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18 Excellent Dopp Kits
Skip the ziploc. It's time to upgrade your toiletry bag.
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5 Best Straight Razors
Scrap the disposables. Shave with one of these weapons.
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30 Best Duffel Bags
Stylish, functional and across a range of prices.
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10 Great Hiking Shirts
Button down and hike up.
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Meet this year's hottest new shooters

The New Camera Class of 2014: DSLR Alternatives

From the Archives: In just a few short years the world of photography has been turned upside down, and the advent of the iPhone and other innovations like mirrorless cameras has created a dizzying array of options. We take a look at the latest new class of cameras, none of them DSLRs, but all capable and unique in their own right.

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Rolex? Omega.

The Watches of James Bond

There’s a bit of dialogue in Casino Royale, the 2006 reboot of the James Bond movie franchise, when Vesper Lynd thinks she has Bond figured out, right down to his watch:

“Rolex?” she asks.
“Omega”, Bond replies.
“Beautiful”, Lynd assesses.

Those three words sum up 50 years of Bond and his wristwatches.

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Big guns for those haulin' runs

5 Great 7-Passenger SUVs

It’s no longer enough for a big SUV to transport seven; it has to look good and feel good (for both driver and passengers) while doing it. Our intrepid Octane crew drove five of the best seven-passenger SUVs out there and found a flavor for just about anyone. While none of these five SUVs are perfect, each is grand in its own right by virtue of style, quality and utility.

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The Week's Best Writing

In Case You Missed It: August 10 – 17

Our best articles from the last few weeks. Just in case, ya know, you missed them: from learning how to make absinthe cocktails to our latest timekeeping series on affordable watches.

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Hook, Line and Sinker

The Fishing Issue

“All Americans believe that they are born fishermen,” Steinbeck wrote. “For a man to admit a distaste for fishing would be like denouncing mother-love or hating moonlight.” We love our mothers and the soft light reflected by the moon — and at the risk of sounding presumptuous, we like to think we were born to fish. Our relationship with the sport is rooted in a primordial struggle of man versus nature, of course, but that just scratches the surface. We like the quiet time. We like packing a cooler of beer. We like the rods and reels and lures. Sometimes we like eating the damn things and other times we like throwing them back. We’re 50/50 on bucket hats. In the spirit of this great American pastime, Steinbeck’s “piscatorial religion”, we’ve put together the Fishing Issue, a collection of stories that take us from an airboat in the Florida Everglades to the Verrazano-Narrows in Brooklyn to the docks of Seattle’s Foster Island.

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A Fly Fishing Legend

30 Minutes With: Lefty Kreh

From the Archives: 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.

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$14 Well Spent

Check Up on Your Summer Movie List

From the Archives: Summer is movie season, and in a chaotic era of remakes, reboots, trilogies, and $14 movie tickets, it’s nice to have a guide. We’ve gathered a mix of big names, indies that aren’t disastrous or unbearably depressing, and some sneaky under-the-radar flicks, all of which should be worth your while. Oh, and we threw the rest at the bottom for you to stream after a long day at the pool.

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THE Italian Stallion

The Ferrari Issue

A prancing black horse against a yellow backdrop: it’s the conspicuous emblem of Ferrari. Sealed permanently into everything from pop culture to motorsport, Ferrari can at times feel overwrought — its marketing includes branded tchotchkes and amusement parks — but at its soul it’s still the performance automaker from Maranello that Enzo built. And if there’s ever been a brand more associated with a singular color, we can’t think of one more yoked than Ferrari Red. To honor the glory of the brand, we’ve assembled an entire issue of Ferrari, ranging from vintage to modern, V8 to V12, race to hobby. Owning one might be a far-off dream, but it’s certainly a dream worth visiting often. Slide in, buckle up and read on.

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A grand vision and a noble idea

America, The Once and Future King of Watchmaking?

From the Archives: A century or more ago, watchmaking in the United States was the equal of any in the world. Unfortunately, in the intervening years that industry has largely gone away. Yet there are those who would like to see the industry and its uniquely American timepieces return, people who believe “Made in the USA” should be a label as valuable — and meaningful — on a watch dial as “Swiss Made” is today. Could such a thing happen?

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Grand Touring, Family Style

Behind The Wheel of the Ferrari FF

From the Archives: One of Ferrari’s most recent offerings, the Ferrari FF, makes use of the brand’s V12 staple, albeit in its most powerful form ever in a roadgoing car — but the FF also makes a noticeable departure from Ferrari Grand Tourers of the past through polarizing style, all-wheel-drive, practical (yes, practical) seating for four and enough cargo room to hit the road for more than a day. We got the behind the wheel with family in tow.

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The Week's Best Writing

In Case You Missed It: August 3 – 10

Our best articles from the last few weeks. Just in case, ya know, you missed them: from learning how to make absinthe drinks to our latest timekeeping series on affordable watches.

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The Magnum Opus of Grilling

How to Make the Man Steak

From the Archives: Comprised of the sirloin with all of its various muscles intact (including the tenderloin), the Man Steak is a beautiful thing to behold. Tom Mylan, owner of The Meat Hook, a whole animal butcher shop in Brooklyn, NY, shares a recipe for one from his cookbook.

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Essentials for a quicky with mother nature

Kit: The Perfect Day Pack

From the Archives: Most day hikes require a peanut butter sandwich, a water bottle and maybe some bug spray. But for the weekend warrior who wants to crush in one day what most people stroll in three, there are a few indispensables. Here are our favorite necessities and extravagances for spending a day burning through some miles on the trail.

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More than just a toy

The Remote-Controlled Car Grows Up

From the Archives: You can spend as little or as much as you want on a remote-controlled vehicle (you’ll see shortly that there are far more than cars available), but what each one delivers is huge fun in a small package — and, in some cases, the kind of performance that shames the full-sized deal. Here are ten great remote controlled vehicles that are worth your time, your imagination and some of your hard-earned cash. Just be prepared to fight over them with your kids.

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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.

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Gasoline is overrated

The Diesel Issue

Diesel power is no longer reserved for hulking 18-wheelers that send plumes of grey smoke into the sky. Clean-burning diesel cars permeate the European landscape, and they’re slowly but surely making their way into more and more American homes thanks to affordability, impressive mileage numbers and beefy torque. In our Diesel Issue, we look into the advantages of diesel, the technology that makes it work, and the best cars that run on the stuff.

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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.

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Captain Planet approved. Sort of.

Porsche, McLaren and Ferrari Prove Supercars Can Have a Conscience

From the Archives: The Porsche 918, the McLaren P1 and the Ferrari LaFerrari are still all about superlatives — fastest, best handling, most exotic. But they also repurpose the latest technology to maximize the “dear lord” factor. They’re redefining excess, not stamping it out.

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The Week's Best Writing

In Case You Missed It: July 20 – 27

Our best articles from the last few weeks. Just in case, ya know, you missed them: From day hiking out West to great affordable watches.

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Mount Rainier - 14,410 feet

Climbing the Volcano

From the Archives: Mount Rainier rises 14,410 feet above the landscape two hours to the southeast of Seattle. It towers above its surroundings, dwarfing the smaller peaks of the nearby Tatoosh Range and creating its own weather systems. It is the largest and most heavily glaciated peak in the lower 48 states. From the city on clear days, it is a beacon, almost a benevolent presence. Yet Rainier is considered one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the Western Hemisphere. Should it ever erupt again, the resulting mudslides and ash would threaten not only Seattle but much of Washington state and beyond.

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A Comprehensive Guide to Ignoring Friends and Family

The 50 Best iPhone & iPad Games

From the Archives: Consoles don’t provide much in the way of portability (anyone else ever own this masterpiece of engineering?), and grown men carrying Gameboys often attract the wrong kind of attention, but mobile games offer interactive experiences on the devices that most of us carry every day. They allow us a bit of serenity when we need it most — in the airport, on the subway, at a questionable mid-life Bris. Here, we’ve provided a list of 50 of the best games made for iOS. Play at the risk of your relationship.

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Uncomplicated, for your wallet

Five Complications Under $500

From the Archives: Watches that simply tell time are a dime a dozen, and sometimes close to a dozen a dime. But start adding more functions and things can get complicated — and expensive. While we’re just starting to forgive the quartz watch for dealing a near death blow to our beloved mechanical timepieces, there’s no denying that when you want more bang for the buck, battery power is the way to go. You’ll pay dearly for dual time zones, flybacks, alarms and tide trackers on the mechanical side of the fence, but if you’re willing to put up with a tick-tick-tick seconds hand, we’ve found five watches that are happy to complicate your life for under (or around) five hundred dollars.

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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.

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Not your neighbor's crossover

Driving the SQ5, Audi’s Secret Powerhouse

From the Archives: Perhaps the most enjoyable car to drive in 2014 is one you wouldn’t even stop to admire in a parking lot. The 2014 Audi SQ5 ($59,400) doesn’t have ostentatious styling; its idling engine wouldn’t wake a sleeping babe; it can seat a family of four comfortably with room for luggage. Yet it’s an absolute powerhouse.

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Our inbox overfloweth

Letters to GP: July 2014

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

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We test 10 huge Imperial IPAs

Doubling Down on IPAs

From the Archives: Over the past 20 years, the way to make a double IPA (otherwise known as DIPA or “imperial IPA”) hasn’t really changed: roughly double the ingredients that would go into a normal IPA and you get a double IPA. As the weather changes, more and more stores begin cellaring their heavy winter stouts and replacing them with these hop- and malt-forward beasts. For those looking to expand their palates, doubles offer the citrus hop and bready malt flavors of regular IPAs, but amplified, and with plenty more complexity to spare. We tasted ten of our favorites.

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Embrace your baggage

10 Best Daypacks for Every Adventure

From the Archives: While the lifetime warrantee on your North Face pack from grammar school is meant to be honored, there’s something to be said for retiring before things unravel. Today’s daypacks will haul your climbing gear or your laptop over mountains and through airports. These are our favorites.

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Easy Reader

Timekeeping Icon: Heuer Carrera

From the Archives: The Heuer Carrera can be summed up in one word: legible. When Jack Heuer, the great-grandson of Heuer’s founder, decided to introduce a new line of chronograph watches in 1963, ease of reading was the foremost design goal. Taking inspiration from the dashboard dials of racing cars, Jack developed what is arguably one of the best-looking chronographs ever made. These were watches designed to be worn on the track and in the cockpit of the world’s fastest cars, and many of the best drivers of the 1960s and 1970s chose Heuers. This was a time before brand ambassador programs paid celebrities to wear their watches; drivers like Mario Andretti, Gilles Villeneuve, Clay Regazzoni, Jochen Rindt, Niki Lauda, and Jo Siffert wore Heuers just because they liked them.

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GP x Petrolicious

The Collector’s Series, Part Twelve: Citroën DS

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 Twelve: The Citroen DS, then peruse the kit it inspired.

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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.

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