The Gear Journal

NASA Space Shuttle Discovery

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Did you sleep on the Lego Saturn V rocket kit a couple of years ago and now regret it to no end as you browse eBay and stare at the $1000 bids? Yeah me too…

That’s why I WILL NOT be sleeping on this one.


Details here.

Virgil Abloh X Braun

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Two things I love:

  1. Vintage Braun Industrial Design
  2. Virgil Abloh’s Graphic Aesthetic

Combine the two and you got something crazy special…

Details here.

The NS-1

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I’m not an outdoorsy guy. I’d rather work than go camping… But, for whatever reason, I love the “overland” aesthetic that has become all the rage as of late.

The NS-1 is a trailer built by CampWorks that sort of packages all that up into a self sustainable off-road trailer. It starts at $36k and gets more expensive very quickly as you add options, but I guess that’s the price you pay to be off the grid anywhere your rig can take you.


The Canoo

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The electrical revolution is just around the corner. It’s been baking for well over a decade now and you have to think we aren’t far off from reaching critical mass – the boring part of it all.

See, to me the excitement happens now… Now is when all of these freshly funded innovators take a shot at the big dogs and hope their athleticism and flexibility is enough to out perform the experience of the same old stale logos we have all grown accustomed too. Most, if not all, will fail miserably… Most real innovation does.

Welcome Canoo to the show… They are bringing with them some pretty dope ideas.

Details here.

The Cheapest & Most Reliable Car In The World

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So, I used my algorithm to find two things this week:

  1. The cheapest car to own in America for over five years.
  2. The most reliable car in America.

Both turned out to be the Toyota Land Cruiser. Giving just about any Toyota a reliability award is cliche… So that one was not a surprise. But I was sort of amazed to see that 16.3% of all Land Cruisers made reached over 300,000 miles. That’s nuts.

What did surprise me, however, was the price of ownership. These SUVs are irrationally expensive. A 2021 Land Cruiser (based on an old platform and archaic technology) can run close to $100k new. The trick though is this:

A 2016 Land Cruiser with 75,000 miles can sell for as much as $65k. These things don’t breakdown, need very little as far as servicing, and the resale vale is almost as insane as the purchase price.

Editor’s Note: My algorithm is a work in progress, but after double checking some parameters, I think I’m getting fairly accurate results.

Abus All Weather Lock

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I have a tiny little shed in Hawaii that is secured by an Abus 70/35 padlock. It’s been on the shed (very close to the ocean) for over two years and looks brand spanking new…

As far as I can tell, the only real protection the lock features is a rubberized coating of sorts. But, I guess, that’s all it needs.

Super impressive. Super affordable.

Details here.

simplehuman Trashcan

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I just checked our Amazon order history. My wife bought this thing 10 years ago – almost to the day. She wanted a stainless trash can for the kitchen and just bought the most highly reviewed unit on Amazon.

I remember being annoyed that it cost damn near $150 and required very specific trash bags only sold by simplehuman. A trashcan just doesn’t seem like something that needs that kind of complexity or cost.

I was wrong. In fact, as crazy as it sounds, I would list this trash can as one of the best things we’ve spent money on in the last decade or so. We love it so much, we bought another for recycling. But… Why?

First, its made really well. You know when you go to an antique store and buy something like an old radio and say to yourself, “Man… They don’t make them like they used too.” Well, these things are made like shit used to be made. There is no planned obsolescence here.

Secondly, it’s thoughtful. Initially, I thought the proprietary bag situation was a real bummer… But, here’s the thing – The trash can has a storage area for bags. When you empty your trash, you aren’t left hunting around for a new one… You just grab it from the storage area, line the can, and move on.

Also, the second to last bag in each pack is labeled. So, when you get to that bag, you know to reorder. And since we buy our bags off Amazon Prime anyway, there really isn’t any added complexity. The added cost just goes towards convenience and the comfort in knowing this damned stainless contraption is going to outlast you.

Anyway, this is the trashcan we bought ten years ago.

Alubox Vs. Pelican

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To be frank, Alubox is out of my pay grade… And despite the fact that I’ve bought a few used Pelican cases in my time, Pelican is as well. Even so, I can’t help but want what I don’t have or even have a use for.

In any regard, I thought this old article over on Expedition Portal was well done. It helps folks rationalize their decision after spending thousands on aluminum boxes.

Details here.