All posts in “Gear”

One of Mountain Hardwear’s Best Insulated Hoodies Is a Downright Insane $125 Off Right Now

Dunno about you, but in our neck of the woods, Mother Nature has stopped messing around and is finally doling out some legit January coldness. Before you fall prey to some sort of winter madness, however, take advantage of the fact that REI and Mountain Hardwear already have: how else to explain the fact that the amazing Ghost Shadow Insulated Hoodie is on sale for $125 off?

This sharp-looking hoodie boasts premium PrimaLoft insulation body-mapped to provide ample warmth where you need it most, yet it weighs less than 12 ounces and packs into its own little pocket, ready for deployment as an outer layer, midlayer or travel piece whenever you need it. Made of of 100 percent recycled nylon, it has a water-repellent finish, and it’s available in four different colors and five different sizes, so you can shop around to find the perfect one.

Bottom line: The only thing more insane than this deal is the notion of passing it up.

Save $100 on This Limited-Edition Commuter Bike

Priority Bicycles x Gear Patrol Commuter BikePriority Bicycles x Gear Patrol Commuter Bike

The Gear Patrol Commuter, made in tandem with Priority Bicycles, was inspired by — and tested on — the streets of New York City. Streamlined for your everyday grind, it a pairs a durable, easy-to-maintain feature set with an understated colorway you won’t find anywhere else. Buy Now: $899 $799

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

Steve Mazzucchi is Gear Patrol’s outdoors and fitness editor. Outside the office, you can find him mountain biking, snowboarding, motorcycling or sipping a dram of Laphroaig and daydreaming about such things.

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Save Big On This Limited Edition Parka

We know winter. Whether slaying pow in Jackson Hole or fighting the foot traffic on Fifth Avenue, we know having a warm, weatherproof down parka is key to enjoying the winter months. So when our friends at American Trench reached out about making a new parka that would be sensibly made, stylish, ecologically sound and well priced, we leapt at the opportunity. Produced in black and charcoal specifically for Gear Patrol, we’re stoked to introduce the all-new American Trench x Gear Patrol Ventile Down Parka.

Goose Down Ventile ParkaGoose Down Ventile Parka

1. Ventile Shell:
Ventile is an extremely versatile fabric used for decades in the British Isles. Produced of 100% cotton fibers, Ventile gets its durability and weather resistance from its dense weave. This dense weave makes the material water repellent but also windproof. An extra DWR coating has been applied which aids in beading yet doesn’t sacrifice breathability. The end result is a parka that is warm, very lightweight and weatherproof.
2. Global TDS:
Global TDS stands for Global Traceable Down Standard – think of it as the Fair Trade approach for down fill – which is becoming the benchmark for down fill across the industry. The down used in this parka comes from Downlite, which is committed to providing a traceable supply chain with ethical and audited production standards.
3. Snorkel Hood:
A lot of parkas have hoods, but they’re usually fairly useless and often do a better job of collecting rain and snow than keeping your head out of the elements. A true snorkel hood should easily cover the wearer’s neck and head with only a small face opening when fully donned. This snorkel hood is fully lined and secures at the neck with an additional snap closure.

This post is presented by the Gear Patrol Store. Purchasing products from our store supports our editorial efforts.

Benchmade’s Tengu Flipper Knife Is an EDC Essential

Benchmade Knife Company is one of the most accomplished, storied, reputable and dare we say it, best pocket knife brands out there for good reason–they make knives that can stand up to the apocalypse while…

Get Your First Automatic Watch for Just $60

It doesn’t get much better than this — an automatic watch for $60. Even a Swatch Sistem 51 will set you back over $100 — which, don’t get us wrong, is an excellent deal — but ever since Seiko announced its revamped Seiko 5 series, we can bet that these older models are going to see some deep price cuts. (Or, alternatively, prices will skyrocket, but hey — we’re writers, not economists. What do you want from us?)

The SNKK27 has all the typical Seiko 5 goodness — automatic movement, day-date display, Hardlex crystal, crown at 4 o’clock, 30m of water resistance, etc. Plus, you get a steel bracelet and an ever-so-cool blue dial with orange accents. The 38mm case size is also perfect for modern wear.

The straight dope on these: is this the most robust, well-built automatic watch ever made? Probably not. If you had between $200-$300, to spend, you might wanna spring for the newer Seiko 5, with its improved case design and movement in 27 different styles. However, for $60, this is the perfect way to introduce someone to mechanical watches.

Save $100 on This Limited-Edition Commuter Bike

Priority Bicycles x Gear Patrol Commuter BikePriority Bicycles x Gear Patrol Commuter Bike

The Gear Patrol Commuter, made in tandem with Priority Bicycles, was inspired by — and tested on — the streets of New York City. Streamlined for your everyday grind, it a pairs a durable, easy-to-maintain feature set with an understated colorway you won’t find anywhere else. Buy Now: $899 $799

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

Oren Hartov is Gear Patrol’s watches editor. He knows what time it is, and one or two other things.

More by Oren Hartov | Follow on Instagram · Contact via Email

The 11 Best Multi-Tools You Can Get Right Now

Last updated January 2020: We’ve updated this guide for 2020 with new products, links and prices. 

Editor’s Pick Best Multi-Tool: Leatherman Free P2

Video: Leatherman Free P2 Review

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Last year, Leatherman debuted its most significant tech overhaul in years. The new collection is called Free, and its innovation is invisible — a magnetic architecture that lets users wield its tools easily with one hand. It’s an upgrade that highlights a multi-tool reality we all refuse to accept: yes it’s nice to have a lot of tools in one unit, but they’re all kind of annoying to use.

The Free P2 changes that, which is why we’ve positioned it as a replacement for the Leatherman Wave Plus on this list, and why it immediately earns the top spot as Editor’s Choice. Our previous choice here, the Gerber Center Drive, initially won out for the same argument — easy use with one hand — but the Free P2 does so in a lighter, slimmer package with more tools.

For more on the Leatherman Free P2, continue reading below.

Weight: 7.6 ounces
Material: 420 high carbon stainless steel
Number of Tools: 19

Introduction

At the core of every DIYer is a psychological inclination toward over-preparedness. If there’s the slightest chance that a task will arise, a toolbox is supplied with the appropriate implement to restore working order. As more specialized chores reveal themselves, the toolbox becomes overstuffed, expanding into a shed or even a garage. The local contractor is never contacted.

The DIY spirit exists even in those of us who aren’t inclined to solve every problem on our own, and one thing we and the all-doers can agree on is the practicality of the multi-tool. In the multi-tool, an entire collection of tools is shrunk into a go-everywhere sidekick. But a multi-tool shouldn’t replace the toolbox; it should complement it. Stash one in a kitchen drawer or a glovebox, and you’ll be sure that the occasional unanticipated job never goes without a response.

Types of Multi-Tools

A multi-tool is a multi-tool… right? A picture drawn in the mind’s eye likely renders a chrome-silver gadget with twin handles that fold open to reveal pliers, plus a variety of cutters, drivers and openers that fold out of either side. (It may even have the name Leatherman etched into its side, but that brand is by no means the only multi-tool maker to hold in high regard.)

That image is the classic multi-tool, but the category has grown to be more general and all-encompassing. Practically speaking, any tool with multiple functions is a multi-tool. In this guide, we’ve broken the category down into three groupings.

The first, full-size multi-tools, is like the example above. These are full-featured tools designed for any task. This is a toolbox-worthy tool that often comes with a leather holster that can attach to a belt.

The second, mini multi-tools, refers to pared-down and more portable versions. The highly specialized tools have typically been stripped away to leave only small versions of the essentials. These tools are diminutive enough to go unnoticed in the fifth pocket of your jeans.

Our third category is keychain multi-tools. These tools are highly minimal and aren’t designed to replace anything else you might carry. Instead, they tend to serve as keychains with some additional functionality supplied by a bottle opener.

Related Video: The James Brand ‘The Ellis’ Review

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What Makes a Good Multi-Tool?

The answer to this question is entirely subjective. Today, there are so many types of multi-tools available that you can easily find an option with a toolset to serve the needs and tasks that you encounter most often. Those who want the most function possible should opt for a full-size tool. Others will achieve optimum practicality with just a bottle opener and a small knife.

There are, however, some qualities that we look for in deciding which of these tools are best. A multi-tool’s main features, such as pliers and knives, should be robust enough for use in almost any situation. All tools should lock, and scissors and pliers should, ideally, be spring-loaded. Generally speaking, if a tool is present, it should be useful.

Buying Guide

The Best Full-Size Multi-Tools of 2020

Leatherman Free P2

Video: Leatherman Free P2 Review

Leatherman, like Kleenex and Band-Aid, is one of those brand names that has come to stand for the category of products it produces: multi-tools. When you think “Leatherman,” you likely conjure up the Wave, a long-time best-seller among the company’s 50-plus tool arsenal and a favorite of ours until the recent release of the Free P2.

Like the Wave, the Free P2 features all the tools one might imagine should be present in a multi-tool: pliers, scissors, a bottle and can opener, wire cutters, a screwdriver, a ruler, a file. But there’s a fundamental difference in that it, and every other tool in the broader Free collection, has an innovative magnetic construction that makes using those tools much more manageable. The upgrade is twofold: you can now flip open the pliers, balisong style, with one hand, and every smaller implement is also positioned for one-handed use with small nubs that you roll your thumb over to deploy. No more annoying nail nicks and no more opening the pliers just to get to the bottle opener.

We’ve been using the Free P2 for several months now and can attest that the magnetic system, while it might sound like a gimmick, genuinely brings the multi-tool to a higher level of functionality, particularly for tasks that require two hands. It’s more expensive, yes, but the utility combined with the lifespan on these products justify the price; it’s everything that makes Leatherman’s other multi-tools great, but better.

For those in need of more tools than what’s in the Free P2, the Free P4 also has a saw and an additional serrated knife blade.

And for those looking to streamline, we love the Free T4, which ditches the pliers in favor of a very tidy package that still features a straight blade, package opener, multiple screwdrivers, scissors, tweezers and a nail file.

Weight: 7.6 ounces
Material: 420 high carbon stainless steel
Number of Tools: 19

Gerber Center-Drive



The fundamental idea behind a multi-tool — to pack as many individual tools into the smallest, pocketable form — presents a dangerous pitfall. Quantity can become a detriment to function. Think about it: how many of the dozen-plus claimed “tools” are you leveraging in a pinch?

Gerber asked that exact question to the contractors, mechanics, outdoorsmen and members of the armed forces who use its tools. Then, it culled the common denominators and set out to make the ultimate master-of-a-few, failure-at-none multi-tool: the Center-Drive.

The Center-Drive rids itself of unnecessary features and improves the primary tools users employ regularly. Its pliers slide up out of the knife and are spring loaded so that they can be operated with one hand. Its plain-edge knife blade is bigger than any other multi-tool we’ve come across. The screwdriver gets the biggest upgrade though; it’s full-size and angled inwards so that it can be rotated on a center axis and comes with standard, replaceable bits. It’s one of those ideas that works so well, it makes us wonder why nobody took the screwdriver more seriously before.

Weight: 9.5 ounces
Material: 420 high carbon stainless steel
Number of Tools: 13

Victorinox SwissTool Spirit X



Victorinox’s famous Swiss Army knives are multi-tools in their own right, so it’s not a surprise that the company can pull off a full-sized butterfly-style tool too. In many ways, the Spirit X is a predictable multi-tool, but that’s precisely why it succeeds.

It has a long, frame-lock plain edge knife as well as separate saws for wood and metal. Its needle-nose pliers aren’t spring-loaded, but they are functionally long, with different-sized teeth and built-in wire cutters. Its scissors are spring-loaded, but they’re small (this is the case for many multi-tools, and it’s OK because big cutting jobs will probably call for a full-sized pair anyway).

The Spirit X has the other mandatory tools: a can opener, bottle opener, a Phillips head and two flathead screwdrivers, but it also comes with some extras, like a multifunctional reamer and a crate opener. It also has a unique handle shape that appears almost bent. In use though, that shape provides a more ergonomic grip when operating either fold-out tools or pliers — and makes the Spirit X a notable standby.

Weight: 8.7 ounces
Material: Stainless steel
Number of Tools: 22

SOG Baton Q3



SOG’s recent Baton series reimagines the multi-tool from the outside in. It’s often said that the more functionality a tool receives, usually in the form of added features, the more unwieldy it becomes in a pocket or attached to a belt. The Baton is long and slim, so it’s more manageable and more comfortable in hand.

Of SOG’s four Baton multi-tools, we prefer the Q3. It has all the essentials a multi-tool should, including pliers that are deployed by pulling the tool apart. There’s also a plain edge knife, medium and small screwdrivers, spring-loaded scissors, a can opener and a bottle opener, and a tiny driver for adjusting watches and jewelry.

All of these tools lock, and because they fold out of the ends of the Baton, the entire length of the handle is left for use, which we found provides more comfort and, depending on the tool you’re using, more torque.

Weight: 6 ounces
Material: Stainless steel, aluminum handle
Number of Tools: 13

The Best Mini Multi-Tools of 2020

Gerber Dime



The Dime measures in at a mere 2.75 inches fully closed, which means you can attach it to your keychain or throw it in your pocket without worry. For something this small and light, it boasts an array of tools that includes real spring-loaded pliers, spring-loaded scissors, screwdrivers and a nifty blade that’s designed to slice open plastic clamshell packaging. Best of all is the bottle opener that’s at the ready without opening the tool at all. In this price range, there are bound to be a few drawbacks; the Dime’s tools don’t open as smoothly as other multi-tools, meaning you have to dig your fingernails in to open them. But the positives far outweigh the negatives.

Weight: 2.2 ounces
Material: Stainless steel
Number of Tools: 11

Leatherman Micra



Leatherman’s expertise in packing a bunch of tools into one practical package extends beyond full-size multi-tools, and the Micra is arguably Leatherman’s greatest mini multi-tool. It’s no bigger than a disposable lighter, yet functions (and looks) much like Leatherman’s larger multi-tools. The opening action is clean and satisfying; the scissors are sharp and spring-loaded; the nine other tools are useful for most people’s’ everyday needs. If we were to pick one standout feature, though, it’s the Micra’s simple shape. Perfect rectangles are meant for keychains. And they’ll never go out of style.

Weight: 1.8 ounces
Material: Stainless steel
Number of Tools: 10

Victorinox Midnite MiniChamp

The classic Swiss Army Knife seems like it exists in a category of its own, but technically speaking it is a multi-tool. Victorinox makes the Swiss Army in a number of sizes with varying toolsets, but the MiniChamp is a standout. It expertly packs a handful of tools that you’ll actually use — like a nail cuticle pusher and a ballpoint pen — into a tiny package. It also has the requisite knife and bottle opener, but it’s the little flashlight that gives the Midnite MiniChamp a leg up on rest of the Swiss Army models.

Weight: 1.6 ounces
Material: Stainless steel, ABS/Cellidor handle
Number of Tools: 16

The Best Keychain Multi-Tools of 2020

James Brand Halifax



The James Brand is renowned for its thoughtful and stylish pocket knives. Ryan Coulter, the brand’s founder and designer, is on a mission to own the pocket, and the Halifax fills an essential role in doing so. The small, solid-state tool is designed to provide a home for your keys, but it’s also equipped with the ever-important bottle opener and a flat edge that acts as a screwdriver in a pinch. For most of us, that’s all we need.

Material: Titanium
Number of Tools: 3

Leatherman 10



Leatherman’s most basic multi-tool has no hinges or moving parts and is small enough to fit on a keychain. The 10 is built for basic everyday tasks like opening boxes and bottles. The tool also comes with a screwdriver tip that functions as both flathead and Phillips head as well as a multi-size hex wrench. Leatherman made the 10 with 420 stainless steel, and it weighs half an ounce, which is light enough to go unnoticed on a keychain.

Weight: 0.5 ounces
Material: 420 stainless steel
Number of Tools: 4

Quiet Carry Shorty



On a surface level, the Shorty is an EDC tool designed to keep keys organized in your pocket. Quiet Carry designed the tool with extra functionality though, which is transmitted through a fold-out multi-tool (the Shorty can also be ordered with a knife blade, or a blade with a bottle opener built-in). The multi-tool combines a bottle opener, screwdriver, and hex wrench, and employs a frame-lock for sturdy use. The great thing about the Shorty is that it houses the tool and your keys in a minimalist rectangle, freeing you from the clutter created when carrying multiple items.

Weight: 1.6 ounces
Material: 416 stainless steel
Number of Tools: 4

Bonus Wild Card: Gerber Compleat

Gerber’s utterly dominant replacement for the classic camp spork really doesn’t fit any of the traditional categories, but it’s one of our favorite new outdoor products, so we’d be remiss not to mention it. While the spork basically leaves you with a mediocre spoon and fork, the Compleat gives you so much more in a slightly bigger package: a separate spoon and fork, dual-edge spatula and peeler-equipped opener tool, all of which fit together seamlessly. And that’s not all… slide the fork or spoon’s handle into the spatula, and you’ve got tongs.

Weight: 2.3 ounces
Material: heat-resistant nylon and anodized aluminum
Number of Tools: 8

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

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The 10 Best Ultra-Thin Watches You Can Buy in 2020

The pursuit of creating ultra-thin watches is decades old, but the effort has heated up in recent years. Audemars Piguet, for example, debuted a perpetual calendar watch — one of the most complex movements around — that came in at just 6.3mm. Around the same time, Piaget blew minds with its 2mm hand-winding watch, the thinnest mechanical watch in the world. Subsequently, Bulgari broke three world records with the Bulgari Octo Finnisimo Tourbillon Automatic, which is simultaneously the world’s thinnest tourbillon and automatic watch (and, as such, the thinnest automatic tourbillon).

While they’re fun examples of how much watchmaking can be crammed in a small space, this super slim philosophy has been applied to a greater number of watches that, while a bit thicker than those record holders, still retain the svelte design and packaging that make ultra-thin watchmaking so appealing while remaining realistically wearable. While there’s no set definition of what makes a watch “ultra-thin,” these mechanical timepieces come in at under 9mm in height. Some are even a fraction of that.

Christopher Ward C5 Malvern 595



At just under 6mm thick, Christopher Ward’s C5 Malvern 595 is one of the thinnest watches you can buy under a grand. Despite its diminutive size, though, it still features all the finishings you’d expect from a top-notch dress watch, like a domed, opaline dial, double-curved sapphire crystal and a transparent case back.

Movement: ETA/Peseux 7001 hand-winding
Thickness: 5.95mm
Diameter: 39mm

Hamilton Jazzmaster Thinline Auto



Most super-slim watches under a grand rely on a hand-winding movement to keep the overall case thickness down, but the Hamilton Jazzmaster manages to pack automatic winding and still come in at just under 8.5mm in height and $1,000 in price. The Jazzmaster Thinline is available in a handful of different dial colors, each with shimmering sunray finishing, and pairs its slim case with a set of old-school sculpted lugs.

Movement: ETA 2892-A2 automatic
Thickness: 8.45mm
Diameter: 40mm

Junghans Meister Driver Handaufzug



Like the Christopher Ward C5, the Junghans Meister Driver’s svelte case was made possible by the slim, hand-winding Peseux 7001 movement. Where it differs, though, is in its Art Deco design, a nod to the Speedometers the company made back in the early 20th century.

Movement: ETA/Peseux 7001 hand-winding
Thickness: 7.3mm
Diameter: 37.7mm

Nomos Tetra Neomatik



At just 7.3mm thick, Nomos’s dressy, square Tetra is incredibly thin for any timepiece, let alone an automatic. That’s thanks to Nomos’s in-house DUW 3001 caliber, a super-flat movement that’s only 3.2mm thick. The clean, Bauhaus-inspired dial design and delicate lugs are the perfect accouterments to the Tetra’s minimal proportions.

Movement: Nomos DUW 3001 automatic
Thickness: 7.3mm
Width: 33mm

Drive de Cartier Extra Flat Steel



The Drive de Cartier debuted initially in 2017 as a gold model, but at SIHH 2018, the brand finally brought it out in stainless steel, dropping the price to under $6,000 but retaining the attractive squircle case design and 6.6mm thickness. Inside, the watch is a Cartier-branded version of the 430P caliber from Piaget, Cartier’s corporate cousin and a pioneer of crazy-thin watch movements.

Movement: Piaget 430P hand-winding
Thickness: 6.6mm
Diameter: 39mm

Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin



The Master Ultra Thin is about as timeless as you could imagine, featuring a date-free shimmering silver dial, dauphine hands and a small seconds sub-dial at six o’clock. The 896/1 automatic movement inside is under 4mm, and it’s based on a tried-and-true movement design Jaeger has been making for decades.

Movement: Jaeger-LeCoultre 896/1 automatic
Thickness: 7.58mm
Diameter: 38.5mm

LU Chopard XP



Chopard’s watches generally tend to skew more classical, but the XP is a decidedly modern take on the ultra-thin dress watch. The clean dial is finished with vertical brushing, giving it the look of raw metal, while the numerals and hands have been treated in an eye-popping blue. (A cashmere strap is also a unique addition). The scant 7.2mm case houses an in-house automatic movement from the brand that comes in at just 3.3mm thanks to a micro-rotor design.

Movement: L.U.C 96.53-L automatic
Thickness: 7.2mm
Diameter: 40mm

Bulgari Octo Finissimo



The Bulgari Octo Finissimo is one of the most distinctive watches out there — and also one of the thinnest at 5.15mm. The in-house movement itself is just 2.23mm. It comes in an expanding range of versions from those with stainless steel or titanium cases to a 2019 ceramic model, as well as those with solid or skeletonized dials. The bracelet option offers a look quite unlike anything else, and its striking angular design is surprisingly comfortable on the wrist.

Movement: BVL 138 automatic
Thickness: 5.15mm
Diameter: 40mm

Piaget Altiplano 910P



Debuting late in 2017, the Altiplano 910P had a very short reign as the world’s thinnest automatic until the debut of the Bulgari Octo Finnisimo Tourbillon Automatic in March 2018. Still, the Piaget is an incredible piece of watch engineering (it also doesn’t cost six figures like the Bulgari). Piaget was able to make the watch so incredibly flat by using a peripheral rotor (a ring that surrounds the movement) and by integrating the baseplate of the movement into the actual case design.

Movement: Piaget 910P
Thickness: 4.3mm
Diameter: 41mm

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Jumbo Extra-Thin



The classic shape of the Royal Oak is iconic, and its sleek lines are even more enticing in ultra-thin guise. While the ultra-thin variants have existed in the greater Royal Oak lineup for some time, this year the brand released it in a mix of platinum and titanium. That may seem like an odd duo, but the rugged, brushed look of the titanium mixed with the polished look of the platinum bezel and end links offer up a unique take on two-tone design.

Movement: Audemars Piguet 2121 automatic
Thickness: 8.1mm
Diameter: 39mm

Vacheron Constantin Historiques Ultra-Fine 1955



When it first launched in 2010, the Historiques Ultra-Fine 1955 was the thinnest mechanical watch in the world, clocking in at an impossibly-thin 4.13mm. Other watches have eeked their way to even slimmer proportions, but the Historiques remains a beautifully restrained timepiece. At just 1.3mm thick, the in-house caliber 1003 hand-winder inside is a gem, too. It was first released by the vaunted watchmaker back in 1955.

Movement: Vacheron Constantin 1003 hand-winding
Thickness: 4.13mm
Diameter: 36mm
The Best Small Watches for Men

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With a new focus on vintage-inspired looks, watchmakers are starting to shrink their products. Read the Story

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Breville Merged a Blender & a Juicer To Create The Bluicer

Breville’s 3X Bluicer Pro is a countertop juicer and blender in one. Each work independently or they can be used in unison—making it easy to combine freshly extracted juice into blends, improving the taste & nutritional density of the final beverage. It features a space-saving design that uses interchangeable parts: a juicing chute with an attachable pulp bin along with a blending jug that doubles as a carafe for juicing.

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The Best Leather Sofas and Couches for Every Budget

If you’re going to invest in one piece of furniture, it should be the sofa. They come in a variety of fabrics, but none achieve the sophistication, longevity or comfort that leather provides. As a rule, leather sofas are almost always pricier than their fabric counterparts. From an $800 Ikea find to a bigger version of the Eames Lounge Chair, these are the best leather sofas at every price point.

Ikea Landskrona Sofa

Ikea is the go-to brand for affordable furniture, and its leather sofas are no exception. Finding a sub-$1,000 leather sofa feels like a near-impossible task, but Ikea, in unsurprising fashion, pulled it off. Opt for metal or wood legs to go with the tufted leather couch and rest easy knowing the sofa comes with a 10-year warranty.

Urban Outfitters Sydney Recycled Leather Sofa

Buried under pages of graphic tees, dad hats and trendy pants lie Urban Outfitters’ secret weapon — affordable and stylish furniture options. The Sydney sofa is crafted from recycled leather and gives a midcentury look for those shopping on a budget.

Article Alcott Sofa

Article is the online direct-to-consumer furniture brand for those who want good quality, affordable prices in a variety of styles. Article modeled its Alcott sofa after the type of couch a dad in the 80s would have. The Alcott, which features premium materials like kiln-dried wood, duck feathers and semi-aniline leather, can be assembled in five minutes and will last exponentially longer. It’s a sofa you can spend hours lounging on, napping on or reading the Sunday paper on.

Capsule Freeman Sofa

Design- and budget-conscientious shoppers should check out Capsule, an LA-based brand that focuses on keeping design functional and affordable. Utilizing its in-house designers and collaborators, Capsule creates elevated furniture for reasonable prices. The Freeman leather sofa takes design cues from mid-century modern American design. The Freeman comes with a single tufted seat and two reversible back cushions for added longevity.

West Elm Denmark Loveseat

Loveseats are the unsung heroes of tiny spaces. The Denmark from West Elm features aniline-dyed Italian leather that patinas over time, resulting in a couch unique to you. Taking style inspiration from modern Danish design, the Denmark makes a statement without being overstated.

Burrow Nomad Sofa

It all started with their original Nomad sofa, which they’ve recently updated to include a leather-upholstered variation. The leather Nomad comes with everything the OG Nomad had, and then some — built-in charging cable, fast shipping and faster assembly and maximum customizability. It’s no surprise the Nomad topped our original best sofas and couches list.

West Elm Urban Sofa

The Urban sofa from West Elm is the kind of couch you would buy if you’re looking for something you could sink into for days on end. The couch is plush, and deep seats mean you won’t roll off if you decide to take a quick nap.

Rove Concepts Hector Sofa

The first thing you might notice looking at the Hector sofa from Rove Concepts is the couch’s frame and use of strong lines. The three-seater features a Euro-style backrest, and its cushions are filled with premium down for a comfortable sitting experience.

Schoolhouse Equestrian Sofa

If you don’t want to take the time to actually break in a sofa, Schoolhouse’s Equestrian sofa features supple leather that’s already developed a patina. The tufted back and nailhead trim give the Equestrian royal look.

L.L. Bean Leather Lodge Sofa

The Lodge sofa is in-line with the rest of L.L. Bean’s outdoorsy aesthetic. The couch, which looks like something you might actually find in a lodge, is ready to be lounged in after a day in the woods (or your apartment). The chestnut brown leather is pre-distressed for a slightly vintage look without the vintage price or smell. Like L.L. Bean’s apparel, the Lodge sofa is a nice combination of heritage, durability and comfort.

Blu Dot Bonnie Sofa

Blu Dot is the American answer to expensive European brands that can’t be found in the US. While still not a frugal option, Blu Dot hopes to bridge the gap between high design and accessibility — this is the goal of the Bonnie sofa. The Bonnie is a minimalist couch with high armrests and a single thin seat cushion. It’s a piece of furniture that blends into the background with its simple design, but will have you and your guests fighting for a seat.

Room & Board Cade Sofa

Room & Board’s modern furniture is designed to last a lifetime. The Cade sofa encapsulates the brand’s mission statement by being both functional and reliable. The deep seats are meant to invite relaxation, while padded arm rests ensure you’ll never want to get up. The Urbino leather is resistant to scratches and stains, and has been tumbled to provide maximum comfort from your very first seat.

Restoration Hardware Modena Sofa

If you’re looking for a sofa to sink in to, look no further than the Modena sofa. Restoration Hardware is known for its luxury furniture, and the Modena sofa delivers just that with its blend of Italian and American design inspired by the look of the 1970s.

Herman Miller Tuxedo Sofa

It’s immediately obvious that the Tuxedo sofa is slimmer than the other leather sofas on this list. But leave it to Herman Miller to make a low-profile sofa with the same level of comfort as those bigger, bulkier couches. The overall look is refined, but funky.

Knoll Barcelona Couch

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If it’s good enough for Spanish royalty, it’s good enough for you. At least that’s what designer Mies van der Rohe had in mind when he was brainstorming the Barcelona couch. Designed in 1930, the couch maintains everything that made it special back then: Spinneybeck Volo cowhide, African mahogany sapele hardwood and a craftsperson’s touch.

Eames Sofa

If the Eameses can make the perfect lounge chair, you should trust them to make the perfect sofa. This streamlined piece is made from wood, leather and polished aluminum. If you’ve got the money, make space for this sofa.

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

Tyler Chin is Gear Patrol’s Editorial Associate for Editorial Operations. He’s from Queens, where tempers are short and commutes are long. Too bad the MTA doesn’t have a team like Ed-Ops.

More by Tyler Chin | Follow on Instagram · Contact via Email

Everything You Need for a 500-Mile Winter Motorcycle Trip

Last December, I had a wild idea. Instead of renting a car or buying a train or plane ticket, why not ride a motorcycle home for the holidays?

Now, this notion might not be a big deal if I lived in Southern California, or if my family resided nearby. However, I’m in New York City, and my destination was Northern Virginia. We’re talking about a 540-mile round-trip journey, much of it on major highways, at the start of an East Coast winter. That’s not the kind of expedition one takes lightly, even during a relatively mild December — so I knew I had to get serious about gearing up.

Spoiler alert: I survived the ride. Here are five major things I learned along the way, plus a rundown of all the gear I used to keep from freezing to death on this little cold-weather adventure.

1. Layer Smart

As you probably know, layering is critical to keeping your core temperature up and your blood circulating out to your extremities. It’s even more important on a bike, because once you get rolling on the highway, 65-mph wind makes things feel a lot colder. So rock plenty of layers (I maxed out at five on my upper body, including my jacket’s liner), and keep additional ones easily accessible by stashing them near the top of your saddlebag or luggage.

Make sure you have the ability to ditch layers, as well. You’ll want to shed some if you find you’re over-bundled; otherwise you’ll start sweating, and then you’ll really be cold if the temps drop.

2. Get Creative

Our good friends at RevZilla will tell you that one of the best ways to stay warm is to don heated gear, and they’re probably right. I have not yet taken this step, nor have I ridden a bike with heated handgrips — but I did recognize that Gore-Tex gloves and boots might not be enough to cut it with all that highway wind.

So in addition to doubling up on socks and adding a liner under my gloves, I took a friend’s unorthodox advice and put some of those magic chemical handwarmers on the backs of my hands and the tops of my feet. That move just might have warded off frostbite.

I also got creative with some of my layers: who needs “motorcycle-specific” apparel when the mountain-spec gear you’ve already got does the same job just as well, if not better?

3. Follow the Sun

Speaking of the sun, I can’t stress enough how ideal it is to ride when that nuclear ball of light and heat is high in the sky. I was cruising along with nary a care in the world on the last weekend of 2019 — when, maybe a hundred miles from home, night fell.

In a matter of moments, it felt like the temperature had dropped 20 degrees. I was chilly AF — and the combo of darkness, fatigue and frosty fingers made the whole affair suddenly seem a lot more precarious. I buckled down and powered through, but not before making a permanent marker mental note to leave at least an hour earlier next time.

4. Respect the Weather

I’ve done this NYC-to-greater-D.C. ride a few times before in warmer weather, and one of my previous trips taught me a painful lesson that served me well this time around.

That spring, I brushed off a minor rain forecast. Of course, less than an hour in, down came the drops, forcing me to spend all day drying off and praying for the precipitation to cease at a coffee shop before completing the journey at about 11 p.m. as a frozen and shivering mess. During my trip last month, I left a day early to beat some Sunday morning showers — and happily rolled along under the clearest of Saturday skies.

5. When in Doubt, Overbike

During a recent gravel biking camp in Arizona, I learned a fun new term from some cycling industry friends: underbiked. Like undergunned, it describes a situation where your set of wheels isn’t quite up to the terrain you’re tackling. Extreme example: riding a banana-seat Huffy on Whistler’s single-track mountain bike trails.

On the flip side of that coin, for winter riding, your best bet is to be overbiked. My daily city ride is a beautiful black Bonneville T-100, but I realized for this trip it might help to have a moto with real storage capacity, highway-crushing displacement — and, you know, an actual windshield. So I lined up the majestic Indian Chieftain Elite you’ll see below. It was a total overbike move…and it was spectacular.

Kali Protectives Catalyst Helmet

It took me far too long to realize highway riding is much more pleasant with a full-face helmet. This badass matte black one just happens to be super-comfortable, streamlined and stylish.

WileyX WX Hayden Sunglasses

That little rock dropping off the back of a truck can turn into a bullet at 80 miles per hour. Good thing these tactical shades meet ANSI Z87.1 industrial standards for high-mass and high-velocity impact protection.

BlackStrap The Hood Balaclava Facemask

Bandannas are cool and all, but winter demands a bit more coverage. BlackStrap’s breathable, moisture-wicking balaclavas feature a helmet-friendly fit that comes in equally handy on snowboarding trips.

Lululemon Metal Vent Tech Long Sleeve 2.0

Lululemon’s combination of good looks and seamless comfort have pretty much ruined all other first layers for me.

Backcountry Timpanogos Tech Fleece Hoodie

Timpanogos is the second-highest mountain in Utah’s Wasatch range. It’s also a damn good mid-layer piece featuring stretch fabric, handy thumbholes and a hood that could save your neck if you forget your balaclava.

Arc’teryx Cerium SL Jacket

I take this jacket with me just about everywhere I go. It packs down to the size of a peanut butter jar, then expands to provide way more down-based warmth than you’d expect from such a minimalist garment.

AlpineStars Ray Canvas V2 Jacket

The exact jacket I used on my ride, the AlpineStars Kinetic, is no longer available, but this one is pretty dang similar. Key features include Level 1 CE-certified BIO-Light shoulder and elbow protectors, plus a durable, water-repellent shell.

HotHands Hand Warmers

Ten hours of warmth for less than a dollar a pair? Sign me up.

PearliZumi Men’s Cyclone Gel Gloves

These cycling gloves served as a perfect liner to my moto gloves. Bonus: the index finger works on touchscreens, like the one between the handlebars of the Chieftain.

Dainese Nembo Gore-Tex Gloves

Thanks to Gore-Tex Grip technology, these gloves are water- and wind-resistant while also providing exceptional grasp of the handlebars. They boast knuckle protection and a gauntlet that will make you feel like a medieval knight — and shield you from harsh weather, of course.

Lululemon Keep the Heat Thermal Tight

Sure, they’re designed for winter running. They just happen to be an excellent first-layer liner, too.

Dainese D-Explorer 2 Gore-Tex Pant

Where to start with how much I love these pants? A Gore-Tex membrane, removable liner and zippered thigh vents mean they’re tough enough to ward off wind, rain and cold, yet can be streamlined for summer riding, too. They are so comfortable you’ll forget all about the Trixior inserts that could save your knees if things go awry, and there’s even a matching all-season jacket.

Darn Tough Hiker Boot Sock Cushion

Darn Tough’s socks are unquestionably burly. What some people may not realize is that they are also super-comfortable. And in the case of these thicker ones, super-warm.

Darn Tough Vertex 1/4 Ultra-Light

I threw an extra sock on top of the first one for just a bit more warmth, and once the sun set on the return ride, I was quite glad I did.

Vasque Clarion ’88 GTX Waterproof Hiking Boot

I’ve been effusive in my praise of this boot in the past, asserting that its throwback tech is perfectly suited to many modern activities. Thanks largely to waterproof Gore-Tex, a grippy Vibram outsole and plenty of cushioning, you can add long-distance winter motorcycling to the list.

Indian Chieftain Elite

Last fall, I raved about the 2019 Indian Chieftain Limited, which I also took on a 500-mile trip. This 2020 bike in the same family is even better. It has everything that bike does and more, including three features that came in especially handy: a more user-friendly touchscreen navigation system; life-saving antilock brakes; and the coup de grâce: booming 400-watt speakers integrated into the front fairing and rear saddlebags for a true surround sound experience. It’s a real mood booster when the weather — or the traffic — gets you down.

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

Steve Mazzucchi is Gear Patrol’s outdoors and fitness editor. Outside the office, you can find him mountain biking, snowboarding, motorcycling or sipping a dram of Laphroaig and daydreaming about such things.

More by Steve Mazzucchi | Follow on Facebook · Instagram · Twitter · Contact via Email

The Evergreen Allure of Gucci Loafers

Florentine fashion house Gucci made a name for itself with luggage. In the early 1900s its founder, Guccio Gucci was working as a porter in various European hotels, notably London’s Savoy Hotel, when he was captivated by the opulent bags and trunks of well-to-do hotel guests. So, when he returned to Italy and in 1921, he started his own brand of luxury luggage aimed toward the Savoy-staying globe trotters. Employing local artisans to craft his wares, Gucci’s namesake brand was a hit with its intended audience. The brand’s appeal (aside from uncompromising quality) came with its equestrian-tinged designs, a hobby of the rich at the time. Bit hardware and green-red-green grosgrain both referenced horseback riding and eventually became associated with the brand’s luggage and clothes.

Decades later, Gucci had a watershed year. In 1953, its founder passed away on January 2 leaving his son, Aldo Gucci, to take over. The brand also stepped into the international market with the opening of its 5th Avenue Manhattan store, and the release of its iconic Gucci Horsebit Loafer. Men’s fashion writer Bruce Boyer notes that the earlier versions of the shoe were designed in the 1930s, the same decade as the iconic Bass Weejun penny loafers were cemented into the style annals. “Although the original version was constructed of heavier saddle leather, the design was what it remains faithful to today: a successful effort to retain the comfort of the moccasin while adding the fashion and elegance of a dressy shoe,” Boyer notes. “In short, it was the first shoe that bridged the gap between casual and business wear.” Regardless of dates — or tassel and Prince Albert variations — the new Gucci loafers became a fast favorite Ivy leaguers on campus and on holiday abroad.

But, it’s no surprise because loafers are a perfect hybrid. Not so on-the-nose as Cole Haan’s chimera sneaker-oxfords which enjoyed a shooting star moment before fading almost completely from existence. Loafers more elegantly combine the comfort of moccasin construction with the dress of a leather sole, often including a decorative element like a strap, tassels, or in Gucci’s case a bit of hardware. Loafers, those from Gucci especially, are planted firmly between dress and play, calmly standing its ground through fashion’s spectral oscillations like the perennial Levi’s 501. Gucci loafers have an American chassis, sleek Italian tread and a toe box that’s not too round nor too square (definitely not pointy). Some might read the callsign hardware as flashy, but the number of fashion cycles it’s been through has canonized it thoroughly.

And don’t let Gucci’s high-fashion associations illicit dubious thoughts regarding the Bit’s quality. The shoes are crafted in Gucci’s atelier in Italy, every step precisely approached by hand. The classic 1953 version features moccasin-style uppers built using premium leathers that are artisanally patinated with microscopic discernment. The uppers are then attached to the leather soles via resolable Blake stitch construction which is carefully hidden behind an invisible channel decorated with ornamental sole fudging. Finally, the shoes are crowned by the requisite horse-bit across the vamp.

The shoe takes up pages in style manuals such as The Official Sloane Ranger Handbook and archival Japanese magazines. It’s been reinterpreted into countless versions with pointier toes, backless uppers, fur lining, lugged soles and more. Even more imitators have followed in its wake, though none come with Gucci’s cachet. Aside from the chino-wearing sweaters of Princeton’s 1958 class, the Gucci loafers have been spotted on Francis Ford Coppolla paired with a military jacket; on Jodie Foster below corduroy trousers, a sweater vest and a flat cap; or on the red carpet in all manners of formal attire on the likes of Donald Glover and Harry Styles.

It’s not just the stylish and uber-famous set donning Gucci’s loafers, either. They’re still aspirational for many, and sought by even more (thankfully eBay exists). A pair back in 1974 would have cost you $59. Though inflation brings that to just over $300 today, you can expect to pay double that on 5th Avenue. In spite of that, the status shoe keeps growing. Gucci sales have ballooned from over $4.5 billion in 2016 to $9.2 billion in 2018.

The world is not short on shoes. Oxfords, Chelsea boots, Chuck Taylors — they’re all verified classics. And while the penny loafer may reign as the definitive loafer style, there is only one loafer — one shoe — that is part of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s permanent collection. And, it bears the Gucci name.

We Cut 5 Great Boots in Half to See What Makes a Quality Pair

Frequently at Gear Patrol, we implore readers to invest in quality boots. We wax poetic about how a great pair will age: how it will develop a unique patina, how it will form to the wearer’s foot, how it can be resoled countless times. We talk about it like it’s a serious investment, not as a rhetorical exercise, because it actually is. Most quality boots cost hundreds of dollars and are designed to last for years. 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.

Gerald Ortiz is a staff writer at Gear Patrol covering style. From San Diego, now New York City.

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The Best Stereo Receivers Under $500

To get the best out of your bookshelf speakers, you need to invest in a receiver that can properly drive them. You can buy a two-channel stereo receiver or you can buy an AV receiver, the latter of which is what you want if you’re connecting it to your TV and building a home theater system. If you’re only looking for an audio experience, however, a stereo receiver is the simpler, cheaper and arguably the all-around better option.

A stereo receiver is great for people who just want to listen to music, either streaming from your smartphone or from a CD player or turntable. As far as which receiver to buy, it should, of course, depend on how you plan on listening to music. But it should also come secondary to your speakers. A good rule of thumb, as far as the entry-level price bracket is concerned, is that the receiver shouldn’t cost more than your bookshelf speakers. That’s why we set a price cap at $500. Below, we’ve listed our favorite entry-level receivers under $500 to pair with your bookshelf speakers.

Best Budget: Yamaha R-S202BL Stereo Receiver

The Good: This Yamaha R-S202 is one of our favorite entry-level receivers. Its combination of price, looks, ease of use and stellar performance make it a no-brainer for anybody with bookshelf speakers looking to listen to great stereo audio. It can easily connect to your existing CD player or turntable. It streams Bluetooth and has a built-in FM/AM tuner, too.

Watch Out For: The Yamaha R-S202 isn’t the newest stereo receiver, having been around since 2016. The remote also feels dated, no backlit keys. If you’re somebody who may one day build out their audio system with more speakers, or connect it to your home theater system, this isn’t the receiver for you. No support for Bluetooth AptX.

Key Features: speaker selector lets you switch between two sets of speakers, built-in Bluetooth

Watts per Channel: 100-watts x 2, 8 ohms

Editor’s Pick: Onkyo TX-8220 Stereo Receiver

The Good: You can’t beat the Onkyo TX-8220’s combination of great sound and affordability. It has a RCA output so you can add a powered subwoofer. And, thanks to its A/B speaker connections, you can connect a second pair of bookshelf speakers, say if you want to have them play in separate room in your house.

Watch Out For: Some might not like its bulkiness or fairly ordinary design.

Key Features: subwoofer output, A/B switching for two different speaker pairs, AM/FM tuner, built-in Bluetooth

Watts per Channel: 45-watts, 8 ohms

The Hi-Fi Upgrade: Cambridge Audio AXR85 Stereo Receiver

The Good: The British hi-fi maker Cambridge Audio makes some of our favorite audio products and it’s actually rare for them something at such an entry-level price point. The AXR85 is excellent stereo reciever that’s pretty powerful and has a beautiful brushed aluminum front pane. It has a mono RCA output in case you want to add a powered subwoofer, and its front-panel A/B switching allows you to connect two pairs of bookshelf speakers and switch between them. With built-in Bluetooth, it’s also easy to stream audio straight from your smartphone.

Watch Out For: It’s more expensive than most other entry-level stereo receivers.

Key Features: subwoofer output, front-panel A/B switching, built-in Bluetooth, AM/FM tuner

Watts per Channel: 85-watts, 8 ohms

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Most Features: Denon CEOL RCD-N10

The Good: Denon’s all-in-one hi-fi receiver has a little bit of everything. Yes, it’s a solid stereo reciever, but it built-in CD player and FM tuner. It also has built-in Wi-Fi, which allows it to connect to your home’s network and then easily stream music from Spotify or Tidal directly from the CEOL RCD-N10. It also has built-in Bluetooth and supports Apple AirPlay 2, so you can stream from your smartphone just as easily, too.

Watch Out For: You’re paying for the features and multitude of streaming options, not necessarily the power of the amp of the quality of the music player (although it’ll have no problem powering a pair of passive bookshelf speakers). Its design isn’t for everyone.

Key Features: integrated CD player, FM tuner, subwoofer output, built-in Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi and Bluetooth compatibility

Watts per Channel: 65-watts, 4 ohms

Today’s Best Deals: Big Savings on the North Face, Half-Off the Seiko 5 & More

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.

Home



All-Clad Factory Seconds Sale
Save Up to 75%: At up to 75 percent off, these are the lowest prices you’ll find on unused All-Clad outside of visiting the company’s in-person seconds sale at the factory.

Motoring



Save $240 on the Best Way to Improve Your Commute
Save Up to 17%: Two of the best e-bikes — Super73’s dual e-bike offerings — are currently cheaper than normal. The burly Super73-S1 Universal Motorbike and Super73-Z1 Lightweight E-Bike are both $240 off at Huckberry.

Outdoors and Fitness

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6 Things Not to Miss in This Massive North Face Sale
Save up to 35%: A huge winter sale at Mountain Steals includes some of our favorite gear from the legendary outdoor brand.


Adidas Ultraboost 19
Save up to $80: The popular Adidas Ultraboost 19 normally goes for $180, but thanks to a sale, you can spend just $100 on a brand-new pair.

Style



The North Face Jackets
Save 30%: Luckily, protection from winter’s wrath is within reach thanks to The North Face’s grip of warm outerwear, which — even luckier — is on sale right now.


L.L. Bean Boots
Save 19%: Just in time for winter’s worst, Maine’s finest purveyor of outdoor gear L.L. Bean has your tootsies covered with shearling-lined versions of its famed Bean boots — and on sale.

Tech

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Sony RX100 VI Compact Camera
Save $200: The Sony RX100 VI is one of the best all-around compact cameras and right now Amazon is selling it at an all-time low price. The normally $1,198 travel camera is less than $1,000 right now.


Yamaha RX-V685 AV Receiver
Save $100: Amazon is having a sale on Yamaha receivers and soundbars right now, but arguably the crown jewel of the deals is on the Yamaha RX-V685. It was recently Wirecutter‘s pick for “best overall AV receiver,” and is $100 off.

Watches

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Seiko “Sea Urchin” SNZF Dive Watch
Save 50%: The SNZF “Sea Urchin” is one of our favorite watches from the Seiko 5 line, and it’s available now for $164.


Timex Mk I California Watch
Save 50%: Right now, Timex is offering four variations of their lightweight aluminum-cased MkI on sale for just $45, and all are super fun and inexpensive ways to start prepping for summer.

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.

A daily magazine of immersive stories, deals, buying advice, product-forward editorial, and reports from far-flung places.

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This Is One of the Nicest Camper Vans We’ve Ever Seen

You’ve probably never heard of the Polish company Affinity. We hadn’t either — at least, until they unveiled their new camper van at the 2020 CMT Show in Stuttgart. Sleek and modern, Affinity’s new ride has one of the best layouts for a camper van we’ve ever seen.

The main innovation is in regards to the sleeping areas. There’s a de facto master suite in the rear, though the double bed at the back serves as a lounge area during the day. The bed can also electrically raise and lower to accommodate gear such as bicycles in a storage bay below.

The bed sits alongside a rear wet bath, which opens up the rest of the living space. The dinette area at the front folds out into bunk beds; in total, thus, this compact van offers sleeping accomodations for a family of four.

Other features include an L-shaped kitchen for extra counter space, a winterized cabin with a Truma Combi 4E heater/water boiler, and front and rear skylights that provude ample natural light.

The Affinity Camper Van comes in two versions, and they’re relatively affordable, considering everything you get. There’s a Fiat Ducato version (starting price: $83,300) with a nine-speed automatic, and can also be based on a Peugeot Boxer (starting price: $77,700) with a six-speed manual. Scandinavian manufacturer KABE AB will produce the vehicles starting this month.

Sadly, it does not appear that the Affinity van will be available in the U.S. anytime soon. But FCA does sell the Fiat Ducato in the U.S. as the Ram Promaster, the base for the Winnebago Solis, so the vehicle doesn’t seem like it would be too hard to recreate here.

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

Tyler Duffy is Gear Patrol’s Motoring Staff Writer. He used to write about sports for The Big Lead and The Athletic. He has a black belt in toddler wrangling. He’s based outside Detroit.

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This Jacket Uses NASA Tech to Keep You Toasty Warm

Oros, a performance outerwear brand based in Portland has created the warmest jacket on earth. Utilizing an advanced insulating material developed by NASA, the Orion Parka features Solarcore, the brand name for this space-age Aerogel insulation. Originally used to insulate the Space Shuttle in deep space where temps drop to -450º, Oros is one of the first to use it in apparel. The brand did some serious engineering to achieve this but their jacket is warmer than down with none of the bulk. Solarcore is also breathable for carefree comfort in variable conditions. Other options are available including mid-layers, bottoms and accessories.

One of Sony’s Best Travel Cameras Is At An All-Time Low Price

The Sony RX100 VI is one of the best all-around compact cameras and right now Amazon is selling it at an all-time low price. The normally $1,198 travel camera is less than $1,000 right now.

Sony’s line of RX100 compact cameras has been extremely popular for years, mainly because of their small size, and impressive photo and video shooting abilities. The RX100 VI, which was released in 2018, isn’t the newest addition to the lineup — that title belongs to the 2019-released RX100 VII — but it has pretty most of the same features as Sony’s newest compact shooter. Those features include a ridiculously wide 24–200mm lens and the ability to capture 4K video at 30fps. Both Sony cameras have the same one-inch, 20.1-megapixel sensor, as well.

If you’re looking for reasons to get the newer RX100 VII instead, there are a few. It’s a slightly smaller and lighter camera, and it has a marginally better battery life (240 vs 220 shots). The RX100 VII has autofocus and continuous shooting speeds are slightly better, too. Most significantly, the RX100 VII is the first RX100 compact camera to have a 3.5mm microphone input, which could be a game-changer if you plan on doing any vlogging.

The Sony RX100 VII is currently selling for $200 more than the Sony RX100 VI.

Save $100 on This Limited-Edition Commuter Bike

Priority Bicycles x Gear Patrol Commuter BikePriority Bicycles x Gear Patrol Commuter Bike

The Gear Patrol Commuter, made in tandem with Priority Bicycles, was inspired by — and tested on — the streets of New York City. Streamlined for your everyday grind, it a pairs a durable, easy-to-maintain feature set with an understated colorway you won’t find anywhere else. Buy Now: $899 $799

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

6 Things Not to Miss in This Massive North Face Sale

Given that The North Face is one of the biggest names in the outdoor gear space, it’s no surprise that some of that stuff would go on sale from time to time. It is amazing though, just how much if you can pick up right now at Mountain Steals for 30 percent off. Truly. Even the good stuff — here’s everything we’ve got our eyes on.

The North Face ThermoBall Eco Hoodie

The ThermoBall Hoodie is The North Face’s classic insulating jacket. It hits that Goldilocks zone of not-too-warm and not-too-light, and now it’s also not-too-expensive.

The North Face Ventrix Jacket

Ventrix is one of The North Face’s newest insulations. The company made it for high-output activities in the cold, like ski touring or winter hiking. We’ve found that it’s perfect for commuting too.

The North Face Danali Crew

The North Face first released the Denali in 1988. This crewneck is a newer iteration of the classic, but no less functional.

The North Face Campshire Pullover

The Campshire lies on the plusher side of the fleece spectrum. It’s incredibly soft, plenty warm and perfect for those cold days when you’re “working from home.”

The North Face Crevasse Pack

The Crevasse Pack checks all the boxes for retro-forward outdoor gear: bright colors, barrel pockets, lash loops that’ll never see use. This newer take includes a padded laptop sleeve, so it isn’t all for show.

The North Face Griffin 65 Pack

The updated Griffin 65 is one of the best backpacking bags we’ve tested recently. That’s mostly thanks to its highly adjustable harness system that pivots and self-equalizes as you hike, and a set of accessible pockets that make packing and unpacking a breeze.

Save $100 on This Limited-Edition Commuter Bike

Priority Bicycles x Gear Patrol Commuter BikePriority Bicycles x Gear Patrol Commuter Bike

The Gear Patrol Commuter, made in tandem with Priority Bicycles, was inspired by — and tested on — the streets of New York City. Streamlined for your everyday grind, it a pairs a durable, easy-to-maintain feature set with an understated colorway you won’t find anywhere else. Buy Now: $899 $799

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

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

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This Affordable Chronograph Watch Was Made for Zero-Gravity Flights

French watchmaker Yema has designed legitimate “space watches” in the Spationaute I and II, previously used by French astronauts. Rather than creating an homage to these vintage pieces, the brand took the arguably more interesting route of introducing completely new versions of its “space watch” in collaboration with the French Space Agency (CNES). Dubbed the Spacegraf Zero-G, the new watch is official space agency-approved, affordable, and best of all — you don’t need to be an astronaut to get one.

The Spacegraf Zero-G, as its name suggests, is designed specifically for zero-gravity, or parabolic, flights, which is where an aircraft ascends and then descends quickly, simulating weightlessness for the occupants for around 20-30 seconds. It’s used for research purposes, but you can also buy a several-thousand-dollar ticket simply for a fun experience.

Yema says that the chronograph function of the Spacegraf Zero-G, which also features a 39mm case and domed mineral crystal, is particularly useful during these flights for anticipating the next zero-G phase. Using a Japanese quartz movement, this particular chronograph measures up to an hour via a central seconds hand and a 60-minute subdial. With black and blue dial options, it has a price of $399 in steel, and a black-coated steel model with a black dial is a little more at $449. They’re available now for preorder directly from the brand.

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

Zen Love is Gear Patrol’s watch writer. He avoids the snooty side of the watch world, and seeks out food in NYC that resembles what he loved while living in Asia for over a decade.

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Save $240 on the Best Way to Improve Your Commute

We’re big believers in e-bikes here at Gear Patrol. Sure, plenty of hardcore cyclists may scoff at adding electric assistance to a bicycle, but unless you’re a Luddite or triathlete, there’s little reason to stay away from these battery-assisted bikes. As we mentioned when we named the Specialized Turbo Kenevo Expert the best outdoor product of 2019, e-bikes open up the cycling world to more people than ever before

Of course, at $8,225, the Turbo Kenvo Expert may be too rich for your blood. It’s basically the cycling equivalent of a Ferrari SF90 Stradale, though — a high-performance hybrid wonder-machine for the super-enthusiast. If you’re just looking for an e-bike to ride to work during the week or hit a casual trail on the weekend, however, there are quite a few less expensive options.

And two of the best of them — Super73’s dual e-bike offerings — are currently cheaper than normal.

The burly Super73-S1 Universal Motorbike and Super73-Z1 Lightweight E-Bike both turn the daily ride n’ grind into an easy cruise, thanks to their integrated batteries and beefy, bump-absorbent tires. The Super73-S1 is bigger and burlier, with a larger battery that delivers between 35 and 45 miles of range on a charge; the smaller, more colorful Super73-Z1 does 15–25 miles on a charge, which is still likely more than enough to handle your commute. Either way, you can recoup that power from a wall outlet while you’re at work, then hit an electrically-powered top speed of 20 mph on your way home.

Normally, the Super73-Z1 goes for $1,400, while the Super73-S1 sells for $2,200. Right now, however, both of them are $240 off at Huckberry, which means the Super73-Z1 is just $1,260 and the Super73-S1 is $1,980. We’d spring for the bigger, more powerful model — not just for the extra range, but also for the looks. But there’s no bad choice here; just two great ways to improve your commute.

Save $100 on This Limited-Edition Commuter Bike

Priority Bicycles x Gear Patrol Commuter BikePriority Bicycles x Gear Patrol Commuter Bike

The Gear Patrol Commuter, made in tandem with Priority Bicycles, was inspired by — and tested on — the streets of New York City. Streamlined for your everyday grind, it a pairs a durable, easy-to-maintain feature set with an understated colorway you won’t find anywhere else. Buy Now: $899 $799

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

Will Sabel Courtney is Gear Patrol’s Motoring Editor, formerly of The Drive and RIDES Magazine. You can often find him test-driving new cars in New York City, cursing the slow-moving traffic surrounding him.

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The 12 Best Leather Jackets for Men

Like a lot of the clothing guys wear today, the leather jacket got its start as a utilitarian object. There was no need for a bomber jacket, a motorcycle jacket or a racing jacket before the inventions of the airplane, the motorcycle or the automobile.

But leather jackets didn’t make their widespread style debut until after World War II, when the idea of leather for style, instead of purely for function, started seeping into popular culture.

After sky-rocketing to popularity by way of Marlon Brando in the film The Wild One, the motorcycle jacket became such a symbol of youth in revolt that it was banned in schools for an entire year in the mid-1950s. And this helped place them on the backs of guys who wanted to telegraph rebel cool, gaining popularity throughout the 60s, 70s, and 80s.

“[For] everybody from Elvis to The Beatles, to The Stones, every psychedelic band from the Jefferson Airplane to the Grateful Dead, it was like a rite of passage,” said Michael Paradise, a former employee of North Beach Leathers who now owns The Stronghold, a heritage clothing boutique in Los Angeles. “You signed a recording contract, you got your first paycheck, you went to North Beach Leather.”

They’re now an indispensable part of a man’s wardrobe — and guys who work in more casual settings can get away with swapping a minimal black, brown or navy leather jacket for a blazer. It’s more durable, water repellent, and looks just as good over jeans as it does with a pair of tailored trousers.

With so many options on the market, finding the perfect one for you can take a lot of time and research — and it’s worth taking your time. Because unlike other clothing, buying a leather jacket is like buying a piece of furniture. Pick the right version and you’ll have it for years to come. Go with the wrong thing, and you might end up making an expensive mistake.

To help shorten your list of candidates, we compiled our favorites across four major categories. We also spoke with experts about style, fit, quality and care to help inform your purchase. Here are our recommendations, from the save-a-little level to splurges that might break the bank, and a guide to making sure your newest style investment lasts a lifetime.

Recommended picks by Gerald Ortiz.

Motorcycle Jackets

The classic motorcycle jacket is an immediate marker of rebel cool. In fact, it’s been used in so many movies and TV shows as shorthand for “bad boy” that it should be a tiresome cliché at this point — and yet its magic still works. Throw one on and you’ll immediately embody the rugged charm and sex appeal of every style icon of the last several decades. The best thing about a biker jacket, providing you get one worth its skin, is that it keeps getting better with age.

Deadwood Rover Suede Moto Jacket


Deadwood take on the moto jacket is a shift into sustainability using recycled leathers from deadstock skins and upcycled waste materials. This one, made of luscious recycled suede, comes with all the trapping of a true road-ready jacket with the added cachet of doing better by Mother Earth.

Schott Perfecto ’50s Oil-Tanned Cowhide Leather Moto Jacket


Nearly a century after its inception, the OG motorcycle jacket is still in production. With a belted waist, epaulets, snap collar, map pocket, flap pocket at the waist and, of course, tough oil-tanned cowhide, it’s the moto jacket defined. You can be sure that this will last you another century when it’s still an icon.

The Real McCoy’s Buco J-24 Horsehide Leather Jacket


While authenticity can be had with Schott, you can’t much closer than this legendary Buco jacket from Japanese repro-obsessives The Real McCoy’s. That’s because the the storied motorcycle brand has been defunct for decades. But, The Real McCoy’s has gone to extreme lengths to reproduce Buco’s classic jacket from the ’50s with patina-ready horsehide, Talon hardware and quilted lining. Of course, this Japanese-made replica won’t come cheap.

Bomber Jackets

Originally worn by Air Force pilots to keep warm at high altitudes, the leather bomber jacket has come a long way from its pragmatic beginnings. But for the most part, its design has stayed true its roots.

Today, it’s among the most popular menswear items on the market thanks to male celebrities who rely on it to make them look well-dressed, but not dressed up and cool but not too edgy. “It’s a safe bet, like a pair of jeans,” says Jeanne Yang, stylist to a list of guys that includes John Cho, Alexander Skarsgaard and Robert Downey, Jr., among others. “If you’re gonna spend the money, it’s something you know you can keep on rotation in your closet.”

Everlane Bomber Jacket


Extraneous details are nowhere to be found on Everlane’s supple lambskin Bomber Jacket. Clean and straightforward (as a bomber jacket should be), this one comes with flush flap pockets, a convenient two-way zipper and a surprising price tag.

Freenote FJ1 Flight Jacket


Freenote’s FJ1 Flight Jacket is what you would call “a real looker”. Vintage motorcycle jacket vibes emanate from the glossy Italian steerhide, but it’s cleaned up of the hardware clutter. You’ll feel great wearing it thanks to the brushed plaid and satin lining. You’ll also feel pretty badass with the shearling collar.

Todd Snyder Italian Leather Aviator


When it’s not cozying up with Champion for plush sweaters or masterfully tailoring suits, Todd Snyder is crafting some of the best outerwear anywhere and its Italian Leather Aviator is just one of the many great examples. With a more refined, velvety Italian nubuck leather, the jacket is a breeze (and a privilege!) to slip into with its silky Bemberg lining and cleverly comes with more pockets than you think. There’s a certain midcentury cool about it that only Miles Davis could exude. If you’ve got the cash, you can too.

Racing Jackets

If you’ve ever watched Easy Rider or seen a photo of Keanu Reeves, you know that leather racing jackets aren’t meant for kids. The collarless gems have all the testosterone of a motorcycle jacket — but none of the 1950s Danny Zucko theatrics. Plus, they come in a wide array of styles from pared-down suede numbers to more souped-up versions with quilted shoulders and elbows.

Frye Calfskin Leather Racer Jacket


If you’re into the worn-in cafe racer look but don’t want to go through years of road time to get there, Frye’s got your jacket. Tastefully weathered, the jacket is as rugged as the competition but just a notch sleeker.

Flint & Tinder x Golden Bear Cafe Racer


San Francisco’s Golden Bear has been in the business of fine outerwear since 1920 and this collaborative effort with Flint & Tinder is one of the finest. The break-in period is nonexistent thanks to the buttery soft grainy cowhide, but, unlike Frye’s version, the patina is left all up to you.

Iron Heart Horsehide Leather Jacket


Iron Heart’s notorious for some seriously heavy jeans, so it’s no surprise the gearhead-inspired brand makes some equally burly leather jackets. This cafe racer is done exclusively for denim deity Self Edge and comes with Japanese horsehide, a beefy flannel lining and major street cred.

Shearling Jackets

Shearling (the skin and fur of a sheep) is nature’s warmest material. Because of that, most jackets cut from it can lean toward the higher side of the price spectrum. They can also be tough for some guys to pull off.

“Shearling is a great look but you have to find the proper fit for you,” says Donnell Baldwin, a New York-based menswear stylist. “Many shearling jackets are long and could be ‘a lot of look’ for a shorter guy. If that’s you, you’ll need to find a short version that complements your height and style.”

Spending upwards of $2,000 on a shearling jacket that you can hand down to the next generation isn’t any more frivolous than investing in a luxurious watch. Here are three worth saving for.

Alpha Industries B3 Faux Leather Flight Jacket


Alpha Industries’ entry into the shearling section might be made of faux leather, but its cool factor definitely hasn’t taken a hit.

Valstar Shearling Trucker Jacket


Towed by the classic denim trucker jacket, Valstar’s furry take on the icon is perfectly proportioned. The front pleats, flap pockets, button front and cropped fit are all there, but rendering it in premium sheep shearling elevates the humble trucker several factors over.

Nine Lives El Rodeo Cashmere Shearling


Nine Lives takes the road even less travelled with their madman approach to clothing that blends couture-level processes with a futuristic outlook on time-tested garments. Their El Rodeo coat, instead of using the usual sheep shearling, opts for cashmere shearling. The swap in materials certainly ups the price tag, but we’d think it’s proportional to how cool this jacket is.

5 Tips for Taking Good Care of Your Leather Jacket

This is the part where we tell you not to throw an investment-level jacket on a pile of clothes — or worse, the floor — after each time you wear it. Your new jacket deserves proper care, and luckily that’s pretty easy to deliver. We asked David Mesquita, co-owner and vice president of Leather Spa, how to give your jacket its best life possible.

An Ounce of Prevention

“Leather is just like our skin, we put moisturizer on in the winter because our skin gets dry. It’s the same with the leather jackets. As you’re wearing it, rubbing up against stuff, the natural oils in the skin are gonna wear out,” Mesquita says.

Leather Conditioner by Leather Spa $13

Before you wear a new leather jacket the first time, spray your jacket with water and stain protector, especially if it’s made of suede. Then at least once a season, you’ll want to condition your jacket to keep the leather from drying out. “If it’s something you wear often, you might have to do a conditioning in the middle of the season versus waiting till the end,” he added. “A good rule of thumb is you can always look at the jacket and you start to see some fading. That could be a sign of it drying out and you should apply some moisturizer.”

But fair warning: it may darken the color of your jacket. If you’re not sure how much to use or nervous about application, ask a professional.

Give it Some Space

There’s nothing wrong with storing your jacket in the back of your closet during the offseason. But you want to make sure it has room to breathe and hang naturally. Don’t cram it into an overcrowded closet or store it folded under heavy coats and sweaters. Marks from creases and folds can’t be ironed out of leather the way they can with other fabrics. So you want to avoid any undue pressure for long periods of time. To keep your jacket next-level fresh, consider keeping a box of baking soda or a sachet of cedar chips in your closet.

Hang Tight

Never hang your leather jacket on wire or thin hangers. Instead, spend some money on wooden hangers with adequate shoulder support.

“I wouldn’t let it sit on one of those thin hangers for too long because it stretches the shoulders out and leaves that imprint,” Mesquita said. “The best way to store leather items is in the fabric garment bag you get when you purchase the jacket because they’re breathable. God forbid you have your jacket in a storage unit and there’s some type of humidity or moisture that gets trapped in there.”

Clean it Fast

Spilled beer, motorcycle grease and other kinds of dirt are going to happen. But don’t let stains sit for more than an hour or two, or they’ll require professional cleaning.

“If you get a stain on it or a mark, you want to treat it right away before it penetrates into the pores of the skin and becomes permanent like a tattoo,” Mesquita says. “The best time for any type of care is when you get home just before putting it away in your closet. Look it over, and if you see a little spot or a blemish just rub it right off before it becomes permanent. Or use a little bit of a spot cleaner and then just rub it right off.”

Know When to Go Pro

For anything more intense than a spilled beer or a spot of dirt go straight to a pro. Trying to fix something without the proper training could just lead you down a path to more trouble. Put simply, “If its a jacket that you spent a lot of money on, you’re better off taking it to a professional,” Mesquita says.

Essential Boots

This guide to the best boots for men covers nine different categories, including work boots, Chelseas, chukkas and more. 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.

All Proceeds from this Watch Auction Will Go Toward Helping Fight the Australian Bush Fires

The bush fires raging across Australia are an environmental and ecological disaster of incredible magnitude. As a reference, nearly one third of New South Wales’ koala population is believed to have perished in the fires, and this is just the toll on one particular species.

Our friends at Time & Tide Watches based in Australia have organized an auction of 16 special pieces from across the horological world to help raise money to combat the fires. 100% of the funds raised from the auction, called “Watch & Act!,” will be donated toward these relief efforts in the form of five charities: the Country Fire Authority, the New South Wales Rural Fire Service, the Wildlife Victoria, the World Wildlife Fund and the Gippsland Emergency Relief Fund, based in southeast Victoria.

Two of the 16 watches are unique pieces (a special Hublot Classic Fusion “Watch & Act! Edition” and a Zenith Pilot Rescue “Australian Rescue Edition”) while nine are limited editions, including an Oris Divers’s Sixty-Five Limited Edition for HODINKEE, an H. Moser Pioneer Centre Seconds donated by Adam Clayton, bassist for U2, a DOXA SUB 200 130, a Frederique Constant Manufacture Moonphase donated by watch blog Fratello, a yellow gold Bulgari Serpteni and more.

The Watch & Act! auction is now live and will run for 10 days, ending at 9:00 AM AEST on January 30 (5:00 PM EST on January 29). Check out the full catalog below and help spread the word — once bidding closes, the funds will be put to use as soon as possible with the aforementioned charities to help aid relief efforts.

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

Oren Hartov is Gear Patrol’s watches editor. He knows what time it is, and one or two other things.

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