"You get out what you put in.” That’s the backcountry mantra of Olympic medalist, Natural Selection Tour Champion and snowboarding icon Sage Kotsenburg. If you think about it, a slogan such as this makes total sense for someone such as Kotsenburg. He spends a lot of time touring the backcountry in search of the next great line. To find that dream couloir, spine or pillow line takes work. You really have to put in the effort to get that great return on your investment.
Now, Kotsenburg is taking this mantra and applying it to the travel world as he teams up with DB for their brand-new luggage collaboration, available exclusively on Backcountry.
Kotsenburg first burst into the snowboarding world in 2009-2010 when, at the age of 16, he won the Winter Dew Tour overall title in slopestyle. From that point forward it was game on for this snowboarding icon. Over the next three years he won three more X Games medals, and in 2014, Kotsenburg became America’s first gold medalist in slopestyle at the Sochi Olympics when he stomped the landing on a trick that had never been landed before, the ‘1620 Holy Crail.’ Today, Kotsenburg continues to compete at a high level and is a true ambassador to the sport of snowboarding.
Kotsenbrug’s partner on the collaboration, DB, is well-known in its own right. The travel gear brand originally began under the name "Douchebags" (cringe). With years of experience — and a tactful name change — DB is constantly striving to adjust their products for the betterment of the consumer. This has ultimately won them several awards for some of the unique qualities they feature in their bags.
Two years in the making, these two legends in their own respective categories have combined philosophies to produce the full Sage Kotsenburg x DB collaboration. The collection, which includes the Djarv Snow Roller, the Hytta 70L Split Duffel and the Fjäll 34L Backcountry Pack, is proof that good things come to those who wait. And, you will most certainly get out what you put in.
Throughout the collection, you will see the fully recycled fabric in birchwood brown accented by black webbing while the hooks and zippers are a brushed antique brass. Beyond the material and accents, each piece is appropriately named for its function that when combined forms a complete and thorough collection.
The Hytta, which translates into “The Cabin", is a beast of a bag, essentially a cabin for your gear. At 70 liters, it’s designed to carry a lot of gear no matter how long your next adventure is. Built like an extra large backpack, it's surprisingly light on your back despite its size. However, where the Hytta truly stands out is in its opening: with the primary middle zipper running the length of the bag, you'll be able to pack up both sides then fold the bag back up with ease.
The Fjäll (Swedish for "mountains") is designed for exactly that. Designed in partnership with Sam Favret, the Fjäll's style and functionality makes for an excellent carry-on or even a backpack around town. However, where it really excels is in the backcountry. If you need it, the Fjäll can carry it. Skis, a snowboard, an ax, a rope… there is a place for all of them. The main compartment is separate from the space for your avi gear, is accessible from the back panel and can fully unzip for easy access. This is a nice feature that only adds to the convenience of the roll top, which can expand and contract as much as you like depending upon how much gear you are carrying.
Although the two aforementioned pieces are fantastic, the one that really stands out is the Djarv. It is as bold and venturesome as its name would suggest. Designed to take into account the in-use features and out of use storage, it is the world's first length adjustable, compressible, rib protected, ski and snowboard bag. With the ability to expand to fit any length of ski or snowboard, it can hold up to two pairs of skis (or four cross-country skis) that lock into place.
The wheels have been beefed up and have their own custom housing in order to handle the potential higher capacity while maintaining a smoother roll. The Djarv also includes an integrated boot changing mat and can even fit your helmet if you so choose. Despite all of these added features, it is surprisingly lightweight, and can fold down to 10 percent of its original size for easy storage.
We chatted with Kotsenburg about the new collection: how it was developed, what it means for snowsports and how he views dedication and hard work.
Gear Patrol: Why was it important for you to branch out and create a luggage collection?
Sage Kotsenburg: Merging with DB was natural. They make such fantastic products that we sat down and dove into what you need while traveling with snow gear. Making travel easy and the equipment durable is essential, it's the last thing you want to worry about before a big snow trip.
GP: What is it about DB that made you decide to work with them on the collab?
SK: When they approached me, I had just seen the new Surf collection drop, and I thought it looked amazing. Naturally, the snow gear is equally as good, and they wanted to venture into more backcountry products, so the collab was seamless. We always bounce ideas off of each other, even down to small details.
GP: How did the mantra "you get what you put in" play a role in the development of the bags?
SK: I started saying, "you get out what you out in," while Ben Ferguson and I were filming Joy. The idea behind it is simple. The hard work you put into the day equals the good results that come out of the day. It made sense to put that on the bag because I love the reminder to keep trying to get better… also what you put into your bag you get out when you take it out [laughs].
GP: What are the benefits of this luggage collection as compared to others?
SK: These bags are really thought-out. The material is incredible, and the way it functions is so good for traveling; it works so well for me I hope others enjoy it as well.