All posts in “Gear”

Yamaha’s 2022 YZF-R7 Motorcycle Is a $9,000 Breath of Fresh Air

When I got into motorcycling at a relatively advanced age — for motorcycling, anyway — the biggest inspiration for the first and only bike I ever bought was the late, great Steve McQueen. With visions of The Great Escape dancing in my head, I had no choice but to snag a gently used, classic-looking Triumph cafe racer.

While I have alternately loved and hated my 2014 Bonneville T-100 over the past six years, I’ve never dreamt of riding a sport bike. Yet, when the opportunity arose to test-ride one — on a race track no less — I couldn’t resist.

What follows is a rather unique review: field notes from the first two days I ever spent on a proverbial crotch rocket, learning pro-level technique as a student at the Yamaha Champions Riding School. I guess viewing my riding through the Steve McQueen lens is fitting; dude loved to race, after all.

Is the Yamaha YZF-R7 new?

two men riding motorcycles around a track

Yamaha Champions Racing School

Not brand-new. It rolled out in the latter half of last year. Nonetheless, I was stoked to put it to the ultimate test: two days of tight turns on the track at New Jersey Motorsports Park.

What makes the YZF-R7 special?

the yamaha yzf motorcycle in a garage

Steve Mazzucchi

man sitting on a blue yamaha yzf motorcycle

Steve Mazzucchi

The R7 plate has a bit of history: the original R7 appeared in 1999, just 500 units created to compete in endurance races such as the Superbike World Championship and Suzuka 8 Hours. Super Streetbikes once listed it as one of “The 10 Most Exotic Bikes Ever,” but in reality, it proved to be kind of a cruddy, underpowered race bike.

The new R7 has a different focus: it’s a $1,300 step-up from Yamaha’s $7,700 MT-07 Hyper Naked Motorcycle — and a more cuddly successor to the brand’s legendary R6, a fantastic race-ready bike that’s rather uncomfortable on the streets. Shooting the gap between those two models, the R7 aims to be a fun, flexible street bike that can tear up the track without tearing up your wallet.

How does this Yamaha ride?

person riding a yamaha yzf r7 motorcycle

Yamaha

So here’s the part where you should probably get out a salt shaker and set a few grains aside. Having never ridden a sport bike before — not counting Zero electric motorcycles, which are a different kind of beast — I have little basis for comparison. All I can share are my experiences on this one, trying my best to follow the YCRS coaches’ advice to “ride the motorcycle as it was designed to be ridden.”

Which, in all honesty, worked out pretty damn well. While I was initially apprehensive about the battle between the nearly 33-inch seat height and my 29-inch inseam, the R7 is incredibly well balanced — and, at 414 pounds wet, light enough to one-foot with relative ease.

The YCRS instruction is incredibly dialed-in, with an emphasis on getting in the right state of mind, understanding the physics of your body and the bike, respecting the power of braking and making moves smoothly, rather than abruptly. With such guidelines in my head, I found the R7 to be super-responsive to all the acceleration, slowing, leaning and turning required to navigate a serpentine 12-turn racetrack.

My laps were a mess at first, but that owed entirely to rider incompetence — and actually made for good testing, as I could see how well the bike responded when I totally f’ed up, which happened a lot.

close up of the front of the yzf r7 motorcycle

Yamaha

yamaha yzf r7 motorcycle tire and suspension

Yamaha

The R7 proved to be a real champ at bailing me out of mistakes, be it hitting a straightaway in the wrong gear, entering a turn too slowly, or missing an apex at high speed and nearly running off the course. Every time I goofed, the bike was capable enough to help me avert anything catastrophic.

I attribute such a feat to the R7’s logical ergonomics, well-calibrated suspension, shockingly smooth six-speed transmission — and, perhaps most critically, a hyper-responsive front brake highlighted by a radial-pull Brembo master cylinder. One of the drills we did was flooring it before smoothly squeezing the brake to see how effective it is, and damn did I go from 60 to zero pretty quickly.

By the afternoon of the second day, when all the coaching finally started to click, I was whipping around the course at a decent pace, passing other students here — and there and, while not yet dragging a knee like our Lord and savior Valentino Rossi, hitting the apexes at a semi-respectable lean angle. Perhaps more importantly, I spent that second day on the track simply having a hell of a lot of fun.

Anything else stand out about this sport bike?

Now it’s time for another caveat: as much time as I spent on the R7 in two days, all of it took place on the track, not on the street. (Hell, the bikes they had set up for us to ride even eschewed turn signals and mirrors.) That is bound to give one a skewed perspective of a consumer motorcycle, and an incomplete one.

With that in mind, I do have one beef, which applies less to everyday street riding and more to the highway. Starting the first lap of each session, I was pretty happy with the R7’s 0 to 60 speed, which has been clocked at 3.27 seconds. However, on that big straightaway that passes through the finish line on the way to the next lap, I wished the acceleration after 60 mph was a bit more lively. Yes, it’s still gonna be plenty zippy enough to get around just about every four-wheeled vehicle you’ll encounter on the open road, but I felt like I could use a bit more oomph than this 689-cc jackrabbit could deliver.

yamaha yzf r7 motorcycle engine

Yamaha

One other, more positive observation: I found the relatively aggressive posture of the bike to be surprisingly forgiving. I rode for the better part of two days without ever feeling my back or legs tighten up, or my neck hurting from leaning forward with my eyes up.

All of which leads to this conclusion: I’ve long been wary of sport bikes for fear of being uncomfortable, uncertain and unsafe. But if the joy, speed and confidence I experienced on the R7 is any indication, the right sport bike can rise above all those gripes — and at a nice price to boot.

How much does the Yamaha YZF-R7 cost?

The base price is $8,999 for both colorways: Team Yamaha Blue and Performance Black. Featured accessories include a Fender Eliminator, GYTR Quick Shifter Kit, Frame Shifters, Radiator Guards and Seat Cowl.

2022 Yamaha YZF-R7

blue 2022 yamaha yzf r7 motorcycle

Yamaha

Engine: 689cc liquid-cooled, 4-stroke, DOHC inline twin-cylinder
Gearbox: six-speed
Seat height: 32.9 inches
Wet weight: 414 pounds
0 to 60: 3.27 seconds
Top speed: 139 mph
EPA Fuel Economy: 58 mpg

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The Glossary of Grilling: Everything You Need for Amazing Outdoor Feasts

Perfectly formed patties sizzling over white-hot coals. Spatchcocked chicken so tender it almost melts in your mouth. Steak, shrimp, salmon and veggies seared with griddle marks and bursting with flavor. Such visions are what get outdoor cooking geeks stoked to bust out their grills at the first signs of summer — if they haven’t been grilling year-round.

We count many such geeks amongst our own crew here at GP — and we are by no means alone. According to Retail Tracking Service data from market research giant The NPD Group, the grilling industry grew 14 percent last year, hitting $6.1 billion in sales. That uptick came hot on the heels of 2020’s pandemic-spurred surge; since July of that year, U.S. consumers have purchased more than 21 million grills and smokers.

Looking to join those ranks, or simply get, ahem, fired up for prime grilling season? Like the lid on a kamado, we’ve got ya covered. This glossary provides expert insights and tips on all the stars of the grilling game (from charcoal to gas to pellet), plus lesser-discussed players like basting brushes, grill baskets and tongs. So scroll down already — the next epic cookout is so close we can taste it.

Basting Brush

Few aspects of grilling are quite as satisfying as slathering your favorite sauce on pieces of meat mid-cook. For this step, it’s best to reach for a heat-resistant silicone brush like this $15 option from Oxo. The wide middle bristles sop up more than enough sauce, while the angled head lets you rest it on a side table without making a mess. It’s more precise than a traditional mop — and easier to clean, too.

Pro Tip: 3 Great Store-Bought Basting Sauces

charcoal illustration by alexa edgerton

Alexa Edgerton

Charcoal

russ faulk
Russ Faulk

Courtesy

Charcoal typically comes in two forms: briquettes and hardwood lump. Briquettes are made from processed wood, bound with additives into a uniform shape and size; lump charcoal is simply pieces of wood burned into carbon. But which is better?

“I’m very biased toward hardwood lump charcoal,” says Russ Faulk, cookbook author and chief designer at Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet.

“If you [end up with] a huge pile of ash that weighs almost as much as your charcoal did to begin with, the efficiency of that fire was not very favorable, right? Across the board, you will find that hardwood lump charcoal is going to leave less ash than charcoal briquettes.”

That said, lump charcoal usually burns hotter and doesn’t last as long as briquettes. If you need the predictability of a briquette fire, opt for all-natural hardwood briquettes from a brand like Royal Oak.

FAQ: Is Charcoal Unhealthy?

Cooking with charcoal is not bad for you, generally speaking. It’s all about what you grill and how you grill it. For instance, carcinogens can form if you char your meat or let fat drip onto the hot coals.

fire pit illustration by alexa edgerton

Alexa Edgerton

Fire Pit

They may be all the rage, but here’s a hot take: fire pits ain’t great for grilling. If you’ve got the time, you could wait for your wood fire to burn down to coals or truss some meat and hang it near your fire, but those are time-consuming endeavors. If you’re not on a camping trip, a dedicated grill is the most efficient and effective way to deliver the goods.

flat top griddle illustration by alexa edgerton

Alexa Edgerton

Flat Top Griddle

Who says you need a live fire to get grilling? Flat top grills are heating up, for good reason. They excel at whipping up breakfast foods like bacon and eggs, putting a crust on smash burgers or cooking enough hot dogs for your kid’s entire Little League team. Quality flat tops, like Blackstone’s two-burner, 28-inch gas griddle ($299), feature grease catchers for no-mess cooking and easy cleanup. You’ll never look back.

gas grilling illustration by alexa edgerton

Alexa Edgerton

Gas

max good
Max Good

Courtesy

Not unlike charcoal grilling, gas grilling carries a fuel-based conundrum: natural gas or liquid propane? The issue is talked to death online, but the decision is straightforward.

“The main reason not to use natural gas would be that you don’t have a natural gas grill,” explains Max Good, director of equipment reviews at AmazingRibs.com.

Natural gas grills are typically more expensive than liquid propane gassers on the front end, but not having to refill a propane tank (or worry about forgetting to refill a propane tank) and the affordability of natural gas itself are difficult to beat. Is there anything wrong with propane gas grills? No, but natural gas grills typically match their cooking performance while offering just a bit more in the convenience column.

Gloves

gloves illustration by alexa edgerton

Alexa Edgerton

A good pair of gloves is essential to your Sunday garb, especially if you grill with charcoal or wood and need to move things around. Our favorite kind? Welding gloves, which tend to feature longer cuffs and heat-resistant leather. Burch Barrel’s $45 Stockmans Gloves will last you more than a few seasons, but you could also simply stroll into your local hardware store and buy the first pair that falls within your price range.

grates illustration by alexa edgerton

Alexa Edgerton

Grates

steve schwarz
Steve Schwarz

Courtesy

As with everything in the grill world, conventional wisdom and old-school methodology collide to create confusion in places where there needn’t be any. Cleaning grates should be done consistently, says Napoleon’s Steve Schwarz, but it doesn’t require a new or inventive approach.

“Once you’ve taken your food off the grill, turn all burners on high, close the lid and let it go for five minutes,” recommends the brand’s director of grills research and development. “It can be easy to forget to return to the grill after five minutes, so it’s important to set a timer. After the burn, use a grill brush to brush off any debris or accumulation.”

He also offers one small warning: check your grate brush before use. If there’s any sign of degradation, or you see bristles coming off the brush while cleaning the grates, trash it and get a new one. Those bristles can get stuck to the grates and caught up in dinner, a scenario best avoided.

Hot Take: Skip the Cast-Iron Grates

The strengths of cast-iron grill grates are the strengths of cast-iron cookware: added mass means increased temperature retention, which means preheated grates start searing no matter how cold the steak you drop on them is. That also means they take longer to heat up — and, more problematically, they’re either going to require regular seasoning (like a cast-iron skillet) or be coated with enamel porcelain, which is easily chipped with a spatula. From cookware to grates, the solution is the same: stainless steel. Steel grates don’t rust, aren’t damaged by grill tools and release leftover food bits when cleaning much more easily than their cast-iron counterparts.

Grill Basket

grill basket illustration by alexa edgerton

Alexa Edgerton

You can find grill baskets that cost as much as $150, but unless you dislike money, we’d point you toward Grillux’s handy $20 BBQ Grill Basket. Its edges are raised and the holes are just small enough to keep food in the basket while over the fire. The material is sturdy but not so heavy that you can’t pick it up. Sometimes the simplest solution is the best one.

grill pan illustration by alexa edgerton

Alexa Edgerton

Grill Pan

zach schulz
Zach Schulz

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“[Grill pans] don’t recreate all the harmony of an outdoor grill, but you get the awesome grill marks that are reminiscent of cooking outdoors,” says Zach Schulz, chef de cuisine at 232 Bleecker. First set out by getting the heaviest grill pan you can find, then follow Schulz’s advice for getting the most out of it.

1. Preheat the Pan

You want to get the pan as hot as possible, “like almost smoking hot when you start, so you can grill hot and fast.”

2. Use Less Oil

Like the old saying, a little goes a long way. Rather than pouring oil directly onto the pan, simply coat your mains — whether it’s meat or vegetables — with a little oil.

3. Mimic Smoke

If you use a sauce like Worcestershire, which is “dark-tasting like the fire,” or caramelized mushrooms, which “carry an umami flavor that comes from grilling,” you can create a smoky flavor without actual smoke.

4. Use a Lid to Trap Heat

As Schulz reminds us, outdoor grilling involves both direct and ambient heat. The stove only offers the former, which is why the lid will come in handy.

hybrid grill illustration by alexa edgerton

Alexa Edgerton

Hybrid Grill

Hybrid grills offer two or more fuel sources for grilling, with the most common combo being gas and charcoal. Are they worth it?

Pros

  • Don’t feel like waiting for coals to light? Turn on the gas. Want higher temperatures? Use the charcoal side.
  • While hybrid grills are typically more expensive than gas or charcoal grills, they cost less than buying one of each.

    Cons

    • Limited space; typically each fuel source will have its own cooking area, meaning each side is smaller than a singular grill space.
    • Grill quality can suffer when manufacturers squeeze both charcoal and gas components into one unit.
      indoor grill illustration by alexa edgerton

      Alexa Edgerton

      Indoor Grill

      The luxury of having an outdoor space to house a grill is just that: a luxury. The next best thing is an indoor grill, and while it won’t be a perfect substitute, some units can work wonders. We like Zojirushi’s $131 EB-DLC10 Indoor Electric Grill for its large cooking area (roughly 165 square inches), minimal smoke emissions and easy-to-clean grill surface.

      Infrared Burner

      infrared illustration by alexa edgerton

      Alexa Edgerton

      An above-average gas grill burner will max out around 650 to 700 degrees, which is roughly half of the max temperature a charcoal fire can reach. So one hallmark of great gas grills is the presence of infrared burners, which push temperatures to new heights, compensating for this fundamental disadvantage. Typically smaller and separated from a gas grill’s primary burners, infrared burners harness radiant heat instead of convective heat, which is a fancy way of saying they’re going to push 1,000-plus degrees and brown a steak perfectly.

      kamado illustration by alexa edgerton

      Alexa Edgerton

      Kamado

      The often pricey oval-shaped cooker known as a kamado is the charcoal-lover’s high-performance machine. Why? These grills have a tighter seal and more precise air control, so you can fine-tune the cooking process. Because certain designs — including those from Vision Grills — are ceramic, they retain heat better than traditional metal-body grills. Plus, the added height on the interior allows for different types of cooking like smoking, because the coals are farther away from the food.

      kettle illustration by alexa edgerton

      Alexa Edgerton

      Kettle

      In some circles, there are really only two types of grills: kettles and everything else. Kettles get their name from a spherical design pioneered by Weber in the 1950s, and the DNA of modern iterations remains squarely — or rather, roundly — intact: circular lid, steel cooking grates and vents at the top and bottom. Though some kettles use gas as a fuel source, charcoal versions reign supreme. Here are two we recommend.

      konro illustration by alexa edgerton

      Alexa Edgerton

      Konro

      A konro is a narrow tabletop grill lined with ceramic that’s popular in Japan for cooking yakitori (bite-sized skewered chicken). Traditionally, the ends of the skewers rest on the edges of the grill so that meat sits atop a bed of binchotan charcoal. Konros are great for small gatherings, bringing a ceremonious kind of precision to grilling everything from chicken skin to asparagus.

      pellet grilling illustration by alexa edgerton

      Alexa Edgerton

      Pellet

      tony matassa
      Tony Matassa

      Courtesy

      The ability to add a variety of smoky wood flavors via compressed sawdust has made pellet grilling oh-so-hot of late. Just heed these need-to-knows from BBQGuys chef and product expert Tony Matassa.

      Prime the Damn Auger

      What sounds like a step yelled out in a game of Spaceteam is critically important to the safety and efficiency of your next cookout. “Priming speeds up the auger, ensuring pellets reach the fire pot before the hot rod’s safety shutoff kicks in. It’s basically your way of telling the grill, ‘Hey, I need pellets now.’”

      Preheat Patiently

      Novice grillers in general are too quick to throw meat on, Matassa says, but doing so with a pellet grill is particularly problematic. “The consequences are worse on pellet grills, which cook almost exclusively with hot air — more like an oven than a char-griller. Hot air isn’t the best at transferring heat, so let your pellet grill come to temp for about 10 or 15 minutes before starting to cook.”

      Secure the Bag

      Do not leave your bag of pellets open for any extended period of time. Even the slightest bit of moisture overnight will cause the pellets to puff up and become unusable. Matassa recommends tying them up after use and storing them in a sealed five-gallon bucket.

      Get Smart

      Nearly all pellet grills come equipped with some level of smart technology. Matassa recommends prioritizing a PID (proportional–integral–derivative) controller if you want accurate readings and higher-level data.

      Skewers

      skewer illustration by alexa edgerton

      Alexa Edgerton

      For hot kebabs off the grill, you’re going to need some skewers. The question is: wooden or metal? It’s kind of a toss-up.

      Wooden skewers, typically made from bamboo, are great because they’re disposable and don’t require any washing. You will, however, have to soak them before use to prevent them from catching on fire on the grill.

      Metal skewers will get much hotter than wooden ones, and they’re also reusable. On the other hand, they’re more expensive than their wooden counterparts, and they increase the risk of heat-related injuries.

      smoker illustration by alexa edgerton

      Alexa Edgerton

      Smoker

      matt horn
      Matt Horn

      Courtesy

      The most revered pitmasters around the country use industrial-size smokers with chambers that range from 500 to 1000 gallons. If you’re using a smaller backyard unit, you need to make some minor adjustments to achieve similar results.

      Matt Horn, of Oakland’s Horn Barbecue, typically keeps his large smokers at 275–285 degrees, but recommends lowering the cooking temperatures for smaller units because they tend to cook the meat and form a bark a lot faster. “With a smaller cooker, you may want to run it at 225,230—you want to dial it down that much,” he says.

      Horn also recommends adding moisture to the cooking chamber with a water pan and by spraying the meat. “You want to make sure that you’re spraying it and you’re cooling the surface temperature, so I always make sure I have a nice spray bottle.”

      starter illustration by alexa edgerton

      Alexa Edgerton

      Starter

      Forget lighter fluid: if you’re looking to light a bed of charcoal quickly and grilling hot, a chimney is your best bet. But if you’re opting for lower temps, starting your charcoal by lighting a single point, a handheld torch can be incredibly efficient. Russ Faulk recommends a plumber’s torch over more expensive, handheld electric starters.

      Thermometer

      thermometer illustration by alexa edgerton

      Alexa Edgerton

      Instead of guessing if your food is cooked or using some archaic hand-touching method, go for an instant-read thermometer. The best one we’ve found is ThermoWorks’ Thermapen One ($105), which gives food temperature readouts in a literal instant, in addition to being easy to use and incredibly accurate.

      FYI: Common Meat Cooking Temperatures

      • Chicken: 165°F
      • Pork: 145°F
      • Beef (Rare): 120°F
      • Beef (Well Done): 160°F
      • Seafood: 145°F
        tongs illustration by alexa edgerton

        Alexa Edgerton

        Tongs

        At less than $20, a pair of Oxo’s Good Grips 16-inch locking tongs are long enough to keep your forearm hairs unscathed, while feeling less like an add-on tool and more like an extension of your own arm. Use the tongs to flip steaks, move burgers and grab skewers with ease.

        gear patrol issue 18

Today’s Best Deals: 15% Off at Goldwin, a Deal on Monos Luggage & More

Welcome to Deals of Note, where Gear Patrol captures all the best deals of the day. You can also visit GearPatrol.com/Deals for constant updates on the latest deals discovered by our team.

EDITOR’S PICKS

The most rare or exceptional deals picked by Gear Patrol’s product experts.

FITNESS DEALS

STYLE DEALS

OUTDOOR DEALS

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This Jefferson’s Rye Is Aged at Sea — And It’s One of the Best Things We Drank Last Month

Every month, a huge amount of booze comes across our desks — beer, wine and a whole lot of whiskey. We taste it all, and we only share the best of the best. This month: a cider that’s made with a natural wine legend, a non-alcoholic wine alternative for the summer and more.

Jefferson’s Ocean Aged at Sea Rye

jefferson’s ocean aged at sea rye

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Jefferson’s has a line of whiskey that it calls its Ocean portfolio, in which barrels of bourbon are placed on ships that sail around the world. The theory is that the motion of the sea helps to churn the whiskey, while extreme temperature fluctuations age the whiskey faster than any other method. While usually done with bourbons, for its 26th voyage Jefferson brought rye out to sea. The Ocean Aged at Sea Rye starts off as fully mature rye whiskey that’s double barreled in charred barrels and toasted barrels. After its voyage, the rye tastes of toffee, marshmallow and leather, before finishing off with notes of baking spices and sea salt. — Tyler Chin, Associate Editor

Price: $87

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Starward Octave Barrels

starward octave barrels bottle

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Australian whiskey brand Starward’s latest release, Octave Barrels, is a winner — for real. It won Double Gold at this year’s San Francisco World Spirits Competition, and if you get a chance to try it, you’ll see why. Starward is known for its red wine barrel-matured whiskies. Octave Barrels is matured in specialty sized barrels that previously held the iconic Shiraz wine, Yalumba The Octavius. The result is a rich and full-bodied whiskey with a long finish, giving off notes of dried stone fruit, red fruit and sweet oak. — Tyler Chin, Associate Editor

Price: $80

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Brooklyn Brewery Pilsner

brooklyn brewery pilsner can

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My go-to summer beer has always been Brooklyn Brewery’s Brooklyn Lager. Now it might just have to be its new pilsner. The classic golden lager is based on a classic German pilsner, making for a crisp, light and slightly hoppy brew. The pilsner is a reworking of the brewery’s old take on the same beer style, and this one will be grill-side all summer long for me. — Tyler Chin, Associate Editor

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Madre Mezcal Desert Water

madre mezcal desert water can

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If beer isn’t your thing this summer, Desert Water will be. New from mezcal brand Madre, these new ready-to-drink canned cocktails are a mix of Madre Espadin mezcal, sparkling water, fruit, plants and herbs. Desert Water currently comes in four flavors: Original; Mushroom, Sage and Honey; Grapefruit and Yerba Santa; and Prickly Pear and Lemon, the latter of which is my favorite. Desert Water is a take on Texas ranch water, which is a tequila highball. These Desert Waters swap the tequila for some sweet smoky mezcal, and we think you’ll enjoy it as much as we do. — Tyler Chin, Associate Editor

Price: $41 for two four-packs

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Acid League Proxies AHM

acid league proxies ahm bottle

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Acid League’s Proxies are not non-alcoholic wines. They are, however, an excellent non-alcoholic alternative to wine. Don’t believe us? Acid League tapped André Houston Mack, sommelier extraordinaire and founder of Maison Noir Wines for a new bottle of Proxies that highlights Mack’s Oregonian roots. Bottled as AHM, the Proxies is a mix of pinot noir grapes, cherries, rhubarb, cranberry, pu-erh tea and kola nut. The highlight of the AHM is its addition of marionberries, which is a type of blackberry developed at Oregon State University, and dubbed “the king of blackberries.” It’s tart, slightly sweet and juicy, and while it’s definitely not wine, it won’t make you wish you were drinking wine.

AHM is only available as part of Acid League’s monthly subscription, with this month’s box including the white Blanc Sheep and red Mouton Rouge. — Tyler Chin, Associate Editor

Price: $60

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Tequila Zarpado Reposado

tequila zarpado reposado bottle

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This reposado from Tequila Zarpado might be one of the best values in the tequila market. Last year we called Tequila Zarpado’s Blanco a crazy deal, because at $25 it doesn’t compromise on flavor, and it’s made better than stuff that costs double or triple the price. For a couple bucks more, try the new reposado. Tequila is rested for three to four months in ex-bourbon barrels, imparting oak and vanilla notes. If you’re just taking shots of tequila, you’re missing out on some wonderful sipping experiences — which is exactly what Tequila Zarpado’s reposado brings.

Price: $27

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Shacksbury Rosa

shacksbury rosa bottle

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Shacksbury is making some damn good ciders in Vermont. Its core collection is exceptional, but sometimes it puts out something as part of its Cellar Releases that deserves a shoutout (actually, all Cellar Releases deserve a shoutout). For its Rosa bottling, Shacksbury worked with the legendary Martha Stoumen, who’s known for her delicious California natural wines. Rosa combines local Vermont apples and some of Stoumen’s recycled Nero d’Avola grape skins to create a brew that’s decidedly a cider and wine hybrid. The sweet, juicy and bubbly concoction is lively and expressive, and it’s sort of like a boozy Capri Sun. Luckily they’re sold in packs of two because one bottle is just a gateway into opening another. — Tyler Chin, Associate Editor

Price: $65 for 2 bottles

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Penelope Architect

penelope architect

Penelope

Simply an excellent balance of sweetness and burn and just the right amount of each. I’m told that the flavor derived from French Oak staves as used in the Architect series can be polarizing, but I found it incredibly smooth and easy to sip. — Zen Love, Associate Editor

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Dewar’s 19 Year Old

dewar's 19 year old

Dewar’s

This particular Dewar’s was bottled to celebrate the 121st US Open. But I’d venture to say that you don’t have to follow or know anything about tennis to appreciate this highly drinkable blended Scotch. Just on its own, it’s rich, caramelly, and so pleasant that it made me think it almost tastes like bourbon. Turns out, it’s aged in bourbon barrels. — Zen Love, Associate Editor

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Ardbeg Ardcore

ardbeg ardcore

Ardbeg

It’s called “Ardcore,” so you think it’s going to be one of those Scotches that tries to knock you out with an overwhelmingly peaty pallet — and it’s strong, for sure, but with all the balance and complexity you expect from Ardbeg. It was a pleasure to drink, but maybe that’s because I’m just ‘ardcore, myself. — Zen Love, Associate Editor

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Firestone Walker Primal Elements Batch #2

firestone walker primal elements batch 2

Firestone Walker

The trend of fruited kettle sours (and cans literally exploding) is not something Firestone Walker prescribes to. But that does not mean they don’t see the interest from craft beer drinkers in a fruited canned sour beer. Hence, Primal Elements Batch #2 from the brand’s Barrelworks program. Instead of “souring” the beer in steel, Firestone opted to age this beer in oak barrels for 24 to 36 months, giving it a proper aging. The result is a sour ale with mango, pineapple, nectarine and tangerine that has a bit of a pucker but a thick mouthfeel that borders on an IPA citrus taste. — Ryan Brower, Senior Commerce Editor

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Dogfish Head x Gastro Obscura Fermentation Engastration

fermentation engastration by dogfish head x gastro obscura

Give Them Beer

Leave it to the mad scientist at Dogfish Head Sam Calagione yet again to give us something we haven’t come across before in the beer world. Together with Gastro Obscura, DFH multiple types of alcohol fermentation and blended them altogether for a delicately balanced 10-percent ABV beer that has a constantly evolving finish. It has a little bit of carbonation and can offer anywhere from a sweet, honey note with a malty expression to that typical Saison pepper/crackery yeast notes. Essentially, the following processes were fermented independently of each other anywhere from two and a half weeks to three and a half months and then blended together: a rose-scented sake, a Mid-Atlantic honey and date mead, a bittersweet hard cider, a fruity Muscat wine and a rustic farmhouse ale. While it was limited to only 1,000 bottles, Fermentation Engastration sold out pretty quick. But if we’re lucky, DFH might resurrect this one in time for a Thanksgiving release. — Ryan Brower, Senior Commerce Editor

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The Complete Buying Guide to Tissot Watches

A first Swiss watch is a milestone for many. It can be an expensive proposition, but it doesn’t have to be break-the-bank expensive. With a focus on offering an array of designs and price points, Tissot is a major player in the entry-level Swiss watch game that any new or veteran enthusiast should know.

Automatic watches starting under $700 and quartz versions of the same models at even more affordable prices make Tissot a slam dunk of a value proposition. You can even get a watch co-branded with your favorite NBA team, as Tissot is the official timing sponsor of the NBA among other sporting endeavors. The wide array of design and features means that almost everyone from watch collectors to Moto GP fans can find a watch in Tissot’s catalog to suit their needs — for not a crazy amount of scratch.

Founded in 1853 by father and son duo Charles-Felicien and Charles Emile-Tissot in Le Locle, the eponymous brand was a pioneer in many ways throughout the history of watchmaking. Charles-Emile, afraid that the skills of the artisans in Le Locle would be lost through time, stressed the importance of watchmaking schools to the Swiss government.

He was influential enough that he was appointed National Inspector. As part of his travels in this role, the Tissot brand becomes recognized throughout the world in cities such as Paris, Chicago, and Antwerp for their highly accurate pocket watches and their pioneering wristwatches worn by celebrities.

tisset watch poster
A vintage Tissot advertisement from 1972.

Courtesy

In the early 1900s, the family-owned brand worked to incorporate all aspects of watch production into one factory. This in-house manufacturing allowed for further innovation by the brand. As electricity became more commonplace, magnetism became more of an issue for watchmakers as this invisible force reduces the accuracy of mechanical watches. In response to this modern problem, Tissot created the first antimagnetic watch, something that has become even more important in the 21st century.

In addition to technical developments, Tissot has continued to evolve its design language, as well. From bright colors and unique case shapes in the 1970s to watches made from rock in the 1980s to the first tactile watch in the 1990s, technology and design are at the forefront of this brand. Today, Tissot is a subsidiary of the Swatch Group.

The 2010s and 2020s have been no different for Tissot. The launch of Swatch Group sister company ETA’s Powermatic 80 movement, which has 80 hours of power reserve, has brought the cost of entry for Swiss automatic wristwatches with premium features to new audiences. The recently released PRX models have also been an instant hit. The wide variety in the catalog should mean that there is something for nearly everyone.

Tissot Watches Buying Guide

Tissot PRX

The PRX line has been the darling of the entry-level watch space since its still recent (re)introduction. This watch has embraced the integrated bracelet sport watch trend, but at a price point for the masses and mixing in some retro ’80s flare. The collection spans smaller quartz versions, automatics, different dial colors, strap options and case finishes, and the range is topped off with a 42mm automatic chronograph. This family is a tour de force when it comes to design for dollar.

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Tissot PRX Powermatic 80

tissotwatches.com

$650.00

Hot on the heels of the initial PRX release came the Powermatic 80 model. Relying on ETA’s workhorse Powermatic 80 movement, this model offers everything we love about the design in a 40mm case but packing an automatic movement. You can get it in a range of options from different dial executions (we like the waffle dials) as well as smooth or fluted bezels.

Diameter: 35mm – 42mm
Movement
: Swiss quartz, Powermatic 80 automatic, Valjoux A05 H31 chronograph
Configurations: Time and date, chronograph
Water Resistance: 100m
Price
: $375-$1,750

Tissot Seastar

The Seastar collection, as the name suggests, is Tissot’s diving collection. These no-nonsense watches feature all of the technical specifications you would expect from a Swiss diver with at least 300m of water resistance, a uni-directional rotating bezel, and plenty of superluminova. The rotating bezel comes in handy as a backup for your dive computer or timing how long the ribeyes have been on the grill. Like other collections, these watches come in a variety of colors, sizes, and strap options.

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Tissot Seastar 1000 Powermatic 80

tissotwatches.com

$725.00

The Seastar 1000 is the entry point to the Seastar collection. This model comes in two sizes, the quartz 36mm and automatic 43mm, both with 1000 feet (300m) of water resistance, as the name indicates. In addition to its size and movement, the 43mm version has upgrades like a ceramic bezel insert. Check out the Seastar 2000 for even more serious specs and just as serious value.

Diameter: 36mm-46mm
Movement
: Swiss quartz, Powermatic 80, quartz chronograph
Configurations: Time and date, chronograph
Water Resistance: 300m-600m
Price
: $375-$1,025

Tissot Gentleman

The Tissot Gentleman is nearly a perfect everyday watch. Released in 2019, this collection has grown and now features three different metals, a wide array of dial colors, and several bracelet or strap options. The Gentleman can be had with either the grab-and-go convenience of Swiss Quartz movement or the more enthusiast-oriented Powermatic 80 automatic movement. Regardless of the movement choice, the Gentleman line features a 40mm case and a solid 100m of water resistance.

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Tissot Gentleman Powermatic 80 Silicium

tissotwatches.com

$775.00

The Tissot Gentleman Powermatic 80 Silicium is quite the mouthful of a moniker, but also quite the watch. As its name suggests, the automatic model in the Gentleman stable features the Powermatic 80 movement and is equipped with a silicon (silicium, if you’re European) hairspring. Excellent finishing with a clean, classic design, this watch looks the part in a way that its price tag normally wouldn’t.

Diameter: 40mm
Movement
: Swiss quartz, Powermatic 80 Silicium
Configurations: Time and date
Water Resistance: 100m, 330ft
Price
: $350-$1,495

Tissot Classic

The Tissot Classic family consists of timeless designs for dressier settings — and although they’re separate collections, to be honest, the Classic, Carson, Le Locle and Tradition all kind of fill the same role. So, we’re consolidating and highlighting a model from each of those to illustrate what’s generally on offer.

You’ll find both Swiss quartz and automatic movements here and a variety of sizes, dials and strap options. In keeping with dress watch traditions, most watches in this collection lack the likes of lumed dials or the water resistance associated with sport watches. The Tissot Classic watches offer an affordable way to get a classic dress watch.

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Tissot Classic Dream Swissmatic

tissotwatches.com

$495.00

The Classic Dream is Tissot’s entry-level dress watch. Coming in at under $300 for the quartz model, it also offers one of the lowest entry points into a Swiss-made automatic movement. The Swissmatic movement, developed in conjunction with parent company Swatch Group, provides an excellent value offering at just $525 with three days of power reserve, and a Nivachron spring with magnetic resistance.

Diameter: 42mm
Movement
: Swissmatic
Configurations: Time and date
Water Resistance: 50m
Price
: $495-$525

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Tissot Carson Premium Gent Moonphase

tissotwatches.com

$375.00

Slim and sophisticated, the Tissot Carson is an entry-level dress watch that can be had with either a quartz movement or Powermatic 80 automatic. Offered on both a stylish leather strap or five-link bracelet, this dress watch has elegant dial options to suit more formal occasions. To add a bit of flair to the austere dress watch, quartz versions of the Carson also offer a moonphase (as shown above) or chronograph complication.

Diameter: 40mm
Movement
: Swiss Quartz, Powermatic 80
Configurations: Time and date, moonphase, chronograph
Water Resistance: 50m
Price
: $325-$750

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Tissot Le Locle Powermatic 80

tissotwatches.com

$575.00

The Tissot Le Locle, named after the brand’s home city, should be on the list of anyone looking for an affordable Swiss automatic dress watch. All models run on the Powermatic 80 automatic movement and feature an attractive hobnail pattern on the inner dial, contrasted by a smooth finished ring for the hour markers. The case is perfectly sized for all wrists at just under 40mm. Offered on both strap and a seven link bracelet, this dress watch will easily fit under the cuff, coming in at 9.3mm thick.

Diameter: 39.3mm
Movement
: Powermatic 80
Configurations: Time and date, chronograph, perpetual calendar
Water Resistance: 30m
Price
: $575-$850

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Tissot Tradition Powermatic 80 Open Heart

tissotwatches.com

$750.00

With mostly larger case sizes of 42mm, quartz movements and an “open heart” model, the Tissot Tradition is a collection we feel is aimed more at the general consumer than the enthusiast. The quartz models come in three styles: time and date, chronograph, or perpetual calendar The sole automatic on offer in the Tradition line features the Powermatic 80 movement, as we’ve seen in other collections, but here with an “open-heart,” offering a view of the oscillating balance wheel straight from the dial.

Diameter: 40mm-42mm
Movement
: Swiss quartz, Powermatic 80
Configurations: Time and date, chronograph, perpetual calendar
Water Resistance: 30m
Price
: $300-$750

Tissot PRS 516

Inspired by designs made popular in the 1960s, the Tissot PRS 516 primarily draws inspiration from Tissot’s motor racing heritage. The motorsport ties for Tissot run back to 1958 when Swiss driver Harry Zweifel sent Tissot a signed picture stating that his Tissot is with him in every race.

The importance of timing in motorsport-inspired Tissot to debut the original PR 516 line in 1965, with a bracelet design inspired by the holes seen in race car steering wheels. The original PR 516 was dubbed “Particularly Resistant” as the suspended movement made it more protected from lateral and axial shocks. Over the years, Tissot has sponsored racing teams across various disciplines from Alpine, Porsche, Ensign, Lotus, and Sauber.

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Tissot PRS 516 Powermatic 80

tissotwatches.com

$695.00

The current PRS line consists of three models: the PRS 516 Powermatic 80, PRS 516 Chronograph, and the PRS 516 Automatic Chronograph. Featuring a Day and Date complication, the PRS 516 Powermatic 80 features a fixed steel bezel graduated for five-minute increments. This watch comes on either a three-link steel bracelet or racing style leather strap and features a display case back, allowing the wearer to see the movement’s racing-inspired rotor.

Diameter: 42mm
Movement: Powermatic 80 automatic
Configurations: Time and day/date
Water Resistance: 100m
Price
: $695

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Tissot PRS 516 Chronograph

tissotwatches.com

$650.00

The quartz PRS 516 Chronograph offers the benefit of a chronograph function with the increased precision of a 1/10th second tracker in the top-right totalizer. With a quartz movement, this piece comes in under $500 and offers a wide array of bracelet/strap and color combinations. Featuring a closed case back and 45mm case, the PRS 516 Chronograph offers 100m of water resistance, perfect for any post-race celebrations. Those who must have an automatic chronograph have options, too, costing close to $2,000.

Diameter: 42mm
Movement
: Quartz
Configurations: Time, chronograph
Water Resistance: 100m
Price
: $650

Tissot Heritage

Tissot has a rich back catalog of designs from previous eras. The heritage collection is home to modern takes on these watches from yesteryear. Offering a “greatest hits” compilation of sorts, Tissot continues to pay tribute to watches that have help cement the brand in the minds of consumers.

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Tissot Heritage Visodate Powermatic 80

tissotwatches.com

$675.00

The original Tissot Visodate debuted in 1953, the same year Tissot celebrated its 100th anniversary. The original watch featured a date change at exactly midnight, a first for a wristwatch in 1953. What sets this line apart from others in the catalog is the vintage logo at 12 o’clock. The logo has been used in the past by Tissot on several heritage models, or re-releases of classic watches from the back catalog.

Diameter: 42mm
Movement
: Powermatic 80
Configurations: Time and day/date
Water Resistance: 30m
Price
: $650-$675

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Tissot Heritage 1973

tissotwatches.com

$2,100.00

Another noteworthy model in the heritage collection that leans into the motorsport theme looks forward to the decade after the previously mentioned PR 516 made its debut. The Tissot Heritage 1973 chronograph comes straight from the 1970s with a tonneau case shape, panda dial, and Rallye strap. Slightly smaller than its stablemates, the Heritage 1973 has a 43mm case that measures 14.3mm thick. Offering a tri-compax chronograph, the 1973 allows the wearer to track running seconds, up to 30 minutes, and up to 12 hours, perfect for an endurance race.

Diameter: 43mm
Movement
: Valjoux A05.H31 automatic chronograph
Configurations: Time, date, automatic chronograph
Water Resistance: 100m, 300ft
Price
: $2,100

Tissot T-Touch

Continuing to push forward, Tissot unveiled the T-Touch collection over 20 years ago. Before the era of connected devices, touchscreens, smartphones in our pockets, and wearable technology, the original T-Touch offered a tactile screen integrated into its crystal in 1999. Over the years, Tissot has added connectivity, Bluetooth, a ceramic bezel, and more to this high-tech wristwatch.

While these watches have grown in both size and functionality over the last 23 years, they are still a serious piece of equipment for adventurers and weekend warriors alike. With multiple useful features and a solar energy source, its no wonder these watches end up on the wrists of adventurers and TV hosts (the Grand Tour’s Richard Hammond can be seen sporting his older model on many of their destination episodes).

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Tissot T-Touch Connect Solar

tissotwatches.com

$1,150.00

Lightweight titanium helps the current T-Touch Connect Solar weight to a minimum as its overall footprint on your wrist is a larger 47.5mm. Tissot’s version of a connected watch, this beast can track everything from your steps traveled, the direction you are heading, the air temperature and weather trends, altitude, and display incoming calls, notifications and more. Powered by natural light, this watch is perfect for an outdoor adventure that could last for multiple days at a time. The functions are controlled by a touch-capacitive crystal, as well as more traditional chronograph style buttons at 2 and 4 o’clock.

Diameter: 47.5mm
Movement
: Swiss connected solar quartz with 25 separate functions
Configurations: Connected multifunction watch
Water Resistance: 100m, 300ft
Price
: $1,050 – $1,150

Tissot Chrono XL

Characterized by large Arabic numerals and hands filled with superluminova, the Tissot Chrono XL shoots for supreme legibility, day or night. The Chrono XL is also one of the watches that features color and strap options for your favorite NBA team.

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Tissot Chrono XL

tissotwatches.com

$375.00

As the name mentions, the Chrono XL features a large case with a big dial that only increases its visual presence. The quartz chronograph movement offers precision timing with a 1/10th second subdial and 30-minute totalizer. Running seconds and date round out the information conveyed dial side. Offered in multiple finishes and dial colors, the Chrono XL can be styled with either a modern or vintage look.

Diameter: 45mm
Movement
: Swiss quartz chronograph
Configurations: Quartz chronograph
Water Resistance: 100m
Price
: $375 – $495

Tissot Supersport

The Supersport collection straddles two design languages. The Supersport Chrono bills itself as a forward-looking timepiece, offering a range of references to speak to the wearer’s personal sense of style. The Supersport Gent, on the other hand, picks up on vintage styles that have become popular again in modern times. Both of these watches are stylish options that come in affordable packages.

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Tissot Supersport Gent

tissotwatches.com

$325.00

The Supersport Gent borrows from skin-diver designs of the 1960s. The rotating bezel features a color-matched aluminum insert perfect for tracking elapsed time. The Swiss quartz movement and 44mm case update these classic good looks for modern tastes. The 10mm thickness will also keep the Supersport Gent comfortable on your wrist, no matter the occasion.

Diameter: 44mm
Movement
: Swiss quartz
Configurations: Time and date
Water Resistance: 100m
Price
: $325-$375

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Tissot Supersport Chrono

tissotwatches.com

$400.00

While the above Gent borrows from the past, the Supersport Chrono has a more contemporary feel. Bold angles and sharp lines separate this chronograph from other designs in the Tissot catalog. The 45.5mm case features the same Swiss quartz chronograph movement found throughout the Tissot lineup which keeps overall thickness under 12mm. The Supersport Chrono features recessed subdials, hour markers set into the rehaut, an angular bracelet, and an aluminum bezel. Bold color options help this chronograph stand out even more.

Diameter: 45.5mm
Movement
: Swiss quartz chronograph
Configurations: Time and date, chronograph
Water Resistance: 100m, 300 ft
Price
: $400-$475

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These Are the Best Bourbons to Buy in 2022, According to Experts

bourbon

Katelyn Tucker Photography

Your typical liquor store bourbon selection can be a bit unwieldy. While publications like Gear Patrol will certainly help you narrow it down to the best bottles to buy, it’s spirits competitions like the San Francisco World Spirits Competition, or SFWSC, that can truly push bottles off the shelves.

Earlier this year, the world’s largest spirits judging competition gathered nearly 70 judges to taste almost 5,000 spirits. Now, we have the finalists for the best bottles of bourbon to buy this year, each in their respective categories — whether it’s for straight bourbon or special barrel-finished expressions.

As finalists, these bourbons will be going head to head again to determine Best of Class and Best in Show winners, which will be revealed in June. For the bourbon category, these are the bottles that have earned Double Gold — and will compete next month for the competition’s highest honors.

Straight Bourbon

15 Stars 14-Year-Old Timeless Reserve Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

15 stars 14 year old timeless reserve kentucky straight bourbon whiskey

15 Stars

ABV: 51.5%

The “15” in 15 Stars is an ode to Kentucky being the 15th state to join the US, and its bourbon whiskey is an apt tribute to the state. The whiskey exhibits notes of dark chocolate, as well as cream and vanilla.

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Clyde May’s Special Reserve Bourbon

bourbon

Clyde May’s

ABV: 55%

This 110-proof bourbon is aged for six years, and despite its high ABV, it won’t burn going down thanks to its balanced flavor profile, which Clyde May’s describes as “orchard fruits on the nose and clove and spice on the palate.”

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1792 Full Proof Straight Bourbon

bourbon

1792

ABV: 62.5%

This Full Proof Straight Bourbon from 1792 has been taking home awards year after year. It’s a full-bodied spirit that tastes of sweet vanilla and caramel with a hint of smoke.

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Small Batch Bourbon – Up to 5 years

Penelope Private Select Bourbon

bourbon

Penelope

ABV: 57.5%

Penelope’s Private Select Bourbon is a blend of a three of the brand’s traditional bourbon mash bills, with each barrel being used having been hand selected. It’s aged anywhere between four and five years, before being bottled at barrel strength.

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Small Batch Bourbon – 6 to 10 Years

Laws Whiskey Bonded Four Grain Bourbon

bourbon

Total Wine

ABV: 47.5%

Laws makes its bourbon in Colorado, using a combination of the four major American grains: corn, wheat, barley and rye — a rare feat and one that makes for an exceptional whiskey.

Price: $114

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Ezra Brooks Old Ezra 7 Year Old Barrel Strength

bourbon

Flaviar

ABV: 58.5%

The Old Ezra 7-year-old is a 101 proof bourbon featuring a mash of corn, rye and barley. Aged for seven years, it has floral notes with accents of typical bourbon flavors like vanilla and wood.

Price: $114

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Single Barrel Bourbon – Up to 10 Years

Doc Whiskey Single Barrel Cask Strength Bourbon

bourbon

Total Wine

ABV: 58.44%

Doc Whiskey’s Single Barrel comprises 51 percent corn, 45 percent wheat and 9 percent rye, making for a balanced whiskey with a semi-sweet flavor profile complementing its long dried fruit finish.

Price: $22

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Nashville Barrel Company Single Barrel Bourbon

bourbon

Nashville Barrel Co.

ABV: 59.45%

Because of its scarcity (there are only about 175 bottles available), you probably won’t get a chance to try this bourbon. Regardless, it’s still a winner this year thanks to its caramel and dried fruit flavors, which dissipate to its sweet peppery and fruity finish.

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Special Barrel-Finished Bourbon

TX Bourbon Cognac Finish

bourbon

Total Wine

ABV: 50.8%

TX’s cognac barrel-finished bourbon features a grape sweetness that’s complemented by a slight bitterness, dried fruit and cinnamon.

Price: $65

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Barrell Craft Spirits Barrell Dovetail Whiskey

bourbon

Flaviar

ABV: 61.45%

Barrell isn’t a distillery, but it is one of the country’s best blenders. For Dovetail, Barrell blends a 10-year-old Indiana whiskey that was finished in cabernet casks and an 11-year-old Tennessee bourbon that’s been double finished in rum and late bottled vintage port pipes. This extra-high proof whiskey is rich in flavor and brings sweet heat and dried stone fruit notes.

Price: $68

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Doc Swinson’s Exploratory Series Kiona Cask

bourbon

Doc Swinson’s

ABV: 57.1%

Only two casks of this Kiona Cask bourbon were available, so if you manage to find a bottle, you better get it. The bourbon is aged in cabernet casks that once held Kiona Vineyard’s Old Block cabernet wine. The result is, as Doc Swinson’s describes, “dark chocolate-covered brandied cherries, baking spice, apple pie filling and toasted almonds.”

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Wheated Bourbon

W.L. Weller 12 Year

bourbon

Buffalo Trace

ABV: 45%

Weller 12 is one of the fabled whiskeys that costs very little at retail ($40), but you’ll probably never be able to find it at retail and will end up paying way too much (say $400) on the resale market. Sad as it is, this wheated bourbon is still exceptional, with its sweet almond and vanilla flavors and long, smooth finish.

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Last Chance: Win $2,000 in Summer Gear

Time to trade in those heavier layers for something lighter.

We teamed up with our friends at American Provenance, American Optical, Go Forth Goods, Jacob Bromwell, and Olivers to bring you a chance to win one of two summer gear prize packages. Enter for your chance to win quality apparel and eyewear, a premium leather weekender to pack them in, drinkware you’ll want along for the ride and more.

ENTER HERE

Terms: No purchase necessary. Enter from May 18, 2022-June 1, 2022 for your chance to win. Sweepstakes is open to residents of the United States and the District of Columbia who are lawful U.S. residents, and are 18 years of age or older, as of the start date of the sweepstakes. Void where prohibited by law. Sponsor: Bromwell, Inc. See official rules for details and Sponsor’s privacy policy.

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Why Are Rolex Watches So Hard to Buy Right Now?

It’s an odd sight. Around the globe, retail displays for one of the most influential and prestigious brands in the world sit mostly empty. There should be Rolex watches in them.

We live in weird times but the state of the luxury watch industry is especially surreal: there aren’t enough Rolex watches to go around. The result? Waitlists, unscrupulous dealers, empty display cases, ballooning prices and record-breaking auctions.

What on earth is going on?

The roots of this scenario are fervently debated and theorized in watch-collecting circles. Yes, it’s a matter of supply, demand and simply wanting what you can’t have. But there’s more to the story. Some call it a “perfect storm” of interrelated factors that’s driven the watch world into hyperdrive.

Here’s what we know about why Rolex watches are so hard to buy right now:

rolex cosmograph daytona watch

Rolex

Only some Rolex watches are scarce

What watches are we talking about, exactly? It’s not as if there’s a general watch shortage: rather, this phenomenon applies to the most hyped and coveted models, mostly from a handful of brands. Rolex steel sport (or “Professional”) watches are the most visible examples — think Submariners, GMT Master IIs, Explorers and, of course, Daytonas.

But even some Rolex Oyster Perpetuals are hard to get and selling for way above retail. As one popular model became hard to get, people looked to alternatives which themselves got snapped up.

Outside of Rolex, exclusive steel watches like the Patek Philippe Nautilus are similarly unobtanium. (MoonSwatch madness is another, but not entirely unrelated, story.) You surely get how the psychology works, and it this isn’t exclusive to watches, but what’s different about the current situation?

Rolex scarcity isn’t new, but it’s increasingly extreme

Rolex waiting lists aren’t an entirely new phenomenon, and general interest in watches has been building for years — many horological pundits see real scarcity beginning in 2016 with the release of the current generation of Rolex Daytona. But the origins of this mania go back even further.

“Watch collecting used to be something of a closed community made up of highly passionate people having small private meetups and events,” says Joshua Ganjei, CEO of the watch retailer European Watch Company in Boston. “But with the rise of internet blogs, forums dedicated solely to watches, and Instagram, the hobby has really been democratized.”

This democratization applies not just to sharing information and enthusiasm, but it also affords more ways to buy and sell watches. Learning about as well as acquiring watches has become easier than ever — and so has speculative buying of hot-ticket items for the express purpose of turning a profit.

best watch warrenties rolex

Christies

Rolex isn’t artificially restricting supply

Many frustrated netizens espouse the theory that it’s all a diabolical corporate conspiracy. A common belief is that Rolex is purposely restricting supply. Perhaps, they posit, it began as intentional and worked so well that Rolex now actually can’t keep up with the demand they created. Such speculation is rampant but we can’t confirm one way or another.

In a rare statement from Rolex, the brand categorically rejects the idea: “The scarcity of our products is not a strategy on our part,” Rolex said to Yahoo Finance. “Our current production cannot meet the existing demand in an exhaustive way, at least not without reducing the quality of our watches — something we refuse to do.”

The pandemic affected supply, but that’s not the whole story

Rolex is unusual in that it makes nearly every part of its watches, but if even one sourced component or material is delayed or unavailable, everything can stop. And even simple, time-only mechanical watches contain over a hundred tiny parts.

Like everything else in 2020, the Rolex factory shut down for a number of months due to COVID-19, so there was at least some impact on supply. Rolex doesn’t disclose its production numbers publicly but in a normal year it’s estimated to produce around 1 million watches (though not all of them belong to its list of coveted models).

rolex watch

Rolex

The conditions of the pandemic also drove demand for luxury watches

While many businesses have struggled since the onset of COVID-19, the luxury industry has had some of its best years.

Mr. Ganjei emphasizes the pandemic’s effect on Rolex availability: “The supercharged Rolex market of the past few years was the result of something of a perfect storm of factors. Covid forced manufacturers to halt production for a time which led to supply issues and a general shortage of new watches.”

“At the same time,” he says, “people were stuck at home, not able to spend money on travel, restaurants, etc., which meant there were more people looking to buy luxury goods online, including watches. Rolex sport watches were already highly desirable, but the pandemic really pushed them into red-hot, almost unobtainable territory.” There’s presently no telling when the market might cool.

You can still buy a Rolex, you just have to pay more for it

It’s not as if Rolex watches are “rare.” They’re everywhere. Of course, there’s a catch: collector mentality, combined with the brand’s cult following and the above described circumstances all conspire and ping off one another to inflate prices.

Even pre-owned models are often selling for above retail prices of new ones. You can go to any number of pre-owned and vintage dealers and often find hundreds of models for sale — sometimes even hundreds of the same reference number.

If you do go the route of shopping pre-owned Rolex, make sure you trust the seller or go to reputable dealers like Watch Box, Bob’s Watches or even eBay with their Authenticity Guarantee. And although vintage Rolex is a whole other story, you can check outfits like the Hodinkee Shop, Wind Vintage, Analog/Shift and others.

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Memorial Day Is the Perfect Time to Buy a Great Rooftop Tent

Looking for even more great savings? Head over to Today’s Best Deals page to see all our top deals from today.


The last few years have been pretty rough for all of us, but there have been silver linings to the dark clouds that have dominated this decade so far. For one, many of us gained a newfound appreciation for outdoor pursuits like car camping — an escape made all the better these days by the bevy of excellent rooftop tents for your ride. These high-mounted hideaways bring a bounty of added security and comfort to camping…even if they do make the occasional nocturnal pee trips a dash more interesting.

Of course, rooftop tents are usually significantly pricier than the ground-dwelling ones — and the stellar, extra-durable, ultra-cozy tents made by Colorado-based Roofnest are no exception. That’s where this Memorial Day sale comes in, however. Starting today, May 26, Roofnest is offering $300 off all of its tents, including the small-footprint Condor models, the overlander-beloved Falcon tents and the wide range of Sparrow models, as well.

While supply chain worries continue to stymie many holiday gift plans this year, Roofnest assures us — and the world, as it’s right on the front page of their website — that they have all of their tents in stock and ready for delivery within 10-15 days. The clock is ticking, both in regards to this sale and the warm, camping-ready weather, so you’ll want to take advantage of both ASAP.

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This MagSafe Portable Battery Is Way More Powerful Than Apple’s Pack

Anker has started selling a new portable battery pack that works with MagSafe. It’s called the Anker 633 Magnetic Battery ($80), and the big news here is that it’s a higher-capacity portable battery than most other options out there. At 10,000-mAh, it can fully charge your iPhone 13 or iPhone 12 — and still have power left over for a second, partial charge.

For reference, Apple’s MagSafe Battery Pack — which is our pick for the best overall MagSafe portable battery pack — only has a capacity of 1,460-mAh, making it one of the lowest capacity options you can buy (although it has a bunch of redeeming exclusive features that make up for it). So Anker’s new offering is definitely for those who need more charge throughout the day.

That said, it’s important to note that the Anker 633 Magnetic Battery doesn’t fully support MagSafe — it won’t fast charge your new iPhone at 15 watts, which is the promise of MagSafe; instead, it tops out at 7.5 watts when magnetically attached and wirelessly charging.

If you want a faster charge, the Anker 633 Magnetic Battery does have a workaround, however. It has an integrated USB-C PD port that, if connected to your iPhone via a USB-C to Lightning cable, will fast charge it at up to 20 watts. The Anker 633 Magnetic Battery also has a USB-A port, as well.

The other unique feature that Anker 633 Magnetic Battery has is an integrated kickstand, which can hold your iPhone either horizontally or vertically, depending on the viewing angle you want.

If you’re looking for a high-capacity portable battery for your new iPhone, Anker’s newest option isn’t the only one with a 10,000mAh capacity. The Belkin Magnetic Portable Wireless Charger 10K ($59) and Mophie Snap+ Powerstation Stand ($42) are both more affordable alternatives.

For other MagSafe portable battery backs that’ll work with your new iPhone, check out our guide.

Anker

Anker 633 Magnetic Battery

amazon.com

$79.99

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These Stylish New Raincoats Feature a Not-So-Secret Ingredient

The raincoat is one of those highly specific, insanely useful products that hasn’t seen a lot of innovation over the years. When you picture a raincoat, what do you see? A slick, shiny trench-inspired number, meant to repel both rainwater and human contact? See George Costanza’s staple below.

seinfeld
Exhibit A: George Costanza’s bulky and rumpled jacket inspires disdain from Jerry.

NBCGetty Images

The raincoat needed a little updating, and Aether decided to give the people what they want (and deserve) with its new rain coats: they’re streamlined and sleek, and feature a not-so-secret ingredient that places them a cut above the rest: Gore-Tex.

Aether’s new Tower Jacket was designed for the city, sure, but thanks to its capable wind-and-waterproof nature, you could take it out on a hike in a pinch. Built with super lightweight Gore-Tex Infinium 2-layer fabric, the Tower Jacket also boasts fully taped seams, weatherproof chest and hand pocket zippers and a center-back vent to help with range of motion.

The women’s Cirrus jacket features many of the same performance attributes, with city styling. Along with the center back vent built to increase range of motion, the Cirrus also features hidden snaps at the welt pockets, the center-back vent, and at the sleeve plackets for easy rolling up.

Both jackets are designed for the unpredictable weather that characterizes spring and summer, and although they’re both only available in one colorway (0nyx black), they’re a modern update to the classic frumpy raincoat, ideal for weathering both urban and outdoor environments.

Courtesy

Aether Tower GORE-TEX Raincoat

Courtesy

Aether Cirrus Gore-Tex Raincoat

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This Is the Ideal Portable Pizza Oven If You Love Pizza

The Gozney Roccbox portable pizza oven is much loved by its fans and begrudgingly accepted by its detractors. On the brand’s site, the small oven has an average 4.9/5 star review with around 1,900 opinions weighing in, and on Amazon it has a 4.7/5 star review with almost 700 customers sharing feedback. It promises to do what bigger, professional ovens do, but in a fraction of the space — and at a fraction of the cost.

The 44-pound oven can reach up to 950 degrees Fahrenheit and cook a Neapolitan-style pizza in one minute. It also has the ability to switch from a conventional gas burner to a wood-burner to up the flavor of your favorite pies.

At $499, it’s one of the pricier portable pizza ovens, coming in $100 more than its competitor, the Ooni Koda 12. But for an extra C-note, you get some solid upgrades. Read on for our take on the cult-favorite Roccbox.

Roccbox

Gozney huckberry.com

$499.99

  • It’s fun to use
  • Not for camping

What’s Good About the Gozney Roccbox Pizza Oven

The insulated build gets hot — and stays hot

The stainless steel oven is insulated with calcium silicate and has a 19mm cordierite stone (for those keeping track, that’s 9mm thicker than Ooni’s stone). Gozney covers the body with commercial-grade silicone, so you don’t run the risk of inadvertently burning yourself if you accidentally touch the sides. When you light the burner, the oven heats up faster than a traditional oven for those familiar with cranking their home ovens to the max to try to cook a better pizza.

What’s more, there’s no time required between pies. This oven stays hot — I found that most pizzas I cooked were done within a minute — so the only limiting factor for how quickly you can cook pizzas is your own technique. And, because it stays so hot, you don’t need a door on it (as with some other portable pizza ovens).

gozney roccbox pizza oven

John Zientek

gozney roccbox pizza oven

John Zientek

It delivers a solid pizza

Those who have tried and tried again to replicate Neapolitan or wood-fired pizzas with a conventional oven know that they can only get so close — crank the oven to 550 degrees, split the pie’s time between that initial heat and a broiler on high, etc. You work with what you got. But with the Roccbox, you get both the direct and indirect heat at once; the burner’s patented baffle plate sends the flame almost all the way to the oven door.

That means the dough gets cooked perfectly, with just the right amount of leopard-spotting; the cheese melts and toppings cook, all without charring or losing character. If you’ve been chasing the ideal dough and don’t have the space (or money) to build or buy a large outdoor wood-fired pizza oven, the Roccbox puts you in that space with a portable footprint.

It’s a fun, interactive oven

Some portable pizza ovens are designed so you don’t screw up your pie. Not so with the Roccbox. Though it delivers a precise and excellent cook, you need to be attentive and participate in the process, or you’ll get an uneven cook with a bit more char than you’d like. If you enjoy the physicality of cooking, you’ll love this oven.

Slide the pizza onto the stone and after about 25 seconds, you’ll need to use the turning peel to lift and rotate the pizza 180 degrees. There’s a bit of technique involved, but nothing you can’t pick up in a few tries. At about the one-minute mark, the pizza is ready to come out. But, depending on how hot your oven is — among other variables — these times will change, and you need to watch closely to ensure the best results.

pizza baking in gozney roccbox oven

John Zientek

spatula

John Zientek

What’s Not Ideal About the Gozney Roccbox Pizza Oven:

The cooking surface is focused

So it heats up and stays hot. But, the Roccbox has a very small cooking area — you have room for just one 10-inch pie inside, with very little room around the edges. That means your pizza gets even heat distribution, but that also means there’s very little room for adjustment.

With traditional wood-fire pizza ovens, there’s a bit more space to work in — but that’s because they’re bigger in general. With the Roccbox, you learn to work within your means, but it’s worth noting: that super-insulated oven can take a little while to cool if it’s gotten too hot. Turning the burner down won’t immediately deliver the results you want — patience.

Don’t buy into the camping hype

The brand and other retailers market this as a travel pizza oven, something ready to take to the woods to make pizzas while you camp. It’s neat in theory, but practically speaking, less so. Load up the 16.3 x 21 x 18.6-inch oven into your SUV, but remember your 20-pound propane tank (if you’re opting for the traditional burner). Then grab the pizza peel, the turning peel, a cutting board and your ingredients — you can let your dough rise for hours at your campsite, right?

Also, did I mention this thing gets really, really hot? If you’re anywhere in the dry Western states during wildfire season, you’d be a fool to light this up at the wrong time — or at least you’d have to watch it like a hawk during the post-cook cool-down.

pizza

John Zientek

Gozney Roccbox: The Verdict

The Roccbox’s portable size makes it perfect for those who more than dabble in pizza, but don’t have the space to commit to a full-size wood-fired outdoor oven. Maybe you’re renting, maybe you’ve got limited space, maybe you just don’t want to fully commit to the real deal. That’s okay. The Roccbox will arguably get you closer than any other portable pizza oven that cranks out 10-inch pies. It’s dead simple to set up, fun to use and makes a delicious pizza. Hard to argue with that.

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The Best Kettlebells to Buy and the Best Exercises to Do With Them

With roots dating back to 18th-century Russia, the kettlebell is a phenomenal example of fitness equipment. The training possibilities within the cast ring-and-ball profile are seemingly endless, allowing for workouts that target the arms, legs, core and more.

Whether you’re embarking on a new fitness discipline or simply adding to your garage gym setup, there’s a kettlebell for you. And just like there’s different barbells for different uses, not every kettlebell is cast from the same cloth. Here are our picks for the best kettlebells on the market today.

The Benefits of Kettlebell Training

Despite the simple construction, there are a number of perks that come with kettlebell workouts. For one, the unbalanced design and variety of weights available make kettlebells one of the most versatile training tools available. Seriously, you can train for power and strength one day, coordination and mobility the next, all with the same singular kettlebell. “The beauty of kettlebell training is that each session can vary enough that one can train every day or six days a week if the load, intensity and length of the workout changes,” says Lacee Lazof, certified personal trainer and instructor of Bells Up for the fitness app, NEOU.

Speaking of sessions, kettlebell workouts don’t require a lot of space. Many of the moves within kettlebell training can be done in your living room or garage — just make sure you have the height clearance for a proper kettlebell swing.

Lastly, because of the dynamic nature of kettlebell training, you can knock out both your cardio and strength workouts in one fell swoop. As you move and utilize multiple muscle groups, your heart rate elevates, bringing in that cardio aspect for a training session that’s as efficient as it is effective.

Competition vs. Cast-Iron Kettlebells

If you’re looking to make the most of your kettlebell training, there are two styles to consider: competition-style kettlebells and standard, cast-iron kettlebells. While both are constructed from one piece of metal, competition kettlebells feature a uniform profile, meaning their dimensions don’t change with the weights. Standard kettlebells, on the other hand, vary in diameter as the mass increases.

For those looking to partake in kettlebell sport, competition kettlebells can be a great tool. But, if you’re just looking for an improved fitness experience, cast-iron kettlebells can be more than capable. Also, because of the squared-handle design, it should be noted that competition kettlebells are not designed for double-handed exercises. So, if your program calls for a lot of dual-handed movements like goblet squats or kettlebell swings, this should also be considered.

How We Tested

best kettlebells to buy

Ben Emminger

Over the course of a few weeks, we put these kettlebells through the wringer of our normal fitness regimen, engaging in a variety of movements to get a true feel for their capabilities. We observed how comfortable each bell felt in the hand as well as the rack position, along with other key factors like grip retention once we started to sweat. Other characteristics, like coatings, window space and more were examined, all playing pivotal roles in how our rankings came to be.

Editor’s Note: The following prices shown represent kettlebells weighing 16 kg or 35 lbs (one of the most common kettlebell weights). Prices will vary depending on weight.

Best Overall Kettlebell

Kettlebell Kings

Kettlebell Kings Powder Coat Kettlebells

kettlebellkings.com

$129.99

  • Powder coating provides superior grip throughout training
  • Slightly more expensive that other options

A favorite of Lazof’s, Kettlebell Kings make some of the highest quality kettlebells out there. The set-weight, powder-coated lineup lives up to the crown, offering weights ranging from 9–203 pounds. The updated powder coat provides plenty of grip and felt more than comfortable in training — we didn’t feel the need to chalk up for added control. And while we never felt the structural integrity was lacking, Kettlebell Kings still stands behind its product, offering a lifetime warranty, which helps offset the more expensive cost.

Best Upgrade Kettlebell

ONNIT

Onnit Primal Kettlebells

onnit.com

$84.95

  • Surprisingly balanced feel despite the unique primate design
  • Primate design, while awesome, causes you to think how you hold in the rack position

If you want a kettlebell with personality, then Onnit is the clear winner here. Taking inspiration from some of nature’s strongest primates, each kettlebell weight is molded after a specific species, from the lightest “Howler” at 18 lbs. all the way up to the gargantuan, 90-lb. “Bigfoot.” Aesthetics aside, these kettlebells are balanced exceptionally well and allow for improved grip strength training thanks to a larger, thicker handle. While the coating does leave a little to be desired, there’s no denying that Onnit Primal Kettlebells are a fierce addition to any training routine.

Best Budget Kettlebell

Courtesy

Rep Fitness Kettlebells

amazon.com

$76.99

  • No frills, just a well-balanced, cost-effective kettlebell
  • Coating could be prone to chipping and rusting over time

Just looking for a simple kettlebell with easy-to-read weights and a durable construction? Rep Fitness answers the call with its matte lineup of quality fitness gear. Stamped with both kilograms and poundage, Rep Fitness Kettlebells are available in a variety of weights from 2.2–106 lbs.. The gravity cast construction helps create a durable, precise profile that’s built to withstand the trials and tribulations of serious training as well. Some reviewers note, however, that the coating can begin to chip over extended use, leading to rust issues down the road.

Best Kettlebell for Home Gyms

Rogue

Rogue Fitness Rubber Coated Kettlebells

roguefitness.com

$100.00

  • Rubber coating helps protect against scuffs, chips and other damage
  • Smaller weight range than others on this list

Rubber-coated kettlebells can be a lifesaver when it comes to preserving your floors and the durability of your equipment. Rogue Fitness’ Rubber Coated Kettlebells offer that and more in a premium, well-built profile. Manufactured using first-run iron ore as opposed to scrap iron, the bell is encapsulated in a urethane coating to help protect against wear and tear. The handle features a grippy powder coating for maximum control throughout your workout, allowing for unmatched security in single and dual-handed modalities. Ranging from 26–70 lbs., each Rogue Rubber Coated Kettlebell features a colored band at the base of the handle to help you easily identify the weight without hesitation, too.

Best Competition Kettlebell

Eleiko

Eleiko Competition Kettlebells

eleiko.com

$87.00

  • High-quality construction from a reputable fitness brand
  • Premium pricing

There’s a reason Eleiko products are trusted by some of the leading federations in competitive fitness, including the International Weightlifting and International Powerlifting Federations. The precise calibration and attention to detail is not lost in the brand’s Competition Kettlebells, either. Featuring a high-grade iron and molded construction for exceptional durability, these bells are great for those interested in kettlebell sport. The smooth, stainless steel handle lacks a coating but doesn’t falter in grip. We felt secure and locked in during all our training movements, from snatches and cleans to overhead presses. But, as with most Eleiko products, this premium quality does come with a premium price, which can deter some users.

Best Adjustable Kettlebell

Kettlebell Kings

Kettlebell Kings 10 to 40 lb. Adjustable Kettlebell

kettlebellkings.com

$139.99

  • Ample room in handle window for double-handed exercises
  • Locking mechanism can stick at times

Want to have the benefits of multiple kettlebells in a single silhouette? This adjustable kettlebell from Kettlebell Kings is one of the best. We hold this bell in high regards, placing it at the top of our best adjustable kettlebells list and even ranking it within our recent Summer Gear Awards. With a simple pull-and-slide system to add and subtract plates, this adjustable kettlebell packs seven options in one with weights ranging from 10 to 40 pounds in five-pound increments. No matter the configuration, this kettlebell retains its balance and can be great for those tight on space — or funds for a full rack of kettlebells.

The Moves

Once you have the perfect kettlebells for your needs, it’s time to put them to work. Below are our five favorite kettlebell movements that focus on a variety of muscle groups. As with any new training movement, take your personal fitness level into consideration before diving in. Make sure you’re comfortable with the kettlebell weight to avoid injury or improper form. If you’re trying these movements for the first time, we recommend an initial test run sans kettlebell to learn the proper technique. Once you’ve got your form in order, you can then add your kettlebell and begin to reap the benefits of kettlebell training.

Goblet Squat

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Begin your goblet squat with your feet hip or shoulder-width apart, toes pointed straight ahead. Hold the kettlebell at chest height either at the handle sides or “cupping” the bell — picture holding a large goblet in front of you, hence the name. Pull the kettlebell close to your body and squeeze your shoulder blades together.

Next, sit your hips back and bend your knees to lower yourself into the bottom of your squat position. Keep your chest up and back straight, going as low as you can while maintaining that goblet grip in front. Drive through your feet to propel yourself back to a standing position, squeezing your glutes at the top.

Kettlebell Suitcase Deadlift

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Start your suitcase deadlift in a standing position with your kettlebell at your side. Take a hip-width stance with your feet, toes pointed slightly out. Next, sit your hips back and begin your descent, maintaining a neutral torso and straight back. Once you’ve reached your kettlebell, grab hold and tighten your scapular muscles like you would a conventional barbell deadlift.

Once you’re ready to ascend, drive through your feet and bring your hips back in to reach that standing position. Maintain your core so your body and free shoulder isn’t counterbalancing the kettlebell on one side. Aim for a level shoulder plane and resist rotating to accommodate the weight imbalance.

Kettlebell Strict Press

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Start by cleaning the kettlebell up to the rack position, bending at the hips and rotating your grip so your hand is through the kettlebell’s window and the bell is resting on the back of your forearm. Next, engage your core and maintain that rigidity throughout the press. Then, with your wrist straight and stacked directly over your elbow, swing your arm out at a 45-degree angle to engage the lat. Keep your forearm and bicep at a 90-degree angle, then press up over your head in a straight trajectory. Maintain that straight upward press so as to not put strain on the shoulder, controlling the kettlebell in both ascension and descension.

If you’re struggling to maintain balance, we like to keep our free hand in a fist at our side. This can help you focus on balancing throughout the movement while also keeping the required tension.

Kettlebell Turkish Get-Up

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Begin lying on your back in a starfish position with your kettlebell in one hand. Raise your kettlebell straight up so your arm is perpendicular to the floor, locking your shoulder in for stability. Keep your gaze on your raised kettlebell throughout the entire movement.

Next, bend your knee on the same side as your raised kettlebell, planting your foot back near your butt and outside your hip. Then, push through your heel to raise your chest and bend your free arm for support, resting on your elbow. From here, place your free palm down on the ground and prop yourself up more, extending your arm and using your abs to maintain that seated position.

Then, use your abs and hips to raise your butt off the floor so your only contact points are your palm and bent leg. Next, take your extended leg and sweep it under your frame toward your butt, placing your knee and ankle in a straight line with your propped hand. Your knee should be stacked directly under your hip.

Next, shift your weight back toward your heel, raising your torso and bringing your palm up from the ground to get into a haf-kneeling stance, like you’re taking a knee on the sideline. Then, push off and get yourself into a standing position. Finally, repeat all the aforementioned steps in reverse to return to your lying position.

Bent Over Ballistic Rows

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Hold your kettlebell in one hand while in a standing position. Next, sit your hips back and drop your chest to as near parallel as possible, similar to a barbell row. Next, Contract your lats and row the kettlebell to the center of your chest, maintaining that tight torso to eliminate any rotation. Row the barbell with some momentum, and once it’s at its highest point, release and quickly regrip with the other hand. Control the kettlebell to the bottom position and then repeat. If done properly, it should look like you’re explosively pulling a rope, with quick hand movements and control throughout the exercise.

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Brooks Takes a New Direction with the Run Within Apparel Collection

It’s no secret that Brooks knows running. Offering top-of-the-line footwear — and trailwear, too — is sort of the brand’s thing. But every now and then, it pays to take a new route.

That’s exactly what the “Run Happy” brand did with the launch of its Run Within Collection. With gear that works on the run, at the gym and anywhere else your sweat sessions take you, this all-new lineup is Brooks’ first step into cross-functional apparel.

But as with any new adventure, it should be approached with a little hesitation. Would this bold new step stay in-stride with other Brooks successes — or would it wind up being a cautionary tale, to stay in the known lane?

man wearing brooks run within long sleeve

Ben Emminger

To find out, we tested the full men’s lineup of Run Within apparel, which included a linerless short, short sleeve top, sleeveless top and crewneck pullover. We wore these test subjects across a wide spectrum of fitness disciplines, as well as around the house during our normal routine. We lifted, stretched, sweat, relaxed and — of course — ran in this collection for a full-scale look at just how inclusive this multi-faceted lineup is.

Here’s what we learned.

The new Brooks collection has simple tops for any workout

Run Within Short Sleeve

Brooks brooksrunning.com

$38.00

  • Moisture-wicking fabrics for a dry, comfortable workout
  • Antimicrobial finish to keep smells at bay
  • Only one colorway
  • Classic fit might be too loose for some

The two tops offered in the Run Within Collection are nearly identical in their makeup. Both feature Brooks’ DriLayer fabric that provides a quick-drying, moisture-wicking component to each silhouette. This was much appreciated during strenuous training sessions out in the sun, keeping us cool and focused on the tasks at hand. The lightweight, classic cut of both the Short Sleeve and Sleeveless tops is comfortable and roomy, too, but could be a little too much for those wanting a closer-to-skin fit.

Additionally, the Sleeveless seams did sit awkwardly in our armpits, but that could vary depending on your shoulder span. For our style preference, we leaned more toward the Short Sleeve, but there’s no wrong answer, really. Just good, simple tops that work well in any fitness activity.

Run Within Sleeveless

Brooks brooksrunning.com

$36.00

  • Sleeveless cut works great as an undershirt or main top
  • Four-way stretch for a full range of motion
  • Sleeveless seams can be uncomfortable in the armpits
  • Only one colorway

Run Within’s crewneck is an immediate everyday option

Our favorite piece

Run Within Crew

Brooks brooksrunning.com

$75.00

  • Lightweight and extremely versatile
  • Semi-fitted design that’s form-fitting in all the right areas
  • Thinner construction means this top is slightly see-through
  • Side pocket could be larger

This versatile crewneck pullover quickly became a daily pick, whether hitting the trails, hitting the weights or taking in a relaxing day at home.

The lightweight construction provided just enough coverage to keep us cozy, and the breathable fabric helped us stay cool once we started ramping up our workouts. And despite having tackled multiple sessions and activities, the antimicrobial finish kept things fresh and funk-free.

While we’d like to have had a larger side pocket for easier storage, this is one top that’s sure to stay in our rotation for quite some time.

These Brooks shorts stretch your training possibilities

Run Within 7-inch Linerless Short

Brooks brooksrunning.com

$48.00

  • Rear pocket comfortably holds keys and other essentials
  • 4-way stretch provides excellent range of motion
  • Inseam might sit higher on the thigh for some
  • Would like to see a lined option

If comfort is non-negotiable, the Run Within Linerless Shorts are sure to leave you pleased. While these bottoms were capable of any fitness endeavor, we especially welcomed the soft, stretchy fabric in our running and yoga sessions. The stay-put elastic waistband was comfortable and stayed secure throughout movement without that intrusive wear along the hips.

The convenient rear pocket was also an added perk, having plenty of space to hold our car keys or smartphone when out on a trail. And while we were initially nervous of how these light-as-air shorts would handle a wash cycle, they seemed to hold up respectfully; no rips or compromised seams.

Brooks Run Within: the Verdict

As a whole, the latest Brooks apparel collection seems to be as multi-faceted as it claims. While there certainly are more technical options out there, this lineup provides plenty of affordable comfort and versatility to those wanting to revamp their fitness wardrobe. From the road, to the gym and everywhere in-between, the Brooks Run Within Collection has you covered head-to-toe.

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Today’s Best Deals: 50% Off a Nike Yoga Mat, Burrow Furniture on Sale & More

Welcome to Deals of Note, where Gear Patrol captures all the best deals of the day. You can also visit GearPatrol.com/Deals for constant updates on the latest deals discovered by our team.

EDITOR’S PICKS

The most rare or exceptional deals picked by Gear Patrol’s product experts.

FITNESS DEALS

STYLE DEALS

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Sam Adams’s New Beer Is a Tribute to the GOAT

In football, there is one undeniable GOAT: Tom Brady. The legendary quarterback officially announced his retirement from the NFL in February 2022, and while he ended his football career as a Tampa Bay Buccaneer, he is forever linked to the New England Patriots, bringing the team six Super Bowl wins. In honor of Brady’s achievements for New England, Boston-based brewery Sam Adams is releasing a new beer: the GOAT, a New England double IPA.

Sam Adams’ GOAT and Brady’s GOAT status are not one and the same. The beer’s GOAT stands for “Greatest of Ale Time,” while Brady’s GOAT designation stands for “Greatest of All Time.” The GOAT (the beer, not the Brady) is fermented with kveik, which the brewery says “highlights a variety of flavors and aromas like peach and pineapple.” While Greatest of Ale Time is not a collaboration with Brady, everything about it pays homage to the former Patriot.

Pre-sale for the beer starts on March 12 at 12 p.m., an homage to Brady’s jersey number, which he wore for the Patriots and the Buccaneers. The beer won’t be available until March 28, which represents the 28-to-3 score of Super Bowl LI, in which the Patriots managed one of the greatest comebacks of all time. But that’s not all the Brady facts that Sam Adams could fit into the beer: It clocks in at 7 percent ABV, for Brady’s seven Super Bowl wins; only 199 cases of the beer will be released, because Brady was notoriously the 199th overall draft pick in 2000; and the beer will cost $19.99, the year of Brady’s final college season.

This is the second time Sam Adams has released a beer in honor of Brady. In 2019, the brewery released Too Old, Too Slow, Still Here — another double IPA — ahead of Super Bowl LIII. At the time, Brady was 41 years old, and he used the saying “too old, too slow, still here” to motivate his team.

Greatest of Ale Time is available for pickup at the Sam Adams Boston Brewery & Taprooms starting on March 28, and shipping to select states will be available through GiveThemBeer.com.

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This Could Be the Best Deal on Fleece Jackets Before Fall

Looking for even more great savings? Head over to Today’s Best Deals page to see all our top deals from today.


Even though spring is fast-approaching, it still feels a lot like winter for many of us. That means it’s still time to layer up, and fleece is one of the most versatile and stylish ways to do that. Most fleeces are made of a synthetic material (typically polyester) that stays warm even when it’s wet, which is why it’s also perfect for use on camping trips or any other outdoor activities. Of course, it’s even more perfect when you consider that Backcountry is offering a wide variety of top-notch fleece jackets, anoraks, sweaters and more for as much as 83 percent off right now.

Stoic Sherpa 1/4 Snap Jacket

Stoic backcountry.com

Perhaps the most enticing offer of this entire sale comes in the form of the Stoic Sherpa 1/4 Zip Snap Jacket, which is discounted by nearly $50, bringing the total cost down to below $10. But that’s just the deepest deal we’ve seen; other outstanding options include the Stoic Sherpa Quilted 1/2 Zip Hoodie for under $15, this reversible jacket discounted by 71 percent and even this color-blocked option for just $25 (down by 69 percent). As mentioned, this is just the tip of the iceberg — there are a ton of other offerings of every variety on this sale. If you need a great multi-season fleece — be that a pullover, jacket, beanie and/or otherwise — this might be your best chance until next year.

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This John Hardy Jewelry Collection Represents an Industrial Evolution

Founded in 1975, John Hardy has been a pioneer in crafting thoughtful, creative and distinctive artisan jewelry and accessories. Its new Industrial collection is one the latest chapters in that legacy. Taking inspiration from rugged hardware and incorporating angular, geometric shapes, the Industrial collection consists of a series of rings, bracelets and necklaces that all embody the collection’s unique vision, with a selection that should fit a variety of different personal styles. The common denominator across several of the pieces is the Industrial Band Ring, which is offered in sterling silver matte black rhodium as a standalone piece, or as part of the Industrial Link Bracelet and Industrial Pendant Necklace. Other pieces include the Industrial Double Row Bracelet — which features a bold, textured pusher clasp — and the pared-down Industrial Necklace, which features a single chain in the same sterling silver matte black rhodium. With a sleek choice of materials and modern, machine-like minimalism, John Hardy’s Industrial collection represents a new step forward for the luxury jewelry label.

Price: $495 – $995

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Hyundai’s New Tailgate Idea Could Be Great for Off-Road Adventures

hyundai tailgate patent drawing

German Patent and Trademark Office

The great tailgate wars have traditionally been confined to full-size pickups, with the Big Three battling to get the most functionality (whether actually helpful or not) into the rear of the cargo bed. But it appears that Hyundai may be planning to bring trick tailgates to SUVs: CarBuzz has uncovered a Hyundai patent in Germany for a rear hatch that would be a cut above your standard SUV liftgate.

hyundai tailgate patent drawing

German Patent and Trademark Office

hyundai tailgate patent drawing

German Patent and Trademark Office

Hyundai’s idea would replace the standard SUV liftgate with split rear doors like a Mini Clubman. Unlike in the Clubman, the doors would extend out from the car’s body, and they would include added features like fold-out jump seats or a beverage cooler and a fold-out table. The drawings also depict the SUV having rear-facing trunk seats like a Mercedes E-Class wagon, with a table in-between.

The result would be a terrific, turnkey tailgating setup, whether you’re enjoying your active lifestyle in the great outdoors or parked outside a college football stadium. Car manufacturers patent many weird things, but this seems like an idea that could make it as an accessory available for the Palisade or the eventual production Ioniq 7 SUV. Even if — like an open concept kitchen for entertaining — it would be a feature one would use far less than one thinks. Most buyers would probably prefer a wide conventional opening and enough space for a Yeti Tundra Haul.

The split-door entertainment station is not the only trick tailgate for SUVs Hyundai has been looking at. Last month, reports found a Hyundai patent application for a quirky sliding SUV tailgate that would travel onto the roof instead of hinging and opening with a conventional liftgate. That feature could help open the trunk in tight spaces.

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Save Up to 57% on Some of the Best Motorcycle Helmets You Can Find

Looking for even more great savings? Head over to Today’s Best Deals page to see all our top deals from today.


You may not have been outside recently, so take it from us: spring is fast approaching. The skies may be filled with clouds and there’s still a chill in the morning air, but the flowers aren’t waiting for May to pop up; they’re already springing out of the ground. Freezing temperatures are easing across most of the United States, and the air is once again rich with the smell of waking dirt and growing plants.

And if you have a motorcycle or two parked in your garage, you know what that means: riding season is just around the corner. (Well, unless you’re among that rare breed of riders who don’t mind hitting the open road in the wintertime, in which case you’ve probably been rolling around for months.)

Biltwell Gringo ECE Helmet

revzilla.com

This means you, most likely, are already taking a mental inventory of your gear to figure out what’s still good and what needs replacing for the rest of 2022. And should your helmet fall into the latter category — well, we’ve got great news for you. Right now, RevZilla is serving up mighty fine discounts of up to 57 percent off on a wide variety of helmets from some of the biggest names around, offering (in some cases) hundreds of dollars off the prices of many great lids.

Icon Airform Rubatone Helmet

revzilla.com

Highlights currently on discount include the retro-styled Biltwell Gringo (down to just $104 from $175), the Arai Classic-V (discounted by 47 percent), AGV’s K6 Minimal, and the Icon Airform (for 22 percent off). But those are just a select few options from a list of over 300. If you need a new helmet and you want to save some cash in the process, this might just be your best chance.

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