|Sony VAIO Pro 13 Ultrabook
Sony’s answer to the MacBook Air is loud and clear: a high-powered Intel processor and an 512-gig SSD have been slipped inside an oh-so slim carbon fiber shell, and the 13.3-inch monitor is a full HD touchscreen that’s viewable from most any angle. The whole package weighs in at 2.34 pounds, and unlike the Cupertino crusader, this trim machine comes in black. $1,250
|Night Sky Field Notes
Just imagine what Galileo could have done had he the proper note-taking equipment (parchment can be so cumbersome). These notebook three packs are perfect for jotting starry night observations (that’s a van Gogh reference), and the constellations printed on their covers roughly align with what’s in the summer sky. $10
|Sir Kensington’s Mayonnaise
The exact origins of mayonnaise are disputed; the yumminess of mayonnaise is not. The artisanal ketchup maker is upping the condiment ante (condimante?) with its original and chipotle mayos made from cage-free eggs, sunflower oil and other fresh ingredients. $7
|Icebreaker Merino Seeker Shorts
Merino wool is nature’s way of telling us we can be both active and stylish. These lightweight knee-length shorts are well tailored and great for travel, lounging, hiking and everything in between. $130
|Old Town Predator Kayak
Purpose-built for fishing, the new Predator features six mounting plates so paddlers can place their rods, electronic gear, cameras and more wherever they’d like. The seat can be reconfigured for paddling, casting or even standing, there’s room for a trolling motor, and a no-slip surface means a safe and splash-free experience. Buy this for your fisherman dad and you will be the favorite. $1,199+
|Dollar Shave Club One Wipe Charlies
If you haven’t yet seen the promo video for these, you might not know how to Internet. The goofs at DSC have added these “gently scented” crap products to their lineup, and they’re for exactly what you think. (They’re for your butt.) $4
|Whistle Dog Activity Tracker
Whistle allows you to monitor your dog’s activity — time spent resting, playing, walking, etc. — through your smartphone, where you can set daily goals, view a daily activity summary and track any changes in your best friend’s behavior. whistle.com
Canon's Rebel line of DSLRs has always offered an impressive mixture of features while remaining completely approachable. The recently released Canon EOS Rebel T5i continues this tradition as the new flagship of the Rebel line. Like the EOS Rebel 650D before it, this shooter boasts an 18MP CMOS sensor, a 9-point cross-type AF sensor, a 3-inch 1.04m-dot touch-sensitive vari-angle ClearView II LCD, and Full HD video mode, complete with continuous autofocus in movie mode with subject tracking; these are all contained in a body that feels more professional than its predecessor.
Click to learn more.
Steep Climbs and Singletrack on Two Wheels
Somewhere in between grinding steep climbs and effortlessly floating hairpin singletrack downhill, it’s inevitable that you’ll encounter the dreaded “endo”. The end-over handlebars is a rite of passage for any mountain biker as he works up the ranks from cruising novice to dirt demon. At least, that’s what I thought before taking a spin on the new Yeti SB95 ($4,800 as tested) on a recent trip to Vail Mountain, CO.
The times, they are a-shiftin'
Road bike shifting has come a long way in the roughly 75 years it’s been around. The number of gears has ballooned from 2 to 11, shifters have moved from the frame to the brake levers and traditional cable actuation is poised to give way to electronic shifting. There’s little doubt that the revolutionary new tech, which replaces traditional steel cables with small electric servos, will eventually become commonplace. Two decades ago that couldn’t have seemed further from the truth.
Hit the dusty trail(s)
Picking our 10 favorite mountain bike trails for our week of cycling is like asking a parent to pick their favorite kid: we love them each for different reasons. Still, armed with a Rolodex of memorable rides, we set out to catalog the best of the best. The IMBA (International Mountain Bike Association) and other groups have been creating mouthwatering single track all over the world as diverse as the styles of bikes in your local shop — and they keep getting bigger, better and longer.
‘Tis the season to be tempted by a whole new model year of mountain bikes, and we’ve got some good news. Dialing in your own personal style of off-roading has never been easier — once you wade through the overwhelming amount of options, that is. There’s a different bike for just about every type of trail and rider, and even some that claim to do it all. You need a bike best suited to the kind of riding you enjoy, but that also won’t keep you from the occasional change of pace (or any surprises the trails throw at you). As part of our week-long series on bikes to celebrate the launch of Limits, we’ve picked our favorites for racing enduro, downhilling, or just getting out for a weekend adventure ride.
Senior Director of Global Product Management, Cannondale
If you’ve ever wondered why your bicycle looks the way it does, has the features it has, or just generally why you’re riding a refined machine rather than an old European boneshaker, then Henning Schroeder is a guy to know. As Senior Director of Global Product Management for Cannondale, he oversees all departments — road, mountain, urban, women’s — steering the direction of the brand and working with everyone from engineers to the sales force to figure out what bikes to produce.
King of the road
Al Capone, DB Cooper, The Sundance Kid. By riding Cannondale’s new Supersix EVO Black Inc. ($13,310) you join an exclusive cadre of criminal minds. Don’t worry, the Connecticut bike company hasn’t filled the bike’s tubes with any illicit substances (though the price tag might suggest otherwise). However, it tips the scales at a felonious 11 pounds, sitting well below pro cycling’s 15 pound weight limit. Despite its weight, the Supersix EVO is able to boast stiffness and aerodynamic figures that bike engineers dream about.
Across the cycling categories, excluding perhaps the penny-farthing, we seem to be in the middle of a boom in popularity. Cities are adding bike lanes and bike programs, all the cool kids are riding fixies, mountain bikes are gnarlier than ever — and the rest of us are riding road bikes. The popularity of road cycling owes in part to the low barriers to entry (everyone has roads), in part to the variety of awesome bikes available for riders of different skill levels and desired recreation, in part to the rise of the sportive or gran fondo — a cycling event that emphasizes participation over competition — and in part to all the really boss neon lycra. As part of our week-long series on bikes to celebrate the launch of Limits, we’ve picked out five great road bikes for all manner of rides, from entering your first century ride with friends to sasquatching a local crit.
In recent years we’ve witnessed a growing interest in endurance sports — everything from adventure racing and backcountry trekking to triathlons and all-night mud runs — and we’ve even experimented ourselves, with the Road to Ironman series. We’ve also heard from readers that you’re interested, you want more. So today we’re launching Limits, a channel of GP dedicated to the physical and mental challenges of endurance sports, as well as the gear required, the people who compete and the culture that emerges.
Same country, new port
Pike Creek Whiskey was available stateside in the 90s. Slow sales soon put the importation experiment to an end, despite a budding cult following. Now, Pernod Ricard is reintroducing the spirit back to select American markets. Unlike typical Canadian whiskies, Pike Creek is finished in Port barrels, and left at the mercy of the elements in unheated warehouses. But is it really a different? Read our full review to find out.
The good kind of drag
In fly fishing, the rod is the rock star. It gets all the attention when you’re bragging about the big one from your last trip. On the other hand, reels are the unsung heroes. They’re the ones that make the sweet music (they really do – listen to a big fish running against one sometime), the ones that make catching big fish possible. We round up our five favorites.
You've learned to cast, now treat yourself
Famed fly fishing writer John Gierach once wrote a book called Standing in a River Waving a Stick. Well, fly fishing looks a lot like that. And the stick in question is a fly rod. It’s the rod that throws the line that carries the fly to the fish. To those who aren’t familiar with fly fishing, all fly rods look the same. They are anything but.
The secret is, there isn't one
Anywhere you find fish that can be caught on a fly (which is just about anywhere you find fish) you’ll find a fly shop. Some are grand affairs with carpeting, staff in matching shirts, and hundreds of brands. Others are small with two or three options of each requisite item. Ed Estlow decided to scope out a local shop; his study (shopping trip?) reveals a lot about these hidden gems.
If we’ve done our job, you’re inspired to do some fly fishing. Good on you, sir. All that stands in your way is a lot of practice, some really smart fish, and an utter lack of the necessary equipment. All three of those things are daunting. We tackle the last part with our all-inclusive, affordable fly fishing kit.
So you watched A River Runs Through It on cable the other night and, your brother’s gambling issues aside, you’ve decided to try fly fishing. What do you need? Well, you could start with just a hardware store rod, reel & line, a few flies in a plastic box, and some clothes you don’t mind trashing. But you’ll enjoy yourself a lot more if you have some decent gear in hand. Lucky you — we’ve got everything you need right here.
Inside the head of a typical addict
I’ve heard that question answered a lot of different ways in 23 years of flinging sharp wire & feathers at the finned ones. For some, it borders on the mystical. People talk of otherworldly feelings or suspension of time (as in time spent fishing doesn’t count against your allotment here on planet Earth).
For others it’s a religious experience.
Mortgage house, book ticket, feed soul
If you have a hankering for more exotic fish than you can find in the nearest stream, river, or lake, consider packing a bag with a few travel rods and the rest of your gear and giving destination fly fishing a try. That’s all well and good (great, really), but as always, you should strive for the cream of the crop. Here are three trips worthy of the bucket list of any fly fisher.
A Fly Fishing Legend
Lefty Kreh is one hell of a fisherman. He’s lots of other things, too: retired outdoor editor of the Baltimore Sun, accomplished photographer, prolific author, father and grandfather, teller of stories, entertainer, absolute legend as a fly caster. It seems, though, that all of these things orbit around the first one. We sat down with him to hear about his 32nd book, common casting mistakes, how he was introduced to the sport, and much, much more.
A visit to fly fishing paradise
This video, a special cut of “Off the Grid”, a full-length fishing documentary about finding and fishing in places that are untouched or simply outside the norm, pretty much has it all. There’s a quick summary of the epic trip that makes up the entire film, full of monster fish doing their best jaws impressions on happily bobbing flies; then we get to meet two young trout bums living the dream in northeast Ohio.
Kit lenses have a bad reputation for being the cheap training wheels of the photography world, built solely to make the DSLR buying process more approachable for thrifty consumers in search of a one-stop upgrade. These knocks against the category aren’t completely unfounded, but you shouldn’t let the general snobbery of experienced photographers steer you away from a good deal or convenience. There are a variety of kit lenses that are still a tremendous value and a great starting point for building a glass collection, whether they’re purchased with a camera or on their own. Here, you’ll find a few of our favorites across a variety of major brands and setups.