Editor’s Note: It’s pretty clear that our staff is passionate about gear, and as we strive to bring you the best of the best, we also want to take the time to share our own personal favorites. These are the goods we personally own: our essentials. Over the next few months, we’ll bring you each of our writers’ 10 personal favorites. By the look of things, the selection will run a wide gamut, from heirloom pieces to the most practical of gear that can be easily procured — a gear fingerprint, of sorts. Last but not least, each will share one “holy grail” item that still remains the stuff of dreams, out of reach, but hopefully only temporarily so.
Our second Staff Favorites highlights Mr. Bradley Hasemeyer. If you’ve been reading Gear Patrol for any amount of time, you undoubtedly recognize Bradley as the host of our Behind the Wheel videos. A talented man both in front of and behind the lens, Bradley spends a considerable amount of his time on the road — with an imperious command of his SkyMiles account — traveling from West Coast to Provence Coast in search of unique mechanized stories. When not in the throes of an assignment, Bradley also serves as the host of AOL’s popular web show Translogic. Between shoots and the odd Super Bowl commercial, Bradley can often be found embellishing his wardrobe with new finds, poring over cast-iron skillet recipes, in search of good coffee, tending his urban garden, or enjoying his latest exciting foray into domestic life: preparing to be a father.
Mercury Elite AL-Pro 500GB
I love how light and portable this hard drive is, and I use it for all my current projects when editing because it has a 7200rpm speed. Sure, a solid state drive would be better, but it’s a great value.
Ray-Ban Foldable Wayfarer Polarized
These polarized Wayfarers mean I don’t squint as much when in LA traffic — which is a lot. Also, the slightly larger size keeps the sun from sneaking into my eyes from the top and sides.
Casio AMW 320-R
I got this from my dad for college graduation, and it’s lasted through three batteries and about five straps. I get compliments on it all the time. Sure, it’s a classic, but durability, a NATO watch strap and the ability to wear it with a t-shirt or suit keeps it relevant.
Takeo Kikuchi Wallet
This wallet is fantastic. Very flat. I keep about three cards and an ID on me. I got this when I was shooting in Japan and it’s one of my favorite things I own — especially because it’s almost impossible to find outside of Japan. That’s a rarity with our global economy.
This is my second Canon (I had a Canon Rebel EOS XT ages ago), and I love the flip-out screen. It’s perfect for shooting all my Gear Patrol footage; with the right lenses it makes for an awesome, affordable DSLR.
Fjallraven Greenland Jacket
Light with lots of pockets. I use this on shoots and for going out for a casual dinner. Love the two zippers so I can sit down comfortably, and when I stand up, it’s still cut well.
Lodge Cast Iron Skillet
I cook everything in this: eggs, veggies, pizza, chicken. It holds heat extremely well and always cooks evenly. I usualy brown chicken or burgers and then toss the whole thing in the oven to finish them off.
Tokina 11-16mm Lens
An amazing lens with crisp focus and wide angle. It’s perfect for telling a story with multiple items and for setting the stage; I use it for photos and videos alike. When you’re consistently getting compliments from other photographers and video guys on a specific product, you know it’s a good one. Not cheap and not light, but easily worth both downsides.
Bowers & Wilkins P5 Headphones
The industrial and modern design, noise isolating (not canceling) element, crisp audio and in-line mic for my phone make these what I travel, edit and relax with.
Levi’s 511 Jeans
The 511 cut is the best one for me — granted, not all 511s fit equally, but when you find a pair that do it’s golden. I wear them with t-shirts daily, with a button down when I go out for dinner, and with a jacket and tie for events and parties. They are one of America’s best exports, and because they use less water in the process I sleep better.
The Grail: West Coast Defender D90
Got to see and drive this beauty recently for a story, and it was as boss as anything else on the road. Serious panache. Plus, if I had one I could drive more than 30 miles and not need Advil.