This Week in Gear: July 5, 2014

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Ford-Focus-ST-Gear-Patrol 2015 Ford Focus ST
One of our favorite hot hatchbacks gets a bump in style and performance for 2015, including a sportier suspension, sharper steering and a flat-bottomed steering wheel coupled with a fantastic 2.0 Liter Eco-boost engine and six-speed short-shift manual gearbox. Add all this to the fact that it even has two more cupholders than the outgoing rendition, and the Focus ST looks like it will continue to reign as domestic hot hatch champion. ford.com
iPod-Touch-16GB-Gear-Patrol Apple iPod Touch 16GB
Despite the success of the iPhone, the iPod Touch isn’t quite down for the count yet. The new 16GB model has received some serious (and seriously needed) updates. What you get is a rear-facing 5MP iSight camera, an Apple A5 processor, a four-inch retina display and an aluminum body available in six different colors. Oh, and it all only costs $199, making this the the cheapest iPod Touch yet. $199
Nikon-D810-Gear-Patrol Nikon D810
The newest member to Nikon’s DSLR family is the full-frame powerhouse D810, meant to replace the D800 and D800E — both successes in their own right. The D810 offers an improvement in picture quality and reduction of noise with a brand new 36.3-megapixel sensor and EXPEED 4 processor. Nikon promises more precise autofocusing and high-speed continuous shooting, meaning even the clumsiest of photographers can look like professionals. $3,300
Nike-KD7-Gear-Patrol Nike KD7
Kevin Durant might not have any rings, but does have seven signature Nike basketball shoes. The new KD7 incorporates Nike’s Flywire tech and Nike Zoom into the design, allowing for maximum speed and stability. $150
Bitters-Beer-Kit-Gear-Patrol Hella Bitters Kit
Despite our occasional cynicism of Kickstarter campaigns, some projects — like the Hella Bitter Kit, say — are as realistic as they are awesome. The kit includes everything you need to start making your own bitters, sans spirits. If you’re an aspiring mixologist, or just have a fondness for the sauce, this is a project worth backing. kickstarter.com
Formlabs-Form-Gear-Patrol Formlabs Form 1+
Everyone knows that printers are a pain in the ass. So 3D must bring the levels of user hostility to new planes, right? Not necessarily. The Form 1+, successor to the well-received Form 1, doubles printing speed, improves print quality and has a 15-minute setup time. $3,299
5OWL-Personal-Shelter-Gear-Patrol 5 Owls New All-Weather Personal Shelters
These aren’t tents; they’re “personal shelters” and a Colorado company has come out with a new series of them. The sleeping-bag/tent/bivouac-sack hybrids are easy to erect, offer a stellar view and protect you from Nature’s crawlers. We don’t know why you’d want to sleep in a small stream; but apparently, in one of these waterproof sleepers, you can. $359
Search-And-State-S2-R-Gear-Patrol Search and State S2R High Performance Jersey
To launch their high performance biking jersey, Search and State recruited Joseph Holway to wear it while riding across the country. The S2R—innovative side pockets, Riri zippers, and constructed from the most durable full stretch compression fabric—is supposed to “re-invent the black performance jersey”. Holway left Manhattan on June 10 and will be arriving in LA tomorrow, July 1st. Use hashtag #NYCtoGSC or follow Joseph’s Instagram (@josephholway) to see how the S2R holds up. $195
Myro-Air-Gear-Patrol Myro:Air
The Myro:Air is undoubtably cool. Featuring a Wolfson WM8741 DAC that offers the supreme audio quality, this AirPlay receiver syncs with any iOS device; has RS232 2-way metadata and transport control; and a USB connector to charge your iPhone. The sound this thing attacks you with is scary, but so is the price. $600
Base-Camp-Throat-Razor-Gear-Patrol BoC/BCX Cut-Throat Razor
Guys who want a razor they can probably skin a wild animal with, pay attention. Baxter of California and Base Camp X have designed a serious throat razor. The handcrafted Appalachian Hickory handle and 6/8” wide Blue Steel blade make this a genuine facial hair predator. $350
Big-Design-Pen-and-Stylus-Gear-Patrol Ti-POST Raw Pen + Stylus
We’ve covered their pens before, but now Ti-Post is at it again. The new pens are made from TA2 Titanium that’ll last a lifetime; will accept pretty much any refill; and come with caps and plugs for iPad use. If you can afford them, get them. $75
Filson-Briefcase-Gear-Patrol Filson’s The Black Collection
For avid GP readers, you’ll know we like our accessories murdered-out. So we’re pumped to announce that Filson is now offering their best-selling Rugged Twill luggage accoutrements in black. If you like your luggage stylish, dependable and naturally camouflaged at night, check out this Black Collection. $120+
Bavsound-Gear-Patrol BavSound
Aftermarket sound systems are pretty common in the automotive world, but for a BMW, some gaudy Fast and the Furious sound system will not do. BavSound, then, is worth checking out if you want to upgrade your Bimmer’s sound system without making warranty-voiding modifications, or selecting the ridiculously overpriced premium factory sound systems at the dealership. Most of BavSound’s systems are plug-and-play, so replacing your old speakers should be quick and painless. bavsound.com
Patagonia-Nano-Air-Jacket-Gear-Patrol Patagonia Nano-Air
While it may seem ridiculous to launch an insulated jacket during a season where tank tops and shorts are suitable attire, Patagonia is planning ahead for the cold season with their newly launched Nano-Air jackets. The range incorporates the qualities of fleece, soft shell, and puffy jackets with FullRange insulation and a weather-resistant, stretchable shell — a suitable inner layer during absurdly cold winters, or an external one for the less abusive months. $249 ()
Sun-Joe-Lawn-Mower-Gear-Patrol Sun Joe Ion Cordless Lawn Mower
As an alternative to noisy, gas-propelled mowers, electric push mowers are on the rise. SunJoe’s newest entry to the market is their cordless Ion 16-inch push mower, which promises near-silent operation and adjustable height. The mower will last up to 40 minutes on a single charge, making it ideal for people with small lawns or those who just need constant beer breaks. $400
Smartest-Bulb-In-Box-Gear-Patrol GE Link Connected LED Bulbs
While Bluetooth enabled lightbulbs aren’t entirely new, GE has announced its line of affordable lightbulbs that can “talk” with your smartphone. Communicating with an app called Wink, the GE bulbs eventually learn your schedule and record power usage. Just as well, users will be able to turn lights on and off and adjust dimness from anywhere they have smartphone access. gereports.com
Virgil-Kaine-Bourbon-Gear-Patrol Virgil Kaine Ginger Infused Bourbon
Rum may be your official summer drink, but bourbon isn’t going down without a fight. Our favorite brown liquid doesn’t need a twist, but South Carolinian distiller Virgil Kaine has done it anyway with this ginger-infused version. While it can easily be enjoyed as it was intended — on its own — its creators also suggest using it as a base for a variety of summertime cocktails. virgilkaine.com
Mr-Willie-Mack-Wax-Gear-Patrol Niven & Joshua Mr. Willie Mack’s All-Over Wax
No, it isn’t for achieving that oh-so-sexy hairless look in time for speedo season; Niven and Joshua’s All-Over Wax is so named because you can use it as a hydrating wax for your body as well as a styling wax for your hair. Made from only natural ingredients, it’s suitable for all skin types and will leave your skin smooth and smelling great — ladies. ~$48
best-pilot-watches-gear-patrol-lead Six Great Pilot’s Watches
New or old, a pilot’s watch much be legible, tough, accurate and reliable, with extra points awarded if it looks good riding the sleeve of a flight jacket. This flock hits those marks. Read the Story
Nokori-Folding-Chair-Gear-Patrol Tanner Goods Nokori Folding Chair
Handmade from top to bottom — allying smooth mahogany wood with heavy Chromexcel leather — these beautifully functional (maybe not financial practical) collapsing chairs are a luxurious upgrade on an ordinary item. $495 ()
Thinkeco-Smarttac-Gear-Patrol ThinkEco smartAC Wi-Fi Kit
Air conditioning isn’t a luxury during the sultry months, it’s a necessity. This smartAC kit cuts the costs that come with staying cool. It connects to all plug-in air conditioners, monitors room temperature by turning A/C on/off automatically, can be programed to run on a schedule, and room temperature is easily adjusted via smartphone app even if you’re not home. $120
Crown-Royal-75-Gear-Patrol Crown Royal Monarch 75th Anniversary Blend
Seventy-five years ago, Crown Royal whiskey was gifted to King George VI and Queen Elizabeth when they came to North America. That’s not important us. But here’s what is: they’re coming out with a special blend of their iconic whisky to celebrate the occasion. $75
Everyday-Tray-Gear-Patrol The Utility Collective Everyday Trays
These rustic trays — which are California made, sculpted from white oak and hand-finished with food-safe oil — are the perfect refuge for loose change and random throw toys. They may even deceive people into thinking you’re sophisticated. $125
Brooks-Heritage-Gear-Patrol Brooks Heritage Footwear Collection
We like running sneaks, and Brooks Running Company is releasing some fly ones to celebrate their hundredth anniversary. Available in a variety of color combinations, the Heritage line pairs a ’70s and ’80s retro style with modern running technology. $80
Simply-7-Chips-Gear-Patrol Simply7 Chips
Having potato chips made of potatoes is so 2013. Why not have them made of hummus, lentil, pomegranate or quinoa and still keep the flavors like sea salt, BBQ and sour cream? Plus, because they have 50 percent less fat than potato chips, you can feel better about the whole “couch and chips while watching the game” scenario. $3 each
Foam-Roller-Gear-Patrol-Lead The Art Of Foam Rolling In Five Moves
Right up there with kettlebells and battle ropes, foam rollers are ubiquitous at gyms but nevertheless require a bit of explanation if you want to incorporate them into your fitness and recovery routine. We spoke with an expert to find out five easy exercises you can do at home or in the office. Read the story
Trek-Emonda-Gear-Patrol Trek Emonda SLR 10
Bicycle manufactures have a new goal to aim for: try and make a lighter road bike than Trek. The new Emonda series is the lightest production road line ever, with frames weighing a mere 690 grams (1.5 pounds) and fully built bikes weighing in around 10 pounds thanks to the brand’s 700 Series OCLV (Optimum Compaction, Low Void) Carbon, which offers an extremely high stiffness to weight ratio. The top-of-the line SLR 10 model features a SRAM Red 22 groupset, and is manufactured entirely in Waterloo, Wisconsin. $15,750
Salute-Vodka-Gear-Patrol Salute American Vodka
Salute American Vodka is as patriotic as a bald eagle eating an apple pie while watching baseball. Not only is it fully produced in the USA, but one dollar of every bottle sold is donated to one of several charity organizations dedicated to improving the lives of American veterans. saluteamerican.com
Leffot-Alden-Dover-Gear-Patrol Leffot X Alden Dover
Dapper men rejoice — Leffot has partnered with Alden of New England to create the perfect pair of summer dress shoes, crafted in Middleborough, Massachusetts. Made from nubuck leather on micro soles, the Alden X Leffot Dover is meant to be both lightweight and comfortable. We suggest pairing them with a seersucker suit for full effect. $525
Thiel-TM3-Gear-Patrol Thiel TM3 Loudspeaker
Not all great electronics are made overseas. Thiel audio has been designing and manufacturing their high-end audio gear in Lexington, Kentucky since its creation nearly 40 years ago. Their latest is the TM3 Loudspeaker, a two-way system using a 6.5-inch woofer and 1-inch tweeter. $3,000
Ashland-NATO-Gear-Patrol Ashland NATO Watch Straps
There’s no point in going through the trouble of finding the perfect vintage watch if you aren’t going to keep it attached to your wrist with the right strap. Two Chicago favorites, Ashland and Horween, have teamed up to produce a set of NATO straps made from Shell Cordovan, a special type of leather produced by the latter company. As NATOs are wont to do, it keeps your wrist candy firmly secured and very, very impressive looking. $195
Owner-Operator-Pack-Gear-Patrol Owner Operator Marina Pack
Owner Operator’s new Marina Pack is made from start to finish in New England using weather resistant Cordura nylon, meaning your valuables will stay safe and dry. It’s especially handsome in its rust finish, making it perfect for either a trip through the mountains or a trip to the office. $160
Seneca-Gear-Patrol-Lead Seneca vs Social Media:Dumping the Smartphone for Idle Thought
Americans are obsessed with smartphones; the readings of Seneca, not so much. For one GP writer, the quest for introspective thought involves both. Read The Story