20 Travel Essentials For Men

When we say “travel essentials,” rest assured that we really do mean “the essentials” — the gear that you need to pack and wear, no matter where you go. If you’re well-equipped and well-packed, you can’t help but be well-dressed and ready for any situation — no matter where you go.

Whether you’re jet-setting across the globe or hopping a quick train down the coast, the right gear is critical. We always say that it’s the small details that matter, from the cut of your chinos to the leather on your boots, all the way down to the small touches that make up your everyday carry. Pack correctly, and your picks can also get you out of a tough spot or two, especially if you’re an adventure-minded traveler.

If your speed is more laidback, we think plenty of our picks as to travel essentials for men will still get the job done — and then some. Oh, and when you finally do return home? You can rest assured these menswear travel essentials will continue to serve you well on the daily.

Zero Halliburton Carry-On Suitcase

You can plan out all the stylish outfits and travel-friendly ensembles you might like, but it’s all no good if you don’t have the right bag to keep your gear safe. The Zero Halliburton Carry-On Suitcase is nearly a design marvel, checking all the right boxes when it comes to sleek, secret agent-approved looks and world-class durability. The last travel suitcase you’ll ever need. – Shop Now

Lems Boulder Boot

Want to travel light — like, extremely light — this winter? Reach for a pair of stylish boots that are as easy to pack as they are to wear. The Boulder Boots from Lems roll right up for easy storage in your weekender bag (I.E. The Buffalo Jackon duffel pictured above), and they’ll provide plenty of comfort from the time you take off to the time you land — and then some. They’re also nicely equipped to deal with winter weather in transit. – Shop Now

Bellroy Travel Wallet

Traveling light doesn’t have to be strenuous or taxing in terms of finding the right gear. In fact, it’s often about taking the essentials you already carry with you — like a handsome leather wallet — and slimming them down while going for maximum functionality and mobility. Hence, the Bellroy Travel Wallet, featuring room for your passport, bills and cards — plus that crucial RFID protection. – Shop Now

Goal Zero Flip 20 Recharger

Believe it or not, we’ve got more to consider here than just clothes when packing. For all those times you’ve left the house with your phone fully charged, there are bound to be times on the road when you’re running out of juice. In times like these, the handy, easy-to-pack Goal Zero Flip 20 Recharger is the one essential you really, truly need. Just grab and go — no worries. – Shop Now

Buck Mason Short Sleeve Henley

Aside from a classic Oxford or a chambray shirt, a henley is one of the most versatile tops a guy can own. That’s right — wear it on its own, layer it under a denim jacket for an easy travel look, or rock it with an unlined navy cotton blazer for just a bit of rugged edge. Whether you head to sunny Florida or chilly NYC, a short-sleeve henley is your best bet for casual layering. – Shop Now

Bose QuietComfort 35 Wireless Headphones II

Traveling is stressful enough as it is, least of all when dealing with a noisy seatmate or a noisy, uncomfortable plane. In that case, the Bose QuietComfort Wireless Headphones are an ideal addition to your travel-ready everyday carry, free from the nuisance of tangled wires and made to block out the outside world. Don’t leave home without these. – Shop Now

Orvis Curious Traveler 5-Pocket Pants

You surely know Orvis for the brand’s rugged and field-ready outerwear, but what about travel-friendly gear like the aptly named Curious Traveler 5-Pocket Pants? When your destination calls for a quick turnaround – say, from the plane to the hotel right out into the city – ease of movement and style are key in equal measure. These crisply designed 5-Pocket Pants simply take care of business. – Shop Now

Filson Travel Kit

Your toiletries deserve better than a plastic bag — no, they deserve the sturdy, durable and incredibly well-made Filson Travel Kit. The twill exterior keeps all of your grooming essentials safe and sound, while brass hardware and bridle leather trim add a bit of luxury and dependability. Grab the Filson Travel Kit, load it up and hit the road — it’s that easy. – Shop Now

Eddie Bauer Voyager 2.0 Travel Blazer

As we’ve said before, mobility and timeless style are the name of the game when it comes to travel. And if packing light is your goal – which it certainly should be – then it helps to be able to wear one jacket onto the plane or train, and then out to dinner or drinks when you get from point A to point B. The Voyager Travel Blazer pairs up nicely with the Orvis pants as seen above. – Shop Now

Stanley Master Flask

Hey, as fun as winter travel can be, sometimes it calls for a little fun of your own making. We think every guy needs a durable, timeless flask for sipping on a choice beverage during long winter walks … or a long winter train ride. Stanley has always made some of the best around, and the Master Flask is no different. – Shop Now

Buffalo Jackson Denver Leather Travel Duffel Bag

Want something a little less sleek and a little more rugged when it comes to your travel gear? In that case, Buffalo Jackson has you covered with the handsome, versatile Denver Leather Travel Duffel Bag. We love this bag for its durable hardware and rich brown leather — both of which should pair nicely with a classic travel outfit (think stretch denim, a chambray shirt and classic chukka boots). – Shop Now

AER Travel Pack 2 Backpack

So, we’ve got most of your menswear essentials covered — what bag are you actually packing for the road, though? The AER Travel Pack is but one option for you. Made from a remarkably tough-yet-mobile heathered polyester exterior, this pack is designed to fit, well, everything. That goes for your laptop, your everyday carry, heck … even a water bottle. Nothing better than a do-it-all piece of luggage, yes? – Shop Now

W&P Carry-On Cocktail

Who said travel had to be a stressful affair? The W&P Carry-On Cocktail Kit adds a little portable, potent touch to your packing list, featuring everything you need to craft the perfect cocktail right on your tray table. A bit of an unnecessary splurge? Sure. A fun one? Absolutely. Get one for yourself, and one for your traveling companion. – Shop Now

Topo Designs Dopp Kit

Finding the right dopp kit can be a bit of a tricky endeavor — you want a piece that’s simple to pack up, yet durable and ready to take on the rigors of the road. The Topo Designs Dopp Kit checks all those boxes with ease, and it’s available for a heck of a price (under $30). That leaves you with enough leftover dough to splurge on a trip souvenir, right? Right. – Shop Now

Wild & Wolf Flight Ready Kit

It’s no fun packing your toiletries in a rush, and then finding out what you brought won’t clear the TSA line. That’s where Wild & Wolf comes in, with an ingenious set of travel essentials for the modern man. The Flight Ready Kit serves a dual purpose — keeping your skin in great shape during harsh winter weather while making it extremely easy to get around quickly. – Shop Now

The Best Steel Bike Makers

In the gian–trek–alized world of performance bicycles, it can be hard to stand out from the crowd. Cookie-cutter framesets are produced overseas en masse, and it can be difficult to find something unique that fits your personality. A handful of independent bike makers are setting out to break that mold. In virtually every corner of the country, bike-smiths are crafting custom frames by hand from steel. From color to size to parts spec, you can design and tweak from stem to tires to create the bike of your dreams. In many cases, you can even have the geometry custom tailored to your body to fit your size and riding style like a slipper.

While the custom-tailored aspect is important to each of these manufacturers, these bikes also feel significantly different from others on the market. Some would even say that they have soul. The feeling that you get when riding these bikes is a far cry from the Strava slaves, constantly trying to one-up the best time (though they can do that, too). These bikes are more about enjoying the time spent on the bike, outside in the open air — sucking wind on your favorite climb and feeling the breeze in your face on the way down. Some of the frames may carry a premium, but rest assured knowing that they are durable, custom-fit and built by hand.

Independent Fabrication

Newmarket, NH

Independent Fabrication is one of the most respected steel bike makers in the industry. It was born out of the shuttering of Fat City Cycles in 1994. When Fat City closed, a handful of former employees bought the building and founded Independent Fabrication in 1995. Since then, the brand has created bikes respected for their ride quality like the Deluxe and Crown Jewel. While Indy Fab offers some stock sizing options, its custom-made frames are still the way to go.LEARN MORE: HERE

Sklar

Bozeman, MT

Adam Sklar first crossed our radar at the North American Handmade Bike Show, where his split-pea green rigid mountain bike took home a best in show award. Sklar, 25, is based in Bozeman, Montana, where he has quite the following. But even outside Bozeman, Sklar is making a name for himself in the custom bike industry. His bikes have a distinct silhouette and aesthetic that is instantly recognizable. He specializes in steel hardtail mountain bikes, but has recently been making a lot of “monstercross” bikes — a hybrid between a cross bike and a hardtail mountain bike.LEARN MORE: HERE

Hunter Cycles

Santa Cruz, CA

Hunter is based just outside of Santa Cruz, CA, where Rick Hunter crafts each customers’ frame by hand. Most of Hunter’s bikes feature TIG welded construction and chromoly steel tubes. In addition to making gorgeous steel bicycles, Rick Hunter also makes custom forks, racks and stems (his hip packs are well-known in cult cycling circles as well).LEARN MORE: HERE

Breismeister Bicycles

Queens, New York

Breismeister Bicycles are immediately recognizable. They are often characterized by bright and vibrant colors as well as a contrasting logo on the downtube. They also share a similar seatstay wishbone design with many Hunter Cycles road and cyclocross bikes. Bresimeister is one of the few frame builders based in New York City and specializes in cyclocross and road bikes, but also builds mountain and touring bikes.LEARN MORE: HERE

Yamaguchi Bikes

Rifle, CO

Chances are, you have not heard of Koichi Yamaguchi. Which is too bad, because he is, unquestionably, one of the best frame builders in the US. Based in Rifle, CO, Yamaguchi has been building steel bicycle frames for the better part of the past 40 years. He spent time as a master frame builder in Japan and has built bikes for a number of professional cyclists — including a time trial bike built for Lance Armstrong that features a unique bottom bracket foil banned by the UCI, a feature that you can have on your custom Yamaguchi if you desire.LEARN MORE: HERE

Breadwinner

Portland, OR

If nothing else, Breadwinner’s aesthetic when it comes to road bike design is second to none. Thankfully, there’s a lot more to Breadwinner’s bikes than just good looks. Back in 2017 when we first rode the Lolo, Breadwinner’s performance road bike, our tester had this to say: “I’m not one to care a great deal about how aero my bike is or how fast I can sprint off the line. The thing that matters most to me is comfort sprinkled with a bit of performance, and the Lolo delivers. The workmanship on the frame is incredible — the weld seams on the Columbus Life tubing are nearly invisible.” Those comments still ring true over a year later.LEARN MORE: HERE

Rex Cycles

Sacramento, CA

If you’re in the market for a classic touring bike with ornate lugs and timeless design, Rex Cycles should be your first stop. Steve Rex has been building gorgeous steel road bikes in the same Sacramento, CA shop for over 28 years. Rex has the skills and knowledge to build you pretty much any bike you want — even a fillet brazed tandem bike if that’s your speed.LEARN MORE: HERE

Rock Lobster

Santa Cruz, CA

Paul Sadoff, the frame builder behind Rock Lobster, started building steel bicycle frames professionally in 1988. Since then, his frames have been ridden in both the Olympics and World Championships. As for his philosophy on building bike frames, Sadoff has this to say, “My aim is to build frames that do not hold the rider back from the highest level of performance and enjoyment.” It’s a fairly straightforward ethos, and one that has yielded some of the finest steel road bikes in the US.LEARN MORE: HERE

Horse Cycles

Brooklyn, NY

Thomas Callahan’s Horse Cycles is the perfect blend of artisanship and technical bike-building knowhow. Each bike is hand assembled by Callahan in his small Williamsburg shop. Whether you want a stately commuter or a racy all-road slayer, Callahan can build one custom-fit to your body type and riding style. He uses tubes from a variety of suppliers, including Columbus.LEARN MORE: HERE

Fat Chance

Marin County, California

Fat Chance started out life as Fat City Cycles in 1982, founded by Chris Chance. The brand closed in 1999, but is now being brought back with frames like the Yo Eddy and the Slim Chance. The brand has a cult following all around the world, with original frames bringing high price tags on the secondhand market. If you need proof of the bikes’ quality, dig into the forums.LEARN MORE: HERE

Baum Cycles

North Shore VIC, Australia

Though Baum is known mostly for its titanium bikes, its steel bikes are also worth seeking out. The brand’s website reads, “We present the answer to a unique prayer: a perfect 21st-century race bike, in steel.” Baum makes two steel bikes, the Ristretto and the Cortado; the former has more race bike geometry, the latter more fondo genetics.LEARN MORE: HERE

Pegoretti

Caldonazzo, Italy

Editor’s Note: Dario Pegoretti passed away in August of 2018. He was 62.

Dario Pegoretti was (and still is) one of the most revered steel frame builders in the world. According to Above Category, Pegoretti has built more Grand Tour–winning bikes than anyone else. Pegoretti worked exclusively in Columbus steel; if the frames themselves weren’t beautiful enough already, the paint jobs easily put them over the top.LEARN MORE: HERE

Ritte Cycles

Santa Monica, CA

While Ritte also makes alloy and carbon frames, its handmade stainless steel frames are top-notch. As a smaller bike manufacturer, it ignores marketing trends, resulting in bikes that look and ride great. The Snob is Ritte’s flagship stainless steel model and comes in both a cantilever brake version as well as a disc. While the fit, finish and design of the brand’s bikes are of the highest quality (all of the welds are superb), the brand also has a great sense of humor and enjoys poking fun at the UCI and professional cycling (see this UCI press conference parody).LEARN MORE: HERE

Speedvagen

Portland, Oregon

Speedvagen is the Skunk Works–esque project of the Vanilla Bicycle Workshop. Each frame is a limited-production run that is unlike anything else on the market. Recently, the brand built a 650b urban track bike with swept-back handlebars designed to put you in an aggressive riding position to attack the streets. The brand also collaborated with our friends over at Manual For Speed on a custom bike that captures the unique MFS spirit.LEARN MORE: HERE

Black Cat Bicycles

Aptos, California

The current waiting time for a bike from Todd Ingermanson’s Black Cat Bicycles is over a year. That waiting list is a testament to the quality of the bikes that Ingermanson is building. Any frame your heart desires, from road to mountain to cyclocross, is available. If you’re a mountain biker, Black Cat has started producing 27.5+ hardtail frames that look absolutely next-level.LEARN MORE: HERE

Wraith Fabrication

Columbus, Ohio

Wraith Fabrication started building steel frames in Columbus, Ohio, in 2009. Its frames are well built from full Columbus Life tubing, some of the best steel available. The Hustle is its understated road bike that’s performance-oriented but still comfortable.LEARN MORE: HERE

Boulder, Colorado

Mosaic Bespoke Bicycles was founded in 2009 by Aaron Barcheck. After working at Dean Bicycles, a titanium bicycle specialist, for about six or seven years, he set out to start his own brand. Barcheck created Mosaic to be competitive with larger companies and bring handmade bikes to the masses. Its bikes cover everything from gravel grinders to thoroughbred race bikes, and each of them has a performance lean to it.

Gift Ideas: The Outdoorsman

Here’s for the guy who takes every available moment he can to get out there — far out there. Backpacking, hiking, camping, hunting, fishing — just beyond the line where civilization ends and the wild begins is where you’ll find him.

We just made shopping for that guy a whole lot easier. These 30 gift ideas for the outdoorsman on your list will give him the tools he needs to start fires, cook food, stay warm, gaze at the stars, and even kayak. Whether he car camps, thru-hikes or just really likes being prepared, these ideas will turn any outdoorsman into a happy outdoorsman.

BioLite Campstove 2

BioLite makes some unassailably cool camp gear. This camp stove warms you and cooks your food — like a good camp stove should. It also turns its (highly-efficient) fire into usable power. Charge your phone or a camp light by burning sticks and twigs you find on site. – Shop Now

Pelican Elite Wheeled Cooler

Two inches of polyurethane insulation and a freezer-grade gasket will keep beer cold for ten days. Worried about bears? This cooler is also certified bear-resistant by the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee. – Shop Now

Solo Stove Bonfire Portable Fire Pit

The SoloStove Bonfire Portable Fire Pit burns wood efficiently and easily, with sharp looks fit to finish off any backyard BBQ set-up. It’ll be a point of pride, what with its stainless steel construction and eye-catching design. – Shop Now

Howler Brothers Merlin Jacket

The Merlin Jacket delivers end-of-year weather protection on all fronts – a water-resistant ripstop construction, lightweight Primaloft insulation, ribbed cuffs, and hand warmer pockets – while a built-in pocket stuff sack allows it to be packed down tight for traveling light or for tossing into the trunk of your car. – Shop Now

Stanley Classic Vacuum Camp Mug

Stanley thermoses are legendary, so it only makes sense that you’d hammertone it up when seeking a tough, long-lasting mug to accompany you on all of your outdoor adventures.  This beauty in classic green or navy is good for up to 16 ounces of your morning coffee at the campground.  Vacuum insulation keeps it piping hot to the last sip and a leak-resistant lid ensures you won’t lose a drop. – Shop Now

Danner Gritstone Boots

For more than eight decades, Danner has made a name for itself by providing boots designed to go where other boots just simply can’t. The Gritstone Work Boot even has “grit” in its name, and that echoes the toughness you’ll get when you lace these guys up. Made with full-grain waterproof leather and featuring lighter construction (but the same classic durability), this is a pair of boots you’re going to reach for over and over any time you need gear to take on the toughest of jobs. – Shop Now

NEMO Helio LX Portable Pressure Shower

If you’ve used camping showers before, you might be underwhelmed by the water pressure, or notable lack thereof.  You won’t have any problem with this shower, which delivers your ideal water pressure with the use of an integrated foot pump.  A capacity of 22 liters means you’ll enjoy up to 7-10 minutes of water pressure at the campsite. – Shop Now

Filson Vintage Flannel Work Shirt

The details are exceptional, from the front chest flap pockets to the melamine button closures. The pattern? Perfectly rugged and ready to wear to your favorite brewery or on a weekend hike. The fit and the cotton twill fabric? Hard-wearing and easy to layer over a henley or a warm thermal shirt. And the versatility? It’s top-notch, well-suited to pairing up with rugged denim and leather hiking boots – Shop Now

Sea To Summit Pro Hammock

You probably already know Sea to Summit from their extensive lines of backpacking and outdoor gear. The Pro is their entry into the camping hammock battlefield. They looked at what they saw other hammock companies doing, took the best ideas and improved upon them. The result is a GE hammock that’s plenty light and extra durable, with an integrated, siliconized compression sack that puts all others to shame. – Shop Now

Give’r 4 Season Gloves

Made with an all-leather waterproof exterior and a Thinsulate lining for plenty of warmth, you needn’t worry about braving the elements given the work that Give’r has put into these gloves. Hauling firewood, pitching a campsite, shoveling out of the snow — the 4-Season Gloves should definitely be your pick. – Shop Now

12 Best Bourbons Under $50

When invited to a holiday party, the correct thing to do is show up with a bottle of something. Bring a $12 bottle of white label Beam and you’ll get a flacid “Hey, thanks” from the host. But that in no way means you have to surrender that bottle of George T. Stagg you’ve been saving, either. Here are twelve of the best bourbons under $50 that will ensure you’re the guy who brings just the right amount of class and taste to whichever holiday gathering he attends.

Some whiskies on our list are single barrel, some are masterful blends. We’re recommending small batch bourbons, decade-old bourbons, and just plain reliable expressions of straight bourbon whiskey — all at price points that belie their noble character and impressive flavor.

Even if you’ve got zero holiday parties on your calendar this season, drawing from our list and getting yourself a bottle of one of these under $50 bourbons will make everything about this time of year very merry and appropriately bright.

Maker’s 46

For fifty plus years, Maker’s Mark produced one kind of bourbon and one kind of bourbon only — Maker’s Mark. About nine years ago, they decided to mix things up and debuted Maker’s 46. Starting with the their signature stuff, the bourbon is then aged an extra nine weeks with the addition of charred French oak staves. The wood planks add notes of vanilla and caramel while tempering any bitterness. Think of it as a reliably good bourbon made even better with a little experimentation. – Shop Now

Bulleit Bourbon Frontier Whiskey

Love it for the oldey timey bottle that makes you feel like a High Plains Drifter sidling up to a saloon bar. Love it for the high rye content that gives it that pleasing bite. Or love Bulleit because it has everything you want in a bourbon — strength of character, dry finish, and the right amount of oak. It’s sophisticated enough you’ll be tempted to pronounce it like it’s French, but the name of this solid American bourbon is pronounced just like the thing that comes out of a gun. – Shop Now

Four Roses Small Batch Bourbon

From glory to swill and back again, Four Roses distillery has run a long road. In the latter part of the last century, Four Roses was synonymous with bottom barrel stuff. Then in 2002 the brand switched back on the quality and now makes some of the more interesting expressions around. Their Small Batch Bourbon blends four different bourbon recipes at just the right level of maturation for a very successful bourbon worthy of its (many) accolades. – Shop Now

Evan Williams Single Barrel Bourbon

Back when I was behind the bar, Evan Williams black label was the no-call well bourbon you invariably mixed with coke. Tasted exactly as good as you’d expect for its price and stature. Evan Williams Single Barrel is no such animal. A surprising value for the quality, you get all the depth of flavor and richness of a premium bourbon, plus the exciting year-to-year variations that only single barrel expressions can deliver — they even write the barrel number on the label. Don’t mix it with coke. – Shop Now

1792 Small Batch Bourbon

Why 1792? That’s the year Kentucky became a state in the Union. And why did Kentucky get to be the center of the universe, bourbon-wise? Water and weather. Kentucky’s limestone filtered water (high calcium, low iron) is perfect for making bourbon plus the hot summers and cold winters really work on those barrels aging the whiskey, pumping it in and out of the oak each season for an end bourbon few states can equal. The 1792 Small Batch Bourbon is a fine example of just why Kentucky bourbon has earned its reputation. – Shop Now

Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Like a bourbon with some layers to it? The eponymous bourbon from Buffalo Trace distillery might be the spirit you’re looking for — sweetness balanced by oak, spice balanced by vanilla, and a long finish. Made in a Kentucky distillery that’s been making whiskey for over two-hundred years (albeit under a parade of different names) Buffalo Trace is one of those bottles you should have on hand for an everyday pour that’s got premium whiskey taste without the premium price tag. – Shop Now

Elijah Craig Small Batch Bourbon

Made under the Heaven Hill banner of distilleries (one of the only family-owned major distillery companies in Kentucky) Elijah Craig is named after the Baptist preacher who some say was the first distiller to put a mostly-corn-mash whiskey into charred oak barrels back in the late 1700s. Whether that claim is 100% historically correct, we may never know. But as any good whiskey drinker knows, it’s not whose name’s on the bottle, it’s what’s inside. This small-batch bourbon is smooth and warm with a fine fruitiness and a smoky, toasty finish. – Shop Now

Old Forester Classic 86 Proof Bourbon

Old Forester was the first whiskey brand sold exclusively in sealed bottles (as opposed to purveyors offering spirits from the barrel — cut with whatever they wanted). They’re also the oldest continuously produced bourbon brand as they were one of only ten distilleries granted a Prohibition exemption for making “medicinal” products. The classic iteration of Old Forester, their Classic 86 Proof is a great representative of what nearly 150 years of practice can yield — a big aroma, spicy vanilla/orange notes, and a slightly sweet finish. – Shop Now

Russell’s Reserve 10 Year Bourbon

With their Longbranch label, made in collaboration with Matthew McCaughnohey, and the Russell’s Reserve master distiller-created label, Wild Turkey is adeptly moving away from their frat party slash ”Oops I got married in Vegas” vibe. Looking at the bottle you might not know it was Turkey at all. What’s inside is certainly not some get-you-there-quick firewater. This is a smooth sipping bourbon with a bit of complexity, a good amount of citrus, and a unique vanilla finish — made by father and son distillers with a hundred combined years of experience between them. – Shop Now

Eagle Rare Bourbon Whiskey

When naming an American whiskey, go with “Old” something (Forester, Overholt, Grand-Dad), name it after a historical distiller (Elijah Craig, Evan Williams, Basil Hayden), the actual distiller (Beam, Booker’s, Bulleit, Jack), or go with something bird-related (Wild Turkey, Old Crow, Eagle Rare) and you should have a winner on your hands. Buffalo Trace’s Eagle Rare is aged ten years and extremely good for the price. Complex, fruity, but not overly so, with baking spices and leathery oakiness. – Shop Now

Henry McKenna Single Barrel Bourbon

Just as for bourbon itself, there are rules to be met before something can be called bottled-in-bond. Originally meant to curtail the creative adulteration of whiskey in the US, the 1897 Act declares that bottled-in-bond whiskey must come from one distillery, be aged at least four years at a federally bonded warehouse, and put in the bottle at 100 proof. This Henry McKenna Single Barrel proudly meets all said requirements, plus six extra years of aging. A little spicy and pleasantly dry, this is a case where following the rules pays off. – Shop Now

Woodford Reserve Distiller’s Select

Once upon a time, this list wouldn’t really exist, or at least it wouldn’t be very long. “Value premium” blends weren’t really on the radar of most distilleries. They figured people either wanted high-dollar, top-quality stuff or some bottom-dollar, purpose-built whiskey that just got the job done. Woodford Reserve Distiller’s Select was one of the first offerings of an affordable premium. Made from a blend of bourbon distilled at their own distillery and some from one of their parent distilleries, the result is a smooth sipping bourbon that costs less than it should. – Shop Now

The Best New Running Shoes Released in December

With the holidays having come and passed, there’s sure to be a lot of pent up stress. Family can be a blast, but it with it often comes internal (and external) strife. If that sounds like something you might have to deal with, we feel you. We find heading out on long runs not only helps your happiness levels, but everyone’s around you. To put an added kick in your late December runs, we rounded up some of the hottest releases from December.

Altra Timp 1.5

Altra released version 1.5 of the Timp complete with a softer and more flexible midsole. It has the same foot-shaped toe box so you have plenty of room for your toes, a zero-drop platform to help lower impact on your feet during movement and a more intense rubber outsole. Strap on a gaiter and you’ll never worry about it falling off thanks to Altra’s 4-Point GaiterTrap.BUY NOW: $130

Asics Gel-Quantum Infinity

The Gel-Quantum Infinity features a full gel outsole that stretches from heel to toe. Each step should feel like you’re walking on a pillow thanks to the plush foam heel and midsole. You should also notice a difference in shock absorption thanks to the gel — it helps tackle impact and enables a swifter push-off. A sweat-wicking sock liner also helps to manage temperature inside the shoes.BUY NOW: $180

Reebok Floatride Run Smooth

The well-known and loved Floatride foam appears again in these lightweight sneakers. The lime green and cobalt blue colorways showcase the mesh upper paired with a molded sock liner to keep your comfort at a maximum. The external heel cup provides some support while simultaneously getting rid of any irritation some can cause.BUY NOW: $120

MBT GT 2

We tested these sneakers down in Austin, Texas at the annual Running Event. They handled minimal hills, trails and the miles of running paths along Lady Bird Lake in stride. A memory foam heel feels plush from your first step, and the intense rocker sole makes quick work of long distance runs.BUY NOW: $180

Hoka One One Gaviota 2

Hit the trails with some serious support in version two of Hoka One One’s Gaviota. These are very stable shoes with a middle of the road cushioning — not too plush, but also not incredibly responsive. You’ll feel the road, but won’t feel like you’re a foot off the ground thanks to the cushioning. Version two has an all-new upper with engineered mesh that’s more breathable than previous iterations, and most everything else is the same.BUY NOW: $150

Brooks Levitate 2 Ugly Sweater Running Shoe

The Ugly Sweater Running Shoe isn’t changing anything that’s loved from the original Levitate 2 sneakers, but it does offer a fun holiday kick that’s perfect for holiday 5Ks, 10Ks and any other races you have planned.BUY NOW: $150

Adidas Ultraboost 19

When the Ultraboost 19 dropped just over a week ago, we immediately took them out for a run. They’re just as responsive as we remember with the same first step comfort, in addition to an updated upper and heel cup. While these shoes are already sold out, if you’re an Adidas runner, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on the next drop.BUY NOW: $180

Nike Air Zoom Vomero 14

Nike updates another sneaker in the Air Zoom line with the Vomero 14. Underfoot, you’ll feel the Zoom Air unit from toe to heel providing some much needed cushioning and quick turnovers. The shoes are built with the same React foam we’ve come to love this year (hello, Epic React) with a more stable and secure upper like the Pegasus 35.BUY NOW: $140

Salomon Predict RA

Salomon already dominates the trail world, so in the next step of running dominance, the team decided to reimagine a road running sneaker. They started from scratch, threw out all the typically accepted ways of designing a sneaker, built out a team of road runners to test products and came up with the Predict RA. The decoupled, yet stable sole piece looks drastically different from other running sneakers. Overall, this sneaker is incredibly flexible mirroring the bone and joint patterns in your feet. While it takes a few runs to transition, the shoe is built to adapt to your feet.BUY NOW: $160The 15 Best New Running Shoes of 2018

This definitive guide to the best new running shoes of 2018 explores everything you need to know before buying new running shoes this year, including shoes from Brooks, Altra, Adidas, Asics, Mizuno, Reebok and more. These twelve shoes are worth tracking down this year. Read the Story

12 Best Titanium EDC Pens

Hemingway and Elmore Leonard wrote their novels longhand. A hand-transcribed page from Darwin’s On the Origin of the Species went to auction in 2017 with a starting bid of half a million. And the “collected handwritten letters of…” sounds far superior to “the collected text messages of…” Yet, those aren’t even the best reasons for including an EDC pen in your everyday carry.

An important part of your EDC, a quality pen (and titanium is sort of the reigning metal of quality) becomes part of your ability to function efficiently — signing for your card, writing a list, working out an idea with plenty of arrows and doodles. In the case of a few of these pens, they may also come to the rescue in a tight spot, be it with the power of a glass breaking tip, or a tactical pen’s built-in capabilities.

Bolt action, click, and good old capped versions make our list of the best titanium EDC pens, with most taking a variety of ink refills so you can focus on things more important than hunting down the right cartridges.

Even if you never write down anything with the longevity of The Sun Also Rises, or even Rum Punch, sifting through this list and finding your new favorite pen will be well worth the effort.

Fisher Astronaut Space Pen

The future brings new considerations for EDC. When you’re heading to Mars on a SpaceX rocket, what pen should you bring? This one. The Fisher Astronaut Space Pen has been NASA’s go-to pen due to the pressurized ink cartridge and specialized ink that’ll write in zero gravity, in extreme temperatures, and over greasy surfaces. The brass barrel is coated in black titanium nitride to resist scratches and keep your space pen looking good wherever you take it — even if you’re not leaving the planet. – Shop Now

Tactile Turn Titanium Shaker Pen

Want a satisfying click-action pen? The Titanium Shaker from Tactile Turn meets that requirement, while adding a few features some pens overlook. The click mechanism is all titanium, built to keep clicking long after you’ve passed the pen on to your grandkids. When closed, the point retracts a good eighth of an inch into the barrel, eliminating errant ink marks on your pocket. And the machined barrel is weighted for proper handling and has a subtle groove pattern running the length of the pen, adding comfortable grip while hiding surface scratches. – Shop Now

Boker Plus Bolt Action Titanium Pen

Every part of Boker Plus Tactical pens mean business. First, it’s titanium, which needs no introduction. Then there’s the flat back end that allows for proper thumb placement, plus the integrated clip that won’t dig into your hand should the time come to switch from writing to tactical. The bolt action open/close gives your hands something satisfying to do while you’re preparing to sign on the dotted line or waiting for inspiration to strike from the ether. – Shop Now

BigiDesign Titanium Pocket Pro Pen

Here’s a pen with a twist. As in, you twist to open it. With a smooth action mechanism that employs industrial-grade silicone rings and grade 5 titanium throughout (including the clip) this pen will be with you through an eternal parade of notes and novels, lists and letters. Even better, the auto adjusting feature lets the Big Idea Design Pocket Pro accept 80 different refills — long, short, Parker ballpoints, standard rollerballs — all without gaps or the dreaded tip wiggle. – Shop Now

Sightmark Titanium Tactical Pen

Optics and accessories maker Sightmark isn’t interested in offering you an ordinary pen. At one end you get your requisite writing implement, complete with adjustable tube that accepts multiple sizes of ink refills. At the other end, there’s an integrated glass breaking tip. Rescue everyone from a sinking bus, then turn around and write about it later. The all-titanium body and clip are strong and durable, and if you prefer the action of removing a cap before writing that rescue story, this one’s a good pick. – Shop Now

NiteCore NTP10 Titanium Tactical Pen

Looking a little like a futuristic drill bit, this tactical number from NiteCore takes Parker’s pressurized space pen refill for that weightless, write-anywhere capability, while the tungsten-steel glass breaker at the back end features three stop pins for securing the cap while you write your words. Like all things NiteCore sells (flashlights, bike lights, tactical gear) this is another thing no clandestine maneuver is complete without. – Shop Now

PicoPen Ti

If you object to the idea of an EDC pen on the grounds that you lose nearly everything you touch, let this be the pen for you (also kudos for reading this far down in an article solely devoted to pens). The PicoPen attaches to your keychain or pack at the cap, keeping the pen in place with a neodymium magnet and facilitating pen deployment with machined grooves on the barrel. It’s similar to their standard PicoPen but the Ti version is a little longer and, obviously, made from titanium. – Shop Now

Tactile Turn Titanium Glider Pen

Like everything EDC manufacturer Tactile Turn makes, this is one sleek and handsome titanium pen. Why is it named Tactile Turn? The bolt action mechanism produces a butter smooth open and close while the pen itself has an equally smooth titanium finish. Pair it with a quality pocket notebook or journal, add a notebook cover, and your writing setup will be about as impressive as you can get it. – Shop Now

BigiDesign Ti Arto Titanium Pen

Like the other pen from Big Idea Design on our list, the Ti Arto also refuses to give you grief when it comes to finding a compatible pen refill and accepts over 200 pen cartridges. Unlike the Pocket Pro, this titanium option has a screw-on lid and comes in about a quarter inch longer. The raw machined finish resists scratches while the specially designed grip pattern grants confident yet comfortable pen glide while blending the gap that appears when using a larger ink refill. – Shop Now

Benchmade 1100 Titanium Series Pen

A Benchmade knife serves at the EDC knife of choice for so many people, adding one of their pens to the mix is basically a no-brainer. By far the most unique looking pen on our list, this machined titanium tactical pen uses Fisher space refills and keeps the cap in place with a pressure fit o-ring. If you’ve already got one of their knives, why not complete the set for a full Benchmade EDC? – Shop Now

Valtcan Titanium Bolt Pen

Of all the reasons a quality pen beats out a cheap plastic jobby, the best reason might be maintenance. When you pick up a disposable pen and it (not surprisingly) doesn’t write, you simply dispose of it, as intended. A good EDC pen not only lets you replace the ink, you can generally disassemble them and get at any non-functioning parts to replace or fix them. That’s very much the case with this pen from Valtcan. Wish the clip was a little looser or tighter in its grip? Take it apart and bend to adjust. Something you just can’t do with a disposable. – Shop Now

Commander C10 Titanium Pen

The glass-breaker tip on the Commander C10 is a ceramic ball, a harder option than stainless steel. The tactical pen employs a satisfying bolt action opening mechanism and takes Schmidt pen refills. Grooved notches run the length of the barrel for grip and it comes in a very cool looking tactical style gift box that you’ll be tempted to display. – Shop Now

The Top TVs and Video Games of 2018

This year, the television became more versatile. If you want to play old school consoles on your new TV in better resolution, you can thanks to Sega, Nintendo and Sony, which all announced miniature and upgraded models of their iconic retro video game consoles. A bunch of new ways to stream, control and interact with your TV were also announced by Amazon, Roku and others. And, of course, a host of new and beautiful televisions and projectors were also released. Looking back, here are all the biggest and coolest TV and video game releases of 2018.

You Can Now Buy The World’s Smallest 4K Projector

It promises a huge 120-inch picture with excellent 4K resolution (3,840 x 2,160). It also supports HDR.READ THE FULL STORY

Samsung’s Stunning New 4K TVs Blend Right Into the Wall

If the TV is wall mounted, you can take a photo of it and the surrounding wall, and the display will imitate the pattern of the wall.READ THE FULL STORY

The Hottest Video Game Is Now Available on iPhone and iPad — For Free

Fortnite is a battle royale, last-person-standing style game that’s been hugely popular on PC and consoles.READ THE FULL STORY

Why You Should Be Wary of Sega’s “Exciting” New Mega Drive Mini

It’s hard not to get excited about a miniature, updated version of a classic piece of gaming history, but in this case it might be wise not to.READ THE FULL STORY

Nintendo Is Bringing Back Its $60 Retro Gaming Console

The NES Classic flew off the shelves in 2016. It’ll likely do the same again, starting on June 29.READ THE FULL STORY

Amazon’s New Set-Top Box Is Pretty Cool — But Should You Buy It?

The Amazon Fire TV Cube is a hybrid between an Amazon Echo speaker and a Fire TV streaming dongle. Plus, it functions as a universal remote for your home theater.READ THE FULL STORY

Buy a Beautiful 4K TV with Alexa for Under $500, Today

“Alexa, turn on Netflix.”READ THE FULL STORY

Home Theater Upgrade: Samsung’s Beautiful, Designed-Focused 4K TVs Just Got Better

Better HDR. Better Voice Controls. Same bespoke design.READ THE FULL STORY

The Best-in-Class Portable Projector Just Got Even Better

The Nebula Capsule II is still able to project the same size screen – up to 100 inches – but it’s a brighter and higher-resolution picture. The speakers are better. And it now runs Android…READ THE FULL STORY

This Is Vizio’s Brightest And Best-Performing 4K TV, Ever

This is the Vizio’s new flagship 4K HDR TV. It’s twice as bright as the company’s next brightest 4K TV.READ THE FULL STORY

If You Grew Up With PlayStation, It’s Now Your Turn to Get a Classic

The PlayStation Classic is a miniature version of the original PlayStation console.READ THE FULL STORY

Can Amazon’s FireTV Recast Keep the DVR Relevant?

This box can beam shows from your antenna to wherever.READ THE FULL STORY

The 20 Best Beard Balms


The debate rages on among the bearded — which beard balm is the best? Maybe it’s not that intense of a debate, but it’s certainly on the minds of those of us who wear our beards proudly. And if you’re just starting to grow out your beard, beard care should certainly be top of mind. That’s where our list of the best beard balms should come in awfully handy.

Beard balms are renowned for their thicker texture and firmer hold, plus hydrating and moisturizing properties — all essential qualities in maintaining a beard that looks great and stays in excellent condition all year round. The best beard balm is going to blend an excellent scent with natural ingredients, great value and stellar quality — just like any other grooming essential, it’s worth taking the time to do your research.

You’ll see brands big and small on this list, and that’s the way it should be — each one brings something different to the table (and to your beard). If you’re searching for something with a pleasingly woods-y scent or something more crisp and clean, we’ve got you covered there — and each also brings the requisite quality you’d expect. So, without further ado — here are the best beard balms available today.

Crux Supply Beard Balm

Crux Supply Co. says you should use its excellent beard balm to “tame the whiskers, never the man” — that’s a fitting sentiment for the modern gentleman who wants to upgrade his grooming regimen in a big way for 2019 and beyond. And beard balm is a small but crucial part of that process (seriously, it makes a noticeable difference when it comes to your facial hair). In particular, the Crux Supply Beard Balm is made with touches like bergamot and rosewood, all designed to nourish and style your mane with ease. – Shop Now

Beard Supply Beard Balm

A brand like Beard Supply is aptly named and also designed to make you love taking care of your beard. Sound too good to be true? It’s not — you just need a better beard balm, like this fine option shown here. Made with unique ingredients like avocado oil and grapeseed oil, this balm is designed to style and protect your beard, nourishing it all along the way. It also rejuvenates your hair follicles, according to the brand. –Shop Now

Cliff Original Beard Balm

Finding the right beard balm — one of the best beard balms, no less — is an exercise in research and testing. Thankfully, Cliff Original makes the search easy, affordable and very pleasing in terms of the end results when it comes to grooming your beard. The brand’s Beard Balm is all-natural, featuring a clean, minty scent that’s different than others on the market. That’s a winner to us. – Shop Now

Northern Fir Beard Co. Beard Balm

Birchbox Man continues to be every bit as reliable of a source for guys on the go as the regular Birchbox line is for your wife or girlfriend. What exactly does that mean for you? That means the Northern Fir Beard Co. Beard Balm belongs in your medicine cabinet, ASAP. Using everything from shea and cocoa butters to pure beeswax results in a premium (and slightly pricey) beard balm that’s a welcome addition to your grooming routine. – Shop Now

Bulldog Original Beard Balm

The difference is all in the details when it comes to men’s grooming essentials, and particularly when it comes to the best men’s beard balms. Bulldog Original knows this all too well, and comes through with an essential product for your consideration. Touches like aloe vera and green tea (yes, green tea) make this a soft, soothing beard balm for even the most unruly of whiskers. – Shop Now

Woodsman Beard Balm

One of the most helpful, useful parts of picking up one of the best men’s beard balms has got to be the level of control it gives you over your beard. The Woodsman Beard Balm just so happens to be made with nourishing beeswax and cocoa butter for control, styling potential and that crucial soft touch. It’s the right way to finish off your grooming routine on the daily. – Shop Now

Big Red Beard Balm

Big Red Beard Combs makes no qualms about its focus on crafting just the right products for your beard – that particularly goes for its combs (go figure), and that also extends to its beard balm. It’s a bold, rugged and tough approach that keeps your beard from getting, well, too tough and scratchy. The scent itself? A blend the brand calls “warm and spicy,” with a strong hold and all-natural ingredients. The packaging? Handsome and unique — a winning product through and through, and one that you should use as much as you can. – Shop Now

Duke Cannon Best Damn Beard Balm

Every man deserves to have a healthy beard that is treated well. What better way to maintain your mane than with the Duke Cannon Best Damn Beard Balm? Made in America, this refreshing and warm Redwood scented balm is perfect for smelling great and looking even better. Contained within a small portable tin, Duke Cannon Best Damn Beard Balm uses ingredients such as cocoa butter and lanolin to give you that luscious silky feel with the right amount of shine. – Shop Now

Uppercut Deluxe Beard Balm

Uppercut’s Deluxe Beard Balm really is deluxe in its approach, with the right kind of specs to keep your beard in top form throughout the year (and particularly in the colder months). The Deluxe Beard Balm features a non-oily finish (something that’s difficult to find in most grooming products), and the slight hold allows you to control your beard. Even more important is the crucial nourishment and moisture the Uppercut Deluxe Beard Balm provides your beard — two qualities you certainly shouldn’t overlook when shopping for a great beard balm. – Shop Now

Made In Detroit Beard Balm

What’s under $10, features a groovy tin design and packs in some serious quality and bang for your buck? The Made in Detroit Beard Balm, that’s what. Specifically crafted to tackle dryness, tangles, split ends and frizz, it should work like a charm on longer beards in particular. And should you like it as much as we think you might? You can sign up for a subscription to ensure you’re fully stocked. In a pocket-sized tin, this beard balm is no joke — it’s made with organic, fair trade ingredients. We think your beard needs this soon. – Shop Now

Grave Before Shave Beard Balm

The cleverly named Grave Before Shave crafts up the kind of memorable, high-quality products that you simply can’t live without — or at least, you won’t be able to live without ‘em after discovering them. It’s a beard balm that’s handcrafted in the U.S. with just about all the excellent ingredients you could ask for, from coconut oil to shea butter and aloe vera. This craftsmanship results in an overall beard balm that moisturizes, hydrates and keeps flyaway hairs tamed — plenty of great qualities that make it worth buying. – Shop Now

Blind Barber Bryce Harper Beard Balm

You know Blind Barber for the dashing, of-the-moment haircuts they give guys in the world’s most stylish cities, but have you taken the time to get acquainted with their own in-house grooming line. The Bryce Harper Beard Balm is a big-league men’s grooming upgrade (get it!?) and assuredly one of the best men’s beard balms out there. Buy it now, and you’ll have it in time for spring training. – Shop Now

5 Accessories to Get More Out of Your Cast-Iron Skillet

The cast-iron skillet may be the only cookware item with its own fan clubs and communities. Through its temperamental heating, hands-on cleaning and occasionally frustrating seasoning process, it prevails as a piece of kitchen gear that inspires loyalty. That’s partly because cast-iron cookware can endure centuries of abuse. These five cast-iron skillet accessories aren’t groundbreaking, but they make cooking in a cast-iron skillet better.

Pot Holders

Despite what pan makers might or might not say, there is no cast-iron skillet handle that doesn’t become scorching hot during use. These silicone holders from Lodge slip on to the handle of your pan and protect your hands from heat up to 450 degrees.BUY NOW: $4

Non-Metal Tongs

In the name of not chinking your cast-iron skillet’s armor (seasoning), please don’t use metal tongs or other kitchen utensils when cooking in it. Oxo’s silicone-tipped tongs are great alternatives to metal-tipped tongs. It’s worth looking into a silicone spatula as well — we recommend Brooklyn-based Get it Right’s version.BUY NOW: $13

Pan Dividers

Felt pan dividers are great at preventing scratches and dings for all the pots and pans you stack in your kitchen, but they’re especially good for stacking cast-iron skillets. It’s easy to scuff the seasoning on a skillet, especially if its relatively new seasoning. This leads to an uneven seasoning layer and an overall bad time.BUY NOW: $17

Chain Mail Scrubber

Where brushes, rags and salt fail, there’s the chain mail scrubber. Its rounded edges remove hardened and dried food from the pan without tearing up your hard won seasoning. It’s also machine-washable if you get it extra dirty.BUY NOW: $17

The Blue Book

The Blue Book isn’t its formal title, but The Book of Griswold & Wagner (as well as a host of other storied labels) is the de facto starting point for any would-be cast iron collector. Its pages are stuffed with photos (more than 1,000 of them) of old cast iron along with the historical context of said pieces. Basically, it’s half catalog, half history book.

The 5 Best Used Car Websites in 2019

Shopping for a used car is a daunting task from the very minute you decide you want one. The whole process can feel like a chore to anyone who’s been on the market before and a concentrated source of stress to the shoppers new to the undertaking. Luckily, you no longer have to comb through the print classifieds outside your local grocery store – there are hundreds of used car websites to use instead. To narrow down the options and help you focus your search, these are the best used car websites to use.

CarGurus

CarGurus is the gold standard when it comes to general used car shopping. Not only do they drive and review popular models, but their pros advise on whether a deal on offer is above, average or below the going market value. CarGurus also provides the same information for new and certified preowned vehicles.LEARN MORE: HERE

Bring a Trailer

Over the past couple of years, Bring a Trailer established itself as one of, if not the best, vintage car auction site. The number of cars listed on the site seems to grow every day, and BaT now offers newer cars too. One of the advantages BaT has over the other sites is its active community. Members of the BaT community regularly comment on auctions, offering personal insights and experiences with the featured cars. Sellers usually respond to questions and interact in the comments section too. Unlike the rest of the internet, the majority of the comments section here is genuinely constructive.

Read: How To Sell a Used Car Successfully with 5 tips from the founder of Bring a Trailer.LEARN MORE: HERE

Hemmings

Hemmings is another reliable site that features classic cars, but unlike Bring a Trailer, Hemmings offers both auctions and straightforward sales. Hemmings also operates like a more convential used car site where buyers contact the seller directly, instead of through a forum environment like on BaT.LEARN MORE: HERE

Kelley Blue Book

Kelley Blue Book is best of the old breed of used car websites, but that’s not a knock against it. It features a straightforward user experience where you can search new and used cars by category, make, price or best-selling models. However, Kelley Blue Book’s calling card is listing each car’s value compared to the market, based on the options fitted, trim levels and condition.LEARN MORE: HERE

Japanese Classics

There’s no hiding this site’s forte – it’s right there in the name. However, these aren’t the ’96 Honda Civics you remember from High School. These cars are imported from overseas and weren’t originally available on US shores. Most of the models available have just qualified for the 25-year old law, so they might be right-hand-drive. That also means there are real gems all over the site you’ve probably never laid eyes on.

Read: The 25 Best Cars You Can Finally ImportLEARN MORE: HERESome to Avoid

If you’re currently shopping for a used car, this is a good place to find the cars you don’t want. Read the Story