Vehicle Gear

The smell of leaves and exhaust

Kit: Fall Driving Essentials

When the temperatures drop from their sweaty heights and the warm hues of fall foliage emerge, the driving experience changes -- it's time for windows-down scenic cruising. Bring along the appropriate warm garb (plus a few other essentials) and you'll have mastered the fall drive.

Rediscover your sunroof

Tested: Whispbar Rack System

During a month of hauling kayaks atop a Volvo XC90, the Whispbar proved truly innovative and escaped many of the pitfalls found in other carrying racks.

Be the country gentleman

Land Rover Series 1 Kit

Driving the iconic, century-old Land Rover Series 1 warrants a look that is 100 percent country -- so you'd be best suited for some rugged but still classy gear that's ready for the great outdoors. We've put together a kit that will have you looking almost as safari-slick as Robert Redford in Out of Africa. Almost.

Squid Vest not included

Sartorial Safety: Office-Friendly Motorcycle Gear

The office dress code can be a challenge for a motorcycle enthusiast; riding the elevator in an unzipped kangaroo skin onesie doesn’t score too many points with the boss. Thankfully, there's some excellent motorcycle gear out there that provides the protection you need without sacrificing any of your executive flair.

Iconography

Talk Shop: Icon Motorsports

Catering to a group of riders that had historically ignored protective gear completely, Icon Motorsports created its own market and developed one hell of a loyal base by literally saving their customers' skin. Thirteen years after their inception, the Portland-based company is still kicking ass, pumping out both no-compromise protective gear and some tire-shredding bikes.

Petrolhead Playthings

Small Wheels, Big Thrills: 10 Best Automotive Toys

Kids love cars and trucks and things that go -- get 'em hooked early and they'll be motorheads for life. Whether you want to start small with miniature die-cast models, build patience with tedious model-building or see how well your offspring hoon, there's a car toy out there that'll fit the bill. We've rounded up ten awesome -- and classic -- car toys that you'd be proud to bestow upon your kid and that he or she will be more than happy to crash pilot.

Old Man Winter Anti-Venom

Snow Go: 10 Best Winter Driving Products

You welcome winter driving like you welcome a root canal without novocaine. It's just something you're going to have to deal with, and most of the time it won't be pretty. And though you certainly can't control the guy who thinks his 4x4 means he can drive like the abominable idiot, you can at least ready yourself for most situations on the cold, heartless road. As the Boy Scout motto says, "Be prepared". That's a wise way to approach winter's worst, one reflected by this kit of essentials.

Gifts for the Rubber Burner

12 Guys of Christmas: The Driver

Drivers can be a picky bunch. It's likely that fuzzy dice and sheepskin seat covers won't cut it this (or any) year, so take some direction from us this holiday season. Car or motorcycle guys tend to appreciate things that enhance the experience or provide a bit of insight into the hobby/obsession. And you have no excuse to be stingy. He's given you rides in his vintage roadster, and he even bought you some driving gloves for your Camry SE in hopes of steering you toward a more legitimate ride someday. It's time you ponied up for something he'll appreciate. Of course, you can still stuff his stocking with a box of synthetic 5W30.

Toss out the petrified bearclaw, will ya?

Kit: 10 Items for Every Glovebox

Like a shoebox filled with letters from your old girlfriend (you don't still have that, do you?), no one wants to open your car's glove compartment. What on earth could be in there -- a non-functioning drugstore flashlight, insurance cards from 2009, a Spandau Ballet CD, perhaps some ketchup packets? Good god. We don't even know you. Clean out your filthy glovebox, ditch the garbage and start stocking it with these ten essentials.

Make like Stirling Moss

Kit: Summer Driving

It's hard to believe how different a hot commute in hair-pulling traffic can be from a balmy mid-afternoon drive on an open road in the countryside -- both in the same car. Nothing brings back the freedom of summer like a great drive, and unless you're cursed with a 36-month lease of a kiddie-hauler that now smells like sour milk, it's high time you planned just such a trip. Now it's time to get you equipped.

Inflatable peace of mind

Hail Protector

Better than your run-of-the-mill car cover, the Hail Protector inflates in minutes to provide your car with the ultimate protection from hail -- even stuff the size of softballs. It's powered by AC outlet, AA batteries or via the cigarette lighter in your car. Plus, you can activate it with a remote control from the comfort of your home, after which you can watch the seventh plague drop from the skies with peace of mind.

Million Dollar Baby (maker)

Design Spotlight: Chase Car Inc. Porsche Panamera Turbo Camera Car

Though most movies don't cause the viewer to think about camera angles, lighting or color tone, there are some (Star Trek, Eagle Eye, Fast & Furious) with sequences and scenes that leave you wondering "How the hell did they shoot that?" This is how the hell: Chase Car Inc. We had a chance to check out their matte-black, modded out Porsche Panamera Turbo, replete with a full camera crane. Needless to say, we smiled for the camera.

12 gifts for the lead foot

The 12 Guys of Christmas: The Driver

To find gifts for those men who consider driving simply a way to get from point A to point B, head to the nearest Brookstone. For those impassioned drivers you know — the ones who have 5W-30 running through their veins, love talking about tire aspect ratios and own some kind of driving/riding apparel (which...

Flow Rida

BMW AirFlow 2 Helmet

The ventilation found in most motorcycle helmets these days is about as cooling as having an asthmatic wheeze on you. Try to tame the tail of the dragon on a hot day, and you’ll soon learn how mom’s limp veggies feel before they land on the Thanksgiving Day table. To keep you cool, dry, safe...

Bass Pro

Low Innovations: In-Depth with Mercedes-Benz FrontBass

It doesn’t feel like that long ago when adding aftermarket amplifiers, separates, and elephantine subwoofers (remember the Bazooka?) seemed like the right thing to do to your car. We’ve come a long way since then; and when we checked in with the families and friends at the office, not one could even recall the last...

Pin a Tail on Your Donkey

Dinoot Modular Camping Trailers

Unless you’re fastpacking, any trip involving more than two people (kids, especially) maxes out vehicle cubic space before you run out of things you need to bring. Dinoot Modular Camping Trailers ($789+) let you take everything on your list, plus everything on your wife’s list, too. With modular, build-as-you-go setup, each trailer is customizable to...

Silence on the lam

Yakima Whispbar

The new Yakima Whispbar ($450+) aims to change the way the world looks at rooftop luggage and gear loading, and listens to it too. A former Rolls Royce aircraft engineer obsessed with aerodynamics partnered with the University of Canterbury and Industrial Research Ltd, to invest thousands of R&D hours to develop a roof rack system....

Let the Good Times Roll

Deus x Makr Tool Roll

The Deus x Makr Tool Roll is what happens when you combine the leather-crafting talents of Florida’s Makr Carry Goods with Australia’s legendary motorcycling company Deus Ex Machina. The resulting limited-edition love child has a nostalgic look and a pragmatic usefulness any motorcyclist would love. Individually hand crafted and constructed from #10 cotton duck Martexin...

Pull it real good

Yakima RackandRoll Trailer

When it comes time to take the toys outside to play, transportation becomes key unless your driveway conveniently happens to adjoin a slope, starting line or body of water. Adding another option to the pantheon of roof, hitch and rear mounted options, the lightweight Yakima RackandRoll Trailer ($2,150) makes hauling gear a breeze by removing...

Curved for your pleasure

Motion Simulation TL1

Admit it. If your wife/girlfriend was cool enough to let you put a hulking driving simulator in your living room, you wouldn’t hesitate for a nano-second. Well, if you do ever get the green light (good luck), behold the bank draining option that is the Motion Simulation TL1 Driving Simulator ($18,600). Built in collaboration with...

Who needs drain plugs?

Rugged Ridge Power Top for Jeep Wrangler

Topless cruising in a Jeep Wrangler is a rite of passage for off road enthusiasts, serving as the perfect combination of man, machine and Mother Nature. Getting caught out in the bush when the she changes her mind and things get wet just plain sucks, drain plugs or not. Rugged Ridge and its Georgia based...

Summer's portable penthouse

Tepui Roof Top Tents

Now that summer’s just around the bend, it’s time to start thinking about making the most of your weekends again. But, if your idea of car camping is heading for the nearest KOA with a Honda Civic jammed full of Sports Authority clearance rack tents, it might just be time to rethink your strategy. Instead,...

Paranoid Android

Parrot Asteroid Receiver

In-car telematics are a losing proposition. As many features as brands tout it seems like it’s hardly 6 months before your $3000 navigation and audio system are outdated. If you’re like most American’s and own your vehicle anywhere close to the average of a decade then forget about it — you’re lucky to even have...

Dos Caminos

Tenere Motorcycle Expedition Tent

With enough room for you, a companion and your ride, the Tenere Expedition Tent ($399) is easily one of the best motorcycle adventure tent solutions we’ve come across. Developed by the minimalist two-wheeled trekkers at Redverz, the Tenere offers designs specific to motorcycle expeditions. Consisting of two vestibules along with a separate inner-tent, the main...

Rolling Stone

Vossen VVS-CV3 Monoblock Wheels

Looking for a pair of sinister wheels for your sinister ride? Well, even if you aren’t, you’ll still appreciate the work that goes into a set of Vossen Wheels. With over 25 years of experience, Vossen’s measured approach of design and engineering has created a portfolio of some of the best looking wheels we’ve ever...

Porta-pull

WARN Corldess PullzAll Handheld Winch

The worst thing about a vehicle-mounted winch is its lack of versatility. Sure, it’ll get you out of your oh-too-brave off-road shenanigans, but come home, cabin, or other winch-duties it’s tough to rely on a one-trick pony. Recognizing the challenge, the Warn Pullzall Handheld Winch ($499) provides cordless 1,000-lb load pulling capabilities. Two included rechargeable...

Lighten your load

Malone HandiRack Inflatable Roof Rack

So your Ford F-150 is in the shop and you’re forced to take your diminutive Toyota Yaris to Home Depot to pick up some 2x4s. That ain’t gonna work. You can pay to rent one of their vans to bring back a small supply, or you can simply bring along your Malone HandiRack inflatable roof...

Checking your 6 while looking at 12

Reevu MSX1 Rearview Motorcycle Helmet

“The bike goes where your head goes.” Or so go sage words of instruction from the motorcycle lessons you took ages ago. The problem is, that when you’re checking what’s behind, you risk throwing off your balance. The Reevu MSX1 $350 helmet takes neck-craning out of the picture. Using a passive glass-free mirror system, the...

For your two-wheeled trip to Hoth

Roof Boxer V8 Motorcycle Helmet

Looking like you just disembarked a Rebel Snowspeeder instead of your Ducati Monster 796, the Roof Boxer V8 Motorcycle Helmet is Star Wars pilot cool and full to the brim with high-end doo-dads. Moldable and washable inner lining and cheek pads, 180 degree chinbar rotation, free-moving visor (regardless of chinbar position) and multiple air intakes...

Nice Rack

SeaSucker Auto Bike Mounts

If you’re not a serious biker, the idea of marring your whip with a typical bike rack for occasional trips might make you cringe. On the other hand, SeaSucker Auto Bike Mounts ($150-$630) use powerful vacuum cups with built-in pumps to stick to your vehicle’s surfaces. Developed initially for diving applications, the automotive racks have...

Living it up at the Tenthouse

Eezi-Awn T-Top Roof Tent

For the past 25 years, Eezi-Awn has been constructing roof tents in South Africa. Their tents are designed to withstand extreme weather conditions, vibration, and abuse on high impact overland journeys. Stocked here in the US by Equipt Expedition Outfitters based in Salt Lake City, the roof tents instantly converts your otherwise unoccupied roof into...

A Different Kind of Backup Plan

HitchSafe Vault

The HitchSafe Vault ($70) may not be relevant to those of you lucky enough to drive something like the 2012 Ford Mustang Boss 302 Laguna Seca, but if your whip has a tow hitch, then it may come in handy just when you need it most. That’s because this solid steel vault is designed to...

Get The Cure For Your Ailing Auto

CarMD

It is never a good thing when the “Check Engine” light is glowing at you from the dashboard – is it going to be a $50 fix, or a $500 setback? And is the repair shop really being honest about the problem and the price? If you’ve ever had these thoughts, you’ll be glad to...

Cupholders, Check. Power Windows, Check. Wi-Fi, Check.

Autonet Mobile Router

Your car provides you freedom and, though you may prefer your car to take you away from the trappings of technology, sometimes you need stable internet access whilst road tripping (be it for work, family trips, or the Gear Patrol RSS feed). Autonet turns your car into the local Starbucks (sans lattes) by creating a...

Ice Ice Baby

Michelin X-Ice Xi2 Tires

Michelin (Tire, not Stars, but the same company) has a new winter tire, and it’s shaping up to be one of the best out this year. Providing as much ice and snow-prowling capabilities without forgoing every bit of gas mileage you pay dearly for ,the Michelin X-Ice Xi2 is just as good serving as your...

Say No To Paycheck Burning Speeding Tickets

Valentine One Radar Detector

It’s nearly impossible to search for a radar detector online (or elsewhere for that matter) without turning up gobs of tests, opinions, and other information. Taken as a whole body of research, one unit stands out above all the rest – Valentine One. The V1 radar detector has been the benchmark for other detectors for...

Dirty Cars Be Afraid... Very Afraid

Metropolitan Vac N’ Blo Auto Vacuum

This thing really sucks. Sorry, I couldn’t resist – cheesy and obvious. Metropolitan Vacuum Cleaner Company got their start in 1939 (Happy 70th Anniversary) and has grown into a multidivisional company with market share in pet grooming and drying, computer maintenance, inflators/deflators as well as car, bike, and floor care products. The Metro Vac N...

A Better Way To Carry Your Gear

Yakima LoadWarrior

Spring is in the air and with Spring comes the great outdoors, or in the case of urban living – helping people move into new apartments. Time to break out the Yakima LoadWarrior and increase the load capacity of Gear Patrol’s Land Rover LR2. Thus, it’s a perfect opportunity to review Yakima’s cargo carrier.

Dirty Windshields Be Damned

Rain-X Latitude Wiper Blade

The Northeast is absolute hell on a car during the winter. The roads are saltier than a chicken Parmesan sandwich, subjecting a vehicle’s paint and undercarriage to the corroding salt. Worse yet, the constant drizzle mixed with salt means cars are perpetually coated in a fine layer of salty chicken cutlets crud. Not only is...

Prestone Ice & Frost Shield

Those of you in arid Southern states or tropical climes, read no further. This review is for those men who brave winter’s wrath. And rumor has it that the groundhog saw his shadow, so we’re in for a lot more of it. As GP’s man in the frozen north, I agreed to take one for...

KMH Trac Vision A7

Back Seat Drive? Not When You Can Back Seat Watch. It’s no fun having Jeeves drive while you’re sober, if it means missing your shows. Ten years ago, you were living the high life if you had a DVD player in your car. Now the standards have changed. This is America, a.k.a the land of...

Tailgating Innovations Custom Trailer

Suddenly, you’ve found justification for owning a gas-guzzling SUV The gridiron season is upon us, finally. Are you geared up? Are you ready for the greatest right as an American man? Are you ready for tailgating? Land a touchdown before kick-off with Tailgating Innovations‘ Custom Tailgating Trailer. You’ll have satellite television piped through it’s 47...

Stant Locking Gas Cap

Your car is equipped with anti-theft measures. It’s equipped with a security system. But is it equipped with a locking gas cap? Hmm, that may have made you think twice. Everyone knows gas prices are climbing faster than the 1990’s New York Stock Exchange. Avoid fuel theft with a cost effective safety measure. The Stant...

Dash Express

The Dash Express is a new level of car GPS/navigation units. It’s Dash Driver network selects your route based on up-to-the-minute traffic data that is automatically and anonymously exchanged via the most reliable source&emdash;other Dash devices.t will find virtually anything using Yahoo! Local search to find unlimited points of interest&emdash;people, places, products and services&emdash;based on...