From Issue Four of Gear Patrol Magazine.
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Why do we love summer? More daylight? Less clothing? Cold beers, warm nights? Is it the memories of vacations we impatiently awaited, or the indivisible association with shorts and ice cream and no school and no cares? These days, we have plenty of cares, but summer still maintains its visceral symbolism of all things freedom; only, now that we’re older, we do summer better.

We kept the meaning of summer front of mind when curating this gear guide. Beautifully designed products are themselves symbols of summer-like freedom. You can find liberation in the quality of a pair of running shoes, or the convenience of a new gadget, or the power of a restored automobile. This guide represents the luxuriousness of freedom, something that we believe is deserved year-round, but especially now, in summer. – Nick Caruso


Buy Vintage and make it new. The appeal of older cars is obvious: classic designs unmarred by modern safety and emissions regulations; styling that disregards advanced aerodynamics; the charm of robot-less build quality; the draw of nostalgia. The problem with old cars is, well, they’re old. Unreliable. Worn out. Modified restorations — “resto-mods” — provide the best of both worlds: throwback style and charm; modern mechanicals and performance to make the vehicle more driveable. These are some of the most beautiful, most coveted resto-mods around, and by dint of being built to each customer’s whims, their specs are all unique. – Nick Caruso

Porsche 911 Safari by The Keen Project $40,000


If you only own one pair of shorts, make it these. Baggies look like normal shorts, which makes them the perfect trunks. Patagonia first launched them back in 1982, and since then, little’s changed. A five-inch inseam, elastic waistband, mesh liner and deep pockets all remain. The fabric is water-resistant Supplex nylon. In the summer, you can wear them anywhere and everywhere, from the gym to the beach. Buy one pair, and you’ll never touch board shorts again. – Jack Seemer

Men’s 5-Inch Baggies by Patagonia $49


Rent a beachouse. Visiting your buddy’s vacation home is fun, but you’d rather get away on your own terms, to a place by the beach — a place just your style. That’s freedom. Our advice: find your ideal spot, where waves lull you to sleep and the sea smells of salt, and book it. Right now. We did, because it’s the ideal setting for our summer gear guide: a place to relax, to enjoy the freedom of the season. And now it’s your turn. – Nick Caruso


Wear better running sunglasses. You aren’t Usain Bolt. Nor are you Lieutenant Commander Geordi La Forge. You should look like neither a professional runner nor a character from a sci-fi television show while running. District Vision’s Kaishiro frames offer all the bells and whistles of other running sunglasses — premium lenses that cut the harsh sun, an adjustable nose pad and a featherweight titanium core — wrapped in an understated style more suited to the real-world runner. – AJ Powell

Kaishiro by District Vision $199+


Go big and stay small. Medium format digital cameras have long been prized for their resolution, depth of field, lack of distortion and some ineffable “medium format look.” They have also long been gigantic, difficult to use, heavy and fragile, and they usually cost over $20,000. Thankfully, there has been a renaissance in camera technology and brands are starting to cram big, medium format imaging sensors (about twice the size of a “full frame” camera like a Canon 5D or Sony A7) into relatively small bodies (about the size of a consumer DSLR).

The two first companies to dive into the pool were Hasselblad, with the X1D (pictured), and Fujifilm, with the GFX 50S. Honestly, there isn’t much to differentiate the two: both have a massive 50MP resolution, great dynamic range, excellent lenses, bright electronic viewfinders and the kind of portability that didn’t exist for medium format cameras until late last year. Sure, some of the caveats are still there — the autofocus doesn’t beat DSLRs’, lens selection is limited, both are still far from inexpensive. But if you’re looking for unbeatable image quality in a low-key package, this is your answer. – Henry Phillips

X1D with 45mm Lens by Hasselblad $12,995


Bring the burger back inside. While there’s much to be said for the ritual of gathering around the grill, a better burger comes from the stovetop — with fat retained, not lost to flare-ups. The sous vide method — setting the meat in advance and leaving it to simmer — imparts a superlatively tender texture, while the shock of a rapid sear against carbon steel confers a deep, delicious char. -Emily Singer

11-Inch Carbon Steel Sauté by Blanc Creatives $245

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A version of this story appears in Gear Patrol Magazine: Issue Four, 320 pages of stories, reports, interviews and original photography across America. Now available. Subscribe Now: $39