The Gear Journal

The Ojai Jacket

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So you need a wool jacket to battle the cold with layers? There is no better than the Ojai Jacket… and right now, its available for under $200 due to Cyber Monday. If I didn’t already have one, I’d buy one.


Instax Mini Evo

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It’s crazy to me that Fujifilm keeps bringing new Instax cameras to the market. I mean, it’s cool as hell… But who shoots these things? Japan maybe?

In any case, I still prefer larger format and vintage Polaroids… but this thing is pretty neat.


The Brown Buffalo Parka Tote

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The Brown Buffalo is one of those US based bag manufactures that doesn’t make enough product to meet demand. By doing so, they can charge a premium for their incredibly well made bags. Of course, it also creates a crazy secondary market.

Regardless, their bags and packs are amongst some of the best in the world… And this is a true rarity – their tote is in stock at the moment of this post.

Check it out.

Marine Layer

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“Ryan, I get that American Giant makes the best hoodie in the world. But, it’s a little too heavy and not as soft as I like. Suggestions?”

Yeah, AG does make the best hoodie as far as durability goes. I have three of them and each is over five years old. Only my shop sweatshirt shows wear. The other two still look brand new despite the fact that I wear them constantly.

That all being said, if you want something softer check out Marine Layer. They are made just as well as American Giant but with softer wearing materials.

Details here.

Erika’s For Apple

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If you are an Apple Watch guy, I have some advice for you. Get the Erika’s Original strap. I use them on a lot of my traditional watches and you won’t find ANYTHING more comfortable. The stretch just feels natural.


Air Jordan 1 Element GORE-TEX

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I’m a Jordan 1 man… Have been since I was 12 years old. And these? These are interesting. Essentially, Nike took the classic silhouette and built the damned things out of GORE-TEX to create an all weather shoe.

Details here.

The GORUCK Screw Up

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I’ve said this before, but in my estimation GORUCK makes some of the best packs in the world. And while they aren’t always available due to stock issues, they seem to have a better handle on demand than other makers with similar (if not equal) quality. Meaning… usually if you want a GORUCK, you can get a GORUCK.

That all being said they had a presale on GR2 packs a few months back. The backpack world was stoked because these would be US made packs using the lighter 500D rather than the typical and more robust 1000D. They were all spoken for very quickly.

Due to COVID related production delays, customers had to wait longer than usual. Eventually, shipping notifications started going out… and before long, people started getting their packs. One problem – they were 1000D rather than 500D.

Someone screwed up. People got mad… and apparently, Facebook groups were lit afire with complaints.

Now, I don’t use Facebook. In fact, I judge people harshly that do… Including a naive friend of mine that persist in using the privacy and social destroying platform. But, he came in handy here as he was able to send me Jason McCarthy’s (GORUCK founder) response to all of this:

GR2. Look, we fucked up and I’m sorry. There’s no way to make it perfect again. We built it in the USA. The people on our team doing the QC (Quality Control) were not part of the Purchase Order process, or the labeling so to say so they couldn’t “catch” the mistake. They QC the integrity of the ruck. We heard about it from someone who received theirs, and we sent the note out to do the right thing. The rucks are solid, but/and they’re 1000D (this used to be the only gold standard).

In 11 years, this it the first time this kind of mixup has happened, and it happened on a RESERVE (/preorder) no less, which means you paid for it a long time ago, and we don’t know when there will be another opportunity to get them built, again. This is just the reality. If I hear supply chain problem one more time, I might puke in my own mouth. It’s real, too. The puke I mean. So look, it’s a messy situation and there was no real perfect fix. But at least you heard about it from us, directly.

If you’re really dissatisfied, just send us a note to and we’ll do our best, but we can’t go back in time and we can’t make replacement guarantees because we simply don’t know when that would be possible. The reason our customer service is the gold standard is because we’ve earned that, day in and day out, for over a decade.

Life is a messy place with messy solutions. We’re human, even at the end of an email address, and our team has max latitude to make it right. We work for you and that is NEVER lost on me. Thanks for the support, and again, I’m sorry.

Jason McCarthy

Pretty unique response from a CEO, no? My advice for those at GORUCK? Put your head down. Keep doing what you are doing by making the best readily available bags in the world, and get the hell off of Facebook.

In today’s world of planned obsolesce combined with customer expectations, it’s difficult if not impossible to turn a buck by sewing textiles. You gotta love it to do it. And, in my estimation, it’s difficult to love something that isn’t being appreciated.

I, for one, appreciate US based manufacturing and quality and I’m willing to put my money where my mouth is… If you feel the same, head on over to GORUCK and get your first bag. You will be glad ya did.

Pelagos FXD

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When it comes to watches, I’m a Sinn guy first… but have always loved Tudors as well. In fact, my early Tudor Marine Nationale is probably my most worn timepiece. That being said, it’s been almost 30 years since Tudor made watches for the French Navy. That changed today.

The Pelagos FXD is a retooled Pelagos diver built to entertain the needs of the French military. It has fixed strap bars, is made of titanium and is too big for me (42mm)… But, there is no denying its absolute beauty.

I love tool watches.

Details here.