Style

Betabrand Sitting-Pocket Sweatpants

Read their name and you instantly know that Betabrand’s genius Sitting-Pocket Sweatpants solve a serious problem inherent in most sweatpants: their pockets, which dump out most or all of their contents the second you sit down. Betabrand’s sweats instead boast reverse-entry front pockets that are easier to access, more secure against pickpockets, and also won’t spill your wallet, keys, and spare change on the floor whilst sitting. A welt pocket in the back also holds your wallet, if you’re one of those. And like any good sweatpants they’re made of a cozy cotton terra and feature an elastic waistband to keep them up.

Find it at Betabrand – $80 [via]

GET IT: $80

Audio

Review: Blue Sadie Headphones

The successor to Blue’s Mo-Fi over-ear headphones, the Sadie updates and refines the unique-looking — and unique-fitting — set of over-ear cans. This pair, which sits above the planar magnetic Lola and below the amp-devoid Ella in Blue’s lineup, is primarily targeted to mobile users (read: just about everybody who listens to music nowadays) relying on their laptops, smartphones, and tablets as the primary source of music, since all these devices lack dedicated amplifiers and thus require external outboard ones to optimally power HiFi headphones. But more than that they feature a Formula One-inspired articulating frame for improving fit in a way an extending band never could. We finally got a chance to test a pair ourselves over the past few weeks so if you’re curious keep on reading.

Design

Sadie may look big in online images but the pair is even bigger in person. Two oversized circumaural earcups press into your head and surround your ears, simultaneously insulating sound while avoiding putting any pressure directly on your ears. The earcups feature a bit of elegant-looking plastic in the form of a shell covering most of the outside, but almost every other visible part on the set is made of metal. That includes the race car-influenced suspension frame. The general frame design is shared with the Mo-Fi, albeit refined, though it’s still got three articulating joints on either side, expanding in width, height, and angle to fit a variety of head shapes and sizes. They do feel quite sturdy thanks to the use of metal but as a consequence this increases overall weight to just over one pound, nearly twice as much as some comparable pairs.

Below the left cup there’s a 3.5mm input for plugging in one of the two included cables, one plain vanilla at nearly 10 feet long and the other at four feet with three buttons and an inline mic in an enclosure that appears to be made of the same dark, anodized metal as most of the frame. The headphone jack input also sports a textured silver ring around it that switches the headphone amp between its three settings: off, on, and on+. More on the nuances of these settings in the sound section. Besides this there’s a MicroUSB input to charge the inbuilt rechargeable battery. The outgoing Mo-Fi had a tension switch; there’s none of this on the Sadie, though we didn’t really miss it. There’s no on switch anywhere either: instead, put the pair on your head and they’ll turn on automatically; take them off to have them shut off. The frame detects the earcups being pulled apart and knows to turn them on, and you’ll know it yourself thanks to a subtle glow coming from behind the Blue logo on either earcup.

Appreciating their almost mechanical black-and-silver aesthetics is more or less up to individual taste. Minimal they’re not but we think we’d be hard pressed to find anyone thinking they didn’t look good, not to mention well-built.

Comfort

If they weren’t comfortable the suspension frame wouldn’t be doing itself any favors. Fortunately they are, and this despite their size and considerable weight. Thick memory foam padding on both the earcups and headband certainly help dissipate both the weight as well as the clamping pressure of the suspension, which isn’t insignificant considering it needs to be enough to solidly hold these hefty bad boys on your noggin. We definitely wouldn’t say we could forget we’re wearing them, especially when turning your head or making quick movements and feeling the headphones follow suit a fraction of a second later, but the fit feels tailored, and it basically is considering you’ll naturally (and effortlessly) customize both the fit and angle of the earcups every time you put them on. Even during prolonged wear our head and ears remained surprisingly comfortable.

Sound

To the good stuff. Inside they’ve got the aforementioned 240mW audiophile amplifier as well as 50mm fiber-reinforced dynamic drivers and a rechargeable battery capacious enough for about 12 hours of playtime. If you don’t want to use the amp, or if the batteries are dead, switch the dial to off. If you do have it on though you’ll be rewarded by an enlarged soundstage that gets loud. In fact we recommend, as Blue does, to not only start at a low volume and crank it up as it’s playing to figure out optimal volume levels and avoid blasting your eardrums accidentally — and same goes when switching between modes, just in case.

While the drivers are the same as on the outgoing Mo-Fi they’re tuned slightly differently. And when compared to headphones with smaller drivers we found the sound really shone when volumes were set a little higher. Our experience suggests that the sound isn’t skewed towards the popular bass-heavy profiles of many other modern headphones like those from Bose and Beats, something we appreciated. Sound was warm, rather crisp and clean, and with perhaps just a very slight skew towards lower frequencies. Overall the sound is natural and powerful without tiring out your ears.

If you need more bass switch them to on+ mode. This boosted bass specifically while leaving treble and mids largely unaffected, but still not to Beats levels so if you’re really craving over-the-top booming percussion you’ll need to use a software-level equalizer on your device to address that.

All of this isn’t to say that they don’t sound good with the amp off. On the contrary, it results in sound that’s not dissimilar from when it’s on, if you crank the levels up appropriately considering the amp does give it a fair volume boost. Turning it on does extend the range slightly but noticeably, and our preferred general listening mode for as variety of tracks was not on+ nor off but rather on. Tastes vary, though, and different tracks can easily sound subjectively better in one mode or another, most often either on or on+. It should also be noted that while they’re devoid of active sound cancellation the foam and closed-back (and likely higher-than-average listening volumes you’re likely to set) block out ambient noises fairly well.

Conclusion

To wrap up, the Sadie delivered when it came to sound with the amp both off and on, likely to be appreciated by most music buffs looking for a mid-to-high-end pair of over-ear headphones. Its solid sound is less likely to be a point of contention compared to their size, weight, price, and design. They’re certainly distinctive in appearance and fit us quite comfortably despite the above but listeners perfectly content with traditional extensible headphone bands and cheap-feeling but lightweight plastic might question the necessity of the overbuilt articulating frame that detracts from portability. Others, who’ve rarely if ever found a perfect fit that stays comfortably in place over long stretches of listening, are bound to absolutely love it.

Learn more at Blue or grab a pair at Amazon – $400

GET IT: $400

Style
Featured

SprezzaBox

Shopping for stylish accessories is inevitably time consuming, not to mention brutal on your wallet. NYC-based SprezzaBox streamlines the process by sparing you the need to hunt down dapper goods yourself, instead sending a box of six products to your doorstep every month at a hefty discount compared to what you’d pay at retail. Boxes come packed with over $100 worth of loot that’s carefully curated by a personal stylist and typically include a tie and a pair of socks plus other critical accessories that span watches to sunglasses to tie clips, just to name a few. And to further the spirit of saving money, shipping’s also free across the USA.

Learn more at SprezzaBox – $28/month

Presented by Sprezzabox.

GET IT: $28/month

Watches

Citizen Eco-Drive Professional Diver 1000M

Many dive watches are worn for style. Contrarily, the Citizen Eco-Drive Professional Diver 1000M is best reserved for actual diving. Rated, as its name suggests, to extreme depths, it’s the first to also come equipped with Citizen’s integrated solar panel dial that keeps the watch’s batteries charged up just by exposure to light — something that’s notably absent in the deep sea, but several years of reserve power more than make up for it. The Super Titanium watch of course is also both very thick and wide like similarly-rated divers, which is necessary to withstand exceptional pressures, and boasts a helium escape valve plus a locking bezel.

Available this summer. Until then, read more at worn&wound – $2,300

LEARN MORE

Tech

Lantern Platinum+ Multifunctional Light

The age of the incandescent flashlight is over. No regrets, either, considering flashlights like the Lantern Platinum+ Multifunctional Light do much more than just light the way. Of course this it does well thanks to a CREE XM L2 U3 LED that outputs as much as 1,000 lumens, comparable to one of your car’s headlamps. But the torch is also equipped with a 4,800mAh rechargeable lithium-ion battery, a USB port to charge other devices, a power indicator, and a removable cone-shaped diffuser that’s handy when harsh, direct light is too much. Also included is a mount with which to use Lantern on your bike — practical since it’s probably several times brighter than the light you’re currently using on your commute.

Grab one at BiteMyApple – $90

GET IT: $90

Sports & Outdoors

Skycamp Rooftop Tent

The Skycamp Rooftop Tent is synonymous to a treehouse, or at least one that’s strapped to the roof of your car instead of a tree, making it mobile. And collapsible. Skycamp is completely self contained inside an aerodynamic hardshell box that easily attaches to your roof rack like a bin. When you’re stopped and ready to rest, popping open the box, pulling out the ladder (and extensible floor) and propping up the shade actually takes less than a minute, a far cry from the time and effort it takes to pitch a traditional tent. Packing it up is also just as quick so you can get back on the road faster. Included King-sized bedding fits up to 4 adults plus two children to a total of 900 pounds, and optional accessories — including an awning and annex room — increase living space even further.

Find it at Kickstarter – $2,050

GET IT: $2,050

Home

MiaCara Letto Dog DayBed

Your furry friend’s bed needn’t look like a pigsty, and here to prove it is the MiaCara Letto Dog DayBed. The Red Dog Design Award-winning lounger looks like a shrunk-down version of a nordic-styled human sofa, complete with a power coated aluminum body for structure, angled natural ash legs, and a comfy, super soft (and reversible, and washable for that matter) foam mattress that’s a welcome upgrade from the big pillow you’re currently using.

Find it at MiaCara – roughly $950+

GET IT: ~$950

Rides

Ripsaw EV2 Personal Tank

What you do while you’re in the cockpit is your prerogative, but a Ripsaw EV2 Personal Tank in your driveway will, at the least, deter would-be thieves and burglars. Originally commissioned by the US military as a quick, nimble tank, the EV2 is now available to the public, albeit in limited numbers. It’s got 12 inches of suspension travel, a Diesel engine that outputs more than 600 horsepower, and a (as of yet unannounced) top speed that beats out every other dual-tracked vehicle ever made. Though if you want one you better be ready to wait since each is built to your desired level of luxury over a period as long as six months.

Learn more at Ripsaw – Price available on request. [via]

GET IT: $TBA

Sports & Outdoors

Kelty Linger Side Table

Pairing nicely with Kelty’s similarly named high back chairs, the Kelty Linger Side Table spruces up your camping experience, namely by eliminating the need to place your beer, meal, or playing cards on the floor or on your lap. Its collapsible anodized aluminum frame disassembles — or rather, folds down, since most of its poles are already attached together with articulating joints — and fits into a 4 by 6 inch stuff sack along with its roll-out 600D polyester table surface, weighing in at a lightweight 2.3 pounds. Despite this it’s overbuilt, with a weight capacity of 150 pounds — not that you’re likely to really going to get anywhere close to this limit without sitting on the thing.

Find it at Amazon – $90 [via]

GET IT: $90

Bike

The Simpsons x State Bicycle Co. Bike

Anyone who’s ever sat in front of a TV will likely instantly recognize the minimal but genius paint job on The Simpsons x State Bicycle Co. Bike, aided visually by both the use of appropriate colors and proportions of the long running show’s four main characters. Not that you need the help, but that’s Bart up top, Lisa on the seat stays, Homer on the seat tube, and Marge on the down tube. It’s also just a solid bike, too, with a 4130 grade Chromoly steel frame with double-butted tubing, a Flip-Flop hub to switch between single speed and fixed, a synthetic leather saddle, and your choice of four handlebar styles. State is also making less subtle Simpsons-styled accessories that include a donut-themed backpack and an Otto Man jersey.

Find it at State Bicycle Co. – $500

GET IT: $500

Watches

HYT H0 Hydromechanical Watch

A minimalist version of their boastfully complex H1 timepiece, the HYT H0 Hydromechanical Watch hides the vast majority of its inner workings behind a curved dial, spinning two hands (for seconds and minutes) and pushing a semi-transparent, colored fluid around a glass tube bordering its face to boldly display hours. Though two openings lower down on the dial do give a modest glimpse into the bellows beneath, part of its manually-wound HYT calibre movement that’s ticking away with a power reserve of 65 hours. Otherwise the H0 sports sapphire crystal lenses on both front and back, precise micro-blasted hand and minute dials with Super-LumiNova coatings on time indicators, and a water resistance of 30 meters — all features we’d hope to expect from a timepiece that costs as much as a couple of cars.

Read more at HYT – roughly $57,000 [via]

GET IT: ~$57,000

Coffee

Jul Heated Smart Mug

Like the Ember temperature adjustable mug before it, Power Practical’s Jul Heated Smart Mug is godsend for those who like to nurse their coffee or tea, albeit with a stark price drop that comes with ditching the batteries. The goal when drinking coffee/tea is simple: get your drink down to a reasonable temperature quickly but have it stay there longer — or even indefinitely. Jul does so by shedding the excess insulation found in most travel mugs, which tend to keep temperatures piping hot and undrinkable for hours, and replaces it with a heater that’s adjusted by a twist of the base to set between 120 and 150 degrees Fahrenheit. Then, place it on its cigarette adapter- (for in-car use) or USB-powered coaster. Thermometers inside the mug detect when the temperature has hit the set target, conveying this to you by way of a subtle glow from the base that lights up blue for too cool, red for too hot, and white for just right. It also includes a concave lid that’ll clear even the biggest of noses and that seals shut and opens up (to sip, or to vent and further cool your coffee) with a twist.

Grab one at Kickstarter – $45

GET IT: $45