Today in Gear: April 14, 2014

Lexus-Gear-Patrol Lexus NX
There’s going to be a lot more elbowing going on in the small crossover segment with the arrival of the NX. Angular as hell, it goes all stilted IS on us, and then some. The NX200t and NX200t F will be powered by a 2.0-liter turbo four and possibly a hybrid powertrain in the NX300h.
Barrel-Gear-Patrol Balcones 5-Gallon Homebrew Barrel
These 5-gallon oak barrels have spent at least 6 months aging whiskey from TX standout Balcones distilling, and their previous lives will help prevent over-oaking your barrel-aged brew and impart a whiskey kick. Make sure you save us a cold one. $120
Hammer-Gear-Patrol Hardcore Hardware MFE01 Rhino
The MFE01 Rhino is so versatile, Hardcore Hardware can’t even settle on how to describe it. In business sales speak, it’s “designed to perform a multitude of applications dependent on situational requirements.” In The Walking Dead speak, it’s expected to be used for “prying, digging, chopping, hammering, cutting, smashing rock” or “as a climbing aid, for defeating locks, smashing windows & windscreens and raking out their frames, and as a load bearing device.” Oh yeah, and the grip is available in a “coyote” colorway. $300
Sony-Gear-Patrol Sony MDR-HW700DS 9.1 Channel Digital Surround Wireless Headphone
Europe and Japan will soon be the lucky recipients of the world’s first 9.1-channel wireless headphones — meaning they’ll mirror the sound field created by typical 9.1 setups using some form of audio black magic. Thanks to three HDMI inputs, audio compression isn’t an issue. Dual-band transmission options on both 2.4GHz and 5Ghz also help to avoid interference issues with wireless home phones and wi-fi networks. They’ve even thrown in 4k passthrough capabilities so you can enjoy digital sound with the two pieces of 4k content available today. $460
Lifa-Stand-Gear-Patrol Lifta Minimalist Desk Organizer
This clean-looking cutting board desk accessory — available in ash, oak or plywood — improves desk ergonomics by lifting the height of your monitor while offering tidy stowage for wireless keyboards, mice and touch pads, whether they’re “magic” or not. $125 ()
Nice-Little-Place-Gear-Patrol A Nice Little Place on the North Side: Wrigley Field at One Hundred
The Cubs and their cathedral hold a special position in America’s pastime. The same thing goes for their goat issues. George Will (yes, bowtie-wearing-Pulitzer-Prize-winning-conservative-commentating George Will) devotes his attention to their iconic home examining the events that made it into the legend it is today. $16
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