Harder, better, faster, stronger... lighter? Yes. Lighter. These days, reducing weight is always an improvement -- in cars, clothes, love handles, and now, sunglasses. The name of the game here is performance: the lighter something is, the faster, more comfortable, more efficient and more desirable it will be (see: Alec Baldwin). Ray-Ban, the king of cool shades, adopted this formula and applied it to their signature Wayfarer sunglasses to produce the svelte Liteforce. It's the same iconic Wayfarer look we've always loved, updated with high-tech thermoplastic frames for superior lightweight comfort, and with a myriad of polarized, mirrored or colored polycarbonate lenses.
Of course, there's significant heritage behind the Ray-Ban name. In the earlier part of the 20th century when aircraft pilots were taking to the skies at higher and higher altitudes, the sun's glare became a deadly hindrance, necessitating the invention of sunglasses specifically for aviators: the Ray-Ban Aviator. The company's wares gained popularity over the years in celebrity circles as shades of choice, and when the Wayfarer design broke onto the scene in the 1950s it became an instant Hollywood icon. The Liteforce does nothing but make that stylish look more wearable. A modernized send-up from a titanically influential brand -- yes, we think we'll wear that.
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