Shopping Smart

Best of 2015: Buying Guides


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365 days is a lot of time to seek out stories on adventure, gear, and everything in between. Here’s a look back at the best buying guides of 2015 — from to camera film to pomades to engagement rings — that told just as much about the buyer as the products.

Quote of the Year

Selling the Nightstand, Hard

“While the bed is a playground of desire and respite, it is the bed’s companion piece, the nightstand — that low-slung sentinel set squat next to the frame, quiet, unobtrusive, infinitely handy — that holds our most sacred items.”

– Matthew Ankeny

The Stories

Shop Smart

The Best Scotch Under $250

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By J. Travis Smith: Sherry finishes, peat bombs and decades-old age statements: the best premium single malt Scotch under $250 turns any event into a special occasion.

Wearing One Watch, Three Ways

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By Chris Wright: We used three different straps — and some style essentials — to turn the Rolex GMT-Master II into a watch ready for roughin’ it, casual lunch, or a fancy dinner with your boss.

Getting Back to Analog with Eight Great Camera Films

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By Henry Phillips: As part of our comprehensive Film Issue, we confirmed our favorite films for any situation.

7 Pomades for Every Hair Style

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By Jack Seemer: A guide that proves you don’t need a pompadour to rock some pomade.

12 New Designs on the Traditional Playing Card

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By Jack Seemer: Turns out the deck can be its own canvas for great artwork.

The Best New Video Games to Play with Friends (While Drinking)

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By Nick Milanes: You’re an adult, so you should play the best games — and you should pair them with great booze.

Defining Craft Beer’s Most Popular Enigma, The Juicy DIPA

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By AJ Powell: We reported on — and then drank the best of — this confusing “style” of beer.

4 Ultimate Winter Cycling Kits

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By Matthew Ankeny: When the weather gets tough, the tough get riding. We created the kits you’ll want protecting your hide.

The Complete Guide to Buying a Diamond Engagement Ring

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By J. Travis Smith: We spoke with custom ring designers making both traditional and alternative engagement rings, along with online retailers, to compile a comprehensive guide to buying your first, and hopefully last, engagement ring.

The Ultimate Nightstand

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By Matthew Ankeny: A step-by-step guide to building the nightstand of your dreams.

10 Best Affordable Single Malts

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By J. Travis Smith: We spoke with experts and consulted our liquor cabinets to find 10 of the best mid-range ($50-$100) Scotches — and to help you navigate the sea of single malt whiskies.

25 Best Running Shoes of 2015

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By Jack Seemer: We took to the track to test 25 of the best running shoes in the world. Here’s what we thought.

Killing Words: Hunting Literature’s Best

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By Jack Seemer: Hunting dates back to our early ancestors, and has inspired art and literature since. These great reads will introduce you to the world lived and loved by sportsmen.

The Best White Sneakers for Summer

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By Henry Phillips: Wearing the white sneakers during summer is the very definition of classic style.

Build Your Business Wardrobe with these 36 Essentials

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By Gear Patrol: Embracing a new look — whether at the office or out on the town — always starts with a war chest of quality basics. These business wardrobe staples fit all manner of budgets and work environments.