Good morning. After a seemingly endless barrage of public relations disasters, United Airlines is beginning to roll out a dubious new plan for selling overbooked passenger seats. Called “Flex-Schedule,” the program will ask passengers ahead of time if they are willing to get bumped, in exchange for travel vouchers worth $250 or more. The new program appears to be nothing more than a band-aid on a much larger problem, however: Flex-Schedule is currently available only to frequent fliers who book flights on United’s website.
• Here’s yesterday’s gear news in case you missed out.
• Tune in on Facebook Live today at 5 p.m. EST — we’ll be hanging with Chris Burkard, a prolific adventure photographer, at his new art gallery in Manhattan. We’ll also be live today at 12 p.m. EST for our weekly in-office gear video.
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What’s New, Now
Klymit LiteWater Dinghy Packraft
At just 35 ounces, the LiteWater Dinghy Packraft is among the lightest and most packable pack rafts ever designed. It functions much like a kayak, maneuvering surprisingly well on flat water and minor rapids, and packs down into a small roll-top bag, which, when empty, doubles as a dry sack.
From Defakto, a German watchmaker known for its elegant, Bauhaus-inspired minimalist watches, comes an all-new “retro-futuristic” watch. The Vektor — a “retro-futuristic” name, if there ever was one — features a convex dial, anti-reflective glass, a custom 39mm stainless steel case and an automatic Miyota 9015 movement.
Mighty Portable Clip-On Spotify Player
I’ve been dreaming for years of a way to play my Spotify music on a run without bringing my phone. My prayers have been answered with the Mighty. Think iPod shuffle, but built for Spotify. This little square connects to your Bluetooth headphones and belts out your Spotify playlists — just load the device up through the mobile app before heading out. – Jeremy Fischer, Editorial Intern
KFC Fried Chicken USA Sweatshirt
I can’t believe I’m saying this: KFC’s new line of merchandise is actually cool. (Maybe not the $20,000 sandwich-shaped meteorite, though.) Along with this retro-style crewneck sweatshirt, there are t-shirts, art prints, pins, socks and more. For the proper look, get some chicken grease and gravy stains on ’em.
Cool Hunting Omakase Holiday Box
Inside this mysterious black box, an expertly curated selection of ultra-rare goods, sourced from Cool Hunting’s extensive network of up-and-coming designers and brands. No two boxes are alike. After securing your purchase, Cool Hunting acts as your personal shopping concierge, learning about your interests in order to tailor the box’s contents specifically to you. Spend as little as $1,000, or as much as $10,000.
Zarooq SandRacer 500GT
Hypercars are almost always confined to freshly-paved asphalt. But not the SandRacer. It features a sequential off-road racing gear box, lightweight racing chassis, built-in roll cage, full carbon fiber body and more off-road-centric performance details. And then there’s the stunning luxury aesthetic, which seems like it’d fit right in on the streets of Dubai. (Incidentally, that’s where the SandRacer is manufactured.)
BE Outfitters Tahquitz Pack
From the Gear Patrol Store: Highly functional and modern in design we’ve created a versatile pack that conforms to your lifestyle – whether heading to the Crag, traveling the globe, or dawn patrolling a surf session, we’ve got you and your belongings covered. The Tahquitz Pack, named after the birthplace of present day climbing, is built for those who aim to explore.
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How to save on Apple computers, Kirkland’s furniture and Ralph Lauren styles.
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Note: Stories published on Gear Patrol may contain links to buy products sold in our curated store as well as by third party retail destinations. Items purchased through the GP store help directly support editorial initiatives. In some cases, we may also receive a small commission for the online customers we refer to external retailers. Learn more about our editorial policies related to commerce and affiliate sales here.
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