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Staff Favorites: Nick Caruso, Associate Editor

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 much as I write about gear, I tend to own pretty humble stuff and hold on to it for a long time. Writing this post made me see that there are items in my everyday life that I value more than I ever realized. Things that make my life easier, more comfortable; things that make me smile or make me gain weight; but also things that I daydream about.

Red Wing Iron Ranger Boot


For a couple years I was obsessed with the idea of owning sturdy, high-end boots with a lot of heritage built in. Because I’m a Michigan boy, born and raised, and that’s what my kind like: boots. Besides, I live in Brooklyn — gotta have boots.

Buy Now: $300

Lander 20-Liter Timp Backpack


Up until a year ago I was publishing know-it-all advice — online, where it’s permanent — that men should ditch sophomoric backpacks for briefcases or messengers. But now I commute almost daily with this fella. It’s an ideal size for a laptop, book, or spare sweater, and it’s water resistant. I keep a Lander Cascade Powerbank inside so I can tweet stupid stuff all day and night. Great combo.

Buy Now: $100

Moe’s Doughs Donuts

Calories: this is how I get my fix. These goddamn donuts are so good, so perfectly suited to my ravenous sweet tooth and so close to my apartment that I had to self-impose a moratorium: no donuts during the workweek. I miss three-donut dinners, but I got to break up with (most of) my love handles.

Learn More: Here

Warby Parker Abbott


Karma’s a bitch, but it can smile on you, too. I embarrassingly lost my last pair of tortoiseshell frames and had to replace them, pronto. So I went for something completely different: titanium circles. I can’t see without glasses, so I wear these every waking moment. My best friend told me I look like a villain from Indiana Jones. Not sure I see it.

Buy Now: $145

Alesis QS8.2 88 Key Synthesizer


Up on a stage, behind a piano, I feel at home. It’s been years since I’ve pursued that thrill — I play far less than my heart tells me to — but when I do make the time, my keyboard is there for me. Besides, having an actual analog piano in my Brooklyn apartment would be impossible.

Learn More: Here

Pilot Better Retractable Fine


These pens got me through college. The substantial feel of each click, the satisfying hexagonal grip, the smooth rolling action: all reasons to recommend Pilot’s masterpiece every chance I get.

Buy Now: $13

LEGO Ferrari F40


Real cars can’t fit on bookshelves, alright? Owning LEGOs may keep me from having a girlfriend, but the only loss there is that no one gets to hear the very authentic vroom vroom noises I make.

Buy Now: $100

Eagle Creek Packing System


Until I discovered Eagle Creek, my packing routine merely bordered on obsession. Now I’ve entered a new level of madness. Nothing enters my suitcase without first being secure inside its designated bag.

Learn More: Here

Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer Down Jacket


My favorite season is fall, especially because I can’t leave my place without a jacket. I love jackets. And this is the lightest. It’s also warm enough to wear well into the much chillier months. It’s my go-to whenever I need to keep warm and stay mobile.

Buy Now: $320

The Grail

Ferrari F355 Spider


Performance. Nineties looks. A mid-mounted V8, rear-wheel drive. Has to be the gated manual. Has to be red with tan leather and a black top. And yes, I’m that guy with two Ferraris on his list.

Learn More: Here

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