All posts in “New”

Ford’s New Vehicle Could Completely Change the Camper Van World

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carbon-free vanlife

Ford has received a lot of attention for the Mustang Mach-E, its forthcoming muscle car-inspired electric crossover. The electric F-150 pickup truck should be kind of a big deal, too. Ford’s new electric Transit van, which the brand just announced will arrive for the 2022 model year, is liable to be much less widely heralded — but it should be equally important for the world.

An electric cargo van, after all, will reduce overall fleet emissions around the world, as companies like Amazon and UPS switch over from gas-powered vehicles to EVs. It will be great for Ford’s bottom line for deliveries. And perhaps most interestingly, it’ll also offer environmentally-conscious camper van enthusiasts a compelling and versatile zero-emissions option.

Camper van outfitters will have a ton of flexibility with this new EV van. Ford will sell the electric Transit with three different roof heights and three different body lengths. There will also be a bare cutaway cab version for manufacturers that want to customize it. It’ll come with Ford’s suite of driver assistant technologies and an integrated Wi-Fi hotspot, and have access to the massive continent-wide charging network Ford is building.

Ford was scant on the initial details; we don’t know what sort of range the electric Transit will offer, or how much it will cost, and the 2022 model year is a broad timeframe for a launch, meaning we could see it as soon as next January or as late as September 2022. But this should be a major step forward. And, unlike many great things camper-related, the electric Transit will be sold in the United States.

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

Tyler Duffy is Gear Patrol’s Motoring Staff Writer. He used to write about sports for The Big Lead and The Athletic. He has a black belt in toddler wrangling. He’s based outside Detroit.

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This Clever Camp Stool Packs Down to the Size of a Whiskey Bottle — and Weighs Even Less

<!–This Clever Camp Stool Packs Down to the Size of a Whiskey Bottle — and Weighs Even Less • Gear Patrol<!– –>

Take a Load Off

OK, we admit it: as gear enthusiasts, we are sometimes prone to exaggeration. But the moment we laid eyes on the Hillsound BTR at last June’s Outdoor Retailer trade show, we were in love, and nearly a year later, that love remains true. The name stands for Better Than a Rock, and when it comes to taking a break on the trail, that’s exactly what it is.

The ultralight and packable product folds up small enough to stash in your pack’s water bottle slot, ready to unfurl into a surprisingly comfortable camp stool at a moment’s notice. And now, after months upon months of anxious watching and waiting, we’re stoked to say the BTR is available for purchase.

The BTR is available in two sizes, 14-inch and 17-inch, and while the former is naturally more transportable, the latter is highly recommended for those on the taller side (like, say, 6 feet and over). Condensed, the 14-incher is just 12.6 inches tall, quite comparable to your average 750-milliliter whiskey bottle. Both units weigh less than a pound (the 14-incher is just 12.6 ounces) and can support up to 240 pounds thanks to 100 percent nylon mesh fabric and aluminum alloy poles.

One other feature we love is Phantom Lock: the twisting telescopic legs magically lock out once fully engaged, capably supporting your trailside or campfire activities until it’s time to pack up and go.


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

Steve Mazzucchi is Gear Patrol’s outdoors and fitness editor. Outside the office, you can find him mountain biking, snowboarding, motorcycling or sipping a dram of Laphroaig and daydreaming about such things.

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One of the Country’s Best Bottles of Bourbon Hits Shelves Across the Country

<!–One of the Country’s Best Bottles of Bourbon Hits Shelves Across the Country • Gear Patrol<!– –>

Four Roses Small Batch Select

Good news from the world of whiskey: Four Roses Distillery will increase the distribution of its critically acclaimed bourbon Small Batch Select, reports Beverage Dynamics. More than a dozen states (Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, Washington and Wisconsin) join California, Georgia, Kentucky, New York and Texas, where bottles of the whiskey were previously limited.

Small Batch Select follows a trend in American whiskey-making; the juice is non-chill filtered, giving it a full, oily mouthfeel. In designing the bourbon, Four Roses Master Distiller Brent Elliot opted to blend six of the distillery’s 10 base recipes, four of which were also used in the award-winning 130th Anniversary Small Batch that can go for as much as $500 on the secondary market. Both whiskeys have Goldilocks proofs that clock in just above 100.

Expect a fair retail price of $55 to $60 for bottles of Small Batch Select. We recommend it neat with a few drops of water.

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

Jack Seemer is the deputy editor at Gear Patrol. Since joining the publication in 2014, he has reported on a wide range of subjects, including menswear, smart home technology, cookware and craft beer.

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How to Know If a Charger Can Charge Your Laptop

Can this charge my laptop? It’s a common question for anybody who’s lost or misplaced their laptop charger and is frantically seeking an alternative. If you’re like most people in such a situation, you’re going to use any random charger with your MacBook or USB-C laptop, plug it in and hope it starts charging. Sometimes you get lucky. Sometimes not so much.

The good news is that we’re living in a day-and-age where basically every new laptop charges via USB-C — it doesn’t matter if it’s made by Apple, Dell, HP or Lenovo. The confusing part is that not every USB-C wall adapter is capable of delivering enough juice to charge your laptop. If you’re looking to have some of the most common questions about laptop charging answered, look below.

Is there a minimum wattage required to charge a laptop?

It depends. Typically, a wall adapter or portable charger has to output at least 29-watts or 31-watts to give a laptop more power than it consumes by just being on. This, of course, will vary depending on how intensive your power consumption is. For instance, if you have a larger laptop or your running heavy-duty programs, a 30-watt wall adapter might not be able to charge your laptop as fast as you’re draining it. A safe range for a wall adapter is between 45-watts and 96-watts — those will definitely be able to charge your laptop (with normal use).

What is Power Delivery (PD) and does the wall adapter need it?

Power Delivery (PD) is a charging standard that allows a charger to output higher currents and higher voltages, thus allowing you to charge your smartphone or laptop from 0% to 100% in a shorter time. And yes, PD is the only charging standard that can charge a laptop.

That said, just because a charger supports PD, doesn’t necessarily mean it can charge your laptop. PD technology can be integrated into many devices whose power outputs can range from 18-watts to 100-watts. For instance, Anker’s 18-watt Power Delivery charger and Aukey’s 18W PD Fast Charger are both designed to fast charge your smartphone, not your laptop.

What is GaN? And how does it affect charging?

GaN stands for Gallium Nitride and it’s a new buzzword in the world of charging technology. Essentially, it’s a new material that is way more energy- and space-efficient than silicon, the traditional material used in wall adapters, so GaN chargers can be smaller and lighter, but also still really powerful. Anker has been a leader in GaN chargers, releasing the PowerPort Atom PD 1 last year, but a lot of other charging companies are catching on. There are even rumors that Apple will include a 65-watt GaN charger with its next MacBook Pros.

Not all laptops charge at the same speeds.

It’s not just about how powerful the wall adapter is. A lot of it has to do with how much power the laptop can take as well. Different laptops support different power inputs. The newest MacBook Pros support a max power input of 96 watts, for instance, while the newest MacBook Airs are significantly less than that. This means that not every USB-C laptop will be able to charge at the same speeds, no matter how powerful the charger’s power output.

The other thing is that not all USB-C ports are the same. Specifically, not all USB-C ports support Power Delivery and not all of them accept charging. Also, not every USB-C cable supports PD. So if you’re wondering why your laptop isn’t charging even when plugged in, it could be an issue with the charging port or the charging cable you’re using.

Some Chargers That Can Definitely Charge Your Laptop

RavPower 45W PD USB-C Charger

This tiny wall adapter is a great example of how GaN is impacting charging size. It can fit in your pocket, but it’s also more powerful than the stock 30-watt adapter than comes with a MacBook Air.

Anker 60W USB-C Power Adapter

This is 30-percent smaller than the 60-watt charger that comes with the latest 13-inch MacBook Pros. It’s also way cheaper and available in black.

Aukey Omnia Duo 65W Dual-Port PD Charger

Aukey’s new Omnia Series of wall adapters are up to 66-percent smaller than the stock adapter that comes with the latest 13-inch MacBook Pros. This model (above) can output 65-watts from one of its USB-C PD ports, but only when used only, and 45-watts out of each of its USB-C PD ports when its simultaneously charging two devices..

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

Tucker Bowe has been on Gear Patrol’s editorial team since 2014. As a Tech Staff Writer, he tracks everything in the consumer tech space, from headphones to smartphones, wearables to home theater systems. If it lights up or makes noise, he probably covers it.

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Oris’s Flagship Dive Watch Is Available in a New Case Size

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Aquis Date

Independent Swiss watchmaker Oris’s Aquis dive watch is a value-laden platform that’s formed the basis for myriad special editions and complications. Unpretentious and geared toward serious divers, the Aquis collection offers professional dive specs with a range of features, sizes and dial colors.

Now, Oris has announced two new Aquis Date models, one of which joins the collection of 39.5mm watches, and a second in a brand new size of 41.5mm. Both watches feature 300m of water resistance, unidirectional rotating dive bezels and optional stainless steel bracelets with special clasp-extension systems (the 41.5mm model is also available with a rubber strap). Other features include a domed sapphire crystal, a mineral glass case back, a screw-down crown, the Sellita SW 200-1 automatic movement with 38 hours of power reserve and applied indices with SuperLumiNova. The 41.5mm model on rubber will carry a price of $2,000, while both models on bracelets will be priced at $2,200.

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



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The Best and Worst Parts of the Most Extreme Phone Camera Yet

Brand: Samsung
Product: Galaxy S20 Ultra
Release Date: 03/13/20
Price: $1,400

There are plenty of places to start a discussion about the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra, the new flagship phone of Samsung’s next, renamed generation of its Galaxy S line. There’s the dual-band 5G connectivity, the 120Hz screen. Also, of course, the sky-high $1,400 starting price. But the question that jumped out to me the most when I first saw this beast, with its impressive 10x optical zoom and unheard of 100x digital zoom, is whether that camera is a revelation or a gimmick. The answer? Well, it’s both.

The S20’s ability to zoom optically up to 10x is a terrific feature, and the ability to zoom that deep without destroying image quality is a freedom I enjoy even if I use it less than I expected in practice. Beyond, to the 100x and even the more modest 30x zoom, the downsides start to overpower any practical application. Yes, it is a great party trick, but I can hardly imagine, like, using it.

10X optical zoom is incredible, but niche.

In case you forgot, zooming works like this. Optical zoom uses physical lenses to magnify your picture, letting you get closer with no compromise in image quality. Digital zoom takes a picture, crops it and enlarges, giving you chunkier pixels the further you zoom. By using a sideways mounted lens and a prism to fit inside a large but manageable camera bump, the S20 lets you get that deep 10x zoom guilt free, which is definitely incredible.

Shooting around with the S20, I found this was great for a few of my pet projects, like getting crisp, close up pictures of interesting features on buildings, and I figure it would be similarly great for shooting wildlife from a distance, or getting close ups at a concert or sporting event. At 10x magnification, it is a little difficult to hold the camera still enough to get a clean shot, especially in low light conditions or with one hand. I spent more time using 5x purely for ease of use. But that impressive zoom can help you get shots you’d otherwise need an honest-to-god zoom lens on an actual camera to capture. It’s sick, even though I didn’t find quite as many uses for it as I expected.

100x zoom is as awesome as it is useless.

If you need a steady hand for 10x, you need an actual tripod for 100x. Once you get above 10x, keeping your target in the frame while you press the button feels more like balancing a broomstick on your finger than using a point-and-shoot. It is a hopeless exercise to try this one-handed, and it is still barely manageable with two. The camera app shows you a handy mini-map in the top of the screen that you can use for reference, which is crucial since the ultra-zoom picture from the viewfinder will be nigh unintelligible. But it can only help so much since the physical act of aiming is wildly challenging.

Now don’t forget this is also digital zoom, which means you are losing image quality at the same time. The S20 boasts some machine learning tech that ostensibly helps repair your ridiculously cropped image but it can’t work miracles. Your final images, if you somehow manage to stay on target to get the shot, are basically as high resolution as a watercolor painting. I can maybe, theoretically, imagine a case where this would be useful, if you were trying to get a faraway shot as evidence instead of art. I mean, it’s cool for a second! But at best it is a party trick.

The S20 Ultra is more than just its camera, obviously.

Of course, the S20 has more going on than just its camera. With dual-band 5G connectivity, the S20 Ultra and its little brother, the S20+, can deliver the face-melting 10 Gbps-and-higher speeds the best 5G connections will be able to offer, if you can find them. Meanwhile, the baseline S20 only supports the slowest flavor of 5G. Its screen, with a silky smooth 120hz refresh rate, is beautiful though tests indicate it robs you of about the hours of battery life to have it turned on. These are both features that, like the camera, are objectively impressive but maybe not practically useful for most people. And at a $1,400 price point to start ($1,600 with maxed out specs!!!!!!) it is very hard to recommend this phone as a sensible purchase, especially when the S20 and S20+ sport more modest prices ($1,000 and $1,200) and less intense cameras (3x optical, 30x digital) that still push the limit of practicality.

It’s still ultra cool though.

Samsung provided this product for review.

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

Eric Limer is Gear Patrol’s tech editor. A resident of Weehawken, NJ, his current obsessions include mechanical keyboards, mechanical pencils and Formula 1.

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My Favorite Cheap Wired Earbuds Are on Sale for Just $8

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Maybe the Best Impulse Buy?

Everybody should carry a affordable pair of wired earbuds on their person. Whether it’s for when your AirPods die or when you inevitably forget in-flight entertainment systems don’t support Bluetooth headphones, these cheap beats always come in handy. And because they’re super cheap, you won’t really care if they break or you lose them.

For me, my go-to pair are these Panasonic ErgoFit earbuds. They’re comfortable and cheap, and I’ve owned a few pairs over the years. Amazon is selling them for a few bucks off today, so it’s as good as time as ever to grab a pair or two. So long as your go-to device has a headphone jack, at least.

Save $100 on This Limited-Edition Commuter Bike

Priority Bicycles x Gear Patrol Commuter BikePriority Bicycles x Gear Patrol Commuter Bike

The Gear Patrol Commuter, made in tandem with Priority Bicycles, was inspired by — and tested on — the streets of New York City. Streamlined for your everyday grind, it a pairs a durable, easy-to-maintain feature set with an understated colorway you won’t find anywhere else. Buy Now: $899 $799

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

Tucker Bowe has been on Gear Patrol’s editorial team since 2014. As a Tech Staff Writer, he tracks everything in the consumer tech space, from headphones to smartphones, wearables to home theater systems. If it lights up or makes noise, he probably covers it.

More by Tucker Bowe | Follow on Instagram · Twitter · Contact via Email



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Rakoh’s All Day Chelsea Boot Is The Go-Anywhere, Do-Anything Shoe You’ve Been Waiting For

You’re standing in your bedroom, staring down at your overstuffed carry-on and deluding yourself with the idea that maybe, if you just smush everything down a bit harder, you’ll be able to pack that second pair of shoes and avoid spending your entire vacation in ugly airplane sneakers. Suddenly your phone buzzes; your Uber has arrived, and you realize in a moment of cold, sweaty clarity that you’re too late. The shoes won’t fit. Airplane sneakers it is.

At least, that would have been the case prior to the launch of the footwear brand Rakoh. After finding himself in precisely this predicament one too many times, Rakoh’s founder, Raphael Kohlberg, took it upon himself to make a shoe that was comfortable enough to walk around in all day and stylish enough to wear out all night; a shoe that works hard and wears easy. Enter the All Day Chelsea Boot: a handsome, handmade Chelsea boot cut and sewn in Italy from premium Italian leather, combined with lightweight technical materials for flexibility, comfort and traction. This is the go-anywhere, do-anything shoe that you’ve been waiting for — a shoe for where you’re going, and for wearing while you go. All you have to do is pick a color.

The 6 Best Electric Shavers You Can Buy in 2020

Many men maintain a beard or short stubble to forever avoid an actual shave, myself included. And who can blame us? There are lots of risks that come with a razor, like irritation, bumps, nicks and ingrowns. For this reason, it feels safer and smarter to use a reliable beard trimmer and maintain some semblance of stubble. But, even that gets old. What if we want to showcase our shaved faces, minus all those risks of razors? Or, what about trimming parts of the beard, but shaving the rest—like keeping a clean neckline, or maintaining just a mustache?

That’s where the electric shaver comes in.

Now, not all electric shavers are going to give you an ultra-smooth, bump-free shave. But the best ones will. They have thin foil heads or rotary caps that protect your skin from their sharp blades, and the top models of late consider things like design, portability, battery charge, waterproofing, wet/dry duality, LED displays, warranty, trimming extensions and battery hold (as in, how long a charged device stays charged, when not being used — for this, look for a lithium battery).

These are the factors we considered in naming our favorite electric shavers of the year, in addition to the precision and power with which they actually perform. So, if you’re looking for a new electric shaver, or are converting from bare razors and beard trimmers, then here are your best bets.

Best Baseline Foil Shaver: Gamma+ Italia Absolute Zero

Gamma+ Italia’s lightweight shaver looks beautiful and performs as such, designed for convenience and class. The shaver has hypoallergenic gold titanium foils, stacked staircase-style so that it grooves and flexes comfortably along your neck and face. There’s even a retractable trimmer at the rear, for small detailing around the cheeks, mustache, sideburns and neck. You can charge it in the wall or with a USB, and each shaver comes with two replaceable cutters. While other shavers impress with add-ons, Gamma+ Italia’s excels in all the essential ways.
Top Feature: Lightweight ergonomic design and gold titanium foils
Charge Time: 30 minutes
Charge Lasts: 2 hours
Warranty: 1 year

Best Travel-Size Shaver: Braun MobileShave M-90

Whether you’re cleaning up on a red eye before a business meeting or just minding your whiskers at the gym, Braun’s tote-able shaver is an excellent companion. It comes with an auto-lock swivel cap and is safe to rinse under the faucet. Its catch-all foil head competes well against brawnier models (pun intended), and it also has a retractable trimmer for any detailing around the hedges.
Top Feature: Protective auto-lock twist cap
Charge Time: 2 AA batteries (one set included)
Charge Lasts 1 hour
Warranty: 1 year

Best Wet/Dry Shaver: Wahl Smart Shave

If you made a checklist of the features you’d want in an electric shaver, Wahl’s would check most of the boxes. You can shave wet or dry (since there are some shower shavers among us who demand a waterproof device); it has an LED charge display; its lithium ion battery stay charged, and can generate a 5-minute shave on a 1-minute charge; its flexible foil heads move to each contour; an ergonomic rubber grip ensures you won’t drop the shaver on your shower floor; a stainless-steel retractable shaver pops up from the rear; an travel-lock prevents it from turning on in your gym bag… the list goes on.
Top Feature: Shower-friendly design (rubber grip and waterproof)
Charge Time: 1 hour
Charge Lasts: 90 minutes
Warranty: 5 years

Best Multipurpose Device and Spot-Check Shaver: Philips Norelco Multigroom 9000

The lithium-ion Multigroom is an electric beard trimmer, face shaver, sideburn detailer, chest-hair manager, nose-hair nipper and more. And of all the interchangeable beard trimmers out there, this one is the best for spot-check shaves. Just attach its foil head, and clean up the perimeter of your cheeks, your neck line, or the little bridge between your mustache and beard. It’s a good device to own if you have various needs (beyond different head lengths) but still only want one tool for all those tasks. Lastly, don’t underestimate its 6-hour run time and 10-year warranty.
Top Feature: 25 pieces for all grooming needs, shaving head for spot checks
Charge Time: 2 hours
Charge Lasts: 6 hours
Warranty: 10 years

Best Self-Cleaning Shaver: Panasonic Arc 3

Panasonic’s Arc3 shaver is a powerhouse as a standalone device. It has a flexible triple-blade head, with ultra-thin hypoallergenic foils, wet-dry duality, an ergo-grip body, retractable trimmer and LED display. It also has a shave sensor that gauges facial-hair density and boosts or lessens power accordingly. But it stands on more than just those impressive details: The Arc3 comes with a two-in-one cleaning-charging station; just push the foil head into the station (after adding cleaning solution), and it disinfects the shaver while also lubricating the blades.
Top Feature: Cleaning and blade lubricating station
Charge Time: 1 hour
Charge Lasts: 45 minutes
Warranty: 2 years

Best Rotary Shaver: Remington HyperFlex

If you’ve got thick hair or shave infrequently — routinely managing a five-day stubble instead of a five-o’clock shadow — then you might want a rotary shaver instead of a foil shaver. And Remington’s is your pick: Like our favorite foils, it shaves wet and dry, has a long-lasting lithium battery and flexes to the contours of your face, jaw and neck. You can also switch on its turbo mode for heavy-duty chopping.
Top Feature: Turbo mode for cutting especially thick, wiry hair
Charge Time: 90 minutes
Charge Lasts: 1 hour
Warranty: 2 year

The Best Beard Trimmers

An electric beard trimmer is a necessity for maintaining facial hair at home. The best ones are intuitive and offer a range of settings for hair trimming and precision touch-ups. 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.

Save an Extra 30% on Levi’s Discounted Jeans, Jackets and More

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Pretty Big Deal

Right now, Levi’s is offering an extra 30 percent off sale items. This is a great chance for those looking to bolster their wardrobes with some new garments from the iconic brand. Though some exclusions apply, there are tons of jeans, shirts, jackets and other great wardrobe staples up for grabs. Click through and use code RIGHTNOW at checkout, then tell a friend.

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

John Zientek is Gear Patrol’s style editor and in-house guitar authority. He grew up on the West Coast.

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Why a Good Pocket Knife Is Absolutely Essential in the Kitchen

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James Beard semi-finalist Chef Jeremy Hansen helms the kitchen at Fork in Philadelphia, serving up hyper-local fare prepared with technique developed under the legendary Gray Kunz. His menus are gastronomical incarnations of things are not always as they seem, with dishes that front as standard American fare, but go a step further (think mussels with mole, or A5 Wagyu with persimmon). Hansen is also a gear nut — the chef moonlights as a photographer and filmmaker on top of his day job — and runs a non-profit called 509Cooks, a first-responder organization that deploys chefs to emergency situations and disaster zones to serve up food. From a sturdy pocketknife to a world-famous pepper grinder, these are the things he couldn’t cook without.

The James Brand “The Carter”

“An easy-to-carry-around-for-everything tool. Good for breaking down cardboard boxes, cutting twine, opening up caviar tins, opening up sous vide bags and for any other thing you don’t want to use your chefs knives on.”

Heart Whisk

“Lightweight and great for emulsifying warm sauces on the fly. It reaches all the edges in a sauce pan and is great for just about everything that needs whisking — like quicker froths, whipped creams and vinaigrettes. Highly recommended for a cooks tool kit.”

Binchotan Charcoal

“I use this every day as a water filter. It’s charged molecules attract impurities like chlorine and lead to make water healthy taste fresh. It’s also eco-friendly. You have to boil it every two weeks and after a few months you can add it to your konro for grilling meats.”

Peugeot Pepper Grinder

“Probably the most used tool on our hot line during service. Freshly cracked peppercorns release volatile oils for fantastic aromatics and is the best way to get the highest medicinal properties from the peppercorn.”

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

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

More by Will Price | Follow on Contact via Email



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19 New Style Releases We’re Obsessing About This Week

It’s the time of year when designers, brands and retailers begin to stock their digital shelves with new-season goods. For us, that means a rolodex of open browser tabs and auto-fill credit card info. From the new school of prep, to innovative techwear to the basics we’ll leave the office for, these are our favorite style releases of the week.

Corridor Summer Acid Plaid Western Shirt

Big plaid makes for a big western shirt.

Uniqlo U Wide Fit Crew Neck Sweatshirt

I literally left my desk in the middle of writing this piece to go uptown and buy this exact Christoph Lemaire-designed sweatshirt. You know, for research. My findings are that it’s great and I have no regrets.

Vans Spring Sneaker Drop

Vans’ latest spring drop of sneakers is wild and includes psychedelic colorways, checkerboard monk straps and a shoe in the middle of evolving into another shoe.

Adsum 3/4 Zip

Adsum’s brand of pared-back sportswear is deep in the closets of the creative set. This 3/4 Zip was clearly a good one — it’s already sold out.

Ooe Yofukuten Bags

The masterful denim duo behind Ooe Yofukuten turned their expertise toward a lineup of vintage-inspired bags. Turns out their jeans making skills translate very well to bags.

Engineered Garments Cotton Ripstop Trousers

But who needs bags to carry your stuff when you’ve got pants like this?

Aime Leon Dore SS20

New York outfit Aime Leon Dore just dropped the lookbook for its spring collection. I’ll likely leave my desk to “research” the collection as well.

Our Legacy Box Shirt

Our Legacy’s box shirt is reincarnated every season in very different fabrics. This time, it’s reached enlightenment.

RTH O-Ring Belt

SoCal by way of Texas by way of Ralph Lauren store RTH makes a compelling case for animal print belts. And yes, we are compelled.

Nike x Tom Sachs

Nike teamed up with New York artist Tom Sachs to for a space-inspired collaboration that features the return of their 2018 collaboration of down-filled shorts and a space helmet-inspired beanie.

Studio D’artisan Kasezome Sashiko Jacket

East meets West with Studio D’artisan’s take on a classic Wrangler jacket, swapping out the usual denim for hardy indigo-dyed sashiko.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip Thom Browne Edition

Thom Browne constantly pushes fashion’s envelope. Now he’s pushing (and folding) its buttons.

Everlane Court Sneaker

Everlane goes toe-to-toe with basketball shoe competitors, equipped with full-grain leather and a low carbon footprint.

Stone Island Plated Reflective With Dust Color Finish

Italian techwear brand Stone Island focuses its innovative eyes with glass. Literally. Its latest jacket and shorts combo uses thousands of tiny glass beads to achieve an effect that’s simultaneously iridescent and dusty.

Patagonia Airshed Visor

It’s bright out. And you’re not a sunglasses guy. And you also don’t want to mess up your hair. Plus, you like Patagonia.

Undercover UCY4404-1 Top Black

Sorry I’m not home right now. I’m dressing into spiderwebs.

D.S. & Durga Freetrapper Cologne

A new scent for the new season.

Caputo & Co. Silver Ball Chain Bracelet

Unless you’re a celebrity, keep the ice chill.

Kapital American Quilt Hospital Jacket

When you can’t decide on a pattern but you can only buy one Kapital jacket.

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

One of Todd Snyder’s Best Watch Collaborations with Timex Is Just $99 Right Now

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Need a versatile, everyday watch to wear with a suit or during a night out with friends? The Mid-Century, a collaboration between Todd Snyder and Timex, might be just the thing — and best of all, it’s just $99 today in both colorways, down from an MSRP of $158. Housed in a 37mm wide steel case, the Mid-Century features a quartz movement and comes on a soft leather strap from S.B. Foot Tanning Co. in Red Wing, Minnesota. Available with a silver dial on brown leather, this is one of our favorite collaborations between the NYC-based titan of modern American menswear and a longstanding watchmaking icon making some of the best affordable timepieces available right now.

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

Zen Love is Gear Patrol’s watch writer. He avoids the snooty side of the watch world, and seeks out food in NYC that resembles what he loved while living in Asia for over a decade.

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The Best Leather Watch Straps You Can Buy

While we watch-lovers often categorize straps into several well-established types according to style and material (NATO, leather, bracelet, etc.), in truth it’s an oversimplification to lump all leather watch straps together. What type of leather are we talking about – full grain, top grain, nubuck, suede, cordovan? Is the strap a 1-piece or a 2-piece? Is it top-stitched all around the perimeter or does it feature vintage-style threading near the lugs?

All of these factors dictate which type of watch the strap will be appropriate for, and certainly, not all straps are created equal. What follows are 11 of our favorite leather watch straps from some of the best brands available from 3 continents:

Bulang & Sons Denim Blue Retro Leather Watch Strap

Easily one of the most striking leather straps we’ve ever seen, full stop. This beautiful band is handcrafted by Jean Paul Meniccuci, the OG of leather strappage, especially for Netherlands-based Bulang & Sons, and we’d be hard pressed to find something comparable from the other big players. Painted in a cool, denim-colored leather with a distressed pattern and using cream-colored edge stitching and natural leather keepers, the Denim Blue Retro strap pairs perfectly with a vintage tool watch and a beat-up pair of selvedge jeans. Available in sizes from 18mm through 22mm — including 19mm and 21mm for those pesky vintage watches — we challenge you to find a more unique strap for the money.

Bas & Lokes Everett Light Grey Suede

The Everett, a semi-bespoke strap from Australian company Bas & Lokes, is by far one of the most comfortable leather strap we’ve ever worn, period, the end. The suede on this particular strap is so supple that you barely notice it’s on your wrist, and probably wouldn’t notice at all if not for the blunt-force-trauma-weapon-size buckle and the weight of whatever watch you’ve got it sitting on. Additional details include edge paint in a complimentary grey color and side stitching in a grey waxed linen. With numerous lengths, widths and buckle finishes available on each of their straps, it’s possible to semi-customize a Bas & Lokes strap until it feels like it was made especially for your wrist.

Analog/Shift Stout Black Calf Strap

Everyone needs a black leather strap in their rotation, ready to go to accompany a thin dress watch or spruce up an otherwise playful tool watch. And though lizard or croc is a classic choice for such a band, a soft calf leather version is more versatile, giving you that formal look while remaining perfectly appropriate on a Sub. Analog/Shift’s version is made in Italy and comes in 18mm, 19mm or 20mm versions, so you can definitely dress up that vintage 34mm Rolex. With matching black stitching and keepers and a stainless steel pin buckle, this minimalist strap is the perfect companion to a serious watch collection.

Crown & Buckle American Made Walnut Boxcalf

While there are several styles of 2-piece strap available in C&B’s American Made Collection, the Walnut Boxcalf is a standout offering. This is a two-layer strap with an underside and topside made from matching “Boxcalf”-style leather, which is chrome-tanned, full-grain calfskin sourced from France. Boxcalf leather is typically used in high-end leather dress shoes, and the Boxcalf used in this strap is “boarded,” a process by which a tight grain is created that closes the hair follicles. This is an incredibly versatile color that will work well with a wide variety of dial types, and the slightly darker edge dying, as well as perimeter top-stitching and corner knots near the buckles, lend this strap a vintage look that doesn’t seem to be going out of style any time soon.

HODINKEE Bedford Strap Collection in Olive Green

The HODINKEE Shop began with a small collection of fine leather watch straps, and has been regularly updating its stock with new collections ever since. The company’s Bedford Collection, launched in 2019, is made in the U.S.A. and available in 10 colors and four sizes. Crafted from high-quality nubuck leather in attractive, subdued shades with off-white stitching, brushed buckles and calfskin lining, the Bedford is another strap that serves as the perfect compliment to a vintage piece, or an upgrade to a modern watch. The Olive Green version is our personal favorite, but there’s truly something for everybody in this high-quality collection, available from 18mm through 22mm

Worn & Wound Model 2 Premium Stone

Worn & Wound’s Model 2 Premium (show here in Stone) is essentially a refined version of their Model 2 Classic that uses a tapering design made of Wickett & Craig vegetable-tanned lining and Horween top leather. With painted edges in a complimentary color (the strap is available in 14 different colors), waxed cotton braided knots near the lug edges, fixed metal loop and leather keepers, the Model 2 is, for the money, simply one of the best leather watch straps available on the market. With all the different colors to choose from to precisely match the strap to your watch, not to mention available sizes in 18, 20, and 22mm, there’s a Model 2 Premium that’s right for every watch out there (except perhaps that pesky 34mm vintage Rolex).

HODINKEE Barrett Strap Collection in Navy Blue

If the Bedford is a bit too subdued for your taste, you owe it to yourself to check out HODINKEE’s Barrett Strap Collection. Crafted in a small, family-owned tannery in southern France, this group of six vegetable-tanned leather straps features a glossy sheen that’s sure to compliment a watch in steel or in a beautiful precious metal. Available in burgundy, navy, yellow, dark brown, red and tan in sizes from 18mm through 22mm, the Bedford straps are complimented with contrast stitching and polished buckles.

Molequin Grained Calf Strap in Taupe

Based in Brussels, Belgium, vintage Rolex enthusiast Michael Luther’s brand Molequin fashions straps in a variety of leathers, and their robust, thinly cut Grained Calf is far and away one of the best. Available in nine different colors, two lengths, five widths (from 18mm through 22mm), two spring bar choices and two buckle choices, the Grained Calf is particularly versatile in taupe. Pair this band with a monochromatic watch to maintain a subdued look or use it to counterbalance a timepiece with a louder dial. (Pro Tip: It’s worth springing for the quick-release spring bars, since you’ll likely want to throw this baby on multiple watches.)

Everest Bands Curved End Link Leather (for Rolex Submariner)

Michael DiMartini, founder of Everest Horology Products, conceived of an Italian vegetable-tanned calf leather strap with hypoallergenic lining made for Rolex wearers. The strap features an ABS plastic insert embedded at the case connection point for a precision fit to your Rolex Submariner (there are however several models of Submariner that are not compatible with the curved-end leather model, so we recommend checking the Everest website regarding compatibility). The curved-end leather Sub strap, available in nine finishes, is incredibly over-designed and ergonomic, with its precision-fit ends and steel buckle that looks robust enough to use as a weapon in close-quarters combat. For die-hard Rolex enthusiasts, an Everest strap is about as good as you can get.

Molequin Suede Collection in Taupe

The Suede Collection from Molequin is crafted from premium goat leather from France for uniform quality and feel. The result is a strap that’s low-key, subdued and perfect for a variety of watches, both vintage and modern. Available in 6 colors, two lengths, five widths (from 18mm through 22mm), two spring bar choices and two buckle choices, the Suede straps make use of a calf leather lining to prevent damage from moisture and sweat. We personally love the Taupe colorway, which pairs beautifully with all manner of dial colors.

B&R Bands Russet Le Mans Racing Watch Strap

Every self-respecting watch nerd needs a “rally” strap in his or her collection (or “ralley,” or “rallye,” or whatever). Essentially a leather strap perforated with holes, this type of strap accompanied vintage Heuer and Omega racing chronographs in the 1960s, but it looks good on just about any chunky tool watch. The Le Mans from B&R Bands, founded in 2009, is a modern take on this classic style, available in three sizes (18mm, 19mm and 20mm), two lengths, and several colors. Personally, we dig the Russet version, a dark brown with contrasting top-stitching and brushed hardware, that perfectly compliments darker dials.

This Nightlight Looks Like a MacBook Pro and Puts You to Sleep

In our connected age, it’s hard to live a healthy, balanced home life. In Homebody we test one product that claims to help make your home life better, to see if its “lifestyle” claims stack up to actual life.

An embarrassing admission: I have lived in my new apartment for almost a year, and I am still very short on lamps. This is caused by a few personal shortcomings. First, I am indecisive. Not in normal things, really — just in picking lamps. I go to Target and there they are, standing in their rows by the dozens. They all — wrought iron or plastic, bronze or steel — look hideous to me. I go to the vintage store and nearly vomit at the shapes and sizes of lights that past generations dained to build, buy and eventually sell. “They’ll look different with a different lampshade,” my fiancee says. But they always just look worse. If they were cheap, it might be a different case—but no, I just can’t pay $80 for such abominations.

And so the apartment has stayed darker than a cave.

This is not a good solution. And so, when my editor suggested testing out a lighting solution for the next Homebody column, I jumped on the opportunity. Surely someone out there has upgraded the old shaded monster! I thought. And you know what? They kinda have.

In Theory…

Casper’s Glow Light ($129 for one, $229 for two) is a 6-inch-tall cylinder that almost supersedes the bedroom table lamp. It looks kind of like an Apple Mac Pro. It charges on a little pad. To turn it on, you flip it upside down (it’s not weird, because both the top and the bottom are the same). To adjust the brightness, you spin it. Because it’s aimed at helping you fall asleep or wake up (Casper sells mattresses, remember), it gradually dims. The idea being that you flip it over, adjust its brightness, then read or think or whatever until you drift off to sleep.

In Practice…

I don’t really drift off. But they’ve got that covered too. I’d just press the button on top to pause the dimming while I read, then flip the sucker upside down when I was ready to pass out. If you need full light, you just flip it back over; or, if you’re walking to the bathroom or checking on a bump in the night, you can “wiggle” it (I’d call it more of a jiggle) and it turns on at its faintest setting.

This all comes with an app, which is about as easy to use as possible. You can adjust the light in the app, rather than physical twisting. You can also control the other half of the light’s use: setting up a “wakeup time,” at which the light will slowly come up to help you wake up naturally.

In Conclusion…

That’s it? You ask. That’s it. And you know what, it’s the perfect bedside-lamp replacement — almost. It adds a few clever utility features that are literal no-brainers to use; it’s chic and simple in appearance; most importantly for me, it’s not a traditional lamp. It helped me establish a nice bedtime and wakeup routine. More importantly, perhaps, it was cute and fun to use. My one beef is that, even with high-tech materials (diffused polycarbonate) and a newfangled light source (warm LED array), the Glow Light doesn’t throw its light quite as pleasantly across a room as a traditional lightshade. But in this age of personal data and facial recognition and Facebook doing evil Facebook stuff, I’ll take a simple win for technology.

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

Bulova Is Bringing Back One of Our Favorite American Military Watches

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The “Hack” Watch

If you’re a fan of military watches, you may recall last year’s “Hack Watch” from Bulova, a modern recreation of the MIL-W-3818A spec from the 1950s and 1960s that was updated as a limited edition for Macy’s. At least one fan of the watch (who may or may not be the guy writing this news brief…) hoped that Bulova would deliver a mechanical version, and lo and behold, they’ve come through.

The new Military Collection consists of “an assortment of timepieces inspired by vintage historical watches that have been modernized for a contemporary lifestyle.” Two of the new pieces are based on the MIL-W-3818A spec but now feature the automatic Miyota caliber 82S0, a three-hand movement with a 42-hour power reserve. (The third watch in the collection is the A-15 Pilot Watch, based on a watch evidently produced toward the end of World War II and that, admittedly, I had never heard of before today. Shows you what I know.)

The new Hack Watch models are available in two versions: one features an ivory dial and a brushed stainless steel case with a black leather NATO strap, while the second features a black dial with a grey stainless steel case that looks very much like a “parkerized” military wristwatch from the 1950s or 60s accompanied by a green leather NATO strap. Both models feature inner 24-hour tracks, luminescent cathedral hands and indices, domed mineral crystals, 30m of water resistance and 38mm cases, updated from the diminutive ~31-32mm of the originals.

Pricing is set at $350 for the ivory-dialed model and $450 for the black dial, and both are available now directly from Bulova’s website.

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



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Everlane’s Latest Sneakers Are a Slam Dunk

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This Strange Alarm Clock Isn’t Really an Alarm Clock, But It Works Wonders

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Kind of Obsessed

In “Kind of Obsessed,” we dish on the products we can’t get enough of. Jimmy MacDonald, co-founder of bedding company Authenticity50, is obsessed with Philips’ SmartSleep Connected Alarm. Here’s why.

I’m someone that struggles to wake up in the morning — particularly in the winter months when there are layers upon layers of gray and black outside and rain pouring down. Furthermore, waking up in a dark room to an alarm blaring is the hunter-gatherer version of a pack of hyena’s attacking your camp just before dawn. It gets the job done but it’s a horrible way to start your day.

Then I came across the SmartSleep Connected Alarm. It mimics waking up in the outdoors; glowing a nice warm orange to simulate the sunrise before your alarm time, then, at the time your alarm is actually set for, birds start to chirp or waves start to break on shore, slowly waking you up in a more natural way with a warm sunrise-y glow. It’s not quite as nice as waking up to an orange sun at dawn in a sleeping bag, but it’s the closest you can get without leaving your room.

I wake up feeling better, less stressed and I actually get out of bed rather than pushing snooze for 30 minutes. Getting a better night’s sleep is a great way to improve your health, lose weight and get more done — but waking up properly will help all that as well. Now I wake up in a good mood, ready to start my day and get stuff done.

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



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These Are Two of the Best Leather Jackets You’ll Ever See

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3sixteen x Schott

Arguably two of the coolest leather jackets ever made are the motorcycle jacket and the bomber jacket. Built for the skies and the asphalt respectively, the near-indestructible jackets have been central figures in the fashion landscape for decades with countless brands riffing on the staple outerwear.

Premium denim brand 3sixteen and American leather brand Schott have designed covetable versions of both styles for their second collaboration. The jackets use a special Chromexcel teacore horsehide tanned exclusively for this collaboration by the famed Horween Leather Company in Chicago. While the leather starts out a deep black, rich brown undertones will reveal themselves with wear.

The motorcycle jacket is a stripped-down version of Schott’s classic Perfecto jacket, leaving out the belt and epaulets and adding nickel hardware. The A-2 Bomber is cut with a modern fit and includes a removable sheepskin collar. To top things off, these heirloom pieces are lined with a cozy all-cotton Japanese flannel, as if you didn’t want to wear them enough already.

Both jackets retail for $1200.

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



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Some of the Coolest Sunglasses We’ve Seen Cost Less Than $100

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From Akila

Los Angeles eyewear brand Akila makes high-quality, limited-run sunglasses at self-described “anti-industry” prices. That means you can pick up some incredibly stylish shades for just $95.

The brand’s Legacy model utilizes plant-based cellulose acetate frames — an earth-conscious alternative to cheaper plastics — that allow for a range of unique colors and patterns. Complete with 5-barrel hinges and stainless steel temple cores, these frames are paired with Optical lass 1 nylon lenses (read: clear and durable) in distinct colors and tints.

Akila offers a handful of different frame styles in various colors, but each release is incredibly limited. The latest iteration of the Legacy — an onyx acetate frame with yellow lenses — is capped at just 100 pairs.

For less than $100, these frames are hard to pass up. They offer the aesthetic and quality of luxury eyewear at a very accessible price — and you’d be hard-pressed to find something else this cool without breaking the bank.

Great Japanese-Made Sunglasses

Italy has long reigned in the realm of premium eyewear, but a profusion of average frame construction has diminished its reputation among industry experts. Their new darling? Japan, where eyewear manufacturing is concentrated in the Fukui Prefecture. 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.
John Zientek

John Zientek is Gear Patrol’s style editor and in-house guitar authority. He grew up on the West Coast.

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