All posts in “Gear”

The Best Outdoor Gifts to Give This Holiday Season

If there’s a hiker, camper, climber, self-proclaimed survivalist or infrequent explorer on your gift-giving list this year, count yourself lucky. Outdoorsy types are the easiest people to shop for. Their adventure kit likely has some gaps in it, and even if it doesn’t, count on these folks to break and wear out clothing and equipment with haste.

What’s more, if outdoors lovers aren’t seeking an upgrade to the newer, lighter thing, they’ve probably picked up a new hobby since last year, opening up an entire category of gift opportunities. Thankfully, outdoor companies are making their best gear to date. This list could easily number into the hundreds, but to make your holiday shopping more efficient, we’ve whittled it down (campfire pun intended) to the very best.

Ikon Pass

Price: $799
From: Ikonpass.com

Alterra Mountain Company’s Ikon Pass is one of the best ways to put all of your new outdoor gear to the test. With 41 ski and snowboard destinations worldwide, the Ikon Pass unlocks adventures from the west coast to east coast, north of the border and south of the equator, up and down the Rockies. This is a simple and easy way to take on as many adventures as you can.

1. Stasher Bags

Price: $10+
From: amazon.com

Plastic has become a pariah amongst the outdoors-loving crowd. Stasher provides a guilt-free alternative in the form of non-toxic, reusable silicone bags. Use them for snacks on the trail, or sous vide in the kitchen back at home.

2. Kuju Coffee

Price: $22
From: amazon.com

You may not have a scale, grinder and pour-over setup at camp, but that doesn’t mean you have to go without the perfect cup of high-grade joe.

3. Adventure Medical Kits Mountain Hiker Med Kit

Price: $25
From: backcountry.com

Who is the most accident-prone adventurer on your gifting list? That’s the person who needs this curated medkit.

4. ClimbOn Ridiculous! Muscle Paste

Price: $25
From: blackdiamond.com

Long day on the trail? Massage some of this food-grade paste into your muscles for some relief. It was made specifically for rock climbers but works for those of us who prefer to keep our feet on the ground, too.

5. Primus Essential Trail Stove

Price: $25
From: rei.com

This is perhaps the most basic camp stove available, which makes it perfect for backpacking beginners.

6. Gerber Compleat

Price: $28
From: amazon.com

The Compleat is the last piece of campsite cutlery you’ll ever need. In one compact package, it boasts a separate spoon and fork, a dual-edge spatula (one edge serrated, the other rubberized) and a peeler-equipped tool that opens bottles, packages and cans. Combine the spoon or fork with the spatula, and you have one final tool: a set of tongs.

7. Coal Headwear The Bridger Hat

Price: $34
From: backcountry.com

It’s a fleece for your noggin.

8. Nite Ize RunOff Waterproof Packing Cube

Price: $38
From: amazon.com

No matter what kind of trip you go on, or how long you’re going for, having your stuff get wet stinks. This little container prevents that from happening.

9. Parks by Brian Kelley

Price: $41
From: amazon.com

Any lover of those iconic, retro National Parks posters will be enamored by Parks. Its pages contain more than 300 photographs of NPS maps and pamphlets going back more than a century.

10. Outdoor Voices Merino T-Shirt

Price: $55
From: outdoorvoices.com

This merino wool active T-shirt is lightweight, wicks sweat, feels good against the skin and, most importantly, doesn’t get stinky.

11. Sea to Summit Sigma Cookset 2.1

Price: $70
From: backcountry.com

Hefting a cast-iron cauldron into the woods might seem like a good idea if you’re only in it for the Instagram photo. In every other case, Sea to Summit’s lightweight Sigma Cookset should do the trick. Our favorite feature: a lid with built-in straining capability.

12. National Parks Pass

Price: $80
From: usgs.gov

Sometimes, the gift of access is all the inspiration one needs to set off on a life-changing trip. It’s also a subtle nudge that says, “Take me with you.”

13. Vermont Glove The Farmer

Price: $100
From: vermontglove.com

Chopping wood? Shoveling snow? Do your hands a favor and protect them. With hand-stitched goatskin leather, perhaps.

14. Smartwool Intraknit 200 Base Layer Bottoms

Price: $120
From: rei.com

Smartwool made its newest base layer collection with a 3D knit process similar to what Nike uses in its high-end running shoes. That means fewer seams and more comfort.

15. Backcountry Timpanogos Tech Fleece

Price: $130
From: backcountry.com

Backcountry has been working wonders with its house brand the past few years, and this versatile piece is an excellent example. Featuring stretch fabric for natural movement and a water-repellent finish, it’s ready for action as a cool-weather hoodie or a cold-weather mid-layer.

16. The North Face Dolomite One Sleeping Bag

Price: $140
From: rei.com

Casual campers may not need — or have space for — multiple sleeping bags for different temperatures. The North Face makes the choice easy with a 3-in-1 layering system that’s cozy from 50 degrees down to 15.

17. Jaybird Vista

Price: $180
From: amazon.com

Headphones in the outdoors? *Gasp!* Yes, thanks to a compact design, high waterproof rating and ultra-long battery life, these buds are perfect for trail running, hiking and YouTube tent screenings that won’t bother your base camp neighbors.

18. Orvis Clearwater 3-Weight 10′ Fly Rod

Price: $198
From: orvis.com

Orvis completely rethought its Clearwater collection while still providing anglers an incredible value proposition. Nowhere is this more evident than in the 3-weight 10-foot model, which is designed specifically for the growing mass of tight-line nymphing — also known as Czech or Euro-nymphing — enthusiasts. The unique taper creates a sturdy backbone at the butt section while maintaining an ultra-sensitive tip, resulting in an affordable rod even hardcore anglers will enjoy.

19. Patagonia Woolie Chore Coat

Price: $199
From: patagonia.com

Patagonia’s most beloved piece of clothing might be its fleece pullover. Recently, the company let its clothing designers get creative with the plush, warm-when-wet material, and they turned out this cozy masterpiece.

20. Nemo Equipment Roamer

Price: $210+
From: amazon.com

Unless you’re hiking miles on miles to get to a campsite, you probably don’t need to worry about how lightweight and packable your gear is. For those who camp next to (or inside of) their car, there’s the ultra-comfy Roamer, an XL sleeping pad that’s still lighter and comfier than the plastic blow-up air mattress you might otherwise stuff into a tent.

21. Electric JJF12 Sunglasses

Price: $240
From: electriccalifornia.com

Professional surfer John John Florence knows what a decent pair of outdoor sunnies should do. Electric knows how to put together lenses and frames. It’s a match made in active lifestyle heaven.

22. Yeti LoadOut GoBox 30

Price: $250
From: amazon.com

Those who have lots of gear frequently ignore the bit about storing it. The LoadOut GoBox makes that part easy and, thanks to bomb-proof construction and strategic slots for tying down to the bed of a truck, secure too.

23. The James Brand Hell Gap

Price: $299
From: gearpatrol.com

Sure, you could spend $30 on a hardware store blade to use around camp, but it won’t last. The Hell Gap, with a Crucible S35VN blade and micarta handles, will endure long enough to re-gift as a sacred heirloom during a holiday far in the future.

24. Houdini Add-In Jacket

Price: $350
From: moosejaw.com

All of us venture outside, even if it’s just to get from A to B. The Add-In provides the same lightweight warmth you’d find in a jacket for backcountry skiing, but in a longer cut that’s suitable for life around town.

25. Black Diamond Vision Down Parka

Price: $399
From: backcountry.com

Thanks to a liquid crystal polymer coating, the Vision isn’t only Black Diamond’s warmest down jacket yet, it’s also the brand’s most durable. That helps with the potential scuffs and abrasions rock climbers and skiers might face, but it also makes for a tough, tear-resistant layer for wearing around town.

26. Red Paddle Co. Compact Inflatable Stand-Up Paddleboard

Price: $1,899
From: backcountry.com

Paddleboarding is a relaxing way to get out on the water but a headache when it comes to transportation and storage. Red Paddle Co.’s Compact solves that issue with an inflatable construction that’ll fit in the trunk of a sedan and back of a closet.

Gear Patrol Magazine Subscription

Price: $39
From: store.gearpatrol.com

Gear Patrol Magazine is a deep dive into product culture. Inside each issue, you’ll find seasonal buying guides, rich maker profiles and long-form dispatches from the front lines of product design. Get four print magazines — delivered quarterly — with an annual subscription.

Mystery Ranch Coulee 40 Pack

Price: $229
From: store.gearpatrol.com

Since 2000, Mystery Ranch has been manufacturing packs and load carriage systems for military, hunting, wildland fire and mountaineering customers, with a focus on use-specific designs and hand-built quality. Featuring a suite of exterior, stretch woven pockets – two on the front and two (water-bottle-ready) on the sides – the Coulee 40 is all about grab and go convenience. Designed with dual composite frame stays for stability, the fully adjustable yoke affords a customized fit.

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

This Watch Auction Has Heavy Hitters from Rolex, Patek Philippe and Vacheron Constantin

Waves of excitement ran through the watch world when it was announced that Marlon Brando’s personal Rolex GMT Master ref. 1675 would be hitting the auction block at the Phillips “Game Changers” auction on December 10th here in NYC. Though far and away the star lot of the show, Brando’s 1675 isn’t the only interesting piece coming under the hammer next month, however. Check out some of the other significant watches that are up for grabs — provided you have the funds, of course.

Patek Philippe Ref. 1518 Perpetual Calendar Chronograph

Significant for being the first perpetual calendar chronograph produced in series by any brand, the 1518 was first released during the early 1940s. Less than 300 examples were made in all metals (including only four in steel), and this particular example, in beautiful 18k pink gold with a pink dial and dating from circa 1947, comes from the family of the original owner.

Estimate: $1,200,000 — 2,400,000

Patek Philippe Ref. 2499 Perpetual Calendar Chronograph

The 2499 is one of the most desirable complicated vintage wristwatches ever made. They were produced in four series in various metals and feature both perpetual calendar and chronograph functions. This example, from 1951, is possibly unique — in yellow gold, it’s the only known version cased by Vichet to feature round pushers. Case and pushers aside, it’s also one of the most beautiful vintage watches ever designed.

Estimate: $1,000,000 — 2,000,000

Vacheron Constantin Overseas Dual-Time Prototype Ref. 7910V/000T-B603

This Overseas is a unique prototype made for American explorer and photographer Cory Richards to use during his third attempt climbing Mount Everest. Made of titanium with tantalum reinforcements, it features dual-time zone capabilities as well as an AM/PM indicator. Proceeds of the watch will benefit the National Geographic Society.

Estimate: $20,000 — 40,000

Jack Nicklaus’s Yellow Gold Rolex Day-Date Ref. 1803

Presented to famed golfer Jack Nicklaus by Rolex in 1967, proceeds from the sale of this remarkable all-yellow-gold wristwatch will benefit Nicklaus’s Children’s Health Care Foundation. Worn almost daily by Nicklaus since he received it, the 1803 has been present during 12 of 18 of his major championship wins.

Estimate: None available, but Phillips is “hoping for seven figures”

Marlon Brando’s Rolex GMT Master Ref. 1675

Produced in 1972, this Rolex GMT Master was Marlon Brando’s personal watch that he wore on the set of “Apocalypse Now,” the iconic Vietnam war film from Francis Ford Coppola based loosely on Joseph Conrad’s classic “Heart of Darkness.” He famously removed the bezel to give the watch a grittier feel, more authentic to his character of the deranged ex-Special Forces colonel Kurtz.

Estimate: Will be offered with a starting bid “in the six figures”

17 Tools That Pro Chefs Can’t Cook Without

There are no gear testers more rigorous than the commercial chef. Can openers, skillets, thermometers, mixing bowls and all manner of other essential gear are put through the ringer night in, night out. So when chefs talk about the gear they couldn’t cook without, we listen. Here are the kitchen tools four pro chefs can’t get enough of.

Daniel Huebschmann


Gibsons Restaurant Group, the restaurant empire that Chef Daniel Huebschmann helms, is immense. It spans four states and 14 kitchens. It’s the first and only restaurant group to have its own USDA Certified Angus Beef Program. Huebschmann’s job, like his gear picks, is commercial. In other words, there are no tweezers counted in his essential kitchen gear setup. From a cheap pair of extra-long tongs to the only charcoal grill you should buy, these are the things Chef Daniel Huebschmann couldn’t live without.

Vollrath 12-Inch High-Heat Tongs

“Size does matter in this case. If you are using tongs over an open flame, you’ll want to keep a little distance and the 12-inch length on these tongs allows you to keep an appropriate distance. The added bonus of the coated tip gives you the option to use these on scratch sensitive surfaces as necessary. The coated handle is very helpful when gripping the tongs and it allows you to move large format food around easily. It’s best to use a nonstick pan on a side burner (gas grills) to sauté some vegetables while grilling steak.”

Wüsthof Stainless-Steel Metal Skewers

“These skewers are both stylish and functional. Not only do they look sexy when placed on a platter and presented with meats and vegetables, but they are also highly functional. The shape of the handle allows for very easy gripping.”

Kitchenaid 3-Burner Propane Gas Grill

“For a cost-effective grilling machine, the 3-burner unit does the trick. It provides even heat distribution with Kitchenaid quality and design that performs. I would not advise going smaller unless space is an issue. You can grill and slow roast a variety of sizes for home BBQs. The cooking surface on the 3-burner is large enough to allow for indirect heat as well. The side burner that allows you to sear and sauté is an added bonus that simply can’t be beat.”

Big Green Egg (Large)

“For charcoal grilling and smoking, this is my weapon of choice. While similar size and shape charcoal grills offer high-temperature searing and even heat distribution, the Big Green Egg has an edge. Not only does it get hot, and it does get smoking hot, it also offers extremely even heat distribution and retains its heat for an extended period of time. This allows for killer smoking and grilling of larger items like turkeys and beef briskets.”

Ayesha Nurdjaja


Contrary to popular belief, the gear most chefs use isn’t anything fancy. In fact, it’s usually the opposite of fancy — more chefs opt for affordable gear that gets the job done than material luxuries. Ayesha Nurdjaja is part of this camp. The Italian-Indonesian executive chef of New York City Eastern Mediterranean restaurant Shuka, Nurdjaja’s kitchen essentials are, save one splurge, all around $30 or less. From the perfect paring knife to pencils designed to write on metal, these are the things Chef Ayesha Nurdjaja couldn’t live without.

Victorinox Serrated Paring Knife


“This small knife is a powerhouse. It can cut through artichokes and cherry tomatoes, comes in fun colors and is a nice and inexpensive gift to give to any chef.”

Sharpie Peel-Off Marker


“These pencils are my main expediting and labeling tool. With no stress sharpening, I am always using it to mark tickets or jot down a quick note.”

Oxo 5-Pound Food Scale


“I am a recipe-driven chef. At Shuka, when we make a new dish the first thing we do is write a recipe and weigh the ingredients so we can ensure consistency. These small scales are easy to wipe down, keep accurate measure and help me cost out my dishes with ease.”

F. Dick 10-Inch Honing Steel


“This steel does a great job keeping sharp knives honed. Whether I am slicing raw fish or portioning lamb, this steel is a gem. I have had mine for over 8 years and it has been a great addition to my knife kit.”

Le Creuset 9-Quart Dutch Oven


“This was the first (and maybe only) expensive pot I treated myself to after graduating culinary school. I treat it with such tender love and care; it’s the Ferrari of kitchen equipment. It is so easy to use this pot to make soups and stews, braise meats or create any one-pot wonder meals. It is super durable, retains great heat and is sharp looking.”

Kiminobu Saito


Off Ventura Boulevard in Los Angeles’ Sherman Oaks neighborhood, Chef Kiminobu Saito’s sushi operation is both extremely serious and not-so-serious. Saito’s Sushi Note, open summer of 2018, manages to blend a hang out atmosphere with millimeter-perfect cut sushi, a wicked wine list and what are essentially rice tater tots (topped with fresh fish, naturally).

But don’t mistake Chef Saito’s whimsical restaurant for a casual approach to Japan’s most famous cuisine — he has been at this for decades, and his gear shows it. Namely, his knife, which he bought more than 20 years ago and is still going strong (he sharpens it weekly). From an indestructible knife from a famous bladesmith to a sharkskin wasabi grater, these are the things Chef Kiminobu Saito couldn’t live without.

Honyaki Yanagi Knife

“My favorite knife is my Honyaki Yanagi. I purchased it in 1997 in Japan. It’s made using the same technique used with Japanese swords. You can even see the impressions left by the heat and pounding process. My father had a passion for swords and ceramics, and I grew up with an appreciation for this style of craftsmanship. It’s the knife I treasure the most, and I use it as my main knife. I use it for sushi, sashimi and especially for breaking down large fish and turning them into smaller filets. As for care, I keep it very simple; I sharpen all my knives once a week, spending about 30 to 40 min on each knife. Then I keep them dry and in a case when not in use to avoid rust and dings to the knife.”

Tenzo Sharkskin Wasabi Grater

“One essential tool in the kitchen is my wasabi grater. Made of shark skin, the fine surface makes for a creamy wasabi paste. I prefer using fresh wasabi root, as opposed to powdered wasabi, to keep the traditional flavors intact. Not to mention, there are many unnecessary additives in powdered and tubed wasabi. I use fresh wasabi for all my sushi and sashimi, but it can also be used for steaks. One of my favorite recipes is to mix fresh wasabi into soy sauce, then use that mixture when searing steak. You can also add a pinch of the fresh wasabi on top before serving. The root is much milder and will not be overwhelming to the dish.”

Yamakawa Rice Warmer

“The rice warmer is one of my most essential tools in the restaurant. It’s an electric warmer that holds its temperature for as long as you need. The older styles were not electric, which meant you had to keep the lid on as much as possible and cover the rice with a towel. And once the temperature went down, I wasn’t able to reuse it. I now have peace of mind knowing that I can work an entire service without my rice being compromised.”

Electric Seaweed Crisper

“I want my seaweed to be as crispy as possible, which I achieve using my electric seaweed container. It’s very low tech (it heats the seaweed with a small light bulb!) but it makes a world of a difference. In fact, any store-bought regular seaweed can get much crispier using this. Once you open a bag of seaweed, the moisture in the air will make it soggy, but this container stops that from happening. Many other Sushi Note chefs have actually broken their seaweed when making hand rolls because of how crispy it is.”

Jordan Terry


Helmed by Chef Jordan Terry, Dirty French is not a subtle place. But Terry, who rose from meat cook to sous chef to executive chef, isn’t as fanciful as his restaurant. Where the chef’s menu is covered in elevated french bistro classics like mushroom millefeuille and terrine of foie gras, his kitchen is stocked with better versions of the gear you have at home. From buying deli containers in bulk to a cutting board that beats out wood and plastic, these are the things Chef Jordan Terry couldn’t live without.

Rubber Cutting Board

“This isn’t some thin, plastic malarkey. It’s a solid, beautiful and terribly functional cutting board. It’s heavy and made of rubber, which is so much kinder to your blade, absorbing the metal instead of fighting it like a plastic one. And unlike wooden cutting boards, that’s all that it absorbs. It cleans up like a champion and it’s significantly faster than other boards; your blade just bounces back, ready for more. Bonus, you can use a scrubbing pad to take it down if it gets pockmarked or stained — no need for a sander like with a wooden one. They are just a joy to cut on.”

ChoiceHD Deli Containers (32 oz.)

“I use these for everything: storage, portioning, mise en place, sweet tea during service, to make lunches for my wife — they really are the backbone of the kitchen. They come in different sizes, but they have universal lids. They are reusable, they are cheap, they are sturdy and with a roll of masking tape and a sharpie, you can keep everything in them labeled and organized.”

Hall China 1-Quart Jars

“We each have our own and store all the tools we will need for service: like spoons, spatulas, tweezers and whatever else we might need. I love having a few extra around, filled to the brim with spoons for cooking and tasting. They are quiet, elegant and a great way to keep everything you need within arms reach.”

Opinel Oyster Knife

“Never will I have to break my keys opening oysters when I find myself in this situation (which has happened more than you might think). It’s beautifully made with a smooth and strong handle and a stout blade that flies through whatever size oysters you stumble upon, and fits comfortably in your pocket. Just don’t forget it’s there when you go to city hall to get a marriage certificate… they don’t care about your reasons.”

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

Customized Dog Treats Could Take Over Pet Care

These days, you can personalize everything in your life. Protein powder. Skincare. And, now, dog treats.

Dandy is a new online pet wellness company making treats tailored to your dog’s unique needs. Just take a quiz on Dandy’s website and the company will create the best concoction for your pooch.

Through machine learning, algorithms and realtime feedback, Dandy continually updates and evolves your dog’s formulation until it’s a perfect match. Dandy also ensures that dog owners know what’s in their treats along with why those ingredients were chosen for their dog. A list of ingredients, which include things from wheatgrass to salmon oil, can be found on its website.

Dandy hopes to bridge the gap between dog owners and veterinarians by making it easier for owners to give their dogs the custom treatment they would typically only receive from in-person consultations. The company even tries to offset its carbon footprint by making its packaging compostable and by using sustainability sourced products

The treats start at $1.35 a day and are available now.

This Japanese Chef’s Knife Could Last You Decades

Off Ventura Boulevard in Los Angeles’ Sherman Oaks neighborhood, Chef Kiminobu Saito’s sushi operation is both extremely serious and not-so-serious. Saito’s Sushi Note, open summer of 2018, manages to blend a hang out atmosphere with millimeter-perfect cut sushi, a wicked wine list and what are essentially rice tater tots (topped with fresh fish, naturally).

But don’t mistake Chef Saito’s whimsical restaurant for a casual approach to Japan’s most famous cuisine — he has been at this for decades, and his gear shows it. Namely, his knife, which he bought more than 20 years ago and is still going strong (he sharpens it weekly). From an indestructible knife from a famous bladesmith to a sharkskin wasabi grater, these are the things Chef Kiminobu Saito couldn’t live without.

Honyaki Yanagi Knife

“My favorite knife is my Honyaki Yanagi. I purchased it in 1997 in Japan. It’s made using the same technique used with Japanese swords. You can even see the impressions left by the heat and pounding process. My father had a passion for swords and ceramics, and I grew up with an appreciation for this style of craftsmanship. It’s the knife I treasure the most, and I use it as my main knife. I use it for sushi, sashimi and especially for breaking down large fish and turning them into smaller filets. As for care, I keep it very simple; I sharpen all my knives once a week, spending about 30 to 40 min on each knife. Then I keep them dry and in a case when not in use to avoid rust and dings to the knife.”

Tenzo Sharkskin Wasabi Grater

“One essential tool in the kitchen is my wasabi grater. Made of shark skin, the fine surface makes for a creamy wasabi paste. I prefer using fresh wasabi root, as opposed to powdered wasabi, to keep the traditional flavors intact. Not to mention, there are many unnecessary additives in powdered and tubed wasabi. I use fresh wasabi for all my sushi and sashimi, but it can also be used for steaks. One of my favorite recipes is to mix fresh wasabi into soy sauce, then use that mixture when searing steak. You can also add a pinch of the fresh wasabi on top before serving. The root is much milder and will not be overwhelming to the dish.”

Yamakawa Rice Warmer

“The rice warmer is one of my most essential tools in the restaurant. It’s an electric warmer that holds its temperature for as long as you need. The older styles were not electric, which meant you had to keep the lid on as much as possible and cover the rice with a towel. And once the temperature went down, I wasn’t able to reuse it. I now have peace of mind knowing that I can work an entire service without my rice being compromised.”

Electric Seaweed Crisper

“I want my seaweed to be as crispy as possible, which I achieve using my electric seaweed container. It’s very low tech (it heats the seaweed with a small light bulb!) but it makes a world of a difference. In fact, any store-bought regular seaweed can get much crispier using this. Once you open a bag of seaweed, the moisture in the air will make it soggy, but this container stops that from happening. Many other Sushi Note chefs have actually broken their seaweed when making hand rolls because of how crispy it is.”

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

Everything You Need to Run in the Dark Now That Daylight Saving Time Is Over

The end of Daylight Saving Time may have given us an extra hour of sleep, but it also means that the sun will now set an hour earlier. For most of us, it’ll be dark before it’s time to leave the office, but that’s no excuse to pack up the running shoes until springtime. However, it can be dangerous to go running at night, as you’re never quite as visible as you think. Before you go, you need gear that helps you stand out.

“Lights should be seen 360 degrees around you when you run at night, so just a headlamp is not enough,” Paul Ronto, competitive runner and content director at RunRepeat.com, says. “Even with a headlamp, pedestrians are really hard to see from a vehicle.”

To be extra safe, you should have a front light, rear strobe and at least one side light (usually on the side that’s closest to traffic). Reflective gear also helps increase visibility. “I would not advise only having lights or reflective gear, I think it’s crucial to have both,” Ronto says. “With drivers so distracted these days, it’s crucial to be hyper-visible.”

When picking out your clothes, opt for bright colors like white or yellow. Brighter colors are easier to spot than dark colors by car lights. And tall white socks are great to wear on night runs since drivers tend to pick up the motion before anything else. Your legs are what’s moving the most when you’re out on a run.

Lastly, stay on guard. Be extra cautious when crossing the street, do not expect drivers to stop for you as they would during the day (even if you are crossing at a crosswalk), and if you prefer to run with music, either listen with one headphone in or at a super low volume so you can stay aware of your surroundings. Pack your ID, phone and some cash; tell someone you’re heading out under the cloak of darkness and then hit the streets. There’s no reason to ditch your nightly runs if you enjoy them and they work with your schedule; just be sure to have the proper gear to stay visible — and alive.

Tracer360 Reflective Vest

Reflective vests can be an uncomfortable added layer, but the high-quality mesh and elastic in this one reduces the fabric-to-body contact so you can have a chafe-free experience. “With six fluorescent colors outlining this vest, your visibility will be at its highest, ensuring that you’re protected and seen by motorists and vehicles during your night run,” says Caleb Backe, CPT and wellness expert for Maple Holistics.

Nathan Reflective Convertible Glove/Mitt


Your hands might be the best place for an extra dash of visibility. As you crank your arms, gloves or mittens will catch any light that crosses your path and make drivers more aware of you with that movement. The reflective graphics that Nathan included here look good too, and the glove-mitten hybrid design makes these versatile across a range of cold temperatures.

Knuckle Lights

These knuckle lights “will guide your way through those dimly lit streets and ensure that you see any potential obstacles in front of you to prevent injury,” says Backe. Thanks to adjustable silicone straps and wide flood beams, you’ll be comfortable and visible, too.

BioLite HeadLamp 330


Unlike most headlamps, BioLite’s HeadLamp 330 has its power source at the rear. That keeps the design minimal and makes for a low-profile light that doesn’t bounce, even during hard workouts in the dark. What’s more, the light has multiple modes and is fully integrated into the fabric strap, so you don’t have a chunk of plastic or any clips on your forehead while you put in the miles. It also charges via Micro-USB and has a reflective accent on the rear.

Nathan Zephyr Fire 100 Hand Torch LED Light

While a headlamp will keep you seen, and help you see, a flashlight adds another layer of protection. This one has a small harness, so you can illuminate the trail or flash it towards traffic easily without worrying about dropping it throughout your run.

Road ID

“RoadID is a cheap option that prints your emergency contact info, blood type or any other information you think is important to share onto a small, lightweight bracelet,” Ronto says. If God forbid you get hurt out there, the RoadID will help medical personnel know all the critical things needed to properly assist you.

Nathan Reflective Ankle Band

Take reflective gear a step further by pairing your vest with ankle bands, a cheap, low-tech option to improve visibility. “The nice part about reflective gear is it takes no batteries, and as you move different areas reflect light at different times, making you hyper-visible,” says Ronto.

Nathan TrailMix Plus Insulated 2 Hydration Belt

“This insulated hydration belt is a convenient, lightweight solution that makes it easy to access your hydration and essential items,” says Ryan Raskin, triathlete, running coach and category director at RECREATIONiD.com. It’s important to carry an ID and cellphone in the event of an emergency, and this belt allows you to carry both without messing up your performance.

Petzl Bindi Headlamp

This compact and ultra-light rechargeable headlamp is ideal for night running. The thin headband adjusts easily and can also be worn around the neck. And there are three lighting modes: proximity, movement and distance, along with red lighting to preserve night vision while not blinding others during group runs.

SPIbeams LED Hat

Think of this hat as a more comfortable headlamp. It’s battery operated and has a convenient on/off switch, along with breathable material. It’s great for night runs in the heat as you’ll stay nice and cool as well as safe.

Ciele LRCap Night Right Allover


Don’t want bulbs in your brim? Ciele, the maker of some of our favorite running hats, has a full line of reflective caps that don’t skimp on style. Take this one, which uses reflectivity in a pattern to enhance its design rather than turn it into something that looks like safety gear.

KT Tape Pro


Maybe you already use KT Tape to support your muscles and joints during a run. If so, upgrade to the Pro roll, which features built-in reflectivity, for your dawn and dusk sessions for additional visibility. (And if you run with a backpack, you can slap cheaper 3M reflective tape on it for a quick DIY solution.)

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

3 Premium Kitchen Tools Absolutely Worth the Money

Good news for your wallet: not every kitchen tool is worth a premium price. The bad news? Some wares most definitely are. Here’s why, along with recs.

Dutch Oven

Le Creuset 5.5-Quart ($319)

Why: A good barometer to consider the value of a high cost item is its potential longevity — will you be using this thing 10, even 25 years? Premium Dutch ovens are not cheap, and they are probably marked up beyond what is a totally fair price. But the best will last you decades.

In general, what separates the more frugal options (like Lodge, Cuisinart and Cuisinox) from the premium category is the enameling. The way in which it’s applied, in how many layers and the quality of the porcelain all matter. When done right, this enameling will survive the odd encounter with a metal spatula (please, use plastic or silicone), rapid cooling (this can cause “crazing,” or cracks in the enamel) and anything else you might throw at it.

Unfortunately, you’ll be hard pressed to find information on enameling methods, quality control standards and whatnot from the brands themselves, but from our testing three brands stand out (including one you’ve likely not heard of).

Ones to Buy: First, do not under any circumstances buy an oval Dutch oven — your burner is not shaped like an oval, and so your cookware shouldn’t be either.

The industry is ruled by two time-tested French brands. The first and larger brand, Le Creuset ($319), has been making Dutch ovens for nearly 100 years, and vintage pieces from those early days are still in use. Staub ($272) is the other, and it sports a heavier, tighter-fitting lid (this means moisture doesn’t evaporate as easily). The last, Milo ($95), is something of an anomaly. It has not been available long enough for us to know if it will last as long as our two other suggestions, but the samples we’ve been testing since day one haven’t shown any signs of wear and tear.

Chef’s Knife

Mac Professional Series Chef’s Knife ($145)

Why: For less than one subpar block of knives (of which you’ll use two or three, tops), you can get a great chef’s knife that will serve you well for as long as you take care of it. It is the most used and abused tool in the kitchen, and buying a good one not only improves the precision and consistency with which you prepare meals, but also safety.

A quality chef’s knife — be it carbon steel or stainless steel — will be sharper for longer. Generally, if you want something with great staying power, lean stainless, and if you’re looking for the sharpest edges (and an easier time bringing that edge back into cutting shape) go carbon. With either, though, best practice is to wash them by hand, even if it advertises itself as dishwasher-safe.

Ones to Buy: Unlike Dutch ovens, there are many great knife makers. Mac’s Professional series chef’s knife ($145) is a great mix of a thin, Japanese-style blade and weighty western handle design. Global makes a really great chef’s knife called the G-2 ($94), which is a hardy, high-chromium stainless steel knife with a smart one-piece design (it’s weighted perfectly, and there’s no area where materials merge to create room for corrosion). For those who prefer a weightier, pure Western-style knife, Zwilling Henckels Pro series knife ($100) is perfect, as its wicked sharp carbon steel blade attaches to a handle that prioritizes the pinch grip above all else.

Stainless Steel Cookware

All-Clad 3-Quart Saute Pan ($185)

Why: You know that stainless steel skillet you use that always wobbles a bit when it’s heating up? Or the oil always slides down one side? Or maybe food refuses to release from it, no matter how much oil you put down beforehand? These are common issues that stem from cheaping out on your stainless steel cookware.

And no matter how much ground cast-iron cookware, non-stick, carbon steel or whatever else thinks it’s gaining on stainless steel, none will ever supplant its status as the do-it-all cookware. Good stainless steel doesn’t warp and wane so easily (this is usually caused by either overheating a pan or putting a screaming hot pan in water too quickly). It heats quickly and holds that heat more effectively (this is primarily due to metal bonding, which allowed stainless steel cookware to sport fast-heating aluminum cores). All of these attributes are paramount to cooking consistency.

Ones to Buy: For a very long time All-Clad ($75+) has made the best stainless steel cookware on the market, and that hasn’t changed. The company’s founder literally invented bonded cookware, and the company has since perfected it — the pans hold their heat better than cheap skillets, distribute heat better than cheap skillets and somehow release food better than cheap skillets.

Made In Cookware ($59+), based in Austin, Texas, makes a more affordable, similar set of bonded stainless cookware. The only notable difference I’ve found between the two is that All-Clad tends to retain heat more effectively when food is initially placed in it.

Tramontina ($40+) makes similar skillets to Made In, in that they don’t quite match All-Clad’s all-around performance, but are far, far superior than those that come in big box sets at department stores.

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

Outgrowing Your Ikea Furniture? Here’s What to Buy Next

Like Coca-Cola or Honda, Ikea is ubiquitous. Even if you haven’t personally traversed the labyrinthine halls of one of its stores or scarfed down a plate of its meatballs (now with 84 percent meat content!), you have most assuredly parked yourself on an Ikea chair or sofa in a dorm room, a dentist’s office or a buddy’s living room.

Ikea’s dominance in the furniture sector is a result of good products with bad caveats. The products are great pieces of design that happen to be affordable. But affordability usually comes at the cost of cheap materials and questionable build quality, and many individuals have rightfully leveled criticism at the company for perpetuating throwaway culture in the furniture world.

Moving on from Ikea requires the willingness to invest in furniture — a fundamental shift away from the placeholder mentality that drives us to its stores. But it doesn’t demand we ditch the Scandinavian aesthetic. For those who love the Ikea look but want something that’ll last, here are five upgrades to iconic (and totally ubiquitous) Ikea furniture.

Lounge Chair

The Original: Ikea Poäng

The bentwood frame. The cantilevered seat. The ergonomically-shaped back. The Poäng, designed by Noboru Nakamura, very well could be the poster child for Ikea, given that it’s been continuously produced and sold since Nakamura completed the design in 1976. It’s hard not to love, especially if you have a tendency to rock and bounce in your seat, but its cushions don’t typically age well and the screws in its frame have a tendency to loosen over time.

The Upgrade: Artek Alvar Aalto 406

The 406 almost looks like a dead-ringer for the Poäng, but it actually predates the Ikea icon by nearly 40 years. Designed by Finnish architect Alvar Aalto, has a similar cantilever frame made from solid birchwood and favors a seat made from webbed textile. Admittedly the 406’s price tag is considerably larger than Poäng’s $79 starting price, but the seamless construction of the frame (no exposed screws!) hints at how much better the build quality is, especially given that you don’t have to slap it together yourself.

Shelving Unit

The Original: Ikea Kallax

In 2014, Ikea killed off the Expedit shelving system, an item so beloved by customers that a Facebook group with some 20,000 members popped up to try and save it. Their fears were more or less unfounded, given that the Kallax system that replaced it is essentially identical, save for a slightly smaller footprint on the outside while keeping the same internal dimensions for the cubicles. That fervor goes to show just how useful Ikea’s shelves are. Stackable, expandable and versatile, they can be been used to house everything.

The Upgrade: Muji Stacking Shelves

Muji, the so-called “Ikea of Japan,” is a newbie in the U.S. market. But while it doesn’t have as expansive an inventory as the Swedish store, its products follow a similar philosophy. As such, you can find all the good in the Kallax system in Muji’s own stacking shelves, which are modular and expandable. The difference? Sturdier, heavier, better quality wood veneer surface in oak or walnut, and larger shelf compartments that can accommodate TVs and stereo systems, too.

Bed Frame

The Original: Ikea Malm

Ikea’s Malm bed has been a hit since 2002 thanks to a combo of versatile storage and sleek looks (though you can get a version with no dresser drawers if you so choose). Its design is inoffensively simple, but like many Ikea products, its particle-board-and-veneer construction means minor wear weighs heavy.

The Upgrade: Akron Street Dris Bed

Brooklyn-based Akron Street uses Applacian-sourced solid American White Oak for its furniture, and the Dris bed is made almost entirely of the stuff, meaning it should last longer and imbue a much richer look than Ikea’s veneer. Like the Malm, the Dris is an exercise in efficiency, offering two- or four-drawer configurations, because space never stops being a precious commodity, even as you get older.

Couch or Sofa

The Original: Ikea Klippan

The Klippan, like the Poäng, is another stalwart Ikea design, having been first introduced in 1979. It remains a popular item today because it’s light, compact, can be modified with new covers and, well, where else are you going to get a sofa for under $300? Ikea’s former head of design, Marcus Engman, even called it his favorite Ikea product of all time.

The Upgrade: Floyd Sofa

Floyd’s philosophy is the antithese to the throwaway culture that Ikea inadvertantly promotes. You’ll find heartier construction and modularity (thus, replaceable parts) as the part and parcel of its design ethos. That’s clearly seen in its sofa, available as a loveseat, a three-seater and a chaise sectional; it’s available in a multitude of configurations, but is always space-efficient and visually light.

Coffee Table

The Original: Ikea Lack

Let’s give the Lack credit: it’s astoundingly cheap. But obviously that comes at a cost, because Lack tables have a tendency to wobble and buckle under small amounts of weight pretty much out of the box. It’s also incredibly simple, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it drives home the point that you don’t buy a Lack as a centerpiece for your living room, you buy it as a cheap surface that will do in a pinch. Until it breaks.

The Upgrade: Hay Eiffel Rectangular Coffee Table

Though founded in 2002, Hay launched in earnest in the U.S. in 2018, making its accessible scandinavian designs, well, more accessible to us Americans. While the Eiffel coffee table costs about ten times as much as a Lack, one could argue it’ll last ten times as long. It’s made from powder-coated aluminum and MDF and, like the Lack, it’s simple, making it something that’ll blend in with most interiors offering a blank canvas.

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

For Better Scrambled Eggs, Add Cognac and Caviar

Scrambled eggs are what you make of them. Relying on high heat for the sake of hasty cooking produces a dry, browned dish; using the steam wand of an espresso machine yields delicate, airy eggs. Some splash in some milk, others white wine or champagne. But it’s technique and late additions that most greatly impact a plate of eggs — a fact few know better than Nick Korbee, chef of all-day Manhattan eatery Egg Shop, whose menu celebrates the myriad possible preparations of the egg. As outlined in his new collection of recipes, Egg Shop: The Cookbook, Korbee adheres to two rules when cooking eggs: “Let the garnish suit the egg-cooking technique and add the garnish at the end, not during the cooking process.”

Case in point: Eggs Caviar. A scramble flavored with Cognac, finished with sour cream, topped with roe and served with buttered toast. Rich and creamy, it’s grounded in the soft scramble technique, yet elevated by complementary textures and flavors. “Caviar is like next-level sea salt,” Korbee explains. “When used as a garnish for soft scrambled eggs, caviar provides a deep umami component to balance the unctuous nature of all that yolky goodness.” And that reveals just how good eggs can really be.

Which Caviar Pairs Best With Eggs?
“My favorite kind of caviar for this recipe is the highest quality I can best afford,” says Korbee. “This usually means the beluga and sevruga world is off limits. In this case I prefer American paddlefish, golden trout or salmon roe. If I’m really pinching pennies or showing off, I like wasabi tobiko (flying fish roe) from the local sushi spot.

Eggs Caviar

Makes 1 Serving

Ingredients:
2 eggs
1 teaspoon Cognac (like Pierre Ferrand 1840)
1 teaspoon unsalted butter
2 tablespoons sour cream or labneh
2 grams of your favorite caviar or roe
1 slice sourdough or pumpernickel rye bread, toasted and buttered

Preparation:
1. Gently whip the eggs with a fork.

2. Heat a saucepan over medium heat, then add the Cognac and butter (they should sizzle/simmer immediately). Add the eggs and whisk constantly — working on and off the heat in order to develop the curds little by little and prevent the eggs from sticking or otherwise overcooking at the base of the pan — until the eggs begin to resemble [soft scrambled eggs]. Add 1 tablespoon of the sour cream and stir to incorporate, letting the eggs sputter and pop a few times on the heat. Barely fold in the remaining sour cream (some streaks should still be visible).

3. Top the buttered toast with plenty of soft scrambled eggs and a heaping spoon of the caviar. Or pour eggs in a bowl and top the whole thing with the caviar, use the toast as a spoon, and knock yourself out.

Buy the Book

The recipe above appears in Egg Shop: The Cookbook, by Nick Korbee, published by William Morrow Cookbooks. Buy Now: $17

How to Make a Classic Sazerac

While early recipes for the Sazerac — America’s (alleged) first cocktail — called for Cognac, absinthe, Peychaud’s Bitters and sugar, today’s iterations favor American-made parts. Anise-flavored Herbsaint for French absinthe, rye in lieu of imported Cognac. Bourbon is also a suitable substitute, says Rudy Oliva of the Roosevelt Hotel New Orleans, home to the famed Sazerac Bar, while orange or grapefruit peels can take the place of a lemon twist. Try your hand at the recipe below, and make it as local as liquids allow.

The Sazerac

Makes one cocktail

Ingredients:
1.5 ounces Sazerac Rye Whiskey
0.25 ounce simple syrup
3–5 dashes of Peychaud’s Bitters
0.25 ounce Herbsaint
Lemon twist
Ice

Preparation:
1. Start with two rocks glasses. Fill one with ice (or place in freezer) and set aside to chill.

2. In the second glass, add whiskey, Peychaud’s Bitters and simple syrup.

3. After the first glass gets frosty, dump the ice and rinse the glass with Herbsaint.

4. Add ice to second glass and stir 30 times.

5. Strain the contents of the second glass into the Herbsaint-rinsed glass.

6. Garnish with a lemon twist, rubbing the peel around the rim of the glass.

Every Tool You Need to Outfit Your Home Bar

bar-tools-gear-patrol-featurebar-tools-gear-patrol-feature

The difference between a cocktail and a great cocktail lies in the details, the little tweaks only possible with the right tools. Read the Story

This Digital Timex Sport Watch Is Just $26 Today

Gear Patrol Studios

Gear Patrol Studios is the creative partnership arm of Gear Patrol. Select advertising has been crafted on behalf of brands to help tailor their message for readers. These sections are demarcated with sponsored flags. Learn More

Affiliate Disclosure

Gear Patrol participates in various affiliate marketing programs, which means we may get paid commissions on editorially chosen products purchased through our links to retailer sites including the Gear Patrol Store. Learn More

This Nice-Looking Cookware Set Is Ideal for Newer Cooks

Caraway Home is the latest of many cookware makers to crop up in the direct-to-consumer age, but it’s one of the first with a value proposition beyond “it cooks nice.”

Its products, designed by Box Clever, the team behind Away’s luggage and a Tim Cook-backed shower head, are made of a ceramic-coated non-stick material instead of the more traditional stainless steel (or Teflon non-stick). This means that they don’t have the heat potential or searing capabilities of the All-Clads of the world, but they are simpler to cook with, easier to clean and more affordable. Available in grey, navy, green, cream and a “perracotta” (pink and terracotta), they also happen to look pretty stellar.

Caraway Home’s first products are available in a four-piece set that includes a 10.5-inch fry pan, 3-quart sauce pan, 6.5-quart Dutch oven and a 4.5-quart sauté pan. The package also comes with lids and lid holders for each piece (all have lids, save the fry pan) and handy magnetic racks for easy storage. Sets are available now for $395.

The Best New Knives and EDC of November 2019

Fall is here, and we’re all digging into our closets in search of fleeces, down jackets and outerwear. Thankfully, if you’ve lost any of those items in the seasonal shuffle, every brand we know just revealed updated collections for fall and winter. Meanwhile, the companies making pocket knives and EDC tools don’t wait for the seasons to change — they roll out new products all year long.

Recently, Leatherman released a magnetic knife, SOG revealed a limited edition EDC folder, Tops mashed up two distinct styles and more.

The James Brand Duval

The James Brand’s latest folder, the Duval, expertly addresses the gentleman’s knife category. It isn’t a classification with strict guidelines, but most agree that a slim profile, high-quality materials and a blade under three inches are requisite. The Duval fits the bill: it has a 2.6-inch sheepsfoot blade made of Crucible S35VN steel and a titanium frame available with rosewood or Micarta handles. There’s also an even flashier Damascus steel blade option.

Leatherman Free K Series

The K Series is the final installment in Leatherman’s magnetic Free Collection. If a typical multi-tool emphasizes pliers, the K Series underscores the knife. The blade in question is 3.3 inches long, made of 420HC stainless steel, and comes in a sheepsfoot shape that’s available with a plain edge or partially serrated. The handle contains additional implements too: an awl, package opener, bottle opener, pry tool, screwdrivers and, in the slightly bigger K4, spring-action scissors.

SOG Limited-Edition Twitch II

Only recently did SOG start releasing knives with colorful handles. The company’s roots are very much in military Bowie-style fixed blades, but it has begun making a play for the EDC crowd. The pocketable Twitch II, with its drop-point, assisted-opening blade, isn’t entirely new, but these limited-edition versions with cobalt and olive handles are.

Tops Knives Poker

The Poker is an unlikely mash-up of two seemingly opposed styles. It’s at once a kiridashi, a Japanese utility blade made for artisan work like woodworking and leather crafting, and a karambit, which comes from martial arts and is denoted by the ring on the Poker’s handle. The knife has a short 2.5-inch blade and Micarta handles, weighs 2.7 ounces and comes complete with a Kydex sheath.

Opinel No. 8 Ellipse

Opinel’s No. 8 folding knife is a classic. That’s because its design is simple, with a wood handle and collar that locks the 3.35-inch blade in either an open or closed position. The limited-edition Ellipse doesn’t change those details, but it does enhance the design with an ebony handle that’s inlaid with a narrow, curved line of aluminum leaf. Opinel stamped the blade of each Ellipse with a number and its crowned hand mark for ultimate authenticity.

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

I’ve Had This Fleece in My Winter Kit for the Past 8 Years. Here’s Why

On the surface, it can seem like all fleeces are created equal. Most are made of the same materials, and there is little to differentiate one brand from another outside of fit and color. I’ve tried fleeces from just about every brand on the market and despite an ever-spinning revolving door of gear to test, one fleece has remained my go-to. It sees use for everything from travel to mountain biking to hiking to snowboarding: the Arc’teryx Stryka Hoody.

I picked the hoody up on the sale rack at an REI back in 2012. I wasn’t sold on the color (a burnt orange hue), but it was dirt cheap, and I needed a fleece. That same fleece remains in my kit today, eight years later. For someone in my line of work, that’s a pretty astounding statistic. Virtually every other part of my outdoor gear kits has been completely turned over multiple times, but the Stryka remains — not just in my snowboard kit, but across each of the outdoor activities that I partake in.

Maybe it’s the bit of elastane that’s added to the fleece. Maybe it’s the long cut. Maybe it’s the balaclava hood. Or maybe it’s a combination of those things that has endeared the Stryka to me. The memories made in it undoubtedly played a part; countless winter summits in the Green and Worcester mountain ranges, bone-chilling first chairs at Stowe Mountain Resort and ripping singletrack on a brisk morning in Sedona with my dad.

But memories can only take a piece of outdoor gear so far. An active fleece needs to perform, and perform the Stryka does. It’s breathable, impossibly stretchy and about as soft as curling up in bed with a Chow Chow. It’s smooth on the outside and brushed on the inside for warmth. The zipper pocket on the chest is surprisingly functional and is the perfect place to stash a smartphone to save battery during cold days on the hill.

Throughout the years, I’ve used the Stryka primarily as a mid layer, but on extra cold days, it makes an excellent base layer — in combination with a puffy and shell. Perhaps it’s the versatility that has cemented the Stryka in my outdoor gear hall of fame. Whatever it is, the original Stryka is simply the best fleece on the market and will continue to be my companion on every winter outdoor adventure. Though they’ve changed the Stryka quite a bit since the original, the fleece is still a part of Arc’teryx’s line today.

Country Singer Jordan Davis Shares His Tour EDC

In recent years, Louisiana-born singer-songwriter Jordan Davis has been making waves in Nashville. After years of working on his craft, he secured a recording contract with Universal Music Group Nashville in 2016, releasing his debut single, “Singles You Up,” a year later. In March 2018, he released his first album, Home State, and a month later, in April, “Singles You Up” hit number one on Billboard’s Country Airplay chart.

Though Davis has a few shows through the end of 2019, he just announced his headlining Trouble Town Tour kicking off on January 10, 2020. The 22-date run takes Davis from Milwaukee to Atlanta to Spokane to New York, and features openers Kassi Ashton and Hailey Whitters.

Before Davis announced the country-spanning tour, he stopped by Gear Patrol’s office in New York to share his tour essentials. Whether out for a few engagements or on a multi-month jaunt, his EDC is indispensable. Ranging from an Omega watch to Bose headphones to a pocket knife, the items are both functional and well-made. But he explains it best.

Civilware Clipper Folding Knife

“I was on a writer’s retreat in Palm Springs and found out about these guys. Ordered a knife, loved it and ended up ordering a knife for all the guys that came out on the retreat. It’s lightweight, a great pocket knife, stays sharp, something that has gotten me into a lot of trouble at airports because I totally forget it’s there.”

Bose QuietComfort 35 Headphones

“I’ve had these guys for about a year now. They’re Bluetooth which is amazing. On the road, we travel a ton. We’re either in airports — sometimes we’re on a stretch of road that is pretty bumpy, sometimes the bunk area of a bus can get pretty noisy — so having noise canceling headphones is a must.”

Lositto RFID-Blocking Leather Wallet

“My mother-in-law got this for me. I’ve had it for about three years now. Traveling so much, the thought of losing my ID terrifies me, so I try to keep it kind of full. I have a lot of hotel keys in here because it’s stretched out so much that I have to kinda keep them there.”

5.11 AMP10 20L Backpack

“I was given this from 5.11 which is by far the best backpack. A ton of room — it folds all the way down, which is huge… I’ve played some Army bases and they’ve given me these patches and wanted me to put them on there. So it’s just kind of a thank you to them.”

Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch Professional Chronograph

“This was a gift to me from Old Dominion as a touring gift which is by far one of the best gifts I’ve had. The Speedmaster is the first watch to the Moon, so if it’s good enough for outer space, it’s good enough for a touring musician.”

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

Meet the King of Hearty Winter Stews

Some foods nourish. Apples, turkey burgers, Sweetgreen salads with light to medium dressing — many of us have agreed to call these things healthy. They feed our bodies and our minds. They sustain us.

Then you have your fried chickens of the world. Your queso dips and your corndogs. Say what you will about their ratio of nutrients to calories — comfort food is good, and not just because of the way it tastes. In moderation, it feeds that crucial part of the self we call the soul.

Reigning over this category of caloric flavor bombs is cassoulet, a hearty 14th-century invention Sam Sifton describes as a “culinary jigsaw puzzle” for its lengthy list of ingredients and cook time. Those already familiar with the hearty stew know: Comprised primarily of heavy meats (ham, bacon, duck confit) and white beans, it takes hours to cook — but days to cook well.

“Finding enough time to prepare it will always be your biggest challenge,” writes acclaimed Brooklyn chef Andrew Tarlow (Diner, Marlow & Sons) in his new cookbook, Dinner at the Long Table. “Keep in mind that cassoulet is a very rich dish, so smaller portions per person will do.”

Like many things that are difficult but also delicious, the justification for cassoulet verges on the romantic, and shouldn’t occur daily. But sometimes it’s okay to crave meals that satisfy, rather than just sustain. Especially when it’s cold out.

Cassoulet

Ingredients:
1 1/2 pounds boneless pork shoulder
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 pounds dried Tarbais beans or cannellini beans
1 bunch sage
1 head garlic, halved lengthwise, unpeeled, plus 4 peeled cloves
1/3 cup duck fat
1 pound thick-cut bacon
1 (1 1/2-pound) ham hock
4 confit duck legs (recipe here)
2 medium onions, chopped
3 small carrots, diced
2 ribs celery, diced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 quarts unsalted chicken stock
2 sprigs parsley
1 small bunch thyme
2 bay leaves
1 (6-inch) square uncured pork skin
1 stale baguette
Olive oil
1 small bunch parsley, leaves chopped
3 leaves fresh sage, minced
3 sprigs oregano, leaves chopped

Preparation:
1. Two days before you plan to serve the cassoulet, season the pork shoulder with salt and pepper and soak the beans overnight in plenty of water. The next day, drain, rinse and place the beans in a large or medium pot with plenty of cold water, the sage, and the halved garlic. Bring to a bare simmer and cook for one hour. Cut the heat, add a handful of salt, and let the beans sit on the stove top while you proceed with the recipe.

2. Melt the duck fat in a pan over low heat and slowly brown the bacon on both sides until crisp. Transfer the bacon to a platter. Brown the ham hock on all sides in the duck fat and transfer to the platter with the bacon. Do the same with your pork shoulder. Slowly warm the confit duck legs in the fat and transfer to the platter. Let the legs cool slightly, then pick the meat and discard the skin and bones. Cut the pork shoulder into large cubes, with a good amount of fat left intact.

3. In an earthenware or heavy-bottomed pot, add the onions, carrots, celery and duck fat from your pan, season with salt and pepper, and sauté until soft and golden. Add the tomato paste, mashing it with a spoon. Add the chicken stock and bring to a simmer. With kitchen twine, tie the parsley, thyme, and bay leaves together and submerge the herbs in the stock. Roll and tie the pork skin with twine and add to the stock. Add the beans and simmer for an hour, then cut the heat. Submerge the ham hock, pulled duck meat, pork shoulder and bacon into the pot of beans. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

4. The day you’ll serve the cassoulet, preheat the oven to 325°F. Remove the herbs and pork skin from the pot and discard. Retrieve the garlic head from the pot and squeeze the softened cloves out of their papery skins and stir into the cassoulet. On a cutting board, mash the 4 peeled garlic cloves to a paste with a pinch of salt — the slow-cooked garlic will be nice and sweet, while the fresh garlic provides punch — and stir the garlic paste into the cassoulet. Bring the cassoulet to a simmer, then slide it into the oven and bake for an hour.

5. Meanwhile, trim the crust from the baguette. Cut into cubes, spread out on a baking sheet, and bake until dry to the touch. Pulse the dried bread in a food processor until large crumbs form. Toss with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Return to the baking sheet and bake until crisp and golden, about 10 minutes. Toss the bread crumbs with the parsley, sage and oregano. Sprinkle the bread crumbs over the top of the cassoulet and bake for 30 minutes more. Remove from the oven and let the cassoulet sit on the counter for 10 minutes while you test your resolve.

Buy the Book
cassoulet-gear-patrol-sidebarcassoulet-gear-patrol-sidebar
The recipe above appears in Dinner at the Long Table, by Andrew Tarlow and Anna Dunn, published by Ten Speed Press. Buy Now: $22

6 Ways to Make Your Old Laptop Feel Like New Again

That fresh-out-of-the-box performance you get from your laptop when you boot it up for the first few times doesn’t last, unfortunately: as programs and files start to clutter up the system, and more and more software updates roll down the pipe, as the years go by you can start to see some serious slowdowns.

You don’t have to just sit back and accept this gradual slide into obsolescence though—we’ve rounded up six of the most effective tricks for making your laptop feel like its younger self again. Give some (or all) of these a try and it’ll be like having a brand new machine…. almost.

1. Clear out the clutter

What’s the difference between your computer when you got it and your computer now? A whole host of programs and apps, many of which you probably don’t even need any more. Uninstalling as many of them as you can should give your laptop a bit more room to breathe.

We’re not suggesting you take off everything from your system (at least not yet), but stick to the essentials: get rid of games you haven’t played in an age, and applications you tried for a bit but then abandoned. You can easily install this software again, if needed.

The same principle goes for the extensions and add-ons weighing down your browser too — get rid of the ones you don’t really need or have completely forgotten about, and your web browsing should speed up (fewer extensions mean fewer potential threats to your security as well)

|

2. Lighten the startup load

As your laptop gets older, more and more of the applications you install will want to start up at the same time as the operating system. As this list grows, it can seriously impact the time it takes for your computer to get ready to use.

Sometimes this sort of behavior can be really useful, if you want to have a Plex movie library or a Steam gaming console available as soon as your laptop springs into action. Often though you don’t really need these programs launching alongside the OS, especially if you rarely use them. You can just launch them when you need them instead.

On Windows, open Settings (via the cog icon on the Start menu), then choose Apps and Start-up to see a list of programs starting up with the OS. You can also launch Task Manager (search for it from the taskbar), then open the Start-up tab to disable more low-level processes. On macOS, from System Preferences (in the Apple menu), choose Users & Groups and then Login items.

Don’t go too crazy here and start removing things that could be essential services (a quick web search should help with identification). Just take out the programs you recognize that you know don’t need to be launching alongside Windows or macOS.

|

3. Make sure you’ll always have room to breathe

Whether your laptop uses an old mechanical hard disk drive or a more modern SSD, getting close to running out of storage space can have a negative impact on the performance of your computer.

It’s not just that you’ve got nowhere to install apps and save files. Spare hard drive space is often used as an overflow for system memory. So when you’ve got too many programs or files open at once, Windows or macOS will temporarily park some of the data on disk until it’s needed again.

As this available overflow space runs out, the system has to do more juggling, and can start acting sluggish if you’re trying to do a lot at once. Really, the more space disk space you’ve got, the better. A portable SSD like Samsung’s 500 GB T5 can go a long way to making sure you always having breathing room.

4. Enlist some outside help

Various laptop-cleaning applications are out there, if you know where to look, which can give you a hand with tidying up the cluttered mess that your computer has become. Wise Duplicate Finder (Windows) and Duplicate File Finder Remover (macOS), for example, can spot and erase duplicate files for you—both are free to use with paid-for upgrades available in the app.

As an all-in-one system cleaner, IObit Advanced SystemCare works well for Windows: it cleans out temporary and junk files that you don’t need, and even tidies up the Windows registry settings file that can often become bloated. The software is free to use, with a paid-for pro upgrade available for more features.

On macOS, CleanMyMac is well worth a look if you want to boost the performance of your MacBook. It can free up space on your disk drive, optimize the performance of your apps, get rid of programs you’re no longer using. The software will set you back $35, but it’s very comprehensive, and a free trial is available.

That’s not a comprehensive list, but those are some of the best options out there—be wary of installing anything from developers who aren’t well known and don’t have a solid bank of user reviews to their name.

|

5. Use your operating system’s built-in tools

Both Windows and macOS come with a handful of built-in utilities that can put a bit more zip back in your laptop. For example, run the Defragment and Optimize Drive tool in Windows (search for it from the taskbar), and you can get Windows to tidy up the local hard drive and make it easier for applications to use.

Another Windows app you can search for from the taskbar is Disk Clean-up. This particular tool removes files on disk that you don’t actually need—temporary files, old system update files, cached files from the web, and so on. As you select each category you can see how much space you can free up.

Over on the macOS side, open the Apple menu, click About This Mac, and then switch to the Storage tab. If you then click Manage, you’ll see a host of clean-up options for your Mac, from deleting temporary files to wiping downloaded movies you’ve watched (you can always download them from Apple again).

On both macOS and Windows, make sure all the latest software updates are downloaded and installed (either Update & Security from Settings in Windows, or Software Update from the About This Mac dialog). This makes sure you’re running all the latest optimizations and bug fixes for your operating system.

|

6. The nuclear option

This one is not for the faint of heart, but it is the most effective: go right back to the beginning and start again with a fresh install of Windows or macOS. Before you do this, you should of course make sure all your files are safely backed up somewhere else, and that you can easily reinstall all your applications and games, because everything is going to be wiped.

The process is actually very straightforward in Windows. If you open up Settings (via the cog icon on the Start menu), then click Update & Security, then click Recovery, you can reset your PC. You’ll be left with a brand new version of Windows, and your laptop should run as it originally did.

The process on macOS is a little more involved. You need to restart your Mac, then hold down Command+R as it reboots. When the macOS Utilities window appears, choose Reinstall macOS, and follow the instructions on screen. When everything is done, your laptop will restart again.

Reinstalling Windows or macOS is so effective at making your laptop feel like new, you might want to think about doing it regularly—every few months or so. Just make sure your important files can be quickly restored afterwards (tools like OneDrive on Windows and iCloud on macOS are making this easier all the time).

|

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

The Max Bill Is the Best Affordable Watch for the Stylish Guy

During the middle of the last century, the Swiss architect-designer Max Bill began, through his Concrete Art movement, to reshape popular graphic design. Bill — who most notably co-founded the Hochschule für Gestaltung in Germany, the most progressive design school at the time — started focusing his design prowess on everyday products, at a time when other legendary designers were doing the same. Think Schlumbohm’s Chemex from 1941 or Eames’ lounger from 1956. It was time chronographs joined the trend.

The opportunity came when Junghans, the German watch manufacturer, approached Bill and asked for two clocks. The resulting designs, which now both reside in the collection at the MoMA, launched a lasting relationship between designer and brand. And so, in 1961, Junghans turned Bill’s attention to crafting purist wristwatches that paired his elegant styling with their precise movements. A decade later, Junghans landed the role of official timekeeper at the 1972 summer Olympics. Today, the technical construction of the Max Bill by Junghans collection is state of the art, while the designs remain timeless Bill.

Junghans Max Bill CollectionJunghans Max Bill Collection

1. Fit Your Budget:
The Max Bill by Junghans collection comes in a range of price points, and each watch face features the designer’s iconic styling. From the self-winding chronoscope to the more budget-friendly quartz movement, the tenant of “good design” in everyday objects is the democratization of functional beauty.
2. Find Your Strap:
The collection is available in a simple array of color combinations, allowing wearers to tailor the watch face’s go-with-anything-aesthetic to well… go with anything. The dials come in white, black, silver, and anthracite, while the straps are available in black, brown, tan, and felt grey leather, in addition to stainless steel Milanese.
3. Distilled Functionalism:
“Functional design considers the visual aspect, that is, the beauty of an object as a component of its function, but not one that overwhelms its other primary functions,” said designer Max Bill about his iconic design philosophy.

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

Heat Up Your Winter with This Cold-Weather Gear

The temperatures are already dropping, but you still have time to buy a warm jacket and weather-appropriate boots. If you’re already equipped with the right gear, we’ll teach you how to truly winterize it so you can stay one step ahead of Mother Nature in the cold months ahead.

7 Types of Winter Jackets You Need to Know7 Types of Winter Jackets You Need to Know

7 Types of Winter Jackets You Need to Know

Before you go out to drop your hard-earned paycheck on your future go-to winter jacket, brush up on your outerwear knowledge.

The Best Cashmere Sweaters under $130The Best Cashmere Sweaters under $130

The Best Cashmere Sweaters under $130

From Everlane, J.Crew, Nadaam and more.

How to Winterize Your Shoes and BootsHow to Winterize Your Shoes and Boots

How to Winterize Your Shoes and Boots

You can make it through winter without having to buy a new pair of shoes. With the right preparation and maintenance, your existing shoe collection can be winterized.

The 12 Best Down Jackets of 2019The 12 Best Down Jackets of 2019

The 12 Best Down Jackets of 2019

These top picks for lightweight, innovative down jackets will keep you warm from when the leaves fly until the snow melts next spring.

The Best Boots for Snow and RainThe Best Boots for Snow and Rain

The Best Boots for Snow and Rain

Give inclement weather the boot.

How to Re-Wax a Canvas Jacket the Right WayHow to Re-Wax a Canvas Jacket the Right Way

How to Re-Wax a Canvas Jacket the Right Way

If you’re lucky enough to own one, you need to know how to re-wax it properly — instead of just buying a new one.

America’s Oldest Outdoor Clothing Maker Just Made the Coolest Streetwear DropAmerica’s Oldest Outdoor Clothing Maker Just Made the Coolest Streetwear Drop

America’s Oldest Outdoor Clothing Maker Just Made the Coolest Streetwear Drop

New York-based streetwear brand Aime Leon Dore teamed up with America’s oldest producer of outdoor clothing for a 70s-inspired collection filled with down, flannel, moleskin and merino wool.

These Boots Were Designed by a Legendary Apple DesignerThese Boots Were Designed by a Legendary Apple Designer

These Boots Were Designed by a Legendary Apple Designer

The designer who helped design the Apple Watch just tried his hand at making a pair of boots.

This Boot Is What Results When Japanese Outerwear and Australian Footwear CollideThis Boot Is What Results When Japanese Outerwear and Australian Footwear Collide

This Boot Is What Results When Japanese Outerwear and Australian Footwear Collide

Rocky Mountain Featherbed and shearling-lined bootmakers Ugg collaborated on a boot that’s half- shearling, half-down, and all heat.

The 50 Best Boots for MenThe 50 Best Boots for Men

The 50 Best Boots for Men

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