Monday, December 1, 2014

2014 Holiday Shopping Guide

It's that time of the year again. We eat too much and over-indulge. We also hustle around putting up decorations, pulling our hair out and figuring out what gifts to buy for family and friends. As a nerdy outdoor enthusiast, I look for three things in the gifts I give: It has to be a good value, it has to be practical, and it has to be unique. These are the criteria I've tried to follow for the products below.

Citizen Eco Drive


This series is one of the best values you'll find on a watch, and one I've been wearing for many years. There are watches out there with ridiculous quality (and price tags to match) far exceeding this watch, but I don't think there are many other comparable values to the Citizen Eco-Drive series.




Enzo Folding Knife


An Enzo folder like this one is currently on my wish list, but I doubt anyone loves me enough. With its superb D2 steel and true Scandinavian grind, the recipient of this gift will even make most knife enthusiasts jealous without breaking the bank.




Revant Optics Lenses


The Revant Optics company makes replacement lenses for high quality sunglasses like Ray-Ban and Oakley. The problem with high end sunglasses is that the frames themselves last a lifetime, but the lenses only last someone abusive like me a year or two, tops.

Revant has sent me several pair of polarized lenses for testing, and so far I'm impressed. Putting new lenses in a couple pair of my older Oakleys has been just like getting brand new shades, and the recipient of these lenses will feel the same way. I currently have the emerald green polarized lenses in my GasCan frames and all my family and friends have said "ooooh where did you get those?"

They are also running some promotions like a Cyber Monday event.




Nitecore SRT3 Flashlight


I own the SRT3 and it's just been fantastic. Nitecore has newer models, but none that have the control ring to select infinite brightness modes. It also has the red and blue LEDs like the newer models, and even comes free with an AA extender, so you can use  CR123A or AA batteries in it.

I have reviewed this model, and the quality of mine is one of the best I have seen in a flashlight.




OxyLED Q6 LED Lantern


Hisgadget is one another one of the blog's sponsors I'm happy to recommend. They have sent me some above-average products to review, and so far this lantern has been the gem. It's got a large capacity battery with efficient circuitry and high output. It was good enough to put in my emergency kit, until I took it out to use for my indoor photography. This lantern also gets high praise in the Amazon reviews, and the $20 price tag puts it into stocking stuffer territory.

Hisgadget are having some holiday promotions as well, so be sure and check them out.





Carhartt Men's Sandstone Jacket


You don't have to work on a farm to wear a Carhartt jacket or appreciate the ruggedness of its products. Their hoodies are a little heavy for my liking, but I'm a fan of their heavier jackets like the Sandstone.



Wolverine Hoody


I spent the first few years in the Northwest fighting the hoody. Everyone here wears them and it seemed to me (as a Californian) to have to carry a hood around when it might not even rain. But then again, we only averaged 8 days of rain a year in Anaheim. The saying here is "if you don't like the weather, then wait 10 minutes" and it was inevitable that I would become not just a hoody wearer, but I would go on a quest to find the perfect hoody. I tried them from Old Navy, Carhartt, Dickies, Haynes and many others, and they all disappointed me somehow. And then I caught one of these on sale at the very end of the season last year, and the infatuation still hasn't worn off.

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