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Today in Gear: April 24, 2014

Today in gear we examine, Brooklinen’s dreams of affordable sheets, an innovative mattress that packs down in a box, Evel Knieval’s trip to Oklahoma, NIke’s stealthy new driver, a 6 wheeled ATV and a subscription service for vapers.

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Lots of light, and a little smoke

Tested: Amazon Fire TV

Amazon’s Fire TV provides the best experience of any streaming device for consumers who’ve spent more than a few paychecks on the company’s media ecosystem. No question about it: if you live and die by Amazon Prime Instant Video, buy the Fire TV and rejoice. But what if you aren’t a card-carrying member of the Bezos fan club? We found a comfy couch and tested it out.

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Power plus space, all in one case

Tested: Mophie Space Pack

Mophie’s Space Pack for the iPhone 5/5s combines extra battery power with up to 32GB of additional storage, promising to fixing two of the phone’s biggest shortcomings in one convenient package.

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Today in Gear: April 23, 2014

Today in gear we examine Lytro’s professional-grade light field camera, Madden Equipment’s convertible brief, Colson Whitehead’s take on gambling and jerky, Sleepy Jones’ Spalding boxer briefs and RipCurl’s smart watch for surfers.

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Today in Gear: April 22, 2014

Today in gear we examine Pioneer’s new DJ ear buds, Cool Hunting’s latest collaboration, a sous vide machine from the future, Blue Lounge’s handy accessory for iMac owners and Nike’s latest summer release.

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A Reverence for the Overlooked Classics and what they Inspire

GP & Petrolicious Present: The Collector Series

Vintage is in something fierce. You can blame the cliche and assign Mad Men all you want. But vintage is deeper than that. A stretch of tough times and the “planned obsolescence” of today has refocused our attention to history even more than ever. New doesn’t always equate to better and some things really don’t work like they used to. The Collector, a new Octane series in partnership with the classic car experts at Petrolicious, acknowledges the automotive gems of yesteryear that have gone overlooked for one reason or another. As a series, the selections we’ll share stand as both a group of savvy buys we’d base our personal car collection around and as a source of inspiration for life in the wake of ownership.

Over the next eight weeks, we’ll be publishing a series of companion stories each Monday developed to cover the two sides of the collector’s coin. On Petrolicious, you’ll see pristine examples of each sublime vehicle and hear from their owners. Here at GP, we’ll share a mix of new and classic items that draw inspiration from these undervalued icons, allowing you to channel each vehicle’s influence regardless of what’s sitting in your garage.

Head to Petrolicious to read The Collector: Part One, 1970 Datsun 240Z then peruse the kit it inspired.

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Today in Gear: April, 21, 2014

Today in Gear, we examine Sony’s new 4k media player, plywood task chairs, bluetooth-enabled air purifiers, an EDC kit for cyclists, an educational whisky series and a candle worthy of your ambitions.

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Good talks, bad hours

Introducing: Late Plates

We love breaking bread with exciting people, and a pint of good beer never hurt a conversation. It’s in this spirit that we’re launching a new series, Late Plates, presented by Miracle Whip, in which we interview great minds, talents and professionals over America’s best late-night eats.

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Today in Gear: April 18, 2014

Today in Gear we examine Philips’s laser-guided beard trimmer, a transforming Raven lawn mower, Arnette prescription frames, organic whey powder, a Chrome remote desktop for mobile and an easy solution for popped tires.

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Today in Gear: April 17, 2014

Today in gear, we examine the “edgier” new Camry, Nocs’ improved earbuds, charred moonshine, Google’s stand alone camera app, reusable BBQ sheets, and Sonic Edition’s new print collection with Freemans Sporting Club.

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The fitness tracker that refuses to fit in

Tested: Misfit Shine

What makes a good wearable? Comparing a laundry list of features is one way to start the conversation. The Misfit Shine proves, however, that there’s still something to be said for keeping it simple.

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Today in Gear: April 16, 2014

Today in Gear, we examine a shaving solution to end razor burn woes, the app your coffee addiction’s been waiting for, a gear brand for the greater good, Anker’s five port charging solution and Artifox’s take on a better desktop experience.

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Today in Gear: April 15, 2014

Today in Gear we examine Land Rover’s new Discovery concept, an app for commission free trades, TwelveSouth’s BookArc Möd, the emasculating smart grill of the future, Pentax’s impressive new medium-format rig and a table you can take anywhere.

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Today in Gear: April 14, 2014

Today in Gear we examine a new book for Cub’s fans, your iMac’s new wood friend, Lexus’ sharp crossover, barrels for homebrew and “The Rhino”.

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Sampling the Core Expressions

Highland Park 12 to 40 Year Old, We Try Them All

Learning about the process of whisky-making is one reason to take a distillery tour, but we all know that the real name of the game is the post-tour tasting. Any day spent sampling a range of whiskies is a special one in our books. Throw in the chance to try 25-, 30- and 40-year-old expressions, and you’ve got a once in a lifetime drinking experience.

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Finding 'the best whisky in the world' on the Scottish Island of Orkney

True Norse: A Visit to Highland Park Distillery

Highland Park has officially been making whisky in Kirkwall since 1798. The distillery requires no introduction for rabid fans of single malt. F. Paul Pacult, known as one of America’s foremost experts on spirits, heralded the 25 year old expression as the “Best Spirit in the World” in 2013; it’s an honor he’s also bestowed on the 18 year old twice before. For more casual imbibers, noting Highland Park’s relationship as the sister distillery to The Macallan generates a good number of nods. Our managing Editor Ben Bowers took the journey to the northern Scottish islands of Orkney to learn first hand how some of the world’s finest single malt is made.

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This Scotish archipelago has no shortage of history

Photo Essay: The Orkney Islands

Orkney, as it’s called by the locals, is an archipelago of 70 islands off the northern tip of the Scottish mainland. At one point or another, Vikings, Norwegians and Scots all listed the Old Red Sandstone outcrops as their home. The Neolithic monuments of these ancient inhabitants are one of Orkney’s biggest draws; another, of…

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The Handiest of Tools for Under $350

Everyday Carry Essentials: The Knife

A man’s everyday carry (or “EDC” in web-speak) is a fascinating window into the soul. Seeing what someone keeps close at hand can speak in obvious ways to their lifestyle, interests and values. Everyday-Carry.com is the leading community for all things EDC-related, so when it came time to find an expert on the best pocket knives to own under $350, the answer was obvious. If you’re in the market for a new blade without blowing your inheritance, their guide on The Best Pocket Knives Under $350 is an excellent resource worth checking out.

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Today in Gear: April 10, 2014

Today in Gear we examine small survival kits, the perfect living room keyboard, LunarGrands for the office, Amazon’s Dash scanner and Dropbox’s organizing gallery app.

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Small size, big sound

Tested: Klipsch X11i In-Ear Headphones

The typical beef with earbuds is that they sound worse than similarly priced over- or on-ear headphones. That’s not to say audio engineers haven’t figured out how to squeeze spectacular sound out of a diminutive package, there’s just usually a hefty premium for having your cake and eating it too. Klipsch’s X11i are the company’s top of the line offering in-ear offering. We spent the last few weeks with a pair to see if they were capable of producing the high-end sound worthy of their high-end price.

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A Weekend at the Big Dance

Photo Essay: The 2014 NCAA’s Mens Final Four

The NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament is a full-blown cultural phenomenon, complete with its own vernacular and pseudoscience. We headed down to Dallas to experience this year’s finale and and snapped some photos in between occasional showers, shortages of $9 Miller Lites and gridlocked crowds.

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Today in Gear: April 8th, 2014

Today in Gear: April 8th, 2014. We check out Sony’s new full frame compact, the hangars of the future, tear-inducing poems and more.

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Today in Gear: April 7, 2014

Today in Gear we examine Cobra’s iRad 230, Dodocase’s Leathercraft collection, TruFuel’s lawn pre-mixed mower solutions and the PackPoint packing list app for Android.

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Producer and Director

30 Minutes With: Jim Wilson

Jim Wilson may not be a household name, but his resume speaks for itself. As the producer behind films like Dances with Wolves and The Bodyguard, he developed a reputation for making films whose cultural impacts belied their modest budgets. His upcoming film 50 to 1, which tells the story of 2009′s unlikely Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird, is no exception. Jim carved out a window from a hectic promotional tour to talk about making this film a reality, working with his longtime friend Kevin Costner, and even his thoughts on Avatar.

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Today in Gear: April 4, 2014

Today in Gear, we examine McIntosh’s first dedicated headphone amp, clear planters for the modern green thumb, Longines’s latest vintage-inspired beauty and a GoPro housing built for black-ops.

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Today in Gear: April 3, 2014

Today in Gear we examine Amazon’s assault on the living room, Jack Spade’s new line of sunglasses, Burberry’s linen ties for spring and Tag Heuer’s Carrera CH80.

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Today in Gear: April 1, 2014

Today in Gear we examine simple fly fishing gear, minimal adidas, a thermometer on the fly and much more.

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Today in Gear: March 31, 2014

Today in Gear we examine the return of the “Pepsi bezel”, Office’s move to mobile, an off-roading bumper built for Wranglers, a new escapement from Nomos and a modern take on the Super 8.

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Today in Gear: March 28, 2014

Today in Gear we examine Barbour & Landrover’s first collaboration, DSPTCH’s new spring bags, coffee from the Berkshires and your new guide to moonshining.

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Today in Gear: March 27, 2014

Today in Gear we examine quieter lawn mowers, a book on quail hunting rigs, Bamboo bicycles and winey Glenmorangie.