All posts in “Gear”

Pictar Pro Smartphone DSLR

Ohad Cohen wants you to use your smartphone like a real camera. Which is why he came up with a peripheral called the Pictar Pro, billed as “the world’s most advanced camera grip for iPhones and Androids.”

The add-on is designed to give your iPhone or Android device more advanced and fine-tuned controls than the basic adjustments you’re stuck with on the stock camera app on your smartphone. Plug it in and you’ll have access to things like white balance, ISO, aperture, and shutter speed. Plus a lot more that are often absent out of the box.

A follow-up to the Pictar grip announced in 2016, the Pictar Pro features a satin-finish brass-body. It’s got four larger control wheels and buttons for more efficient one-hand and one-touch operation. There’s also an exposure compensation wheel, a multi-state shutter release, a rocker zoom switch, and a smart wheel for switching between different modes, just like on a standard DSLR.

To be clear, this accessory doesn’t actually turn your smartphone into a DSLR; it doesn’t improve the lens or anything like that. It simply makes your phone behave like one, and gives you near-full control of how you want your image to turn out.

The Pictar Pro works with the Pictar App. This is the control panel where you can find all your options. Play with controls, settings, and other image adjustments you need to take photos as you see fit. And don’t worry about running out of battery. The device features Qi wireless charging that keeps your smartphone juiced during long days of shooting.


This Lightweight Ducati Supersport Will Take You Back in Time

Since only 30 examples sold as new in the United States, calling this Ducati Supersport 1000 DS ‘Race’ a rare bike is an understatement. Try and find another one of those track-focused beauties with zero miles.

Purchased by a collector and later bought by IndyCar driver Graham Rahal, this factory-fresh 2004 Supersport 1000 DS wasn’t even taken out of its delivery crate until 2017 — the plastic wrap still covers the seat and frame too. Its zero-mile engine is an air-cooled, fuel injected 992cc L-twin connected to a six-speed transmission, and it revs to 11,000 rpm. Up front, Brembo Brakes and Marzocchi forks keep things under control while an Ohlins shock handles rear wheel duty.

Aside from the performance shocks and brakes, to make this a ‘race’ bike Ducati removed the headlight, taillight, mirrors and turn signal to reduce the weight. And, going against today’s conventions of light weight and race editions, Ducati lowered the price tag too, to $7,999 in 2004. Which makes the current Panigale V4 R’s price tag of $40,000 (double that of the base Panigale) almost criminal.

The current Ducati Supersport takes on a different character but isn’t exactly sluggish through the corners. Ducati brought the ‘Supersport’ name back in 2017, but instead of a track-hungry bike Ducati added some civility and made it more comfortable for everyday riding while still keeping performance and style very much intact.

As of now, this 1-of-30 motorcycle is going for under its original MSRP. At zero miles, with factory plastic wrap still intact and final steps in the dealer prep still needed, this Ducati Supersport 1000DS ‘Race’ could be your own little slice of 2004 for just under $5,000.

Goal Zero Sherpa 100AC Power Bank

In this modern digital world, it has become a necessity to bring a reliable on-the-go power source to keep us connected with our mobile devices. Thus, the birth of the power bank and finding such that can juice up multiple devices is hard to come by, but the Sherpa 100AC does just that.

This sleek device is powerful enough to support several devices simultaneously. It has a variety of ports that can charge smartphones, laptops, and even DSLR cameras with its built-in 25,600mAH power supply. It provides quick charging with two 60W high-speed USB-C power delivery ports. Its manufacturer, Goal Zero, claims it can charge a laptop twice, a smartphone ten times, a tablet three times, and a POV camera 18 times

Moreover, it has a built-in 2.4A USB port for devices with proprietary charging requirements such as watches and fitness band and an integrated 100W AC for on the go charging any time.

It comes with four rugged cables: lightning, type C, Micro USB, and USB-C to USB-C. Best of all, it provides Qi wireless charging for convenience and has an interactive OLED display that provides detailed information about the charging status.

The Sherpa 100AC power bank recharges every three to six months and you can do so either by a solar panel, plugged to the wall with the included USB cable, or from your car using a 12V adapter. Weighing in at just two pounds, this is the perfect power source while on the move.

Get Yours Here

Photos Courtesy of Goal Zero

2019 Porsche 911 Speedster

There’ll be only a few of these, so act fast if you want one. Porsche has now unwrapped the open-top 2019 911 Speedster. This was the concept car the automaker unveiled back in June, now greenlit for production.

The gorgeous two-seater model is going to be built as part of the line’s 70th anniversary, and it’ll also mark the end of the current-generation 911. Porsche is only making 1,948 units, though (owing to the fact that the first 356 was made in 1948), and the car will come in a Paris is Guards Red colorway, exactly like the 1988 911 Speedster.

Porsche based the car on the 911 Carrera 4 Cabriolet body shell then added a more aerodynamic windshield angle and shorter side windows. It should be noted that this isn’t just a minor revamp; Porsche Motorsport in Weissach developed this car, meaning it’s a more hardcore 991 iteration than you’d initially think. You’ll find 911 GT3 parts in the chassis, plus carbon fiber on the the fenders, the hood, and the engine cover. Meanwhile, the exhaust system and six-speed manual gearbox come from Porsche’s GT unit.

The 911 Speedster boasts a 500-horsepower flat-six engine, which was borrowed from the track star GT3. The six shifts through a six-speed manual transmission. The car also debuts Porsche’s new Heritage Design Packages, which should give customers a lot more personalization options.

Porsche is set to begin production during the first half of 2019. Pricing has yet to be determined, but this is a limited-edition model, so don’t expect it to be cheap.


Photos courtesy of Porsche

This Is the Underrated Piece of Camping Gear Everyone Needs

The Magazine

Let us take you on a journey of the world. Each issue of the Gear Patrol Magazine comes packed with adventures, guides and stories exclusive to the magazine. Stunningly designed, printed on high quality stock and ready for your coffee table. Biannual. $39.

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One of the Year’s Best Down Jackets Is $120 Off

Last year, Eddie Bauer released its EverTherm Down Jacket and changed our perception of what down can look like. Rather than a horde of tiny feathers stuffed into horizontal baffles, EverTherm’s insulation is arranged in fabric-like sheets called Thindown. The construction prevents the need for that quilted look but also eliminates cold spots created by stitching, producing more warmth for less weight.

The EverTherm’s innovation was undeniable on paper, and when we put the jacket to the test last fall and winter, we found that it wasn’t all marketing jargon. The coat is impressive, and it’s certainly worthy of use in the mountains and around town, too, considering the lack of baffles makes it look less technical than most down jackets, which could be a boon to city-dwellers). For these reasons, we named it one of the best of the year included it in our guide to the Best Down Jackets.

The EverTherm is only in its second season, but with Eddie Bauer’s current weekend sale you can snag it for 40 percent — that’s $120 — less than full price. If you need a down jacket for the inevitable cold of late fall and winter, the EverTherm is a great option to consider.

To activate the discount, enter the code HOLIDAY18 at checkout.

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

Huckberry Is Selling Astorflex Boots Starting at $110

The Magazine

Let us take you on a journey of the world. Each issue of the Gear Patrol Magazine comes packed with adventures, guides and stories exclusive to the magazine. Stunningly designed, printed on high quality stock and ready for your coffee table. Biannual. $39.

The Newsletter

Get GEAR PATROL in your inbox with the DISPATCH, including Today in Gear and all our new stories. Daily, 5pm. Free.

This Japanese-Made Flight Jacket Is Lined with Alpaca Fleece

The Magazine

Let us take you on a journey of the world. Each issue of the Gear Patrol Magazine comes packed with adventures, guides and stories exclusive to the magazine. Stunningly designed, printed on high quality stock and ready for your coffee table. Biannual. $39.

The Newsletter

Get GEAR PATROL in your inbox with the DISPATCH, including Today in Gear and all our new stories. Daily, 5pm. Free.

These Wireless Noise-Canceling Earbuds Are Just $80

The Phiaton BT 120 NC are the company’s newest wireless in-ear headphones with active noise cancellation. They have a bunch of features that you’d expect from new-age wireless earbuds – fast charging, excellent battery life (up to 8.5 hours) and water-resistance (IPX4) – and they provide wearers a few different listening options. It’s possible to turn active-noise canceling on or off, or turn on an ambient noise-canceling mode, which is a safe option for biking and travelers. Their defining feature, however, is a low price. The BT 120 NCs are only $80.

Frankly, there aren’t that many wireless in-ear noise-canceling headphones out there. The best and most well-known are Bose QuietControl 30 ($300), which are pretty damn expensive compared to Phiaton’s new option. For this price, you probably shouldn’t expect the same levels of sound and noise-cancellation as the Bose – but then again, I haven’t tested them yet.

Rounding out the features, the BT 120 NC are built with 12mm dynamic drivers and a double-layered carbon film to reduce vibration and, according to Phiaton, create a more “balanced, vibrant sound.” They’re lightweight and the wire has inline controls for things like pausing music or answering calls. The earbuds will vibrate when you get a notification (call, text, email), but you can turn off this feature if you’re somebody always “blowing up” and you’d find that distracting. The earbuds come with three different sizes of silicone ear tips to make sure you get the perfect fit. And they charge via micro-USB, but a five-minute charge generates an extra hour of playtime.

Phiaton’s Curve BT 120 NCs are available now in black and white for $80 on Amazon.


The Most Binged Netflix Shows This Year

Netflix has released a year-end wrap-up of sorts, announcing things like the most rewatched movies and new stars from the past calendar year. You can check those out at the link below. What we’re interested…


The Best Smart Home Gifts of 2018

The smart home market is thriving. There are smart lights, smart plugs, smart switches, smart thermostats, smart locks, smart cameras, smart speakers – and that’s just scratching the surface. To the new homeowner, it can all be very intimidating. My advice would be to start with a smart speaker, like something that works with Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri or the Google Assistant, and then gradually invest in the smart devices that work with that ecosystem. Once you start controlling your music, lights or home appliances, I’ll bet you’ll catch the bug and look into what else you can control with your voice in your home.

The Depict Frame

A new home means empty walls, and the Depict Frame is a clever way to fill them. The 49-inch 4K UHD digital frame delivers a totally unique art-viewing experience with more than 700 exclusively curated works of art displayable with the app. For the smart home, it’s a must.

Sonos One

The Sonos One might be the perfect smart speaker to gift. If the person has other Sonos speakers, they’ll be able to integrate it into their existing system. And if they don’t, the Sonos One works perfectly by itself. It has Alexa built-in, too, so it can work essentially like an elevated, better sounding Amazon Echo. It’s also worth noting that if you don’t care about the Alexa integration, you can get a Play:1 speaker ($149), which is essentially the same speaker sans Alexa, for less.

Google Chromecast Ultra

This is arguably the best streaming device for anybody who wants to watch their favorite shows and movies in beautiful 4K HDR. (Note: they must have a 4K HDR, too.) And it syncs seamless with a Google Home smart speaker, so they’ll be able to summon their favorite photos and the weather on the big screen.

Amazon Smart Plug

As long as they have some Alexa-enabled speaker in their home, this little plug (which Amazon just announced this fall) will turn any home appliance or light fixture that plugs into an outlet into something that can controlled with their voice. Get them a few.

Apple HomePod

The HomePod is different from other smart speakers. Not only does have a superior music intelliect – it can answer specific questions about the song playing, such as when it was recorded and who played a specific instrament – but the speaker actually sounds better over time; it uses Apple’s EQ calibrating technology so that the audio is optimized for the specific room the speaker is in. (Note: must be an Apple Music subscriber to get most out of HomePod.)

Wyze Cam Pan

Wyze Cam has made waves in the smart security camera market by offering a product with virtually the same features as something that costs 10x as. The Wyze Cam Pan, for example, only costs $30 and produces a 1080p picture and it can send you motion alerts. It also works with Alexa and IFTTT. It’s a wonderful gadget for anybody who wants to stay connected to their home, or just keep a watchful eye over their dog.

Amazon Echo Input

This little gadget is an Echo Dot, just without the speaker part. It’s designed to plug into a Bluetooth or passive speaker (via a 3.5mm jack), and it’ll essentially then turn it into a smart speaker that you can summonds songs to with your voice. It’s brilliant for anybody who wants to breath new life into their old speakers (Note: doesn’t work with stereo audio.)

UE MegaBoom 3

This is probably the best-sounding portable Bluetooth speaker you can buy. And it’s more affordable than equally-sized options by Bose and JBL. This new model adds a “magic” button right on the speaker, which older models lacked, so you don’t have to get out your phone to play/pause and skip tracks.

Nest Thermostat E

Nest makes the best and smartest thermostats you can buy. This one, the Nest Thermostat E, isn’t as new and pretty as Nest Learning Thermostat (3rd Generation), but it’s more affordable and it has basically the same exact skill sets. And since it’s compatible with all the major voice assistants, it doesn’t matter if your household talks to Siri, Google Assistant or Alexa.

Logitech K600 TV Keyboard

Smart TVs are more computers than they are TVs, let’s face it, so to navigate them best you really should have a keyboard and trackpad – and that’s exactly what the Logitech K600 TV Keyboard is. It lets you use the keys to search for shows, movies and apps, as well as traditional TV stuff like adjusting the volume. Best of all, it can be programmed to work with your other devices, such as a tablet and your computer, so you can switch between them by just tapping a button. (It works with most Smart TVs, Windows or Mac PCs, and Android and iOS smartphones and tablets.)

Nest Cam IQ Indoor

The Nest Cam IQ Indoor is a more serious home security camera. It has a 4K sensor and a 12x digital zoom, both of which allow the camera to zoom in and track people as they move in and out of the frame. It also has Google Assistant built directly into it, so that it essentially works as a Google Home smart speaker; it responds to “Hey, Google” or “OK, Google” and it’ll answer most questions (although it won’t be able to play music or make calls).

August Smart Lock Pro

This smart lock fits directly on your door’s existing deadbolt – you can still use your old keys to unlock the door if you want – and it’ll automatically unlock the door as you approach and then lock behind you (so long as your phone is on your person). If you also buy the August Connect Wi-Fi Bridge ($70), you’ll be able to lock and unlock the door remotely, say if you’re at the office and your wife or kids can’t get in. And since it works with all the popular voice assistants – including Siri (HomeKit), Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa – you’ll be able to lock and unlock the door with your voice (if you have Bridge).

Philips Hue Smart Dimmer Switch

This smart switch is basically a remote control for your lights. It works with existing Philips Hue smart lights and lets you adjust the brightness of a specific light or a scene of multiple lights with the press of a button. You can also turn them on and off as well. It’s a simple gadget but lets you control all your smart lights without having to talk to your smart assistant.

Brilliant Two Switch Panel

This is a more sophisticated smart switch that is capable of controlling everything. It works will a ton of smart home ecosystems, including Alexa, Nest, Google Assitant, SmartThings, Honeywell and Sonos, and can control your lights, music, temperature and more – all in one location. It also acts as a smart display, able to show you things like weather as well as a live feed from your smart security camera or smart doorbell. There’s a lot to unpack with the Brilliant Two Switch Panel, but it’s an excellent gift for those who already have a bunch smart home devices.

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

HODINKEE Just Collaborated with Hermès on Two Beautiful New Limited Edition Watches

If you’re a regular GP reader, you may have come across our piece on watch fonts recently, in which one of our favorite examples of a beautiful typeface was that used on the Slim d’Hermès, an ultra-thin offering from the storied French brand. This is a beautiful, elegant watch, and one of our favorite dress pieces.

Today, HODINKEE has announced a collaboration with Hermès to produce two special limited edition watches, one of which is a new version of the time-only Slim d’Hermès. Just in time for HODINKEE’s 10-year anniversary, the project is the first time that Hermès has collaborated on a mechanical wristwatch, and only the third time the brand has partnered with another company on a timepiece. A project three years in the making, the collaboration saw HODINKEE founder Ben Clymer working closely with Hermès Creative Director Pierre-Alexis Dumas to develop a special edition (actually, two special editions) that would capture the essence of what HODINKEE values in a watch — something thin, elegant and made in-house.

“This is just the third collaboration for Hermes in this space — and we are incredibly humbled that HODINKEE is now able to be a part of Hermès’s storied history of timepieces,” explained Ben Clymer. “As Hermes’s Creative Director Pierre-Alexis Dumas said just a few weeks ago to me, ‘Hermès is famous for “not” working with others,’ — I am truly proud to be working with a brand that has set the standard for quality and luxury for so long — and one that I’ve long admired.”

Though talks between the brands began more than three years ago, it took some time to decide which Hermès pieces would make the perfect basis for the collaboration — finally, the right watches presented themselves in the form of the Slim d’Hermès and the Slim d’Hermès GMT. “We knew when we started this conversation three years ago, that it would take time to find the right moment to work together,” continued Clymer. “When the Slim d’Hermès was released a couple years ago, and the GMT this year, we knew we had the right canvas to work on together.”

Both time-only and GMT versions of the Slim d’Hermès for HODINKEE feature exclusive blue dials and blue alligator straps in a color created especially for the collaboration with HODINKEE. The crystals are smoked to give the watches a vignette look, and the dials feature the Philippe Apeloig-designed numerals that we love so much. Each watch is numbered and engraved “EDITION HODINKEE” on the back, and features a sapphire case back to view the beautifully finished manufacture caliber H1950.

This is an extremely limited run of watches, and only 100 pieces of the Slim d’Hermès have been produced, as well as 24 Slim d’Hermès GMTs (the 24 references Hermès’s address at 24 rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré in Paris). The time-only piece retails for $7.650, while the price on the GMT is $14,700.

This Performance Mountain Wear Is Designed to be Worn Anywhere

When going on a trip to the mountains you should look to pack gear that is versatile enough to be worn both on the slopes and in the lodge. Doing so will ensure you’re not packing multiple outfits for one day, giving yourself lighter luggage — you should be able to transition to après without missing a beat.

This sentiment is Aztech Mountain’s entire reason for being. It specializes in creating cross-functional, technically advanced clothing that’s ready for any adventure. And with Olympic gold medalist Bode Miller as its Chief Innovation Officer, Aztech Mountain certainly knows the needs of these sorts of garments. We’ve selected four of Aztech Mountain’s more unique pieces to pack in your bag for any trip to the mountains this winter.

Capitol Peak Insulated Jacket

A true marker of a good winter jacket is having a high warmth-to-weight ratio. The Capitol Peak Insulated Jacket achieves this by using lightweight Primaloft Gold insulation. That’s paired with a Toray Dermizax EV four-way stretch nylon for comfort and mobility while on the slopes. Functional features like a removable hood and powder skirt ensure the Capitol Peak Insulated Jacket can perform on-mountain and look good off-mountain, too.

Dale of Aspen Sweater Jacket

Nothing says multi-faceted like blending a down jacket with a knit merino wool sweater. That’s exactly what the Dale of Aspen Sweater Jacket does. The chest is based upon Aztech Mountain’s Nuke Suit down jacket while the sleeves and back are constructed from its water-repellant Milano knit merino wool sweater. This elegant and purposeful sweater jacket is a versatile garment that can work in every environment.

Starwood Down Blazer

Unless you’re James Bond, you’ve probably never worn a blazer like this. The technical down blazer is constructed using a thermo-welded baffling and has down-filled Schoeller C-Change wool for insulating and waterproof warmth. If that wasn’t enough, it includes a removable full-zip, water-repellant merino wool sweater insert. It’s the technical blazer for colder nights out you never even knew you needed — or one to ski in if your alias is 007.

Bear Paw Full Milano Jacket

The Bear Paw Full Milano Jacket can operate as a jacket on warmer winter days and as a cozy mid-layer on the colder ones. It’s a heavyweight, water-repellant merino wool jacket that features stretch nylon quilted details and sleeve accents for heightened mobility. The precision fit helps make the Bear Paw a versatile layer that’s able to go with you anywhere.

The 15 Best Affordable Mechanical Watches

Mechanical watches (which include both the hand-winding and automatic variety) have seen a huge uptick in popularity in the last several years, and this considering that battery-powered quartz movements are more cheap and ubiquitous than ever, and smartwatches are seen on more and more wrists as time goes by.

While producing a mechanical wristwatch can be an expensive proposition, the proliferation of relatively inexpensive but high-quality Japanese movements has meant that smaller boutique brands finally have a way to craft affordable hand-winding and automatic timepieces, while the larger brands can make this technology affordable with large-scale production. Whether you’re looking to gift someone a diver or a dress watch, there’s an affordable mechanical watch out there for everybody.

Seiko 5 SNK805

The Seiko 5 has long been a staple in the Japanese brand’s line, offering inexpensive mechanical goodness to the masses. The SNK805 features a military-inspired dial with day/date function, an automatic movement and 30m of water resistance. With its 37mm stainless steel case and matching nylon strap, the Seiko 5 is the perfect mechanical watch for the field.

Swatch Sistem 51 Cream

Famous for being the world’s first mechanical watch made completely via automated assembly, the Sistem 51 offers an automatic movement with date visible through a transparent case back. While there are numerous dial and strap options available, this black variant with cream-colored strap and case are neutral enough to pair with most casualwear.

Timex Marlin Mesh

A more casual take on the Timex Marlin, this collab with Todd Snyder pairs a svelte 34mm mechanical watch with a versatile mesh steel bracelet. An attractive silver dial, thin handset, acrylic crystal and handwound movement give the Marlin vintage vibes, while a 34mm stainless steel case lends the watch to both male and female wearers.

Dan Henry 1970

Dan’s Henry’s 1970, available in both 40mm and 44mm sizes and two dial colors, is a tribute to the compressor-cased dive watches of the late 1960s/early 1970s. Featuring an automatic movement and inner rotating bezel as well as a vintage Tropic-style dive strap, the 1970 is a modern homage to a classic case style from the height of scuba diving’s popularity.

Orient Sun & Moon V.3

Finding an affordable complicated watch based upon a mechanical movement is significantly easier said than done, but the Sun & Moon V.3 from Orient manages to integrate a day, date and day/night indicator into a 42.5mm case along with the time. Available in several dial colors, it’s an entry into complicated watchmaking that won’t break the bank.

Seiko Presage Mechanical SARY055

While the Seiko 5 offers great value in a mechanical field watch, the brand’s Presage line does the same for dress watches. The SARY055 features an automatic day/date movement against a cream dial with stainless steel Oyster-style bracelet, while a set of blue-steeled hands completes the elegant look. Perfect for the office or after hours.

MVMT Arc Automatic

MVMT may have made a name for itself as a maker of fashion watches, but their most recent offering is a handsome 41mm mechanical timepiece available in several dial colors that utilizes an automatic date movement. A simple design that ships on a leather strap, the Arc is a lot of watch for $300, and the perfect entry into the world of mechanical timepieces.

Bulova American Clipper

Boluva’s elegant American Clipper is a simple design that’s perfectly suited to dress watch duty. With its black dial, day/date function, automatic movement and black leather strap, this is an affordable mechanical piece that’ll go well with any look.

Brew Watches Retrograph

The Retrograph actually uses a mecha-quartz movement, a sort of hybrid mechancal-quartz movement, which means that it’s not technically a mechanical watch. Looking at its sweep second hand, however, you wouldn’t necessarily be aware of this, and the vintage styling cues and espresso timer functionality mean that this is one cool throwback design.

Unimatic U2-B

This limited-edition timepiece from Italian watchmaker Unimatic packs an enormous amount of field watch punch into 38.5mm watch. Features include the automatic Seiko NH35A movement, oversized screw-down crown, Super LumiNova C1 lume, 2.7mm-thick ultra double-domed sapphire crystal and two straps, including a 2-piece grey nylon model and a black rubber version.

Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical

A reimagining of Hamilton’s military watches crafted for the U.S. Army, the Khaki Field Mechanical is a modern field watch built with clasic mil-spec design cues. A hand-winding movement from ETA and a 24-hour dial help to retain the vintage design influence, while a 38mm case brings the watch firmly into the 21st century.

Nodus Contrail 39 Black Sand

The Contrail 39 is a handsome everyday watch with 200m of water resistance, meaning you can wear it just about anywhere without having to baby it. Available in four different dial colors, the 39mm-cased Contrail features the Miyota 9015 automatic movement regulated to four positions for added accuracy as well as a steel H-link bracelet with micro-adjustment clasp.

Junghans Max Bill Hand-Winding

Max Bill was an iconic designer whose Bauhaus-influenced designs live on in the Junghans watches that bear his name. The hand-winding variant features a glossy dial with Arabic numerals, ETA 2801 hand-winding movement, 34mm stainless steel case and a black leather strap. Whether paired with eveningwear or jeans and a t-shirt, this is a watch that never looks out of place.

Autodromo Group B Version 2

Truly original designs in modern watchmaking seem few and far between, but Autodromo’s Group B certainly fits the bill. The Version 2 upgrades the original look with a funky integrated bracelet, which can be removed and replaced with a pull-through strap. One of the coolest automotive-inspired watches out there.

Zodiac Jetomatic

Available in several dial colors with different strap options (inclyding a steel bracelet), the Jetomatic is a beautiful homage to a vintage Zodiac pilot’s watch from the 1960s. An automatic movement with date, sword hands, gorgeous multi-colored dial and oversize winding crown make for a timepiece that looks great with casualwear.

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

Sun City Camp, Jordan

Sure, we’ve made so many strides toward deeper space exploration. And though Elon Musk and a lot of other rich billionaires want us humans to venture farther out at some point, we’re not reaching Mars anytime soon. Wadi Rum, Jordan is a close second, though.

In Wadi Rum desert there’s the Sun City Camp, where you’ll definitely want to go if you want the closest Mars-like experience on Earth. It’s designed to mimic the alien experience one would have if they find themselves suddenly stranded in the Red Planet. Set on red-dirt land, it features a smattering of space camp-like Bedouin-style tents. Needless to say they look incredibly out of this world.

Those geodesic “Martian Domes” were apparently modelled after the Buckminster Fuller’s famous design. Inside each you’ll find a terrace, a private bathroom, and a king-sized or double bed. You’ll also be facing a tall stack of windows overlooking the red terrain outside.

In that regard, the Sun City Camp almost seems like a remote neighborhood set up by the first set of humans on Mars. Just forget for one second that it’s a glamping hotel in the middle of nowhere and imagine that you, along with a bunch of other people, happened to meet on the Red Planet, set up camp, and slowly but surely eked out a fully operational community. There are so many scientific gaps in this train of logic, but who cares — just pretend you’re on Mars, silly. Forget the rest.


Photos courtesy of Sun City Camp

Nike Air Force 1 Utility With Buckle Strap

Nike has finally shown off a new colorway for its latest Air Force 1 Utility model. The variant now features a slightly revamped silhouette thanks to the addition of a new buckle strap. The pair seems to draw from military gear. They also coincide with the rising popularity of chest rigs and shoulder bags in the fashion scene.

Besides the buckle strap, the Air Force 1 Utility also gain updated mesh materials on the tongue and heel pull tab. Of note are the forefoot strap and glow-in-the-dark midsole, the latter of which singlehandedly makes the shoes a few punches above other iterations in the iconic Air Force line.

This Air Force 1 Utility also boasts a tumbled leather upper, which sits in nice contrast with the black ballistic nylon strap that holds the magnetic buckle closure. You’ll also love the large heel pulls, there to round out the entire look and add a slight more flair.

To be clear, this is a pretty simple, restrained, and no-nonsense design. However, those have always been the staple characteristics of the Air Force 1 style. As such, we’d argue this understated style is more challenging to pull off since there are so few elements to make it a potentially interesting pair. Even still, Nike has managed to make do with what it’s thrown in, and as a result, we get a clean and sharp-looking pair with enough contrasting elements to turn it into an eye-catcher.

These kicks are available beginning Oct. 5 for $145. You can get it from the Nike SNKRS online store or from select retailers. You can check out more images of these kicks below.


CROXX Interchangeable Backpack

The CROXX Interchangeable backpack adapts to your lifestyle with its removable back panel. One pack offers three organizational functions. It serves as a gym bag, as the Daybreaker Commuter everyday carry, and as the Rumbler travel bag.

This multi-purpose backpack uses an effortless zip-on-and-off method to change the front panel that fits comfortably to the back’s frame and shoulder straps. It features a padded handle and vertical air channel to keep the pack cool and breathable, and 3D-mesh padded foam provides maximum comfort during travel.

The back panel comes with MOLLE straps for versatility, so you can add extra attachments if you so desire.  It comes with an extra padded sleeve for a 15” laptop and a dedicated tablet pocket. It has a 1-inch raised support to protect the contents from sudden drops. Each pack is made from Cordura 400D nylon fabric and uses YKK waterproof zippers so you can be assured of its durability.

The Daybreaker Commuter front panel features two waterproof exterior zippers for your phone, keys, and wallet. It has a couple of compression straps to hold your jacket and other items in place and a mesh water bottle pocket.

The gym pack, on the other hand, has side handles for easy transport. It comes with a quick-access side pocket and a shoe or laundry compartment. It uses a vertical zipper for the front load main compartment.

Lastly, the Rumbler travel bag comes with a water bottle pocket and compression straps. It features a spacious top-loading compartment with the interior accessible from the front zipper.

Buy Yours Here


Photos Courtesy of CROXX

What’s the Best Way to Keep Coffee Fresh? Science Says to Keep the Bag.

Coffee can supremely confusing. It is the seed of a fruit that grows off an exceptionally finicky plant, which itself roots in hard-to-access parts of the world. Once the seed is obtained, it’s bagged and freighted thousands of miles to a roaster cooks it using a combination of math and feel. Then it is ground and brewed into coffee, both tasks that require a cupboard’s worth of gear.

The reality is that this gear controls very few of the variables that determine the quality of this coffee. Three things to keep in mind: your grinder and grind level, the brewing style and when it is you brew that seed into something drinkable. The latter is easiest to gloss over, and, according to Peter Giuliano, research director at the Specialty Coffee Association, perhaps the most misunderstood.

“There isn’t a perfect, catch-all way to describe how long coffee is going to be good for, really, because there are far too many variables to consider. But we do know the primary causes of coffee going stale,” Giuliano said. Here’s what you need to know about keeping coffee fresher for longer, according to experts.

Coffee Goes Bad in Two Ways

The gist, says Giuliano and the team behind the SCA’s new Coffee Freshness Handbook, is that coffee loses quality (a word many science-types balk at, as it’s often viewed as a subjective quality) by de-gassing and growth of “undesirable compounds.”

Prior to roasting, coffee beans carry the same level of carbon dioxide as the air around you; but once roasted, up to two percent of each bean’s weight may be carbon dioxide. Gas begins leaking from the bean the moment roasting ends, and the release of this gas leads to the loss of the coffee’s aromatics (also called volatile organic compounds) and the oxidization of the beans. The bad flavors that crop up are a result of age and oxidization.

You Might Want to Leave the Coffee in the Bag

Oxygen is the ultimate enemy of coffee beans, which is why most bags of coffee nowadays feature a small valve hole. This one-way hole is for de-gassing carbon dioxide to escape (so the bag doesn’t inflate and explode), and doesn’t allow oxygen into the bag. This means that the bag is primarily filled with carbon dioxide making its way out of the bag, and very, very little oxygen.

According to Giuliano, the carbon dioxide in the bag even acts like a “blanket” to cover the beans for oxygen, and that even if you’re re-opening the bag to make coffee, you aren’t losing much carbon dioxide. “If you dump all the beans into a new container — which contains oxygen — you are basically disposing of that valuable C02 blanket, and replacing it with oxygen-containing atmosphere,” Giuliano said. The effect of vacuum containers which remove the air from the interior of the canister, like Fellow’s new Atmos canister, remain untested, according to Giuliano.

Coffee Stays Fresh for Two Weeks

Generally speaking, drinking coffee within two weeks of it being roasted is best, Giuliano said. “It degrades very quickly after that. Certainly, by three months, the coffee is fully stale. However, these numbers change dramatically depending on packaging material and atmosphere.”

The Best Winter Running Kits of 2018

There’s a subtle beauty to running the morning after it snows. The thin film of snow that covered the streets the night before has been plowed, but it’s still quiet on the roads, and the early morning sun reflects off the snowbanks, brightening the dreary winter mornings. When that happens, we take advantage of it, no matter how many layers we have to wear.

But tackling a run on such mornings requires preparation. You need to set your alarm, lay out your winter kit, then head to bed. When the thermometer reads 33 degrees, you need fleece-lined leggings, thick, yet sweat-wicking socks, a base layer, followed by a vest and then perhaps a jacket as well depending on wind conditions. You’ll need gloves and hat as well that are warm but breathable.

No matter what the temperatures drop to, if you hate running on the treadmill, layering up is really the only thing you can do. But the feeling is worth it. Embrace it. Embrace the crisp air. Let your lungs acclimate, and let your eyes stop watering. Push through the initial shock and you’ll be rewarded with a stillness and peacefulness that can only be earned on frigid mornings by sucking it up and getting after it.

To help you do just that, we collected three of the best deep winter running kits on the market. We can’t guarantee you’ll want to get out of bed and hit the streets, but you’ll definitely be warm if you do.

Metal Vental Tech 1/2 Zip by Lululemon $98
Fleece Back Soft Shell by Lululemon $198
Keep the Heat Thermal Tight by Lululemon $98
Ghost 11 by Brooks $120
Polartec GoCap by Ciele $50

Under Armour ColdGear Reactor Run Balaclava by Under Armour$100
UA Storm Launch Printed by Under Armour $85
ColdGear Reactor Run Tights by Under Armour $90
Predict RA by Salomon $160
Polartec GoCap by Ciele $50

Emil Shawl by Tracksmith $148
Turnover Tights by Tracksmith $128
Brighton Base Layer by Tracksmith $88
Air Zoom Pegasus 35 Shield by Nike $130

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

These Cheap Speakers Are The Perfect Upgrade For Most TVs

Roku TV Wireless Speakers ($200) are the company’s first-ever audio product and they’re designed to work with Roku smart TVs, and only Roku smart TVs. This means they’re compatible with hundreds of TVs made by the likes of TCL, Insignia, Sharp, Hisense, Philips and others; as long as the TV runs Roku’s smart operating system, these speakers will work with it. (Although they are not compatible with Roku streaming sticks.)

Their selling point is simple: most modern televisions are too thin to have good built-in speakers — in fact, most modern TVs, especially “budget TVs” (which most Roku smart TVs tend to be), have such poor speakers that dialogue is hard to make out and bass is near non-existent – these speakers, which are easy to install, are an inexpensive upgrade. There’s no need to deal with a receiver or wires, as these speakers will connect to your TV over wi-fi; just plug them in and your TV will detect them. Click through a few menu screens and you’re done — setup takes less than a five minutes. These speakers are the easiest and cheapest way to upgrade your Roku TV’s audio.

The Roku TV Wireless Speakers were just released this past November and for a limited time you can get them for $180. The deal runs through 12/31.

The Good: The difference these speakers will make to your Roku smart TV is significant. They feature two drivers (one 0.75-inch tweeter and one 3.5-inch woofer) and deliver solid stereo sound as well pretty decent bass, and it’s a big upgrade from the natural audio that’s baked right into most Roku smart TVs. They’re incredibly easy and quick to set up, and you don’t have to deal with any wires. Finally, price: they’re cheaper than other similar-quality soundbars or a combo of bookshelf speakers and a receiver.

Who It’s For: Anybody who owns a Roku TV and wants a seamless, relatively inexpensive way to improve its audio quality.

Watch Out For: These speakers don’t play well with other TVs or speakers. These speakers were flat-out not work with smart TVs that don’t have a Roku operating system – Android TV, WebOS, Tizen OS or Fire TV, for instance. They will not work with Roku streaming sticks. You can’t integrate them into a larger system with other speakers – even if they’re also Roku speakers – or a subwoofer. This is a 2.0 system and that’s it – no way to convert it into a surround sound system. And they don’t support the latest immersive technologies, such as Dolby Atmos.

Alternatives: There aren’t any other bookshelf speakers or soundbars that work as seamlessly with Roku smart TVs. And there really aren’t many speakers that are cheaper. A few weeks ago I reviewed the Soundcore Infini soundbar ($100), a surprisingly good soundbar considering its really cheap price. But Roku’s speakers deliver way better stereo sound.

Review: The fact that Roku’s first speakers only work with Roku smart TVs should neither come as a surprise nor hamper your opinion of them, especially since a lot of people have Roku smart TVs. A rep at Roku told me that as of Q3 2018, “more than one in every four smart TVs sold in the U.S. was a Roku TV.” That’s a ton of TVs. Even more impressive, it doesn’t matter if the TV in question is one of TCL’s new 6-Series models, which are beautiful 4K HDR TVs, or a TV that’s several years old — as long as it’s a Roku smart TV, these speakers will work with them.

I own a Roku smart TV that’s made by Sharp. It’s neither a 4K TV nor huge, but I tested these Roku speakers with it and the upgrade in audio quality was clear. I watched a few movies, like Mowgli and Sicario, but I mainly watch soccer and football games on my TV, and the sound was clearer, more dynamic, more immersive and just better overall.

Even though they’re designed to work exclusively with Roku smart TVs, these speakers aren’t entirely walled off from your other gadgets. They do have built-in Bluetooth, so you can stream audio from your smartphone, tablet or computer. The catch is, to set it up, you have to do some navigating in the TV’s settings and it’s not as straightforward as connecting to, a Bluetooth speaker. The speakers also work with Spotify Connect, so you can “discover” them just by opening the Spotify app. For me, this was the easiest way to play music — I’m a Spotify Premium subscriber — but the only caveat was that Spotify Connect requires the TV to be, as it displays things like the track name and the album cover art. The TV can be off when listening to Bluetooth, but again, that wasn’t as easy for me as Spotify Connect.

In general, Roku’s first speakers are pretty straightforward. Their only real “wild card” quality is voice control. The speakers come with two remotes: a Roku voice remote, which is the same one that comes with most new Roku smart TVs, and a new Roku Touch remote. While pressing the mic button on each you can ask the TV to switch inputs, open apps or search for certain shows, which is nice, but voice search won’t work with your cable box. (You can’t order the TV to “open ESPN” if you’re watching Fios, for example.) And when playing music on Spotify, you can’t use voice control to play songs or change playlists. You still have to go through the app on your smartphone or tablet. Basically, Roku’s smart search features are limited, and not as capable as voice assistants like Google Assistant or Alexa.

It’s important to remember that these won’t be the best sounding speakers you’ve ever heard — they only cost roughly $200, after all. If I were to be overall critical, I’d say their bass is relatively weak and you don’t get quite the separations you’d get from higher quality bookshelf speakers, such as Q Acoustics Concept 20s or Audioengine A5+. But then again, these don’t promise to be the best speakers you’ve ever heard. They just have to be better the speakers built into your Roku smart TV. And that they definitely are.

Verdict: Roku’s first speakers are limited, but that’s not a bad thing. They know what they are – stereo speakers for your Roku smart TV – and they’re really good at it. Audio quality is a big upgrade over your TV’s speakers. Whereas in the past you’d probably have to spend $300+ on a soundbar, you can get a comparable sound quality upgrade, with even better stereo separation, for around $200.

Bottom line: if you own a Roku smart TV, old or new, and you want to upgrade its sound system without spending a lot and without making things overly complicated, Roku’s first speakers are a no-brainer buy.

What Others Are Saying:

• “For an inexpensive and relatively small pair of satellites, the Roku TV Wireless Speakers offer very solid performance, with some slight volume-scaling quirks.” — Will Greenwald, PC Mag

• “While a Vizio soundbar may be harder to set up and slightly lower cost, this Roku system also includes two voice remotes enhancing the use of your Roku TV and overall presents a better value to those looking for a wireless audio upgrade.” — Linda Moskowitz, TechRadar

• Roku’s speakers won’t be the right choice for everyone (or anyone without a Roku TV), and some features — voice controls, especially — need to get better. But they’re a massive improvement over the awful built-in speakers on Roku TVs, which sound lifeless and frequently make dialogue hard to understand. If you’re tired of that and want to give shows and movies the audio they deserve with minimal fuss, Roku’s option starts to make a lot more sense.” — Chris Welch, The Verge

Key Specs
Drivers: one 0.75″tweeter, one 3.5″ woofer
Connectivity: Roku, Bluetooth
Weight: four pounds each
Remotes: two, one Roku TV Voice Remote and one Roku Touch tabletop remote

Roku provided this product for review.

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