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From Baby Daddy to Father

New Father’s (Day) Gift Guide

It’s the scariest and most exciting thing a man will ever face: fatherhood. Suddenly there’s the pressure of knowing this human life is wholly reliant on you, the hope of being just like your father or the fear of the same thing. It’s the moment when BC becomes AD, a distinct frozen moment when a corner is turned and there will forever more only be a “before” (child) and “after”.

For many of us, Father’s Day means finding the right gift for Dad. But now some of us will be receiving gifts as well, and so without further ado, we introduce New Father’s Day — along with a wish list for the sleep-deprived new dad to make the beginning of this next lifetime easier.

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Get packed

Weekend-Ready: Great Duffels For All Budgets

Call it the “Goldilocks of Bags” if you like, though sometimes it seems like more of a “Unicorn of Bags”: the perfectly sized and properly priced duffel can be elusive (hell, brands can’t even decide one way to spell it). When the occasion calls for light packing in something that’ll easily fit in the back seat or sling comfortably over your shoulder there are myriad options, but how many of them can be considered worth a buy? What follows are 30 of the best duffel bags to fit every budget. These represent a vast array of materials, styles, colors and purposes, but suffice it to say each of these duffels is just right.

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Don't Call Them Point-and-Shoots

Tiny Titans: 5 Best Enthusiast Compact Cameras

The point-and-shoot market may have hit a smartphone camera iceberg, but the ship hasn’t sunk yet. In fact, bitter competition has sped up the photography arms race, producing a wide field of top-tier compact cameras with big sensors — at a better price. Boasting image quality more than good enough to be deemed professional, these cameras can be a useful tool for the prosumer and feverish enthusiast alike, providing an infinitely more portable, all-in-one option rather than bulky DSLRs while sharing many of the same features and image quality.

That said, it’s up to you sharpen the focus on what you really need. We don’t mind walking a few steps to get the right shot — so our choices hone in on the best compact cameras that sport big sensors, fixed lenses and fast focusing. There’s a big field of small shooters; we’re here to slim it all down to the cream of the crop.

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Everything you need to know, nothing you don't

Espress Yourself: How to Buy an Espresso Machine

Espresso is so the new moonshine. But these latter day at-home concoctions don’t run through slipshod copper stills or spend time fermenting in claw foot tubs. Instead, amateurs and connoisseurs across the globe utilize beautiful, complicated and completely legal kitchen countertop machinery to whip up and drip out high-grade buzz that people pay good money to sip.

Novices looking to break into the shot pulling biz, though, will find that buying the proper equipment is an intimidating affair, complicated by ever-escalating price tags and more mechanical nerdery than a bus full of mathletes with erector sets. Rest assured, the right espresso machine for you is out there, and Eliot Ness isn’t going to forcefully confiscate any of these puppies any time soon. Because he’s dead. Follow our guide on buying an espresso machine and you’ll have all the schoolin’ you need to pick an ideal home setup.

A hearty thanks to the good folks at Clive Coffee for their expertise and assistance in producing this buying guide. If you're on the quest for top-tier coffee gear, your search is finally over.
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We Don't See Nothin' Wrong With a Little Bump and Grind

Grind it Out: 10 Best Coffee Grinders

You like the line at your favorite coffee shop? Ok, besides the cute barista, you can do better: start by grinding your own beans, then check back with Gear Patrol for other suggestions for stepping up to the big leagues. The journey from coffee hack to ambrosia connoisseur begins with freshly ground java in your French press, drip, or espresso machine. A quick primer first, and then on to our top 10 picks.

A hearty thanks to the good folks at Clive Coffee for their expertise and assistance in producing this buying guide. If you're on the quest for top-tier coffee gear, your search is finally over.
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Coffee table, meet coffee book

Table Service: 5 Great Coffee Table Books About Coffee

Left unattended, the ubiquitous coffee table quickly becomes a gatekeeper of everything from last October’s cable bill (you paid that, didn’t you?) to the feet of undisciplined friends and family. We know you run a tighter ship than most and appreciate how a well-placed read can stimulate conversations faster than a triple shot. Here’s a crop of coffee-themed books worthy of displacing Ansel Adams or your decades-long dedication to the Maxim Hot 100.

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A stagger on the wild side

Alt Whiskeys

For the connoisseur of fine spirits, the dabbler of craft brews, arcane wine regions and exclusive distillations, we’ve got a read that’s a cat of a different feather. Twisted like a mixed metaphor, Alt Whiskeys: Alternative Whiskey Recipes and Distilling Techniques for the Adventurous Craft Distiller ($30) offers the experimenting distiller some whiskey recipes that step past the fringe.

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The pick of the little

The Best iPad Mini & Mini Retina Cases

So you managed to score that shiny new iPad Mini. Next step: a case. We’ve saved you hours of SafeSearch Googling by rounding up 30 of the best iPad Mini cases at a variety of price points to help get your new Cupertino buddy from birthday suit to warm and cozy. Whether you prioritize looks, function or insurance for your butterfingers, each of these iPad Mini cases has a forte — and a price. We’ve ordered our selections starting with the most affordable and will update this article as better entries come along. So peruse, hone in, and for god’s sake, cover your shame man.

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The real gear you'll need to survive when it all falls down

Apocalypse Essentials: The Almost Serious Survival Guide

The world isn’t going to end in 2012. But things could still get hairy sometime in the future. So, what would you need to carry on after the grid permanently dissolves? What are the necessities, and how could you improve your chances of accessing them over the long haul? As a team of curious souls, we decided to dive into the brain trust of the unsociably paranoid and prepared — the sharers of secrets across dedicated survival blogs and forums — in search of answers.

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12 gifts for the tech obsessed

12 Guys of Christmas: The Techie

To the inexperienced, the words “techie” and “guy” seem synonymous. Sure, most guys do like technology these days — but like does not true a techie make. So while this list can absolutely be applied to any modern man, its real target is the hardcore gadget nut. The one who scours the blogs and refreshes…

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36 gift ideas for the stylish man

12 Guys of Christmas: The Dapper Man

Nothing sets the teeth to rattling like the task of gift buying for a style zealot (except maybe an in-law’s icy glare). Rolled or cuffed? four-in-hand or windsor? Double breasted or single? Brown or black? Personal style is, well, personal; a faux pas can have lasting consequences. That’s why we’re throwing you a life line:…

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Briefings: Gift Guides Galore

A cheery wave of holiday gift lists are upon us (we’re partly to blame) — but hey, who doesn’t like some guidance? Life is hard, and so is buying quality presents for the people you care about. Our suggestions? Research thoroughly, sleuth like Sherlock Holmes (“Cashmere? Elementary!”), and never give away the surprise. Oh, and…

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A baker's dozen for the culinary nut

12 Guys of Christmas: The Chef

Blame Anthony Bourdain and his gallivanting food porn circus. Blame Bravo’s utterly watchable, bro-it’s-not-reality-TV show, Top Chef. Blame the hipsters, the bandwagoners, the trust-funders — and for Guy Fieri’s sake — please, someone, blame Bobby Flay. Because if one thing is certain in today’s chow-crazy culture, it’s that you’ve got a foodie on your holiday…

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A reference guide for the beeferati

MoB | Beef Books

People always ask us, “How do you find time to read when you’re busy eating all that beef?” We kill two steer with one stone — that’s how. The market for beef books is robust, so we’ve winnowed the list of our favorite beef-related cookbooks and resources to only five. That should be easy enough…

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Our first annual summer read-down

Summer Reading List: 12 Best Books to Beat the Heat

Ah, the summer heat. Take it or leave it, the dog days are anigh. Time for frenzied vacation logistics, thanking (and re-thanking) the good men who invented air conditioning, and of course a damn good book. From a collection of short stories by one of our favorite childhood authors to an emotionally exhausting murder mystery…

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What You Need to Know Before Diving In

2011 Tablet Buying Guide

2011 is the year of the tablet, no matter how hard we and our wallets squirm over having another gadget thrust into our lives. But why now? A discussion on that topic could take longer than the birther diatribe if explored in full, but the short answer is we have our smartphones addictions to thank….

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Libations and Victuals

Gift Guide 2010: The Partaker

Good food and drink can alter a man’s mood better than even the strongest prescription drug, particularly when we play a part in preparing said food and drink. While taste, skill and devotion will always determine how your ventures into gastronomy and mixology turn out, we’ve compiled items in this guide that can lend a…

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Style Q&A: Finding The Right Dress Shoes

I’m in the market for some new dress shoes. I don’t mind spending more for them knowing that I will wear them 5 days a week or so. Can you point me to a brand for a well-made shoe that’s going to be able to be worn with all dress attire and look pretty stylish?…