The Gear Journal

Aer Slim Pouch

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I’ve used and reviewed many products from Aer. They tend to make thoughtful, really well made gear for modern travel. My favorite product of theirs is probably their Dopp kit (on sale right now btw), but their most popular pouch is undoubtedly their tech pouch – every gearhead on YouTube flexes it.

Recently, however, they’ve released a new tech pouch aimed at streamlining your carry. It’s smaller, lighter, and holds less… but just enough to get you and your tech through the day.

And because it’s made by Aer, I’m sure it’s made like a brick shithouse.

Details here.

Stretch

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I’ve been a life-long Levi guy. I’ve always just felt most comfortable in jeans and the 501 and 511 have been my go-to since, well… since my mom was buying them for me.

During the pandemic, however, I found myself wearing sweat pants a lot. I had no place to go, so no reason to put on shoes and if you aren’t gonna throw on some Js, why bother with pants?

I guess I just sort of grew into the comfortability as the idea of putting on jeans just hasn’t been appealing to me. Then, a pal recommended I try a pair of Western Rise pants. Essentially, these are “tech pants” with 4-way stretch, a gusseted crotch, and cut similar to my favorite Levis.

I instantly fell in love with the pair I got for Christmas and started experimenting with other cuts and other manufacturers. Here’s a run down:

  1. Western Rise Diversion. These are the first pair I got and they are made from my favorite material. These have a similar weight to your typical jean, but they have a good amount of stretch to them and the gusseted crotch gives you a ton of room. My only complaint? They are just a tad too slim for me. One the flip side though, I think these might be more durable than even denim?
  2. Western Rise Evolution. These have a more relaxed fit (almost identical to the 501) than the Diversion, but they are made of a thinner material. In Austin, I think these are going to be fantastic in the summer time… Stretch is on par with the Diversion and comfort is incredible.
  3. Du/er field pant. I got these on sale from REI and they are amazing… Cut like a traditional VietNam era field pant, but with stretch for days (the most I’ve had). You can’t beat the comfort and they seem to be pretty durable as well? I’d guess the weight is somewhere between the Diversion and the Evolution.

(Editor’s Note: Du/er makes a popular denim with stretch. I’ve yet to try them, but certainly plan too and will report back.)

In any regard, if you are like I was and stuck on obsolete materials just out of habit, give some of these modern tech materials a try. I’m actually really glad I did. I feel like I have a pant more comfortable than my old jeans, just as durable, and made more responsibly.

Logitech Customer Service

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I’ve long been a user of the Logitech MX Master series of mice. In fact, I’ve had every generation and every variation of the line. I’ve found them to be well made, but more than anything – thoughtfully designed.

Less than a year ago, I bought the MX Master 3. I’ve used it every day and like previous purchases from Logitech, I’ve been very happy with it. However, my unit started showing weird forms of wear on the finish. Last week, it got so bad that I sent an email to Logitech customer support.

After sending them a couple of pictures and answering a few questions, I got an email saying a replacement was on the way. Perfect customer service.

In any case, if you are interested in trying an MX yourself, you can get it here.

Bunny Boots

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We just got through the biggest and coldest winter storm to ever hit Austin, Texas. We saw temps as low as 3-degrees, went days without power, and still don’t have water after my lab/office was flooded by a frozen pipe.

Inspired by this misery, I decided to research the best winter boot ever made. According to most, it’s the Bunny Boot – military issued footwear that uses air between a layer of rubber and wool to insulate your feet.

Apparently, they are reasonably comfortable, crazy warm, and last forever.

Details here.

MagSafe Folio

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Nomad recently released their folio case for MagSafe phones. Early reviews are calling it the best case on the market. Not sure I could rock a folio though…

Details.

Oris Whale Shark

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I have a Whale Shark dive on my resume… It was an experience I will never forget and to this day, I often wonder how such an amazing animal can exist and yet be neglected. It’s disgusting actually…

Oris recently released the Whale Shark – a limited edition dive watch with eyes on raising money to save the endangered species. It’s pretty rad too…

Details.

Holden Card Wallet

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Slim wallets are everywhere these days… But one of the things I’ve never understood is why we don’t see more staggered layouts. This allows you to carry more cards with a slimmer profile… only sacrificing length in the process. To me, this Holden card wallet is far better designed than the typical stacked card setup.

Details here.

Tullen Snips

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If you grew up in Australia or New Zealand, you are already familiar with these. But if you didn’t and you have no idea what Tullen snips are, behold the most indestructible household snips the world has ever seen.

Typical usage for these is in the kitchen and initially, they were relegated to that duty alone. However, through the decades people have started to use these things everywhere from the kitchen to the garage.

Essentially, they are like heavy duty scissors or light duty tin snips… and you can misuse them for a lifetime without too many consequences. I guess the secret is in the relatively dull blades made out of steel that has been hardened through some wacky and innovative heat treating process.

I actually first saw these in a Formula-1 shop in France… And I’ve had a pair in my kitchen ever since. I’ve often wondered why you don’t see them very often in the states.

Get yours here.