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Staff Favorites: AJ Powell, Associate Staff Writer

The gear we can’t live without.


Editor’s Note: It’s pretty clear that we’re passionate about gear. And with this series, we want to share with you our own personal favorite pieces. Over the next few months, we’ll bring you our staff’s 10 personal favorites — goods we personally own and use. The selection will run the gamut, from heirloom pieces to practical gear that can be easily procured. Last but not least, each will share one “holy grail” item that still remains the stuff of dreams, out of reach, but hopefully only temporarily so.

As Associate Staff Writer and leader of the outdoor and sports beat at Gear Patrol, much of my day is spent tied to a computer screen plugging away at a keyboard. My staff favorites are, for the most part, geared around making the time that I get away from the computer as fun as possible. A few tech necessities, a handful of EDC essentials and one stellar beer round out my list.

Samsung UN49KU7000 49-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV


Quite possibly the best deal in 4K TVs. The picture quality is exceptional for the price, and the smart hub interface, though it can be finicky at times, puts all of your favorite streaming services at your fingertips.

Buy Now: $1,100

Finex 8-Inch Cast Iron Skillet


Finex’s cast iron skillet is my favorite piece of cookware. The coil handle disperses almost all heat so you can pick it up without an oven mitt and the octagonal shape makes it easy to pour sauces out of a corner.

Buy Now: $125

Keg & Lantern Gastronomical IPA


It takes a lot to impress me when it comes to beer, especially in the IPA category, but Keg & Lantern’s Gastronomical IPA does just that. Southern Hemisphere hops make this beer light and juicy with just enough bitterness. If I could, I’d drink it every day.

Learn More: Here

Böle Card Case


Böle is one of, if not the only spruce bark tannery left in the world. Their card case is impeccably crafted (each one is hand stitched by one man in the attic above the century-old shop) and is the perfect size to carry my wallet essentials.

Buy Now: ~$112

Miir 25L Commuter


Whether I’m biking to work, taking the train, or even just hitting the grocery store, the roll-top design on Miir’s new commuter pack has enough space to fit everything I need and more. And it comes in NYC’s unofficial colorway — black.

Buy Now: $159

Penfield Sandown Hat


A hat is more often than not a part of my daily getup. Penfield’s Sandown has an understated style and a great fit that’s perfect for everyday wear.

Buy Now: $27

Adidas Matchcourt Slip


Whether commuting, skating or hitting the bar, the Matchcourt Slip handles it all with effortless style. As a bonus, they’re also super comfortable.

Buy Now: $60

Opinel No. 8


As far as value for money goes, the Opinel No. 8 is hard to beat in the knife world. It’s extremely sharp and durable, and it’s great for cutting just about everything, from vegetables to enemies.

Buy Now: $15

Sonos Playbar


The Sonos Playbar is the perfect amount of sound for my small apartment. It connects to my TV and to my wireless network so I can stream from all of my devices. It’s rich and fills the room, without taking up a ton of space. It lacks a bit of bass tone, but that’s easily rectified with the Sonos Sub.

Buy Now: $699

Electric FW03 SS


I’m not one to wear a watch very often, so investing in a super-expensive watch isn’t necessary. Electric’s simple FW03 does what I need it to: tell the time and add a little bit of style to my wrist.

Buy Now: $275

The Grail

Parlee Z-Zero Disc


At some point, I’ll buy a custom geometry bike. And when I do, it’ll be Parlee’s Z-Zero Disc. Parlee’s craftsmanship is second to none, and the option of building a bike how you want it, from the ground up, with your own custom paint job, is the holy grail of road bikes.

Learn More: Here

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