New Angle

Yeti’s New Bags Aren’t for Hardcore Outdoorsmen

September 13, 2019 Sports and Outdoors By

In decade-plus history, Yeti has cemented an identity wholly wrapped up in extreme ruggedness. Its website is splattered with photos of adventure; its ambassadors are surfers, snowboarders, fishermen, hunters, bull riders and ranchers. The first product it ever made was a cooler durable enough for the company’s founders to stand on while angling in the open ocean. But Yeti’s newest products, a tote and a backpack that make up the Crossroads Collection, aren’t for those aspirational outdoor pursuits; they’re for life around town.

The Crossroads bags aren’t Yeti’s first foray into everyday bags. In 2018, it launched the Tocayo, a simple everyday pack made of rugged canvas. The bag was big, held few features and was similar to other rugged commuter packs like Goruck’s GR1. The Crossroads Backpack is an evolution to the now-discontinued Tocayo. It’s smaller, contains more features inside and out — including water bottle sleeves and stash pockets for small items — and is generally better-made for the actual needs of life in an urban environment. The same goes for the tote (an increasingly common carrier in cities), which includes a laptop sleeve.

The imagery that Yeti created to go along with these new bags doesn’t notion to a false sense of self either; the Crossroads bags are on subway platforms and at cafes, not at campsites or in the backs of pickups. Look closely though, and you’ll spot a puffy jacket or a yoga mat along with them; Yeti hasn’t forgotten and abandoned its roots.

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Tanner Bowden is a staff writer at Gear Patrol covering all things outdoors and fitness. He is a graduate of the National Outdoor Leadership School and a former wilderness educator. He lives in Brooklyn but will always identify as a Vermonter.

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