We think we have water figured out -- like, totally locked down on the innovation front -- and then, every few years, there’s a revolutionary new development. Don’t drink it out of plastic bottles -- bad for the environment. Don’t drink it out of BPA-infused bottles -- bad for us. Then we came across the Soma Filter, which might be the biggest water-related development since the Hoover Dam.
First off, we have to applaud Soma’s sheer verve. Founder Mike Del Ponte quit his job to go up against one of the most established figures in the Hydration Industrial Complex, the very face of Big Water: Brita. According to Del Ponte (at least, according to his wonderfully persuasive Kickstarter video) we’ve been filtering our water all wrong. Never mind that Brita filters are ugly and somewhat clumsy to use; Del Ponte says that they’re also environmentally unsound.
The Soma filter is everything the Brita isn’t. It’s conceived with Silicon Valley ingenuity, and, as such, places a premium on design. It looks like a high-end coffee apparatus or a decanter; that is, it’s built for display, not just for chilling above the vegetable crisper. It’s also highly functional. Unlike the Brita, the lid firmly snaps into place, meaning there’s no unintended spillage. What's more, the filter itself is all but revolutionary. While most filtration systems use mainly plastic and other man-made materials, Soma’s filter is entirely biodegradable. It's made of coconut carbon, vegan silk and food-based plastic, so the whole thing can be dropped into the compost bin when you’re done using it. And this might be the best part: you always know when you’re done, because the brand’s subscription service automatically sends you a new one every two months. We didn’t think we could get this excited about water. Yet, here we are. And we’re damned thirsty.
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