Today in Gear: An SUV for both land and sea, Acme’s rocket skates become a reality, Bellroy’s new durable wallet and more.
Beach trips can be as much about getting there as what you do when you arrive. Mom’s minivan might be practical, but it might also eviscerate every ounce of road style you’ve ever had. If you’re at the beach on a regular basis (or you just dream of being there 24/7) it might make sense to upgrade your beach ride to one of these sandy shore, white wave seekers.
Today in gear, we examine the “edgier” new Camry, Nocs’ improved earbuds, charred moonshine, Google’s stand alone camera app, reusable BBQ sheets, and Sonic Edition’s new print collection with Freemans Sporting Club.
Can the world's largest automaker fix the problems ahead?
Today, Toyota is making bold bets in a wide range of areas — from alternative fueled vehicles and suped-up tricycles Robocop would sell his hex nuts for, to emotion-sensing AI, household “partner” robots, and smart homes — all in hopes anticipating the shifting mobility needs of tomorrow. Statistics are one way to understand how the company’s master plan will make for a better and Pikachu-cute future; then again, the world’s largest automaker is well aware that practice makes perfect, and that’s on display at their global headquarters, known as Toyota City. We explored the brand’s paradigm-shifting innovations, including personal mobility prototypes, robots, EV infrastructure and more.
More crossovers than Iverson
Crossovers are the hottest segment in the automotive industry today thanks to solid fuel economy, practicality and bad-weather driving security. And while that popularity means the field is downright dizzying, there are quite a few excellent options from all corners of the earth. GP’s Octane crew drove five solid examples and came away with loads of insight on what the CUV market has to offer.
Bringing sexy back to Toyota
By all accounts, the 2014 Detroit Auto Show was a huge success — the best in years, even, by virtue of the array of new production cars as well as the daring concept designs that the automotive culture demands. As much as it’s tough to choose a favorite, the Toyota FT-1 Concept has our vote for the best concept car of the entire show. Though it’s evocative of the Toyota Supra, the FT-1 clearly points in a far more daring design direction that any past or current Toyota. We break it down.
A Taste of Things to Come
Concept cars are the stuff of dreams, representing the wondrous “could be” situations that make us salivate. Every year various auto shows pull the veil off auto industry pageants every year, and every year our collective pulses race to see what car companies have wrought in the way of wild designs, impressive technology and a foreshadowing of what might come in the not-too-distant future. Detroit has delivered ten of the most eye-catching concepts of 2014, and we’ve jumped in with a gusto. See which ones we love and why, here.
What happens in Vegas goes on the internet
Have you (geeks) heard? CES is on, and we’ve got two men on the floor, app-ing and connectivity-ing and syncing with a vengeance. We’ll be updating you all week with the coolest thing’s we’ve found so far. Here’s the first batch. LET’S GET TECHNICAL Best of Gear Patrol 2013: Tech | Tested: Xbox One |…
Rising Stars from the Rising Sun
Japanese cars have long been the epitome of reliability and trustworthiness, but they haven’t always been beautiful to look at. Things have changed with the current generation of Japanese cars, which boast great design and more personality than ever, along with driving dynamics that can rival (and even best) the Germans in some cases. Their bombproof reliability hasn’t been altered through the generations, either. Here are the ten best rising cars from the land of the rising sun.
Sleighs are for losers
You’re an hour late to the Christmas get-together, but not because that red velvet blazer you love so much is nowhere to be found. No, instead you’re trapped in a snowdrift in your vintage AMC Gremlin. No fruitcake for you. You could’ve fared better this holiday season with some better wheels. May we suggest some truly treaded steeds for your hapless self?
BeltCraft Custom Belts Tell NYC-based BeltCraft your specifications online — choose colors, finishes, stitching, width, cut — and they’ll make you a custom pants lashing, right here in the USA. Name and post your belt design to their website and you’ll earn $2 for every person who buys it, as well as $2 for a…
Chefday Choose one of the gourmet chef-designed recipes on Chefday’s website and every last organic, almost entirely locally sourced ingredient — from salt to tenderloins — will be hand-delivered to your door, pre-measured and pre-washed. All you have to do is follow the step-by-step video instructions and set the table. It’s an ultra easy way…
Everything you need to know
Four-wheel-drive used to be synonymous with
mullets off-roading in the minds of most consumers. Like many buzz-worthy specs originally developed for enthusiasts and professionals, though, some variant of the general principle was soon rushed into vehicles of all stripes by manufacturers. It’s a shift Muddin’ diehards still cuss about over tallboys at dusk, but there’s no denying that a new generation of a sure-footed cars with better handling in tricky conditions has benefited drivers everywhere.
Today, finding the perfect match between driving ability, fuel consumption and price first requires an honest evaluation of your own motoring needs. With that soul-searching behind you, understanding the differences between various four-wheel-drive (4WD) and all-wheel-drive (AWD) offerings (and everything in between) will make buying your next ride that much easier. Our comprehensive guide is here to help.
A new generation of four-doors
Family sedans tend to be the automotive equivalent of Valium (minivans are horse tranquilizers, in case you were wondering), but times have changed. Family men no longer need to sacrifice
too much in the way of driving excitement and looks in order to transport tykes and trikes. We get it. You’d rather be doing some tire ripping, engine-snorting performance runs on your way to drop off your son at school. Still, we’ve compiled our list of “family sedans” that take let you perform your dad duties with aplomb while still allowing you more than a modicum of manly fun.
Great, in concept
As nearly every auto show evidences, status quo just doesn’t cut it — and concept cars, as crazy as they can sometimes be, give us a glimpse into the realm of automotive possibility. The concepts of NAIAS 2013 were no exception. Some were radical new designs for existing models and others are new to the…
A shock to the system
Any forward thinker interested in buying an electric vehicle today is normally faced with two choices: Pick a generic people carrier with the driving excitement of a Radio Flyer from one of a handful of major manufacturers; or dredge the slush fund and hop on a waiting list for a conscience-clearing geek rocket from boutique…
Another look at everyday
You like to make your own way and your individualism isn’t the kind that draws throngs of onlookers waiting to witness a monument to poor choices. Derivative themes, styling and the kind of originality that comes out of a copy machine are everywhere. But what if you could set a goal of creating a car…
Another look at everyday
You tried to impress that cute, dazzingly brilliant brunette in high school by attempting to do a hundred pushups. Sadly, you had the gumption but not the chops, having never done more than beginners Pilates. So, what does it mean for a car to stake its claim in the automotive market and prove itself to…
Lone Star Lovin'
Sometimes we wonder, given the job prospects and varying degrees of instability, if writing auto reviews was the right decision for our lives. But then we realize that if Fate had wanted us to be anything else, we wouldn’t look so dang good behind the wheel. And so it goes, saddling up our horses we…
Green With Envy
When it comes to cars, we spend most of our time fixated on rides that churn through a gallon of gas faster than a fat kid eats twinkies. Yet for all of our love for “driver’s cars”, we still acknowledge that practicality should be a major consideration when it comes to selecting a primary ride….
Meet the Bass Pro Shop On Wheels
Toyota has been pulling out all the stops for SEMA 2010 and there are plenty of amazing concepts worth browsing. The Toyota Tundra Sportsman though is hands down one of the most awe-inspiring pick-ups we’ve come across. Described by the automaker as a “command center for extended hunting trips” and “the ultimate sportsman fantasy transport…
Though we have a glaring weakness for classic 4×4′s, in general we tend to be against the gas guzzling SUV. It’s not that we don’t like the extra cargo room, passenger seats, and “off-road” capabilities. We just have a hard time rationalizing those likes with our increasingly balmy planet not to mention our wallets. The…
The 5th Generation of One Glorious SUV
If you happened to be a loyal Gear Patrol fan browsing last week in between feasting, you might have a seen a brief video of yours truly and our resident car reviewer Bradley Hasemeyer experiencing the non-casino side of Vegas. Well besides using our time to toy with death, we also had some extended sessions…
GP's Bradley & Ben Put Vegas (The Non-Casino Side) Through Its Paces
You might remember our teaser about this feature early last week. You know, that photo of yours truly leaping out of an airplane to his death? Okay okay, some call it skydiving, but that doesn’t mean I wasn’t nervous as hell. Well, it’s finally time that we divulged the whole story, in Gear Patrol fashion….
Don't Call It A TOYota
There’s a race that you may or may not know of. It’s a 320 nautical mile ski race to the Magnetic North Pole. It’s called the Polar Challenge, and it’s a grueling test of cold weather stamina and human achievement. But today’s post isn’t about the Polar Challenge. It’s about an Arctic Truck, or specifically…
MotoX + Surfing = SurferCross
Last month, Gear Patrol’s Jon Gaffney was able to attend the SurferCross event in California, sponsored by Toyota. Since his return, he’s been pretty psyched up. And not just about the
The Mojave Preservation Spans 695,000 Acres; We Might Have Inadvertently Seen Them All
With most of the items that we review here at Gear Patrol, we strive to curate and highlight gear that’s attainable for most guys. Yes, some of it will still be ridiculous and unaffordable, but we are trying to focus on the staples. In a continued effort to attack products with our signature G.E.A.R. treatment…
We Grab The Keys To The 2009 Toyota Matrix And Head To Hoover Dam To Take Photographs. Let Us Tell You Why. Let us start by telling you a story about a guy who, a few years ago, was relegated to driving a Toyota Matrix for a business trip. The drive was a 6 hour…