All posts in “Gear”

Like Rugged Denim? Meet Your New Favorite Brand.

Before starting Indigofera in 2007, Mats Andersson was already a denim-industry veteran. A native of southeast Sweden, he worked for Levi’s the late ‘90s, eventually holding a role as the Commerical Director of Image Account Managers. In Europe, he worked heavily with Levi’s Vintage Clothing (LVC) and Levi’s Red in sales and marketing but eventually left to start his own distribution company called The Grocery. With his new brand, he launched Edwin jeans in Scandinavia in 2004 and managed the global launch of Cheap Monday.

In the late aughts, Andersson had the idea for a brand of his own. “It seemed like the new generation did not get educated in what was good or bad quality. Quality was not a thing people asked for anymore,” he said. “At the same time, production was moving away from Europe and the USA. But price, for some reason, did not change much. Customers got used to paying too much money for too little value. And that is still happening.” So in 2007, Andersson decided it was the right time to start Indigofera, a brand focused on quality garments inspired by mid-century classics. He sourced fabric from respected mills and utilized Portuguese manufacturing, keeping production in Europe.

In 2013, he opened a retail shop called Pancho and Lefty with Mikko Engström to sell Indigofera along with brands of similar quality and aesthetic. Indigofera’s products are well-designed and highlight quality fabrics and top-tier construction. They’re made to wear-in and are fully worthy of their investment-level prices. As we near the 10 year anniversary of Indigofera’s first collection, we caught up with Andersson to reflect on denim’s European roots, vintage inspiration and his new favorite garments.

The Indigofera Copeland shirt made from 14-ounce Japanese selvedge denim (left) and the Eagles Riseing shirt in two-tone denim made in collaboration with Israel Nash (right).

Q:

What inspired you to start Indigofera?

A:

Several things, I’d say. At first, before I was working in the industry, it was a fascination and interest with the history of clothing and more precisely denim. I started out collecting vintage garments I wanted to use myself, and that lead me into the world of denim. I still have most garments, and occasionally, I buy something I find interesting. It was mostly denim garments but also leather and shirts. The question that always hovers over my head is what makes a good product good. You can find traces of that in older garments and the way they were produced. Then you put together your world of references and before you know it, it wants to materialize itself. That became Indigofera.

Q:

Did your experience at LVC influence your designs?

A:

To some degree, of course. But we never aspired to be a reproduction brand. There are those [brands] that make that in a great way. But we wanted to add something. I don’t think you can make what we are doing and not be aware of denim history, but that can give some small amount of freedom if you know what has been done and what worked.

Fits and fabric can be developed and pushed forward. We developed many different fabrics with our Japanese mills. That goes for shirt fabric, denim fabric. Even our jersey is specially woven for us with 100 percent U.S.-grown pima cotton. Experimenting and developing new fabric gives us an outlet for creativity and it comes back with a certain satisfaction seeing a garment built from the fabric all the way to ready garment.

Q:

Did Indigofera grow from the Swedish denim industry, or is it more inspired by American workwear?

A:

In my view: the denim industry, to some degree, developed by European emigrants moving [to the U.S.]. The fabric came from Europe in the beginning — from Nime, France, and Genoa, Italy. Jacob Davis, inventor of the rivet, was born in Latvia. Levi Strauss, Germany.

Q:

How do vintage garments impact your designs?

A:

It’s like with rock music — we would not have the music we have today if it did not evolve from jazz, blues, rock and roll. The same evolution can be seen in the clothing industry. So yes, it does have an impact, and we do a lot of research for fabric and construction. But very seldom are we using a garment and just [reproducing].

Q:

What is most important to you about the garments you create?

A:

Quality and aesthetic in combination. They need to be durable and wearable. We are digging into the idea of what quality is and how to apply to garments. Making conscious decisions all the way from designing the fabric, to what metal goes into the trims and how in the end it is sewn.

Featuring Japanese selvedge denim, Indigofera jeans are made in Portugal.

Q:

What is difficult about designing each season?

A:

Restraining ourselves and keeping it real. It’s so easy to get carried away and add stuff to the collection that should not be there. We like every garment to count, to be there for a reason, well thought through.

Q:

Do you have any favorite pieces from the current season?

A:

We made a lighter jersey fabric that goes into Leon, a raglan/baseball tee. The fabric looks vintage but has only one garment wash, and its 100 percent Pima cotton. There is a new fabric we named Winlock; it’s a low-tension weave made by Nihon Menpu. We used it in our Clint jean and Banks jacket.

Q:

Are there any other brands in the space that you’re excited about?

A:

Yes. Check our online store Pancho and Lefty and you can see which brands we think are great. Instead of creating an Indigofera web store, we want to promote brands we like and contribute and expand the niche we are [in] with Indigofera.

Mats Andersson

Q:

What does the future look like for Indigofera?

A:

We are working on some things with the singer-songwriter Israel Nash: he has a new album coming out later this year and we are making some special things in regards to that.

2009 was the launch year for Indigofera and the first time you could find products from us in stores. Right now we are looking at some special collaborations, and special things overall, to get out during 2019 to highlight [our] first 10 years.

Meet the Man Making the Best Vintage-Inspired Boots You Can Buy

John Lofgren is uncompromising in his line of Japanese-made footwear. We caught up with him to discuss the inspiration behind his brand, Japanese craftsmanship and his favorite shoe models. Read the Story

A Ferrari Hatchback May Seem Weird, but it Is Otherworldly to Drive

From Issue Six of Gear Patrol Magazine.
Discounted domestic shipping + 15% off in the GP store for new subscribers.

“This shouldn’t be possible,” I thought to myself as I looked up at a cold, endless shock blue sky. I’m looking through the roof of a Ferrari.” Not through an open convertible top — through a massive, single piece of curvaceous panoramic glass. From the back seat, no less. It felt great, and it felt weird.

There have been many Ferraris with back seats before, of course. The first, the 250 GT/E, bowed in 1960; the next, the 330 GT 2+2, looked almost exactly like the iconic Aston Martin DB5 of the same mid-Sixties vintage. Various others (400 GT, Mondial) followed in intervening decades, including one of the most gorgeous Ferrari shapes ever produced, the chiseled 456 GT. After the millennium, the brand produced its Scaglietti grand tourer through 2011 (the California convertible technically had four seats, too). But it wasn’t until 2011 that Ferrari four-seaters took an unexpected turn: instead of just being not-two-seat-cars, the Ferrari FF that debuted that year was a seemingly blasphemous car for the prancing horse to produce. It was a hatchback with four-wheel drive.

The GTC4Lusso, which replaced the FF (“Ferrari Four”) in 2016, is the most recent three-door, four-seat, all-wheels-driven car from Maranello. Its name means “Grand Tourer Coupe Four (seat), and ‘Lusso’ means Luxury in Italian. There are no spaces in its name, which is weird, but there is so much space in back, which seems weirder. Philosophically, the car is a mind-bender, some sort of paradoxical mishmash of automotive archetypes. Physically, it is a wonder to behold. Dynamically, on the road and from either the front or back seat, is how it’s best experienced.

The panoramic roof is one of those automotive archetypes. It was available on the FF too, but what’s important about the optional glass is that it makes ‘sitting in the back seat of a Ferrari’ more than just a novel experience; it makes it a phenomenal one. I’m six feet tall and had very real legroom back there. I’m also distractible and normally somewhat claustrophobic. But not only did I want for nothing, I was instead captivated simply by how much I could see — and that I could so easily look out on the world from the back seat of a sporting machine made by the most storied of sporting machine brands. Surreal.

What’s up front is surreal too: a naturally-aspirated, 6.3-liter V12, but not just some truck-like, old chuffer. This sublime engine revs up to and over 8,000 rpm; it pushes out 680 horsepower and 514 lb-ft of torque. It is sumptuous and smooth, but slap the large left paddle a couple times to select a minor gear and two things happen. One, you are instantly 300 feet farther down the road; and two, the sound of angelic death metal is channeled through your entire body. The V12 is unreal in its duplicity, as it will both cruise like glass and give the finger to radar guns as it blasts to 60 mph in 3.4 seconds in a sprint to a 208 mph terminal velocity.

Its power meets the road through a very clever, complex system of mechanicals that work together so harmoniously I never once thought I was driving anything but a nimble supercar. In fact, this two-plus-ton grand tourer employs two separate gearboxes: one to push most of the thrust rearward, and another, smaller one to handle power to the front wheels. The small transmission has only two gears and is not active (neither are the front wheels driven) in fifth, sixth or seventh (of seven) gears. Furthermore, four-wheel steering — taken from the F12tdf — enhances maneuverability. The wheels under your rear passengers turn counter to steering inputs for sharper low-speed handling, but at higher speeds, they swivel lockstep with the front wheels to boost stability.

So is the GTC4Lusso actually a weird Ferrari? It does the things normal Ferraris are supposed to do: Ferraris must be fast, Ferraris must sound ethereally demonic and Ferraris must seem to endow the driver with superhuman abilities. But I did things with this car that Ferraris are not supposed to do: I did not attract much attention at all; I only lost traction when I tried very, very hard to and I put a lot of groceries from Costco in its hatchback. Overall, I’d say it nearly breaks even but nets out ever so slightly on the impeccably weird side of the spectrum.

It’s ultra good too. For a vehicle that is a sports car, a wagon, a luxury ride, a technological wonder, a wailing baritone and a striking centerfold all at once, it without question coheres into a singular, crazy-good sensation. The GTC4Lusso is all the grand tourer with none of the stuffiness, with a massive dollop of Italianate marvel. It’s phenomenally athletic and outrageously different. Which, for a Ferrari, isn’t weird at all.

Today in Gear: Perfect Summer Travel Apparel, Mophie’s New Charging Kit, & Much More

We’ve made some new adjustments to Today in Gear, including a new publishing time of 4 p.m. in order to capture all the day’s new stories. Comments or concerns? We’d love to hear from you at tig@gearpatrol.com.


New & Noteworthy Releases

The Material on These Jeans Is Perfect for Summer Heat

The Material on These Jeans Is Perfect for Summer Heat

Cut from a lightweight cotton-linen blend.

This New Drink Is like Beer-Flavored Gatorade. And We Can’t Wait to Try It.

This New Drink Is like Beer-Flavored Gatorade. And We Can’t Wait to Try It.

The newest beer from Sufferfest is sure to please athletes everywhere.

This Skiwear Brand Just Made the Perfect Travel Apparel for Summer

This Skiwear Brand Just Made the Perfect Travel Apparel for Summer

Featuring breathable and quick-drying materials.

Mophie’s Wireless Charging Kit Is Perfect for Travelers

Mophie’s Wireless Charging Kit Is Perfect for Travelers

It’s a dopp kit for your electronics. And it only costs $50.

Fresh Deals



BioLite Coffee Lover Kit
Save 17%: A good cup of coffee isn’t something you should have to go without when you’re camping. The coffee lover kit from BioLite includes a four-pack of Kuju coffee and an insulated MiiR mug, so you don’t have to worry about getting your caffeine fix any longer. Snatch one while you can — the limited edition packs and mug might not last past Memorial Day. — Meg Lappe


Faherty Clothing
Save up to 70%: With beach weather just around the corner, it’s an opportune time to pick up some laid-back summer threads. Fortunately, at Huckberry’s Memorial Day Sale you can save up to 70 percent on sun-ready clothing from Faherty. Choose between patterned shirts, versatile swim trunks and cozy sweatshirts for cool evenings. Faherty designs every fabric from scratch, so you’ll get a well-considered, comfortable garments at a great price. — John Zientek


My Favorite Daypack Is Currently on Sale
Save 25%: Unlike my stance on expedition bags, I never used to give much thought to daypacks. I’d prep for any outing that didn’t require the capacity of my 65-liter trekking pack by dumping my things into whatever school bag or ski pack was at-hand. As a kid, that was a forest green L.L.Bean backpack with my initials stitched to its face, and later in life, it was a multi-sport bag by Dakine.

Oh, what a world I was missing. Last fall, I picked up Osprey’s Stratos in its 24-liter volume (there’s also a larger 34-liter version), and it has since changed how I think about the daypack. For instance, I had no idea that my back could be anything but hot and sweaty, and didn’t realize that hip support is still crucial, even on short hikes.

The Stratos is outfitted with all the pockets, compression straps and access points you’d expect from a backpack company — especially one with a golden reputation among long-distance thru-hikers — but the standout for me has been its mesh back panel. It’s raised and tensioned away from the pack’s main vestibule, which provides a comfy trampoline-like feel and allows lots of air to flow between my back and the bag, which minimizes the sweaty back issue I had used to view as unavoidable. The mesh also integrates into the hipbelt, wrapping its arms around my lower torso like a well-studied dance partner for a fit that’s more comfortable than any I’ve known before.

Right now Backcountry is holding a Memorial Day Sale, and the Stratos is currently 25 percent off. It’s perfect timing for a deal — just in time for hiking season. — Tanner Bowden



YLighting Memorial Day Sale
Save 40%: YLighting is an online purveyor of high-design lighting (think Design Within Reach, but just lights). As you might expect, much of its wares are typically pricey and out of reach for the normal, everyday buyer. This weekend that all changes — a least a little.

YLighting’s Memorial Day Sale brings actual truckloads of outdoor lighting, wall sconces, desk lamps, floor lamps, overhead lights, whatever.

The company, which has 20 percent off sales quite often, cut prices to up to 40 percent for its Memorial Day sale, which is live right now. — Will Price



Cheap Outdoor Furniture
Save up to 70%: At Gear Patrol, we value products that last, are innovative and generally, in one way or another, bring an extra kernel of joy to your life. The products on sale in eBay’s absolutely enormous outdoor sale are not these things, but for those with an empty back porch at this point in the season, it can certainly fill a hole.

The sale, all 54,014 listed items of it, is live now, and slices up to 70 percent off a range of outdoor and patio furniture. Use code PMEMDAY for an extra 15 percent off at checkout (capped at $50), too. — Will Price



Bang & Olufsen Beoplay A1 Speaker
Save $60 plus a Power Bank: Right now, Huckberry is offering a wide range of Memorial Day deals, on everything from boots (here) to backpacks (here), outerwear (here) to home accessories (here). In the consumer electronics realm, which is where my eye tends to go, you can get a great deal on Bang & Olufsen’s small-yet-powerful Bluetooth speaker — the Beoplay A1. It normally costs $249 on the company’s website, but if you act now you get it and a portable power bank for $188. The combo will give you well over 24 hours of playtime. It’s the perfect picnic partner.


Velomacchi Memorial Day Weekend Sale
Save 30%: Use the code SPRING30 at Velomacchi when you checkout and save 30% on everything, sitewide now through May 27. Whether you’re heading into the city on your daily commute or escaping the urban sprawl all together for the weekend, Velomacchi’s tough-as-hell roll-top backpacks, duffle bag and impact sleeves are up to the task. We put them to the test on a seven-day ride from Seattle to Anchorage through British Columbia and the Yukon, and they all came out the other end looking better than us — so yeah, they’re filed tested and Gear Patrol approved. — Bryan Campbell

Today on Gear Patrol

Mercedes G-Class Review: The All-New, Legendary G-Wagen Remains Iconic

Mercedes G-Class Review: The All-New, Legendary G-Wagen Remains Iconic

Mercedes went back to the drawing board, made a variety of measured modifications to its iconic exterior and more essential enhancements underneath — and rebirthed the legend.

This Company Wants to Make Sure You’re Prepared for Any Disaster

This Company Wants to Make Sure You’re Prepared for Any Disaster

From its inception, the brand just wants to help you be prepared.

Everything a City-Based Kayaker Needs to Own

Everything a City-Based Kayaker Needs to Own

Runners, hikers and campers have it easy when it comes to city living. Unlike those activities, kayaking requires more specialized equipment – and a boat – that can make storage in an urban apartment tricky,…

5 Iconic Cars Perfect for Summer Weather

5 Iconic Cars Perfect for Summer Weather

If you want to make the most of the blue, cloudless skies and warm air that comes along with summer, the most idyllic cars are going to be drop tops.

The Best MacBook Pro Cases to Buy in 2018

The Best MacBook Pro Cases to Buy in 2018

If you ding up your MacBook Pro, you can either be more careful carrying it or use a computer case. Most choose the latter.

Stand Out With These Bold ’70s Chronographs

Stand Out With These Bold ’70s Chronographs

Three vintage pieces from Telstar, Wakmann and Heuer.

12 Tools That Best Pitmasters Can’t Grill Without

12 Tools That Best Pitmasters Can’t Grill Without

We asked a handful of the world’s best pitmasters what gear is essential to making the best damn barbeque ever.

Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.

The Best Deals of the Day: May 25, 2018

Welcome to Deals of Note, where Gear Patrol captures all the best deals of the day. You can also follow all our deal posts in the Deals section. Comments or concerns? We’d love to hear from you at deals@gearpatrol.com.



BioLite Coffee Lover Kit
Save 17%: A good cup of coffee isn’t something you should have to go without when you’re camping. The coffee lover kit from BioLite includes a four-pack of Kuju coffee and an insulated MiiR mug, so you don’t have to worry about getting your caffeine fix any longer. Snatch one while you can — the limited edition packs and mug might not last past Memorial Day. — Meg Lappe


Faherty Clothing
Save up to 70%: With beach weather just around the corner, it’s an opportune time to pick up some laid-back summer threads. Fortunately, at Huckberry’s Memorial Day Sale you can save up to 70 percent on sun-ready clothing from Faherty. Choose between patterned shirts, versatile swim trunks and cozy sweatshirts for cool evenings. Faherty designs every fabric from scratch, so you’ll get a well-considered, comfortable garments at a great price. — John Zientek



My Favorite Daypack Is Currently on Sale
Save 25%: Unlike my stance on expedition bags, I never used to give much thought to daypacks. I’d prep for any outing that didn’t require the capacity of my 65-liter trekking pack by dumping my things into whatever school bag or ski pack was at-hand. As a kid, that was a forest green L.L.Bean backpack with my initials stitched to its face, and later in life, it was a multi-sport bag by Dakine.

Oh, what a world I was missing. Last fall, I picked up Osprey’s Stratos in its 24-liter volume (there’s also a larger 34-liter version), and it has since changed how I think about the daypack. For instance, I had no idea that my back could be anything but hot and sweaty, and didn’t realize that hip support is still crucial, even on short hikes.

The Stratos is outfitted with all the pockets, compression straps and access points you’d expect from a backpack company — especially one with a golden reputation among long-distance thru-hikers — but the standout for me has been its mesh back panel. It’s raised and tensioned away from the pack’s main vestibule, which provides a comfy trampoline-like feel and allows lots of air to flow between my back and the bag, which minimizes the sweaty back issue I had used to view as unavoidable. The mesh also integrates into the hipbelt, wrapping its arms around my lower torso like a well-studied dance partner for a fit that’s more comfortable than any I’ve known before.

Right now Backcountry is holding a Memorial Day Sale, and the Stratos is currently 25 percent off. It’s perfect timing for a deal — just in time for hiking season. — Tanner Bowden



YLighting Memorial Day Sale
Save 40%: YLighting is an online purveyor of high-design lighting (think Design Within Reach, but just lights). As you might expect, much of its wares are typically pricey and out of reach for the normal, everyday buyer. This weekend that all changes — a least a little.

YLighting’s Memorial Day Sale brings actual truckloads of outdoor lighting, wall sconces, desk lamps, floor lamps, overhead lights, whatever.

The company, which has 20 percent off sales quite often, cut prices to up to 40 percent for its Memorial Day sale, which is live right now. — Will Price



Cheap Outdoor Furniture
Save up to 70%: At Gear Patrol, we value products that last, are innovative and generally, in one way or another, bring an extra kernel of joy to your life. The products on sale in eBay’s absolutely enormous outdoor sale are not these things, but for those with an empty back porch at this point in the season, it can certainly fill a hole.

The sale, all 54,014 listed items of it, is live now, and slices up to 70 percent off a range of outdoor and patio furniture. Use code PMEMDAY for an extra 15 percent off at checkout (capped at $50), too. — Will Price



Bang & Olufsen Beoplay A1 Speaker
Save $60 plus a Power Bank: Right now, Huckberry is offering a wide range of Memorial Day deals, on everything from boots (here) to backpacks (here), outerwear (here) to home accessories (here). In the consumer electronics realm, which is where my eye tends to go, you can get a great deal on Bang & Olufsen’s small-yet-powerful Bluetooth speaker — the Beoplay A1. It normally costs $249 on the company’s website, but if you act now you get it and a portable power bank for $188. The combo will give you well over 24 hours of playtime. It’s the perfect picnic partner.


Velomacchi Memorial Day Weekend Sale
Save 30%: Use the code SPRING30 at Velomacchi when you checkout and save 30% on everything, sitewide now through May 27. Whether you’re heading into the city on your daily commute or escaping the urban sprawl all together for the weekend, Velomacchi’s tough-as-hell roll-top backpacks, duffle bag and impact sleeves are up to the task. We put them to the test on a seven-day ride from Seattle to Anchorage through British Columbia and the Yukon, and they all came out the other end looking better than us — so yeah, they’re filed tested and Gear Patrol approved. — Bryan Campbell

See More Deals

Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.

dB Customs 1982 Honda Evolution

Canada’s one-man shop Darren Begg Customs specializes in resto modified motorcycles. He turns 70’s and 80’s classics into powerhouses with modern handling and braking, while staying true to the original designs. This superb 1982 Honda CB985F Evolution is the latest to leave the shop, and it’s a very special one.

Commisioned by a client who loved the look of the very first bike produced by the Ottawa-based garage, this tribute 2-wheeler is painted with a Nero Carbonio base color with beautiful hand-applied details (no vinyl decals). The bike is equipped with only the best bits, including OHLINS suspension all around, a modified SRAD swingarm, gold-anodized Oz Racing’s Gass wheels, and the newest generation of Michelin RS tires. The engine was also “massaged” with a bunch of high-performing upgrades while stopping power is provided by Brembo brakes.

After all the tweaking, the motorcycle is now 82lb lighter than when it started and has a weight bias of 51% front to 49% rear. Needless to say, the result is a stunningly-executed modern classic that’s as functional and reliable as it gets.

Learn More From db Customs

Photos By Darren Begg

Peter Sellers’s 1961 Aston Martin DB4GT

Peter Sellers is the man you probably know best from Dr. Strangelove, The Pink Panther or one of his many other performances that led to him being considered one of the greatest comedians of all time. What…

Unbeaten: The Triumphs and Tragedies of Rocky Marciano

Unbeaten: The Triumphs and Tragedies of Rocky Marciano tells the life story of one of the greatest boxers of all time–the only heavyweight in professional boxing history to retire undefeated (49-0).

The man who was the inspiration for the Rocky movie series, Marciano is famous for having one of the toughest chins in this sport, being knocked down just twice in his entire career. And here’s another fact: His knockout-to-win percentage of 87.76 is one of the highest ever recorded.

Penned by Pulitzer Prize-winner Mike Stanton, the book follows “The Rock” (not that Rock) from his humble beginnings “in the back alleys of New England and the musty gyms,” through his glorious years surrounded by hustlers and gamblers, crusty trainers, glamorous dolls and notorious mobsters, to his forced retirement and troubled final years. A captivating biography of an extraordinary man who never lost a fight in a sport that was rotten to its core.

Buy From Amazon $18

12 Tools That Best Pitmasters Can’t Grill Without

Somewhere between science, art, time and a bit of madness, there’s barbeque. Smoke, indirect heat, wood and charcoal are all that’s required to call something barbeque, but its apparent simplicity belies a beast of a cooking conundrum. How do you juggle temperatures, 12-hour cook times (or longer), constant fire maintenance, and seasoning on what could be a 300-pound hog split down the middle? Years of practice and, more attainable, the right gear. Below, four renowned pitmasters competing in the Windy City Smokeout later this year discuss the gear that gets them from butcher to pull-apart, black bark-laden masterpieces.

Samuel Jones

Pitmaster, Owner, Sam Jones BBQ | 715 W. Fire Tower Rd, Winterville, NC 28590

In the barbeque world, the Jones family needs little introduction. Proprietor and pitmaster at his eponymous temple to whole hog barbeque, Sam Jones is the son of Pete Jones, who opened and operated the James Beard Award-winning Skylight Inn BBQ for 60-some-odd years. The Jones family are proliferators of Eastern North Carolina whole hog-style barbeque, a style with a keen focus on drawing out the pig’s natural sweetness and balancing it with a generous helping of vinegar and spices.

Thermopen MK4

“I was a guy raised by a family of BBQ men that never used thermometers. Everything was about touch. However, I’ve learned that [thermometers] aren’t a sign of inexperience, but more so a speedometer. I prefer the Thermopen MK4. It reads in just a few seconds. This is important because the longer your grill or pit is open, the more heat is escaping it. The MK4 is also waterproof. For around $100, it’s money well spent.”

Yeti Coolers

“Anyone manning a grill or pit outside needs a good cooler. I’m not saying just any cooler. I’m saying get a Yeti. I’m a Yeti man through and through. The first two pieces I’d suggest would be the Flip 24, and the Tundra 65. The Flip is awesome because you can throw it on your back and go regardless of what you have in it. You never have to worry about it leaking. I have used the Tundra for both keeping meats and veggies cold, and for holding cooked meat. The Tundra 65 is just the perfect size cooler. Most recently, we transported a cooked half hog in a Tundra 125 for three hours to find it only lost 9 degrees of internal temp.”

BQ Whole Hog Pit

“Melvin Whitman at BQ Grills in Elm City, North Carolina, and I put our heads together some years ago to create what I think is the perfect grill and pit. It accommodates a whole hog, but it also has a removable heat deflector that enables you to grill. It uses only wood coals, or charcoal. It is produced in several sizes and variations. I have three generations of this unit. I personally like the 68 by 48 inches for the whole hog.”

Jonathan Fox

Co-Owner and Co-Pitmaster, Fox Bros Bar-B-Q | 1238 DeKalb Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30307

Apart from being one of the South’s best barbeque joints, Atlanta’s Fox Bros Bar-B-Q is something of an invasive species in Georgia — instead of leaning on sweet ketchup and vinegar bases the state holds as its own, the Fox brothers smoke Texas-style ‘cue. The joint does many things well, but its rubbed-down ribs and brisket are why you fight Atlanta traffic to sit down at a picnic table and feast. Jonathan Fox and his identical twin opened up the spot in 2007 and have raked in award after award since; they’ve also featured in publications like USA Today, Southern Living and Maxim.

Home Right Electro Light Fire Starter

“When I am looking to fire up my charcoal grill, or even my smoker, the hard part is lighting a fire. In a pinch, you can easily use an oil-soaked piece of paper or keep buying starting sticks, but one item I found that is reusable is the Home Right fire starter. This piece of equipment uses super-heated air to light charcoal in less than one minute. So many uses both indoor and outdoor. When people see it in use, they are immediately asking questions about it.”

ThermoWorks ThermaQ

“In my kitchen at home, or at an event on the road, probe thermometers can always be found with me. The ThermaQ Wi-Fi is one of the best I have found, and I have tried and broken a ton over the last 15 years. It costs more, but you really get what you pay for. It stands up to the rigors that are the barbecue lifestyle. With the Bluetooth features you can even receive updates on your phone. Where was that 15 years ago.”

Big Green Egg Cast-Iron Grate

“Whenever I fire up my grill, there are a few things I always grab. First is my Big Green Egg cast-iron grill grate. I cook a lot with cast iron in the kitchen of my home so why not continue that on the grill. It holds heat whether you are cooking over direct heat or when you are cooking indirectly.”

Charlie McKenna

Chef and Owner, Lillie’s Q | 1856 W. North Ave. Chicago, Illinois (more locations here)

Though he may operate out of Chicago, Charlie McKenna’s roots remain firmly planted in the barbeque belt. McKenna learned the craft first by watching his grandmother (to whom his restaurant is named after) cook Southern dishes during his childhood, and later cooking in professional kitchens in Miami, New York and eventually Chicago, where he’s built his restaurant empire. The conflux of McKenna’s Deep South-Big City education made itself known when he took home a W at the hallowed Memphis-in-May World Championship Barbecue festival.

Kalamazoo Quebracho Charcoal

“It is quebracho, which comes from a tree native to South America. It burns longer and hotter than other charcoal, so you can use less at a time. It also doesn’t leave as much ash as other charcoals, so cleanup is easy which is always a plus.”

OXO Silicone Basting Brush

“These are great to use when basting grilled items with a BBQ sauce, butter or whatever marinade you’re applying. The silicone bristles don’t burn, clump or fray, which makes application easy and your brush will last much longer. These are also much easier to clean than traditional basting brushes especially from sticky BBQ sauces — it’s even dishwasher safe.”

Harbor Freight Propane Torch

“This torch hooks up directly to the propane tank, and it can light your charcoal or wood in less than one minute. I only cook with live fire and I like to light it as quickly as possible. Less time lighting the fire leaves more time to work on your recipe. This tool is amazing. It might be a little intimidating to some, but it’s a game changer once you get the hang of it.”

Doug Psaltis

Chef and Partner, Bub City, Co-founder, Windy City Smokeout | 435 N Clark St. Chicago, IL 60654

Psaltis came to barbeque later than most, and from Long Island of all places. But he did not come without a résumé that included the likes of French Laundry, two Alain Ducasse restaurants (at which he was the first ever American named Chef de Cuisine) and Country, which he led to earning a Michelin star every year he was at the helm. Bub City, his first foray into barbeque in a professional sense, is a shrine to all things whiskey and slow-smoked meat.

The ‘Ove’ Glove Hot Surface Handler

“These gloves can withstand heat over 500 degrees Fahrenheit, which is crucial when retrieving meat from the smoker. Layer them with latex gloves on top for a fit that’s not bulky and allows you to perfectly handle brisket without breaking its bark.”

The Original Bear Paws Shredder Claws

“These shredding claws do it all — act as utensils to handle and lift meat off the grill or out of the smoker, then shred and pull however you see fit. They’re super sharp and the grasp makes them extremely easy to use.”

Looftlighter Charcoal Starter

“I’m a fan of the Looftlighter — it looks like a giant hairdryer — which I use it at home to start my charcoal. It cuts down on the time and hassle of lighting coals but you’re still guaranteed those charcoal sears and smoky flavor that we all love with BBQ.”

16 Tools That World-Class Chefs Can’t Cook Without

From a lava stone molcajete to a disposable thermometer to a very, very old-school pasta maker, these four professional chefs reflect on the gear they couldn’t do their jobs without. Read the Story

My Favorite Daypack is Currently on Sale

Unlike my stance on expedition bags, I never used to give much thought to daypacks. I’d prep for any outing that didn’t require the capacity of my 65-liter trekking pack by dumping my things into whatever school bag or ski pack was at-hand. As a kid, that was a forest green L.L.Bean backpack with my initials stitched to its face, and later in life, it was a multi-sport bag by Dakine.

Oh, what a world I was missing. Last fall, I picked up Osprey’s Stratos in its 24-liter volume (there’s also a larger 34-liter version), and it has since changed how I think about the daypack. For instance, I had no idea that my back could be anything but hot and sweaty, and didn’t realize that hip support is still crucial, even on short hikes.

The Stratos is outfitted with all the pockets, compression straps and access points you’d expect from a backpack company — especially one with a golden reputation among long-distance thru-hikers — but the standout for me has been its mesh back panel. It’s raised and tensioned away from the pack’s main vestibule, which provides a comfy trampoline-like feel and allows lots of air to flow between my back and the bag, which minimizes the sweaty back issue I had used to view as unavoidable. The mesh also integrates into the hipbelt, wrapping its arms around my lower torso like a well-studied dance partner for a fit that’s more comfortable than any I’ve known before.

Right now Backcountry is holding a Memorial Day Sale, and the Stratos is currently 25 percent off. It’s perfect timing for a deal — just in time for hiking season.

More Deals, Served Up Fresh Every Day

Deals, discounts and drops on products you actually care about and want. Curated by the Gear Patrol Editors. Start Saving

Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.

The Material on These Jeans Is Perfect for Summer Heat

From Shockoe Atelier

The Material on These Jeans Is Perfect for Summer Heat


Virginia-based Shockoe Atelier just released a new pair of jeans that are perfect for sweltering summer months. The slim-fit jean is cut from a lightweight 10.5-ounce cotton-linen blend and features lined back pockets, a chain-stitched hem and free repairs for the life of the jean. The silhouette has a low-mid rise and a tapered leg and is available in a dark Indigo colorway. Retailing for $198, the style comes in waist sizes between 30 and 40 and will ship on May 29.

Other Great Summer Denim

In the warm-weather months, you don’t need to forgo wearing denim. Many brands are making jeans in summer-appropriate weights, so we asked three style experts which ones to buy this season. Read the Story

Mercedes G 550 and AMG G 63 Review: The All-New, Legendary G-Wagen Remains Iconic

The Mercedes G-Class — a.k.a the Geländewagen, a.k.a. the G-Wagen/Wagon — holds a special place in our heart, up there with vintage Defenders and Broncos. It’s a purposeful creation that follows its own North Star, and we respect that. But it’s been 40 years since the G-Class started raising eyebrows around the world, due to its sharp corners, severe verticality and decidedly anti-luxurious, militaristic disposition. Those qualities, along with its legitimate utility and off-roadability, drew fans around the world, but it was time to nudge the machine into the 21st century, even if just a hair. So Mercedes went back to the drawing board, made a variety of measured modifications to its iconic exterior and more essential enhancements underneath — and rebirthed the legend.

The Good: The core goodness, of course, rests in the improved off-road handling in both models, the G 550 and the performance-enhanced AMG G 63. Engineers retained the ladder-type frame and the three 100-percent differential locks, deeming them essential to its off-road character, but reworked the suspension and front axle to provide greater stability and crawlability, and also modernized the steering with an electromechanical system over the old recirculating ball design. They also gave it quite a bit more poise on-road — something the previous G lacked. Finally, the new G-Class is more comfortable inside, with improved seating, visibility and utility — plus, of course, all the tech accouterments that have become de rigeur across all vehicles. It still retains its character, with its unique and immediately recognizable exterior profile, but it’s a more well-rounded machine overall.

Who They’re For: Depends on which model we’re talking about. If it’s the G 550, you’re into sunrises, long runs on the beach, and hard-core off-roading. If it’s the AMG G63, you’ve never actually seen a sunrise, you go to the beach mostly to burn off a hangover and you enjoy blasting past lesser machines on the highway at triple-digit speeds while towering three feet above everyone else. We kid, of course — but the AMG G-Class is more distinct in personality from the G 550 than pretty much any other Mercedes AMG product is from its starting point. The G63 is, to be blunt, a statement vehicle — a fun bit of outrageous excess for people who crave vehicles that reflect their outrageous personalities. It’s okay, Mercedes knows this. Otherwise, they wouldn’t have birthed the six-wheeled AMG 6×6. The G 550? That’s for “normals” — those who want the car either for its utility or for their own vastly dialed-down, but still distinctive, personality preferences. Think Pimpmobile versus Popemobile.

Watch Out For: Wind and road noise. Though the G-Class is indeed a more well-rounded machine, that’s not true at the corners. The company kept those cleanly defined edges as essential to the car’s visual character, the only compromise being an ability to temper wind noise. So even though it is significantly reduced from the car’s predecessor, it’s still very much wind noise present. Tire noise is also dialed way down, but there are still detectable hints of it. So this ain’t no S-Class; but the S-Class ain’t no G, either.

Alternatives: It’s in a class by itself, of course, but the Land Rover Range Rover is the most obvious competition as a luxury SUV, and the new Jeep Wrangler will easily give the G-Class a run for its money off-road. As for which one you’d want to ride into the apocalypse, that’s up to you.

Review: You have to admire a vehicle with as many “signatures” as the G-Class — the details and qualities that designers delete from a new version at their peril. For the G-Class, these include the periscopic turn signals on the front fenders, the visible spare out back, the signature door handles, and even the satisfyingly robust clicking sound when the doors close. All remain in the new version, but they’re presented amid new signatures slyly peppered throughout the vehicle. The front headlights, for instance, now have LED surrounds that give the car a striking visage in the rearview mirrors of cars ahead of it. The front grill has a newly updated and immediately recognizable three-louver design. Coupled with other more nuanced design updates, including a slightly wider stance, the effect remains powerful and aggressive. The look is still as pure as the original’s, but it’s got a lot going on, nonetheless — a cumulative subconscious impact that thoroughly modernizes the classic look.

Performance improvements are notable throughout the G-Class. The ladder frame construction remains, as do the differential locks and low range gear reduction, to enable smoother traversals over tricky terrain. The suspension, though, gets an independent double-wishbone front axle and a rigid rear axle. This adds stability, and the ground clearance boosted a few millimeters to 270mm. Its prowess has been improved overall, with a fording depth of 70cm, which is 10cm more than its predecessor, and it can remain stable at tilt angles of 35 degrees. We tested this out in southern France on the vehicle’s launch, scrambling over the country’s hard-scrabble surface with measured stability and smoothness. The independent suspension makes for a more rigid front end, while a strut tower brace increases torsional rigidity. You don’t “feel” that as much as you see it — see the benefits of a stiffer, more capable crawler.

In both the AMG G 63 and the G 550, drivers can dial in the off-road performance or let the computer manage it, most notably in the new G-Mode. This adapts the adjustable chassis damping, the steering and the throttle behavior to maximize control. It feels precise and supremely controllable in even the more challenging — and treacherous — of skewed angles and weirdly contorted breakovers.

On-road, the same suspension enhancements also help smooth out the ride, creating a more stable feel even at triple-digit speeds. That’s not small feet for a top-heavy brick like this, but I was able to cruise effortlessly down the highway at brisk clips in the AMG G 63 — the extra 169hp, 585 total, make itself known there, while the extra 176 lb-ft of torque help out off-road — without the ever-present edge of worry that you experience in many big SUVs. It’s refreshingly car-like, even if the view up there feels absolutely stratospheric.

It’s safe to say, as well, that the myriad improvements in safety, infotainment and general ease of use — from the more accessible controls to more thoughtfully designed seats — make the G-Class compatible with daily life in a way its predecessor just wasn’t. The displays are gorgeous and comprehensible, the ride less severe, and the seating less an exercise in Cold War reenactment. It’s a vehicle you can actually enjoy while making your chosen statement, rather than merely endure.

Verdict: As a complete ground-up redesign, the new G-Class, AMG or not, is a curiously restrained execution, filled with deft tweaks and enhancements. The company could have easily decided that a 40-year run warranted something completely new and different that echoes its predecessor in name only, but they didn’t. It’s still the G, and this one will easily hold its own for another 40 years. It’s astonishing to contemplate that sort of longevity, and further to imagine what the, say, 2058 redesign might bring. But that’s getting a bit ahead of the curve. We like where we are right now, with this G-Class, and would rather imagine where it could take us than where it might go next.

What Others Are Saying:

• “You’ll still spend roughly $125K for the G 550 and $145K for the G63. Is that a lot of money or a screaming bargain? That depends on whether you see it as merely a luxurious SUV with nostalgic styling or an icon, perfected. I see it as the latter.” — Steve Siler, New York Daily News

• “The world needs the G-Wagen, even if most of them are parked in prominent valet spots at trendy restaurants in West LA. It’s an easy thumbs-up for Mercedes-Benz — for nudging the G in a direction that serves most of its buyers but not degrading the core values that put it so prominently on the automotive map to begin with.” — J.P. Vettraino, AutoWeek

• “For those who seek its rugged capability, it’s far easier to control off road without sacrificing anything in the way of outright prowess. For the on-road boulevard set, it’s significantly nicer to drive at all speeds, not to mention far more luxurious, tech-forward and outright comfortable than before.” — Steven Ewing, CNET

Key Specs: G 550 and AMG G 63

Engine: 4.0-liter V8; 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8
Transmission: nine-speed automatic
Horsepower: 416hp; 585hp
Torque: 450 lb-ft; 626 lb-ft
Weight: 5,355 lbs; 5,643 lbs
Top Speed: 130 mph; 136 mph
0-60: 5.9 seconds; 4.5 seconds
MSRP (base): $123,600

Read More Gear Patrol Reviews

Hot takes and in-depth reviews on noteworthy, relevant and interesting products. Read the Story

Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.

This Company Wants to Make Sure You’re Prepared for Any Disaster

U

ncharted Supply Co. is on a mission to help you prepare for everything from the Zombie apocalypse to the next earthquake. That’s a grand idea, and surprisingly, it came from an occurrence most of us deal with daily — sitting in traffic. After missing meetings and adding hours to his drives getting out of California, Christian Schauf realized that even if he was prepared for some sort of catastrophic disaster, it seemed like no one else was. “95 percent of all survival situations are solved in 72 hours. But if you don’t have the right stuff, that 72 hours can be deadly,” Schauf says of the one statistic that has stuck with him after all these years. “People don’t need a bunker with $10,000 of supplies, they don’t need five years of food, just 72 hours to cover everything.” With that in mind, Schauf set about to figure out what exactly it is that everyone would need in an emergency situation to survive — and nothing more.

Luckily, Schauf had a list of unique life experiences to help him put together that list of necessities. He played in a band that took him abroad to Iraq 39 times. While there, “surface air missiles, sniper fire and car bombs were all just regular life,” Schauf recounts. For trips like these, Schauf would pack only what he needed to get in, play a show and get out. “There’s only so much gear you can take on an airplane. You leave in the morning, pack your backpack and fly there, and plan to come home that night — but there might be a sandstorm or a fire and you might get stuck there for two days. These places do not have extra supplies, so you’re on your own,” Schauf says. After playing over 150 shows in Iraq, Schauf made friends, who he enlisted for help in putting together his disaster survival kits. “I asked the experts, ‘What would you give your elderly parents to help them?’”

From there, Schauf searched for the most durable and reliable materials and products to fill the bag — which turned out to be extremely difficult. “I was disappointed with what was available. A lot was poorly executed and low quality,” he says. In the survival kit market, there were two extremes: “You may spend $80 to check a box, but deep down now know it’s not going to save your life. Or it’s a couple of thousand dollars for military-grade [items], and you don’t know what half of the gear is,” Schauf says. He wanted to fill that void, the space between these two opposite ends of the spectrum, and help educate people about what they would really need if a disaster were to strike.

The product Schauf finally landed on has over thirty-five pieces — the majority of which he and his team had to assemble themselves. “We put different batteries in the flashlight, and matches in the case — everything was super high touch,” Schauf says.

After crafting and curating the go-bag, Schauf decided to try an Indiegogo campaign to launch his product. It was right before the holidays in 2016, and Schauf took a gamble. “I ordered 1,000 units before even turning the Indiegogo on. I sold my townhome and bought $3,000 of inventory before I even told anyone what I was doing.” With marketing in his blood from his days at Crispin Ciders (which he later sold to MillerCoors) and then at Pear Sports, the name came together naturally. “For me, I wanted a word that represented being in an unknown place, but not being fearful.” The St. Bernard logo represents what the brand was to Schauf when he first started. “St. Bernards used to go out and find people — the Bernard Pass — the monks sent them out and they would find weary travelers and lead them back to the lodge. I love the idea of a big dog that sits by the fire, you send it out, and it’ll do its job until death,” Schauf says. With a plan, and logo and a product, Schauf dubbed his survival kit the Seventy2.

“I thought if I have to drive around and sell them out of the back of my truck for a year, I will. But in two weeks they were gone.”

The Seventy2 campaign raised $491,406 in total, or 1,649% funded as of January 1, 2017. “We were the highest-funded survival product of all time, which was nice,” Schauf says. And then he realized it meant he (Schauf being the sole member of the team at that point) had to build 1,400 more orders. “It got real very fast for one guy,” he quips.

To help get those orders filled, Schauf brought in a few friends, who are still involved in the business today. Eric Janowak, Mike Escamilla, and Josh Anderson were now a part of the Uncharted Supply Company and between the four of them, they had a web developer, product designer, someone to look over contracts, and Schauf (who took the lead on the marketing side. “We were just grinding,” he says.

All in, it’s been about 18 months since the inception of the product, yet the brand has seen tremendous growth. Even the FBI, CIA, Nike, and Paypal have purchased the Seventy2. The brand even sells 5- and 10-pack bundles to help outfit entire companies. With that growth, Schauf’s been able to take time to develop other gear that can help you survive disaster — everything from a hideaway jacket, to a car kit, to kits for families. “We’re really looking at how you fill every moment of the day, because you never know what’s going to happen,” Schauf says. “The more prepared you are, the safer the world is.”

“Our brand is the buddy that will give you shit, but is also experienced and someone you trust.”

Schauf’s not trying to capitalize on the doom and gloom of what the news can seem like these days, but he is real about the possibility of disaster. “I’m not a doomsday guy. I’m a guy that wakes up and the sun is shining, and I’m ready to explore. I might prep for a day that never happens, but people skin their arm, or forget sunscreen on a hike, or forget water millions of times a day, and this kit will plug all of those holes. It’s a go-to bag.”

Meet Margo Hayes

Margo Hayes is single-handedly changing the climbing game, and she’s only 20. Read the Story

Mercedes G-Class Review: The All-New, Legendary G-Wagen Remains Iconic

The Mercedes G-Class — a.k.a the Geländewagen, a.k.a. the G-Wagen/Wagon — holds a special place in our heart, up there with vintage Defenders and Broncos. It’s a purposeful creation that follows its own North Star, and we respect that. But it’s been 40 years since the G-Class started raising eyebrows around the world, due to its sharp corners, severe verticality and decidedly anti-luxurious, militaristic disposition. Those qualities, along with its legitimate utility and off-roadability, drew fans around the world, but it was time to nudge the machine into the 21st century, even if just a hair. So Mercedes went back to the drawing board, made a variety of measured modifications to its iconic exterior and more essential enhancements underneath — and rebirthed the legend.

The Good: The core goodness, of course, rests in the improved off-road handling in both models, the G 550 and the performance-enhanced AMG G 63. Engineers retained the ladder-type frame and the three 100-percent differential locks, deeming them essential to its off-road character, but reworked the suspension and front axle to provide greater stability and crawlability, and also modernized the steering with an electromechanical system over the old recirculating ball design. They also gave it quite a bit more poise on-road — something the previous G lacked. Finally, the new G-Class is more comfortable inside, with improved seating, visibility and utility — plus, of course, all the tech accouterments that have become de rigeur across all vehicles. It still retains its character, with its unique and immediately recognizable exterior profile, but it’s a more well-rounded machine overall.

Who They’re For: Depends on which model we’re talking about. If it’s the G 550, you’re into sunrises, long runs on the beach, and hard-core off-roading. If it’s the AMG G63, you’ve never actually seen a sunrise, you go to the beach mostly to burn off a hangover and you enjoy blasting past lesser machines on the highway at triple-digit speeds while towering three feet above everyone else. We kid, of course — but the AMG G-Class is more distinct in personality from the G 550 than pretty much any other Mercedes AMG product is from its starting point. The G63 is, to be blunt, a statement vehicle — a fun bit of outrageous excess for people who crave vehicles that reflect their outrageous personalities. It’s okay, Mercedes knows this. Otherwise, they wouldn’t have birthed the six-wheeled AMG 6×6. The G 550? That’s for “normals” — those who want the car either for its utility or for their own vastly dialed-down, but still distinctive, personality preferences. Think Pimpmobile versus Popemobile.

Watch Out For: Wind and road noise. Though the G-Class is indeed a more well-rounded machine, that’s not true at the corners. The company kept those cleanly defined edges as essential to the car’s visual character, the only compromise being an ability to temper wind noise. So even though it is significantly reduced from the car’s predecessor, it’s still very much wind noise present. Tire noise is also dialed way down, but there are still detectable hints of it. So this ain’t no S-Class; but the S-Class ain’t no G, either.

Alternatives: It’s in a class by itself, of course, but the Land Rover Range Rover is the most obvious competition as a luxury SUV, and the new Jeep Wrangler will easily give the G-Class a run for its money off-road. As for which one you’d want to ride into the apocalypse, that’s up to you.

Review: You have to admire a vehicle with as many “signatures” as the G-Class — the details and qualities that designers delete from a new version at their peril. For the G-Class, these include the periscopic turn signals on the front fenders, the visible spare out back, the signature door handles, and even the satisfyingly robust clicking sound when the doors close. All remain in the new version, but they’re presented amid new signatures slyly peppered throughout the vehicle. The front headlights, for instance, now have LED surrounds that give the car a striking visage in the rearview mirrors of cars ahead of it. The front grill has a newly updated and immediately recognizable three-louver design. Coupled with other more nuanced design updates, including a slightly wider stance, the effect remains powerful and aggressive. The look is still as pure as the original’s, but it’s got a lot going on, nonetheless — a cumulative subconscious impact that thoroughly modernizes the classic look.

Performance improvements are notable throughout the G-Class. The ladder frame construction remains, as do the differential locks and low range gear reduction, to enable smoother traversals over tricky terrain. The suspension, though, gets an independent double-wishbone front axle and a rigid rear axle. This adds stability, and the ground clearance boosted a few millimeters to 270mm. Its prowess has been improved overall, with a fording depth of 70cm, which is 10cm more than its predecessor, and it can remain stable at tilt angles of 35 degrees. We tested this out in southern France on the vehicle’s launch, scrambling over the country’s hard-scrabble surface with measured stability and smoothness. The independent suspension makes for a more rigid front end, while a strut tower brace increases torsional rigidity. You don’t “feel” that as much as you see it — see the benefits of a stiffer, more capable crawler.

In both the AMG G 63 and the G 550, drivers can dial in the off-road performance or let the computer manage it, most notably in the new G-Mode. This adapts the adjustable chassis damping, the steering and the throttle behavior to maximize control. It feels precise and supremely controllable in even the more challenging — and treacherous — of skewed angles and weirdly contorted breakovers.

On-road, the same suspension enhancements also help smooth out the ride, creating a more stable feel even at triple-digit speeds. That’s not small feet for a top-heavy brick like this, but I was able to cruise effortlessly down the highway at brisk clips in the AMG G 63 — the extra 169hp, 585 total, make itself known there, while the extra 176 lb-ft of torque help out off-road — without the ever-present edge of worry that you experience in many big SUVs. It’s refreshingly car-like, even if the view up there feels absolutely stratospheric.

It’s safe to say, as well, that the myriad improvements in safety, infotainment and general ease of use — from the more accessible controls to more thoughtfully designed seats — make the G-Class compatible with daily life in a way its predecessor just wasn’t. The displays are gorgeous and comprehensible, the ride less severe, and the seating less an exercise in Cold War reenactment. It’s a vehicle you can actually enjoy while making your chosen statement, rather than merely endure.

Verdict: As a complete ground-up redesign, the new G-Class, AMG or not, is a curiously restrained execution, filled with deft tweaks and enhancements. The company could have easily decided that a 40-year run warranted something completely new and different that echoes its predecessor in name only, but they didn’t. It’s still the G, and this one will easily hold its own for another 40 years. It’s astonishing to contemplate that sort of longevity, and further to imagine what the, say, 2058 redesign might bring. But that’s getting a bit ahead of the curve. We like where we are right now, with this G-Class, and would rather imagine where it could take us than where it might go next.

What Others Are Saying:

• “You’ll still spend roughly $125K for the G 550 and $145K for the G63. Is that a lot of money or a screaming bargain? That depends on whether you see it as merely a luxurious SUV with nostalgic styling or an icon, perfected. I see it as the latter.” — Steve Siler, New York Daily News

• “The world needs the G-Wagen, even if most of them are parked in prominent valet spots at trendy restaurants in West LA. It’s an easy thumbs-up for Mercedes-Benz — for nudging the G in a direction that serves most of its buyers but not degrading the core values that put it so prominently on the automotive map to begin with.” — J.P. Vettraino, AutoWeek

• “For those who seek its rugged capability, it’s far easier to control off road without sacrificing anything in the way of outright prowess. For the on-road boulevard set, it’s significantly nicer to drive at all speeds, not to mention far more luxurious, tech-forward and outright comfortable than before.” — Steven Ewing, CNET

Key Specs: G 550 and AMG G 63

Engine: 4.0-liter V8; 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8
Transmission: nine-speed automatic
Horsepower: 416hp; 585hp
Torque: 450 lb-ft; 626 lb-ft
Weight: 5,355 lbs; 5,643 lbs
Top Speed: 130 mph; 136 mph
0-60: 5.9 seconds; 4.5 seconds
MSRP (base): $123,600

Read More Gear Patrol Reviews

Hot takes and in-depth reviews on noteworthy, relevant and interesting products. Read the Story

Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.

5 Iconic Cars Perfect for Summer Weather

Editor’s Note: We love scouring the internet for reasons to spend money we don’t have on cars we daydream about owning, and these are our picks this week. All prices listed are bid amounts at the time of publishing.

If you want to make the most of the blue, cloudless skies and warm air that come along with summer, the most idyllic cars are going to be drop tops. Unlimited headroom is hard to beat on a day offering up the perfect driving conditions. But more so, you’ll want a car that’s fun to drive in order to really take advantage of the toasty, dry tarmac and cyan sky — finding yourself in a jaw-dropping classic doesn’t hurt the situation either. We found five iconic cars, all at different price points, perfect making the most of summer weather.

2005 Mazda Mazdaspeed Miata

Mileage: 90,000
Location: Brighton, Massachusetts

What We like: The biggest gripe with the Miata is always its lack of power. It’s an incredible chassis, but because Mazda is adamant that to keep the ideal power-to-weight ratio, they purposely hold back. Well, Mazda addressed the complaints with the Mazdaspeed and gave it turbos and an intercooler good for 178 horses. It’s affordable to own and maintain; you can drive at or near its limit and be in no real danger. The Mazdaspeed is the definition of a cheap thrill.
From the seller: “The Mazdaspeed version of the 1.8-liter four featured lower-compression pistons, a turbocharger, and an intercooler, bringing factory-rated output to 178 horsepower. The 16-valve engine is paired with a six-speed manual transmission and sends power to the rear wheels through a standard limited-slip differential.”
What to look out for: Make sure to ask the owner if they ever had or noticed the clutch pedal going soft. Miatas of this age are known to develop leaks clutch slave cylinder causing the inability to disengage the clutch to shift.

2003 BMW M3 Convertible

Mileage: 45,253
Location: Merrillville, Indiana

What We like: The E46 generation M3 — though it’s over 20 years old — is still used as a benchmark for how a sports car should drive. The convertible version simply adds to the cruiseability on top of the natural sports car mantality.
From the seller: N/A
What to look out for: Repair costs tend to add up for this generation 3-Series — small, ancillory things start to fail after 110,000 miles, generally. But, one notable issue are the power steering hoses that are known to fail, sometimes simultaniously.

1965 Pontiac GTO

Mileage: 93,000
Location: Greensboro, North Carolina

What We like: Often considered the godfather of the American muscle car, there’s no mistaking the GTO. The 389ci V8 provides the grunt the GTO is known for but the odd-for-the-era bucket seats might be the creature comfort you want when you put that power to use coming out of turns.
From the seller: “The car was given a frame-up restoration in 2008 that included bodywork and a repaint in its original color, while a number of factory-available options including power brakes, steering, windows, air conditioning and more were added at some point by the previous owner. It also runs a wide-ratio four-speed transmission, limited-slip rear, newer exhaust and factory handling package. ”
What to look out for: “Because the frames under the convertible were boxed, a lot of [rust] would build up inside. As a result, they would tend to get soft just behind the front wheels, and just in front of the rear wheels.” — Hemmings

1958 Mercedes-Benz 190SL

Mileage: 56,393
Location: Dallas, Texas

What We like: The Mercedes SLs of the ’50s are some of the most beautiful classic cars still on the road — design-wise, they have the perfect roadster silhouette and seem to glide down the road. On top of that, this one has a custom compartment in the trunk for your dog, which is nothing short of a fantastic add-on.
From the seller: “This 190SL was originally fitted with a black interior, which was refreshed after the original owner’s son took possession of the car. New seat upholstery and carpeting were installed, and the seller states that the dashboard and door panels are original.”
What to look out for: Due to its unibody architecture, the 190SL was susceptible to rust, not unlike other German classics of the same era. When shopping around, make sure to get eyes on the wheel wells, chassis frame rails, trunk floors and spare-tire wells and mounting points for the rear trailing arms.

1989 Porsche 911 Carrera Targa

Mileage: 62,168
Location: Quarryville, Pennsylvania

What We like: Not only is the Targa one of the more desirable classic Porsches out there, its also the most versitile. In terms of the convertible and hard top, it’s the best of both worlds — not to mention drop-dead gorgeous.
From the seller: “Very fine paint, nothing to note, other than a touch up to the hood. Interior appears new, with no wear to note, either.”
What to look out for: The seals for the targa top can leak if they’re not kept in good condition, but the rot on the floor pan is a more serious situation. If not looked after properly, the rot can rust out the floor pan and door sills.

How About a More Modern Convertible

Though it comes with some compromises, Merc’s baby AMG is a fantastically well-rounded sports car. Read the Story

Stand Out With These Bold ’70s Chronographs

While you’ll find each decade had its own unique design traits, there’s something particularly distinct about the watches — specifically the sports chronographs — of the 1970s. Watchmakers were particularly experimental, making more liberal use of color, and trying out new case designs. They make for interesting timepieces that, since they’re a bit out there, can be had at lower prices than more sought-after models from the ’50s and ’60s.

Telstar Valjoux 7734

What we like: This chronograph watch is from one of the many, many forgotten watch brands of the mid 20th century. It features a pristine cushion case and a dial with a panda color scheme. The additional red and orange accents give the black-and-white dial some wonderfully bright pops. It wouldn’t look out of place under the cuff of a racing suit.
From the seller: Case in near mint condition; factory original brushed finish is still intact on top. Mint condition rallye dial. All functions working properly and watch has been keeping excellent time. Service history is unknown, but the watch has been behaving amazingly for weeks of on/off wrist observation.

Wakmann Chronograph

What we like: As collectors are more widely discoviering the excellent timpieces Wakmann made back in the day, values have been going up, but this reverse-panda chrono from the ’70s is can still be had at a relatively reasonable price. Both the case and dial have aged wonderfully, and the latter has gained handsome beige accents as the old tritium lume has patina’d.
From the seller: Case is in very good condition overall with moderate signs of use and wear. Dial is in very good condition with some signs of age, including patina. Unsigned crown.

Heuer Monza

What we like: Not only is it one of the first automatic chronographs, but it’s one of the earliest to use PVD coating on its case. The black case seems to be in great shape and pairs nicely with a black dial with red accents. Originally designed to celebrate Ferrari’s F1 championship win in 1975, its a chronograph with direct motoring pedigree but its still one of Heuer’s more forgotten timepieces.
From the seller: Case is in very good condition overall with minimal signs of use and wear throughout. PVD coating shows slight degradation to the lugs. The dial is in very good condition with crisp printing and some signs of age, including patina to the luminescent elements. Minute hand shows slight lume dropping.

Meet the King of Vintage Grand Seiko

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Why one watch collector sold all his high-end Swiss watches to amass one of the greatest vintage Grand Seiko collections in the world. Read the Story

This Beach-Ready Clothing Is up to 70% Off

From Faherty

This Beach-Ready Clothing Is up to 70% Off


With beach weather just around the corner, it’s an opportune time to pick up some laid-back summer threads. Especially considering that with Huckberry’s Memorial Day Sale, you can save up to 70 percent on Faherty apparel. Choose between patterned shirts, versatile swim trunks and cozy sweatshirts for cool evenings. Faherty designs every fabric from scratch, so you’ll get a well-considered, comfortable garments at a great price.

More Deals, Served Up Fresh Every Day

Deals, discounts and drops on products you actually care about and want. Curated by the Gear Patrol Editors. Start Saving

Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.

12 Tools the Best Pitmasters Can’t Grill Without

Somewhere between science, art, time and a bit of madness, there’s barbeque. Smoke, indirect heat, wood and charcoal are all that’s required to call something barbeque, but its apparent simplicity belies a beast of a cooking conundrum. How do you juggle temperatures, 12-hour cook times (or longer), constant fire maintenance, and seasoning on what could be a 300-pound hog split down the middle? Years of practice and, more attainable, the right gear. Below, four renowned pitmasters gathering at the Windy City Smokeout later this year discuss the gear that gets them from butcher to pull-apart, black bark-laden masterpieces.

Samuel Jones

Pitmaster, Owner, Sam Jones BBQ | 715 W. Fire Tower Rd, Winterville, NC 28590

In the barbeque world, the Jones family needs little introduction. Proprietor and pitmaster at his eponymous temple to whole hog barbeque, Sam Jones is the son of Pete Jones, who opened and operated the James Beard Award-winning Skylight Inn BBQ for 60-some-odd years. The Jones family are proliferators of Eastern North Carolina whole hog-style barbeque, a style with a keen focus on drawing out the pig’s natural sweetness and balancing it with a generous helping of vinegar and spices.

Thermopen MK4

“I was a guy raised by a family of BBQ men that never used thermometers. Everything was about touch. However, I’ve learned that [thermometers] aren’t a sign of inexperience, but more so a speedometer. I prefer the Thermopen MK4. It reads in just a few seconds. This is important because the longer your grill or pit is open, the more heat is escaping it. The MK4 is also waterproof. For around $100, it’s money well spent.”

Yeti Coolers

“Anyone manning a grill or pit outside needs a good cooler. I’m not saying just any cooler. I’m saying get a Yeti. I’m a Yeti man through and through. The first two pieces I’d suggest would be the Flip 24, and the Tundra 65. The Flip is awesome because you can throw it on your back and go regardless of what you have in it. You never have to worry about it leaking. I have used the Tundra for both keeping meats and veggies cold, and for holding cooked meat. The Tundra 65 is just the perfect size cooler. Most recently, we transported a cooked half hog in a Tundra 125 for three hours to find it only lost 9 degrees of internal temp.”

BQ Whole Hog Pit

“Melvin Whitman at BQ Grills in Elm City, North Carolina, and I put our heads together some years ago to create what I think is the perfect grill and pit. It accommodates a whole hog, but it also has a removable heat deflector that enables you to grill. It uses only wood coals, or charcoal. It is produced in several sizes and variations. I have three generations of this unit. I personally like the 68 by 48 inches for the whole hog.”

Jonathan Fox

Co-Owner and Co-Pitmaster, Fox Bros Bar-B-Q | 1238 DeKalb Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30307

Apart from being one of the South’s best barbeque joints, Atlanta’s Fox Bros Bar-B-Q is something of an invasive species in Georgia — instead of leaning on sweet ketchup and vinegar bases the state holds as its own, the Fox brothers smoke Texas-style ‘cue. The joint does many things well, but its rubbed-down ribs and brisket are why you fight Atlanta traffic to sit down at a picnic table and feast. Jonathan Fox and his identical twin opened up the spot in 2007 and have raked in award after award since; they’ve also featured in publications like USA Today, Southern Living and Maxim.

Home Right Electro Light Fire Starter

“When I am looking to fire up my charcoal grill, or even my smoker, the hard part is lighting a fire. In a pinch, you can easily use an oil-soaked piece of paper or keep buying starting sticks, but one item I found that is reusable is the Home Right fire starter. This piece of equipment uses super-heated air to light charcoal in less than one minute. So many uses both indoor and outdoor. When people see it in use, they are immediately asking questions about it.”

ThermoWorks ThermaQ

“In my kitchen at home, or at an event on the road, probe thermometers can always be found with me. The ThermaQ Wi-Fi is one of the best I have found, and I have tried and broken a ton over the last 15 years. It costs more, but you really get what you pay for. It stands up to the rigors that are the barbecue lifestyle. With the Bluetooth features you can even receive updates on your phone. Where was that 15 years ago.”

Big Green Egg Cast-Iron Grate

“Whenever I fire up my grill, there are a few things I always grab. First is my Big Green Egg cast-iron grill grate. I cook a lot with cast iron in the kitchen of my home so why not continue that on the grill. It holds heat whether you are cooking over direct heat or when you are cooking indirectly.”

Charlie McKenna

Chef and Owner, Lillie’s Q | 1856 W. North Ave. Chicago, Illinois (more locations here)

Though he may operate out of Chicago, Charlie McKenna’s roots remain firmly planted in the barbeque belt. McKenna learned the craft first by watching his grandmother (to whom his restaurant is named after) cook Southern dishes during his childhood, and later cooking in professional kitchens in Miami, New York and eventually Chicago, where he’s built his restaurant empire. The conflux of McKenna’s Deep South-Big City education made itself known when he took home a W at the hallowed Memphis-in-May World Championship Barbecue festival.

Kalamazoo Quebracho Charcoal

“It is quebracho, which comes from a tree native to South America. It burns longer and hotter than other charcoal, so you can use less at a time. It also doesn’t leave as much ash as other charcoals, so cleanup is easy which is always a plus.”

OXO Silicone Basting Brush

“These are great to use when basting grilled items with a BBQ sauce, butter or whatever marinade you’re applying. The silicone bristles don’t burn, clump or fray, which makes application easy and your brush will last much longer. These are also much easier to clean than traditional basting brushes especially from sticky BBQ sauces — it’s even dishwasher safe.”

Harbor Freight Propane Torch

“This torch hooks up directly to the propane tank, and it can light your charcoal or wood in less than one minute. I only cook with live fire and I like to light it as quickly as possible. Less time lighting the fire leaves more time to work on your recipe. This tool is amazing. It might be a little intimidating to some, but it’s a game changer once you get the hang of it.”

Doug Psaltis

Chef and Partner, Bub City, Co-founder, Windy City Smokeout | 435 N Clark St. Chicago, IL 60654

Psaltis came to barbeque later than most, and from Long Island of all places. But he did not come without a résumé that included the likes of French Laundry, two Alain Ducasse restaurants (at which he was the first ever American named Chef de Cuisine) and Country, which he led to earning a Michelin star every year he was at the helm. Bub City, his first foray into barbeque in a professional sense, is a shrine to all things whiskey and slow-smoked meat.

The ‘Ove’ Glove Hot Surface Handler

“These gloves can withstand heat over 500 degrees Fahrenheit, which is crucial when retrieving meat from the smoker. Layer them with latex gloves on top for a fit that’s not bulky and allows you to perfectly handle brisket without breaking its bark.”

The Original Bear Paws Shredder Claws

“These shredding claws do it all — act as utensils to handle and lift meat off the grill or out of the smoker, then shred and pull however you see fit. They’re super sharp and the grasp makes them extremely easy to use.”

Looftlighter Charcoal Starter

“I’m a fan of the Looftlighter — it looks like a giant hairdryer — which I use it at home to start my charcoal. It cuts down on the time and hassle of lighting coals but you’re still guaranteed those charcoal sears and smoky flavor that we all love with BBQ.”

16 Tools That World-Class Chefs Can’t Cook Without

From a lava stone molcajete to a disposable thermometer to a very, very old-school pasta maker, these four professional chefs reflect on the gear they couldn’t do their jobs without. Read the Story

Today in Gear: Patagonia Baggies Get an Upgrade, a New Breitling Chronograph, Texas-Inspired Canadian Whisky & Much More

We’ve made some new adjustments to Today in Gear, including a new publishing time of 4 p.m. in order to capture all the day’s new stories. Comments or concerns? We’d love to hear from you at tig@gearpatrol.com.


New & Noteworthy Releases

Patagonia has some iconic products and Baggies are one of them. Created in 1982, Patagonia’s Baggies are simple: just nylon with an elastic waistband and a quick-drying mesh liner. That simplicity makes them great for swimming, running, hiking, rock climbing, surfing — everything. Baggies haven’t changed much since ’82 either, except beginning this year Patagonia is making the shorts with recycled nylon. They still look, feel and play like classic Baggies, but now their production uses 52 percent less water, 18 percent less carbon dioxide and 92 percent less virgin nylon. Cheers to that.

Advertisement

Breitling and Mr Porter Team Up to Create This Beautiful Vintage-Style Chronograph

Breitling and Mr Porter Team Up to Create This Beautiful Vintage-Style Chronograph

A limited edition watch with a handsome panda-colored dial.

Crown Royal’s Latest Whiskey May Be the Perfect Memorial Day Pairing

Crown Royal’s Latest Whiskey May Be the Perfect Memorial Day Pairing

Crown Royal’s latest draws is flavor from Texas mesquite wood, and may just be the perfect widely available to pair with whatever you’re grilling on Memorial Day.

The 2019 Ford F-150 Raptor Is Set To Get Even Better Off-Road

The 2019 Ford F-150 Raptor Is Set To Get Even Better Off-Road

Ford’s street-legal, daily-driveable Baja racer is set to get more upgrades to increase its off-road capabilities further still.

This May Be the Best Beach, Camp and Tailgate Grill Ever

This May Be the Best Beach, Camp and Tailgate Grill Ever

Snow Peak’s newer, slimmer version of the Iron Grill Table is the ideal size and weight to tow on car camping trips, to the beach or extended stays in the woods.

Fresh Deals



Todd Snyder Annual Spring Sale
Save up to 60%: New York-based retailer Todd Snyder is having its Annual Spring Sale and it’s a strong reason to invest in some wardrobe essentials. Currently, you can save 30 percent on a range of new styles and up to 60 percent on older sale items. If you’ve been waiting to spend on well-made garments, this is the time. — John Zientek


LifeProof Cases for iPhone X
Save 15%: It’s Memorial Day weekend and for many of us that means a little too good of a time. And maybe a dropped iPhone X and $1,000 down the drain. To guard against such an incident, LifeProof is running a 15-percent-off sale on all its smartphone cases (not just iPhone X case). Also, if you’re looking for a rugged portable Bluetooth speaker, you can get 30-percent off all Aquaphonics speakers. The site-wide sale is running now through next Tuesday, the 29th. — Tucker Bowe


Yeti Hopper Backflip
Save $60: Earlier this year, when Yeti announced a new collection of rugged products it was a burly camping chair called the Hondo that became the newsworthy standout. But it wasn’t the only product revealed — the new collection included wine tumblers, a magnetic waterproof pouch, a tote (which may turn out to be a sleeper), and a backpack version of its popular Hopper soft cooler called the Backflip.

Yeti is credited as the originator of the overbuilt, everything-proof hard-sided cooler and owning one has become imbued with a particular symbolic status. The brand has had to live up to its own reputation with every successive product, and its soft coolers were no exception. The Hopper series has done that, with a puncture-resistant soft exterior called DryHide and super-strong leak-proof zippers. Its soft coolers are lighter and notably more portable, which may make them even more effective in providing practical everyday use.

The Backflip gives the Hopper series even more potential with the addition of backpack straps that make carrying a fully-loaded cooler across longer distances more feasible. The Backflip can accommodate 20 cans at a two-to-one can-to-ice ratio and has multiple handles for hauling and additional webbing for lashing.

Sales on Yeti products are rare, especially on something as new as the Hopper Backflip. Right now, however, Backcountry is offering its customers the chance to take 20 percent off one full-priced item during its Memorial Day Sale and the Backflip, one of Yeti’s newest products, is included in the deal. Use the code MEMORIALDAY20 at checkout, or click the small banner at the top of the screen to apply the discount. — Tanner Bowden



Summer Motorcycle Jacket Sale
Save up to 48%: As the temperature rises, it’s always tempting to dress down before heading out for a ride. However, keeping safety as your number one priority, it’s still easy to stay cool — the trick is just wearing the right jacket. Whether you’re a fan of the more technical-styled textile jackets or prefer the old school look of leather, ventilation is critical. You want to save your skin, but you certainly don’t want to melt out of it while stuck traffic. Right now you can save up to 48% over on revzilla.com, just in time for the hotter months and potentially sweatier rides. — Bryan Campbell

Today on Gear Patrol

These Are 10 of the Safest Cars We’ve Driven – Read our Reviews Now

These Are 10 of the Safest Cars We’ve Driven – Read our Reviews Now

Every year the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety releases a list of the safest cars on the road. Since summer is the most dangerous time to drive, statistically, driving one of these cars might be…

Everything You Need for a Music Festival (Except the Drugs)

Everything You Need for a Music Festival (Except the Drugs)

Unlike a Saturday night concert, a music festival is a multi-day marathon that requires a thought-out packing list. Here are the 15 things you should consider bringing.

The Roadster You Forgot Existed Is Five Different Cars In One

The Roadster You Forgot Existed Is Five Different Cars In One

Though it comes with some compromises, Merc’s baby AMG is a fantastically well-rounded sports car.

The Outdoor Gear Our Staff Can’t Wait to Test This Summer

The Outdoor Gear Our Staff Can’t Wait to Test This Summer

A burly, trail-oriented mountain bike, the ultimate in mosquito protection, an ultralight sleeping bag and more.

10 Summer Wardrobe Essentials, All Under $50

10 Summer Wardrobe Essentials, All Under $50

Refresh your closet for less.

The Best Modern Automotive Designs in the World Come from Sweden and Japan

The Best Modern Automotive Designs in the World Come from Sweden and Japan

It’s certainly a bold statement to make, but it’s fairly easy to back up: the best car and motorcycle design in the world is coming from Sweden and Japan.

Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.