The Gear Journal

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.

The C.H.U.B. Flipper

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A few months back, I spoke about an EDC utility blade that I found and loved. A lot of people on knife forums claim that the “Exceed Designs” flipper is made in the US. I’ve found that while the Exceed Designs version might be assembled in the US, I believe it to be machined in China. In fact, I found the factory that I think is responsible for that machine work and bought the parts to build about twenty of them. Since then, I’ve been giving them away to buddies…

Anyway, this weird fascination put me on the map with other people that are into EDC flippers. One of those being Chaves Knives. Chaves builds a lot of short production, really well made knives and recently decided to design and build their own utility flipper called the C.H.U.B. Flipper.

The C.H.U.B. flipper is available with a number of different scale finishes and costs just over $200. Like the Exceed Designs version, it’s main ingredient is titanium and it locks via the frame. Oh… also… it’s made in China as well.

I was sent a C.H.U.B. finished with a black Micarta scale and thought you guys might be interested in my thoughts after using both the C.H.U.B. and the “Exceed Designs” versions for a few months now. So… Let’s do it:

The “Exceed Designs” version retails at around $60, but if you play your cards right you can get them for as cheap as $40… or even cheaper if you are willing to research the shit out of Chinese factories and assemble your own.

On the other hand, the C.H.U.B. comes in at over $200.

Obviously, the Exceed flipper wins this round easily. But, what about value?

With each in hand, it’s very obvious that the C.H.U.B. is made of higher quality materials to a higher standard. The flip action is smoother, the tolerances are tighter (there is no play in the blade holder at all), and in use the C.H.U.B. is by far and away a better product.

But is it even $140 better?

The C.H.U.B. is more enjoyable to use just because of it’s build quality. BUT, the value of each isn’t defined by that… The beauty of the “Exceed Designs” flipper is that it’s light (almost a 1/3rd lighter than the C.H.U.B.), very small, and almost (not quite, but almost) cheap enough to be expendable. Break a blade holder by using the thing irresponsibly? Not a big deal… But do the same with the C.H.U.B. and that $200 price tag starts to sting.

The C.H.U.B. is also a bit harder to carry. Like I said, it’s heavier… but it’s also thicker and the pocket clip is less forgiving.

In short, they both do the same task equally as well. The Exceed does it a bit easier while the C.H.U.B. does it with more style.

If you are a knife guy… one that collects short production knives and appreciates a solid action, detail work, craftsmanship, style, etc… all the things that come with custom knives… then you *might* appreciate the C.H.U.B. even after spending $200 on it.

However, if you are just a guy that gets the whole utility knife EDC thing and want one that is easy to carry, the “Exceed Designs” version is the one for you.

Regardless, both of these are better EDC tools (for me) than any of the units from the major manufacturers like Milwaukee, Stanley, etc…


You can get the Exceed Designs version here.

You can get the C.H.U.B. Flipper here.

Ernest Wright General Purpose Scissors

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If you order a pair right now, you will get them in six to seven months… BUT, you will never buy another pair of scissors in your life. You will be done… and you will be happy.



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This idea isn’t new, but I like the way these guys have implemented it in both design and materials. I wonder why they aren’t offering a key solution? Seems like this would be a nice organizer of those as well.


The Best EDC Folder

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Ryan, within reason – money is no object. What is the best knife I can buy to carry in my pocket for the rest of my life? I don’t like shopping or researching. I just want to have it and be done with it. Suggestions?

Bryan Crass

I actually think this is a pretty easy one. While I prefer deployable utility blades for my EDC, I did carry a folder for 20 years. I chose the Chris Reeve Sebenza in the small size. It’s small, light, sleek, and holds an edge for seemingly ever. In my opinion, it’s the obvious choice for a guy that wants to buy it, use it, and take it for granted… for ever…


TagVault: Pet

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Pretty smart… Essentially, it’s just a collar with a weatherproof pod that protects an Apple AirTag – giving you the capability to track your pet via GPS.