Andy Jacobs


Preparedness seems to be on the minds and hearts of an increasing number of folks these days. Whether you are a "prepper" getting ready for the doomsday scenario, a back-country hiker or a suburban warrior, an entire industry has been built around survival and preparedness. It's not always easy to carry survival gear with us, [...]

Posted in: Gear, News

PatchPALS review


Velcro®-backed patches have become very popular in some circles, especially within military and related communities where they are often called "morale" patches. Additionally, clothing, backpacks and other soft goods designed for military, police or similar occupations include strips of webbing that can be used as modular attachment points for the customized addition of pouches and other accessories. [...]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Outdoor Gear, Reviews

Music is everywhere these days, thanks to its digital portability and instant availability on iPods, smartphones and other devices the world over. But the tiny speakers aboard these devices aren't exactly suited to rocking out loud.  That's why the portable speaker market has boomed (pun intended) the past several years, with wireless Bluetooth connectivity one of the [...]

Posted in: Audio, Video, TV, Bluetooth Gear, Reviews

Have you ever been out for a night on the town, or even just in your own living room, had a drink or several and wondered just how many sheet to the wind you actually are? Breathalyzers have been around for many years, but have mainly been used by law enforcement and related professions more [...]

Posted in: Health, Fitness, Sports, Reviews

Elliot Havok Watch review


What makes a great dress watch? Slim and lightweight, elegant simplicity, classic looks? I'd say all of the above. I've read that wristwatches are on the decline due to the proliferation of mobile phones with clocks which everyone seems to be carrying everywhere these days. But I happen to believe there is still a place for wristwatches [...]

Posted in: Reviews, Watches and Clocks

I'm a big fan of Casio's G-Shock watches; I've worn them for years and can vouch that they are some of the toughest watches in the world and packed with useful features. The latest G-Shock GB400 models include some new features that caught my eye. Bluetooth Smart enables linking between the watch and a phone for remote control [...]

Posted in: News, Watches and Clocks

One of the latest crazes in the fitness world is "functional fitness" (strength, mobility and endurance training for real-world use rather than very specific gym-type exercises) and one of the tools that is growing in popularity for functional fitness training is the humble sandbag. Sandbags can be made in varying weights and sizes, plus they are [...]

Posted in: Health, Fitness, Sports, News

I'm a big fan of rucks (AKA backpacks), bags, pouches and other gear that utilizes webbing for customized, modular attachment. And since I'm also a big fan of Velcro-backed morale patches, PatchPALS by RuckWorks caught my eye. Elegant in its simplicity but clever in its function, it's basically a strip of Velcro with four wing-like tabs [...]

Posted in: Bags, Gear, News

In the worlds of rucking, backpacking, hiking and travel, there is an axiom: "Ounces become pounds." This is loosely translated as, "Even small, lightweight items can add up to a lot of extra weight when walking around carrying that weight for miles."  That's one reason why absorbent microfiber towels have become popular among folks who participate in [...]

Posted in: Outdoor Gear, Pocket Gear, Reviews, Travel Gear

I use my earbuds daily: at the gym, working at my desk, mowing the lawn, and on and on. But sometimes I'd like to listen to my podcasts, tunes and other audio without having to deal with that annoying cable. I'd been wanting to try a pair of Bluetooth-based wireless headphones on the market today, so when [...]

Posted in: Audio, Video, TV, Bluetooth Gear, Reviews

Good protection for your smartphone can be difficult to find, depending on your criteria. Some folks go more for style, some for protection and some for a combination or for other factors. The bumper style has been popular for few years now, and X-Doria now produces two "bumper" style cases that offer both style and protection. The [...]

Posted in: Cases and Covers, iOS, Reviews

Steven Elliot is at it again with a crowdfunded Kickstarter campaign for his newest wallet design, the Dash 4.0. It retains the quick-access thumb slot for a frequently-used card and the coated, synthetic Saffiano "leather" front from previous versions. It also builds on the previous three Dash wallets with several improvements including a flexible 4-way stretch elastic back for expansion [...]

Posted in: News, Wallets

I'm locked in a constant struggle with my earbuds--they just fall out of my ears. I've lost count of how many aftermarket earbuds with all sorts of tips I've tried out over the years. Evidently there are others who struggle with similar issues, because Comply Foam Tips makes a variety of earphone tips for people [...]

Posted in: Audio, Video, TV, News

Handcrafted, American-made products seems to be increasing in popularity in recent years, alongside military and firearm-inspired products and gear. High Caliber Craftsman sits at the nexus of this space, producing writing instruments and other items that are hand made from actual ammunition casings. With various calibers, finishes, coatings, colors and materials such as cerakote, carbon fiber, nickel [...]

Posted in: News, Pocket Gear
Pictures of a new product called Notch.  Notch is a hat thats has a notch cut out so that sunglasses fit comfortably within the brim of the hat. Product designer Paul Cunningham of Yuma, Arizona

I wear glasses daily (I can't wear contacts) and wear ballcap-style hats often, especially when outdoors. I sometimes wish I could pull my cap down lower over my eyes, but my glasses or shades get in the way. Notch must have been reading my mind, because their hats potentially solve this problem.  Founded by a U.S. [...]

Posted in: News, Outdoor Gear

Flex-O-Loc key ring review


Key rings have been around for quite a while and a whole lot of us carry them in our pocket or purse every day, so there can't be a whole lot new with them, right? Not so fast, gadget fan! Have a look at Flex-O-Loc. It's a short length of plastic-coated cable that can hold [...]

Posted in: Pocket Gear, Reviews

Remember those merit badge patches that you earned in the Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts?  Demerit Badges are like that, but a little more fun and a lot less serious.  There are dozens of designs in a dozen categories, including Outdoors, Americana and Vegas to name a few.  Each patch is 1.5 inches in diameter [...]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, News

Living in the Midwest, we get more than our fair share of inclement weather. As I type this, in January, it is -8 F air temp with -27 F wind chill. Brisk, baby. Well, more like painful. I've tried many types of winter coats over the years, but I hadn't owned a "puffy" coat since I [...]

Posted in: Outdoor Gear, Reviews

I'm a fan of watches, and of the crowdfunding site Kickstarter. Over the past several years, there have been many great-looking watches on Kickstarter, from burly dive watches to complex smartwatches. Now Elliot Havok, who has run several successful Kickstarter campaigns including the Quarter Century Belt and three versions of the Dash Wallet, have launched their Havok [...]

Posted in: News, Watches and Clocks

SkinnyCharge V1 review


We lug our smartphones and other personal devices everywhere. But one of the drawbacks of the device features arms race---with larger display sizes, faster processors and connectivity speeds and other new features---is an ever-increasing need for power. My iPhone 4S's battery life had been steadily decreasing over time, so I found myself needing a boost throughout the [...]

Posted in: Cables, Batteries and Chargers, Reviews