While smart layering and hardworking insulation help keep you warm in winter, it’s nice to have a battery backup during those really cold temps. The AirPod case sized 7.4-volt rechargeable battery in the Shift Jacket tucks into a hand pocket and powers heating elements in the chest and back. We found it heats up to full temp in about a minute, and the jacket’s cotton and poly fleece build is comfortable enough to wear even without the battery. Four heat settings take you from a toasty 90 degrees (for up to 10 hours) to take the chill out of the air to 135 (for 2.5 hours), which might be nice for dog walks in February. You control the heat with a push button on the jacket or with the companion app, which will also tell you how much battery life is left. — Sal Vaglica, Senior Editor
There are a lot of CUVs on the road these days. So many, it can be hard to tell one from another. We stood out from the pack in the sporty-and-affordable 2020 Mazda CX-5. The rear storage compartment is massive compared to some others we’ve tried. Adult passengers in the back seat felt slightly cramped, but the kids were just fine back there. And with all the space in the rear hatch, we were able to bring their bikes and scooters along, which meant we heard zero complaints from the peanut gallery. The cabin is comfortable and plush, and the cockpit appointments are as driver-friendly as any CUV we’ve driven. The touchscreen is rather intuitive, and the stereo pumps. Put simply, with four engine options and three trim packages, there’s a CX-5 just right for everyone. —Jon Langston, Commerce Editor
We here at Men’s Journal treat cold brew as a lifestyle, not just a summer drink. And while we’re all for ready mixed versions, too often they’re cloyingly sweet. This new Stumptown blend, made with Otaly oatmilk, is the perfect mix—ready to go, with no added sugar that’s sweet enough to stand on its own. Though if you have to add a splash of simple syrup, that’s fine, too. Each 11-fluid ounce package has about the same as about 1 1/2 cups of coffee. — Sal Vaglica, Senior Editor
I’ll admit it has been far too long since I had a new pair of leather boots in the closet. My years-old pair have a nice patina, but they soak up rain like a sponge and are in serious need of some new insoles. That makes the new Danner Ridge Smores I’ve been wearing for the past week a major upgrade in just about every way. A tough Vibram outsole delivers sure grip in wet conditions, the Ortholite insole feels comfy underfoot, and the leather and waxed canvas upper keeps my feet nice and warm and looks great, too. Plus, the boots are built with a Gore-Tex lining to block out the rain—no wet socks here. —Michael Charboneau, Contributor
Whenever I can, I always try to wear pieces from sustainable brands that don’t just make me look cool when I throw on a shirt in the morning, but ones that I know are thinking about our planet when making their gear. One of my favorites: Outerknown. I love its organic cotton twill Blanket Shirt for when I want a casual look that can still keep me warm. There are over 20 patterns to choose from so you can find the perfect one to fit your style. — John Lonsdale, Deputy Digital Editor
Getting older isn’t always bad: My body feels stronger than ever, but my eyes are another thing. Tired of squinting at the computer screen daily, I went in for a check-up and was informed it’s time for me to start using reading glasses. Reading glasses?! Reading glasses make me think of my grandparents, the ones that are always hanging around their necks. I’m not that old, yet, and I’m not too keen to look the part. My quest for sleek readers came to a halt when I was introduced to Caddis readers. They’re retro and modern eyewear that I love wearing. The best part: I can now read the fine print—and look great doing it. — Jennifer Santana, Director of Photography
Everyone is capable of making restaurant-quality food at home—we just need the right tools to do it. Made In makes pro-level kitchen products for the home chef. Partnering with top-notch raw material providers and multi-generational, family-owned manufacturers in the United States, France, and Italy, Made In cookware and knives are some of the finest we’ve used. They’ve actually made cooking fun again—just in time for the holidays.
It’s amazing what the right tools will do. Take the Knife Set ($179; was $208). All three are fully forged from premium X50CrMoV15 metal, while proprietary nitrogen finishing treatment keeps them sharp and shiny. The 8-inch Chef’s Knife feels robust in the hand, but it’s perfectly balanced for complete control whether we’re carving meat or chopping veggies. The serrated Utility Knife is ideal for slicing everything from bread to steak, while the smaller Paring Knife provides accuracy when peeling and slicing small or oddly shaped foods.
The 1.5-inch thick Butcher Block ($99) is made in Wisconsin from locally sourced and 100 percent repurposed American maple wood that’s kiln dried. It’s then pressed into 12×18-inch cutting boards in a humidity controlled factory, increasing the wood‘s strength and durability. The block features a deep juice groove on one side—perfect for carving roasts and turkeys. On the other, a flat surface for larger prep. The flat side also makes a gorgeous and appetizing cheese board. We can’t wait for Thanksgiving. — Jon Langston, Commerce Editor
We know it can be rough dropping $100 on an umbrella, an accessory that’s easy to leave behind and, even if you should hold onto it, will likely fail on you in the not-too-distant future. Instead, invest in one with a great design, and you’ll be less likely to dismiss it, and forget it at a restaurant or Uber. Blunt’s XL umbrella checks off a lot of boxes we want when the skies open up. It unfurls to 4.5 feet in diameter, which is plenty of shelter for two, but at less than 2 pounds (with an aluminum shaft) it’s not a bulky carry. It fends off winds up to 72 mph—yeah, we realize there’s little chance we’ll be standing upright at that kind of velocity. And maybe the best design element: no more sharp tips. Blunt engineered the ends that hold the canopy to open without a metal spike which adds the right amount of tension to what’s an easy wear point. —Sal Vaglica, Senior Editor
You’d be hard pressed to walk into an athletic-training facility and not see compression boots. They transcend sport and status, with everyone from collegiate runners to professional NFLers taking advantage of the recovery system. If you’re unfamiliar, these zip-on sleeves use compressed air to flush inflammation and lactic acid from your limbs after a tough training session. The idea is the enhanced blood flow hastens your body’s natural healing process, so your muscles can repair faster and you can feel fresh coming into your next workout. I love super-deep-tissue massages, so I appreciate that you can customize the pressure (I dial it all the way up), as well as the time and zone settings on the PULSE 2.0. The ability to sync to apps like TrainingPeaks via Bluetooth encourages more holistic training and recovery, too, since you can be more mindful against overtraining. This was a godsend in fighting muscle fatigue during a grueling triathlon-training regimen. — Brittany Smith, Senior Editor
I’m not sure what magician engineers they have at NutriBullet, but they’ve really cracked the code on the new Blender Combo. The base, with its small footprint, houses a 1200 watt motor that’s compatible with three different sized containers, including a full-sized pitcher. For my day-to-day, I’m all about the individual smoothie size. I’m usually disappointed with how blenders perform when you stuff it full of spinach, never fully blitzing it. This one does using the extract mode. In fact, it can basically make a green juice, without losing all the fibrous pulp. I’d given away a high-end blender because I was always disappointed with how it performed, its weight, and the herculean effort it was to clean. This NutriBullet solves all those problems, plus the blades aren’t too sharp if that’s something you’re concerned with. And the price can’t be beat. — Marjorie Korn, Senior Editor
A place to drop your keys, wallet, phone, and Rolex is exactly what your desk is probably lacking. My work set-up recently got a whole lot more organized, functional, and, most of all, stylish since I started to use this vegetable-tanned Billykirk leather tray. It makes for a perfect gift: You can monogram it with up to three letters in the center of the tray (we dig the plain bold font). If you want to skip the initials, they also have a skull, motorcycle, and other designs. — John Lonsdale, Deputy Digital Editor
Bob Marley’s son Rohan is taking the family name far beyond reggae. House of Marley makes sustainably produced headphones, speakers, and turntables from responsibly sourced materials. They’re beautiful pieces, built from natural wood and recycled materials. And their quality and value stands up to most anything on the market.
The Stir It Up Turntable is, in a word, gorgeous. With a solid bamboo plinth and repurposed aluminum platter, its body is wrapped in recycled black cloth for a simple, austere appearance. It has a built-in pre-amp and 3.5mm audio-out jack—as well as RCA cables to plug into your existing stereo system.
The Stir It Up ($200) made its debut a couple of years ago; the new Wireless version ($250) pairs instantly to any Bluetooth speaker, so you can take your vinyl sound anywhere—even out in the yard or garage. That’s worth the extra 50 bucks in our book. Both offer USB to PC recording, too—so you can transfer your favorite vinyl albums to digital format.
The Stir It Up couldn’t be easier to set up, pair, and play. For optimum sound quality, audiophiles will want to switch out the included AT3600L cartridge with something a bit more high-end. But for beginners and casual listeners, the Stir It Up Turntable is ready to rock steady, right out of the sustainably produced box. It’s the perfect gift for anyone interested in getting immersed into the warm sound of vinyl. — Jon Langston, Commerce Editor
After several months with the Thule Helium Pro 3, we can’t believe how well it grips a gaggle of bikes, yet only weighs 20 pounds. The aluminum build, instead of steel, keeps the weight down while still securely holding onto up to 112 pounds of bikes. The tip function pivots the rig down, allowing for access to the trunk with the pull of a lock—no fishing a pin through a hole. A second lock rotates the arm down and keeps the rack tidy when the bikes aren’t loaded up. There are some smart details in the three cradles, including rubber lining on anything that touches the bike frames. Three zip-tie-like straps grip each bike and are removable, which is key because it lets the anti-sway cradles to tip up and clip out of the way, making it easier to load and unload. The seven-inch spacing between each bike is larger than almost anything we’ve seen before, which lessens the chance of the bikes crashing into each other. — Sal Vaglica, Senior Editor
The temps in New York are now dipping into the 40s, which means we’re now in scotch-sipping season. I was fortunate to get to taste some of the new expressions from Old Pulteney, which recently found their way to U.S. markets. The 15-year-old expression was my favorite, for its sweet, deep richness—though the 12- and 18-year bottles were pretty damn fine, too. If your local drinkery has Old Pulteney, it’s worth having an ounce of each and finding out where your tastes lie. And more importantly, the brand has partnered with Sustainable Surf, which is committed to ocean conservancy, for a campaign entitled “Rise With the Tide.” A real two-fer if you’re into both libations and the health of our waters. — Marjorie Korn, Senior Editor
Every guy should have a versatile work shirt in his closet. This one—a stylishly warm collaboration between Tellason and Minnesota-based Faribault Woolen Mill, which makes some of the best wool blankets in the game—quickly became part of my new uniform since the temperature started dropping. With two chest pockets that can fit a small wallet and selvedge details throughout, it’s a layer that can easily transition to any situation and last you through fall and into the winter. Its coolest feature: It’s made from Faribault’s recycled wool. — John Lonsdale, Deputy Digital Editor
Houdini’s got an admirable mission to omit the use of raw materials in their clothing by 2030. The Swedish brand believes in creating circular products—making apparel with resources we already have, rather than extracting and disposing of new ones. At least 50 percent of this cloud-like parka comprises materials that are either recycled, recyclable, and/or biodegradable to reduce carbon emissions and water usage. Houdini’s riff on the classic parka abstains from goose or duck down. Instead, the Fall in Parka is padded with synthetic Primaloft Silver Insulation Hi-Loft Eco, keeping the jacket light but quizzically toasty. It doesn’t get bogged down in rain or snow, maintaining high performance on the slopes to boot. The soft-to-the-touch polyester membrane on the exterior of the jacket is wind- and waterproof, and the large hood and high collar cloak your head with added warmth. It’s like wearing a sleeping bag. The most stylish damn sleeping bag in existence. — Brittany Smith, Senior Editor
England’s Barbour & Sons has been making country-inspired, rugged clothing since the late 1800s, and for the last 25 years, has sold them through Orvis catalogs. This jacket is its latest collab, and it traces its roots back to WWII British submariners. The captain of the HMS Ursula wasn’t thrilled with the quality of the standard uniforms, so he had Barbour create suits for his crew, which eventually became standard issue. The Ursula jacket pulls from the archives with Barbour’s classic over-the-top build quality, using 8-ounce waxed cotton. But it’s the details that make this jacket stick out: leather collar buckle, elbow patches, and a waist belt, all on a jacket that’s cut slimmer for a modern fit. This is what we’ll be wearing around town and on weekends until we’re fully into puffy season. — Sal Vaglica, Senior Editor
Rappelling off the side of a platform and straight into a waterfall isn’t something I get the chance to do all the time. That’s why I was happy to have a GoPro attached to my helmet (and a secure harness) during a recent canyoning adventure in Costa Rica to remember the moment. With the HERO7 Black action cam, all you have to do is press the record button, hang tight to hear a beep, and go. (Just be sure to practice a couple times before doing the thing you want to get on camera.) It’s rugged, too, so you can leave your phone at home and still get the footage you want: Thanks to a water-resistant housing, my GoPro kept recording and stayed secure all the way down without any damage, even when fully submerged. Once you’re done, it’s easier than ever to share clips to your phone so long as you have the GoPro app and a WiFi or Bluetooth connection. GoPro’s rolled out newer models recently, but this version can still capture it all, whether you’re on a paddleboard and want to snap a few photos or a slow-motion shot just as the sun’s setting over the water. — John Lonsdale, Deputy Digital Editor
How many times have you wished for a “do-over”? American indie rock legends The Replacements, a band infamous for self-sabotage, recently got the unlikely chance to remake one of its classic albums in its own image. The result is a perfect snapshot of one of the best, most maddening bands of the 1980s firing on all cylinders, reminding us all why they were given so many chances in the first place.
It’s also one of the best box sets of the year. Dead Man’s Pop is the band’s re-do of its best-selling and highest-charting—and most polarizing—album, 1987’s Don’t Tell A Soul. It’s re-mixed and re-ordered, with a more timeless and intimate sound that’s closer to what the band originally envisioned rather than the polished ’80s pop sheen the record company foisted upon the original release.
Hits like “I’ll Be You” and “We’ll Inherit the Earth” are a revelation (it’s the songs, stupid). Other gems like “They’re Blind” and “Rock n’ Roll Ghost” are stripped of veneer and strike a more somber, personal tone. It’s a complete do-over. And for fans, it’s a must-have.
Dead Man’s Pop includes the entire remixed album on 180g vinyl, as well as CD. It also includes three other CDs: a host of demos and outtakes (including a hilarious, drunken Woodstock session with Tom Waits) and a complete, blistering live set recorded in 1988.
If any band deserves just one more shot at the Big Time, it’s The Mats. —Jon Langston, Commerce Editor
The shock-resistant Ripley fills that sweet spot between an always-connected smartwatch and a basic analog model. The hands have a nice pop of color, which makes it easy to read the face in low light. Press a button and add a digital readout for time, date, and other information behind the hands. Dual chronographers, altitude, and temperature tracking round out the 47mm package, which has a band that locks in tight enough for serious water use. It’s sharp enough to wear to the office most days and transitions seamlessly into weekend adventures. — Sal Vaglica, Senior Editor
The indoor smart speakers, lights, and TVs that make modern life easier get a lot of attention, but yard automation is catching up quickly. From a smartphone, you can control a barbecue smoker, sprinklers, and a lawnmower—and now your pool equipment can be as easy to command as your favorite playlist.
The Hayward Omni VS is a system, consisting of a pool pump, controller, and other parts, that is entirely controllable with a smartphone or tablet from anywhere there is an internet connection. And many of its popular tasks—controlling the pump, adjusting the heat, turning on decorative lights—can be outsourced via voice through Alexa. The variable speed pump is Energy Star-rated, which is noteworthy because it’s up to 90 percent more efficient than a traditional pump, which can translate to nearly $1,500 in savings annually. The pump runs quieter and can be wired to 110 volts, where the older version required 220 volts, so it’s easier to fit into a greater number of residential pools.
A keypad communicates with the pump (and other parts like actuators that control the flow of water from a pool to a spa) through a base unit and relay, with a clean and intuitive interface, but really, the best part is controlling it through the phone. You could be on your way home from work and with a few taps adjust the heat on the pool or spa so it’s ready when you pull up. The Omni also saves your favorites. Entertain often? Set up a pool party mode to control the temp, lights, and a water feature.
From our phones, we punched in the pump’s schedule, which is far easier than dealing with the archaic manual timer, and turned the system on and off from miles away. The Alexa integration is pretty straightforward using basic prompts like “Alexa, ask Hayward to…” For users with a more sophisticated system, they can control the pump, heater, pool or landscape lighting, salt systems, launch a robotic cleaner, water features, and a spa from their phones. As your system grows, the system will likely be able to control add-ons, from Hayward or other brands, with firmware updates getting pushed out regularly.
Now, while we’ve installed standard pool pumps before, this system is best left to pros to set up, and it can only be purchased through a dealer. For serious pool users, the benefit of the variable speed pump will likely recoup the costs of the whole kit within a few years. To benefit from the smart features, your pool equipment will need to be within your home’s WiFi network. — Sal Vaglica, Senior Editor