Best stuff of the year

GQ

View gallery

.
(Photo: Jamie Chung)

(Photo: Jamie Chung)


It's hard to say if our ninth annual list of the year's greatest designs, gadgets, and toys is our best yet—actually, yes, we can say that. It was one hell of a year for gear. So don't just lie there staring at your record collection. Rewrite your wish list now.



View gallery

.
(Photo: Jamie Chung)

(Photo: Jamie Chung)

Nobody'll Know How Little You Paid

Most days, there are as many of Herschel's color-splashed backpacks in the GQ offices as there are skinny ties. For 2012, this three-year-old Vancouver-based brand applied the same winning formula—functional, affordable, simple design in a Skittles array of colors—to its Novel duffel. Its killer app is a waterproof zip-up shoe hatch on the side, which also works as a dirty laundry quarantine or a safe space for prone-to-spill grooming products.

Herschel Novel duffel, $80. Available at herschelsupply.com


(Photo: Jamie Chung)

(Photo: Jamie Chung)

What You Get When You Google "Best Tablet"

Didn't Apple just come out with a mini tablet? Yep. Google did, too—six months ago. And I haven't put the Nexus 7 down since. It's my e-reader (thanks, Kindle app!), my fact-finder (Google's voice search makes Siri look sorry), and my assistant—it knows when I have a meeting and lets me know when I should leave based on traffic. Plus, at $200, I won't freak if I leave the Nexus 7 in the taxi.—Jon Wilde

Google Nexus 7, $200. Available at google.com/nexus




View gallery

.

(Photo: Jamie Chung)

Rugged Enough for Deep Space. Cool Enough for Earth.

If you're ready to break from the canvas- rucksack masses, meet the Hyperlite Summit. Cut from racing sailcloth, it's waterproof and ghostly light, with no extra zippers or pockets. And it flips the bird at old-timey bags by looking like it's made for a moon landing.

Hyperlite Summit, $148. Available at hyperlitemountaingear.com






View gallery

.

(Photo: Jamie Chung)

Blow Your Cover, Save Your Bag

Dragging an anonymous black roller to the airport? Nothing says This one's mine better than this slice of leather from Owen & Fred, hand-embossed with your details. And if your luggage game is already next-level (like, say, you snagged one of those Herschel duffels a few pages back), then all the more reason to tell the concourse it's yours.

Owen & Fred Custom Leather Tag, $45. Available at owenandfred.com







View gallery

.

(Photo: Jamie Chung)

The Mean Green Espresso Machine

Presso asked how the urbane outdoorsman could make espresso without electricity. In answering, it also solved an age-old work problem: how to brew high-end beans at your desk without your office manager screaming, "That's a fire hazard!" The end result is the ROK Espresso Maker. Add a cup of hot water, flex your pecs to pressurize the grounds, then sip. Cue envious co-workers.

ROK Espresso Maker, $173. Available at rokkitchentools.com





(Photo: Jamie Chung)

(Photo: Jamie Chung)

Way Cheaper Than a Personal Trainer

The Nike+ FuelBand is your conscience, digitized. The smoky translucent strap lives on your wrist, measuring just how active you've been each day by converting body motion into NikeFuel and tracking all your data on a smartphone app. Sit on the couch and its score remains as sedentary as your ass. But meet your daily goal and the FuelBand's embedded LED display lights up in celebration. Cheesy? Sure. Addictive? Very. And that's exactly the point.

Nike+FuelBand, $149. Available at nikestore.com





View gallery

.

(Photo: Jamie Chung)

Once You Go for Black Soap...

It felt weird trading in our usual drugstore bar for designer soap, but these cubes from Seattle's Blackbird, one of the country's best indie men's shops, left us no choice. Their suds smell of just-muddled mint, cedar chips, and floral-but-not-girlie geranium. Olive oil keeps skin moisturized in the dead of winter, and charcoal—a natural sanitizer—gives the blocks their midnight black hue.

Blackbird Soap Set, $28. Available at blackbirdballard.com






(Photo: Jamie Chung)

(Photo: Jamie Chung)

Leave the Elliptical to the Ladies

Jumping rope is a nearly perfect exercise—maybe the most efficient way to burn off a Big Mac's worth of calories. But most jump ropes are very imperfect: too short, too stiff, too crappy. Former Olympic wrestler Buddy Lee made the Aero Speed length-adjustable and added swivel bearings for smooth spins. Now you have no excuse for not getting your Pacquiao on.

Buddy Lee Aero Speed jump rope, $45. Available at buddyleejumpropes.com








(Photo: Jamie Chung)

(Photo: Jamie Chung)

The 2012 Cologne of the Year

If you've been to Yosemite, you remember the olfactory high: a blend of resin from towering balsams and the smoke of freshly stoked fires. Odin 07 Tanoke is that, in a bottle. It hits that rare cologne sweet spot of being noticeable but not overpowering. Just don't be surprised if people around you want to make s'mores and tell ghost stories.

Odin 07 Tanoke, $125/3.4 oz. Available at odinnewyork.com




View gallery

.

(Photo: Jamie Chung)

Cookbook of the Year

Magnus Nilsson opened Fäviken Magasinet in a remote barn in Sweden in 2008, and by last year both the restaurant and the chef's insistence on trekking out into the woods for his ingredients were world-famous and widely imitated. His cookbook is half recipes and half treatises, but it has at least one thing you can use to knock the socks off a date. And no foraging required.

Herb Salt
Use on everything

1    pound unwashed herbs (pick one: mint, lovage, oregano, thyme, sage, tarragon)
1 pound high-quality sea salt

Directions
1. Briefly pulse the herbs in a food processor, making sure they do not heat up. 2. Combine the herbs and salt, then pass the mix through a sieve. 3. Store in an airtight jar. Impress guests at will.


View gallery

.

(Photo: Jamie Chung)

The Return of the Blacksmith

Favoring fire and fist over outsourcing and e-mail, Oregonian Michael Hemmer hand-forges knives from reclaimed Swedish timber saws. He hammers the metal into cutlery with wood handles that feel as good in your palm as they look on your chop block. And like Hemmer himself, these carbon-steel blades will keep their edge.

Michael Hemmer Large Chef's Knife, $100. Available at ferndaleblacksmith.com

Your Onions Aren't Worthy

The three most important pieces of wood in your house: coffee table, baseball bat, and cutting board. Lostine's is solid walnut and thick enough that it won't split when you get carried away with the onions. That leather strap lets you hang it up and show off its battle scars with pride.

Lostine Rectangular Cutting Board, $115. Available at minam.com


View gallery

.

(Photo: Jamie Chung)

Doorstops. Conversation Starters.

I used to rely on random things to hold doors open—a sneaker, stuffed animals, a Macho Man Randy Savage piggy bank. Anything besides those beige wooden wedges that cause flashbacks to junior high. Areaware felt my pain and made these colorful cork doorstops that look cool without trying too hard. Because after all, they're just doorstops.—Mark Anthony Green

Areaware Doorstops, $30. Available at areaware.com


More at GQ.com
The GQ Guide to Suits
The 40 Worst-Dressed Cities in America
See More from GQ's Best Stuff of the Year
Sorry you didn't like this comment. Please provide a reason below.

Are you sure?
Rating failed. Try again.
Request failed. Try again.
We will promote constructive and witty comments to the top, so everyone sees them!
Sorry, we can’t load comments right now. Try again.

    Recommended for You

    • Foreclosed mall once valued at $190M is auctioned for $100

      TARENTUM, Pa. (AP) — A Pennsylvania mall that was foreclosed on after its owners failed to repay $143 million has been auctioned off for $100.

      Associated Press
    • One by one, 3 utility workers descended into a manhole. One by one, they died.

      When a utility worker in Key Largo, Fla., noticed that a section of a paved street was not settling properly, he decided to remove a manhole cover and descend into the earth. Moments later on Monday morning, the 15-foot-deep hole went silent. Sensing the man was trapped, a fellow utility worker climbed into the drainage hole to rescue him. When he, too, stopped responding, a third worker entered the same hole. All three men died, overcome by poisonous fumes underground, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement. A Key Largo firefighter who made a desperate attempt to save the men also became unconscious within seconds. The firefighter, Leonardo Moreno, an eight-year veteran of the

      Washington Post q
    • Fox News' Tucker Carlson perfectly exposed a guest trying to spread a hoax on air

      Fox News host Tucker Carlson began his interview Tuesday night with an unusual demand: "Tell me what your real name is." While the man Carlson was talking to claimed to be Dom Tullipso, director of operations for a business called Demand Protest, Carlson said a "law enforcement-level background check" revealed that name "does not exist" — and Carlson wasn't convinced Tullipso's business did either. The man never exactly admitted that the whole business is, in fact, a hoax, but he does give a pretty good display of what Carlson dubs "performance art." At one point, Tullipso (if that's really his name) claims his support for "national treasures such as Julian Assange, Edward Snowden, and Peyton Manning." Yes, football-playing, Super Bowl-winning Peyton Manning.

      The Week q
    • Biracial Actress Meghan Markle Recounts Her Family’s History With Racism: ‘It Still Haunts Me’

      Meghan Markle is opening up about her family’s history with racism and the discrimination she has experienced being biracial. The 35-year-old actress, whose mother is African-American and father is Caucasian, penned a candid essay in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day for TheTig.com — the “inspirational lifestyle” website she founded and serves as Editor-in-Chief.

      People
    • The internet roasts a photo of Donald Trump writing his inauguration speech

      When times get tough, at least you can still meme. President-elect Donald Trump is slated to deliver his inauguration address on Friday, so he teased his Twitter followers with a little behind-the-scenes photo of himself writing a speech at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida. SEE ALSO: Don's Johns: Port-a-potties get censored for Trump’s inauguration Writing my inaugural address at the Winter White House, Mar-a-Lago, three weeks ago. Looking forward to Friday. #Inauguration pic.twitter.com/S701FdTCQu — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 18, 2017 The staged photo and Trump's cold, dead gaze sent the internet straight into "meme mode alpha," where it was pointed out that Trump was actually holding Sharpie marker, which may or may not actually be closed. @realDonaldTrump that is a blank piece of paper and you're holding a closed sharpie pic.twitter.com/ekCcH8eTXe — Jules Suzdaltsev (@jules_su) January 18, 2017 @cajunmonkey439 @realDonaldTrump It is *obviously* a sharpie. pic.twitter.com/gdD2AUhBKX — Jules Suzdaltsev (@jules_su) January 18, 2017 .@realDonaldTrump pic.twitter.com/8CSroNshBR — XpeK (@peKofX) January 18, 2017 Surprised that you didn't just use this photo as your epic, bigly speech pic.twitter.com/SezwzToFg4 — Roland Scahill (@rolandscahill) January 18, 2017 good job @realDonaldTrump pic.twitter.com/Ioj869Tfy3 — uhhh (@_uhhhhhhh) January 18, 2017 pic.twitter.com/pAKcXAEAkD — Sam Grittner (@SamGrittner) January 18, 2017 @realDonaldTrump #NotMyPresident #TheResistance #conflict #Putin #Inauguration In house security cam Mar a Lago pic.twitter.com/diwnpjAS3F — Beo Bachter (@kaysintBB) January 18, 2017 Early draft of Donald Trump’s inauguration speech. #TrumpSpeech #MyFirstWordsAsPresident #MAGA pic.twitter.com/qgo1glv5cG — Tom ❄️ (@TommieWho) January 18, 2017 Exclusive sneak peek at Trump's inauguration speech! pic.twitter.com/6W6ex0Ks3z — Kara Calavera (@KaraCalavera) January 18, 2017 Trump's Inaugural address leaked... pic.twitter.com/J8soJQ4Ira — Jordan Uhl (@JordanUhl) January 18, 2017 Exclusive: #Trump's Inauguration speech leaked! #TrumpInaugural #trumpgrammar pic.twitter.com/XzrXXpnjxD — Gerry Stergiopoulos (@GerryGreek) January 18, 2017 According to CNN, Trump did write his inauguration speech himself. BONUS: NBD, just a massive alligator out for a stroll

      Mashable
    • Zuckerberg wants to pay native Hawaiians to get the f off his 700-acre estate

      Mark Zuckerberg is suing hundreds of people in Hawaii in his effort to create a secluded island. The billionaire spent $100 million purchasing 700 acres of land in the island of Kauai back in 2014 and is still dealing with the fact that he doesn't actually have the exclusive rights to all of it.   Sounds nasty, right? SEE ALSO: Sassy Zuckerberg touts Facebook's power to defend Oculus in court The lawsuits, filed in Hawaii's state Circuit Court on Dec. 30, are looking to identify local people's claims to land within the area he owns — the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Wednesday — to force a sale of those properties.  Zuckerberg is leveraging Hawaii's "quiet title" law, which allows rightful

      Mashable q
    • Forever stamps will cost more starting Sunday

      It might be called a "Forever" stamp, but not when it comes to the price of buying one. The cost of mailing a one-ounce first-class letter will return to being 49 cents, up from 47 cents, where it had been since April. The last increase came in January 2014, according to the U.S. Postal Service, when it went from 47 cents to 49 cents. Then last April, the Postal Regulatory Commission ordered the USPS to drop its prices for the first time in 97 years. Postmaster General Megan Brennan protested, saying, "given our precarious financial condition and ongoing business needs, the price reduction required by the PRC exacerbates our losses." So now the price is going to back up again. Postcards, letters

      USA Today q
    • Daycare Workers Reveal the Things Parents Do That They Absolutely Hate

      "You spend weeks researching the best caregiver for your child and even longer on our waiting list, but once they're here, it's like you forget all about us."

      Redbook
    • Michelle Obama took her final stroll through the White House, and we are sobbing so hard

      The moving vans have arrived and the Obamas are gearing up for the transition to their new home in the Kalorama neighborhood of Washington,…

      Hello Giggles
    • Virginia man convicted of 2006 slaying of family is executed

      JARRATT, Va. (AP) — A man convicted of killing a family of four, slashing their throats and setting their home ablaze after they left their front door open while preparing for a New Year's Day party in 2006, was executed Wednesday.

      Associated Press
    • Rare photos of Betty White you've likely never seen (25 photos)

      Happy birthday, Betty White! Our favourite Golden Girl turns 95 on Jan. 17 — and she’s certainly come a long way. White officially holds the record for the longest TV career for any female entertainer. In honour of her birthday, click through the gallery to see some rare, vintage photos captured earlier in her career. Let us know what you think by tweeting @ YahooStyleCA!

      Yahoo Canada Style
    • Tucker Carlson calls out “sham” paid protester company spokesperson: “This is a hoax”

      Fox News host Tucker Carlson on Tuesday evening had on his show “Dom Tullipso,” the self-proclaimed “director of operations” of Demand Protest, a fake protesters-for-hire website aiming to besmirch real left-wing protesters. Right out of the gate, Carlson called Demand Protest “a sham.” He went on: “Your company isn’t real, your website is fake, the claims you have made are lies, this is a hoax. Let me start at the beginning, however, with your name, Dom Tullipso, which is not your real name. It’s a fake name, we ran you through law enforcement-level background checks and that name does not exist. So let’s start out with the truth. Tell me what your real name is.” “Tullipso” wouldn’t admit that

      Salon.com q
    • ‘Monster Mom’ Sentenced to 43 Years in Prison for Killing Her 11-Year-Old Daughter

      On Tuesday, an Illinois judge dubbed a 35-year-old woman a “monster mom” before sentencing her to 43 years in prison for the 2014 murder of her 11-year-old daughter, PEOPLE confirms. Addressing the courtroom, 19th Circuit Court Judge James Booras questioned how anyone could treat their child the way Nicholette Lawrence did. “Who would lock a child up in a closet furnished only with a sink and feed the child only a bowl of cereal a day?” Booras asked aloud, according to a court transcript obtained by PEOPLE.

      People
    • Ex-president George H.W. Bush moved to intensive care; wife hospitalized

      Bush, who at 92 is the nation's oldest living ex-president, has been at Houston Methodist Hospital since Saturday after experiencing shortness of breath, family spokesman Jim McGrath said on Wednesday. Since then, Bush experienced an "acute respiratory problem stemming from pneumonia" and was sedated for the unspecified procedure, his office said.

      Reuters
    • We Simulated The NFL Conference Championship Games, And There Was One Giant Upset

      The 2016-17 NFL Playoffs has found its final four with just the New England Patriots, Pittsburgh Steelers, Green Bay Packers, and Atlanta Falcons remaining after a highly entertaining Divisional Round. If you take Madden 17’s Wild Card predictions from our simulation of the entire NFL Playoffs, coupled with our simulation of the Divisional Round individually, Madden 17 is sitting at a cool 6-2 heading into what should be a very interesting Championship Round.

      UPROXX
    • Date Night! Amber Rose Shares Steamy Kiss with Val Chmerkovskiy During New York City Night Out

      Amber Rose and Valentin “Val” Chmerkovskiy may have kept their Dancing with the Stars romance under wraps in the beginning, but they’re clearly past that stage now. The 33-year-old radio show host and her 30-year-old ballroom dancer boyfriend have been all over one another recently – sharing smooching shots on Instagram and flaunting their PDA during Monday’s Knicks game at Madison Square Garden. On Wednesday, Rose shared a shot of her and Chemerkovskiy locking lips during a night out in New York City.

      People
    • American Airlines is banning carry-on bags and overhead bin use for basic-economy passengers

      Flying American Airlines just got a bit more affordable. On Wednesday, the world's largest...

      Business Insider
    • George H.W. Bush now in intensive care; Barbara Bush also hospitalized

      Former President George H.W. Bush has been moved to the intensive care unit of a Houston hospital, while former First Lady Barbara Bush is now also in the hospital.

      WPVI – Philadelphia
    • Man says Milwaukee's sheriff detained him for shaking head

      MILWAUKEE (AP) — A Milwaukee man says a tough-talking, cowboy-hat wearing Wisconsin sheriff detained him after a flight because the man shook his head at the lawman, who has gained a national prominence for his outspoken support of Donald Trump.

      Associated Press
    • It's Official: Moving Truck Photographed Outside the Obamas' New House

      The truck was from a fine-art shipping company.

      Town & Country