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Be a stylish song reader

Beck x Warby Parker Carmichael Glasses

Music is a language everyone can appreciate, a language many of us can understand aurally — and a language only some of us can read. Because it’s most accessible to the population in its aural form — that’d be the CDs or MP3s you purchase (okay, vinyl too, hipsters) — artists generally (always) release their music in a format that can be heard. Beck isn’t a typical artist. Case in point, his latest 20-song album, Song Reader, was, in a clever/strange/excellent twist, released unrecorded, in sheet music form.

And so a unique musical release begets another unique release. Warby Parker (they of remarkably affordable and stylish eyeglass/prescription lens combinations) has collaborated with the man himself (he of personal style that is as notable as the music he writes) to offer a line of eyewear — dubbed the Carmichael — to ensure those music types among us who suffer from unfortunate vision can read the songs from Song Reader‘s sheet music release, and to make sure music fans (well, anyone, really) can enjoy strutting around with limited-edition specs perched atop their noses.

Learn More: Here

Warby-Parker-Sponsored-Logo-BadgeSponsored by Warby Parker. Surprise a loved one with a Warby Parker Gift Card delivered in style.
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Come on in, the blood's fine

The Definitive Men’s Movie Collection: The 50 Best Horror Movies

Horror movies aren’t for everyone. You’ve heard it a million times, or else you’ve said it a million times: “I just don’t like them”. Oh really? You don’t like The Shining or The Exorcist or Shaun of the Dead or Psycho? Those are horror movies, jacko, and you like them. Admit it.

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It's all in the wrist

Qualcomm Toq: Your Personal Command Center

Checking our phones has become an awkward social tic, one that the Smart Watch segment addresses with sleek wrist-mounted media mediators. Digital communications magnate Qualcomm seems like the company that would provide smartphone horologists-cum-futurists with the groundbreaking technology to outdo competitors. Instead, Qualcomm has gotten into the ring with their own Toq, which leverages the company’s innovations to create the most clever smart watch on the market.

Qualcomm-Toq-Sponsored-Logo-Gear-PatrolSponsored by Qualcomm(R) Toq(TM) -- The smartwatch that's always on, active and visible in any light.
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An Old-School Debate on the Beloved Brand

Opinion: Has IWC Lost Its Way?

You wouldn’t think there’d be a lot to get hot and bothered about when it comes to antiquated and genteel timepieces. But just visit any of the countless web forums dedicated to this crazy hobby and you’ll see debates raging that would make even Presidential hopefuls blush. Today we present two sides to the divisive argument that the International Watch Company (IWC) has somehow sold out or lost its way. How better to address the issue than an old-school-style debate?

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Driving a benchmark of American Luxury

The 2014 Buick Lacrosse: American Luxury, Redefined

Slick, quick and as luxurious as the day is long, the 2014 Buick Lacrosse ($34,060) redefines what an American flagship can be. On roads rife with cookie-cutter shapes and duplicated automotive designs, the Lacrosse displays an edgy and elegant presence that cuts a fresh path through the field of American luxury cars. It not only dares to be different, but delivers comfort and convenience aplenty; Buick’s made all the right moves to deliver a rewarding driving experience.

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Out of This World

The Definitive Men’s Movie Collection: The 50 Best Sci-Fi and Fantasy Movies

Part five of our series covers sci-fi and fantasy movies. Of all our sections, this was the most difficult to create: not because we argued over the selections (though we did), but because we argued over where to draw the line on what constitutes sci-fi and fantasy. For instance, does Richard Linklater’s cerebral Waking Life…

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A Toast to...

Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is sometimes one of those holidays so fraught with stress we wonder why the hell we don’t just head somewhere warm and spend our days sipping something with a novelty umbrella in it. Without fail, there will always be at least one less seat than you need on your flight home, at least one utterly awful dish, and at least one imbibing family member who ends up somewhere between Winston Churchill and mid-‘90s Robert Downey Jr.

But we all still do it. No ticket to Hawaii.

Think hard enough about your last Thanksgiving and there might just be a couple — or maybe a lot — of moments where things were really great. Maybe it was that *cough* perfect turkey, maybe it was the impromptu talent show put on by the kids table, or arguing about “Who invaded Spain in the 8th century” during the annual Trivial Pursuit game. However trite it may sound, it’s these moments that make everything else worth it. So to everyone suffering through extended-family prodding or poultry that’s less than savory: hang in there and be glad you avoided the urge to walk past your gate and hop a plane to Kauai. It wouldn’t have been anywhere near as good as the fracas that’s going on at home.

From all of us at Gear Patrol: Happy Thanksgiving.

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Rewind: The 12 Guys of Christmas

You know the feeling of peeling back the wrapping paper and catching a glance of a the best seller you’ve already received 3 copies of or a “scarf” that might be better tasked trawling for tuna. Whatever it is, you smile, say thanks and quickly divert your eyes to the next gift in the distance…

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Rewind: The Thanksgiving Issue

If your significant other invited the relatives for Thanksgiving, you’re probably praying that there won’t be a repeat of what your cousins still call the Great Turkey Fiasco of 2003. But why not go on the offensive? This is your day, dammit, and just because Aunt Hellen and Cousin Doug have decided to hold a…

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A Five-Star Gear Patrol Dining Survey

The 25 Best Restaurants in America

Trusting someone with a restaurant suggestion is a show of great faith. A good suggestion puts you in the inner circle, a candidate for godfather of the next child, a guy whose name is mentioned behind closed doors, approvingly, with vigorous nodding. A bad suggestion keeps both parties involved up at night. There is so much good food in America right now that winnowing the lot to a few handfuls of the best is difficult. Do you include the roadside shack that isn’t technically a restaurant? Do you disqualify a place for foam smears and cheese dust? Are you being persuaded by hype?

And so our litmus test was simple: these 25 American restaurants are the places we’d send a friend if he had time for one meal in Chicago, Denver, Houston or any of the other cities on this list. One city, one suggestion, one good meal. Thank you. You’re welcome.

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Grow Old, But Don't Grow Up

The Definitive Men’s Movie Collection: The 50 Best Family Movies

The fourth part in our series covers family movies. They’re the ones you loved as a kid, but haven’t revisited since because, well, your office buddies don’t want to watch Bartok the Magnificent. But with Thanksgiving approaching, there’s no better time to dust off these old classics with loved ones. Family movies provide lighthearted laughs in abundance, and sometimes tears as well (damn you, Up!) They scrub away the confusion of adult life and remind us what’s important. In fact, some of life’s most important lessons are hidden in their colorful scenes. More importantly, the really good ones are fun to watch at any age. Just try not to start bawling when Mustafa eats it.

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Are You Not Entertained?

The Definitive Men’s Movie Collection: The 50 Best Action Movies

While many of our lives resemble dramas, or comedies, our society has thankfully evolved to a point where many of us avoid daily physical danger. Yet, strangely enough, the human animal craves danger. We get a thrill from adrenaline. To fill the void in our safe, vanilla lives, we turn to action. Is it wrong…

Presented-by-lexus-logoThis month's features are presented by Lexus. The pursuit of perfection.
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Chill Out

A Lightweight Vest Ready for Fall and Priced Just Right

How good can a $50 down vest possibly be? Very. Light as a feather and packed with 800-fill goose down, the Uniqlo Ultralight Down Vest is this winter’s must-have layering essential. The slim cut and packable down mean minimal bulk and effective thermal insulation. Plus, it folds into an included compact pouch for easy packing. We like ours with a dash of prep — khakis or trim denim with an oxford. When errands turn to evening plans, throw on a dark blazer and a wool tie and show old man winter who’s boss.

Buy Now: $50

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The Definitive Movie Collection: 50 Best Comedies

Throughout the selection process we kept echoing the same mantra: “Is this really that good?” The answer was consistent: shouts of “it’s hilarious!” were parried just as assuredly by “it sucks!” Comedies, we quickly discovered, are just as diverse and polarizing as dramas. Really the two aren’t so different. The best of both make us…

Presented-by-lexus-logoThis month's features are presented by Lexus. The pursuit of perfection.
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See You in LA

You’re Invited: Join Gear Patrol + Aether for Drinks, Gear and Conversation (October 30)

A friendly reminder: our small shindig in LA is just a few days away. So if you’re free this Wednesday, October 30, we’ll be gathering with our friends Aether at Shelter Half for an evening of drinks, conversation and a few excellent giveaways including a Big Shot Single Speed Bike, a Helinox Chair One, and a Lifts & Bounds Print. We’ll also have selections from the GP100 to check out alongside an immaculately restored Defender from West Coast Defender.

Better yet, our own Bradley Hasemeyer will be hosting a brief Q&A with the founders of Aether and West Coast Defender along with GP co-founder Ben Bowers to discuss how their brands have evolved into the companies they are today.

There’s still some space available, so please RSVP here if you’d like to join us. More details this way.

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Life with the dull bits cut out

The Definitive Movie Collection: The 50 Best Dramas

Good movies bring art to life, combining audio and visuals (and occasionally smells, as in the case of 1959’s disastrous AromaRama and 1960’s Smell-O-Vision, may they forever rest in peace) in ways that push the limits of human imagination. They require little effort to watch, yet have the power to change a life. They represent…

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We've only just begun

5 Smartphone Features Changing the Mobile Landscape

There was a time when the only personality you could impart into your phone was through a polyphonic ringtone of the James Bond theme and a “Carbon fiber look” faceplate. Today things are a little bit different. Customization has been elevated to the next level by devices like the Motorola Moto X, which offers customized exteriors in materials like bamboo, wood and a ton of colored plastics. The HTC One Max (among others) has a fingerprint sensor to identify a user solely by his or her touch; the Moto X learns your voice; and LG’s G2 has an OS that can be customized in nearly every element. If you still think customization means a new background, you should head to Best Buy and get to know your new phone (and vice-versa). And it’s not just customization that’s gone off the mobile charts. We’ve rounded up five of the most exciting technologies that manufacturers are rolling into their phones today.

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See You in LA

You’re Invited: Join Gear Patrol + Aether for Drinks, Gear and Conversation

Live in the LA area? Free next Wednesday, October 30? Come join Gear Patrol and Aether for a casual evening of drinks, gear, conversation and even a few giveaways. Our own Ben Bowers and Bradley Hasemeyer will be at Shelter Half marketplace to showcase a few select items from the GP100 as well as an immaculately restored 4×4 beauty from West Coast Defender, which guests can explore during the event.

The founders of Aether and West Coast Defender will also be joining Ben and Bradley for a Q&A on how their passions evolved into the companies they are today. Check out the details below.

We’ll see you there.

Details

When: Wednesday, October 30
Time: 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Where: Shelter Half, 161 S. La Brea Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90036 (map)

Space is limited, so please RSVP here if you can attend.

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31 shirts in 31 days

Ledbury Fall / Winter Collection 2013

The shirt is a powerful thing. It says so much about who you are and how you approach life. It can give you confidence or take it away. After your face, it’s the first thing someone sees when they look at you. A more tailored fit says you have your sartorial act together. A strong collar stance ensures the people you meet will focus on you and not be distracted by awkward details. A little personality demonstrates you’ll not be swept up by the herd.

Ledbury wants to be your shirtmaker. That’s a great thing for you, particularly because they’re coming out with a different shirt every day in the month of October. That’s 31 shirts in 31 days. Ledbury’s lead designer and CEO, Paul Trible, spearheaded this major initiative and hand-selected his favorite cool-weather fabrics. From fine-wale corduroys to brushed-cotton flannels, the resulting collection of modern-yet-classic shirts is one you’ll rely on again and again for their versatility and uncommon comfort. Click the link below to shop the collection, and read on to see a video on the awesome new line.

Buy Now: $135+

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It's Here

Introducing: The GP100

We’re not the sort to grandstand, but this has been a pretty good year: we rolled out Limits, Octane and Timekeeping; we traveled to Cuba, Kenya and Indonesia; we dived with sharks in the Bahamas, drove a tank in Minnesota and ran an ultramarathon in the mountains of Vermont. We drank beer and Irish Whiskey, responsibly. There’s just this one other thing we wanted to tell you about — oh yeah, our inaugural products awards, the GP100.

This year we’re proud to announce the next step in our role as a champion of quality in product design and execution. The GP100 is dedicated to honoring the 100 best consumer products released during the calendar year by companies of all sizes and scope. It’s not a ranking or a contest. Instead, these selections represent the inspiring and the practical, the groundbreaking and the traditional, the priceless and the accessible. In short: products that define or defy their respective categories to better the life of the modern man.

So the holidays came early this year. Head over to the GP100 to see the 100 best products on earth released in 2013. You’ll find products across all of Gear Patrol’s major areas of interest including Motoring, Technology, Style, Home, Spirits, Outdoor, Sports and Watches. For the next month, we’ll also be featuring products from the GP100 here on our homepage daily.

We put lots of thought and countless hours into this. We debated. We sought the counsel of our peers. We may have lost a staffer to attrition. We hope you find the GP100 as useful and inspiring as we do.

Braun-Sponsored-LogoBrought to you by Braun CoolTec, a simply outstanding shaving experience for men with sensitive skin.
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Your new resource for all things Braun

Introducing the Braun Brand Guide

Without the radio, there would be no Braun electric razor.

Sounds weird, right? But before Braun started producing cutting-edge electric razors — before they were even Braun — the precursor to the German company made components for radio sets. This was back in 1921, when Max Braun opened up a little shop in Frankfurt. Only eight years later, he began producing the sets himself. Under his vision and commitment to innovation, it wasn’t long before that little shop became Braun, one of Germany’s leading radio manufacturers.

Radios, you say? That’s right. And there’s a lot more about this storied brand, the most recognized name in electric shaving today, that you surely don’t know. In celebration of the new CoolTec razor, we’ve created an entire guide to Braun, including a complete history, a timeline of their most important innovations, a collection of kits for any traveling situation, and even a breakdown of the new CoolTec and its features. You seem to be growing long in the beard already — so click here to see it all.

Braun-Sponsored-LogoBrought to you by Braun CoolTec, a simply outstanding shaving experience for men with sensitive skin.
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Cool Shot

Video Breakdown: Braun CoolTec Razor

Thermo-Electric Cooling Technology — that’s not a term you expect to read on an electric razor’s spec sheet. Thankfully, there’s no need to butcher that science-speak in front of a sales associate; just ask for CoolTec. Fulfilling the next step in shaving innovations from Braun, it’s the world’s first razor that actively cools the skin via an integrated electro-ceramic cooling element in the head. To find out all grooming innovations the CoolTec has to offer, check out the video above.

Braun-Sponsored-LogoBrought to you by Braun CoolTec, a simply outstanding shaving experience for men with sensitive skin.
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Orange is the New Black

Introducing: Gear Patrol x DSPTCH Camera Straps (Giveaway!)

Since 2010, San Francisco-based DSPTCH has designed rugged, functional camera straps that pair military-spec webbing and Paracord with high-quality hardware. They’re available in a variety of excellent, reserved hues, but we couldn’t help but wonder what a combination of blaze orange and matte black hardware might look like. Neither could DSPTCH — and so we’re pleased to introduce GP x DSPTCH straps in our signature color.

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Essentials for the overnight

Kit: Sleeping Over

Your best side has shined brightly — maybe brighter than you ever thought possible. You’ve been entertaining and engaging, listened patiently and laughed persuasively, doted and dated your way to the final exam: sleeping over. Clearly, you’ve done something right, but the light at the end of the tunnel still beckons. Though confidence has gotten you this far, now you’ll be playing on her turf, and that requires backup. Bring these items and prepare for the best.

Braun-Sponsored-LogoBrought to you by Braun CoolTec, a simply outstanding shaving experience for men with sensitive skin.
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Coming soon to a galaxy near you

Breakdown: Samsung Galaxy Gear

Pebble, Toq, Smartwatch 2, Cupertino Wristbeauty — how did the explosion of the “smart watch” segment catch us so by surprise? While we were busy reeling, the Samsung Galaxy Gear ($299) for Galaxy Note 3 (and soon, the Galaxy S4 and SIII) has been declared potentially the best option yet. What exactly does that mean? We break it down.

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Essentials for the daily grind

Kit: Office Space

Dali said intelligence without ambition is a bird without wings. Clearly, you’ve got both in spades — all that’s lacking is better preparation. Small upgrades can make big differences in organization, confidence and execution, and luckily for you, we’ve dug up the must-have office essentials to help you stay focused on conquering the office, one job done well at a time. Heed our advice and maybe you’ll be patting backs soon.

Braun-Sponsored-LogoBrought to you by Braun CoolTec, a simply outstanding shaving experience for men with sensitive skin.
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Essentials for a Smooth Trip

Kit: Frequent Flyer

Travel pros. You’ve seen them. You’ve envied them. They glide through check-in, make the body-scan look like a photo shoot and sightsee like locals. Sure, part of it might be their passport with 200 stamps, but the right kit makes a world of difference, too. Whether you’re embarking on a shuttle flight or a trip around the globe, there are a few pieces of gear that will improve life on the road dramatically. We’ve got ‘em.

Braun-Sponsored-LogoBrought to you by Braun CoolTec, a simply outstanding shaving experience for men with sensitive skin.
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Head of Men's Design at J.Crew

30 Minutes With: Frank Muytjens

Sometimes an outsider’s perspective is just what’s needed to achieve unique excellence. Frank Muytjens is the Holland-born head of men’s design at J.Crew, a proudly American company. Muytjens, who’s been perhaps the driving factor at the brand since he joined in 2008, finds his ideas nearly everywhere. We recently had the chance to chat with him and learned about what he brings to the staple brand, how he refreshes beloved classics, and his penchant for odd numbers.

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Rewind: Swimming

Our roundup of the hardest open water swims mentioned that the 100-mile plus swim between Cuba and Florida is nearly impossible, the only successful attempt having been made by a swimmer inside a shark cage. About that. 64-year-old Diana Nyad, one of endurance swimming’s greats, completed the epic slog on September 2 — and it…

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10 Products for the Well-Appointed Bathroom

Kit: Master Bath

Your master bathroom is your sanctuary. It’s where you prepare to present yourself to the world outside. It’s where, somewhere between the toilet and the shower, you will have your most profound thoughts of the day. A space that important deserves more than dust bunnies and the ghosts of your birthday-suited karaoke. Stop underestimating its role and give your bathroom some cojones. Here are a range of amenities — some indispensable, some indulgent — that are all worthy of consideration. Especially if you’re the pampering type

Braun-Sponsored-LogoBrought to you by Braun CoolTec, a simply outstanding shaving experience for men with sensitive skin.