The Week's Best Writing

In Case You Missed It: September 15 – 19

Our best articles from the last few weeks. Just in case, ya know, you missed them: the best boots for fall, following a pro cyclist through wine country, burning your tongue off with hot sauce, playing golf in a democracy, the best fruit beer and more.

One Hike to Rule Them All

Show Us Your Hikes: We Have a Winner

We asked for photos and stories from your favorite trail, and many of you delivered. Actually, a lot of you delivered. Too many, in fact. You made these past few days difficult and emotionally taxing. But, at long last, we've picked a winner.

Opening Sesame on U.S. Markets

Decrypted: What Alibaba Means for Consumers

Even if you couldn’t care less about stocks, IPOs, and imaginary dollars exchanging hands, you’ve probably caught wind of Alibaba. But what does this Chinese giant mean for you?

The Drive is the Destination

American Roads Less Traveled, a Driver’s Guide

From the Archives: Long weekends aren't just for sleeping in and backyard barbecues. Hop in the car, embrace the fresh air and hug the asphalt like you don't have a care in the world. There are a ton of great roads out there, twisty, straight and some off the beaten path. We've listed some of the best (and some less-traveled) for your vacation enjoyment and paired them with the ideal vehicle to maximize the experience.

Snip Snip

Decrypted: Should You Cut the Cord on Cable?

More Americans now subscribe to in-home broadband than cable television from any of the nation's nine largest providers. We’re arguably staring at a future where all content -- channel based or otherwise -- is delivered over the Internet.

One More Thing Than Apple's Thing

Meet the iBuckle, This Autumn’s Must-Have Wearable

With the release of the Apple Watch, wrist wearables may finally be finding their stride. But who cares? Watches had perfected timekeeping by the time the personal computer was invented. What wearable technology really needs to capture the hearts and wallets of consumers worldwide is a revolution. So from GP's own department of disruptive innovation comes a proposal: the iBuckle. Here's a breakdown of its groundbreaking features.

The Gear You Missed

This Week in Gear: September 8 – 12

This Week in Gear: Destiny, slim EDC Leathermans, minimalist leather wallets, Four Roses Bourbon and the best barrel-aged ciders.

Ask and you shall receive

Meet the Only Smartphone with Firefly Technology

Search engines changed how we discover information about the world around us forever -- not to mention how we shop. Amazon's new Firefly technology embedded in the new Fire Phone, exclusively on AT&T, is primed to flip the script once again. At its core, Firefly is designed to help users easily identify everything from web addresses and phone numbers to over 100 million products including various forms of media like movies, TV episodes and songs.

Just That Easy

The Effortlessness of Unstructured Blazers

From the Archives: Maybe it's cooling down for you. Maybe it's not, but whether you're starting to stack the layers or just need a little extra amp in your wardrobe, the unstructured blazer is hard to beat. Here are our six favorites.

The mobile interface of the future, today

Meet the Only Smartphone with Dynamic Perspective

Sci-fi movies have teased us with the power and convenience of 3D interfaces for years. But Amazon's newly launched Fire Phone, available exclusively at AT&T, proves that the wait for an advanced smartphone interface that harnesses the full potential of 3D is finally over. So-called Dynamic Perspective is powered by four front-facing infrared cameras that constantly track the position of the user's head in relation to the phone's screen -- even in the dark. The result is a persistent 3D viewing experience that doesn't require special glasses or a fancy 3D display.

Big Boned Bikes

Fat Bikes to Start Riding Today

From the Archives: The Global Fat Bike Summit reported that fat bike sales doubled from 2011 to 2012, then doubled again from 2012 to 2013. So on and so forth. The category is growing, and the ease with which the oversized tires float over sand, snow and technical rock sections is to thank. Whether you’re looking for something to ride casually through the winter months or a race monster, we’ve got five bikes to cover your needs. Oh, and a few races to strive for.

Like Post Secret for Adults

Decrypted: Navigating Anonymous Social Media Networks

Within the past year, two anonymous social apps, Secret and Whisper, have launched and secured millions of dollars in funding while racking up thousands of new users per day. The question is, should you be using them?

Moving on up

Kit: Sophomore Year

A year's worth of college puts you on a separate plane than the eager fresh faces that've just been let off the parental leash for the first time in their lives. There's a wisdom that comes with knowing the ropes -- like avoiding classes that meet more than twice a week, or where to find grease at any godforsaken hour. You've also made friends (some probably for life) and finally have a say over where you live and who you live with. Craft a smart plan, lean on your parents, and with a little bit of luck your new home might actually be a house. You've earned the extra space, now make it your own.

Timekeeping from across the pond

The British Watch Issue

From the Archives: Before the Swiss stole the show, it was the Brits who were the masters of keeping time. Today, London's calling watchmakers again, and British-based brands -- Bremont, Chris Ward, Pinion and more -- are on the rise. We explore Albion's greatness with a watch shootout, a history lesson, an interview and more.

Stay safe with genuine Canon products

Nobody Wins with Counterfeit Batteries

Counterfeit Canon batteries and battery chargers cost less than their genuine counterparts for a reason: they lack the heat management technology that's critical for safety. The underground nature of their production also ignores factors like quality control and worker well-being in favor of earning a quick buck. By buying fake Canon products, you're not just supporting these criminal groups, you're also putting your camera equipment and potentially even your own safety at serious risk. Learn how to spot fakes here.

GP x Petrolicious

The Collector Series, Part Fourteen: Porsche 914

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. Head to Petrolicious to read The Collector Series, Part Fourteen: The Porsche 914, then peruse the kit it inspired.

New school. New gear.

Kit: Freshman Year

Our college years have faded into the past, but that hasn't stopped us from rethinking what we'd pack if we could do it all over again. Whether you're matriculating this fall and looking for a leg up on your classmates, or a (clearly hip) parent prepping for one last spending hoorah before crossing your offspring off the books for good, consider your packing list officially started.

GP x Petrolicious

The Collector Series, Part Thirteen: Ferrari 400i

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. Head to Petrolicious to read The Collector Series, Part Thirteen: The Ferrari 400, then peruse the kit it inspired.

Keeping the good times always close at hand

The 50 Best Festivals in America eBook

Today we're happy reintroduce our guide to the 50 Best Festivals in America in the form of a handy, downloadable eBook (PDF) that's been revamped with even more photography, insight and trivia than before. It's a ready-to-go handbook for your iOS, Android or Kindle device -- never out of reach the next time the road comes calling. Oh, and it's free. Download it here.

The future of sleep is here

Rest Better with ComforPedic iQ

Introducing ComforPedic iQ™, the world’s first and only mattress to combine Ultra Cool™ Memory Foam with the revolutionary, patented Smart Response™ Technology. Sixteen internal chambers work together to naturally and continuously adapt to your body’s every position—all without motors or electronics.

GP x Petrolicious

The Collector Series, Part Eleven: Facel Vega HK500

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. Head to Petrolicious to read The Collector Series, Part Eleven: Facel Vega HK500, then peruse the kit it inspired.

WHAT'S NEW, NOW

This Week in Gear: July 5, 2014

This Week in Gear: the 2015 Ford Focus ST, GE Link connected LEDs, Ginger infused bourbon, Trek's Edmonda SLR 10, Patagonia's Nano-Air jacket.

Doing more

Elements: Dual Threats

Two for the price of one. Who can't get behind a premise like that? We're not talking about Corona-themed tank tops hocked in Cancun to the fanny-packed masses here (but...still). We're talking about those rare multi-tasking gems that force you to reassess what's possible in this day and age. The best of the dual-threat bunch become icons, whether real -- the Swiss Army Knife, Bo Jackson -- or imagined -- a Delorean turned time machine. Most at least make the rest of your possessions look useless in comparison. In some cases their genius stems from clever hacks that seem obvious in hindsight; in others, the magic comes from years of groundbreaking research and technological progress. This is a celebration of versatile items from all walks of life. May your future purchases forever be multi-talented.

Third time's the charm

Design Spotlight: Microsoft Surface Pro 3

Is it our technological destiny to want both a tablet and a laptop forever, or can advances in hardware and software, combined with intelligent design, actually unify our professional and personal lives within one screen? Microsoft made its stance on the matter abundantly clear with the launch of the original Surface in the summer of 2012. Two years later, the third iteration of the Surface is a marvel of engineering honed by experience and proving more than ever that Microsoft’s vision for the future of computing is as real as it gets. Here's a rundown of the key innovations that make new Surface Pro 3 both a powerful Intel Core laptop and an easy-to-use tablet.

GP x Petrolicious

The Collector Series, Part Ten: Mercedes-Benz 280 SL “Pagoda”

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. Head to Petrolicious to read The Collector Series, Part Ten: Mercedes-Benz 280 SL "Pagoda", then peruse the kit it inspired.

Prepare your stomach...and your eyes

Distinctive Dining: Six Must-See Las Vegas Restaurants

Food should always be the main concern when visiting any eating establishment. But in a town like Vegas that's bursting with superstar chefs from around the globe, weighing a few other factors will help narrow your plan of attack. These restaurants boast one-of-a-kind interior designs to go along with their top-chef menus, offering dining experiences all of your senses will appreciate in full.

The capital of empires, today

Photo Essay: The Controlled Chaos of Istanbul

Istanbul is a great place to visit: it's located right smack on the dividing line between Europe and Asia, with a wealth of historical and religious sites, bazaars, a rich food culture and nearby islands that can be gotten to via ferry rides. Photographer and GP contributor Isaac Zapata recently explored the city and experienced its "clash of beauty, history and a controlled sort of chaos."

GP x Petrolicious

The Collector Series, Part Eight: Land Rover Series 1

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. Head to Petrolicious to read The Collector Series, Part Eight: Land Rover Series 1, then peruse the kit it inspired.

One Stop Shop for the DIY Dad

Great Gifts for DIY Dads at Lowes

Our top DIY dads offer project inspiration to make your dad’s day the best yet. Forget the boring striped tie this Father’s Day and give dad the gift of laying low with Lowe’s. Most dads enjoy spending their Father’s Day relaxing at home with their families, so this year, create an experience dad won’t forget for years to come.   With help from some of our favorite DIY dads from across the country, Lowe’s designed inspirational blueprints to help you make this Father’s Day memorable without breaking a sweat – or the bank!   From spending time bonding with the kids over a vegetable garden to building a DIY arbor to hosting a rustic outdoor Father’s Day party for your closest friends and family, find out what our dads have to say about their dream day. Visit our custom-made blueprints: here.   To help make your blueprint dreams a reality, be sure Dad has the following Father’s Day essentials: here.

Gear Patrol x Analog/Shift

Timekeeping Selects: Seiko 6139 “Pogue” Chronograph (Sold)

For our new series, Timekeeping Selects, we've partnered with Analog/Shift, the New York-based purveyor of vintage watches. We're doing the legwork for you, handpicking stunning, unique vintage timepieces at a wide variety of prices -- all with impeccable authenticity, great stories, meticulously serviced and ready to wear. This week we go east for our Timekeeping Select: a late 1970s Seiko 6139-6002 chronograph ($895 Sold), a watch that is significant for several reasons yet remains an outright bargain by any measure.

A Reverence for the Overlooked Classics and what they Inspire

The Collector Series, Part Seven: Karmann Ghia Type 34

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. Head to Petrolicious to read The Collector Series, Part Seven: Karmann Ghia Type 34, then peruse the kit it inspired.

Any Way You Want It

Kit: The Las Vegas Bachelor Party

Sure, you assemble the crew and cobble together a bachelor party in pretty much any city, but chances are the party will wrap up before anyone’s moral compass spins out of control if you’re in a city like Boston or Chicago. If it’s excess you seek -- indulgent meals, cocktail-fueled pool parties, sunshine practically guaranteed -- then the pull of Las Vegas is like that of gravity: a natural phenomenon, an attractive force, and something that inevitably ends with a collision. The beauty of a Vegas bachelor party is that you can create an itinerary that suits any preference for a long weekend: spend an afternoon on the track in a Ferrari, indulge in killer dinner, smoke cigars and play a round of golf (and) or suit up for an epic night out. However you do it, you’ll need to pack the appropriate set of tools.

The DIY Weekend

Building Bonds: Father-Son Projects Worth Starting Today

You shouldn't need an excuse like Father's Day to spend time with your dad. That's where tackling a project together comes in. The right one can help you learn new skills and more about each other, while avoiding the awkwardness that comes after spending too much time at the table when he forgets his "sexy Betty" is still just "mom" to you. Start hatching plans at this year's celebration using the thought starters below and remind any cynical (read: jealous) family members that it's really just about "building, not bonding".

Best Summer Ever

Now Hiring for the GP Internship & Apprenticeship Program

The team that makes Gear Patrol happen here at our office in New York is a small but intensely passionate crew of journalists huddled around a simple mission: cinematic storytelling and product forward reporting. We're also having a damn good time doing it. The work is hard, but it's remarkably fun. We care deeply about our editorial goals (providing a daily roadmap for guys hell-bent on making the most out of their lives), love balancing data and art and hold ourselves accountable to our readers and each other and we're looking for a few good candidates. Read on.

A Reverence for the Overlooked Classics and what they Inspire

The Collector Series, Part Six: Triumph TR6

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. Head to Petrolicious to read The Collector Series, Part Six: Triumph TR6, then peruse the kit it inspired.

An Affordable Watch, Shoe Concerns and a dearth of puns

Letters to GP: May 2014

We read all of your letters. Here's the proof.

You were looking for something to do?

The 50 Best Festivals in America

Americans, we’re a people who enjoy a good gathering. It’s right there in the First Amendment of the United States Constitution: the right of the people to peaceably assemble, adopted on December 15, 1791 -- and darn it we’ve been doing it something serious since then. We caucus to select political representation, we gather around grills on July 4, we congregate in town squares to see who grew the biggest pumpkin. Most of all, we just like to get together and have a rollicking good time. That’s what this story is all about. It’s a survey of America’s greatest festivals, from a small-town California celebration of the local garlic crop to a skull-rattling military air show to the greatest collection of musical performers at one venue, on Earth. We’ve taken certain liberties in defining a festival, so you’ll also find a few conferences that have made an important impact in popular culture. Mark your calendars. Fill up your gas tanks. Pack some beef jerky. These are the 50 best festivals in America.

A Reverence for the Overlooked Classics and what they Inspire

The Collector Series, Part Five: Chevy Corvair Corsa

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. Head to Petrolicious to read The Collector Series, Part Five: Chevy Corvair Corsa then peruse the kit it inspired.

A Quick Recap

In Case You Missed It: May 7-13

Don't miss out on the second time around of: life lessons in Borneo, restoring Mercedes-Benzes, Dangerous Hikes, a Eulogy for Jack Bauer and more.