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A
t Gear Patrol, we see an endless flow of products, and sprinkled among the duds are some truly great ones — stuff with the so-called “product umami.” Their common denominator? Courage, the de facto theme of Issue Six.

To be clear, courageous products aren’t always loud or showy. They’re simply products made with confidence, with the intent to be used without ambiguity or hedging. They may not be “Revolutionary” or “First-Ever” or “World’s Most.” But they tend to gain heft over time. Like wine, it can take a bit of time to appreciate their genius.

In this issue, the thread of courageous products, or people behind those products, runs through many of our stories.

The Gear Guide

Our expansive Gear Guide hit the gym and bulked up for the summer edition of our magazine. It lands like a brick house clocking in at, well, half the issue. Inside, you’ll find a blitz of products across all of the topics you’ve come to expect from us: outdoors, fitness, watches, motoring, style, tech, home and drinks.

Outdoors for All

Have you noticed that everyone from your favorite Instagrammer to Kanye West is donning outdoor apparel? Well, you’re not alone. Outdoor brands have been co-opted into decidedly non-out-doorsy environs, raising the question: What happens to product innovation when outdoor brands choose #infuencers over enthusiasts? Associate writer Tanner Bowden goes deep on his report.

In the Mix

We dispatched contributor Joshua M. Bernstein to Fort Collins, Colorado, where he met Lauren Woods Limbach, the cellar director at New Belgium Brewing, who shed light on the rise of blending in American craft beer.

Brandless in America

Will Price sat down for an interview with Toru Tsunoda, President of MUJI USA and the man responsible for bringing the brand’s minimalist aesthetic into the American home.

The Polo Club

Back in New York, our style writer John Zientek conducted an epic series of interviews with a cadre of modern American style arbiters including Todd Syner, John Varvatos, Sid Mashburn and others — all one-time students of the ultimate authority himself, Ralph Lauren.

Japanese Dream Cars

Andrew Connor made his way to an innocuous warehouse in Christiansburg, Virginia, to report on how ambitious buyers are using an obscure law passed in 1988 to buy and import their Japanese dream cars.

Next-Gen Fabric

In San Francisco, our tech writer Tucker Bowe reports on a fascinating new fabric called Microsilk that’s derived from the silk of spiders. Oh, and it promises to be stronger than steel and more tear-resistant than Kevlar.

Gear Patrol is a team of journalists and creators, users and enthusiasts. We are on a journey to produce the best damn experience for people who love products — something we call Product Journalism. If you love products — shiny or with patina, knowing what’s best, who’s behind them, being inspired by what they enable, learning where they’re from, or understanding how they came to exist — then welcome home and welcome to Issue Six.