The Gear Journal

TAD Bastion Woobie

Read More

If you have discovered the pure joy of a proper woobie and want something that is a step up from even the amazing OG Woobie, stop what your are doing right now and buy the Bastion Woobie from TAD Gear. They were just re-stocked and they won’t be in stock long… so you had better hurry, but trust me – you’ll be glad ya did.

Go here now!

Western Rise Versa Hat

Read More

I love Western Rise and live in their pants… However, they recently released a new hat made of the same breathable, but weather resistant material as their pants. It’s waterproof, stain proof, wrinkle proof, and the perfect travel hat.

Details.

Ghostwing TRS Mid-Top

Read More

Triple Aught Design released a new boot. I don’t believe they’ve ever done footwear before and I’ve yet to lay hands on these, but you can bet your ass on one thing – if TAD makes it, it’s made well.

Details.

Vans Trek Slip-On

Read More

Need a water shoe, but wouldn’t be caught dead in those Croc things? Vans has ya covered… These aren’t terrible looking and they are priced right.

Details.

Arcturus Heavy Duty Survival Blanket

Read More

“Ryan, do you know of a tarp that is thicker than the Poncho shell that pairs with the Woobie you reviewed? I like the poncho, but I need something with more flexibility.”

Funny you should ask… Check out the Arcturus Survival Blanket. It’s cheap, well sized, and does double duty – heat capturing survival blanket and super durable tarp. Better yet, it’s the perfect outer layer for your Woobie.

Details.

Darn Tough

Read More

Testing my “Best of” script again… This time, I decided to try men’s socks. It’s a tough segment because socks are made for so many different segments and for so many different uses. I decided to ignore all of that and just go after the best reviewed sock for men on the internet – ignore retail site reviews.

The result? Apparently, people that buy Darn Tough Hike/Trek socks are super happy with them. I’m gonna have to buy a pair and see what all the fuss is about.

Details.

Stretch

Read More

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.

Bunny Boots

Read More

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.