All posts in “How-To”

A Trio of Easy Tiki Cocktails to Make All Weekend Long

You’re not booking a beach vacation this year, but that doesn’t mean the open tiki bar is closed. Easy Tiki ($19), a new cocktail recipe book by Punch senior editor Chloe Frechette, is the essential guide to the boozy tropical drinks. Tiki drinks go beyond getting you blackout drunk; they’re a complicated balance of various liquors, syrups and juices that are as complex as they are delicious. Some tiki drinks can have as many as 10 ingredients to achieve a harmonious balance of sweet, sour, fruity, bitter… the flavor profiles go on and on. Frechette’s book publishes classic tiki drink recipes, such as the Zombie and the Fog Cutter, and includes modern riffs on from the American bars and restaurants keeping the tropical tradition alive.

Quarantine Order

Makes one cocktail

3 ounces aged Jamaican rum (preferably equal parts Appleton Estate Signature and Rum-Bar Gold)
1 ounce lime juice
1 ounce grapefruit juice
1/2 ounce cinnamon syrup
1/2 ounce passion fruit syrup
5 dashes of Angostura bitters

1. Combine all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker.

2. Add ice and shake vigorously until the ice breaks up into smaller pieces, about 30 seconds.

3. Pour the contents of the shaker into a snifter and garnish with a mint spring and a cherry speared through a lime wheel.

Breakfast Mai Tai

Makes one cocktail

1 1/2 ounces overproof Jamaican rum (preferably Smith & Cross)
1/2 ounce banana liqueur (preferably Giffard Banane du Brésil)
1/2 ounce orgeat
1/4 ounce cinnamon syrup
1 ounce lime juice
3/4 ounce black rum (preferably Hamilton)

1. Combine the overproof rum, banana liqueur, orgeat, cinnamon syrup and lime juice in a cocktail shaker.

2. Add a few pellets of crushed or cracked ice and shake until they melt.

3. Pour into a large rocks glass, add the black rum and top with more crushed ice.

4. Garnish with mint, a charred cinnamon stick and edible flowers.

Something Tequila

Makes one cocktail

3 ounces tequila (preferably añejo)
1 ounce lime juice
1 ounce orange juice
1 ounce pineapple juice
1 ounce simple syrup
1/2 ounce passion fruit syrup

1. Combine all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker.

2. Add ice and shake until chilled, about 10 seconds.

3. Dump the contents of the shaker into a barrel-shaped tiki mug and garnish with mint, citrus wedges or wheels, flowers and swizzle sticks.

Tyler Chin

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

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

Why You Need a Password Manager (And Four to Try)

If you’re not sure why password managers matter, imagine losing access to all your accounts. Or worse, access falling into the wrong hands. Your emails, your photos, your credit cards, your bank accounts, all of the logins that make up your digital life.

Writing down passwords on a notepad or, even worse, just using the same password for everything, may have served you well so far, but you’re playing with fire. And while built-in browser tools are getting better at managing (and suggesting) passwords themselves, a dedicated tool will almost always be a better bet. It’s built for the purpose, and it will work across all your devices and various browsers.

The job of all password managers is essentially the same. Chiefly, they remember the login credentials for your various accounts, but also autofill login forms and help you generate strong, unique passwords with ease. Access to this treasure trove of information is controlled by a master password, so you only need to remember one.

These apps are now available across all the various desktop and mobile platforms, offering support for two-factor authentication and various other protocols that add more layers of protection to guard against unauthorized entry to your key digital accounts. Many will also go the extra distance to help you manage credit card details, address information and anything else you need in a web browser but want to protect from prying eyes.

When it comes to making a choice of which app to settle down with, the good news is that almost all of them will treat you well.  The main differences you’ll find when comparing password managers are the software interfaces, the pricing structures, and the various bonus features. The biggest decision is not so much which one to use but rather the choice to knuckle down and start taking your password security seriously before its too late.


Notable for having one of the best free tiers in the business, LastPass is available on just about every device out there and compatible with all the popular apps and services. If you want a lot of features without having to pay anything, then it’s well worth considering.

Best Free Option

Price: Free, $3/month for premium

What We Like: The apps (including the web interface) are clear and clean, it’s possible to store a huge amount of information privately, and everything works smoothly. The family option is a welcome one as well, letting you share files and folders with family members and manage everyone’s passwords and private data through a single account dashboard.
What We Don’t Like: There are no major drawbacks to LastPass that we can see, though other services offer a broader range of extra features (for an extra price), including VPNs and additional identity theft protection. Overall, it’s a polished and reliable product.


1Password often scores highly in ‘best of’ lists of password managers, and it’s not difficult to see why: It takes care of managing all your passwords and private information with a user-friendly, intuitive approach that takes away all the stress and friction from logging in.

Best User Experience

Price: $3+/month

What We Like: The design and interface of the apps is just about the best we’ve come across, jumping between devices is easy, it offers biometric protection (logging in with a face or fingerprint) across the board, and even audits the strength of your existing passwords for you. Categories and tags make organizing your saved data simple too.
What We Don’t Like: Perhaps the only downside to 1Password – which maybe isn’t a downside – is that there’s no free tier. There is a free 30-day trial, but you need to enter your card details right at the start. Apart from that, everything is really impressive.


Dashlane is hard to beat as far as password managers go, with top-quality apps across every platform, thoughtful features everywhere (like the ability to import passwords from your browser), and a bunch of (paid-for) extras like a VPN tool and an inbox scanner.

Best Premium Extras

Price: $3.33/month

What We Like: Just about everything, from the elegance of the Dashlane apps to the way it just works in the background while you go about your business. It’s notable for the number of extras you get besides the basics of managing passwords and secure data, extras which include monitoring the dark web for any mentions of your passwords.
What We Don’t Like: It’s hard to pick any faults in Dashlane, which is a breeze to use across iOS, Android, macOS and Windows. It doesn’t offer quite as much as LastPass on the free tier though (users are limited to using Dashlane on just one device, for example).


Perhaps Bitwarden’s biggest selling point is that it’s open source—your passwords stay protected and you’re using code that’s publicly developed and publicly available, improving transparency and security. Almost all the key features are available for free.

Honorable Mention

Price: Free, or $10/year

What We Like: It’s free to use across as many devices as you like, the premium level is the cheapest out there, and it does a straightforward job of managing your passwords and other data. Bitwarden is audited by independent security experts, lets you securely share passwords with other people, and can generate new, strong passwords for you too.
What We Don’t Like: It’s fair to say that Bitwarden doesn’t have the same level of polish and user-friendliness as the other password managers we’ve mentioned here, though it’s by no means difficult to use. Extras like VPNs and data breach warnings aren’t included.

How to Build a Smart Home

So you want to build an entry-level smart home and you don’t want it to cost a fortune. Good news: that’s totally possible. Here are the reasons to choose Apple, Amazon, or Google, and the best entry-level devices to get you off the ground. Read the Guide

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

How to Look Your Best for Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day, anniversaries and first dates all bring out the same stress to impress: You’ve got to clean up your act and look your best for your date. You owe it to that person to present your best, brightest self, and odds are that they’re going to return the favor. (If it’s Date 1, then a lack of effort is a big red flag.)

This readying regimen requires more than a shower and a hasty shave — but it doesn’t demand you go so far out of your way, either. In fact, many of the steps are simply best practices for your overall grooming regimen, too. They’ll help you look great at work, for job interviews and even at the gas pump. (Hey, why not look great pumping gas?)

These are the things you can do on the day of (and in the days leading up) to ensure that you look and feel sharp — and in turn, look and feel confident, too.

Get a haircut 2–3 days before

Even if you get a skin-tight fade, that haircut always takes a couple days to “settle in”. And even if you get the same haircut each and every time, you should take zero gambles on date night. Besides, if you have the freshest fade in the world, it signals that you got this haircut solely for the date itself. And instead, you want to look sharp while flying somewhat under the radar: Your cut should convey that you look great, but that you do so every single day. Plus, if you get a same-day cut, you might risk some clippings falling onto your shoulders or into your G&T. (Please at least take a shower.) The one exception we’d offer is for guys who shave their entire head: A day-prior shave is your best way to have a polished dome minus any nicks and cuts.

Shampoo the day before

Shampoo strips your hair of its buoyancy since it sucks away all the natural oils that nourish and soften your hair. On the one hand, this underscores the importance of conditioner (and that you should always condition your hair separately, and after, a wash). On the other hand, it proves that you need not wash your hair every day, because a simple rinse (or a standalone conditioning) can flush away much of the grime and product buildup without drying out your hairs. Apply this rule of thought on date night: Shampoo the day before, so that your hairs have a full 24 hours to collect natural, nourishing oils. Then, on the day of the date, simply rinse it out, no shampoo, and enjoy a cooperative, voluminous coif.

Oh, and maybe best to pick a dandruff-fighting, scalp-soothing wash, like Davines’ purifying shampoo. It never hurts to fight flakes while washing dirt and grime.

Purifying Shampoo by Davines $32

Shave smarter and safer

Do yourself a favor and review our guidelines for a healthy, hygienic shave. It’s important to apply these rules each and every time you shave — chief among them, using a clean, sharp razor that has properly been stored and dried. Secondly, you should follow a meticulous, slow shave regimen that opens the pores and calms the skin, cuts hairs while preventing friction, irritation, and bumps, as well as closes and cleans the pores at the conclusion. Doing all of this allows you to shave close to the occasion — even in the hours prior, without risk for redness and razor burn.

Check your eye bags

Rarely is your date the first thing on your day’s agenda. And even if it were, we’d still have the same advice: Treat your tired, strained eyes — liven them up with a caffeine-packed eye cream, a depuffing serum, or a firming eye mask. There is no reason to arrive at your date looking downtrodden and poorly rested; it’s the first thing your date will notice. Each of these products takes mere moments to apply (to clean skin, ok?), and the masks can work their wonders in 10–15 minutes. Follow with a moisturizer and, if you’ve still got dark circles, some skin-matching concealer. (See below for more on that.)

We love Kiehl’s caffeinated eye cream, Jack Black’s depuffing gel, and skynICELAND’s firming eye masks.

Eye Fuel by Kiehl’s $24

Eye Balm by Jack Black $25

Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels by skynICELAND $32

Minimize pores, mattify shine

If you’re naturally oily or always sweaty or simply nervous, then you’re right to worry about a shiny forehead. Slowly but surely, a film of oil will form across your face, and you’ll find yourself wiping away at your brow all night. Not a good look. Instead, get ahead of the matter by applying a mattifying, pore-minimizing lotion before the date. It soaks up oil and prevents you from looking like a bike reflector all night — plus the best products go on clear and light. Menaji’s shine eliminator is a prime product for these reasons.

For what it’s worth, date night is a good time to opt for a lightweight, oil-free moisturizer, too. Apply something like Baxter of California’s oil-free moisturizer as a base layer for your anti-shine product.

Liquid Powder Shine Eliminator by Menaji $36

Oil-Free Moisturizer by Baxter of California $26

Spot-check yourself

Every single adult should have a concealer in his or her skin tone. It’s the best way to cover up dark circles and bad blemishes. Plus, if you match your tone properly, nobody will notice the difference. This little stick is your best friend and the last step in your pre-date skincare regimen. Simply blot it onto any red spots or dark circles, and your date will never know the difference. (It’ll take your mind off of the discolorations, too, which is perhaps even more important.)

NARS has more than a dozen skin tone options with its concealer stick, and won’t rinse away until you wash your face.

Concealer Stick by NARS $26

Pick an antiperspirant

Say what you will about antiperspirants — the unknown effects of using aluminum, or the stains some antiperspirants leave on your shirt. These products are lifesavers, and you should keep one on hand for the moments you absolutely need them. For some guys, this is daily. For others, just ad hoc for date night and job interviews. (Heaven forbid the HR director or Hinge date hone in on your sweaty, musty armpits.) Plus, some of the best antiperspirants, like that from Dove Men+Care are engineered to prevent clothing stains. So, there’s yet one less worry.

Stain Defense Antiperspirant by Dove Men+Care $5

Sign off with a signature scent

If you don’t wear a fragrance, your date may not know the difference. And that’s perfectly fine. However, if you wear an incredible scent, your date will not only notice, but s/he will also compliment the cologne and ask its name. That’s a high honor, as it reflects your good taste — not to mention, it gives them a very significant and positive association between you and that brilliant scent.

If you don’t yet have a go-to fragrance, then read our guide to finding a signature scent.

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

How to Store Every Type of Winter Garment

Before winter and spring trade places, you might want to think about what to do with all of your cold-weather garments. Once the mercury goes through its seasonal growth spurt, you should keep in mind not only where your winter closet will live but how to store it. The process can be annoying at best, teeth-pulling at worst, but we’re here to make it easier.

Before you store, prep

Launder your clothes, dry clean your coats and delicate garments and clean and condition your winter boots. Before you get ahead of yourself, it’s imperative to do some pre-packing prep. If you don’t do the laundry legwork now, damage will happen later in the form of mildew, bugs and odors.

Repair your clothes. Next winter’s sudden arrival isn’t the moment you want to realize that your coat has a hole in it, or your winter boots need a resole. Do future you a favor and take care of that now.

Get rid of what you don’t need. Now is a great time to assess and scrutinize your closet. Edit your wardrobe down by either donating, giving away to friends and/or selling clothes you don’t use anymore. For clothes that are beyond repair, find a local fabric recycling center that will take your clean but damaged goods and properly upcycle or dispose of them.

Where to store your clothes

Store your clothes in a place that’s cool, dry and dark. Excessive heat and light can damage your clothes and light exposure can cause colors to fade, so, if you’re using a see-through container, you want to find a space that isn’t too hot or bright. Mildew can form if the space is too humid, so make sure the space is dry, too. If that’s not possible, you can try and regulate your container’s humidity using humidity packs.

This could be under the bed, tucked away in the closet, a commercial storage unit that’s humidity and temperature regulated. Though you can store your winter clothes in the attic, they can get pretty hot in the summer (depending on your location, of course).

What you need

Storage containers. Plastic storage containers are great for stacking, and for keeping pests and moisture out. They’re also see-through, which makes it easy to find your stuff come next winter. Wood and cardboard boxes are often coated with materials that contain chemicals that can eventually damage your clothes.

Good plastic containers will stack easily and snap shut. Discreet versions can also fit under the bed. Fabric storage containers are great for longer-term garments that need to breathe such as wool sweaters, though they aren’t as easy to stack.

12 Quart Stack & Pull Box by Iris $20

6 Quart/5.7 Liter Storage Box, White Lid with Clear Base (Pack of 12) by Sterilite $21

Canvas Under Bed Storage Bag by The Laundress $60

Vacuum storage bags. These vacuum-sealed bags cut down on the bulk of your favorite winter garments like down jackets and duvets. However, these aren’t ideal for garments with natural fibers like wool and cotton that need to be able to breathe.

Vacuum Storage Bags by Spacesaver $25

Fabric garment bags. These will keep your coats and suits fresh while keeping moths out.

Garment Bags by Univivi $14

Cedar and lavender. Cedar and lavender sachets and hangers offer protection from pests and keep your clothes smelling nice. Cedar shoe trees also absorb moisture and help shoes retain their shape.

CedarFresh Clothes Protector and Storage Accessories Value Pack by Household Essentials $13

Cedar Adjustable Shoe Tree by HoundsBay $20

Lavender Sachets by Lavande Sur Terre $16

Humidity packs. Keeping these stored with your winter clothes can help keep the humidity in a healthy zone, preventing mold.

2-Way Humidity Control by Boveda $14

Air Purifying Bag by Moso Natural $10

Acid-free tissue paper. Wrapping your delicate garments in acid-free tissue paper can help protect them from other clothes while also preventing creases from folding.

Acid Free Archival Tissue by The Linen Lady $19

How to store different garments


Long wool coats should be hung with cedar blocks and in garment bags. Folding your long coats and stuffing them into a box can lead to damage, causing it to wrinkle and leaving it exposed to moths. To keep its shape, hang your coat in a garment bag with some cedar or lavender sachets. The garment bag will allow the natural fibers of the coat to breathe and maintain a natural humidity while the cedar or lavender will prevent moths.

Use a vacuum-sealing bag for synthetic puffy coats. Vacuum-sealed plastic bags help save a ton of space on bulky garments like down jackets. And because most down jackets use synthetic fabric shells, they won’t be negatively affected by the non-breathable plastic.


Store your sweaters in plastic containers with cedar/lavender sachets. Plastic containers aren’t totally airtight and will allow your sweaters to breathe. Again, cedar and lavender to keep the critters from noshing on your knits. You’ll also want to store your winter-weight sweaters at the bottom of the containers with lighter clothes on top. This will help prevent your thinner clothes from creasing.


Clean and condition your shoes and boots. Winter’s done its damage to your footwear and before you pack away your stompers, you need to clean ’em up, remove the salt stains and condition them.

Stuff them with shoe trees. Cedar shoe trees are the best way to maintain your shoes’ shape, remove moisture and reduce odors. Alternatively, at least stuff them with newspaper. For tall boots, make sure to use boot trees or stuff the newspaper all the way through the shaft of the boot.

Store them in cotton dust bags. Cotton dust bags prevent dust from accumulating on your shoes while still allowing them to breathe. They also help prevent critters from making your shoes a new home.


Store them in a breathable container with dividers. Containers with dividers make it easy to pair the myriad of winter accessories like scarves, beanies, socks and gloves. And, as above, stash them in your container of choice with cedar and lavender.

How to Treat Your Closet Like a Collection


“If you’re investing in your wardrobe, whether or not we’re talking about custom suits or even sports equipment and gear, you have to take care of it if you want it to last,” says Julie Ann Clauss (née Orsini), who’s stored some of the world’s most beautiful clothes as an archivist for Tom Ford. “That includes being diligent about cleaning and storing the right way.” Read the Story

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

Here’s How to Make Your Outdoor Gear Last Forever

Our warm-weather playground is closing for the season, which means that soon, you’ll be trading wheels for skis and waders for down jackets. We know — the winter stoke is real. But resist the urge to shove all your gear into the garage to be dealt with next spring; there’s work to be done.

Dirt and grime do a good job of hiding damage that’s accumulated over six months of fun. When it comes to something like a mountain bike, that buildup can impede the function of your drivetrain and other components. “Nothing’s more frustrating than trying to ride when the weather clears and getting stopped by surprise mechanical issues,” notes Nick Martin, founder of The Pro’s Closet, the largest e-retailer for pre-owned bikes and cycling gear.

And when it comes to a sport like climbing, poorly cared for gear can become a safety issue. “Taking a couple of hours in between seasons to go through all your gear is what sets you up for success — and safety — next season,” says Matt Hickethier, senior outdoor instructor for REI’s Denver location. Plus, you paid serious money for some of this stuff. “If you take care of high-quality hiking boots season after season, they can last you 20 years,” he adds.

Caring for your gear might not be as simple as leafing through the instruction manual (which you probably threw in the trash anyway). Below, you’ll find the best way to clean, dry, care for and store all your favorite summer gear so it’s ready for action at the first sign of a thaw next year.

Camping Gear

Sleeping Bags

Clean: You want to wash your sleeping bag as little as possible, especially if it’s down, since it makes the insulation clump and reduces its lifespan. (Hickethier likes to sleep with a liner and just washes that every few trips.) At the end of the season, place the bag in a front-load washing machine and use a mild detergent. The centralized spin on top-load machines can tear the stitching apart; if that’s all you have, lay your sleeping bag out and scrub it with an abrasive plastic brush and mild detergent. Then hose it off.

Dry: Hang to dry.

Care: If your bag came waterproof from its maker, use a spray (like Nikwax TX-Direct Spray-On) to restore that repellency.

Store: Once it’s completely dry, either hang the bag in your gear closet or put it in a mesh or breathable cotton bag that’s larger than the stuff sack you keep it in for trips. You want to keep the insulation as high a loft — that’s the fluffiness — as possible. Compression compromises the bag’s resilience, Hickethier says.

Cooking Equipment

Clean: Wipe down stoves and pots just like you would those in your kitchen, getting rid of any food particles that could breed bacteria or mold over the winter months. If you have a gas line, light the stove, then shut the gas off at the bottle rather than on the stove. According to Hickethier, this lets the gas flush through the line to the burner completely, and when it stops, you know the line is clear.

Dry: Let all components air dry. If the stove uses jet fuel, dry upside down so water isn’t pooling through the system.

Store: Your stove and cooking gear should be stored inside, away from the elements, which can erode the metal. Regulations for storing fuel vary by state and area, but if you have a flammables closet in your garage, that’s ideal. Otherwise, make sure it’s in an area that’s well ventilated, well contained and not going to overheat.


Clean: It’s important to get all the dirt off and out of your tent before storing it — any sand will act like sandpaper and degrade all your soft materials including stitching, Hickethier says. Turn the tent inside out, shake it, then scrub both it and the rainfly with a mild detergent (like Dawn) and a soft-bristled brush. Clean the ends of the poles that go into the ground and the stakes. Hose everything down.

Dry: Reassemble the entire tent and let it dry out somewhere indoors like in the garage, basement, even living room — UV rays actually wear down the materials over time, and since your tent obviously sits in the sun most of its erected life, you want to limit exposure as much as possible, Hickethier says.

Care: Put a UV treatment on the outside of the tent and the rainfly to extend its life. If there’s any peeling on the rainfly, treat with a waterproofing material like Nikwax. Check all your seams and cover any tape that’s peeling with silicone glue.

Store: Break down the poles and load them into the tent bag first. Never store poles under tension since they can start to wear out if taut over time, Hickethier says. Next, stuff the rainfly in the bag randomly, in a kind of circular pattern, followed by the body of the tent, then the footprint. Contrary to common sense organizational instincts, folding your tent is a no-no. “Every time you fold your tent, you’re creating constant wear on the same spots which will eventually break down the material, waterproofing and seams,” Hickethier explains.

Sleeping Pads

Clean: Inflate the pad, then hose it down, scrubbing with a mild detergent if it’s dirty.

Dry: Dry inside, out of UV light and inflated to ensure no water gets caught in creases.

Store: If it’s pillow style, pack the pad back down and store in its stuff sack. If it’s foam and self-inflatable, store the pad partially inflated with valves open to prevent the foam from breaking down under compression.

Hiking Gear

Hiking Boots

Clean: At the end of the season, do a thorough version of what you should do after every hike: Pull out the insoles, then give your boots a light wash with water, mild detergent or leather cleaner (if applicable) and a soft brush.

Dry: Hang boots upside down to allow air to flow in and excess moisture to drain out until they’re completely dry.

Care: Check all materials for degradation. If your boots are leather and puckering, turning a lighter color, or starting to look like dry skin, apply leather conditioner (Nikwax makes a good one) and let that set, then re-waterproof with a wax-based solution or silicone-based wax. Unlace your boots and check the strings’ conditions — if they’re fraying anywhere (it’ll likely be where they’re crossing a grommet) replace them. Check all metal components, like the hooks that help cinch the ankle cuff, and make sure there’s no damage or warping there. If the soles are separating anywhere, use a silicone glue (though if your soles are Vibram, contact the manufacturer because they should put a whole new one on for you).

Store: Keep boots in a dry, low-light spot, like the bottom of your closet or in a container in a low-humidity garage.


Clean: At the very least, empty your pack, turn it inside out and shake it to get all the small pieces of dirt and food out. If your pack has seen a lot of mud, turn it right side out and use a mild soap (like Dawn), a vinyl or plastic scrub brush and lukewarm water, scrubbing in a circular motion until all the dirt is gone. Make sure the water isn’t too hot, so it doesn’t shrink the material, Hickethier says. Check the straps and the buckle components for embedded mud or dirt.

Dry: Lay flat outside to dry.

Care: Check that the stitching isn’t fraying or peeling anywhere and that all hard components (i.e., plastic buckles) are still functioning correctly. Replace before storing.

Store: Don’t hang the bag — leaving the straps under tension, even lightly, will cause the material to stretch over time. Instead, compress the pack in a storage bin and store it somewhere with low moisture.

Water Reservoirs

Clean: A poorly cleaned, sealed reservoir is the perfect environment to breed mold and bacteria, Hickethier says. If your bladder had anything other than water in it (like an electrolyte drink) or there are signs of mineral buildup from hard water, use a dissolvable tablet, like Bottle Bright or CamelBak Cleaning Tablets, which create a bubble effect to scrub the inside of the reservoir. Run through the line, then rinse the whole thing out. (You can also use warm water, silicone-safe soap like Dawn and a soft brush, but the soap is harder to get out completely.)

Dry: Disconnect the line (if it has one), drain all the water, then hang vertically to dry (like over a hook). Some newer bladders will turn inside out, which is ideal. Otherwise, invest in a reservoir hanger (like this one from Camelbak) which is designed to keep the rubber and silicone components open so the bladder can drip dry completely.

Store: Keep the cap off, then fold the hose in half and tuck the bend into the mouth of the bladder to keep it open. Store it with the rest of your hiking gear. Some people also like to store the whole thing in their freezer to ensure no mildew develops.

Biking Gear

Road and Mountain Bikes

Clean: It’s definitely possible to wash a bike too much or too hard, says Martin. “Bikes are full of moving parts that are small and delicate,” he explains. “Overzealous washing can actually force crucial lubricants out of these parts and push dirt and grime in.” Be gentle: fill a spray bottle with warm water and a little mild dish soap (this, according to Martin, works just as well as bike-specific degreasers) and spray the whole thing down. Use a soft brush or cloth to agitate dirt and grime, especially on the chain and drivetrain. “A dirty or unlubricated drivetrain will cause a lot of premature wear, noise and shifting issues,” he adds. Rinse the frame and components with a hose or a bucket of clean water.

Dry: “Leaving your bike dripping wet is a recipe for corrosion,” Martin says. Take a small cloth and wipe down everything you can reach, including the chain and drivetrain. You can use a detailing spray (like Pedro’s Bike Lust) on the painted surfaces for an extra sheen and help in repelling dirt and dust during storage and on your next ride.

Care: Once dry, apply a chain lubricant to your drivetrain. “Only the chain needs lubrication and only on the rollers,” Martin warns. Use a rag to wipe away any excess lube that lands outside the chain or on the cassette, chainrings and derailleur pulleys. Run your shifter up and down through all the gears to make sure it doesn’t need any more tuning before you store. Then, take an inventory of what maintenance you can do during the off-season. For mountain bikes, you want to service the suspension once a year, either on your own or at a bike or suspension shop, Martin advises. On any bike, check all your consumable components like the chain, tire and brake pads for wear, and replace them if needed.

Store: Store your bike indoors — namely somewhere dry and shielded from the weather, because sun, wind, rain and snow will damage and shorten the lifespan of every component on your bike, Martin says. (If you have no choice but to keep it outside, get a waterproof cover and maintain it regularly.) You can keep it on the ground, but the most convenient way to store a bike is on a hook. For road, cyclocross or gravel bikes, hang them however you like (i.e., upside down or vertically from the ceiling or wall). Mountain bikes with suspension forks should be hung vertically — never upside down — with the front wheel up to keep the seals and foam rings in the fork from drying out.

Cycling Shoes

Clean: Pull out the insoles and wash with water, mild detergent or leather cleaner and a soft brush.

Dry: Stuff with newspaper and set in an airy space to let dry. Be sure they dry completely before storing.

Store: Keep shoes in a dry, shady spot, like a container in a low-humidity garage.


Clean: Take a brush and clean with warm water and a gentle soap or shampoo, since you already know that won’t irritate your skin, Martin points out.

Dry: Hang to dry in a well-ventilated area.

Store: Store in a container in a low-humidity garage (out in the open risks dust and cobwebs).

Fishing Gear

Fly Lines

Clean: “Your line is exposed to dirt, sand, rocks and all kinds of funky stuff in the water that wants to decrease slickness and start breaking down the line,” observes Shawn Combs, Director of Product Development for Rod & Tackle at Orvis. Run the entire line through a Scientific Anglers cleaning pad — or a paper towel if you’re in a pinch.

Dry: Air dry.

Store: Re-spool your reel and store.


Clean: Wipe down with a clean, dry cloth. Wash reel in warm water with a soft cloth.

Dry: Air dry.

Store: Store in a rod tube.

Waders and Boots

Clean: River water should be rinsed off with a hose, and any mud on your boots scrubbed off with a soft brush and gentle dish soap.

Dry: Hang your waders to dry. Stuff boots with newspaper and leave in a well-ventilated area.

Store: Fold waders and store alongside boots in a container.

Climbing Gear

The most significant care aspect of climbing gear is to adhere to the manufacturer recommendations of life expectancy since your life depends on the reliability of these products. “Even if a rope was never used, it still has a life expectancy for how long that piece of gear is serviceable,” Hickethier explains. Info for harnesses, ropes and protective equipment can all be found on the manufacturer’s website.


Clean: You may still use your harness inside during the winter, but you want to clean all the dirt and grime from the outdoor season off. Always handwash it to prevent fraying and breaking, Hickethier says. Scrub the soft material and metal parts with warm, soapy water.

Dry: Hang inside to dry.

Care: Before you store it, as well as before each use, inspect the stitching, lacing and hard components of your harness. Fix anything immediately — if you forget and head out with a broken buckle, it’s hazardous, Hickethier points out.

Store: Pack flat, somewhere dry, so the material doesn’t stretch out.

Climbing Shoes

Clean: Since bouldering shoes get more dusty than dirty and have a particular grip to them, skip the soap and rinse with warm water until it runs clear.

Dry: Stuff with newspaper and set in a well-ventilated area to dry.

Store: Store alongside the rest of your climbing gear.


Clean: Fill your bathtub or sink with warm water and add rope wash (like this one from Beal) and let it soak according to the package instructions. If the water is exceptionally dirty, drain and repeat until the water runs clear.

Dry: Set rope outside to dry.

Store: Wrapping a rope tightly can create kinks and degrade the fibers over time, Hickethier says. Instead, coil it loosely on the ground or hung on two supports (like nails). Store away from UV light.


Clean: If the metal parts have gunk built up inside, rinse with hot water and mild soap.

Dry: Wipe dry with a cloth.

Care: Lubricate the metal parts you washed, as well as any clean cams in need of some slickness (use a product like Metolius Cam Lube). Check the webbing to ensure it’s clean and not wearing down. If it’s degrading, most companies will re-sling it for you, Hickethier says.

Store: Attach to a carabiner to keep organized, then store with the rest of your climbing gear.

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

The Right Way to Drink Rare Craft Beer at Your Next Bottle Share

Good beer with good friends. That’s the goal of every bottle share, a small gathering to drink rare, unique or hard-to-acquire beers best saved for “that special occasion.” But bad manners and an eagerness to try too much, too quick, can make even the best beer taste off. Which is why we sat down with Benjamin Pratt, cofounder of As Is, one of New York City’s top craft beer bars, who shared his tips for hosting a bottle share, the right way. Here’s everything you need to know before you break out the bottle opener.

Keep the group small.

When coming up with the invite list, keep it under 10 people. “The goal should be a group small enough that the share can actually be conversational and educational,” Pratt says, “not just a free-for-all to try as many beers as possible. Some of the best shares I’ve been to have been with three or four other friends who have great taste and interest in beer.”

Less is more.

Ask every friend that’s attending to bring something, and be clear with the expectations. According to Pratt, two larger format bottles per person is the standard rule of thumb. “When we’ve had shares at the bar and people have shown up with too much beer, there is a superficial pressure to blow through bottles and not actually be able to appreciate the beers,” he says.

From Left to Right: Allagash Brewing Company Nancy, Grimm Ales Camoufleur, New Belgium La Folie Grand Reserve PX, Backacre Sour Golden Ale, American Solera House Couture, Cantillon Gueuze 100% Lambic Bio, Oxbow Brewing Co. First Fruits, Fermentery Form Fooz, Grimm Ales Eternal Now and Cantillon Kriek 100% Lambic Bio.

People want grails, not fails.

Part of the ethos of a bottle share is to share rare beer, so don’t just go down to your grocery store and buy whatever you can find on the shelf last-minute. Pratt says, “Bring bottles that you’ve either been holding onto for a special occasion or that are not normally available wherever you are.”

It’s not a bad idea to set a theme like, say, focusing on specific styles that age well — sours and dark beer. “The point is for people to be able to try something they have never heard of or have always wanted to try,” Pratt says.

Go slow. Stop early.

If each person brings two larger bottles, that means there are two larger bottles per person to drink. You shouldn’t feel pressured to finish everything or open every single bottle. “In my experience, these things are extended drinking sessions that usually result in a slow, creeping drunkenness,” Pratt says. “It’s good to keep in mind that you don’t have to drink every ounce of everything.” If someone doesn’t love a beer, it’s totally acceptable for them to take a few sips and move on — as a host, make sure they know that.

Sequence matters.

If you’re not armed with the knowledge, designate someone to facilitate the order things are being opened. “This way things can be tasted in series and comparisons can be drawn and maybe something can even be learned,” Pratt says. It also helps avoid multiple bottles being opened all at once. Just remember: never open someone’s bottle without their permission. How would you feel?

So does the glass.

Not everyone has two dozen tulip sampler glasses just sitting around for bottle shares, nor is it feasible in terms of storage if you’re a city-dweller in a small apartment. That being said, using full-size pint glasses is far from ideal, as everyone won’t be getting full pours and shaker pints are not “going to heighten your sensitivity to what is put in front of you,” Pratt says. If you don’t want to invest in reusable tasters, Tossware offers plastic cups used by top-notch festivals that won’t affect the taste or aroma of beer.

Food and water are musts.

Just like any other party, you want to give people food options and the ability to hydrate. As Pratt says, “Eat food, drink water, be an adult.” Just make sure whatever food you’re providing isn’t going to take away from everyone’s ability to taste the beers. Items like cheeses, bread, chips, pretzels and meats are all good middle-of-the-road choices.

We Tried Road Tubeless Tires, and We’re Never Going Back

Tubeless tire technology is nothing new. In fact, it’s been industry-standard in the mountain bike world for a while now. It’s taken the road cycling industry longer to embrace the upgrade, but companies are finally taking the hint and producing wheels, tires and accessories aimed specifically at tubeless-curious riders.

As a lifelong mountain biker, it always amazed me that road cyclists stuck with tubes. Everything about them is a pain — pinch flats, extra weight, greater rotational mass. The upsides on a tubeless setup are tremendous: lighter, able to run at lower pressures (more comfort and control), less rotational mass and fewer flats. The biggest roadblock in the switch to road tubeless seems to be the setup, which takes some time and practice and can be a bit of a pain.

I recently decided to switch to road tubeless and did a ton of research before I did on how to set it up. My reason for making the switch was the promise of increased comfort and a lighter setup (I was also in search of a wider tire for decreased rolling resistance). On paper it sounds fairly simple: Tape the wheel with tubeless wheel tape making sure there are no bubbles; poke the tubeless valve stem through the tape; set one bead of the tire on the wheel; set the other bead of the tire on the wheel; use a compressor or piggyback pump to set the beads and inflate to around 60psi (you’ll hear some popping sounds while you do this); deflate the tire and remove the valve core; pour recommended amount of sealant into the tire through valve core; reinstall valve core and inflate the tire to 60psi; spin the tire so the sealant coats the inside and seals any gaps; go ride. Well, relatively simple anyway.

Photo: Hunter D. Kelley

That’s all well and good, but the truth is that the process will take you a couple of tries. It took me three tries until I eventually gave up and left it to the professionals (it took them a further three tries to get the wheel to seal). It’s not a perfect science, but the hassle is worth it. The ride is supple and supremely comfortable. It’s immediately noticeable. There’s more grip in the corners, and while it may seem counter-intuitive, running your tire at a lower pressure actually decreases rolling resistance, making you faster. I also found myself seeking out rougher roads and straying from my usual road loop with more confidence than with my typical setup. I chose both wheels and tires that can handle some gravel jaunts, but can still keep up on the pavement.

Of course, road tubeless isn’t for everyone. You may be perfectly happy with your tubes, and that’s OK. But for those seeking a faster, lighter and more comfortable ride, tubeless is a no-brainer. Sure, setup can be a hassle — but it’s worth it. If you endeavor to try road tubeless for yourself, here’s everything you need to make it happen.


ENVE’s SES 4.5 AR disc wheel is specifically designed to be run with a tubeless tire. It’s stiff and compliant at the same time and offers some of the best ride quality available. Simply put, there’s a reason everyone wants ENVE wheels — the hype is real.

WTB Exposure 30

WTB’s Exposure 30 is one of the few tan sidewall, tubeless-compatible tires. In fact, in our extensive research, it’s the only tubeless-specific tire that has tan sidewalls and is available in a 30. It’s supple and provides a shocking amount of grip in a variety of conditions. They are a touch heavy at 310g per tire, but the comfort and durability they offer are worth the small weight penalty.

Orange Seal Endurance Tire Sealant

There are a few tire sealant brands available, but we’re partial to Orange Seal’s Endurance Sealant. The Endurance version of Orange Seal is designed to last longer (sealant will eventually dry out) and will seal up the smaller punctures that you might encounter on a road bike. It also weighs less than Orange Seal’s regular line of sealant, and that’s a good thing.

ENVE Road and Gravel Tubeless Kit

You’ll need ENVE’s Tubeless Kit for setup, which includes tubeless wheel tape, two tubeless valves (that fit the SES 4.5 AR without the need for valve extenders) and a valve core removal tool.

Lezyne Digital Pressure Overdrive Floor Pump

With a tubeless setup, you’ll likely be playing around with different tire pressures more than you would with a standard setup. For this, a floor pump with a digital gauge will give you the most accurate reading. Lezyne’s Digital Pressure Overdrive pump also has a piggyback chamber that can be pressurized up to 200psi. The pump then works in essentially the same way as an air compressor, helping seat a tubeless tire quickly and efficiently.

How to Get the Best Hiking Boots for You

Walk into an REI or your local outdoor store, head past the racks of clothing, weave through the displays of headlamps and titanium cutlery, duck under the hanging down sleeping bags — you’re going to the back, to the shoe wall, and you’d be forgiven for turning around and walking back through the store and out the door after getting there.

In gear stores, we’re faced with the same issue that we come against in the supermarket: too many choices. Only here, the purchase is an expensive pair of footwear that we’ll live with for years instead of a too-sweet jar of jam. It’s true for hiking footwear in particular. Not only are there countless brands to choose from but there is also a multitude of types of footwear offered for walking in the woods, mountains and deserts. There are hiking boots, but then there are backpacking boots and multi-use boots and hiking shoes; mountaineering boots, approach shoes, trail running shoes — even hiking sandals.

These vast choices can be paralyzing. In 2004, psychologist Barry Schwartz popularized the idea of “the paradox of choice,” theorizing that when faced with too many options we become more anxious, less happy and sometimes end up avoiding the decision altogether. The way to avoid the trap, he claims, is to rid ourselves of the notion of a perfect choice settle for “good enough.”

It doesn’t have to be this way, not at the gear store shoe wall. The quantity of hiking footwear options shouldn’t be the reason that you continue to journey to summits in unsupportive sneakers that are falling apart from overuse. With just a few thoughtful considerations, you can have a better pair of boots.

1Consider the type of hiking you do. Every person’s needs and walking habits are different. Peter Limmer, a maker of super-rugged custom leather hiking boots, once told me “You can’t get away with being up on Mt. Washington with Five Fingers,” referring to New Hampshire’s tallest mountain and a pair of minimalist, barefoot-style shoes. His example is easily codified into a general rule of thumb: the boots you choose should match the type of hiking you do.

2Choose a type of boot. Whether you’re a long-distance hiker, a day hiker or a casual walker will affect the shoe you should buy. Go more granular: do you prefer something fast and light or something substantial and supportive? Seasoned thru-hikers might hike hundreds of miles in a pair of trail running shoes, while an infrequent, city-based hiker might opt for something with ankle support, even for short trails. Despite what Limmer said, some intrepid mountain runner has probably gone to the summit of Washington in a pair of Five Fingers.

3Go to the store and try them on. There are plenty of lists that will tell you all about the best hiking boots available. These are a starting point only — there’s nothing wrong with a well-researched list, but every person’s feet are different, and you won’t know how a pair of boots feels on your feet until you try them on. Narrow down the options to what sounds good to you based on the previous two steps and make your own list of boots to try. Then you can go to your local gear shop and approach the shoe wall with confidence. (Or forget the online lists entirely and head straight to the store).

Once there, don’t be afraid to try on as many pairs as it takes to find the right boot. Ask questions. Walk around in them and consider any pressure points. Most outdoor stores will have a ramped box that you can use to see what it feels like walking up and down inclines — use it. You’re looking for something that’s snug but not restrictive — make sure your heel doesn’t slide or lift and that your toes have room to wiggle. More than anything, you’re looking for comfort.

Note: If you already have custom insoles (more on that below), make sure to bring them. Try on each pair with the insoles inside.

4Buy insoles. Almost every hiking boot and hiking shoe comes with a foam insole that will wear out after far fewer uses than you’d expect (especially after spending over $200 on a pair of boots). Some are better than others, and most will feel comfortable straight out of the box, but none will provide the long-term support of an aftermarket insole.

Insoles can achieve various purposes: provide additional support, fill up more volume, provide more comfort. Superfeet is one brand that makes a variety of affordable insoles that accomplish these aims. As with the boots themselves, it’s best to try these on at a store to find the most comfortable and best-fitting option. Bring your boots with you, because insoles can change the amount of space inside your shoe and affect the overall feel of its fit.

A Parting Thought

Hiking boots aren’t the same as a pair of running shoes, which have a lifespan denoted in miles ran. Think about them as an investment; the best of them will only get better and more comfortable with time.

The Best Hiking Boots of 2018

Unlike concrete sidewalks and gravel paths, the trail calls for hardened and supportive footwear to combat dirt, mud, jagged rocks and streams. The answer is hiking boots and hiking shoes, and these are the best available. Read the Story

The Winter Survival Skill Every Outdoorsman Should Know

It is the stuff of nightmares for outdoor adventurers. A quick, one-day ski tour turns up a storm and there is no chance of getting out before nightfall. In this type of winter emergency, the best course of action is to build a snow shelter. There are different ways to approach building one, so to hear the best techniques and designs, we spoke with Marco Johnson, the Field Staffing Director for the National Outdoor Leadership School, and JJ Jameson, a senior instructor for the REI Outdoor School. Spending the night freezing (literally) is no one’s idea of a good time, so enter the backcountry prepared and well informed on how to best save your own life.

Snow Cave


Photo: Alastair Mcdowell

The snow cave is one of the quickest emergency shelters that you can build in the backcountry to escape impending bad weather. It requires the fewest tools and can be built with minimal exertion. According to Johnson, a snow cave is “the best shelter you can build, in the least amount of time.”

Scout a location. With any snow shelter, scouting a location is crucial. For a snow cave, your location will be determined by where snow depth and snow consistency is best. “You want to find a fairly big drift of snow — a place where the wind has piled up the snow,” says Johnson. Ideal snow conditions for building a snow cave are the same those for building a snowman. Snow that compresses and packs easily will yield a stronger structure and will be easier to build.

Hollow out a sleeping area. The next step is to dig. When you are hollowing out the snow bank, shape the inside of the structure like an upright bell. Johnson says that’s important because “the bell shape is very strong structurally and it prevents the roof from sagging due to your body heat.”

Dig up. When you are hollowing out the inside and building the bell shape, you want to start as low as you can and work up. This will allow you to make a sleeping platform inside the structure that sits higher in elevation than your entrance. Johnson stresses that this is key to keeping warm. “It creates a heat trap. So all the cold air moves out and all the warm air stays in. It is very much like the way that beavers build their lodges.”

Tree Pit

Photo: Off Grid Web

Photo: Off Grid Web

Depending on your location, you may be able to use trees to your advantage. Though tree wells are often dangerous to skiers and snowboarders, they can also be used for survival.

Scout your location. Just like the snow cave, scouting your location is crucial. A number of factors determine whether or not building a tree well shelter is possible, including snow depth and tree type. In areas of deep snow, pockets of space are often created where there are evergreen trees with low-hanging boughs. “Inside these snow-covered boughs, you can dig in and actually make yourself a makeshift shelter,” says Johnson.

Burrow. It is important to be extremely careful when starting to burrow into a tree well. It can be very easy to become stuck if snow starts to cascade down and fill the hole. Work slowly and methodically. Dig down until you get to ground level. Then cover the bottom of the pit with evergreen boughs to help keep the shelter insulated.

Pack out the walls. Compact the walls around you. This will help stabilize the shelter and keep snow from falling down the walls. Once inside, cover the hole that you came through with evergreen boughs to keep heat in and snow out.


Photo: Boys' LIfe

Photo: Boys’ Life

The quinzee is the shelter that takes the most effort out of the three, but can also last the longest and is the most comfortable. It’s also the only one out of the three that can be built in completely flat terrain with light powdery snow.

Prepare yourself. Building a quinzee isn’t easy, and it is going to take a lot of work. The first thing to do is assess whether it is worth the effort, or if a snow cave or tree well better suits the situation. If a quinzee is the right fit, Jameson says, “take off your jacket and roll up your sleeves — this is going to be hard, heat-producing work.”

Mound up a large pile of snow. In flat terrain, you are going to need to create the mound of snow that you will eventually tunnel into. Jameson says the goal is “something the scale of a small car, like a VW Bug.” Aim for a pile that is 4 1/2 feet tall and roughly 6-10 feet wide. Once you have the snow piled up, it is best to let it set for an hour or two so that the snow can consolidate (if the weather permits this time).

Tunnel directly into the middle of the structure. Start by tunneling along the ground straight toward the middle of the mound. As you remove snow from the inside of the structure, throw it onto the outside of the shell. “When you are putting snow onto the outside of the structure, you are actually throwing the snow. You are shoveling, but to empty the snow out of the shovel, I just sort of fling the snow onto the outer surface.” And during this process, aim to keep the structure as circular as possible, distributing the snow evenly across the outer surface.

Carve upwards. “Slowly start to carve vertically upwards in arcs,” Jameson notes. “You want the inside of it to be a dome shape because that is very strong.” Scrape in an arcing pattern hollowing out the middle of the mound, again throwing the removed snow onto the outside. Scrape off snow upwards but also around in circles, taking off two to three inches of snow as you go around. Continue the process until you have a space that is large enough for you lay down and stretch out in.

Repair as needed. As you hollow out the middle of the structure, you may make small holes in the walls. Don’t worry about them. Simply pack more snow onto the outside to fill the hole(s). “One individual hole isn’t going to make the thing fall down,” Jameson advises. “You would have to have about a fifth of a wall removed for it to actually collapse.”

Buying Guide

snow-shelter-gear-patrol-buying-guide 1
Having the right tools in a survival situation can mean the difference between life and death. For Johnson, traveling in the winter means ski touring. Because of this, he always has his snow shovel and snow saw. “Having a snow shovel and a snow saw is really important because you can’t move snow without a shovel,” he says.

On top of an avalanche shovel, Jameson’s must-carries skew more towards making quinzee-building easier. “It can be helpful to have a tarp and an emergency blanket,” he says. “Once you’re really digging a lot you can lay that tarp near the opening with a corner of it sticking out. Your buddies can then just pull that and drag big piles of snow out without having to shovel it out.”

Black Diamond Evac 7 Shovel $80
Backcountry Access Snow Saw $34
Terra Nova Competition Tarp 1 $79
Adventure Medical Heatsheets Survival Blanket $4

How to Clean and Maintain Your Car Interior

There is serious satisfaction to be found in keeping your car looking showroom fresh. Much of that includes washing and waxing your car to protect its finish on the outside, but — like your mother always said — its what’s on the inside that counts. Since you spend more time in the car than on it, the interior can get dirty and worn in a flash.

So rather than letting your leather seats become cracked and worn, or letting those Alcantara accents get dirty and matted, spend some quality time every couple of months to make sure your interior is taken care of. To help, we’ve broken down what you need to do, and everything you need to keep three common interior surfaces looking fresh and clean.


Keep Your Seats Supple

Leather has pretty much become the de facto interior option, and while it’s fairly resistant to stains and can put up with daily wear and tear, if it’s not properly cleaned and conditioned, leather will lose its natural oils, become stiff and crack.

You can clean leather interiors simply by vacuuming out any loose debris, then applying a mild, pH-neutral leather cleaner (harsher cleaners will strip seats of their natural oils) to a microfiber cloth. Rub the cleaner into the leather in a circular motion, then wipe it dry with a clean cloth. Once the seats are clean, apply a thin layer of conditioner to the seats using a soft sponge. (Try a spot test in a small, hidden area to make sure it has no ill effects on your car’s leather.) Let the conditioner absorb into the seats for two hours, then buff it out with a clean microfiber cloth.

TriNova Leather Cleaner $16
Leather Honey Leather Conditioner $19
Meguiar’s Supreme Shine Microfiber Cloth $5
Autofiber Microfiber Sponge $15


Scrub Out Caked-On Dirt

Admittedly, cloth interiors are becoming harder to find, but if you have an older car from when cloth seats were more common (or spec’d the cloth interior option in the configurator), you’ll want to give your seats a deep clean a few times a year.

Start by using a shop-vac to remove any loose debris from the seat’s crevices and top layer of fabric. Lightly spray the seat’s surface (do not over-saturate) one spot at a time, then massage the area with a stiff interior brush, bringing any deep-rooted dirt to the surface. Finally, wipe up the dirt with a microfiber cloth. Repeat the process until the entire surface is clean.

Mother’s Carpet & Upholstery Cleaner $14
Chemical Guys Detail Brush $7
Detailer’s Choice Microfiber Cleaning Cloth $6


Maintain the Soft Texture

Alcantara has become the go-to material in high-end performance cars because a) it has the same texture as suede but isn’t as much of a pain in the ass to maintain and b) it evokes the interiors of race cars, and manufacturers are all about drawing that comparison. Much like suede or its budget counterpart microsuede, Alcantara fibers can get matted down and trap dirt.

For the most part, a soft brush can be used on a regular basis (about once a week) to keep it feeling fresh, but for deeper cleans an Alcantara cleaner does wonders. After brushing the material, apply the cleaner to the sponge and work it into the interior surface. Wipe it down with a damp cloth and let it dry — then, brush the Alcantara again to keep the fibers from getting matted down.

Sonax Alcantara Cleaner $15
AM Arnold Interior and Upholstery Brush $8
Griot’s Garage Detail Sponge $7
Griot’s Garage Microfiber Interior CLoth $18
How to Wax a Car The Right Way (and Everything You Need)

If you care about your car’s appearance, a solid wax is a cheap and easy way to keep it looking factory fresh. Read the Story