All posts in “Gear”

Toyota and Porsche Could Build a New MR2, Wild Rumor Suggests

Not all that long ago, Toyota relaunched the GR Supra to great fanfare. Still, at least a small segment of enthusiasts have been clamoring for Toyota to revive another sports car: the MR2. Toyota’s mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive, two-seater sports car went out of production in 2007.

But according to a Japanese rumor, the MR2 may be in line for a return — with the help of some unexpected friends.

Motor1 found a report on the Japanese site Spyder7 claiming that Toyota is looking to partner with Porsche or Lotus on a new MR2. The vehicle would stick the rear mid-engine layout and be powered by either a 2.8-liter or 3.0-liter V6 PHEV that puts out 345 to 395 hp. Spyder7 says the new MR2 would resemble Toyota’s Alessandro Volta concept and would come in a bit pricier than the Supra with a base price above $50,000 and arrive in 2024.

A Porsche x Toyota PHEV sports car collab sounds incredibly cool; indeed, it’s arguably — dare we say it — cooler than partnering with BMW on the Supra. But Toyota is pretty much the most rational, conservative automaker out there regarding product planning. And even if someone at Toyota wanted to do this, one could see it being a hard sell.

Very few people buy two-seater sports cars, and Toyota already has two, with the new GR86 and the Supra. Toyota also has the GR Yaris in other markets and may have a Corolla-based hot hatch coming too. It’s hard to see where another impractical Toyota sports car would fit in unless the company plans to race it.

However, the Supra has not been a tremendous sales dynamo since it debuted. There has been some speculation that the automaker may drop it from the lineup rather than make it a hybrid by Toyota’s self-imposed 2025 deadline. Porsche could be interested in an entry-level PHEV version of the 718 to run alongside the electric model. A mutually beneficial collaboration between the two brands that yields a new MR2 sometime this decade is not inconceivable.

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Apple’s Newest AirPods, Tested: 7 Things to Know

In case you missed last week’s big announcement, I’ll walk you into this review nice and gently: the third-generation AirPods — or AirPods 3 — are Apple’s newest wireless earbuds, and they’re firmly the middle child of its AirPod lineup. At $179, they’re priced between the entry-level classic AirPods ($129) and the high-end AirPods Pro ($249). They split the two in terms of features, as well; they support spatial audio (with Dolby Atmos) and have a wireless charging case like the Pro models, but lack those headphones’ active noise-cancellation and transparency modes.

After testing the AirPods 3 for most of the last week, I can tell you that they work like you’d expect a pair of AirPods to work. They fast-pair to your iPhone, support “Hey Siri” voice commands and can connect to two of your Apple devices (like your iPhone and Mac) at once. If you’ve had the entry-level AirPods and been scared away by the hefty price tag of the AirPods Pro, then these are a great stepping stone to the “more premium” Apple experience. But they’re still no substitute for the AirPods Pro.

Apple

AirPods (3rd Generation)

amazon.com

$174.99

The AirPods 3 sound (and fit) almost as good as the Pros.

The AirPods 3 look and fit more similar to the AirPods Pro. They are more bulbous than the classic AirPods, and have the shorter stems of the Pro models. That said, they actually have an open design — meaning they don’t fit as deep in your ear canals, and they lack the silicone eartips of the Pros that creates a closed seal. Apple created custom drivers specifically for the AirPods 3 that helps them sound almost as good as the AirPods Pro. The sound is expansive and clear, although the bass still leaves a little to be desired. (That said, very few earbuds deliver excellent bass).

tech roundup
The AirPods (3rd-generation) look and fit very similarly to the AirPods Pro, but they have a more open design and lack the silicone eartips, so they let more ambient sounds in.

Tucker Bowe

Spatial audio is still cool.

The AirPods 3 are the third wireless headphones from Apple (after the AirPods Pro and AirPods Max) that support spatial audio, the company’s immersive sound technology, with Dolby Atmos. It uses the headphones’ built-in accelerometers and gyroscopes to track your head movements, then create a virtual space where the audio adjusts as you move your head in relation to your device (specifically, your iPhone, iPad, Mac or Apple TV). It’s a really neat feature (which you can turn off if you don’t like) that makes you feel like you’re at a concert if you’re streaming music, or makes you feel like you’re in a room with the other people on your FaceTime call.

If you’ve used the AirPods Pro or AirPod Max, you likely know what spatial audio sounds like — it’s so cool — and the AirPods 3 do a great job with it. I love listening to YouTube videos on my Mac, turning my head and still being able to hear which direction the audio is coming from. It also works with a number of streaming apps that support spatial audio (such as Netflix, Disney+ and HBO Max to name a few). The only real downside is for music streaming services; if you want spatial audio, it’s Apple Music or bust right now (sorry Spotify listeners).

The new earbuds have the best battery life of any AirPods.

The main advantage the AirPods 3 have over both the AirPods and AirPods Pro: they’re the longest-lasting AirPods you can buy. Each earbud delivers roughly six hours of battery life, compared to the 4.5 hours of the AirPods Pro (with noise-canceling turned off) and five hours of the classic AirPods. Plus, the charging case carries a total of 30 hours, which is more than the 24 hours of both the AirPods Pro and AirPods 2.

TL;DR: if you’re somebody who prioritizes battery life, the AirPods 3 are the earbuds for you.

airpods
Pictured from left to right: AirPods (2nd-Gen), AirPods (3rd-Gen) and AirPods Pro.

Tucker Bowe

Don’t confuse MagSafe charging with fast-charging.

The AirPods 3 and AirPods Pro both support MagSafe charging. What that means: if you have a MagSafe charger, the wireless charging case of the AirPods 3 (or AirPods Pro) will magnetically snap into place and start charging. It’s convenient because it eliminates the main problem with most wireless chargers — finding that hard-to-find sweet spot — but it doesn’t bring any fast-charging benefits. Whereas iPhone 12 and 13 models will charge faster over MagSafe than other Qi-wireless chargers, the charging case of the AirPods 3 (and AirPods Pro) will only accept a max of 5 watts, no matter the wireless charger. So MagSafe charging is nice for the AirPods 3, but it’s no game changer.

tech roundup
The AirPods 3 have a wireless charging case that supports MagSafe, meaning it snaps right on a MagSafe charger.

Tucker Bowe

The AirPods 3’s all-new skin-detect sensor is the future.

The AirPods 3 are Apple’s first wireless earbuds — and the first wireless earbuds in general — to have what Apple is calling a “skin-detect” sensor, which replaces the optical sensor that’s in the AirPods Pro and regular AirPods. According to Apple, this new skin-detect sensor can more accurately detect when the earbuds are in your ears, as opposed to just lying on a table or being in your pockets.

You can expect future generations of AirPods to replace the optical sensor with this skin-detect sensor. However, in my experience, it doesn’t feel like a game changer — yet. The AirPods 3 do an excellent job of connecting and disconnecting when you place and remove them from your ears, but the optical sensors in previous AirPods have done this pretty well, too. So it doesn’t change the overall experience…again, just yet

airpods
The AirPods (3rd-Generation, right) have a smaller and squarer charging case, while the AirPods Pro (left) are really identifiable by their silicone eartips.

Tucker Bowe

Yes, you can wear the AirPods 3 while running.

The AirPods Pro are still some of my favorite wireless earbuds to run with; they fit snug in my ears, get loud (which I need to get me pumped up) and you’re not going to kill them with sweat — something I’ve done to more than my fair share of AirPods and EarPods over the last several years, because neither is water-resistant. Thankfully, the AirPods 3 have the same IPX4 water-resistant rating as the AirPods Pro.

I logged in almost 12 miles in three runs with the AirPods 3 and, again, they felt great the whole time — I had no issues with them falling out (or feeling like they were going to fall out).

Expect the price to go down soon — very soon.

When Apple announced the AirPods 3, it also lowered the price of its entry-level AirPods from $159 to $129, which created a pretty even (and fair) spread between the AirPods ($129), AirPods 3 ($179) and AirPods Pro ($249) — if you’re buying from Apple’s website. Of course, for nearly the past year, Amazon (and other third-party sellers) have frequently sold the AirPods Pro for between $190 and $200, which isn’t that much more than the AirPods 3.

If you only have to spend a little extra dough, the AirPods Pro are still the best AirPods you can buy, especially in terms of the best sound quality and active noise-cancellation; I’d still recommend going for them over these new ones if you can get a good deal. That said, you can expect the AirPods 3 to go down in price soon, especially given that the holidays are right around the corner.

In fact…Amazon is discounting the AirPods 3 by a few bucks already.

Apple

AirPods (3rd Generation)

amazon.com

$174.99

The Best Coffee Roasters of 2022, According to Experts

For a coffee roaster to be honored as Roast Magazine’s Roaster of the Year, the roastery in question, of course, has to produce exceptional coffee — but that’s not all. They also have to make significant investments within their community, to their employees and the coffee industry, as well. This year, Roast awarded Little Waves Coffee Roasters as its Micro Roaster of the Year and Huckleberry Roasters as its Macro Roaster of the Year.

A little backstory: for the past 18 years, Roast has held its annual Roaster of the Year awards, which gives recognition to two coffee roasters in the US: a micro roaster, which roasts less than 100,000 pounds of coffee each year; and a micro roaster, which roasts over 100,000 pounds of coffee each year. The two roasters are awarded $500 each and receive a feature in Roast‘s November/December magazine.

Little Waves Coffee Roasters, founded by Areli Barrera Grodski and Leon Grodski Barrera, started up in 2010 before opening its roastery in 2017. Based out of North Carolina, Little Waves roasted over 58,000 pounds of coffee in 2021, and it currently has three cafes in Durham.

As Barrera Grodski told Roast, Little Waves is committed to having a workforce that is representative of the greater community. The roaster is also focused on fostering deep connections with its green coffee producers, which means Little Waves can provide good coffee to its consumers at accessible price points.

huckleberry roasters
Little Waves Coffee Roaster took home Roast magazine’s Micro Roaster of the Year award.

Little Waves Coffee Roaster

Huckleberry Roasters, affectionally known as Huck, has been around since 2011, and in 20202, the roastery put out 240,000 pounds of coffee. Its co-owners, Koan Goedman and Jason Farrar, have committed to a people-first approach at Huck. That means the people who produce the coffee, the people who roast the coffee and the people who drink the coffee should all benefit from whatever Huck does.

tech roundup
Huckleberry Roaster took home Roast magazine’s Macro Roaster of the Year award.

Huckleberry Roaster

“For me it’s not coffee, it’s people,” Goedman told Roast. “One thing that I’ve learned a lot—and I’m learning a lot from Jason—is that it’s really about people and relationships. What’s important are the people we meet, the people we work with, and the people we do business with that we support financially.”

You can read the full features on Little Waves and Huck on Roast‘s website. And if you want to get a taste of their coffees, try Little Waves’ Río de Estrellas and Huck’s Guatemala Atitlán El Grano to see why they won this year’s Roaster of the Year award.

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Brooklyn Lager: What It Is, and Why It’s So Popular

Everything you need to know about the most iconic beers in history from grocery staples to cult favorites. This time: Brooklyn Lager, a Brooklyn-born beer that’s gone worldwide.

Brooklyn is the birthplace of a lot of talented people. Jay-Z, one-third of the Beastie Boys, Larry David. Brooklyn is also the birthplace of an amazing craft beer, Brooklyn Lager. Like a lot of things to come from the outer-borough, Brooklyn Lager has grown far beyond its Brooklyn roots, and has since reached worldwide acclaim. Here’s what you should know about Brooklyn Lager.

What is Brooklyn Lager?

Brooklyn Lager is an amber lager with a 5.2 percent ABV that tastes like citrusy, toasted bread. Poured into a glass, the lager is definitely amber in color, and it’s unlike what you would expect from a beer that’s classified as a lager nowadays. That’s because in the late 1800s, Brooklyn used to be a hub for brewing, with the most popular style being the Vienna-style lager, marked by its dark orange color and caramel, toffee and bread notes — all very apparent in Brooklyn Lager. Additionally, the beer is dry-hopped to give it a flavorful and pleasant bitterness.

Who makes Brooklyn Lager?

Brooklyn Brewery is the brains behind Brooklyn Lager. Founded by Steve Hindy and Tom Potter, Brooklyn Brewery has been around since 1988. The two founded the brewery to bring beer-making back to Brooklyn. Their mission was so well-received that highly acclaimed graphic designer Milton Glaser helped design the brewery’s famous “B” logo. In 1996, Brooklyn Brewery tapped Garrett Oliver to be its brewmaster, and he has since expanded the brewery’s beer lineup to include a number of delicious offerings from IPAs to its new line of non-alcoholic beers.

Where can you buy Brooklyn Lager?

Brooklyn Brewery has a huge distribution web. Its beers, including the flagship Brooklyn Lager, are available nationwide, and it’s also available in over 30 countries spread across five continents. If you’re having trouble locating Brooklyn Lager near you, check out the brewery’s beer finder page.

Why is Brooklyn Lager so popular?

new york mayor rudolph giuliani wears a baltimore

Stan HondaGetty Images

boxer schumer stanley cup bet

Bill ClarkGetty Images

The love of Brooklyn Lager crosses political divides. Both from Brooklyn, Rudy Giuliani and Chuck Schumer have used the beer to settle sports bets with out-of-staters.

Brooklyn Lager is popular because it’s a damn good beer, and also because of its brewery’s contributions to the craft beer movement. Besides revitalizing the brewing industry in Brooklyn, the brewery also makes donations to non-profits and has been an avid supporter of LGBTQ+ rights. Brooklyn Lager has a score of 84 on Beer Advocate, which the website considers “good.” The beer is tasty and comforting, while also being easy to knock out a few in one sitting. If you’re ever in Brooklyn, stop by the brewery — which has become somewhat of a tourist destination — or get a pint wherever you can find it. It won’t be hard because the beer is almost everywhere.

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The Complete Guide to Breville Espresso Machines: Every Model Explained

Welcome to Brand Breakdown, a series of comprehensive yet easy-to-digest guides to your favorite companies, with insights and information you won’t find on the average About page.

Equipped with dozens of knobs and buttons, commercial espresso machines — those found in cafés — suggest making espresso at home is a complicated process. This isn’t necessarily the case, and Breville’s prosumer machines are evidence the quality drop-off isn’t as extreme as you might expect.

Breville has been making kitchen appliances since 1932, and while the Aussie company dabbles in a bit of everything — toasters, pizza ovens, juicers, waffle makers, etc. — it’s arguably best known for its coffee and espresso lineup.

“A commercial espresso machine is a workhorse,” Kaleena Teoh, co-founder of Coffee Project NY, says. “It is able to pull shots and froth milk at the same time and has no recovery time between shots. The steam and water pressure is also very consistent and thus able to produce consistent espresso extraction.”

Teoh says residential machines ones are designed to be used by even the most amateur espresso fans. This is everything you need to know about our favorite espresso-at-home brand.

breville espresso

Breville

Breville Espresso Machines 101

Are Breville espresso machines any good?

Both amateurs and pros praise Breville’s line of espresso machines for pulling solid shots of espresso. Home espresso machines, the good ones at least, usually start around $300 and go up from there. Breville’s entry-level model — the Bambino — costs $300, with models getting relatively more expensive before capping off at $2,800 for the feature-packed Oracle Touch.

From a feature and build quality perspective, Breville’s espresso machine lineup rides the line between commercial and residential. Unlike pod-based machines like Nespresso, Breville espresso makers often come with quality-focused features like pre-infusion, commercial-level pressure, built-in grinders and powerful boilers that deliver fairly consistent pressure and heat. They’re not as powerful or consistent as machines you’ll find at the local coffee shop and the warm-up times are lengthier, but the gap between pod-based espresso (which is really closer to coffee than espresso) and Breville machines is similar to the gap between Breville and commercial level espresso makers.

breville espresso machine

Williams Sonoma

What’s the difference between an automatic and manual espresso machine?

In general, Chi Sum Ngai, Teoh’s fellow Coffee Project NY co-founder, says automatic machines are those “that will complete your drink with the touch of one button.” You do not need to have any coffee skills to make the coffee with these machines, she says. Nespresso machines are probably the most popular example of fully auto espresso makers.

Manual espresso machines give more control over to the user. “You have more control over how the cup of coffee tastes, but you will need good coffee skills to make a good cup of coffee,” Sum says. “Features that you usually control are grind size, temperature, extraction time, pre-infusion time, pressure, etc.”

Semi-automatic machines – what Breville makes – lie in the middle. You get control over variables within the espresso-making process, but there are guardrails built into the machine to guarantee a solid shot every time.

Breville Espresso Machines

The Bambino

Breville Bambino

williams-sonoma.com

$299.95

  • Entry-level machine with a wallet-friendly price
  • Super-fast startup time
  • Built-in steam wand
  • Available in two finishes
  • Long wait time between pulling shots and steaming milk
  • Requires manual tamping
  • No built-in grinder

Breville’s Bambino is the brand’s entry-level espresso machine that’s equipped with the minimum it takes to get a shot into your cup. The compact machine comes with a 54mm portafilter, milk jug and tamper. The Bambino can pull single or double shots, and with the integrated steam wand, you can froth milk to create espresso-based drinks like lattes and cortados. For those who want to preheat their cup or make an Americano, the steam wand also doubles as a hot water outlet. The Bambino can do all the work in pulling a shot at the push of a button, but if you who want to experiment manual override is available and allows for programming shot volumes. The Bambino uses low pressure to pre-infuse the coffee before brewing at 9 bars, and it only takes about three seconds to start up the machine. (Bars are the unit of measure of pressure, with 9 bars being the ideal number for pulling a shot of espresso.)

The Duo-Temp Pro

Breville Duo-Temp Pro

amazon.com

$429.00

  • Under $1,000
  • Includes single and dual wall brew baskets
  • Compact counter footprint
  • No auto-tamp function
  • Manual milk steamer

The Duo-Temp Pro is another beginner’s machine, like the Bambino, with a slightly larger countertop footprint. It makes espresso in pretty much the same way as the Bambino; namely it does uses low pressure pre-infusion and 9 bars of brewing pressure. Instead of choosing between one shot or two, users can manually adjust the volume of their espresso by using the dial on the front. The machine houses a hidden storage tray, which is a nice touch to store away miscellaneous espresso-brewing tools, and the machine is equipped with maintenance and cleaning indicators so you can keep the Duo-Temp Pro in tiptop shape.

The Bambino Plus

Breville Bambino Plus

amazon.com

$499.95

  • Automatic milk frothing
  • Three second heat-up time
  • Quick to go from pulling a shot to frothing milk
  • No auto-tamping function
  • No built-in grinder

The Bambino Plus is the Bambino’s smarter sibling that’s meant to make the brewing of café-quality espresso easier. Pulling a shot is the same as the cheaper Bambino, but the Bambino Plus has an automatic milk frother, which allows you to choose between three milk textures and three milk temperatures. While you can’t pull a shot and steam at the same time, it’s noticeably faster to go from one to the other than say the Duo-Temp Pro, which takes some time to heat up the steamer after immediately pulling a shot.

The Infuser

Breville The Infuser

williams-sonoma.com

$579.95

  • Includes a built-in pressure gauge
  • Hands-on for more customizatin
  • Slow heat-up time
  • No built-in grinder

Breville’s Infuser starts to let the coffee nerds geek out over their shot pulling. Either use Breville’s settings to pull a shot or two, or take full control over how you want your shot to come out. The pressure dial that’s front and center on the machine lets you know whether or not you’re pulling a shot properly, which will be affected by how much coffee you used, the ground size and tamp. The Infuser reverts back to the manual milk frother, so there’s no one-push operation for getting your desired milk temperature and texture.

The Barista Express

Breville Barista Express

amazon.com

$599.95

  • Built-in dosing grinder
  • Under $1,000
  • Built-in steam wand
  • Two color options
  • Comes with pressurized and non-pressurized brew baskets
  • Requires manual tamping of shots
  • Single boiler for steam wand and pulling shots

The first of Breville’s Barista line of espresso makers, the Express is our favorite of the whole lineup. Why? It’s the lowest-priced Breville that comes with a built-in grinder. Espresso grinding requires a very nice coffee grinder, which can cost $200-plus on its own. The Express (as well as all other Breville’s with a built-in grinder) also features what the brand calls “dose-control grinding,” which effectively replaces another necessary accessory: a scale.

You can’t eyeball how much coffee you need to grind for espresso: if you use too much, you could damage the machine; if you use too little, the pressure may not be enough to properly pull a shot. Performance-wise, it hits the 9-bar benchmark consistently and the steam wand works beautifully. It also comes with both pressurized and non-pressurized brew baskets, meaning you have the choice between simple or more manual brewing. This is Breville’s bestselling model for a reason.

The Barista Pro

Breville Barista Pro

amazon.com

$790.00

  • Built-in dosing grinder
  • LCD display
  • Built-in steam wand
  • Eight color options
  • Under $1,000
  • Comes with pressurized and non-pressurized brew baskets
  • No auto-tamping function
  • Single boiler for steam wand and pulling shots

The middle-child of Breville’s Barista sub-line, the Pro model offers a couple important upgrades on the Express. Importantly, it features the same strengths: built-in dosing grinder, consistent shot-pulling and a price tag under $1,000. The upgrades are two-fold: power and control. The Pro model is equipped with a more powerful heating element than the Express, meaning pre-heat times will be reduced significantly. It also comes with a shiny new LCD display in place of the pressure gauge of the Express. The goodness of this change is up for debate; some will appreciate seeing the pressure their shots are pulling, live. Others still will appreciate the clarity the LCD brings.

The Barista Touch

Breville Barista Touch

amazon.com

$999.95

  • Touchscreen display provides simple step-by-step guides
  • Built-in dosing grinder
  • Three color options
  • Built-in steam wand
  • Single boiler for steam wand and pulling shots
  • No auto-tamp function

The pricier Barista-level Breville is better-suited to newcomers than espresso geeks. The price hike includes the more powerful heating element from the Pro model but uses a touchscreen in place of the LCD display and every button except the On/Off switch. If you value having your hand held through the process to some degree, the Touch is worth it; when you press your desired drink the machine walks you through every step. Otherwise the Pro or Express are likely better values.

The Dual Boiler

Breville Dual Boiler

williams-sonoma.com

$1,499.95

  • Two-year repair warranty
  • Over pressure valve limits bitterness in shot
  • No built-in grinder

The Dual Boiler exists in a precarious in-between spot within the Breville espresso machine lineup. It’s zapped with more power than any lower-priced models, but it’s not as powerful as the Oracle machines that succeed it. It comes with some of the sneakier upgrades the Oracle line gets — dedicated boilers for pulling shots and steaming milk, an over pressure valve that limits bitterness in the espresso and additional customization options — but it doesn’t come with a built-in dosing grinder, meaning you will have to purchase your own espresso-level grinder to go with it (Breville sells the Dual Boiler together with its own grinder under the name “Dynamic Duo“). If you don’t want to spend the extra cash for the supped-up Oracle line or you have your own grinder already, the Dual Broiler is worth checking out.

The Oracle

Breville Oracle

williams-sonoma.com

$1,999.95

  • Two-year repair warranty
  • Over pressure valve limits bitterness in shot
  • Built-in dosing grinder
  • Auto-tamps coffee
  • Very expensive

The Oracle line is the ceiling of Breville’s espresso machine group. The more affordable Oracle (it’s $800 less than the touchscreen option) features the same duo of dedicated boilers for steaming milk and pulling shots, and its heating element and power level is the highest in the Breville lineup (along with the Touch). In other words, the guts are mostly the same from Oracle to More Expensive Oracle; the lower-priced variant just uses more buttons and a standard LCD display instead of the slightly cleaner touchscreen version. The over pressure valve limits bitterness, and the built-in dosing grinder and auto-tamper makes the Oracle line the closest thing to a push-and-pull espresso machine there is.

The Oracle Touch

Breville Oracle Touch

williams-sonoma.com

$2,799.95

  • Two-year repair warranty
  • Over pressure valve limits bitterness in shot
  • Built-in dosing grinder
  • Simple touchscreen display
  • Three color options
  • Auto-tamps coffee
  • Nearly $3,000

The tippy-top of the Breville espresso maker tree comes with firepower and ease of use in equal measure. The machine’s touchscreen provides step-by-step walkthroughs for lattes, cortados, flat whites and more, and the lack of buttons makes for a dramatically less intimidating learning curve (though, it must be said, if you read the manual each Breville machine is fairly straightforward).

All said and done, this is a very expensive product for your kitchen, and one that, over time, will deliver value over dropping by a coffee shop every day. You’re paying the premium for features like lower pre-heat times, more consistent (and higher quality) espresso and convenience.

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10 Coolest and Futuristic Cities in the World

Toronto, Canada

Toronto is also one of the coolest and futuristic cities with its advanced AI financial technology. It is the center of the financial sector of Canada and the second-largest in North America.

Its multicultural environment is its strength that fosters a spirit of innovation. In a 2017 survey, 54 percent of applicants hired in AI companies are international applicants who mostly came from India, China, and Brazil.

Also, it facilitates business start-ups to grow and thrive. The city is home to the highest number of AI start-ups and still growing, with an 88 percent increase this year.

Furthermore, banks in Canada have a long history of commitment to technological innovation. These institutions are taking advantage of the enormous opportunities of AI technologies to improve their financial system.

Toronto’s skyline, meanwhile, represents the city of the future. It tells stories of different historical periods, from its skyscrapers built in the 19th century to the baffling post-modern design of the Gehry Project. The 20th-century CN Tower Edge Walk is a bucket-list item for many travelers.

Toronto has an extremely vibrant nightlife, too. Because of its cultural diversity, it offers a vast choice of delicacies from all over the world.

The city has ultimately become one of the most dynamic places to live, where more than 50 percent of its residents were born outside Canada. They mostly came from India, China, Philippines, Pakistan, UK, Italy, Jamaica, Sri Lanka, Hong Kong, Iran, Portugal, Guyana, USA, Poland, Vietnam, and South Korea.

Indeed, the city stays true to its official motto, “Diversity Our Strength,” by having more than 250 ethnicities and 170 represented languages in Toronto Region.

The MONARC Settra Duffel Backpack: Made with 50 Recycled Plastic Bottles

Whether you’re off for a weekend trip or simply heading to the gym, you need a bag that can handle the load and keep them secure on the go. You also need one that guarantees comfort. We’re talking about the Monarc Settra Duffel Backpack. This is a versatile carry-on that’s TSA-approved, and easy on the hands and shoulders. Most of all, it cares for the planet.

Guaranteed For the Long Haul

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The Monarc Settra Duffel Backpack is an all-in-one travel backpack and gym-duffel made from 50 recycled plastic bottles that would only have landed in waste landfills, oceans, and waterways. The bottles are sorted and cleaned, shredded, melted into pellets, stretched into yarn, then woven to give the backpack its durable and water-resistant RPET fabric. The exterior is then reinforced with water-resistant, non-separating coated zipper coils and strong seat belt webbing for the handles.

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Aside from it being sustainable, it also features a versatile design guaranteed to make your commutes a breeze. It easily converts from a duffel into a backpack and back in seconds. It comes with detachable shoulder and backpack straps that you can hook to reinforced D-rings and clips. Easily hide them afterward in the stowaway pocket neatly included on the back.

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The Monarc Settra Duffel Backpack also comes with essential straps for comfort during long hauls. It has removable and adjustable sternum and waist straps that help keep the load off your back. This way, you don’t end up slouching and with back pain afterward. The backpack straps and the back itself also come with air mesh padding for additional comfort.

Optimum Storage Space For The Frequent Traveller 

Get It Here

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When it comes to packable space, the Monarc Settra Duffel Backpack offers 40L of storage space in a TSA-approved carry-on size. There are mesh pockets inside to carefully segregate items and external pockets for easy, quick grabs. It has a quick-access mesh pocket, a zippered pocket for valuables, and utility loops perfect for the outdoor enthusiast to hang a water bottle, flashlight, speaker, and more.  

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Speaking of storage, this carefully thought-out bag even works with packing cubes to keep things tidy and organized and to maximize interior space. Those who frequent the gym will find the removable, water/sweat-resistant ventilated shoe compartment a breeze. Then there’s the sleeve for a 17” laptop and a tech pack and camera and lens cube for the digital nomad. There are also compression packs and laundry bags for the frequent traveler. All modular packs are made with recycled plastic bottles.

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The Monarc Settra Duffel Backpack offers a lot for a compact size of 24 L x 13 W x 11 H inches. It is also extremely lightweight at just 4.5 pounds. Best of all, it boasts rugged and handsome aesthetics that would stand out in any adventure.

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Score a Huge Discount on the Peloton of Rowing Machines Right Now

Looking for more of the best deals? Check out Today’s Best Deals, where we collect the best savings, discounts and promotions every day.


With working out at home looking like it is here to stay, staying active has us looking for new options. That’s where indoor fitness equipment can make a huge difference, especially if you can score it at a discount. Case in point: the Hydrow Rower. Right now until October 24, the rower and rower packages are $500 off as part of the brand’s Black Friday Preview sale (plus you get free shipping).

Hydrow

Hydrow Rower

This rower just happens to pack a lot of futuristic features too. Its computer-controlled resistance tech can match the feel of traditional rowing machines, a weight stack and even different types of actual boats. When you combine that functionality with audio and visuals on the 22-inch HD monitor, you just might forget you are rowing indoors.

The Hydrow Rower lets you track data and interact with others through leaderboards, daily rows and live classes, plus tips and inspiration from US National Team rowers. You can also jump right into more than 2,000 pre-recorded river and studio rowing sessions. Suffice it to say, rowers have come a long way since back in the day, and now’s the best time to get a great deal on one.

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Red Wing Gave Its Classic Moc Boots a Gore-Tex Upgrade

red wing

Red Wing

Red Wing’s Moc Boot has been a mainstay for nearly 70 years. The classic style combines functionality and fashion, with the right mix of workwear and modern Americana. We couldn’t imagine menswear without it. But, when wet weather comes, there are better options. (See: our guide to snow boots.)

Available today, Red Wing‘s reinvented Moc Boot offers a solution to sullied boots: Gore-Tex. This iteration is finished with a Gore-Tex membrane for 100-percent waterproof wear. There’s also a storm welt construction to keep moisture from reaching your feet, and a Traction Tred outsole for better grip on slippery terrain.

Best of all, though, these don’t look any different from the usual Mocssave for a little Gore-Tex tag near the toe box. They’re just beautiful, Russet red leather boots… that also happen to be waterproof. You can pre-order your own pair now via J.Crew before they arrive on Red Wing’s online store next week — just know they don’t ship until November 4th.

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30% Off with code ‘SHOPNOW’

6″ Gore-Tex Moc Boot

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The 2022 Honda Civic Si Is a Tastefully Refreshed Affordable Sport Sedan

The powertrain remains the same as before: a 1.5-liter turbocharged inline-four connected to the front wheels through a limited-slip diff. Horsepower stands at 200 ponies, a five-horse drop from the previous model, but Honda says the power curve now stays steadier and higher between the 6,000-rpm power peak and the 6,500-rpm redline. The 192 lb-ft of torque remains unchanged, but now it’s available 300 rpm earlier arriving at 1,800 rpm and staying until 5,000. A new exhaust should help it sound better, while a new lighter flywheel should enable to to rev more freely.

Drivers can continue to choose between Normal and Sport drive modes — with the latter changing throttle mapping, reducing steering assistance and turning off the stop-start system, among other things — but now, there’s also the option for an Individual mode that lets you choose your preferred settings for all those features.

Whether coupe, hatchback or sedan, the Civic Si has always been about handling as much as straight-line speed, so Honda made sure to pump up the turning prowess, too. Torsional rigidity is up 8 percent over the old model, while bending rigidity is up 13 percent. A 60-percent stiffer torsion bar between steering shaft and rack pinion gear is in attendance, as are stiffer bushings, upper arms, lower B-arms, spring rates, struts and stabilizer bars when compared against the regular Civic sedan.

Oh, and when it comes time to slow down, 12.3-inch front and 11.1-inch rear rotors help the 235/40/18 tires bite onto the tarmac. And if you want even more grip on dry pavement, summer tires will be an option.

The First British-Made Watch in Decades Is Genuinely a Big Deal

It’s been 20 years in the making for one British brand but even longer for British watchmaking as a whole: The announcement that Bremont has made its first credibly “made-in-England” watch movement is big news in several ways. It’s a milestone not just for the company and for the country — which was historically the proud center of watchmaking before Switzerland — but also for the watch industry at large where many others dream of bringing watchmaking (back) to their home countries. Gear Patrol joined Bremont in London for the launch of the movements featured in the new Longitude limited-edition collection and to see the watches first-hand.

The new Longitude LE Collection comprises 40mm watches in three variants with a relatively classical look. Right out of the gate, these new automatic movements are equipped with a silicon escapement and offer more than basic time telling with a couple complications: a power reserve indicator (65 hours) and a digital date display (meaning each digit is displayed via its own wheel beneath the dial rather than a single disc showing 1-31). As is the case with any Bremont watch, their impressive build quality is easily appreciated in person.

close up of bremont watch
The ENG300 movement is designed to easily accommodate different functionality.

Zen Love

Turn them over, and you can see the interesting and nicely finished architecture of the Bremont ENG300 movement (ENG376, in this configuration), as it’s called, through the display case back. The collection that debuts these impressive movements represents the culmination of the brand’s mission since its outset, but they also mark a new beginning: Whether the prices or styling of this particular collection is to your tastes, the real news is that the movement is designed to be produced at scale as well as adaptable to accommodate everything from simple three-hand time telling to a range of complications — and you’ll gradually see them powering new and established collections alike without a big price increase from those that currently use sourced movements.

Why is it such an achievement for a company to make its own movement? Watch movements are complicated and incorporate hundreds of tiny, precise parts that require specialized skills and the capacity to manufacture. While many watch brands are proud to display a “Swiss Made” label (even if they’re not based in Switzerland), many more dream of making a watch that’s genuinely and completely Made in USA or Made in France, for example, and serially produced — but few countries outside of Switzerland, Japan, China and Germany have the resources to produce mechanical watch movements and their myriad intricate components domestically. The mere fact that others haven’t yet done it and that it took Bremont nearly 20 years to reach this point speaks to just what a challenge it is.

bremont watch on wrist
The Longitued LE watches measure 40mm and come in three variants. This version is in white gold.

Zen Love

Bremont has said from the very beginning that their intention was to bring industrial-level watchmaking back to the UK, and now they’ve finally done it. It was always a lofty ambition to resurrect the past glory of English watchmaking that included, most notably, John Harrison’s marine chronometer, which finally allowed navigators to determine longitude at sea and revolutionize trade, exploration, colonization and the expansion of the British empire.

The Royal Observatory in Greenwich, London, became the longitudinal line (prime meridian) which marked the standard (Greenwich Mean Time) against which other time zones were set. To drive home the connection and make this launch and limited edition collection a little more special, Bremont partnered with the Royal Observatory, going so far as to melt down brass that marks the exact meridian line and incorporate it into the watches’ case backs. The dials feature a red line as a nod to the connection and the red, circular power reserve indicator refers to the ball on top of the observatory that drops on the hour and to which sailors would set their watches.

The limited edition watches come in three variations of steel (150 examples), rose gold (75 examples) and white gold (75 examples), each with a different dial execution. Expect that future Bremont watches featuring the movements (in other configurations) will be more affordable, but those who want a piece of Bremont history will pay from $16,995 for the steel to $24,995 for white gold versions.

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It’s Here: The Best New Outdoor Gear of October

Well folks, we’ve officially midway through October, which means by all accounts, fall is here (and winter is well on its way). We’re seeing temps drop, and layers make their way out of storage and forgotten corners of the closet.

If you’re anything like us, you’ve worn your way through some key outdoor items, and it may be time for some new boots, beanies and outerwear. Luckily, we’ve got you covered. (Literally.) October saw some impressive new product releases and updates, and if you haven’t already, it’s time to stock up on some new gear.

Check out what made our picks for best outdoor gear of October below.

Forrest Tool Company Safety Impact Wrench

tire changing

Forrest Tool Company

Presented by Forrest Tool Company

Nothing slows down your adventures more than a flat tire on the way to the campsite. Make sure you have the gear to get you back on the road quickly with the Safety Impact Wrench from Forrest Tool Company. This tool makes changing a tire under challenging circumstances dead simple. It quickly and safely removes lug nuts using leverage and torque rather than an external power supply. Its manual operation means you won’t have to scramble for an alternate power source if you don’t have access to your generator or battery. The Safety Impact Wrench is light, portable and made in the US according to top industry standards. With compact storage in a Cordura carrying case, you can easily store it in your trunk and be prepared for anything that may come your way.

Price: $158

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Osprey Glade 12 Pack

osprey glade 12 pack

Osprey

Right in time for winter, the pack experts at Osprey launched their newest carry solution for lift-served skiing and snowboarding: the Glade. Built to carry the essentials during winter adventures, Osprey says the Glade is ideal for in-bounds skiing, fat biking, Nordic touring or snowshoeing, for starters. A slim look hides a 2.5-liter reservoir (with insulated hose and bite valve cover), a large main compartment and a separate nook for stashing goggles.

The Glade is made from bluesign-approved recycled materials with a PFC-free DWR coating, and is available in both 5- and 12-liter sizes.

Price: $110

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Teva x Cotopaxi Collection

teca calido jacket

Teva

teva re ember slipper

Teva

This October, outdoor icons Teva and Cotopaxi teamed up to release two limited-edition items: the forthcoming Teca Calido Jacket and Teva ReEmber slipper. Along with the limited release, the brands will be donating a total of $30,000 to the Boys and Girls Club of Denver and Hollywood, in an effort to combat systemic limited access to the greater outdoors.

The Teca Calido Jacket is and Teva ReEmber slipper both contain recycled materials, and the light-hearted colorways and patterns are meant to portray both the personality and sustainability mission of the brands.

The Teva ReEmber is made from using a 100 percent recycled ripstop upper a 50 percent recycled EVA midsole, 100 percent recycled collar and collapsible heel and a 50 percent recycled outsole.

The Teca Calido Jacket and Teva ReEmber slipper will both available for purchase today.

Price: $150 and $85, respectively

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Snow Peak x Mountain of Moods Fleece Middle Jacket

mountain of moods fleece middle jacket

Snow Peak

In the newest iteration of their collaboration, Snow Peak and Mountain of Moods have released their FW21 collection. The Fleece Middle Jacket is the standout piece from the lineup, and celebrates the brands’ shared ties to Mt. Tanigawa and other alpine regions of Japan. Mixing form and function, the jacket features Polartec and polyester fleece, as well as a high neck with zipper closure, a left bust pocket, and two side pockets at the waist.

Snow Peak recommends sizing up one size from your normal choice for a standard fit.

Price: $269.95

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The Moonbike

the moonbike

MoonBikes

Pedal into the future with The Moonbike. Announced this October, the ultralight electric snowbike “blurs the lines between recreation and transportation”. Coming in at a cool $8,500, the e-snow-bike has a top speed of 26mph, is 100 percent silent, and has a battery range of 1.5 to three hours, depending if you’re rocking the optional dual battery.

Three times lighter than a snowmobile, the Moonbike weighs just under 200 pounds, battery included. It’s also cold resistant down to -13 degrees Fahrenheit.

Price: $8,500

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Arc’teryx Aerios FL GTX Shoe

arc'teryx aerios fl gtx shoe

Arc’teryx

Day hikes, but make them technical. That’s the idea behind Arc’teryx’s new shoe, the Aerios FL GTX. As the name implies, this low-profile hiker features Gore-Tex water and wind protection, with breathable textiles that allow you to stay cool and dry. Inspired by long-distance trail running, the Aerios is meant to be fast and light, and the Vibram Megagrip outsole, compressed EVA midsole and integrated TPU shank all work in harmony to deliver superior trail performance, no matter the weather.

Price: $170

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Amundsen Fjordcord Slacks

amundsen fjordcord slacks

Amundsen

An everyday outdoor pant that combines comfort and confidence is hard to find; if they’re durable, oftentimes they aren’t comfortable. With Amundsen’s Fjordcord Slacks, part of the brand’s Fall ’21 early releases, you don’t have to choose between the two anymore. The hardworking pant features a DWR treatment and articulated knees, and the corduroy from Cosserat France is garment dyed, giving each pant a unique look.

Price: $299

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Backwoods Fellowship Zeal Lookout Goggles

backwoods fellowship zeal lookout goggles

Zeal Optics

This fall, Zeal, Weston and Smartwool announced the Backwoods Fellowship, a team-up with artist John Fellows and the National Forest Foundation to bring awareness to our public lands and conservation efforts.

The partnership brings Fellows’ art to life in a unique collection of goggles, skis, snowboards, apparel and accessories, including Zeal’s Lookout Goggles. The Lookout comes with a bonus lens, and through Zeal’s proprietary tech, provides the clearest field of vision possible, with easy-to-use lens swapping features.

Price: $299

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Holden Jackson Down Jacket

holden jackson down jacket

Holden

Update your outerwear with a nod to the past. Holden’s newest mid-weight parka combines classic military styling with custom European materials and responsibly-sourced 700 fill down to keep you warm and toasty. Key details like the shearling collar and eco-friendly DWR water repellant finish round out the jacket’s style-forward, tech-savvy attributes.

Price: $875

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Dakine Stoker Gore-Tex 3L BIB

dakine stoker goretex 3l bib

Dakine

dakine stoker goretex 3l bib

Dakine

Hit the slopes in style (and comfort) with Dakine’s new bib, the Stoker Gore-Tex 3L. Made for in-bounds and the backcountry, the Stoker, well, keeps the stoke high, through key elements like its three-layer Gore-Tex build, water-resistant zippers, taped seams and thigh vents for dumping heat when things get hot. Articulated knees provide ample support, and the stretch back panel and redesigned crotch enhance mobility. The center-front entry means getting in and out is a breeze, too.

Price: $480

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Apple Now Makes Three Different AirPods. So, Which Is Right for You?

tech roundup

Gear Patrol

Apple now makes three different wireless earbuds: there’s the entry-level AirPods (2nd-Generation), the new mid-range AirPods (3rd-Generation) and the noise-canceling AirPods Pro. This is great for us — everybody with iPhones — because we have more choice, but it also means deciding between the three could be a bit of a headache.

The fact of the matter is that three models of AirPods are equal parts similar as they are different. All three AirPod models have the same exact H1 chipset, giving them similar features, such as quick iPhone pairing and hands-free “Hey Siri” controls, but the more expensive models look and fit differently, and have more premium features (such as wireless charging and active noise-cancellation). And, of course, the more expensive models are going to sound better.

Speaking of price, all three AirPods are priced very differently; the AirPods (2nd-Generation) are $50 less expensive than the mid-range AirPods (3rd-Generation), which are then $70 cheaper than the high-end AirPods Pro. So you really have to think about what fit and features you want, because it’s going to have a big impact on price.

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AirPods (2nd-Generation)

The most-entry level AirPods have the same thin-stemmed design as the original ones from 2016. They’re cheaper than the rest because they lack the noise-cancellation and transparency models, as well as support for spatial audio. They’re also the only AirPods that you can buy without a wireless charging case (although you can buy a wireless charging model for an extra $30-ish). 

  • The most affordable AirPods you can buy.
  • Support fast iPhone pairing, “Hey Siri” voice controls and audio sharing.
  • No wireless charging (unless you buy the more expensive model).
  • The only AirPods without sweat-resistance.
  • No noise-canceling or transparency modes.
  • No support for high-end audio technologies, such as spatial audio and adaptive EQ.

AirPods (3rd-Generation)

Compared to the AirPods Pro, the main downside of the AirPods (3rd-Generation) is that they lack active noise-cancellation and transparency modes. They also don’t fit as deep in your ears, or as securely because they lack the adjustable silicone eartips. But other than that, they work mostly the same. They support spatial audio and wireless charging. They’re sweat- and water-resistant. And, maybe most significantly, they have the best battery life of any AirPods that Apple sells.

  • Excellent battery life.
  • Wireless charging.
  • Support spatial audio and adaptive EQ.
  • Great call quality.
  • Support fast iPhone pairing, “Hey Siri” voice controls and audio sharing.
  • Sweat- and water-resistant.
  • No noise-canceling or transparency modes.
  • No swappable silicone eartips to adjust fit.
  • Fairly expensive.

AirPods Pro

The AirPods Pro are the best wireless earbuds that Apple sells, and they deliver some of the best audio-quality and active noise-cancellation that you’re likely to find in any pair of wireless earbuds. The support a high-quality audio, such as Spatial Audio and Dolby Atmos. They can wireless charge. And they fit more securely than any other AirPods thanks to their deeper in-ear design and adjustable silicone eartips. 

  • Arguably the best wireless earbuds you can buy.
  • Great active noise-cancellation.
  • Great call quality.
  • Support spatial audio and adaptive EQ.
  • Support fast iPhone pairing, “Hey Siri” voice controls and audio sharing.
  • Sweat- and water-resistant.
  • Expensive.

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Camelbak and Lifestraw Team Up to Purify Your Water

Are you ready a new kind of portable filtration?

Camelbak and Lifestraw have teamed up to launch their first-ever filtration collaboration. Combining the portability and durability of Camelbak with the filtration tech that Lifestraw is known for, the new collection features several integrated water bottles and reservoirs, as well as standalone filters.

Integrated into each of the bottles and the reservoir, the Eddy + filtered by Lifestraw technology utilizes two stages of filtration to remove anything nasty from your water. The water first passes through the Hollow Fiber Filter, which Camelbak says removes bacteria, parasites and microplastics. The liquid then moves through the second filter, the Ion Exchange Filter, which reduces lead, taste and odor, chlorine and other chemicals in the water.

The Bottles

tech roundup
The Eddy+ filtered by Lifestraw Vacuum Insulated Bottle allows you to enjoy fresh, clean water anywhere you go.

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Price: $70

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The Eddy + filtered by Lifestraw technology comes in three bottle styles and sizes: Eddy + filtered by Lifestraw 32 ounce vacuum-insulated bottle ($70) and the Eddy + filtered by Lifestraw with Tritan Renew, available in both 20 and 32 ounces ($45 and $50, respectively). The Vacuum Insulated option features double wall vacuum insulation, and is BPA, BPS, and BPF free. It comes in three different colorways, and the Eddy + straw cap is spill-proof when open, enhancing its functionality.

tech roundup
The Eddy + filtered by LifeStraw, 32oz Bottle with Tritan Renew is light, efficient and BPA-free.

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Price: $45, $50

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The Eddy + filtered by Lifestraw with Tritan Renew is available in both a 20 ounce size, as well as 32 ounce, and is made with using a recycling process that’s more efficient than standard mechanical recycling, easing the impact of the bottle on the environment. The bottles are odor and stain resistant and free of BPA, BPS, and BPF. Both sizes of the Eddy + filtered by Lifestraw with Tritan Renew come in three colorways.

The Reservoir

tech roundup
The Crux 2L Reservoir Filtration Kit combines the flexibility of a backpack reservoir, with the safety of Lifestraw’s filters.

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Price: $69

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The Crux 2L Reservoir makes it easy to feel confident in your drinking water, no matter where your adventures take you. Camelbak integrated Lifestraw’s two-filter system in the Crux, as well as its own Quicklink System, leakproof on/off valve and leakproof cap, all of which combat the possibility of a flooded reservoir (and unhappy camper).

Along with the water bottles and reservoir, Camelbak is also offering a full range of standalone filters, able to match the unique and varying filtration needs the user may have.

The entire collection helps filter water here at home, but also gives back: for every CamelBak filtered by LifeStraw product purchased, a child in need receives safe drinking water for an entire year.

The entire collection is available online today.

SHOP THE COLLECTION

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Get 20% Off All Mattresses, Bedding & More at Allswell

Looking for more of the best deals? Check out Today’s Best Deals, where we collect the best savings, discounts and promotions every day.


Getting a good night’s rest is of paramount importance to your overall health and well-being. As such, equipping your sleep space with a quality mattress and good bedding should be looked at as an investment in your brain function and physical performance. That doesn’t mean, however, that you have to dip deep into your savings in order to make it happen — especially when Allswell is offering a sitewide 20% off sale.

In case you’re unfamiliar, Allswell has built its name on the idea that quality, luxurious sleep shouldn’t come at a premium price point. And with the brand’s wide array of hybrid mattresses, toppers, bed frames, duvet covers, sheet sets, and even bath robes, Allswell has done a phenomenal job of delivering on that promise. In fact, the brand’s offerings are amongst the best mattresses you can buy online. Whether you want to spruce up your decor with a few throw pillows or you want to do a complete overhaul of your bedroom, this sale, activated by using code FF20 at checkout, is the perfect opportunity to make those goals a reality.

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No, You Don’t Need to Drive a Porsche to Wear This Awesome Watch

When the designer of the legendary Porsche 911 left his family’s company to start a design firm of his own, the first product he made was a watch unlike anything seen before. That was around 50 years ago, but his company Porsche Design still offers a convincing combination of automaker and watchmaker cred like none other — all of which isperfectly illustrated in the Sport Chrono. It’s as sleek, elegant and sporty as a sports car for your wrist, and a new version in a reduced size makes the brand suddenly accessible to a whole new audience.

Key Specs:

Model: Porsche Design Sport Chrono Subsecond 39
Case Diameter: 39mm
Case Depth:
12.25mm
Water Resistance:
100m
Movement:
Sellita SW261-1 automatic chronometer
Price: $4,800

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Notable

Porsche Design is a company that should probably be on watch enthusiasts’ radar more, and the Sport Chrono is a great reason to give them another look. Though not the brand’s most famous watch, it’s an excellent showcase of what Porsche Design does well: sharp, original design, excellent build and unique personality with an automotive twist. The new version offers the brand’s smallest watch yet at 39mm, opening up their aesthetic to a wider audience. With a titanium case, integrated strap and Swiss automatic movement, its dial design also matches a dashboard clock offered as an option in certain Porsche vehicles.

porsche design chronograph watch

Porsche Design

Who It’s For

This isn’t just a watch for motorheads or Porsche owners (although those groups might find even more to appreciate in it). This is also for watch enthusiasts or anyone who appreciates quality build and design — and if you’ve seen enough neo-vintage watches to last a lifetime and thought to yourself “what ever happened to modern watches,” Porsche Design’s Sport Chrono might be a refreshing change. Those who have previously been attracted to Porsche Design watches but found that long lugs make its typically 42mm+ watches unwieldy will find a reason to rediscover the brand.

Alternatives

Porsche Design’s 1919 collection watches (including the Sport Chrono) have a hollow, architectural-looking lug design that makes them fun and different — and more or less unique in the watch world. If you’re into the general automotive connection, however, you’ve got plenty of choices, including brands that specialize in racing and car-inspired watches. Autodromo is one of the best, and its Group B ($975) and Intereuropa ($1,250) collections are well worth checking out as more affordable options.

For an even more direct connection to iconic vehicles, Danish brand REC uses salvaged metal from actual cars recycled in its design-forward watches (some of them Porsches). Porsche Design timepieces take inspiration from dashboard gauges, but the French brand Reservoir goes a step further with the concept by combining a single retrograde minute hand and digital jumping hour display to more closely mimic the look of gauges.

porsche design sport chrono worn on wrist

Zen Love

Review

Don’t be confused by the Porsche Design Sport Chrono’s name: this is not automaker merch or some co-branding exercise, nor is it a chronograph. Yes, “chrono” is a common abbreviation of “chronograph,” but this watch doesn’t include a stopwatch function; and, yes, Porsche Design partially shares a name with one of the most iconic sports car companies in the world. While the relationship with Porsche (as in the car company) can cause some confusion, therein also lies much of Porsche Design watches’ charm.

Porsche Design was founded by Ferdinand Alexander Porsche (designer of the 911 and other notable Porsche vehicles) after he left the carmaker his grandfather founded. So, it began as a separate company from the more famous carmaker. The first product Porsche Design made (produced for them by the watchmaker Orfina) also had an impact on the watch industry as the world’s first all-black watch. Released in 1972, the Chronograph 1, as it was called, is a notable watch even among classic watches from the same era.

The company today exists under the carmaker’s umbrella with a wide offering of luxury products, from sunglasses and apparel to luggage, pens and more. After years of producing watches in collaboration with other brands (most notably, IWC and Eterna), Porsche Design finally doubled down on its watchmaking with its own Timepieces AG devision to produce watches in Switzerland itself, with the first model (based on the Chronograph 1) debuting in 2014.

porsche chronograph

Porsche Design

The 1919 collection, which includes the Sport Chrono, is distinctly modern but its name references the founding of the Bauhaus design movement that inspires the brand’s approach. Since the collection’s debut, there have been a number of iterations with different dial designs (and some complications), but it’s easily the distinctive lug design that defines it. Though the shape and concept appears simple, it’s not at all expected — nor is it likely easy to implement. (Note, for example, that the strap is integrated into the design such that you can’t even see how it’s attached.)

Until 2021, the watches in this collection have essentially all measured 42mm wide — and you can still get a version of the Sport Chrono Subsecond in that size, if you want. Maintaining the watches proportions at 42mm wide, however, led to a lug-to-lug distance that made the watch wear rather large on slimmer wrists (mine, for example). In 39mm, the proportions are right on, and the lengthwise measurement of the watch is a much more wearable 43mm or so at the corners where the lugs touch the wrist (around 47mm for the corners on the topside of the case).

Like nearly all modern Porsche Design watches, the case is entirely in titanium — seeming to reference a watch made with IWC in 1980, which was one of the first watches to be made in titanium. (This was actually the first.) It’s a fantastic watchmaking material for its lightness and resultant comfort, but also because it has a technical appeal and a different visual quality from the standard steel. The look of titanium can vary significantly according to its finish — a bead-blasted matte finish is a common choice. That can look dull sometimes, but the contrast between matte and high polish lends the Sport Chrono an elevated, high-end bearing.

porsche design sport chrono

Zen Love

The shiny elements here are so reflective that I asked Porsche Design if they used a chrome plating. (Apparently, no — this is just polished titanium.) The mix of finishes does indeed feel very much of the automotive world, and it’s touches like these that make the Sport Chrono feel premium and in harmony with the carmaker’s image. Oh yeah, the clasp is also in a bead-blasted titanium and is actually of the folding “butterfly” variety rather than the traditional “tang” as it’s made to appear.

Aside from the details and finishing, what stands out when you hold the Sport Chrono in person is how solidly built it feels. This is always best evaluated by operating the crown to wind or set the watch: in some watches there might be play in the crown, a stiff feel, a grinding feeling or a “loose” sensation when winding, etc. — here, it feels like you’re operating the helm of a ship. That’s how solid and smooth it is, and this certainly helps the Sport Chrono feel more appropriate for its mid-range-luxury pricing.

Impressive build, refined design, excellent finishing, technical and exotic material…these should all be considered in assessing the value proposition of a watch, and Porsche Design delivers them (along with a prestigious name). At just shy of $5,000, however, it’s competing with brands that offer the likes of in-house movements and other attractive features. The watch is powered by a chronometer-certified Sellita SW261-1 (in the Sellita SW200 family of common automatic movements) with some customized decoration — which you won’t see anyway, as it’s hidden behind a solid case back.

porsche chronograph backside

Porsche Design

The movement offers only the time and date, with the seconds displayed in an inset subdial at 6 o’clock. This is simple and refined design that serves the brand’s stated mission of maintaining functionality and legibility at all times. The indices and hands (including the seconds hand) are well lumed, and the dial has a subtle circular brushing that gives it a sunburst effect without too much distracting reflection. There’s visual interest in the three-dimensional elements such as the sloping ring around the dial where the indices are printed, and the details hold up under the scrutiny of a loupe.

Verdict

Would it be weird to wear a Porsche Design watch if you don’t have a car to match it? Certainly not. Is it even better if you do have a matching Porsche? Obviously. But this is a modern style and automotive connection you can’t really get anywhere else in a refined, premium package. Some will feel that the MSRP is comparatively steep for a watch with a sourced movement in today’s market, but this is a good example of why maybe “movement provenance” isn’t always the be-all-end-all when evaluating a watch’s value. If you appreciate the design and engineering of Porsche cars, this is an excellent way to experience a piece of it on your wrist.

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Bremont’s New Limited-Edition Longitude Watches Have Controversial Guts

The Gear Patrol Podcast is our weekly roundtable discussion focused on products, their stories, and the culture surrounding them.


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First, the big announcements from this week’s Apple Unleashed event, which include everything from new Home Pod Mini colors to next-gen AirPods to the re-introduction of various ports on new MacBook Pros. (Finally…) Then, we’ll discuss the just-revealed, supremely quick, and still sort of mysterious Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS. It’s likely the last internal-combustion variant of the Cayman we’ll see before the lineup goes all-electric. Lastly, some controversy: watchmaker Bremont has revealed its first in-house movement, the ENG300 in a new line of limited-edition watches. But… is it actually an original movement? The watch community can’t seem to make up its mind.

Show Notes:

Episode Navigation:

02:25 – At ‘Apple Unleashed’ the Brand Launches an Array of Updated Devices

22:09 – The Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS Is Very Fast

30:35 – Bremont’s New In-House Movement Is Up for Debate

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          Listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, our website, or wherever else you get your podcasts. Reach out at podcast@gearpatrol.com.

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Blackout Your EDC With GiantMouse’s All-Titanium ACE Riv

If you’re familiar with GiantMouse, you’re likely also familiar with its co-founders — Danish designers Jens Ansø and Jesper Voxnaes — and their impact on the knife and EDC industry. Aiming to deliver world-class design at a fair price, GiantMouse has earned a cult following thanks to the team’s deeply personal approach to designing, testing and approving each and every design. That personal touch even extends to the naming process behind its blades. In the case of the ACE Riv, the model is named after the team’s favorite local dive bar near GiantMouse’s current HQ in East Lansing, MI. This version of the Riv — featuring a 2.44-inch blade — is in full titanium, completely blacked out with a PVD coating and weighs in at just 2.8 ounces. If you’re into the ACE Riv’s specs but think a blacked-out option isn’t for you, rest easy; the ACE Riv also comes in green canvas Micarta, brass or full stonewashed Titanium.

Price: $225

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This Math-Inspired Jewelry Collection Makes the Perfect Gift

Talking Points:

Swarovski Curiosa Collection

Whether you are looking for a gift for someone special, or simply want to upgrade your jewelry collection with something unique for yourself, the Curiosa collection from Swarvoski is a great place to start. With precise and artful designs, these pieces are a gift that will be remembered. Designed by Creative Director Giovanna Engelbert, the collection is made up of three-dimensional rings, earrings and pendants in stunning colors.


curiosa red earring

Swarovski

curiosa green ring

Swarovski


Inspired by Geometry

The three-dimensional cocktail rings in the collection draw inspiration from the wonder and elegance of geometry. These impressive pieces add a pop of prismatic color to any look.

Bichromatic

The Bichromatic princess cuts are embellished with delicate clear stones and are set on gold-tone-plated double bands. The result of combining these two colors is as if you’re looking through a kaleidoscope. So, there is no shortage of color in this collection.

Versatile

The pieces can be worn solo or paired with other items in the Curiosa collection to take your look to the next level. Whether you are looking to give a singular statement piece or a whole set, this collection has you covered.


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The Best Smartwatches of 2021— Which Is Right for You?

A smartwatch isn’t going to replace your smartphone. In fact, it’s more of a smartphone accessory these days. They have tiny screens and many of the apps you use every day — Instagram, Twitter, Facebook — don’t have smartwatch apps. Most smartwatches don’t have LTE (or you have to pay a lot extra for it), meaning they can’t receive calls or texts when your smartphone isn’t nearby.

But there are many advantages to having a smartwatch. They show you who’s calling, texting or emailing you without forcing you to look at your phone. They replace your need for a dedicated fitness tracker — because most smartwatches these days are souped up fitness trackers. And some smartwatches look pretty cool. Whatever your lifestyle and which smartphone you use, you’re bound to find something that suits you.

Not all smartwatches are the same, however. Most fall between a fitness tracker and something that relays smartphone notifications to your wrist. Some smartwatches can work untethered, completely autonomously from a smartphone — you can make calls, send texts and navigate directions, all while your smartphone is miles away. There are also hybrid smartwatches, made by mechanical watch manufacturers like Tag Heuer, Fossil and Withings, that have sensors to track fitness and traditional watch battery that lasts months.

Before pulling the trigger on the latest Apple Watch (the Series 7) or a smartwatch by Samsung or Fitbit— do some research. Make sure it’s a smartwatch that’ll work to its full potential with your current smartphone and matches your budget and how you want to use it. If you work out a lot, get a fitness-focused smartwatch. If you go off the grid, get an LTE-connected one. Whatever your case, make sure you know the basics.

Things to Consider Before You Buy

3G, 4G, 5G, LTE, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. There are different ways a smartwatch can connect to a smartphone. A Bluetooth-enabled smartwatch pairs with a smartphone just like a Bluetooth speaker. It’s the most basic of connections and has the shortest range; if the smartphone and smartwatch are too far apart, the connection dies. Most smartwatches will connect to a known wi-fi network as well. When connected, the smartwatch can still receive notifications (calls, texts, emails) as long your smartphone has an active data connection.

3G, 4G and 5G describe generations of the cellular network technologies and their subsequent transmission speeds — basically, it’s how fast your smartwatch can load data. A smartwatch with built-in 5G is going to be faster than a smartwatch with built-in 4G (and 4G faster than 3G). However, the difference between smartwatches with 5G, 4G and 3G will admittedly be nominal since neither will be running heavily data-driven apps — and 5G is still in its early stages and most people/cities can’t take advantage of its fast speeds yet.

Most smartwatches are available in LTE or cellular models, too. The main advantage of an LTE connected smartwatch is that it can work completely untethered from a smartphone. Since it has a built-in cellular radio, the smartwatch can place and receive phone calls and stream music independent of your phone. There are a few caveats, though. The battery life will likely be worse. The smartwatch will probably be bulky. And you’ll have to pay a monthly fee to add the smartwatch to your cellular plan. (Consult your cell carrier for exact info.) Plus, they just tend to be more expensive than regular “GPS only” models.

Compatibility. Not all smartwatches are compatible with all smartphones. For example, the Apple Watch only works with an iPhone, and all smartwatches running Android 2.0 will work with any Android, via the Android Wear app, but not all iOS features will carry over and some of the apps work wonky together, such as iMessage and every Android messaging app. Basically, if you own an iPhone, I recommend getting an Apple Watch; and if you have an Android smartphone, get one of the numerous Android 2.0 offerings.

Heart rate sensor. Knowing your heart rate is the most important fitness metric — experts agree. The data, taken both during and after your workout, will help you achieve certain fitness goals. If you’re serious about working out or just improving your cardiovascular health, you want a smartwatch with a heart rate sensor.

Built-in GPS. This is still a rare feature in smartwatches and wearables in general. For fitness, the built-in GPS is able to track speed, distance and location, all of which can help calculate calories burned and determine the overall success of a workout. It can also help give you more accurate weather reports and navigation instructions if your smartphone isn’t nearby (and it won’t kill a lot of data). It’s mainly a tool to gauge fitness, however; like heart-rate sensors, it’s mainly for people into fitness.

Battery life. The main complaint with smartwatches is battery life. There are very few on the market that can last longer than 24 hours, so manage expectations. Most of today’s high-end smartwatches have a bright LCD screen or AMOLED displays, which are beautiful to look at but tend to kill the battery. Basically, expect to take it off at night to charge.

The overall look and lifestyle. At the end of the day, a smartwatch isn’t just another device — it’s part of your wardrobe. You’re not going to put it away when you want, like your smartphone, so you should like the way it looks. Also, smartwatches come in various sizes, colors and materials, and sometimes even in more refined or rugged options.

Apple Watch SE

The SE isn’t Apple’s best Apple Watch — that title belongs to the Series 7 — but it is probably the best option for most people with an iPhone. It has most of the sensors (including the gyroscope, compass, fall detection and an always-on altimeter) and capabilities as the Series 7, along with the same battery life, but comes at a significantly more affordable price. There are two main tradeoffs with the SE. It doesn’t have an always-on display and it lacks two wellness sensors (electrical heart-rate and blood oxygen sensors), which are ultimately things that the vast majority people are probably perfectly fine living without.

Apple Watch Series 7

The Series 7 is the perfect smartwatch for iPhone owners who want the best that Apple has to offer. It’s unique compared to other Apple Watch models because it has a blood oxygen sensor and an electrical heart sensor (so it’s capable of taking an ECG), but it also has a 20-percent bigger display, which allows for more watch faces makes the display easier to navigate. It’s also the most durable (IP6X) and fastest charging (33% faster) smartwatch that Apple has ever made.

Coros Pace 2

The Coros Pace 2 is an excellent, lightweight and relatively affordable smartwatch for runners and other endurance athletes. It has all the necessary sensors to track general fitness, but it also has running-specific features such as interval training (pace, power, cadence, heart rate) and programs to help you get in shape for various races. The other nice thing is that the Pace 2 is compatible with a wide variety of third-party accessories, such as chest straps and power meters, so it doesn’t limit what other devices you want to use to help you train. It also has a three-week battery life, which is pretty epic.

Samsung Galaxy Watch4

The Galaxy Watch4 is Samsung’s best-ever smartwatch and it’s definitely the best option for anyone with a Samsung Galaxy smartphone. It’s also probably the most beautiful smartwatch you can buy. It packs pretty much all the health and wellness sensors (including a heart-rate monitor and GPS) you’d want to a “premium” smartwatch. It should be noted that Samsung makes two versions of this smartwatch: the Galaxy Watch4 (pictured) and the Galaxy Watch4 Classic. Both have the same capabilities and run Wear OS, but different in the fact that the “Classic” is slightly larger, more expensive and has wonderful rotating bezel.

Garmin Forerunner 945

Garmin’s Forerunner 945 is a serious smartwatch for serious endurance athletes (and it offers most of the same fitness-focused features as the company’s even higher-end Fenix line of smartwatches). It lets you train for specific events, like a triathlon, where it can show your interval and transition times. It also works with most of the popular third-party products and apps, such as Final Surge and TrainingPeaks. Garmin partnered with Firstbeat, a company that specializes in physiology and heartbeat analytics, so the Forerunner 935 can give you deeper insights from your workout, such as your VO2 max and lactate threshold. Compared to its predecessor, the Forerunner 935, Garmin’s new running smartwatch has a significantly bigger battery, has enough built-in storage to hold 1,000 songs, and it supports full-color maps.

Fitbit Sense

The Sense is Fitbit’s flagship smartwatch (replacing the Ionic) and it actually has a lot in common with the company’s Versa 3 (below). The only major differences are that the Sense is much more capable health-and-wellness tracker. Unlike the Versa 3, the Sense has three brand-new sensors: an ECG (to potentially give you an early detection of atrial fibrillation), an EDA (to detect stress) and a skin temperature sensor (to give you early indications if you’re coming down with a fever or other illness). Overall, the Sense is a good third-party smartwatch for people want a lot of wellness data, but it’s also kind of expensive considering how similar it is to the Versa 3.

Fitbit Versa 3

Released in 2020, the Fitbit Versa 3 is a good entry-level smartwatch for iPhone or Android users alike. It’s a big upgrade over the Versa 2 mainly due to the fact that it has a built-in GPS and significantly better heart-rate tracking. It also has a built-in speaker and microphone, which the Versa 2 lacked, so you can actually hear your voice assistant (either Google Assistant or Amazon’s Alexa) when you ask it a question instead of having to read the voice assistant’s response on the smartwatch’s screen. This is a good alternative to the Apple Watch Series 3, but considering how expensive the Versa 3 still is compared to other more capable smartwatches, it’s actually pretty difficult to recommend.

Apple Watch Series 3

Released in 2017, the Series 3 is the oldest and most affordable smartwatch that Apple sells. It has the same original body as the Series 1 and Series 2 — meaning a smaller display and larger bezels — and it definitely looks old. It does have a built-in GPS and an optical heart sensor, so it’s still a good fitness tracker, but it also lacks some newer sensors, such as the always-on altimeter and the built-in compass, so it’s probably not a great for hikers and outdoors enthusiasts. You also can’t buy a cellular model the Series 3, either. If you’re somebody who just wants a cheap Apple Watch to track your workouts, the Series 3 is a decent option (although you should seriously consider spending the extra $80 on the Apple Watch SE).

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