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This New Cutting Board Is the Ultimate Meal Prep Upgrade

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Made the cut


We may have recommended rubber as a superior material for cutting boards, but wood will always be a classic choice for those slicing surfaces. And this new campaign on Kickstarter reminds us of the potential of the material: it’s an intuitively designed bamboo cutting board with a modular storage system.

The TidyBoard features an opening on the side to place a hanging storage container for tossing scraps and prepared foods. It’s designed so the storage container can hang off the table and support up to nine pounds without tipping the board over. TidyBoard comes with additional straining containers and smaller, modular containers to keep everything organized. Plus, snap-on lids make these containers ideal for meal prep.

TidyBoard retails for $99, but introductory prices start at $79. The brand expects deliveries to begin in October 2020.

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

Tyler Chin is Gear Patrol’s home writer. He’s from Queens, where tempers are short and commutes are long. But nothing can get in the way of his love of coffee, beer and random home goods.

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

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Snacking on Skins Is Huge in Japan. Could It Get Huge in the States?

In Japan, eating chicken skin on its own — grilled over charcoal and called kawa — is a common bar snack. Fried chicken skins that come in bags are as popular as American Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, too. Indonesia’s KFC has fried chicken skins that sell as well as, if not better, than French fries. In the US, however, eating chicken skin on its own hasn’t reached the same popularity. That might be changing.

A new crop of snack brands are delving into other edible animal skins, injecting new blood into a space thoroughly dominated by the humble pork rind. These brands are banking on the public becoming more conscious of the health factors of their food and where the ingredients come from. And while we’re in the thicket of the coronavirus pandemic, capitalizing on shoppers avoiding extra time spent in grocery stores.

“Launching at the beginning of the pandemic definitely changed the way we were having conversations around direct-to-consumer snacks and how we can introduce more people to healthy snacking at an accessible price,” Justin Guilbert, co-founder of Goodfish, says.

Goodfish sells fried wild Alaska sockeye salmon skins at $3 for a 1/2-ounce pack. The skins come in flavors such as chili lime, spicy bbq and sea salt — common potato chip flavors. Unlike their potato counterparts, the “chips” contain seven grams of protein, marine collagen, omega-3 fatty acids and zero carbs. The brand sources its skins from scraps that would have otherwise been thrown away, adding a touch of sustainability to the snack.

Like Goodfish, Flock, a fried chicken skin snack from The Naked Market, markets itself as a healthy snack alternative. It’s keto-friendly, high-protein and low-carb, which may come as a surprise to those familiar with fried chicken’s rap sheet.

“Anytime you introduce a non-commercial food to the market it will go through an education period but if it tastes good, and has a strong nutritional profile, it should be well-positioned to succeed, as is the case with animal skins.” Harrison Fugman, CEO and co-founder of The Naked Market, explains. “We were in a very fortunate situation where in the first few days [of coronavirus panic] we saw orders increase drastically as consumers stocked up on online groceries.”

But, considering their low-carb, low-fat, high-protein nutritional foundation, these snacks are, by-design, desirable to those following keto diets. That’s no accident. In 2018, pork rinds saw a 49 percent change increase in dollar sales, according to the Information Resources, Inc., a Chicago-based data analytics company. This jump in sales correlates to a surge in searches for “keto diet” on Google.

The quality of America’s snack game has lagged behind those in southeast Asia for decades. This may be a case of “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.”

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

Tyler Chin is Gear Patrol’s home writer. He’s from Queens, where tempers are short and commutes are long. But nothing can get in the way of his love of coffee, beer and random home goods.

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

I Love My Japanese-Style Iced Coffee More Than Air Conditioning

Forget your cold brew and your stale day-old iced coffee. The best cold coffee is iced pour-over coffee, otherwise known as Japanese-style iced coffee. And it’s the only kind of coffee I drink in the summer.

A few years ago, cold brew became the leading variety of cold coffee — so much so that it’s now a staple at Dunkin’ and Starbucks. A bastardized version even appears at McDonald’s. But cold-brewed coffee produces a beverage that lacks any zippy acidity and is too rich and chocolatey for my tastes — especially when I want something refreshing in the summer.

Iced pour-over coffee, considered Japanese-style because the country popularized the method, is also called flash-chilled coffee. This method of brewing involves brewing a regular pour-over coffee, but subbing in a third of the hot water for ice, which is placed in the carafe. The method of brewing hot and immediately chilling it locks in the coffee’s flavor before it has time to oxidize and get stale.

“Brewing with hot water lets you extract more flavor from the grounds, giving you a complex and interesting cup of coffee that captures the flavors that give you some idea where and how that coffee was grown,” James Hoffmann, author of The World Atlas of Coffee, 2017 World Barista Champion and all-around cool Youtube coffee person, says.

Cold brew takes hours to make because it takes time for the cool water to extract enough quality flavors from the ground coffee. On the other hand, iced pour-over coffee takes under five minutes for a drink that’s more flavorful. Many baristas used cold brew as a way to get usage from past-their-prime beans since cold brew results in the same one-note flavor profile regardless of what beans are used.

“Brewing with cold water tends to produce a slightly more generic coffee flavor, and you can also have some issues with oxidation. The longer you leave coffee, water and air together the more oxidization you will get,” Hoffmann says.

You can’t make a large batch of coffee like you can with cold brew, but iced pour-over coffees don’t take any more time than making a regular cup of pour-over. I use a Chemex for my iced pour-over because it’s the only coffee maker I have and it’s gotten me through four years of daily coffee brewing. I prefer a single-origin bean for its lighter, fruiter flavor, which results in a crisper, more refreshing beverage. And my preferred 1:16 coffee to water ratio produces a coffee that has a bold enough flavor that doesn’t feel too heavy for summer drinking.

Using less hot water in the brewing process won’t result in a watered-down beverage. As Hoffman says, most of the coffee’s flavor comes out in the beginning of the brewing process. “Once you’ve brewed coffee once, even with less water than usual, you’ve got most of the good stuff out.”

My salvation for the hot and humid New York City summer months has been, and always will be, iced pour-over coffees. When I want to give my air conditioning a break, my coffee is a pleasant respite from the intolerable weather. And even when fall comes around, these iced pour-overs are a cool treat because it’s always a perfect time for iced coffee.

How to Make Iced Pour-Over Coffee

1. Boil water between 195°F and 205°F.

2. For a Chemex, or other brewer with a paper filter, rinse the filter with hot water to remove any papery flavors.

3. Add 165 grams of ice and add the filter to your brewer along with 30 grams of coarsely ground coffee.

4. Slowly pour 60 grams of hot water evenly over the grounds to allow the coffee to bloom. Wait 45 seconds.

5. Pour another 150 grams of hot water of the grounds making sure to hit any dark spots to ensure proper extraction. Allow to drip for about a minute before adding another 105 grams of hot water.

6. Allow the water to fully drip through the filter. Remove the filter and grounds, and swirl the carafe to meld all the flavors together, then pour into an ice-filled glass to drink.

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

Tyler Chin is Gear Patrol’s home writer. He’s from Queens, where tempers are short and commutes are long. But nothing can get in the way of his love of coffee, beer and random home goods.

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

More than 40 of the Best Charcoal, Gas and Pellet Grills for Summer 2020

There’s no one grill for all grilles. Looking for ease of use and precise temperature controls? Going propane or natural gas is a good option. Like fall-apart ribs but don’t like tending to a fire? Pellet grills offer the most hands-off smoking experience money can buy. Or maybe you’re a purist who stands behind the hallowed charcoal grill and its occasional clumsiness, because you know no grills are more versatile, and none get hotter. Still, it could be that you’ve never grilled in your life and all you’ve got is your tiny apartment’s balcony to work with. In any case, we’ve tested, rated and recommended more than 40 grills of every type and at every price point. Grilling season has arrived.

The Best Charcoal Grills

Beyond BTUs, max temperatures and fuel cost, the fundamental difference between charcoal grills and its competitors is convenience. Charcoal grills are inconvenient in every way that a gas, pellet or electric grill is not. This is the fundamental appeal. In the same way many driving enthusiast prefer manuals to automatics, there is carnal satisfaction in direct control, higher failure rates and sky-high potential. Yes, charcoal grills can do things the others can’t, but it’s the no handlebars process that makes great. From the most iconic backyard toy of the 20th century to something called a Yoder Smoker, these are the best you can buy right now.

The Best Gas Grills

Convenience, ease of use and superior temperature regulation are why you buy gas over charcoal or pellet. And though grilling enthusiasts often see this as a strike against America’s favorite grill type, gas grills are not just burger, hot dogs and half-seared steaks. Not the good ones, at least. The grills on this list reach near-charcoal temperatures, offer plenty of versatility with low-and-slow cooking and prioritize endurance over shiny stainless steel for the sake of it. From a $199 grill that outcooks $1,000 grills to one of the best-designed products, let alone grills, money can buy, these are the 11 best gas grills money can buy.

The Best Pellet Grills

Pellet grills are no longer just for nerds. Invented in the ’80s by the folks who would eventually found Traeger, which remains one of the most popular brands in the category, they work by pushing tiny pieces of compressed would from a hopper and into a firebox under a tray, which is fixed under the grates. Most have onboard computers and fans that regulate temperature, even feeding cooking and temperature data to smartphone apps. It is the only category in grilling to wholeheartedly embrace such technology into even its entry-level products, technology that has made the category as a whole the easiest, most relaxed path to properly smoked meat there is.

The Best Small Grills

This guide is for all the wayward souls who reject the constraints their little homes place on them. The cook determined to apply the hallowed black crisscrosses of outdoor cooking’s best appliance, despite butting heads with questions of federal, state and municipal law. The grillmaster operating in a grill-unfriendly space. There are products for you. Admittedly, the category of small-space grills is rich in quantity but rife with mediocrity. But cheap materials and lazy design are never acceptable, and these grills prove you don’t need a bunch of space to own a grill that gives a damn.

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 14 Best Charcoal Grills You Can Buy in 2020

This definitive guide to the best charcoal grills of 2020 explores everything you need to know to find a charcoal grill best suited to your needs, including features to look for, materials, looks and price.

Quick Links
The Short List

The Best Charcoal Grills for the Money

The Upgrades

Beyond BTUs, max temperatures and fuel cost, the fundamental difference between charcoal grills and its competitors is convenience. Charcoal grills are inconvenient in every way that a gas, pellet or electric grill is not. This is the fundamental appeal. In the same way many driving enthusiast prefer manuals to automatics, there is carnal satisfaction in direct control, higher failure rates and sky-high potential. Yes, charcoal grills can do things the others can’t, but it’s the no handlebars process that makes great. From the most iconic backyard toy of the 20th century to something called a Yoder Smoker, these are the best you can buy right now.

The Short List

Weber Original Kettle Premium Grill

Best Overall Charcoal Grill: When you talk about charcoal grilling, you start with Weber’s kettle. The brand continues to represent the ideal mix of performance and price. Its customary porcelain-enameled steel body is sturdy enough to lock heat in and light enough to tow around without throwing out your back. Its construction is such that moving parts, screws and levers are kept to a bare minimum, which means it lasts much, much longer than other grills under $200.

The Premium version of the original kettle upgrades the ash catch in such a way that, to me, makes the $55-or-so extra worth it. Another bonus of investing in Weber kettles is the vast collection of aftermarket accessories you can get for one.

Weber Original Kettle Grill

Best Cheap Charcoal Grill: Materials, manufacturing and brand legacy all considered, it’s shocking the original Weber is still this affordable. The 22-inch staple is made with the same enameled steel as the Premium version and offers the same 363-inch cooking space (between 15 and 20 burgers worth of space), but it lacks the easier to clean ash catch. It’s not a huge issue, given the competition for a charcoal grill of this size is mostly rinky dink Amazon brands that don’t have customer service lines, strong warranties or any real reputation. If you’re dead set on a cheap grill and go for something other than the Weber original you’re doing so in an effort to be different, not have a better grill.

The Original PK Grill & Smoker

Best Small Charcoal Grill, Best Charcoal Grill and Smoker: Let’s get this out of the way: almost any charcoal grill can be a smoker, too. It comes down to having enough space to create two-zone cooking areas (explained superbly by Amazing Ribs here). This is what PK (short for Portable Kitchen) grills are known for — they’re small enough to toss in the bed of a pickup with other tailgate gear, yet, thanks to four very smartly placed vents, functional enough to grill and smoke at high levels.

The PK grill is outfitted with vents on the top right, top left, bottom right and bottom left of the cast-aluminum grill body. When you want to sear steaks, chops or chicken, you open the fuel-side vents and let the fire rip. When you want to smoke ribs or a small pork butt, place the coals on one side of the grill and the meat on the opposite side of the grates. Then open the vent under the coals and over the meat — this feeds the fire and smokes the meat indirectly. The entire thing is rust-proof, too. (Read our review).

Weber Go-Anywhere Grill

Best Portable Charcoal Grill: The PK scissor-base grill is portable, in a sense; it folds up and fits in a big trunk well enough. But it’s not portable. You’re not lugging it to the park, the beach or on a day hike. For that task, you want another Weber.

The Go-Anywhere grill weighs 14.5 pounds, which is featherweight in charcoal grilling terms. It’s large enough for 6 to 8 burgers, two regular-sized steaks or one whole chicken. It is not a grill you’ll be able to effectively smoke or slow cook on consistently, but it offers a huge upgrade to camp dining. Because most of the places you’ll use this grill will necessitate packing light and thus not carrying a charcoal chimney, we recommend bringing a pack of lighter cubes with it wherever it goes.

Why Buy a Charcoal Grill?

Charcoal grills aren’t for everyone. These are the pros and cons of charcoal grilling.

Pros of Charcoal Grilling

Ultra high heat: other than commercial salamander burners (like this one), no grill type will reach the heat levels charcoal and wood-fired grills will. Expect maximum temperatures over 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit, reaching up to 1,250 depending on your setup.

Versatility: It gets hotter than hell, but it works just as well for low-and-slow cooks. When airflow is handled well and the fire is tended evenly, charcoal grills can hold steady temperature for days.

Fuel Variety: unlike gas or electric (not so much pellet), charcoal grills can cook with affordable Kingsford coals, more premium lump coal, binchotan or even coconut shells.

Cons of Charcoal Grilling

Small learning curve: Learning how to properly stack coals, light a fire, hold a steady temperature and control airflow takes time.

A big mess: Expect your hands, your grill and everything in the general vicinity of the grill to have a slight tinge of charcoal dust for the foreseeable future.

Semi weather dependent: Where gas, pellet and electric grills can operate in windy and even rainy conditions, charcoal can struggle. The wind can choke out or puff up a fire to unmanageable levels.

Time sink: Lighting coals takes more time than clicking the go button on a gas grill. Cleaning the grill takes time. If you’re looking to grill multiple times a week, a nice gas grill may be a better option.

What to Look for in a Charcoal Grill

Materials Matter: Whether you’re shopping online or in-person, seek out construction information. Does the listing have two dozen bullets touting all the heavy-gauge stainless steel, cast aluminum and enameled iron (or steel)? That’s a good sign. If it’s not flexing its construction, it’s more likely to have rust spots, fail at retaining heat and generally come apart earlier than you’d want.

Beefy Warranties: Buying a grill that’s a few hundred dollars and it has a one-year parts warranty? Don’t buy it. Something that costs that much should be guaranteed, in part at least, for three to five years. Some of the grills on this guide come with lifetime part warranties.

Adjustable (and Customizable) Grates: Look for a wheel or lever that lets you move the grates or the coal bed up and down — preferably both. This allows for more cooking methods. As an added bonus, some companies offer upgraded grates (or there are aftermarket grates you can buy).

Vents! Vents! Vents!: In the making of a single meal, airflow determines quality more than great grates, coal quality and construction. It allows for you to feed a fire to sear like you want, keep a medium heat to roast a chicken or smoke ribs nice and slow. The more vents to play with, the better.

Delivery and Setup: This is a simple one. Some grills come fully assembled, others take a full day to set up. Look at this before shipping a 500-pound piece of metal to your house.

Best Charcoal Grills for the Money

Weber 18-Inch Kettle Grill

It should come as no surprise that among the best charcoal grills for the money is the maker of the best value charcoal grills. The 18-inch version of Weber’s kettle grill is large enough to grill close to 10 burgers, comes with an ashcatch and is available for less than $100. All other pros related to Weber construction, versatility and durability apply, too.

Nex-Grill Cart Grill

A $99 grill (that frequently goes on sale) that’s built of enameled iron, comes with a trio of vents for controlled airflow and looks kind of decent? Sure enough. Nex-Grill’s compact cart grill isn’t going to last forever and won’t be suited for large grill gatherings, but it’s got all the features needed for good grilling and entry-level smoking. Plus, it’s available at Home Depot.

Ikea Applaro / Klasen

This grill from Ikea was designed to fit with the brand’s Applaro outdoor furniture collection. For around $350, you get plenty of storage and a surprisingly well-made budget grill, complete with requisite vents for airflow control and a very handy pull-out ash tray.

Dancook Kettle Grill

If Weber were a Danish company, its grills would look a lot like Dancook’s. Its gorgeous stainless steel build mirrors Weber’s, so high-heat grilling and two-zone smoking are both in order, plus a patented grill liner makes cleanup demonstrably tidier than competitors.

The Upgrades

Masterbuilt Gravity Series Grill

Masterbuilt’s charcoal take on a wood pellet grill is the most controversial charcoal grill on the list. Load coals in the hopper and play with the grill’s onboard computer — which controls temperature levels and air flow — to grill with precision without any experience. That functionality, which also enables the cook to go more hands-off (which means more time with the people you’re cooking for), is likely the future of grilling. The pain points are temperature maximum and construction. The former is significantly lower than your standard charcoal grill (just 700 degrees), and the latter is questionable at best, with some plastic and painted stainless steel that chips rather easily. Looking for something you can turn on in the morning and not come back to until dinnertime? This is it.

Broilmaster C3PK1 Charcoal Grill

Broilmaster is one of grilling’s old guards. Founded in 1966, the company has iterated its design into a unique, highly functional and ultra-durable charcoal grill. A cast-aluminum body was one of the founding principle which has lasted to today, where it is still the gold standard for even heat distribution and weather resistance. And though its grates can’t be cycled up or down, it does have a unique split-grate setup that allows for cooking nearer or further from the flame. The pull out ashtray and vent count are the icing on top.

Hasty Bake Legacy 131 Charcoal Grill

Lauded by professional chefs, Hasty Bake charcoal grills ride the line between commercial and residential use in their functionality and no-bullshit aesthetic. The company made its first grill — then called a charcoal oven — in 1948 and has been making them non-stop since. From a construction perspective, the grill is a beast. Loads of 18-gauge powder-coated stainless steel make up the body, and the grates are nickel-plated steel. Parts come with a 5-year warranty, too. A quirk: the grill has a ventless hood, which changes… a lot. Instead of smoke and heat flowing up through the coal bed and out the top of the grill, heat rises to the top of the lid, where it meets a heat deflector, which recirculates the heat. This means hotspots are a rarity, and creates what amounts to a charcoal convection oven.

Yoder Smoker Abilene

A 375-pound charcoal grill with more than 700 square inches of cooking space perfectly placed vents make the near perfect party grill. Removable cooking grates are standard fare, but being able to remove the charcoal grate is a huge help with cleaning a grill this size. One last thing: the wagon-style wheels are made of the same heavy-as-shit stainless steel as the grill body, meaning they won’t casually crack or break down like many others.

Napoleon Charcoal Professional Grill

The serial grill reviewers at Amazing Ribs said it best: “If you’re committed to charcoal, but envious of your neighbor’s shiny gasser, the Napoleon PRO605 may be the answer.”

Napoleon is primarily a gas grill maker, but its glossy stainless steel charcoal grill is exceptional, and it’s one of very few high-end charcoal grills that have that new look. Other than its highly durable build, the grill ticks all the boxes: variable coal bed height, sturdy grates and (relatively) easy-cleaning. Some will be fond of Napoleon’s staple “wave” grate design.

Everdure Hub

The new-ish Everdure brand is the brainchild of Michelin-starred UK chef Heston Blumenthal. Its Hub grill targets pain points in the charcoal grilling process and addresses them with features like electric charcoal ignition and porcelain covered grates that are easy to clean. It’s also got a built in rotiserrie over the grates, which few charcoal grills offer as a standard. This is the grill you get to show off a bit, and keeps your hands clean. A downside: compared to most brands in this guide, Everdure has very few stockists, which means it may be tough to get hands-on with one before dropping two grand.

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 Price

Will Price is Gear Patrol’s home and drinks editor. He’s from Atlanta and lives in Brooklyn. He’s interested in bourbon, houseplants, cheap Japanese pens, and cast-iron skillets — maybe a little too much.

More by Will Price | Follow on Contact via Email

The 10 Best Sleep Accessories to Try in 2020

Everyone sleeps differently, meaning that what works for one person might not work for another. If your mattress and pillow aren’t cutting it, it might be time to consider products that go the extra mile. Don’t let 2020 be another year of failed resolutions and dark circles under your eyes.

SleepScore

SleepScore is the largest sleep survey ever. The app measures the amount and quality of sleep you get night-to-night by tracking your breathing and movement with sonar technology. You receive scores every morning based on how you slept the previous night, and the data only becomes more robust with time. It eventually begins to compare your sleep profile with others that were similar and saw improvement, when it sends you actionable recommendations (close the blinds, find some earplugs, etc.) to improve your own. Plus, it’s free.

F.lux Software

In the words of Harvard Medical School, “Blue light has a dark side.” All light has color, and all color is made up of different wavelengths. Blue-light wavelengths are known to increase attention and stimulate awareness, two things you really don’t need when you’re getting close to bedtime. F.lux is free software for desktops and smartphones that adjusts the amount of blue light emitted from the screen throughout the day.

Blinky Eyemask

There’s evidence that suggests light pollution in a bedroom can knock a person’s Circadian rhythm out of sync. Beyond that, light is just really annoying (especially if you live in a large urban area). This is the eyemask for people who have tried eyemasks and didn’t like them. Instead of pressing against your eyelids (and uncomfortably folding your eyelashes), it cups around the eyes. It also comes in dozens of colors if you really care about your bedtime aesthetic.

Marpac Dohm White Noise Machine

Marpac’s Dohm white noise generator has been drowning out loud neighbors since 1962. It’s one of the most-recommended sleep products in the world because it’s simple (turn it on and twist the top until you like the emitted sound) and delivers.

Ikea Trippevals Black-Out Blinds

Here’s another tool in the fight against light. Black-out blinds are probably the easiest way to reduce light pollution if you don’t like things on your face while sleeping. This set from Ikea comes with fittings that attach to walls or ceilings and osbcures the cord under the shade. Ikea also claims its honeycomb structure aids in home insulation, thus reduce heating costs.

Gossamer Dusk CBD and CBN Tincture

“Over the past year and a half, we’ve tested, tried, and ingested as many cannabinoid-based products as possible. Mostly because we wanted to, but also because it’s our job.” That’s how Gossamer, a weed culture magazine based in New York City, sells their brand new sleep aid. Dusk is a blend of hemp seed oil, full spectrum CBD, CBN and natural terpenes. It will not get you high. But with consistent, nightly use, it should aid in the age-old task of passing the hell out.

Coop Home Goods Eden Pillow

The latest trend in sleeping innovation is the adjustable pillow. These pillows either have removable memory foam fill or a type of insert that users can adjust for optimum sleep comfort. Coop’s Eden Pillow has impressive support for proper sleep alignment, and the fill is gel-infused for those who tend to sleep hot. A half-pound bag of additional fill is more than enough for those who want a really supportive pillow.

Gravity Blanket

The Gravity Blanket was our choice for best weighted blanket. The outer cover, which is machine washable, is soft and plush, like wrapping yourself in a warm, cozy hug. The cover’s interior features clips so the weighted piece doesn’t shift.

Coway Mighty Air Purifier

Coway’s Mighty air purifier eats VOCs all day long. Named the best air purifier for the home by too many websites to count, the little black box forces air through a pre-filter, odor filter, HEPA filter and something called a bipolar ionizer that essentially electrocutes the air and breaks up any potentially harmful air particles to make the air more breathable. It’s especially useful if you’re allergy-prone or sensitive to regular household odors.

Philips Somneo Light

This light exists as your own personal sun. It syncs with the sunrise cycle, making it a good pairing for black-out blinds. If the price is an issue, you can get something similar for a whole lot less — it just won’t be as pleasant and lacks some of the secondary features, such as a back up alarm that remains active for eight hours in case of a power failure.

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 Price

Will Price is Gear Patrol’s home and drinks editor. He’s from Atlanta and lives in Brooklyn. He’s interested in bourbon, houseplants, cheap Japanese pens, and cast-iron skillets — maybe a little too much.

More by Will Price | Follow on Contact via Email

This Slick Coffee Table Is the Result of Customer Fanfare

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Dims., a Gear Patrol-favorite flat pack furniture brand, just launched a new table: the Caldera L. The coffee table is a larger and longer updated version of its two-year-old Caldera.

The Caldera L addresses qualms customers had about the size of the original Caldera, namely its small size. John Astbury, an English-born designer, and Kyuhyung Cho, a Korean designer, worked together on the updated version, which has a dimpled surface for display or storage purposes (it also just looks nice). The design is available in natural oak and ink black.

All of Dims.’ pieces, which includes furniture like the Cleo stacking chairs and Barbican Trolley bar cart, are sustainably made, easy to assemble and reasonably priced.

The Caldera L goes for $595, but the first 100 pieces are available now at a special pre-order price of $545.

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

Tyler Chin is Gear Patrol’s home writer. He’s from Queens, where tempers are short and commutes are long. But nothing can get in the way of his love of coffee, beer and random home goods.

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

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A Company That Makes Fire Pits Designed a Charcoal Grill That Gets Hotter, Faster

<!–A Company That Makes Fire Pits Designed a Charcoal Grill That Gets Hotter, Faster • Gear Patrol<!– –>

This Is Grate


Solo Stove makes sturdy, semi-portable fire pits that getting extremely hot, extremely fast. The brand’s new charcoal grill borrows that tech and puts it to work.

It’s made of sturdy stainless steel, assembles quickly and looks slick, but if there were one selling point for Solo’s first go at a grill, it’d be air control. What the brand calls 360-Degree Airflow is meant to guarantee quicker coal lighting and ready times. Air flows through the holes at the base of the drum and through what amounts to a wind tunnel that leads directly into the coal bed, feeding the coals the right amount of oxygen to get (and keep) the fire going.

Like its fire pits, Solo’s grill is double-walled and features a removable ashtray for cleaning as well. Right now, the brand is holding a pre-sale for the grill bundle, which comes with a grill grill stand, grill shelter, basic grill tools and a bag of all-natural charcoal. Grills are scheduled to ship early September.

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 Price

Will Price is Gear Patrol’s home and drinks editor. He’s from Atlanta and lives in Brooklyn. He’s interested in bourbon, houseplants, cheap Japanese pens, and cast-iron skillets — maybe a little too much.

More by Will Price | Follow on Contact via Email

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10 Good-Looking Cheap Desks You Can Buy Online Right Now

So it looks like the work from home life isn’t going to let up as soon as we’d like. While some workers are allowed to get back to the office, many are opting to continue working from home to reduce the risk of catching and spreading coronavirus. If you’ve been holding out on buying a desk for your home, you might finally be tempted to give your dining table, sofa or bed a break. Costing less than $150 each, these are the best cheap desks on the internet.

Furinno Computer Desk

Listen, it’s a cheap desk and it’ll give you somewhere to work on without breaking your back. And the side shelves are a nice touch for something that costs less than dinner for two.

Ikea Micke Desk

Leave it to Ikea to make an under-$100 desk that doesn’t suck. The Micke has a simple design with ample storage space and a clever storage system for hiding cords and wires. “The goal was to create a real dream product with maximum functions in a minimum space,” Henrik Preutz, Micke’s designer, writes on the website.

Zinus Soho Rectangular Table

Shoppers might recognize Zinus as a mattress brand, but it dabbles in other furniture categories, too. The Soho table is a no-frills work station with a smooth vinyl top and steel frame. You can work on it and eat on it, but don’t call it a dining table. Maintain a healthy distance between your living spaces and your work space.

Latitude Run Mischa Reversible Desk

The Mischa desk is a trendy, slightly industrial desk with a convenient rack for placing loose papers, books and other miscellaneous home office gear.

Barry Floating Desk

For those tight on space and working on a tighter budget, this floating desk from Wayfair carves out a little working area for you to get things done. The two drop-down shelves keep things hidden away for an added dose of storage to what might already be a too-tiny space.

Heng Console Table

The Heng desk looks a bit like an elementary school-style desk with its rounded corners (no waist bruising) and all-wood design. Hide your notes in the cubbies, but you probably have no one to pass them to.

Courtlyn Console Table

The Courtlyn is a mid-century style desk with a tempered glass top and solid pine legs. This desk has a universal appeal that will work in any and all homes.

Williston Forge Liverpool Desk

Sit like an executive with the Liverpool desk. “This is a desk with shelves,” the product description says. It’s as simple as that.

Zipcode Design Hilda Writing Desk

If you have a lot of stationery and office accessories, the Hilda desk is a great option for its neat organizational nooks. The top shelf works to display photographs, artwork and other home decor, or it works as a platform for placing a second monitor.

Ikea Alex Desk

For a splash of color, buy a blue Alex desk from Ikea. At about 52 inches wide, the desk requires a bit more space than the other low-profile desks on this list. But who’s to say you don’t sit two people right next to each other? (Respect social distancing rules unless you live with said person.)

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

Tyler Chin is Gear Patrol’s home writer. He’s from Queens, where tempers are short and commutes are long. But nothing can get in the way of his love of coffee, beer and random home goods.

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

This Pillow Was Literally Made for You and You Alone

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out of this world


Pluto Pillow makes customized pillows that take into account their body statistics, sleeping habits and sleep preferences. Not adjustable pillows, like the ones we’ve reported on in the past; they’re pillows tailored to a specific user. Take a quiz and Pluto Pillow will run your answers through an algorithm that configures your pillow. The pillows feature a hybrid design — they have a foam inner core housed in a plush outer cover. Depending on your quiz answers, foam will vary in height, density and cooling properties while the outer cover may come as a cotton, quilted or cooling surface.

Although Pluto Pillow isn’t new (the brand was founded in 2018), innovations in bedding have led to shoppers spending more on bedding in the 11 years with the market expected to grow another 5 percent in the next six years.

The brand’s pillows retail for $89 and come with a 100-night trial period. If the pillow doesn’t work out for you in that period, Pluto will take it back and issue a full refund.

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

Tyler Chin is Gear Patrol’s home writer. He’s from Queens, where tempers are short and commutes are long. But nothing can get in the way of his love of coffee, beer and random home goods.

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

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The 10 Best Beach Chairs You Can Buy in 2020

A good beach chair is light, stable and worth sitting on. Does it help if it looks decent? Sure, but after a few hours in the sun and sand, most are typically less inclined to worry about aesthetics. In finding the best beach chairs of the summer, we focused on ones that were cheap, comfortable and easy to carry. These 10 examples are all those things.

Chillbo Baggins 2.0

If you can get past the name and embrace its unconventional style, this is a great beach chair. It takes two to three minutes to blow up, allos you to either sit low like you would any beach chair, lay down or take it out into the water. Having used one for a recent beach trip I relate to you rolling your eyes at this, but you won’t get a lighter, more functional seat on the beach.

Eddie Bauer Camp Chair

Eddie Bauer’s camp chair isn’t the lightest option, but weighing 6 pounds it can still support up to a 225-pound load. The 600-denier polyester fabric is durable, though we don’t imagine much activity happening in the chair.

Lawn Chair USA Sea Island Beach Chair

Lawn Chair USA’s many-colored folding seats harken back to decades past with their flexible, comfortable cross-webbing. They also feature plastic armrests, which absorb less heat than wood or metal, and a lightweight aluminum frame.

Guide Gear Oversized Director’s Camp Chair

This impressively strong chair has a powder-coated tubular steel frame that can support up to 500 pounds. The built-in cup holder also has a little table area to put your snacks so you don’t have to move an inch.

REI Co-op Outward Low Lawn Chair

Like any good REI outdoor gear, this chair is heavy-duty, thanks to ripstop nylon seat, and convenient. When not in use, the chair folds up and users can carry it on their back like a backpack.

L.L.Bean Packlite Chair

The mitt-like shape of the L.L.Bean Packlite Chair will keep you comfortable for hours whether you’re lounging on the beach, hitting up a tailgate or chilling in the backyard. The chair remains fairly light thanks to the aluminimum frame, which is still very durable.

Helinox Personal Shade

Doze off at the beach and don’t worry about getting sunburned. The Helinox Personal Shade chair features a nylon ripstop canopy with an SPF 50+ rating so the sun’s harmful rays don’t cook you in your seat. The canopy can be reoriented to shield you from the sun as it sets from east to west. Plus, the whole thing weighs just over a pound and folds into a 25-inch sack.

Crazy Creek Air Chair

You could argue this isn’t really a chair, seeing as you’re still sort of sitting on the ground. But, thanks to a total weight (when inflated) of 26 ounces, two layers of ripstop nylon and carbon fiber flat bar stays, this is ideal beach seating for those who move up and down the beach frequently.

Oniva Picnic Time XL Chair

Where most beach chairs cap out at 250-pound weight capacities, Oniva’s wider, sturdier, altogether bigger chair carries up to 400. It comes with a lifetime warranty, a cup (beer) holder, sloped armrests and a powder-coated steel frame instead of the more liable to be aluminum.

NEMO Stargaze Recliner Luxury

“Luxury” is in its name, and you’re paying a premium for it, too. The Stargaze Recliner features a free-swinging seat that reclines at the behest of your own body movements. The chair was designed to work on uneven ground, so it’s perfect for sandy beaches as much as it works on flat land. The Stargaze is like the perfect combination of a chair and a hammock, no trees necessary.

Absolutely Everything You Need to Know Before Buying an Office or Desk Chair

Thanks to an involuntary work from home revolution, proper desk seating has never been a buzzier subject. Whether you’re looking for a chair on a tight budget or you just need to know why your back hurts around 3 p.m. every day, we’ve got your… nevermind. Here’s everything you need to know about sitting healthily.

Everything You Know about Sitting Ergonomically Is Wrong

Sitting is hard. It’s certainly hard on our bodies, which are long and agile and meant to be moved, stretched and used — not crumpled into unnatural postures for hours each day. It’s also hard intuitively, because most of the time we don’t think about it. We plop ourselves down in a desk chair and really, honestly think it’s okay — that sitting is sitting, and that nothing bad can come of such a simple act. No such luck.

6 Perfectly Fine Cheap Desk Chairs Available Under $250

Coronavirus has forced millions of office workers into dedicated work-from-homers overnight. Most of those people’s living spaces are not suited to working eight hours comfortably, which is fueling them to buy nice office chairs en masse. But money is tight and a properly aligned spine can be had for less than $500 (if you’re willing to sacrifice longevity). Starting at $75, here are six chairs that will do the trick.

Working From Home Is Making People Crazy for Quality Office Chairs. You Should Get Crazy, Too

While luxury goods companies assist governments in the procurement of masks, whiskey makers reconfigure stills to meet demand for sanitizer and Dyson deploys ventilators to thousands of hospitals, one couldn’t be blamed for failing to consider ergonomics. Since coronavirus made landfall in the U.S., tens of millions of lives have been upended and, relative to issues of life and death, improving one’s work from home setup may seem trivial. And yet, across the internet, there has never been more interest in sitting correctly. And there has never been a better time to do so.

Looking for Affordable Home Office Gear? These Are the Moneyball WFH Brands

A cursory google of “cheap home office” yields hundreds of products from Wayfair, Ebay and Amazon, all from brands whose names you’ve never heard of, and in all likelihood have no customer service team to complain to when they’re delivered without screws. The middle ground of home office gear is small and difficult to find, but it is there. Here are four brands to get started.

The 18 Best Office Chairs of 2020

This definitive guide to the best office chairs of 2020 explores everything you need to know to find an office chair best suited to your needs, including ergonomics, price, aesthetics and features.

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

An Astronaut Convinced Me to Keep a Journal. Here’s How I Stuck With It

This is Kind of Obsessed, a column about all the stuff our team is really, really into right now. This time: an affable notebook.

Spaceships and Brooklyn apartments are more or less the same. They’re small, expensive, and — during a pandemic, at least — you can’t leave them easily. So when Scott Kelly, the astronaut who spent an entire year in space, suggested journaling as a way to cope with being isolated, I figured I’d give it a shot.

Months later, I’m still going strong. And my notebook of choice, the Leuchtturm1917 B5, is a big part of why I’m still doing it.

The soft-backed journal features 121 numbered lined, dotted, gridded or plain pages and comes in a variety of colors. The pages open flat, making it easy to write clearly even when writing close to the spine. The notebook also features a folder on the inside back cover, an index on the front page and a series of stickers for both the spine and the cover for identifying it. Ribbons attached to the spine serve as a bookmark. An elastic band attached to the back cover as a closure. The 80 gsm paper takes ink well, too. Both high and low flow pens stick to the page.

Most importantly, though, the B5 feels special. Picking it up, thumbing through its pages, and feeling the smooth cover — this notebook is not the computer I write emails in or the scraps of paper I scratch out grocery lists on. It is distinct from normal things. And so writing in it is more a ritual than an activity, one that takes me to a place so distant from the egg-caked frying pan my roommate lets sit on the burner, the dusty tea candles on my window sill, and the sounds of sirens and chants out the window that I may as well be floating in space.

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

Getting Married? There’s a Special Le Creuset Cast-Iron Pot for That

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White Wedding


Most wedding registries probably have a Le Creuset piece at the top of the list. And the French cookware brand knows it. Le Creuset teamed up with Zola, an enormous wedding registry website, to launch a collection of enameled cast-iron cookware in an exclusive colorway.

I can mention any number of wedding puns, but I’ll go with this: each piece marries a White Wedding motif with an exquisite gold accent, in the form of a knob, for a range of products that will appeal to everyone in the wedding party. The products offered are Le Creuset’s Dutch ovens in varying sizes ($305+), 3 1/2-quart signature braiser ($310) and its 1 3/4-quart signature saucepan ($190). The Signature 5-piece Set sells for $525 and includes each of the aforementioned pieces with accompanying lids.

One does not need to be getting married to buy the exclusive pieces. Shop the collection on Zola right now, and the collection goes live on Le Creuset’s website on July 1.

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

Tyler Chin is Gear Patrol’s home writer. He’s from Queens, where tempers are short and commutes are long. But nothing can get in the way of his love of coffee, beer and random home goods.

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

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The 7 Best Pellet Grills You Can Buy in 2020

This definitive guide to the best pellet grills of 2020 explores everything you need to know to find a pellet grill best suited to your needs, including features to look for, materials and price.

Pellet grills are no longer just for nerds. Invented in the ’80s by the folks who would eventually found Traeger, which remains one of the most popularity brands in the category, they work by pushing tiny pieces of compressed would from a hopper and into a firebox under a tray, which is fixed under the grates. Most have onboard computers and fans that regulate temperature, even feeding cooking and temperature data to smartphone apps. It is the only category in grilling to wholeheartedly embrace such technology into even its entry-level products, technology that has made the category as a whole the easiest, most relaxed path to properly smoked meat there is. But as pellet grilling has become more popular, so have the grills that make it happen. From great value to just plain great, these are the best pellet grills you can buy.

The Short List

Best Overall Pellet Grill: Traeger 575

It’s uncommon that a category’s most popular product is genuinely the best choice for most folks. It’s easy-to-assemble, made of heavy-gauge steel, rarely encounters technical difficulties and operates with more precision than any pellet grill below $2,000. Plus, it’s far more pellet fuel-efficient than its competitors and comes in comfortably under the $1,000 mark and is regularly on sale. Traeger’s 575 grill is the benchmark for the pellet grill category.

Best Cheap Pellet Grill: Green Mountain Grills Daniel Boone

Straight up, shopping for a “cheap” pellet grill isn’t wise. All the grill’s features are flaws when executed poorly or cheaply. Technology, moving parts and Wi-Fi connectivity create more avenues for problems to occur than any other kind of grill. That said, Green Mountain Grill’s Daniel Boone line — specifically the “Choice” line — offers a lifeline. For $500 retail, you get a sturdy grill good guts, but no Wi-Fi, which, in this case, is a good thing. The more flashy features, the more potential problems. It’s still run by an onboard computer and it still holds steady temperatures, you just have less to worry about breaking down mid-smoke. As with most pellet grills, the temperature range is 150 to 500, which is plenty of juice for a long smoke but not quite hot enough to sear a steak properly.

Best Portable Pellet Grill: Traeger Ranger

Small enough to fold up and throw in the backseat and powerful enough for a 12-hour brisket smoke. Traeger’s Ranger impressed when we reviewed it at launch in 2018, and it remains the standard bearer for portable pellet grilling. The drip tray and porcelain-coated grates are easy to clean, too. One thing to note: it’s small and portable, but not so small and portable to take much further than a car camping trip. It’s still 60 pounds of metal.

Best Pellet Grills for the Money

Weber SmokeFire

In 2020, the king of American grilling got into pellet grills for the first time, and after a somewhat unstable launch, it’s begun to come into its own. Along with plenty of Weber standards — sturdy materials, simple assembly, solid warranties, etc. — it also has a superpower almost no other pellet grill has: searing power. Unlike those pellet grills that place a drip tray under the grates that blocks direct heat, the SmokeFire employs the same upside-down, V-shaped heat diffusers its gas grills do, which allows for the heat source to interact more directly with the meat. In practice, it gets about 150 to 200 degrees hotter than 95 percent of other pellet grills.

Green Mountain Grills Daniel Boone Prime

The upgraded version of our “Best Cheap Pellet Grill” pick comes with Wi-Fi controls, which takes the pellet grill from a slightly hands-off grilling experience to a completely hands-off grilling experience.

Camp Chef Woodwind Wi-Fi

A healthy balance of technology, quality materials and clever design. In line with most quality pellet grills, Camp Chef’s Woodwind line operates between 160 and 500 degrees — hot enough to smoke and grill anything other than (maybe) steak. Two quality of life improvements that come standard with the grill: a computer control screen you can actually read, and a pellet hopper with a window built-in to see how much fuel is in the grill. Unlike other grills in the price range, Camp Chef pellet grills go on sale fairly regularly, too.

MAK 1-Star General Pellet Smoker

Only serious pellet grillers need apply. The MAK 1-Star may not look like much, but if you’re ready to invest in this way of grilling, it’s hard to beat. It’s grill is made of alumizined steel, which retains heat far more effectively than regular stainless (it’s what the interior of your oven is made of). Thanks to what the brand calls a “Flame Zone” system, it’s capable of genuine grilling temperatures, unlike the vast majority of pellet grills. It even has a pellet dump chute that allows you to completely empty the 20-pound pellet hopper for cleaning or maintenance.

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 Price

Will Price is Gear Patrol’s home and drinks editor. He’s from Atlanta and lives in Brooklyn. He’s interested in bourbon, houseplants, cheap Japanese pens, and cast-iron skillets — maybe a little too much.

More by Will Price | Follow on Contact via Email

Looking for Affordable Home Office Gear? These Are the Moneyball WFH Brands

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Autonomous

Autonomous is a five-year-old company that started out designing life-bettering robo-assistants, but has come into its own providing former office goers with smartly designed, well-made, mid-priced home office gear. Ergonomic-focused seating starts at $99, sit-stand desks start under $400 and desk accessories are $19 and up.

The company’s dedication to bettering the WFH environment is such that it’s released products as far-flung as a “telepresence” robot that scoots around your home with you, and, starting at $5,400, prefab home offices that are built over a few days in your backyard.

What to Get: While robots with cameras on them are cool, regular movement and height-appropriate desks are cooler. The brand’s SmartDesk 2 Premium lifts up and drops down with the push of a button, and it can do so bearing up to 300 pounds of weight on top. $449

Branch

Though the “about” page cliché of “we didn’t see this extremely specific need being serviced, so we made it” is usually not true, Branch makes a fair point: “After furnishing dozens of offices for a commercial real estate startup, [Branch’s founder] realized the average office furniture company falls into one of two categories: high quality, but expensive and slow, or affordable and fast but lacking in quality and service.”

Skimming through its site, Branch could very well have been a B2B company that cleverly seized on the rush of WFH boom in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic. The brand scopes in on this very real gap with thoughtfully designed products in the lower half of the mid-priced bracket, and while there’s nothing wrong with its desks, accessories and office lounging products, its task seating, which ticks nearly every box in the good-for-you furniture rubric, is where the brand shines.

What to Get: Keeping with the B2B vibes, most of Branch products have names like Ergonomic Chair, which may be its very best product. In place of the plastic found in other chairs, its base is anodized aluminum, which permits it to carry a much heavier load than other budget office chairs. This, accompanied by a breezy mesh back and and armrests that move every which way, earned the Branch Ergonomic Chair a spot on our guide to the very best office chairs you can buy. $279

Fully

If you’re more worried about office looks than performance, look elsewhere. Fully is an aggressively body-friendly office gear outfitter. On the site, you’ll see chairs primed for Silicon Valley parody, stools that align spines and more atypical office gear. Plus, Fully is a Certified B Corporation that devotes serious resources to sustainability projects.

What to Get: Though Fully does offer odd-looking office equipment, the Jarvis Laptop Arm does not fall into this category. It lifts a laptop high enough for healthy viewing (looking down at a screen for months will cause trouble), and it ensures your laptop isn’t going anywhere. The Jarvis Monitor Arm is equally impressive. $138

QOR360

Founded by academic trauma surgeon Dr. Turner Osler, QOR360 makes seats to save you from (or minimize) back issues. Its small selection of chairs all employ the brand’s trademarked “Redrocker” tech, which allows for movement forward, backward and to either side. The technology underscores the brand’s thesis — healthy sitting isn’t necessarily stationary.

What to Get: The marquis product, and the one that’s made the brand thus far, is the Ariel Chair. The premise is simple: gently nudge your spine into consistent, comfortable alignment. The thinking that brought the idea to life is far less so. $375+

The Best Office Chairs of 2020

This definitive guide to the best office chairs of 2020 explores everything you need to know to find an office chair best suited to your needs, including ergonomics, price, aesthetics and features. Read the Guide

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 Price

Will Price is Gear Patrol’s home and drinks editor. He’s from Atlanta and lives in Brooklyn. He’s interested in bourbon, houseplants, cheap Japanese pens, and cast-iron skillets — maybe a little too much.

More by Will Price | Follow on Contact via Email

A Fire Pit Made a New Charcoal Grill That’s Meant to Get Hotter, Faster

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This Is Grate


Solo Stove makes sturdy, semi-portable fire pits that getting extremely hot, extremely fast. The brand’s new charcoal grill borrows that tech and puts it to work.

It’s made of sturdy stainless steel, assembles quickly and looks slick, but if there were one selling point for Solo’s first go at a grill, it’d be air control. What the brand calls 360-Degree Airflow is meant to guarantee quicker coal lighting and ready times. Air flows through the holes at the base of the drum and through what amounts to a wind tunnel that leads directly into the coal bed, feeding the coals the right amount of oxygen to get (and keep) the fire going.

Like its fire pits, Solo’s grill is double-walled and features a removable ashtray for cleaning as well. Right now, the brand is holding a pre-sale for the grill bundle, which comes with a grill grill stand, grill shelter, basic grill tools and a bag of all-natural charcoal. Grills are scheduled to ship early September.

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 Price

Will Price is Gear Patrol’s home and drinks editor. He’s from Atlanta and lives in Brooklyn. He’s interested in bourbon, houseplants, cheap Japanese pens, and cast-iron skillets — maybe a little too much.

More by Will Price | Follow on Contact via Email

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This Slick Coffee Table Is the Result of Customer Complaints

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Dims., a Gear Patrol-favorite flat pack furniture brand, just launched a new table: the Caldera L. The coffee table is a larger and longer updated version of its two-year-old Caldera.

The Caldera L addresses qualms customers had about the size of the original Caldera, namely its small size. John Astbury, an English-born designer, and Kyuhyung Cho, a Korean designer, worked together on the updated version, which has a dimpled surface for display or storage purposes (it also just looks nice). The design is available in natural oak and ink black.

All of Dims.’ pieces, which includes furniture like the Cleo stacking chairs and Barbican Trolley bar cart, are sustainably made, easy to assemble and reasonably priced.

The Caldera L goes for $595, but the first 100 pieces are available now at a special pre-order price of $545.

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

Tyler Chin is Gear Patrol’s home writer. He’s from Queens, where tempers are short and commutes are long. But nothing can get in the way of his love of coffee, beer and random home goods.

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

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You Probably Need to Repot Your Houseplants ASAP. Here’s How

We all love a good indoor plant. They brighten up spaces and make great company. Some may worry about giving their plants enough sunlight or water, but there’s one factor they may not consider regarding their plant’s longevity — the pot. If you’re keeping your plants in their nursery pots, you’re going to kill them.

Nursery pots are those plastic containers that plants usually come in when you first buy them. These pots are not meant for long-term plant storage as they will stunt your plant’s growth by compacting its roots. Even if you’ve already potted your plant once before, you might need to do so again once it outgrows its home. You wouldn’t wear the same sized shoes if your feet kept growing, would you? We asked Bloomscape’s director of plant programs, Joyce Mast, for some tips and a how-to on repotting your precious houseplants. Here’s what you need to know.

Pot Pointers

Buy the right-sized pot

Size matters when it comes to pots. Repotting plants is about giving its roots enough space to grow and thrive. According to Mast, you should choose a pot that is at most two inches larger in diameter. Any smaller and you’re wasting your time repotting; any larger and you’ll have too much soil, which will retain excess moisture and lead to bacteria growth.

Don’t waterboard your plants

Your pot needs a drain hole. Watertight pots won’t allow water to escape and you risk drowning your plant or promoting bacteria growth in the soil and plant’s roots. You don’t need to water you plant every day. As long as the soil remains somewhat moist, your plant will thrive. And when you do water, make sure all water drains through the drain hole before replacing it atop the saucer.

“Many retail stores do not wish to deal with the excess water while the plants are on display. This type of thinking sets up the customer for failure with their plants once they purchase and take home. In most cases, the plant is already dying a slow death because the roots are drowning and the new plant parent thinks they have done something wrong which is not the case,” Mast says.

Some believe you can add rocks on the bottom of a watertight pot and they’ll act as a draining system. They won’t. “Placing stones in a pot without a drainage hole is not the answer. It will only take a bit longer for the pot to fill with water causing the plant to die,” Mast says.

Always use fresh soil

You wouldn’t settle for sloppy seconds, and your plants won’t either. Mast says, “using fresh potting soil will ensure that your plants get a good nutrient boost.” A bulk-sized bag of potting soil shouldn’t cost too much, and it’s good to have on-hand for future repotting duties.

How to Repot Your Plant

1. Grab your new pot and fill a third of it up with fresh soil.

2. Carefully shimmy your plant out of its current pot. If you’re transferring out of a nursery pot, gently squeezing it can help dislodge the plant and its roots. Otherwise, gently shaking your plant from its current pot may help with extraction. Take scissors or pruning shears to dead or excessively long roots. Mast recommends using rubbing alcohol to clean the shears after each snip lest you spread bacteria from infected roots to good ones.

3. Center your plant in its new pot. The top of its root ball should be an inch below the top of the pot.

4. Add soil to the pot leaving an inch or two between the top layer of soil and the top of the pot. Light pack in the soil around the roots.

5. Give the plant a thorough watering so the water starts to flow from the pot’s drain hole. Allow to drain fully and place it on its saucer.

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

Tyler Chin is Gear Patrol’s home writer. He’s from Queens, where tempers are short and commutes are long. But nothing can get in the way of his love of coffee, beer and random home goods.

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

Lil Yachty Is Obsessed With His Touchscreen Toaster. Here’s Why

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Get That Bread


Rapper Lil Yachty, whose hits include “Broccoli,” “1 Night” and “Minnesota,” loves a futuristic toaster. The rapper posted a TikTok in which he hypes up his touchscreen toaster that lets you swipe through different toast levels and bread options so you know what you’re getting before you put your bread in.

The toaster in question is the $300 Revolution R180. The innovative two-slice toaster features a sleek stainless steel design with a large backlit touchscreen display. The R180 has five food settings: bread, bagels, English muffins, waffles & toaster pastries (or as Yachty calls them, accurately, Pop-Tarts), and there are seven browning levels for those who want a slight toast to those who want their food cooked to hell. Your toast pick will dictate the heat level and time your food stays in the toaster, and you can be sure you’ll be getting what you saw on the touchscreen display. When not in use, the display acts as a clock, and the toaster will even let you know when it’s time to clean the crumb tray.

The Revolution Toaster is available at most retailers. Follow Lil Yachty’s TikTok for more food content like a Five Guys milkshake hack, Dunkaroos and Hot Cheeto chicken sandwiches.

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Tyler Chin

Tyler Chin is Gear Patrol’s home writer. He’s from Queens, where tempers are short and commutes are long. But nothing can get in the way of his love of coffee, beer and random home goods.

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