The Gear Journal

Packing Cubes

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I mentioned earlier that I have been working on a side project – essentially, a piece of software that searches out reviews from objective sources like Reddit, forums, etc… and then returns and ranks overall reviews. At this point, there is too much manual work involved for this to become publicly useable, but its still fun to plug things in and see what is returned.

This time, I did packing cubes. I’ve never used packing cubes (who has in the past year?), but a friend swears by them and I’ve wanted to give them a shot. Thing is, everyone makes the damn things and prices are all over the place.

So, what does my little software say about the matter? If you want the best packing cubes on the market, you want Peak Design. And if you want the best value, you want Eagle Creek Spectre.

I chose Eagle Creek and will report back.

The M65 Field Jacket

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For well over a decade, I’ve used an M-65 Field Jacket as my cold weather outer layer. If it’s super cold (rare in Texas and Hawaii), I will add an issued “cold weather liner” and call it good.

I think I paid $100 for my M-65 (with liner) at a surplus store some 12 years ago. It’s still in perfectly useable condition and I can’t argue with the value.

It does, however, come with some draw backs. For one, the M-65 does not come with a modern fit. It’s boxy… because, well… it had to fit every body type in the military. But also, it uses outdated materials. So, it’s heavy and not very wet weather resistant.

Proof just introduced their modern version of the M-65 that they are calling the Highlander. It features a more modern fit and materials that are both water resistant and have a little stretch. I think it’s rad.

Check it out.

Saxx

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Working on a piece of software that essentially polls sources like reddit, forums, and other non-retail sites that tend to collect honest and objective reviews. Using unmentionables as a test subject, I can now objectively say that the highest reviewed underwear on the internet comes from a company called Saxx.

And I have to admit, I’m tempted to blow $25 just to see how good these actually are.

Details.

Trayvax Link Lanyard

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A few years ago, Trayvax released the Link Lanyard. A couple of YouTubers reviewed it favorably and inventory sold out quickly. Because the quick release is a pain in the ass to produce in numbers, Trayvax declined to make more.

Meanwhile, reviewers and EDC guys began to really appreciate the Link for what it was, how it worked, and its reliability. Eventually, so much pressure was put on Travax that they felt like they had to make more. They did so a couple of months ago… and there is still stock available.

I’ve never touched one of these things, but everyone I know that has one is in love with it… Come to think of it, just about everyone I know with anything from Travax loves the company in general. So…

Details.

Panobook

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I found Studio Neat through a pen I was curious about. One thing lead to another and I found the Panobook – a notebook designed to sit under or around your keyboard. It was as if this thing was designed for me… really great.

Details.

Topo Designs Sale

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In the market for a laptop bag? Topo makes damn nice stuff and currently, they are offering 40% off a lot of their laptop bags.

Check it out.

Diversion Pant

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Western Rise makes “tech” clothes… Basically, modern garments made out of weird/innovative materials that flex in four directions, are largely waterproof, and feel kind of foreign.

I got the Diversion Pant for Christmas and figured I’d wear em as “work at home” pants, but holy hell – these things are great. Super comfortable, seem really durable, and no matter what you do in them, they don’t seem to stink.

Details.

OmniCase

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A really smartly design hub for travel… I love the way the cable stows and makes a nice clean package.

Details.