You may not be going on too many dates these days, but you still need to look sharp for all those damn Zoom calls. Instead of shaving with a sub-par blade or shelling out money replacing blade cartridges, opt for this device. Its co-founders spent the last two years perfecting the tool; it makes blades last twice as long by keeping them sealed in an airtight, moisture-free environment between shaves. — Perri O. Blumberg, Contributing Editor
If you’ve spent a fair amount of time on the slopes, you know what it’s like to get separated from your crew with no way of communicating. Phones are notoriously unreliable on the mountain and trying to find friends when its dumping powder is like a white-out version of Where’s Waldo. Finally, there is a sensible solution to this communication conundrum: the Packtalk Ski from Cardo Systems.
Able to connect with up to 15 different people at a range of one kilometer between units, this device opens up a whole new realm of possibilities on the mountains. Beyond the basics of hands-free, always-on group communication, this device also allows you to clearly stream music and even take phone calls. We were surprised just how clear sound quality was and that the volume automatically adjusted based on wind noise.
The receiver easily mounts to your helmet and comes with a microphone and two 32 mm speakers with Velcro that attach to the earflaps of your helmet. Once paired up with your crew, the group communication worked impeccably. You don’t need to hit any buttons before you start speaking and can be clearly heard by your group, even when speaking at a lower volume. While our group had a blast bantering as we carved down the mountain, this would also be extremely useful for more serious backcountry situations. The device also has an ample eight-hour battery life and can operate in temperatures as low as -4 degrees Fahrenheit.
This is one of those devices that once you’ve tried it, you don’t know how you ever skied or snowboarded without it. The Packtalk significantly increased our group’s laughs, stoke and overall safety on the mountain, and we’re confident it’ll do the same for you.––Jack Haworth, Contributing Editor
We all know that planks are one of the best ways to get a core-burning workout. However, we also know that planks are also one of the most mind-numbingly boring workouts you can do. Thankfully, we just discovered something that adds precisely what we never knew we needed for our core routines: video games.
Enter, the Stealth Core Trainer. This thing is such a breakthrough for us when it comes to lighting our midsection on fire. You simply set up the free Stealth Fitness App on your smartphone, place your device on the Stealth Core Trainer, choose a game, and then get to work. It’s amazing how a tiny bit of distraction can push you to new limits you never knew you could reach.
As you move the Stealth Core Trainer left/right/forward/backward, your character moves throughout the game, hitting all your core muscles in a matter of minutes. It quite literally turns core training into a game. From Speed Gliding on a hang glider, to Galaxy Adventure through space, to Color Chasing on a floating racetrack, you almost forget that you’re shredding your core in the process.
If tighten up your core is one of your neglected New Year’s resolutions, then we recommend looking into Stealth. It’ll change the way you think about the plank.—Jon Perino, Senior Editor
There aren’t many things better than cooking over an open wood-burning flame. The smoky flavors you get from the wood, that wonderful char that can’t be duplicated, and the simple satisfaction of grilling the primitive way. That being said, BioLite has created what could be the most simple, yet sophisticated, open-flame grilling experience we’ve tested in quite some time. While we’ve reviewed their stellar FirePit in the past, they’ve recently done one better and released a complete cooking kit to be paired with it. What was once just an amazing open fire experience, now doubles as your go-to cooking tool.
The BioLite FirePit Cook Accessory Kit comes complete with a sturdy grill lid, an ultra durable pre-seasoned cast-iron griddle, a prep and grill toolkit (knife, tongs, spatula, and storage mat), as well as a fantastic FirePit FirePoker to keep your flame controlled and optimal for whatever you’re cooking.
The possibilities of what you can grill are limitless. From steaks and seafood, to a healthy veggie medley, to early morning eggs and bacon, and even pancakes for the kiddos. The griddle is easy to clean and the toolkit gives you every tool you’ll need for any type of food.
If you already own a BioLite FirePit, then this kit should be your next purchase. And even you’re new to BioLite’s gear, then you can even purchase the full kit (including the FirePit). This whole setup has been one of our favorite go-to rituals while remaining locked down during the past year.—Jon Perino, Senior Editor
If you’re a dog owner, then you know quite well how frustrating it can be to come home from work (or even wake up in the morning) and see a messy accident covering your kitchen floor. While it’s difficult to fault the dog (after all, when you gotta go, you gotta go), and there are several mediocre solutions that have been on the market for decades (e.g. various pee pads, etc.), DoggieLawn is by far the best accident solution we’ve ever tried for our pup.
Why? It’s real grass. Even better, it’s their specially formulated, hydroponically grown grass that is specifically designed for potty breaks. It weighs less than normal sod, so it’s easy to move, and it’s still ultra-durable and doesn’t die with every soiling. Use it indoors, on the balcony, on your porch, in the backyard, or do what we do, and move it around wherever you need it. (It really is that convenient.) And our favorite part is that simply looks nicer than any potty solution we’ve tried. Like a little potty oasis for your furry companion.
Our pup took to it right away, did a couple sniffs, did the whole “circle thing” that dogs do, and then simply did his business. And even if you’re dog does not take to it out of the box, they include a doggie pheromone to add a little extra incentive for them to mark their territory there. They come is several sizes for all types of dogs, they ship free, and they even have subscription offerings so you can get new grass delivered on a schedule.
While we typically leave the DoggieLawn outside, we simply move it indoors when we’ll be gone for several hours, and even throughout the night. It does not smell, it does not leak… it simply does it’s one job remarkably well.—Jon Perino, Senior Editor
When my last pair of sunglasses became so scratched up I could barely see out of them, I finally gave in and started my search for an upgrade. And upgrade I did: After suffering for a few days without any shades, I grabbed a pair of Sunski Yuba frames, and I’ve been really impressed.
Aside from the unbeatable price, the first thing I noticed is how lightweight these frames are—it feels like they disappear onto my face, and they don’t slip or slide down, either. They’re made from recycled plastic but have a surprisingly premium finish, and the classic style makes them easy to wear with just about anything.
Of course, the real benchmark for sunglasses is whether or not they make it easier to see in the sun, and the Yuba’s polarized lenses do a great job cutting down glare. The best part: I no longer have to dart between patches of shade when walking my dog.—Michael Charboneau, Associate Editor
When packing food for all of the adventures in your life—from early mornings at the beach with the kids, to multi-day camping trips—you really need to take into consideration how vital keeping your food in tact can be (especially with hungry young adventurers in tow). And if you’re a big fan of sustainable, reusable, and eco-friendly gear, then we have the perfect solution for your outdoor food storage: The Klean Kanteen Food Box Set.
Made from ultra-durable 18/8 stainless steel (BPA-free), as well as food-grade silicon, these food storage solutions are not only built to last and designed for extensive real-world use, but they also contain no plastic at all. To us, that’s a huge deal.
They’re shatter- and rust-proof, dishwasher safe, they have wonderful leak-proof lids (with flexible corners for venting hot food), and while off the grid, these things clean easier than any other food storage container we’ve ever tested—and having two little kiddos in tow, that’s a massive win for us. They’re lightweight, stackable, easy to pack, and simply a pleasure to bring along with us on all of our outdoor excursions. They retain heat (or cold) very well, and this set comes with three sizes: snack-, lunch-, and meal-sized.
We can’t think of any reason why these food storage solutions shouldn’t be in your grab-and-go adventure kit for whatever you feel like diving into on any given day. Afterall, no matter where you are on (or off) the grid, you gotta eat, right?—Jon Perino, Senior Editor
MOLECULE AirTEC Mattress Topper with Cooling Sateen Sheets
Getting good sleep is vital to daily productivity. However, getting epic sleep might just boost your energy level to an all-new high that you never knew was possible. Well, if a brand-new mattress set isn’t quite within your budget right now, we think we might have the next best thing: The MOLECULE AirTEC Mattress Topper.
This thing has wonderfully transformed our 3-year-old generic-brand memory foam mattress into a whole new sleeping experience. It’s specifically designed to optimize sleep and recovery from the rigors of everyday activities. Made from eco-friendly CertiPur-US certified foam for unparalleled airflow, this topper breathes better than any other mattress we’ve ever slept on.
It rolls right out of the box ready to place atop your existing bed, all set to give you that sound sleep you never really thought was so vital in daily performance. And paired with their amazingly soft sateen performance cooling sheets, this combo will change the game in your sleep quality (without spending an arm and a leg for a whole new bed set).
Trust us, this’ll be a serious upgrade from that mattress you’ve had for the better part of the last decade (without the hassle of having to get rid of that mattress you bought back in 2012).—Jon Perino, Senior Editor
It’s been a rough patch of weather in the northeast for the last few weeks. These 11-inch high Stormer boots have been a lifesaver through all the snow, slush, and whatever you call the muck that’s left in the street after the town’s plows come by. We’ve used these while snow blowing, walking kids to the bus stop, or taking the dog out. The rubber build keeps your feet dry—but since they’re not insulated you’ll need a thick pair of socks for warmth. The gnarly outsole felt sure-footed in any condition.
When the snow’s falling we ran our pants over the boot, but also stuffed our jeans inside to run quick errands. Come spring these are flexible enough to wear while nailing landscaping chores, and you can hose the mud off when you’re done. Despite the heft, the rubber was surprisingly forgiving so walking in them didn’t require a long break-in process.—Sal Vaglica, Men’s Journal Contributor
Every man needs a high-end watch in their lineup. And Bertucci watches are some of the coolest we’ve tried this year. Specifically, the A-5S Ballista Illuminated Field Watch. As the name would imply, this thing built for use in the field. It fits so handsomely on your wrist and has a unique comfortability that we can’t quite put our nose on… but it’s extremely nice.
It boasts Swiss Tritium gas-filled microtubes for ultra-bright and continuous illumination with no battery for up to 25 years. (Yep, you read that right.) It’s constructed almost entirely from stainless steel, and comes equipped with a 10-year lithium ion battery for operation. If running out of juice stresses you out, or constantly twisting the dial is too much work, you need not to worry with this watch.
It’s design is elegant and refined, yet rugged and utilitarian. This watch checks just about every box we can think. From Happy Hour with the colleagues, to trudging through the bush off the grid, the A-5S Field Watch will not disappoint. And at a very reasonable price point, this thing should be in your wristwatch arsenal.—Jon Perino, Senior Editor
YETI Crossroads 40L Duffel and Crossroads 27L Backpack
If you’re looking to get after some serious travel after all these pandemic travel restrictions are behind us, then you need to start gearing up now. Thankfully, everybody’s favorite adventure cooler brand has just announced an all-new line of travel gear with their all-new expanded family of Crossroads Collection bags and luggage. And we recently got our hands on the Crossroads 40L Duffel and the Crossroads 27L Backpack.
Right out of the box, they’re precisely what you’d expect from YETI: Solid, sturdy, handsome, thoughtfully designed, and so-damn well made. We’ll start with the duffel. This thing takes your normal weekend duffel and adds some serious design upgrades, turning it onto something you’d see out of a reality adventure show. It takes the functionality you need from a duffel and gives it real-world application. Simply put: This would suit a weekend trip to an Aribnb, as well as it would suit a backcountry trek to a remote cabin off the grid. It has modular compression straps that can be used internally or externally, but its foam walls are what truly sets this duffel apart. It does not collapse on itself when empty, so packing and unpacking is a breath of fresh air. For a multi-day trip, this duffel checks every box you can think of.
And now for the 27L Backapack: This badboy has everything we ever needed in a pack, with a design aesthetic that we can’t get enough of. Ergonomically, this pack has every thoughtful accent you could ask for. It’s made from 700D, water and abrasion-resistant TuffSkin Nylon, it has space for two Rambler Bottles, and every type of additional dedicated pocket you can think of. It’s nice and snug on your back and feels ultra comfy—yet sturdy—while on the go.
We can’t say it enough: These bags are as good as it gets. But what else did you really expect from the minds at YETI? They’ll accommodate whatever adventure you’re after, and they’re built to last. Check out YETI.com for the full line that also includes Roller Bags.—Jon Perino, Senior Editor
Geared up with the right apparel, and your daily activity won’t be thwarted by rain squalls. The North Face’s novel Futurelight technology has revolutionized rainwear. These pants are 100-percent windproof and waterproof with none of the swishiness you’ve come to expect (and loathe) with traditional rain/snow pants. Wear them trekking on your favorite mountain or neighborhood trail. Thigh vents dump pent-up heat; discrete, full-length zips let you undress without removing your shoes; and articulated knees boost mobility for steep ascents. All in all, a winner for any outdoor enthusiast. — Brittany Smith, Senior Editor
Let’s face it, we could all use some rest and relaxation right about now. From being stuck at home and not having the usual travel plans, it’s important to find your vacation wherever you’re able to these days. This is where a good ol’ hammock fits the bill.
And the finest hammocks we’ve tried this year (hands-down) are from Yellow Leaf. Hand-woven and remarkably soft, their Signature Hammock is the piece of outdoor gear that’ll leave you loose, refreshed, and ultra-satisfied. And we’re not kidding when it comes to comfort. These hammocks feel like a cloud of goodness sent from the heavens to rock you to sleep.
Whether you’re building a backyard oasis, or heading well off the grid, this hammock will accommodate with both its sturdy build quality as well as its compact and portable capability. It can hold roughly 400 pounds (550 pounds for the family size), and when folded up, weighs only 1.7 pounds—ideal for off-the-grid backpacking adventures.
The weather-safe materials it’s made from can also be left outside in any weather without rotting or molding, and they come in so many colorways to match whatever personality this new piece of outdoor will grace with its presence.
Not to mention that no two Yelow Leaf Hammocks are the same. As stated above, they are all hand-woven and hand-signed by their artisan. That’s pretty damn cool if you ask us. For your next outdoor gear investment, we highly recommend one of these hammocks. You’ll thank us as you hypnotically rock your daily stresses away. You’re welcome.—Jon Perino, Senior Editor
Perfect performance sunglasses disappear. They feel weightless on your face, don’t perturb your field of vision, and give everything to your workout but take nothing in return. Of course perfection is unobtainable, so we make concessions. Luckily you don’t have to make many with 100%’s Hypercraft. The performance shield is entirely frameless for stellar optics and aerodynamics. The frames are inconceivably light because they’ve woven carbon fiber into nylon, and the HD lenses are crafted from shatterproof polycarbonate. Bottom line: These are a must for wickedly fast pursuits. — Brittany Smith, Senior Editor
To the delight of audiophiles and just-plain music lovers alike, this entry-level portable delivers expansive, detailed, and better-than-CD quality sound from lossless audio streaming services such as Amazon HD, Deezer, Qobuz, and Tidal. — Tom Samiljan, Contributing Editor
While above-average golfers have been singing the praises of Wilson’s Staff Model Blades over the past few years, others have been clamoring for a follow-up to their more forgiving Tour V6 irons. Aiming to combine the best of both irons, Wilson just released their highly anticipated Staff Model CB irons––an exceptional offering for golfers looking to improve their game with a more forgiving and consistent iron.
At first glance, these irons are very aesthetically pleasing. The heel and toe of the club face features a beautiful mirrored finish, which stands out from the crowd of matte-finished clubs that dominate the market. Flip the club around and you’ll see several unique features that give these irons the consistency and performance players are looking for. For starters, a tri-brace stabilizer adds an extra bar to the cavity of the club that connects the topline to the sole and heel. This not only transfers more energy to the ball, but also creates a great feeling and solid “thud” sound when the club strikes the ball. Additionally, 20 grams of high-density tungsten inserted into the toe of the irons significantly improves stability and lowers the center of gravity––resulting in more forgiving shots. During our testing rounds, we noticed a significant improvement in our shot quality and was surprised by the forgiveness and performance that these clubs offered.
Put it all together and this premium set of irons will satisfy golfers of all abilities. They look great in the bag, play even better on the course and are sure to shave a few strokes off your game.––Jack Haworth, Contributing Editor
Harnessing the power of a smartphone and computer vision-powered mobile app, this user-friendly telescope tells amateur astronomers where to point and what they’re seeing through the viewfinder. — Tom Samiljan, Contributing Editor
When O’Neill introduced its Technobutter technology a decade ago, there was a lot going on in rubber development. Established brands were coming out with innovative materials and new companies offered serious performance products. But even through the noise, Technobutter was heard loud and clear. Today, the new Hyperfreak hooded 5/4+ features the Technobutter 3X. O’Neill claims it to be the lightest, most-flexible high-performance neoprene ever created and there is no reason to believe otherwise. The “+” stands for the extra .5 mm of neoprene added in certain areas for warmth.
I wore this suit in 38-degree water, that included a bit of a hike to and from the break in below freezing air temps and occasional light snow without so much as a chill. And the suit doesn’t seem to lose its stretch when you leave the warmth of your house. Minimal seam design and seamless paddle zones save you vital energy in winter conditions. It features F.U.Z.E. Zipper, and the seams are glued, blind-stitched and fully TB3X fully taped. Aqua-based laminate glue is solvent free for better eco design. With plenty of winter left ahead, this is a solid surf investment. — Jon Coen, Contributing Editor
What’s better than a piping-hot cup of Joe in the brisk early morning? Well, how about a fresh cup of coffee far off the grid surrounded by Mother Nature? (Yeah, we thought so, too.) But sometimes, preparing a proper brew can be more of a pain in the butt than it’s worth. However, there are specialized pieces of outdoor gear that make this whole process as easy as it can be… and the VSSL Java is most certainly one of them.
This is quite possibly the finest hand coffee grinder we’ve ever had the pleasure of grindin’ some beans with. Why? Well, first off, this bad boy feels so solid in-hand, and its stainless steel, best-in-class burr makes for ultimate consistency when it comes to the uniformity of the shape of the grinds. This is the real secret when it comes to epic coffee: the consistency of the grinds. (And this grinder has 50 different settings for grind size… yes, 50.)
Not only does this grinder make the process ultra easy, but it allows the brewer to create the precise flavor and aroma that they want—This is a sophisticated tool. It’s highly durable, phenomenally engineered, and it simply looks so handsome in your kit. If you’re an off-the-grid enthusiast that hinges on that early morning caffeine fix, then this thing needs to be in your life. — Jon Perino, Senior Editor
It’s no secret that being prepared for all types of disaster is always a good thing. However, the term “prepared” means different things to different people. For some, it might just be some extra water bottles in the closet and AA batteries and a flashlight in the junk drawer. For others, it’s an off-road adventuremobile, outfitted with solar panels, and weeks of food and water for the ultimate bug-out kit. And for everything in between to handle just about any real-world situation, the SEVENTY2 Survival System from Uncharted Supply Co. fits the bill.
This 72-hour survival kit comes in a very manageable package while offering up all of the survival necessities you could ask for. It comes equipped with all types of first aid essentials, an epic mutlitool, illumination, insulation, paracord, utility knife and magnesium alloy fire starter, a water filtration system, gloves, goggles, air filtration mask, and even a survival tent… plus so much more. It’s all neatly organized within the SEVENTY2 Insert that fits wonderfully inside the 26L waterproof 600D tarpaulin backpack shell—which is very comfortable to haul around on your back, might we add. And all-in-all, it weighs in at only 11 pounds. That’s pretty damn impressive given the fact that this kit can keep you safe and comfortable in a less-than-ideal situation for three straight days.
When situations go sideways, it’s always best to be prepared… so why not choose what’s considered to be the “World’s Best 72-Hour Kit?” (We’d have to agree with that claim.) If you spend any time off the beaten path, or even if you just like to casually camp with the family or simply like the feeling of having an emergency kit handy in your home, the SEVENTY2 is a no-brainer. It could be the difference between life and death. — Jon Perino, Senior Editor
Insanely cool. Like people will stop you on the street cool—which might be all you want in a pair of winter boots, but we demand more in the sense of form and function. And Mackage delivers. Its unisex Hero boot has a shearling lining that hugs your feet and provides toe-sparing toastiness down to -4 degrees F (they’ve been tested in unrelenting Canadian winters). The rubber outsole lends durability and grip in slick conditions, while the water-resistant nylon and smooth-grain leather upper offer a sleek and structured silhouette. All three colorways (army green, black, and champagne) come with monochromatic or contrasting laces, so you can be streamlined or bold. — Brittany Smith, Senior Editor