Sneakers, an Immortal Backpack and a Big-Ass Van

Staff Favorites: Michael Finn, Intern

Editor’s Note: It’s pretty clear that we’re passionate about gear. And with this series, we want to share with you our own personal favorite pieces. Over the next few months, we’ll bring you our staff’s 10 personal favorites — goods we personally own and use. The selection will run the gamut, from heirloom pieces to practical gear that can be easily procured. 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.

Michael Finn is an Editorial Intern at Gear Patrol. He spends most of his time writing for the Outdoors and Tech Desks, answering the door and ensuring packages go to the right people. Sometimes he goes on beer runs. Here are his favorite belongings.

Rag & Bone Standard Issue High Top

One of the first things I noticed upon moving to NYC is how seemingly everyone has a fresh pair of white sneakers, and how I, the uncool Midwestern kid, did not. So I went and bought a pair. Turns out they’re the best shoes I’ve worn in years.

Arc’teryx Astri 19 Backpack

This backpack has seen some shit, man. After a year of constant abuse in Thailand, mine is a lot uglier than the shiny, perfectly shaped one you see above — yet somehow, it’s still performing just as great as it did when I bought it.

La Sportiva Mythos Climbing Shoe

The perfect climbing shoe for those who have graduated from five-nines, can hold their own on five-tens and are beginning to dabble with five-elevens. In other words: intermediate climbers, like me.

Askov Finlayson North Cap

As a Minnesota native, I’m pretty sure I’m required to own at least one thing from Askov Finlayson.

Field Notes Steno

The best notebook I’ve ever owned, hands down. I think I burned through about five of them in J-school.

Bose SoundLink Color Bluetooth Speaker

On most weeknights you can find me in my kitchen, completely fucking up a four-ingredient dinner recipe while humming along to Voodoo by D’Angelo, blaring from this speaker. It’s small, loud and isn’t a hassle to pair with my phone. That’s all I need.

Patagonia Black Hole Duffel (60L)

Everything I need to live fits into two of these bags (plus the aforementioned Arc’teryx backpack). They’re incredibly strong, weather-proof and don’t have all the frivolous pockets and gimmicks I associate with rolling suitcases. They hold my gear, in one giant compartment, and nothing more.

Levi’s Trucker Jacket

I can’t wait to wear this again, once fall weather rolls around. It looks American, it feels American, it is American. (OK, it’s made in Bangladesh, but still).

Malin + Goetz Sage Styling Cream

Right now, I’m approaching what’s called the “awkward middle stage” of hair length. All men who have attempted to grow long hair know what I’m talking about. On the days my hair decides it wants to look like Phil Spector’s, a dab of styling cream goes a long way.

The Grail

Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Cargo Van

I used to think camper vans were stupid. Now, several times a day, I find myself fantasizing about the freedom and simplicity of #vanlife. Apparently, Mercedes-Benz — a brand synonymous with wealth and luxury — is a favorite among free-spirited, anti-establishment, kombucha-sipping van-lifers. Go figure.