As we enter the final full week of "dry January," it's not the worst time to look back on some interesting alcohol-free offerings. These usually are centered around booze-free beers and non-alcoholic "spirits" that leverage botanicals (and a bit of good aesthetic design) to make the concept of sober drinking even sexier. The market is full of great hemp and botanical-based alcohol alternatives to gin and vodka... but what about alcohol-free whiskey? Released by WhistlePig earlier this year in honor of "dry January," the PiggyBack "Devil's Slide" was made with 100% rye and matured for six years. The alcohol comes out in the "undistilling" process, which, according to the brand, keeps the flavor but not the booze. While the concept does sound a bit wacky on its face, WhistlePig clearly is on to something; the "Devil's Slide" bottles are completely sold out on its site. If nothing else, it's a signal that if you're a fan of darker spirits (like, say, a nice American whiskey) but looking to cut back, better booze-free offerings might be on the way. Non-alcoholic drinks aside, we're giving you the readout on Uniqlo U's new collection (and its release date), a quick look at the beefy Ford Bronco Raptor and a dive into Tag Heuer's Aquaracer Professional 200. This is Today in Gear.
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If you're into buying clothing with major bang for your buck, then you know Uniqlo U. Designed in collaboration with Christophe Lemaire, the recurring line unfailingly drops high quality, wearable clothes at prices that feel like a steal. This new collection, based around the “Rhythm of Spring” is inspired by the lightness of the season with breezy, ready-to-layer clothing — with everything from garment-dyed denim to AIRism cotton. You'll want to set a reminder: Uniqlo U collections have a tendency of selling out.
The revamped Ford Bronco has already been a certified smash since it released last year. New the Bronco is back in a more badass form: The Bronco Raptor. It'll have a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6, giving it more than 400 hp (at least 85 hp more than the V6 standard model). It's also going to have a giant silhouette; with 37 inch tires coming standard it'll be around 5 inches taller than the Bronco. Orders for the Bronco Raptor start in March, with current Bronco reservation holders getting preferential treatment if they choose to swap their res to a spot in line for the Raptor.
Tag Heuer has always used the Aquaracer line to blend form with function, and this new addition is no different. The Aquaracer Professional 200 features a 40mm rotating bezel, with a 60 minute diving scale. Backed by Caliber 5 automatic movement or a battery-powered quartz, the important thing about this 200 model (compared to the 300 model) is its more "general use" approach; designed for diving, yes, it's also built all outdoor activity — as noted visually by the compass engraved on the caseback.
Designed to be worn on its own or as a midlayer liner, POC's Coalesce jacket uses recycled T-Core Fill synthetic loose-fiber insulation and Mini Ripstop fabric for a consistently warm overall design that's resistant to the run-of-the-mill scrapes, rips or tears. For weather-resistance, the jacket is coated in a fluorocarbon free DWR, which should hold up in light rain or snow.
Garmin's not playing around when it comes to its performance smartwatches, updating both the fenix and epix models. The fenix 7 carries over the solar charging from the fenix 6X Pro Solar, but adds things like a race predictor that leverages activity data to track progress and forecast finishing time. The epix, now in its second edition, boasts many of the same fitness features as the fenix 7 (including GPS navigation) but has — in this writer's opinion — a more "lifestyle"-adjacent appearance.