly is anti-microbial technology, and why should you take their word for it? The CDC defines antimicrobial as “a substance that kills or stops the growth of microbes, including bacteria, fungi, or viruses.” Though you may be more familiar with the term antibacterial, it’s worth noting an antimicrobial thwarts bacteria, fungi, and, crucially, viruses. For their part, every bag in the Hex Technical Collection has zinc pyrithione—used in skincare products and anti-dandruff shampoos—impressed in its textile fibers. This method is both EPA- and FDA-approved and lab-tested by SGS-CTSC Standards Technical Services. In other words, seems legit.

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Apart from safety features, the bags themselves come in three flavors: backpack, messenger, and duffel. You can get all three in one of three colors, namely Black, Glacier Camo, and Gunmetal. To be honest, the Black and Gunmetal options look identical to me, but the key takeaway is you’ve got nine to pick from. While, to me, they’re not as visually appealing as the Jasper Wong collab or even this Collectors Backpack from Jim Lee, you can’t go wrong with a classic, muted color scheme. Personally, I’d cop the Glacier Camo. You know, mix it up a little. Or go full goth and snap up the interchangeable Black/Gunmetal. At any rate, you’ll blend in.

Because we’re talking about three bags, I’d rather not go too far down the rabbit hole that is pockets. Pockets! There’s plenty of ‘em. Some are unique to one or two specific bags while others are universal, like the wireless charging pocket. Resting atop each bag, you can place either a wireless charging pad you bought from a trusted recommendations site or a more tailored model from the company itself, custom-made to fit your carrier. Otherwise, the Hex Technical Collection bags offer ample storage space as evidenced by the comprehensive list provided below:

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  • Premium water-resistant textiles, including 1680D Cordura® Ballistic Nylon
  • All 1680D Cordura® bottoms for tear and abrasion resistance
  • New YKK EYL Woven “Tough Zippers,” 15x more durable than previous zippers
  • EVA padded and faux-fur lined suspension laptop compartment
  • Deluxe front organizers and faux fur-lined phone pocket
  • Integrated pocket for wireless chargers
  • Hidden magnetic seal external pockets
  • Luggage handle pass-through straps
  • Premium custom metal hardware
  • Hideaway rain fly (messenger and backpack only)
  • Flatlay water bottle pocket (backpack and duffel only)
  • Ventilated shoe garage (duffel only)
  • Cinch straps (messenger only)
  • Utility strap (backpack only)
  • EVA molded back panel (backpack only)

The Hex Technical Collection is available to back on Kickstarter for $99 per bag. If you’re looking to snag that bespoke wireless charger to go inside, you’re looking at an additional $40. Those on the fence about whether to back the Kickstarter campaign or wait for them to start popping up on (virtual) store shelves, bear in mind early bird backers save TK on the bags over retail and $10 on the power bank. The whole gamut is expected to ship in TKTK 2020. For anyone rightfully concerned over the cleanliness of their belongings and the pouches they’re stored in, Hex’s foray into sanitary carry-on gear is shaping up to be the bag assortment of choice for the pandemic commuter, hiker, and socially distant adventurer. May your next journey be contamination-free.

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