Deciding to zig where Apple has zagged, the new Samsung Gear S2 apes conventional watch design with a 1.2-inch, 360 x 360 circular screen and a rotating bezel that serves as a physical control. The S2 has another trick up its sleeve in the form of the first-ever e-SIM, allowing it to take calls and do rudimentary tasks over 3G without the need for a phone. Other features include the requisite fitness tracking with heart rate monitor, NFC for wireless payments, a 1-GHz dual-core processor running Samsung's Tizen OS, and a 11.4-millimeter dust- and water-resistant case in either dark gray, silver, or black with complimentary bands.
Snapping great photos with your iPhone is easy. Getting those shots grouped and printed is not. Unless you're using Recently. This combination app and service automatically curates 100 of your most recent photos, then has you upload them once a month. When they're received, they're printed into a customized, high-quality 7" x 10" magazine with the date displayed prominently for easy sorting. You can use as few as 50 photos to make a magazine, or if you're a prolific shooter, use the simple editing tools to decide what goes in and what stays out. It's one of the easiest ways to get your latest photos in the palms of your hands.
When it comes to specs, the Nextbit Robin Smartphone is solid, if not a standout. There's a 5.2-inch, 1080p screen, 13 megapixel camera, USB-C, a Snapdragon processor, and 32GB of onboard storage — "onboard" being the key term there. Thanks to a heavily customized version of Android, the Robin's software is able to give you 100Gb of additional cloud-based storage by automatically optimizing the space on your phone, moving the stuff you don't use — including apps — to the cloud while making sure your essentials are accessible even when you're offline. Need something back? Just tap and it'll be right where you left it, a feat that's far more impressive than any spec sheet.
Now on its third generation, the Nest Thermostat isn't the only smart thermostat around anymore — but it's still one of the best. The latest model has a screen that's higher-res and 40 percent larger than the 2nd-gen, a fact that's put to full advantage by Farsight, a feature that displays the target temperature or time in large, easily-readable type when you walk in the room. It's thinner, too, still integrates well with the company's smoke/CO2 detector and cameras, and can now sense problems with your furnace ahead of time, so you're not left with an outrageous maintenance bill, or worse, a non-functioning heater.
Built using salvaged and reclaimed rail pieces, the Railyard Ping Pong Table is part gaming table, part historical record. The side rails were produced in 1904 by the Tennessee Coal & Iron Company, while the ITTF regulation "netting" rail was manufactured in 1943, and features an engine burn on the top that explains its removal. The sturdy base is made from large oak and hickory timbers, sourced from the same plant that made the ties for the rails above. This one-of-a-kind piece is finished with an authentic railroad date nail from 1921 and arrives with a traditional regulation net, four paddles, and a box of ping pong balls.
Set in a private community in the central Cascades about 90 minutes from Seattle, the Tye Haus A-Frame is an ideal basecamp for your next PNW adventure. The cabin itself was built in the late '70s, sleeps six, and has everything you need for your stay, save for food. It's the surrounding area that's real draw, however, with thousands of miles of trails, skiing, fishing, and kayaking all nearby.
Photos: Alex Strohl
If the cloying sweetness of most of the mass produced ciders on the market right now have turned you away from this historic beverage, a taste of Farmhouse Cider from Shacksbury might bring you back around. It's crafted in Vermont using apples from their home state as well as Herefordshire, England and is light, effervescent, with a slightly dry finish. It's also been lightly barrel-aged in bourbon and rye barrels, and slow fermented. Great during any season, but ideal as fall approaches, it's time to back away from that pumpkin beer and reach for this memorable hard cider.
It used to be that if you wanted a military-style vehicle, you bought a Hummer. Now, you procure an Oshkosh Joint Light Tactical Vehicle. Recently awarded a huge contract to replace much of the Army and Marine's legacy Hummer fleet, this lightweight tactical vehicle comes in two- and four-seat variants, uses the battle-tested Core1080 protection system to keep the occupants safe, and has a Tak-4i intelligent independent suspension to traverse rugged terrain, with 20 inches of wheel travel and the ability to raise or lower the suspension as needed from inside the vehicle.
Extinguishers are the first thing you want if a fire breaks out. The Saver Emergency Breath System is the second. This home safety device is designed to keep you safe from smoke inhalation in the event of a fire, using a triple filter system to remove smoke, dust, and toxic gases from the air while turning carbon monoxide into breathable carbon dioxide. Saver comes in a 2-person portable set or 4-person wall-mounted set, and also includes a flashlight and built-in alarm to help alert first responders to your location.
Presented by Safety iQ.
Even the best designed computers still look like technology, giving them a cold edge. The Wood Kubb Computer means to do the opposite by appearing to be nothing but a single block of wood. It measures roughly 5" x 5", is available in three finishes, and despite its small body still has full-size specs, with Intel Core i3 or i5 processors, Intel HD graphics, SSD storage, and up to 16GB of RAM. You'll still be responsible for adding a monitor, keyboard, and mouse, but at least it will be one less thing in your life made from plastic, metal, and glass.
Using .02 micron medical-grade hollow fibers, the MSR Guardian Water Purifier removes viruses, microbes, contaminants, and other particulates from even the nastiest of water. Its unique design automatically back-flushes 10% of its water with every pump, meaning you never have to manually scrub it, and it's also surprisingly durable, standing up to both freezing environments and drops of up to six feet. It can clean up to 2.5 L of water per minute, and since it's rated for over 10,000 liters before it needs a filter change, it might just be the last filter you ever buy.
Our phones are filled with apps that attempt to recreate the casual, random style of toy camera photos. Now you can get the real thing with the Holga Digital Camera. Using original Holga optics — and compatible with Holga lenses — this new digital camera gives you a low-fi shooting experience, with manual controls for aperture (f/2.8 or f/8.0), shutter (Blub or 1/60 sec), and image ratio (4:3 or 1:1). It comes in four colors, captures 8 megapixel shots, and supports Wi-Fi SD cards, so you don't even need a cord to post your artsy, heavily vignetted snaps to Instagram.
Small space, big plans. The Moonlight Cabin by Jackson Clements Burrows Architects is an environmentally friendly getaway overlooking the ocean in Victoria, Australia. At only 60 square meters, it's meant to be as tiny as possible while still being livable, with a single open space broken up by the kitchen island, floating fireplace, and partial walls. Living small is already good for the planet, but it takes the idea a step further with timber that's free to expand and contract as the seasons change, rainwater collection, and shutters that encourage natural airflow.
Impeccably designed and hopelessly addicting, Monument Valley is the rare game that's both simple and surprisingly deep. Winner of multiple awards, this puzzler places you in a world of incredible isometric architecture, and has you guide a princess through the mazes by twisting, dragging, and otherwise tapping your way to safety. The visuals are stunning, but the audio is equally well-crafted, so be sure to throw on a pair of headphones before you begin.
Maybe a shot and a beer is your order of choice, or maybe you haven't pounded one since college, either way The Architecture of the Shot: Constructing the Perfect Shot from the Bottom Up is worth exploring. The book provides a model for creating the perfect shot, with ideal measurements, recommended brands, and recipes for classic shots, along with plenty you've never heard of, but really need to sample. Illustrated in blueprint-inspired form and ready to compliment your home bar.
We've seen some really nice axes over the years. But aside from adding extra functionality to the blade and/or handle, we haven't really seen a complete rethink of this ancient tool. Until now. The Leveraxe was designed from the ground up for splitting wood, with an asymmetric iron alloy head that has a side hook to reduce the chance of hitting yourself, and a counterweight to turn it to the side, splitting the log in the process. In addition, the handle is made of a hollow composite, meaning it takes even less effort to get results.
If there's one thing we know about WhistlePig, it's that they select some of the best rye whiskey barrels around. It turns out they have a knack for experimentation as well, as evidenced in their award winning Old World Rye Whiskey. The 12-year-old expression is a blend of ryes finished in French Sauternes, Madeira and Port casks, creating a smooth, flavorful experience that is truly unique. It took home the Double Gold Award for best rye at the 2015 San Francisco World Spirits Competition and is a must for all rye whiskey fans.
The book itself might not be giant — at 9" x 12", it's a pretty standard size, although the 624 pages do give it some heft — but its subject certainly was. Andy Warhol: Giant Size covers the life and work of the pop art legend from his early days in Pittsburgh through his influential run at The Factory and beyond. Told through a mix of artwork reproductions, witty quotations, and longer texts, it's a fascinating read for anyone interested in the man behind the work. Also available in its original, 16" x 12", 15-pound format if you're willing to dig around.
Whether you're heading off road for an adventure, need extra space for your gear, or just want a cozy option for rest after a hard day of travel, Vintage Overland Caravans are up for the challenge. Designed in a classic teardrop shape, each caravan is built by hand and comes with features like an oversized door, hardwood interior, vintage style tail lights, a solar panel, a memory foam mattress, and insulation made from repurposed denim. All three models are lightweight, durable, and can be hitched to vehicles of any size.
A collaboration between the German optics house and the Italian auto firm, the Leica x Zagato Ultravid 8×32 Binocular offer exceptional quality in a sleek design. The outer shell is crafted from aluminum, with hundreds of fine grooves milled into the surface for a unique tactile experience. Red anodized aluminum is used to carry the Zagato branding in rings set directly in front of the forward lenses, which help to bring objects in the distance into crystal clear view. Limited to 1,000 examples, it arrives with a Zagato-designed case and matching hand and carrying straps, both crafted from Italian leather.
What's the biggest hassle when it comes to air travel? Driving to, arriving at, and dealing with the airport. The TriFan 600 VTOL Plane aims to eliminate those steps by using three ducted fans to takeoff and land from areas no bigger than a heliport. Once in the air, the five-passenger aircraft closes a door over one of the fans and engages its dual turboshaft engines, reaching cruising speed in as little as 90 seconds and covering as many as 1,200 miles without refueling. It can also hit altitudes of over 30,000 feet, letting it fly over troublesome weather, and by landing vertically, it ensures you can go right to your destination — no rental car required.
There are better cassette players, and there are better turntables. But none of them can match the versatility of the Ion Duo Deck USB Turntable & Cassette Player. This highly portable rig can playback your mom's mixtapes and the vinyl your dad used to make them, with built-in speakers making it an all-in-one affair. Of course there's a output jack if you want to crank it up with external speakers or listen privately through headphones, and thanks to the included software, you can hook it up to your computer and rip both formats straight to your digital library.
Jeff Bridges Sleeping Tapes ($25).
Reigning Champ Robe ($121).
Hemen Biarritz Longjons ($100).
Simple Alarm Clock ($13).
Marvis Toothpaste ($9).
Morihata Black Charcoal Toothbrush ($8).
MIIR Insulated Bottle ($30).
Greats Canarsee Sandals ($149).
Alaska Bear Sleep Mask ($10).
Classic looks meet the convenience of instant in the Lomo'Instant Montenegro Camera. Inspired by the picturesque Balkan country, it's clad in genuine black leather complemented by a silver finish, lending it a formality most instants lack. Like its stablemates, it uses readily-available Fujifilm Instax Mini film, and offers rock-solid reliability. It ships with three add-on lenses — fisheye, portrait, and close-up — to extend the built-in, 27mm wide-angle lens' capabilities, as well as several color gels and a "splitzer for even greater creative freedom.
You might not associate Major League Baseball stadiums with art that deserves a place on your walls, but Ballpark Diamonds are certainly worthy. These mini stadium sculptures are made using a single layer of oak, and are each assembled by hand. A custom frame is then added and they're ready to hang. To start, Busch Stadium, Dodger Stadium, Fenway Park, and Kaufmann Stadium are the only parks available, but there is a special option to have a custom stadium built, past or present, if you can't wait for the rest to roll out.
You might not realize it, but In N' Out and Chipotle aren't the only places around with secret menus. Off The Menu can fill you in on otherwise unlisted menu items from eateries both casual and formal across the country. Broken up by city, this comprehensive list of stealth menu items includes descriptions for each dish, letting you order like a local even if you're visiting for the first time from the opposite coast.
Designed by world record speed climber Hans Florine, the CRKT Niad Climber's Knife is the perfect blade to carry when you're heading up the slopes. It's super light, weighing just of half an ounce, and uses a two-piece design to remove unnecessary parts and complications. The stainless steel blade has a flat top serrated edge, while the handle is made of corrosion-resistant titanium and has a loop on the end for attaching to a carabiner, something you'll no doubt have on hand as you start your ascent.