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Lighting Up the Backcountry

Tested: Goal Zero Solar

Even the most seasoned adventurer has had that terrible moment: miles from the car on an arduous hike back from the latest backcountry adventure, your headlamp sputters out on a moonless night. If you’d prefer to make it back to civilization in one piece — and have a little luxury — on your next mountain excursion, having back-up batteries and a solar charger goes a long way. We tested out some of Goal Zero Solar‘s newest back-up batteries and portable solar panels on a recent backpacking trip through the Uinta Range in northeast Utah.

limits-promo-logoThis article is part of a new original series, LIMITS, dedicated to exploring the physical and mental borderlands of human capability. And beyond.
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Fun Per Gallon

Quick Spin: 2013 VW Jetta Hybrid

If a hybrid vehicle is what you seek, there are two ends of the spectrum. On the left: the Toyota Prius, sipping fuel at 51mpg through an uninspiring 98 hp engine for $24K. On the right: the Porsche Panamera S Hybrid, which will run you close to $100k, with an “is-this-really-a-hybrid” 22mpg due to its…

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Guilty as charged

Breakdown: 2014 Cadillac ELR

Given its lineage, we probably wouldn’t refer to it as a true “driver’s car”, but the completely new, super-aerodynamic Cadillac ELR 2+2 sure looks the part. That its design is edgy, futuristic, and alludes to strong momentum is no surprise given Cadillac’s direction as of late (and because we’ve told you about it before), but…

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To the Paper Go the Spoils

Fenugreen FreshPaper

According to a report from the Natural Resources Defense Council, Americans throw out approximately 25% of the food they purchase each year due to spoilage. Though we’ve never conducted our own study, the moldy strawberries and wilted spinach in the bottom of our waste bins suggest that number is fairly accurate. To combat this problem,…

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As green as the course

Mountain Khakis Fairway Polo

Made from a cotton/Bionic recycled PET polyester blend, the new Mountain Khakis Fairway Polo ($70) gets our green blood pumping. No, this shirt isn’t comprised of unobtanium nanotechnology, but it does find good use for up-to 14 recycled plastic bottles. But unlike a crunchy empty Coke container, the Fairway polo is as soft and supple…

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Mean Green

Bremach T-Rex

Essentially a plug-in steroidal, man-sized Tonka truck, the Bremach T-Rex takes green power beyond mere passenger cars and into the realm of ruggedly capable vehicles. Bremach has been making industrial grade trucks since the 1950s and is now breaking new ground with this monster that houses a 100kW electric motor providing a 150 mile range,…

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Room with a view

Stay | Finca Bellavista

Be honest with yourself: at one point in your life (for some of us more recently) you dreamt about being Fritz from The Swiss Family Robinson, evading tigers, fighting pirates and living in the trees. Well, there’s an app er… place for that. Gentle readers, welcome to Finca Bellavista, a sustainable tree-house community tucked away…

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Not your parents' Lexus.

Quick Spin: 2011 Lexus CT 200h

Earlier this week, Lexus invited Gear Patrol to get behind the wheel of the new 2011 Lexus CT 200h a few months ahead of its North American release this March. The punishing streets of New York aren’t what we’d call a typical test track, but the CT 200h is not your typical car, let alone…

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Home Fab Home

New World Home Prefab Homes

The idea of a prefabricated or modular home may not jive with that hand-built treehouse from your childhood dreams, but consider this: the home above, The Buckminster, takes less than 100 days to build in a factory and arrives nearly LEED Home Platinum certified. This home, and the dozens of other plans offered by New…

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More Green for Less... Green

2011 Brammo Enertia Plus

Innovative green technology and our fondness for two-wheeled machinations don’t often cross, but when they do it certainly grabs our attention. Brammo has staked its flag right in our crossroads with the new Enertia Plus ($8,995), the sequel to the original two-wheeled urban commuter.

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It's Electric, Boogie Woogie

Behind the Wheel: Nissan Leaf

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Green Means Go

Silveira Customs Green Samba Personal Watercraft

To equate the electric Silveira Customs Green Samba Personal Watercraft ($TBD) to a Tesla on water is the equivalent of an editorial shortcut, but the likeness is just too easy to pass. Similar to a sport bike, the Green Samba’s semi-prone layout is designed to feel like an extension of the driver’s body. On water,…

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Look Good and Do Good

Greenlines Boardshorts

It seem that nowadays every clothing manufacturer under the sun sells some form of board short. Problem is, few are made with quality and worse, covered with crazy patterns and designs that may not suit everyone’s summer look (no pun intended). If you’re one of the guys dissatisfied with this trend, then Greenlines Boardshorts ($60)…

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The Dude Approved

Counter Evolution Gutterball Table

Handcrafted in Brooklyn, Counter Evolution salvages rare heartpine and maple wood from former bowling lanes to produce varying furniture in an eco-friendly manner in a variety of stains. The result is a lineup of district industrial-like artisan tables and desks we wouldn’t mind building a room (or house) around. Our pick is the Gutterball Dining…

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Lighter. Safer. Greener

Essilor Airwear

Buying a new pair of glasses is a tedious task. You spend hours trying to find a frame, more hours finding the proper lenses prescription, then have to live with your decision for the following year(s). Most of us don’t want to deal with the process after selecting the right frame much less pay attention…

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Swing Into Spring

Loll Go Porch Swing

With Spring, there’s no better time or place to enjoy your morning coffee or evening reading than your porch. If you’re lucky enough to have one, that is. Make full use of your pendulating outdoor mecca with a modern update to the traditional porch swing from Loll – a company who’s built a reputation from…

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Netbook For Green-Minded Geeks

Sony Vaio W Eco-Friendly Laptop

More often than not, so-called “green” electronics earn that title thanks to their low or efficient energy consumption. Sony, like Apple, though has decided to up the ante by building this 10-inch netbook system out of 23% recycled CDs. Gee, I wonder where they could have gotten those from?

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Bamboo: More Than Just Feng Shui

Degree 6 Clothing

Lately, green has been the new black. Everyone is cashing in on the environmentally organofriendly trend, especially clothiers. While being chemical and pesticide free is certainly a good thing, we still need to improve our efforts to improve water conservation. No matter how conservative you think you are, the amount of water used to make…

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Limited Edition Clothing

Looptworks Kampung Shorts

Think about it: when Nike or Banana Republic or Columbia order a hundred thousand pairs of pants to be made, there’s going to be some fabric left over. Usually, it’s not enough to fill a full order for one of these behemoth companies, but enough to make say… 187 pairs of shorts. That’s where Looptworks…

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The Perfect Pack For The Trail

Mountainsmith Lumbar Day Pack

As gear testers, we are always on the lookout for the best gear for every aspect of our lives. A long hunt for the perfect bag suitable for the trail has finally been achieved (at least in this author’s opinion).

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Sleep On Green Comfort

Big Agnes Recycled Diversion Insulated Air Core

Roughing it doesn’t mean you have to forgo sleep comfort. Renowned outdoor outfitter (and multiple award winner) Big Agnes knows a thing or two when it comes to equipment, especially their Air Core sleeping pads. Taking one of their award winning traditional pad designs and “green-ifying” it, has resulted in the Big Agnes Recycled Diversion…

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Light-Bright

Humanscale Element LED Task Light

Humanscale has helped solve many of the issues that plague the office environment: uncomfortable seating, keyboards and mice that cause stress on the wrists, and cluttered desktops. They have also thought through the cheaply made, non-serviceable, dim desk-lighting problem – enter the Humanscale Element LED task light. Out with the bluish or yellow-tinged glare –…

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Liquid Illuminati

Eternaleds HydraLux-4 LED Bulb

Eternaleds has engineered the world’s first liquid-cooled light bulb, the HydraLux-4, as part of their line of LED products designed for maximum efficiency. Their first fluid-filled offering is a 25 watt model, cooled with harmless paraffin oil (higher wattage examples are to be released after the first of the year), and intended for applications such…

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Skip Home Depot, Go Salvage

Heritage Salvage Reclaimed Building Materials

Gear Patrol readers who consider themselves floor-ophiles may want to set your browsers to visit Heritave Salvage Reclaimed Building Materials. Based in Petaluma, California, Heritage carries materials sourced only from fallen, endangered, or abandoned structures. They call it repurposing. We call it vintage goodness.

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Eco-Friendly Meets Bahnstormer

BMW 335d Diesel

265 horsepower. 425 lb-ft torque. 0-60mph in 5.9 sec. 36 mpg. Zoiks. Powered by BMW’s buttery smooth 3.0 turbocharged inline-6 advanced diesel engine, the BMW 335d hits the roads with a singular mission: prove you can have your cake and eat it too. BMW’s latest version of the 3-series features 2,500 all-new components from the…

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What's Good for Mother Nature Is Good for You

All Terrain Natural Remedies

I often wonder if the products we apply to our skin do more harm than the conditions they’re designed to protect us from.  Ranging from sunscreens to bug sprays, muscle rubs to hand sanitizers, the unnatural compounds in these products (most of which I can’t pronounce) make me question if this is really what my…

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Comfortable And Philanthropic

Nau Juncture 13 Shorts

Nau is a brand that should be making it onto your fashion radar, especially if you care about your footprint on this earth. They’re deeply rooted in an ethical and responsible approach to the products they produce; these tactics includes everything from sustainable material sourcing, to their corporate credo, to their commitment to positive change….

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Be a Better Man in 30 Days | Day 21: Know How To Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

Every generation has its defining crisis, a moment in history where hostile elements are tensely opposed to the max and shit’s going down one way or the other. As you can imagine, for each circumstance there is a decisive call to action – one that requires more than some emotionally dramatic upheaval. The proper response…

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Your Reward for Less Waste? How About More Wine.

French rabbit Wines

I love wine. I love to drink it, to discuss its complex flavors, and, most of all, to enjoy the time shared with friends over a good bottle. Well, if the folks at French rabbit wines have their way, I’ll be enjoying my vino from a carton from here on out. What’s that you say?…

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All-Natural Solution to Oxybenzone Sunscreens. Also, An Answer To Your Question,

Soleo Organics Sunscreen

Summer is almost upon us and, if you’re anything like the men of the GP Crew, you’re gearing up for the beach, lake, golf, tennis, run, bike, swim… you get the picture. What do all these activities have in common? Sun exposure. Ever since our youth and (and even more so recently), we’ve been taught…