If you're a fan of typography, then it's only reasonable to think that you'll be a fan of Scrabble Typography Edition ($200). The highlight of this luxurious set is the solid walnut tiles featuring a wide variety of different, interesting fonts. They're joined in the set by a solid walnut storage case with drawer, a six-panel solid walnut magnetized gameboard with non-slip cork backing, and metal tile racks. Oh, and each set will include a numbered certificate of authenticity signed by the creator — and Uncrate pal — Drew Capener himself.
Despite its elitist reputation, rowing is one of the most effective workouts around. Now you can get a real rowing experience in the comfort of your own home with the WaterRower Rowing Machine ($900-$2,500). The secret is the machine's WaterFlywheel, which is designed to emulate the exact dynamics of a boat moving through water, and thus offers the peacefulness of moving water, a proper rhythm of motion, and smooth motion not found in typical resistance rowing machines. It'll not only get you into shape, but also prepare you for the day when you win the lottery and suddenly need to find some common ground with your Ivy League neighbors.
When a product describes itself as "minimal", it tends to mean a lack of superfluous buttons, or just a very straightforward design — but in the case of the Outlier Minimal Backpack ($130), it really takes the meaning of the word to heart. The secret to this waterproof, featherweight pack is its nonwoven Dyneema construction, which makes it ten times stronger than steel, yet light enough to float on water, and versatile enough to stuff into a pocket. Try that with your average Jansport. [Scouted by Katherine]
Extension cords are a necessary evil — especially around the holidays — but no one said they had to be ugly. Most of them just are. Not these Best Made Cloth Extension Cords ($40), though. These eight-foot pulley-style cotton cords are woven in Massachusetts using three copper wires, each of which is stranded and
left for dead covered in PVC insulation, then twisted together, padded, and braided with a cotton weave. Solid brass plug blades and rubber plugs round out the offering, which may have you looking for new reasons to string cords all over your house.
We've heard of personal publishing, but this is ridiculous. Little Printer ($259) is a tiny, friendly-looking thermal printer that connects to the cloud to bring you customized news updates from sources like the Guardian, Foursquare, Google, and Nike+, plus puzzles, weather updates, and other useful info, printed on a receipt-sized publication that prints on-demand when you press the button. Expect to see one on a bookshelf near you next year.
Since its founding in 1976 in Tokyo, Japan, Beams has been known for its hip wares — and the new Incase Beams Pack ($180). Made exclusively for the high-end shops, this limited edition pack offers a natural cotton canvas or blue denim upper, a leather bottom, and multiple interior pockets for accessories. You can order the classy gray canvas and leather version online, but you'd best be booking a flight to Tokyo if you're looking to score some denim.
When shaving every possible ounce of weight out of your pocket or pack is really essential, nothing beats the Baladeo 34 Grams Knife ($35). Made from 420 stainless steel, this diminutive blade is true to its name, weighing in at a scant 34 grams — 1.2 ounces — all while packing in a locking system and integrated belt clip.
You're not going to find a watch more minimal than this. The Mutewatch ($260) sits somewhere between a rubber bracelet and a touchscreen gadget, relying on a tap to activate it and swipes to cycle through its clock, alarm, and timer functions. Its motion sensor registers movement and automatically adjusts the strength of its vibration notifications, making sure you never miss an appointment. [Scouted by Levin, Brian & Nico]
Yes, you can get more sound out of your iPhone without hooking it up to a set of speakers. Koostik ($95) offers natural acoustic amplification thanks to specially designed sound chambers and channels that create a boost of two to four times when an iPhone is placed in its central dock. As an added bonus, it's made from wood, so it'll look nice even when it's empty.
For those of you who are planning a trip into outer space, you'll want to make sure you have a pen in order to jot down you memorable events. The Fisher Space Pen ($22) works in zero gravity as well as in extreme temperatures from -30 to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. It also writes in at every angle, even upside down, and comes in four galatic colors.
If you're looking to simply get the job done (and your job is opening beer), the Areaware Wooden Bottle Opener ($20) is all you need. A single bent nail to pry off the bottle cap, while a magnet inclosed in the walnut handel catches it. Another magnet attaches the opener to the refrigerator (or truck door) so you never misplace it.
As timeless as the designs of Charles and Ray Eames are, some of their most iconic works require a very specific aesthetic to fit in — and the multi-colored Hang-It-All was one of those products. Luckily for those of us who don't live in design museums, the new Eames Hang-It-All Limited Edition ($250) replaces the bright colors of the original with a gorgeous solid walnut balls and a black frame, allowing it to fit in to more normal decors and making it a perfect match for an Eames Walnut Stool.
Screw putting up a dry erase board in your home office — turn a whole wall into one with IdeaPaint ($30-$175). This ingenious paint turns anything you can paint into a reusable dry-erase surface, making it great for the office, kitchen, kid's room, or garage, the latter so you can keep track of how many beers you've had while attempting to "fix" that old junker you've been tinkering with.
Hand-made in the USA, this limited edition Kenton Sorenson Dopp Kit ($135) is constructed of natural leather that'll age beautifully with use. A Cowboy-esque leather wrap-around tie closure also keeps the pricey kit open during use.
Our thanks to Gillette for sponsoring this month's travel grooming articles.
Carry your laptop, iPad, or other goods over one or both shoulders without looking like a high schooler in the Makr Ruck Sack ($160). Available in a very light natural, brown, or black canvas, this simple pack features stylish exterior closures, multiple pockets, leather washers and reinforcements, cotton webbing, and padded straps. If you're interested, hurry up -- they're limited to just 50 of each color.
Resting squarely in the realm of the ridiculous and yet too sexy to ignore, Joey Roth Ceramic Speakers ($500) ooze style with the same ease with which they produce sound. The white glazed ceramic speaker cones rest atop simple, understated Baltic birch plywood stands, and connect to a delightfully industrial stainless steel sheet metal amplifier, which sits atop a black cast iron base. Perfect for pairing with an aluminum laptop, iMac, or similarly minimal turntable.
Known primarily for its sporty pro outerwear, the new line of Arc'teryx Veilance ($175-$1,000) tops, coats, and pants combines tough, outdoor-ready fabrics like Gore-Tex and Paclite with more traditional cuts and syling, letting you dress your best no matter what the weather's like outside. And no, we don't know how you're supposed to say "Arc'teryx."
Leave it to the air maestros at Dyson to create a fan with no blades. The Dyson Air Multiplier ($300-$330) uses a fairly ingenious design to suck air into the base, accelerating it through an small aperture in the device's ring and then over a ramp to channel its direction. As it happens, this also causes the air behind and around the machine to be drawn into the airflow, creating a smooth stream of air amplified 15 times, without the unpleasant buffeting caused by the blades of a traditional fan chopping the air. The only downside? It's a $300 fan.
This portable grill is perfect for city dwellers or outdoor aficionados. Boasting an Army-green enameled finish, the Weber Smokey Joe Grill ($50) features a lightweight steel and aluminum bowl and lid, heavy-duty cooking grate, rustproof aluminum vent and ash catcher, and a glass-reinforced nylon handle.
They might not be able to help out the interior, but these Neutraface House Numbers ($24) are sure to improve the outside of your abode. Available in plain or powder-coated red aluminum, the custom made numbers are set in Neutraface, a great font inspired by architect Richard Neutra and designed by House Industries, and thanks to specially designed hardware, the numbers seem to float off the surface of your building. Here's to hoping you're address isn't 479455 Main Street — unfortunately, they charge by the number.