Few items of clothing have remained relevant as long as the trench coat. Conflictingly claimed to have been created by both Burberry (in 1901) and Aquascutum (sometime in the 1850s), it's been part of the public style lexicon since the British Army adopted it for officers during WWI (thus the "trench"). Well over a century later it continues to be offered in a variety of colors, lengths, fabrics and configurations from a myriad of companies. Innovation in a product this storied isn't often seen -- which is what makes American Trench so special and their Dark Navy Trench one of the best.
Inspired by a London-bought raincoat, the founders of American Trench searched in earnest for a quality trench coat made in America but came up empty handed. So they made their own. Their resulting Dark Navy Trench avoids the somewhat shapeless look of traditional cuts through a trim silhouette, though it still allows room for a blazer underneath. Details like an interior smart phone pocket, hidden zipper pocket for your valuables (or microfilm), and a detachable button-on hood matches function with its undeniable form.
The Dark Navy Trench's fabric uniquely reaches back through history to an Italian brand called Olmetex, whose tightly woven 100% Egyptian cotton fabric was developed for WWII fighter pilots who needed survival suits for ditching into the brutally cold North Sea. Olmetex's modern fabric, H20 Protector, ups the ante by coating the cotton with DWR (durable water repellent) to help water beading without negatively affecting breathability. Classic design paired with fresh perspective and modern technology -- a fitting makeup for a trench coat that displays the same qualities.
Excellence, innovation, craftsmanship, and an unwavering desire to challenge expectations -- these are the constants that have captivated our attention since Gear Patrol's inception in 2007. This year we're proud to announce the next step in our role as a champion of quality in product design and execution: welcome to the GP100. Our inaugural product awards are dedicated to honoring the 100 best consumer products released during the calendar year by companies of all sizes and scope.
The GP100 is not a ranking or a contest. These selections represent the collective expertise of our entire editorial staff, who have scoured every corner of the vast product universe -- from automotive and electronics, to men's style essentials, home goods, spirits and outdoors -- to find the inspiring and the practical, the ground-breaking 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.
The GP100 is not a contest influenced by marketers or brands, nor is it a ranking by specifications as determined by uniform tests. Instead, it starts with a comprehensive list of nominees released in the calendar year, researched and compiled by our editorial team of obsessed experts across all of Gear Patrol's major areas of interest including Motoring, Technology, Style, Home, Spirits, Outdoor and Watches. Brands are not part of the selection process. Nominees are then debated in context of the past, present and future of their respective fields. Which selections stand as significant innovations, category busters or faithful monuments to the icons of history? Do they adhere to Gear Patrol's core tenets of excellence, design, utility and the spirit of adventure? Distilled to the following 100 items, the GP100 represents the best products on earth released in 2013 -- easily inspiring consumers and creators alike during their search for guideposts of excellence in a vast world of products.
Motoring Watches Style Technology Sports Outdoors Home Spirits
Jeremy BergerBen Bowers