While we can universally agree that the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 was nothing short of a nightmare, it would be lying to say that some companies didn't benefit from our universal societal pivot to a life working from home or locked down indoors. Case in point, widespread gym closures helped boost Peloton into a pandemic powerhouse, with shoppers adding the company's bikes and treadmills to their (once-non-existant) home gyms. Unfortunately for Peloton, as lockdowns ease up and the population attempts to get back to "normal" (at least, as much "normal" as can be achieved all things considered), demand for the popular home workout machines has scaled back drastically. As seen Thursday, a leaked internal memo claimed that Peloton was planning to halt production of its bikes and treadmills due to a "significant reduction" in demand; the news caused Peloton to drop $2.5 billion from its market value. While the company has since pushed back against reporting, the news stands out as a possible outcome for several companies that thrived during the pandemic, including not just Peloton but streaming giant Netflix (which has also hedged its growth outlook). It all begs the question: What are the brands that boomed during lockdown that might be facing a reckoning when we (inevitably) return to "normal?" We're not just prognosticating about post-pandemic economics today though; from details on Bushmills' new 12-year-old single malt, new budget-conscious knives from designer Liong Mah and Arc'teryx's new backpacking boot, these are the updates you'll want to know going into the weekend. This is Today in Gear.
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Almost as ubiquitous and accessible as Jameson, Bushmills is another easy-to-find Irish whiskey. The label has added a new 12-year-old bottle to its selection of single malt whiskeys (which include bottles at 10, 16 and 21 years). Not only does this new release combine two 12-year-old whiskeys — one aged in bourbon barrels and another in oloroso sherry butts — it also showcases a new decanter-style bottle and packaging redesign for Bushmills' single malts.
Suunto's smartwatches are primed for new year's resolutions — weighing less on both your wrist and your wallet. While the $330 price tag isn't cheap on its face, its suite of features — ranging from 3D satellite GPS capability and route direction, to vitals tracking (like heart rate and sleep cycle) and fitness coaching — make it a major value when compared to the competition. At 39 g on the wrist, it's also lighter than its industry rivals (at least stacked against those with similar features).
Liong Mah fell in love with knives working as a chef in NYC. He's turned that passion into designing blades themselves, with a variety of different EDC options. At SHOT (Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show) 2022, Liong Mah revealed its budget-focused Eutektik blades, which come in D2 steel. The range includes the all-around EFD, the spear-blade Binary and the Trinity — a clip point-design which boasts three different ways to open it. Shop other Liong Mah models down below.
Balancing techy materials and thoughtful tailoring, Onia's all-new activewear offering aims to blend form and function for peak versatility. The offering includes the Tech Tee — which boasts UPF 50+ and spandex-free mechanical stretch — and the Crinkle Multifunctional Short, which is composed of a quick-drying tech nylon and features a subtle metallic sheen. Designed for virtually all activities, it looks like your Patagonia Baggies have some serious competition.
Just yesterday we were talking up new colorways of the Beta LT jacket, but it looks like Arc'teryx isn't slowing down this season. Introducing the all-new Aerios AR Mid GTX is designed to go just about anywhere, coated in a Gore-Tex membrane and featuring a grippy Vibram XS Trek outsole. The 3D-molded Ultralon foam collar and tongue ensure comfort even on extended hikes. A word of caution however: It's a brand new product, and looking at the online shop, it's hard to know if Arc'teryx has yet to actually stock the boot or if it's... well, already sold out. Keep an eye on this space.
Last week, Google updated its smart speaker software and inadvertently pissed off hundreds of kids and their parents – a new white noise sound replaced the track that lulled children to sleep like the little Pavlovian creatures they are, and the change threw things into disarray. We talk about the implications of this tech story, Lambo's new off-road Huracan variant, and video game merger/potential monopolies.